Thursday, September 24, 2009

Spiced Chai

Spiced Chai, originally uploaded by JewelsLB.

Just finished crocheting this cute bag, after completing its prototype yesterday (It's my own pattern dont'cha know, and I'm SO proud of that! LOL!). Of course, my little highness gets to keep most of my protos, except if they're not age appropriate ;)

My Darling Hubby got me this wool as a Yule present last year, and I hadn't even taken it out of the bag until yesterday. I'm really liking the look of the large coconut shell button, and chose a deep wine red thread to complement the red lacquer of the flowers. It's a fantastic little bag to hold my keys, my iphone, and a few cards. I like it so much, I've decided NOT to put it in the sell pile! ;)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Etsy Treasury: When Yellow Leaves

A lovely lady by the name of Jane, of Glorious Hats, has added my "Stone" bangles to her beautiful treasury. Take a peek:

You can also see it by clicking here. Thank you Jane! :)

Mimi's New Shoulder Bag

Mimi's new shoulder bag, originally uploaded by JewelsLB.

I'm still playing with my beads, but when the cooler weather comes in, I always pull out my yarn to play with. Of course, the beads get a tad jealous, especially if buttons are involved, but they understand... I think. I know the Swarovski's gave me the cold shoulder this morning, it only lasted a short while. The pearls? Well, they're like a happy oblivious puppy: They just ran up to me and licked my face 'til I gave them a stern "enough!" ;)

Here's a little shoulder bag I started working on Monday night. This bag is completely freeform, no pattern was followed. The body and strap are all extended single crochet, and the drop is just a series of stitches in varied lengths, which I customized to fit the large button Mimi picked. Lucky Little Highness that she is: she gets all my prototypes! ;)

Definitely going to be making more of these, but now I'm thinking I'd like to add some of my nice art buttons for the closure. I'm thinking Raku, metal and wood (oh my!) ;)


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Almost Fall!

Four more days and it's Fall! Already? Time is just flying by right now. I honestly thought I'd have more me time once school started, turns out I was slightly off on those calculations. We've had a few organized school excursions already, which required some parental assistance for the teacher, and I've been running back and forth from Niagara Falls to St. Catharines and back again, for doctor's and dentist's appointments for our Little Highness. Nothing TOO serious, she just needs some dental work done, but she's a nervous patient, and still young, so her dentist has chosen to perform her procedures under full anesthesia in the hospital. That last part doesn't sit well with me, and that probably has to do with the fact that I sincerely don't trust hospitals. I know it's not a 'bad' place, but I can honestly say that I don't have many positive experiences when hospitals are concerned. At any rate, what I thought would be Me time, turned into "Running all over town, catching up with myself and everybody else" time. ;)

I have been keeping busy during 'off' hours though. Wait, do I even HAVE off hours??? No, guess I don't... LOL!

I recently organized a necklace swap on my facebook "Canadian Beadworkers" group (which is turning into more of an international group, LOL!), and I thought I'd share the piece I made for my partner with you. I chose to make a lariat for Nancy, and though she did mention liking darker colors, I did use artistic license and mixed some lights in there too. I created a bead soup with 6's in silver lined purples in light, medium and dark tones, and another mixture of iridescent 'ambers' in the same tones. I liked the outcome enough that I believe I might make another lariat with the same soup. I will make sure that the ends differ from these ones however, since I don't really like to duplicate my pieces too much. Well, unless they're part of a collection/series, of course...

For the ends, I used two large glass crystals, in a smoky topaz color, and extended the fringes about two inches down, embellishing them with an array of glass beads, keeping in the same colors and tones that were in the rope. The only thing I played with were different finishes. The rope itself was shiny enough, so I went with plain transparent beads, and frosted finish beads that I hoped would stand out.
I'm quite pleased with the result, and I'm happy to report that Nancy LOVED it! :)

I was also commissioned by a friend to make a very special piece for her sister, who also happens to be a close friend of mine. Of course, it was my absolute pleasure to be given complete carte blanche to create this particular piece, having intimate knowledge of my friend's likes. This is a new design for me. Not too overly complicated to make, even though I did have some minor difficulties with the clasp attachment. Very fiddly! LOL!

Four beautiful strands of netted beads in metallic iridescent green, and silver-lined beads of the deepest most delicious 'fir' green I've ever seen!
I used a sterling silver four-prong slide clasp, which I thought really lent itself well to the design of the strands. It kept them nicely spaced, and gave the piece a well 'organized' look. (Cause, you know, I'm all about organization... ) ;)

I thought it fell quite nicely on the bodice, and was weighty enough to feel, but not so light that it felt too delicate to wear.

Well, now that I've caught myself up with the last few details of back to school, work, housework, moving (Items that were lovingly packed by my Mom, and promptly lovingly moved 7 hours South to me, by my Dad), renovating (my Studio! Yes! It's finally getting the well-deserved attention it's been vying for!), and, what? Oh, yeah, more housework... ;) I'm hoping that the next few weeks will see me doing a lot more in the beady creation department, and less in the laundry department. Oh who am I kidding? I've got an avid fisherman and an 8 year old Princess in the house... Laundry services is sure to be added to my resume, should I ever need to look for a job! :P

Hope all is well with you, my dear readers!

