Tuesday, June 30, 2009

lemme sum up

It's late and I'm tired. Well-- it's 9:30 but it *feels* really, really late.
I got a hair cut today-- my friend called it a portrait in hair. So intriguing!
I hit 1800 hearts in my Etsy shop today.
And my shop was tweeted by a customer for the second time this month, which is just sweet!
And someone gave me a great idea for new rings and I'm also thinking of making toe rings.
Must make custom order to mail out tomorrow. Now.
Good night!

Monday, June 29, 2009

monday's picture post and giraffes

You can find the details on the BAO Items of the week, shown in the BAO graphic, on the BAO blog!

A while ago I read a short and simple poem that will not release me. I think it's forever changed my view of the word giraffe. So I share it with you, so it can change yours!

Ron Padgett from the Tulsa Kid:
"The Giraffe":

The 2 f's
in giraffe
are like 2 giraffes
running through
the word giraffe
The 2 f's
run through giraffe
like 2 giraffes

And here are some fabulous pictures from the artists of EarthBorn Market on 1000Markets. If you want more info about one of them click the picture!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

treasury love and kiersey.com

Drama Queen

Sunshine Daydream

I'm a little obsessed with personality tests. I like that ah-ha moments when I realize that I do certain things or feel certain ways that I've just never thought out before. Moments when I realize that not everyone on earth sees things the way I see them-- but some people do.

I found Kiersey.com's personality sorter and took the KTS2. I've read and played with Please Understand Me 2, so I wasn't surprised that I came up Idealist.

Idealists are obsessed with self-knowledge-- the kind you get with personality tests.

Idealists, as a temperament, are passionately concerned with personal growth and development. Idealists strive to discover who they are and how they can become their best possible self -- always this quest for self-knowledge and self-improvement drives their imagination. And they want to help others make the journey. Idealists are naturally drawn to working with people, and whether in education or counseling, in social services or personnel work, in journalism or the ministry, they are gifted at helping others find their way in life, often inspiring them to grow as individuals and to fulfill their potentials.
Idealists are sure that friendly cooperation is the best way for people to achieve their goals. Conflict and confrontation upset them because they seem to put up angry barriers between people. Idealists dream of creating harmonious, even caring personal relations, and they have a unique talent for helping people get along with each other and work together for the good of all. Such interpersonal harmony might be a romantic ideal, but then Idealists are incurable romantics who prefer to focus on what might be, rather than what is. The real, practical world is only a starting place for Idealists; they believe that life is filled with possibilities waiting to be realized, rich with meanings calling out to be understood. This idea of a mystical or spiritual dimension to life, the "not visible" or the "not yet" that can only be known through intuition or by a leap of faith, is far more important to Idealists than the world of material things.
Highly ethical in their actions, Idealists hold themselves to a strict standard of personal integrity. They must be true to themselves and to others, and they can be quite hard on themselves when they are dishonest, or when they are false or insincere. More often, however, Idealists are the very soul of kindness. Particularly in their personal relationships, Idealists are without question filled with love and good will. They believe in giving of themselves to help others; they cherish a few warm, sensitive friendships; they strive for a special rapport with their children; and in marriage they wish to find a "soulmate," someone with whom they can bond emotionally and spiritually, sharing their deepest feelings and their complex inner worlds.
Idealists are relatively rare, making up no more than 15 to 20 percent of the population. But their ability to inspire people with their enthusiasm and their idealism has given them influence far beyond their numbers.
Idealists, as a temperament, are passionately concerned with personal growth and development. They are naturally drawn to working with people and are gifted with helping others find their way in life, often inspiring them to grow as individuals and to fulfill their potential both on, and off, the job.
Conscience looms large for you; in almost any situation, you feel compelled to measure yourself, other people, and the conditions of the environment against your personal morality. You have a tendency to perceive questions of meaning in even trivial matters and to worry about far-flung consequences of your actions. In your ideal job, you are free to pursue depth rather than breadth and quality rather than quantity. You feel rewarded when your projects and daily tasks allow you to immerse yourself in your process as deeply as you "need to" in order to satisfy your inner standards of quality. You are uncomfortable with the notion of authority per se and may avoid leading, as well as being led, either consciously or unconsciously. As you experience them, adhering to fixed roles and rules amounts to an abdication of your responsibility to exercise your conscience.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

taking shape

Troykitty is licking the watermelon juice out of my bowl-- his white chin fur is now pink. Ripkitty is curled up by my side, with his head on my left wrist, but out of my lap and I'm starting my second  cup of coffee.

I finished my ArtFire shop at an ungodly hour this morning. I did two things-- priority one was making sure that all of my inventory was there, priority two was risk reduction.

I spoke to a friend recently who mentioned how nerve-wracking your first few online purchases can be. I'm a child of the computer age. I remember when we got our first computer. I remember when we got the internet. I remember my first email account. I don't remember my first online purchase.

It was probably a natural extension of my preference for catalog shopping aka not leaving the house for anything less urgent than a tornado, shopping in your pjs, taking two weeks to decided whether you really want that skirt or not and many other things besides. I pay my bills online. Plan trips online. Entertain myself, educate myself and more.

Anyway-- I consider thebeadedlily a pretty cool place to shop. Clear pictures, measurements, colors and materials, shipping info-- it's all there in the listing. I'm quick to answer questions and complete custom orders. So how to make the experience even less stressful-- perhaps to someone new to online craft venues?

I have something similar in my ArtFire listings and this is the Etsy version of what I came up with:

"New to Etsy? Nervous about buying art online? Don't be!
I'm only a message away and I'll answer you. Try me. I'd love to help you out.
Checkout is super easy! Here's a guide to help:

I take checks and money orders so you don't have to be shy about processing payment online.
If you want to use a credit card you can check out with one via PayPal.
You don't have to have a PayPal account to do that-- though setting one up is super easy if you want one.

Lastly, everything at thebeadedlily is covered by my Pure Pleasure Promise. If your purchase is anything less than a pure pleasure to receive, pop it back in the mail and get a complete refund. Promise."

I get a fair amount of business from folks that are brand new to Etsy (everyone's brand new to ArtFire and 1000Markets) and aren't that familiar with Paypal-- so maybe this will help them.

I didn't change any policies-- I just wrote them out for my listings. We'll see how it goes!

Now I'm editing each of my Etsy listings. *yawn*

A few other things are stirring in my mind. The end of June-- midyear. It would be really great if I could get all my tax info for the 1st of the year ready. (Any bets on if it will actually get done?)

A website for thebeadedlily. It just seems like a good idea.

iCraft just lowered their subscription fees. I've got a free account, but now I'm considering upgrading. I liked it just fine and I made a couple small sales there. But Etsy is fairly steady and ArtFire seems to be taking off well and I'm on 1KM too-- and I just don't know.

And I'm thinking that maybe in December or January I'll jump on the Endicia bandwagon. Going postal is a cliche for a reason, right?

No pictures today, but it doesn't mean I don't love you!

Friday, June 26, 2009

i've been asked if I feel sad

about parting with pieces that I've made. I usually just say 'sometimes', with a little shrug and smile. What's a girl with a serious bead addiction to do, anyhow?

Yesterday, I was asked again, and for the first time I actually wrote out an answer. One that didn't have to be digested in half a second. I took my time. I thought about it.

The answer is, still, predictably, sometimes.

Seeing my pieces on others gives me every bit of the joy I get from wearing them myself and art is simply meant to be shared. The difficult part is finding people to share it with.

So, when I create something custom I'm always super excited to send it off. But in a way, it was never mine to begin with.

If I list a piece and it sells overnight, I'm excited. Maybe because I didn't have time to get too attached?

Conversely, once a piece hits two or so, (years) I find that I want to sell it before the rest of my work outgrows it. If I keep a piece for my personal collection this doesn't matter to me, but for my selling inventory, I want it the work to represent who I am and what I'm doing *now*.

When I have a special connection to the piece I'm excited to find someone who loves it as much as I do. It's like making a suggestion that someone accepts. It's very satisfying. I also sit and think about what good taste they have-- for buying the best that I have to offer. Or what in my opinion is the best.