Blessed Be!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Interview With An Etsyan: BizzieLizzie

Back in July (has it been that long already????), I had the pleasure of participating in an online "Blog Giveaway" contest at BizzieLizzie's blog, and 'Lo and behold: I won! Not only did I win a fabulous "refillable" handmade lavender sachet, I also decided to participate in Charlotte's Pay It Forward, and was so pleased when I received my parcel, as right along with my precious lavender sachet, was this super cute little coin purse! My sachet now resides under my pillow, as there's nothing I like better than falling asleep with the smell of lavender in my nose. So calming. The coin purse is, well, in my purse! My Little Highness was right by me when I opened my parcel, and her exact words were : "OH! Is THAT one for ME?" I told her I'd be very happy to share it with her, but that I would like the opportunity to 'play' with it a little bit first. Truth be told, it's absolutely perfect to hold my Iphone!

My new sleeping aid, filled with lavender!

My new change/iphone purse! Perfect for small lose items you don't want to lose in your purse!

I was so impressed with Charlotte's workmanship, her attention to detail is impeccable, right down to her personalized label. Since I'd been to her Etsy shop before, I thought I'd share a few of my favorites with you, drool with me will you?

This gorgeous "Ebony & Ivory Slouch Hobo" damask bag is just DYING to come live with me. Hubby doesn't understand my constant fascination with handbags, but then again, I don't get HIS fascination with fishing rods either, so... I'd say we're even, wouldn't you? A perfect day bag, I can tell it would hold all of my essentials for a full day *dare I go there* SHOPPING excursion!?

The next bag I chose to show you is her "Rays & Dots" market tote. I fell in love with the colors in the fabric, and can so totally see myself doodling around town on my vintage Shwinn bike with this bag, ever so casually slung across my shoulder, sitting on my hip. (I'll HAVE to sling it on, since my basket will be full of fresh market goodies!)

Another bag that caught my eye was the 'Minimalist Branches with Leaves" hobo bag. NO markets for this one, though now that I think about it... ;) No, this one I'd take on one of my many reading excursions. It looks like it would be the perfect size to hold a good book, some sundry snacks, and a bottle of water. With my blanket in my basket, I'll bike to the nearest park, and rest for a few hours, as I read, and watch the clouds lazily float by. I suppose this sounds like a rather Summery activity, but this I like to do once school has started, and I find myself having a few hours of Me time. (A rare, and very precious commodity, it seems...)

Oh, but I'm not completely selfish! I did spy a few goodies I thought my Little Highness might like for herself! She's just MAD for elephants, and frankly, anything *cute*, and this little "Elephant Love" zippered bag would be perfect to hold the precious tiny treasures she likes to lug around whenever we go out. (can't leave the house without that Littlest Pet Shop now can we?)

I was so pleased with my new Bizzie Lizzie creations, I just had to try my hand at an Etsy interview, and so this is it! Charlotte was kind enough to answer a few questions for me, and though they might not be the 'run of the mill' type of questions, these are the ones I'm curious about whenever other 'creators' are involved.

Charlotte had been busy after coming back from a trip, and I believe she was still wiping her brow from a hard day's work when her reply came back to me. ;), and though I was going to go to the trouble of editing everything, I rethought that, and chose to give you the unabridged version, these are Charlotte's personal words, and give you a peek into her process. Hope you like it!

"Hey Jewels!

Phew! Laundry is DONE! What a chore! I'm getting slowly back in the routine! LOL

Okay - here are some answers for you:
1. What inspires your work?

I am so inspired by colors. Fabrics speak to me! Nature for sure! I love our colorful world!

2. With a busy family life (I don't know if you do, but also if you have a job outside of the home...), how do you budget your time in order to keep productivity up?

It was tough. I worked part time - 9-2 up until last December. THEN, I took the plunge and quit the day job! Working for myself is the hardest and most fulfilling job I've had. I work long hours to make it work. Many more hours than any career I've ever been a part of! It's hard for me to "turn" it off! When I'm really busy - it's nothing for me to get up at 3:30 in the morning and work through the entire day without stopping! Well, I do stop to eat and drink! =0) AND, I have a 10 year old - so I have to stop for her as well.

3. What made you decide to develop your hobby as a business?

I've always sewn stuff. It wasn't until I became a mother that I wanted to stay home with her, so at that point - I started sewing for others and it wasn't free anymore! =0) Lizzie just turned 10 in April. My sewing has been a supplement and source of income off and on for about that long!

4. Do you listen to music/watch T.V. while working, or do you need complete quietude and solitude?

No TV watching. There's no TV in my sewing room, but I do like to listen to the old movies in the background while I am sewing. Definitely music most days. There are some days though- solitude is the only way I get it all done! On those days - even the phone calls can wait!

5. What tips can you share with Etsy newcomers that could help them get noticed?

My first push is to LOVE and I mean REALLY LOVE what you do! It's got to drive you to make it work. You've got to promote yourself and get noticed. Take the best pictures and then when you think they're the best - take them over again. I am always changing up my pictures. That is my weakness - I HATE the picture taking part and feel like there is always room for improvement in that arena! Again - LOVE what you are doing. Do not be discouraged by others. Find out what works - just for you!

6. Do you require any special steps to get the creative muse going? Or is she just a 'spur of the moment' kinda gal?

I am the "spur of the moment" kinda gal. I am that way with my creating and my personal life. I LOVE what a new day brings and uncharted territory! Drives my husband NUTS! BUT, we discover lots of new things my way! My desire to create - comes from within! If I have to force myself to do it - I step away from it for a bit. It never turns out right - when I try and force it!"

I recognized a lot of myself in Charlotte's answers. Mainly LOVING what you do. If you love what you do, with a boundless passion, then it will never feel like work!

And this, my dear readers, was my first foray in "Interview With And Etsyan". I hope I did well, and that this was just the first of many, many more to come. I welcome anyone who would love an article of their own to contact me. I'll try and keep this as a regular feature of this blog.