When I have a special connection to the person, that makes a difference too. If I feel disassociated from them somehow, it considerable lessens my joy.

If I tried a new technique, or was especially proud of the piece it can be a little hard. I'm glad to see them go be loved, yet I miss their presence. It sounds funny, I know.

Sometimes I think of my pieces long after their gone. Other times, I'll see a piece, and not remember making it, but I know I did, because it's totally my style! Usually, if I think long enough, I remember where the beads came from and the inspiration and process follows.

I do collect my own work. But it's not always the best designs, or best beads. It's simply a matter of what speaks to my own personal style. There are plenty of pieces that I've sold or gifted away that are superior in everyway to some of the pieces I've kept for myself. Sometimes I'll make something and when I'm almost done I realize it will stay with me. Other times I make things for myself specifically-- but I don't always keep them when they're done. I can usually sense if they weren't meant to stay-- even if I use beads that I bought specifically for myself.

The solution perhaps is lots of pictures with everyone wearing my jewelry!
So while there are many factors and perhaps a tinge of something less than perfect happiness, I'm very thankful that I get to share my work.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

spoke too soon, again

Have you ever noticed how you wait patiently for your package to arrive, you finally complain and it comes that day?
Just last night I mentioned that there had been treasury famine over at thebeadedlily-- and of course today I have 3 new treasuries to show you. Ironic.
Again, they're live-- so feel free to get a closer look!
(dear, how much I love you, please don't take my sunshine away)
I'm contemplating 14ga hoops in 10mm diameters right now. Tough one. At that size the wire is tough to bend and had virtually no flex. But a customer wants to know if I can make them-- so that's on my list to do today-- though my first effort was pitiful.
I also need to get back on to filling my ArtFire shop. I have some reading that needs to be done today. And here I am indulging my inner voyeur by reading art blogs and posting my in my own!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

a day in the life of . . .

Treasuries have been few and far between for me lately so I thought I'd share a couple that are still up!
Sticks and Stones
Yesterday I made and listed 4 pieces-- one of which was purchased overnight and went off today.

Yep-- I woke up this morning to a 10 item order on ArtFire. So after I packed that up and sent it out I began putting more things in my ArtFire shop.

It's a bit spotty, reflecting my enthusiasm or lack there of. Whenever I finished a piece if I was feeling enthusiastic about AF I list it there. If I wasn't I didn't. So I'm playing a bit of catchup now that I've decided on keeping my shop there. And that is how I've spent most of my day! And I'm still far from done!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

hello world

How do you tell the world what you love?

My Collections Series are born of my love not just of jewelry, but of the beads themselves. It's a beads, for beads sake thing.
I made collections necklace for myself with some prized beads and pendants. This is my first collection up for purchase.
Siren is a collection inspired by the beach.
It features:
Assorted bits of pretty horn and glass

Raku button by MAKUstudios (signed on the back by Mak-- she does the richest, most brilliant colorations of any raku artist I've ever seen)

Three heavily textured silvered ivory beads by Paul at firedancebeads that look like bones from the sea

Labradorite-- a grey feldspar known for iridescence

Wire wrapped driftwood

Red horn ring

Serpentine, a khaki colored stone handcarved in an Oriental pattern

Polymer clay bird skull by Dee of Malodora-- love the realism!

Gold coral

Antler tip-- naturally shed

Fossilized megalodon shark tooth

Green garnet

African brass wound bead

Ceramic frame from LisaPetersArt-- Lisa does awesome shapes and textures to die for

Stoneware bead with an irregular, mottled surface in blue, sage and brown by Jubilee. These were some of the most wonderful beads I ever bought-- and this is the last one.

Citrine rough. I loved the way the clear yellow blends with the snowy quartz.

Petosky honeycomb fossil, from Lake Michigan shores- the name means "rising sun"

Sterling Silver imame from Egypt. It's the terminus for a strand of prayer beads

Faceted bone-- fabulous color and texture, like fossilized ivory

Twilight lily bead from HumbleBeads. The pale blue of dusk covers the lily white beads that are then antiqued with a rich chocolate brown. Heather's textures are amazing.

Kyanite-- it was love at first sight for me and this collector's mineral

Satin finished borosilicate lampwork bead in earthtones by twosisters4

The Siren collection is wired to a 37 inch (94 cm) length of sterling silver flat cable chain with lengths of 20 and 18ga sterling silver wire. I created a lovely 's' clasp to close it.
It's easily worn at 24 inches (61cm), 37 inches (94cm), or anywhere in between. I added a dangle to the final link for a very finished and versatile piece.
It can even be worn as a belly chain-- it's that long! And if you're totally and completely fearless you can wrap it as a very chunky bracelet!
This is, of course, a one of a kind collection. I'd love to make more of course, but they're a bit pricey. I wonder if there will be a market for them. If not, I can always wear it with the first collections piece!

Monday, June 22, 2009

monday's picture post (reprised)

On this happy first full day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, 12 of our Bead Art Originals are offering up Items of the Week. Please HERE on the BAO blog for details on the items and specials associated with them.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

just a note:)

I'm still alive.
I have not, despite evidence to the contrary, abandoned my bloggy ambitions. I plan to restart my daily postings, and soon. I can feel myself regaining bits of energy, but as of yet, those bits are easily snuffed and I'm being, perhaps, too protective of them.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

here comes the bride?

I haven't given serious thought to my wedding in two years. It's natural I suppose, given that I have no plans to actually get married.

Two years ago I was helping sistermine plan her wedding. And thinking that there was no way on earth I'd ever put myself through much of that mess. (Note: Sistermine had a lovely wedding-- though there were way too many people there.)

So why now? The latest EBW challenge theme is Here Comes The Bride.

I've done my fair share of wedding jewelry. But I design it specifically for the bride, who is well-known to me! To just sit down and design wedding jewelry is kind of un-fun for me truthfully.

Not that I have anything against (or not much against) marriage-- which is a sacred and honorable thing with valid purposes to be sure. I kind of do have something against weddings though. They're kind of silly. Most of them seem less about the wedding than they are an excuse to get together and party. And, yeah, the bizarre customs associated with them are beyond silly.

I'd probably head to the nearest Justice of the Peace myself. Or barring that, I have friends that could do the honors and sign the certificate. Their living room seems like a good place to get that done.

And what would I wear on that sweet occasion? Well, I'd probably dress up a bit. Maybe even make a pretty frock. Linen or some peace silk chiffon.

I'm thinking that I have plenty of rings. If I don't get a 'wedding ring' I can switch them up and out at will. And save the money. That said, I like these:
I've taken to wearing three of these on the ring finger of my right hand and I love them:

I love this-- I'd wear it often-- which is a big deal for me because I really don't see spending resources on something I'll only wear once!

A shocking lack of diamonds, pearls and Swarovski, yes?
Now, the jewelry that I've designed for weddings-- it's all had crystal! They were crystal weddings. And gifts for brides having crystal weddings. The last set I did featured pearls with crystal. I try to keep it a secret, but I loathe pearls with crystal. One or the other please!
But that kind of leaves me stuck on Here Comes the Bride.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

i've been a bad, bad girl

Or so my blog tells me.

Neglectful. Sadly.

And it's not that I've got nothing to write about!

Shall we start with the usual picture post?

This weeks BAO Item of the Week Collection:

Details on associated offers on the BAO blog of course!

Then there's the lovely see-what-I -found-in-the-shops-of-this-weeks-curators pictures:

Icosahedral Cluster--Art Object by GwenBeads

Blue Heron by BlueHeronQuilts

Thor the Viking... Lampwork Glass Bead and Wood Pen by StudioMarcy

Then I'd like to mention that I have a Featured Artisan profile up on HandMade News.

And I've got some giveaway winners to announce! I just didn't have much energy to pour intp promoting that so thank you to those of you that helped me out!

I had 77 entries. 9 from the blog post and 68 from my Newsletter Subscribers who get one automatica entry in every giveaway I have.

The Randomizer drew numbers 6 and 77. Number 6 will claim her prize shortly. I'll email #77 and if I get no response within 3 days, I'll redraw for the second certificate.

And that feels like enough for today! Who knows? Maybe I'll see you tomorrow!