Friday, January 30, 2009


Today's post will talk about being packed - on two different levels. Firstly, I am packed into my driveway because of this wonderful thing called snow. My hubby done hauled his butt to Florida yesterday, so I am stuck. While having a day off work isn't the worst thing in the world, I have places to go - things to do! I'm going to have to go out and see if I can start the snow blower later - I'm sure that will be great fun.

I am due at my friend Kim's house tonight to scrap.... a scrap that also continues tomorrow. So I need to get packed for that. Packing for scrapping can be quite a process. There are specialized bags to haul your stuff in or you can make do with organizers and things you already have. You have to plan what pictures you are going to work on and take the appropriate paper, stickers, stamps, inks, embellishments, pens, etc....

Anyway, here is a pic of some recent pages I made. I am feeling very unmotivated. Here I have this free day to myself and I am unsure what to do. I have lots of inspiration spread out on my bead table, and I need to get ready for tonight. But all I feel like doing in curling up on the couch with my dogs and watching stupid TV all day.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Speaking of Old Things...

I was at my local Joann's the other day, and I was thrilled to see that Blue Moon Beads is coming out with yet another collection of goodies. I was even more excited to see a peacock pendant! This collection is called Manor House - check it out here - and is meant to bring that vintage, found in the attic feel. But of course, as with any other mass produced elements, you have to be picky and choosy because honestly: some of them can look very cheap. It's good on the budget, but use in moderation. Here's what I've picked up so far.While I was on their site, I saw there is another collection coming out called Varnish. It looks as though there will be some colored wood beads, and I can't wait to see if they will be burnable! My local Michael's hasn't gotten any of this merchandise in yet, but I can see where they are making room by clearancing some things out. It's nice too because even though Joann's and Michael's get the same collection, they get different pieces of the collection (at least at my small stores) so it's still an exciting shopping experience. Check it out and let me know what you find! I'm interested to know what pieces you're going to be excited to work with!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Upcycling - Part 2

Continuing in my quest of making the old new again, I worked with clip on earrings the other day. These 2 necklaces are listed in my shop now.

Granny's Jewels: I actually snipped the backs off for this necklace, so they would lay flat.
Classic Chanel

Sunday, January 25, 2009

What's that smell???

As much as Jon and I love our home, we wish it had a fireplace. But anytime I want to smell burning wood, I can just pull out my wood burning tool and get creative! I really do want to expand on my wood burned beads idea, so I am slowly working on it. I just listed some new tags in my shop that would be perfect as pendants or charms. I also finished a custom request. My dilemma now is, do I start a separate shop for the beads so they are away from my finished jewelry? I could also use this shop for some destash. Hmmmmm...........

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What's Old is New Again

I've been having the best time the last few days getting jewelry inspiration from old things. A few days ago, I posted a bracelet I made with 3 vintage watch bands and a Humblebeads cuff bead. I continued making a few more bracelets out of old watch bands, and they are now on my Etsy site. As much as I love bracelets, I find that I don't wear many to work because I am on the computer all day. The constant clanking and bulkiness bothers me. But since these are snug and comfortable, I just love them! And it's great to recycle something!

This excitement is continuing as I have raided my jewelry box and basement.... I have clip on earrings, drawer pulls, belt buckles, and other miscellaneous things waiting for me on my bead table!

Monday, January 19, 2009

New Peacock Pieces

I've been lucky enough, for the past 5 years, to have off from work and school on Martin Luther King day. I'm still in my pajamas, and I've been in the studio all morning. The sun is out, making all the snow sparkle. And my dogs are curled up by my side. Here, I'll share some of the new peacock necklaces I've made.

This first one stays in my personal collection. My friend Kristen got the pendant for me for Christmas - it's from Jess Imports. We saw this booth at the show we went to in Detroit in November, and then Kristen went to the same show in Chicago a few weeks later and picked this up. They did not have this pendant in November so it was a complete surprise! Next show you are at, seek out Jess Imports as they have some really unique things - they specialize in clasps. Anyway, this little strand of various stones I got at the show was a perfect match for this little guy. Very simple, but I love it when I don't have to stress out (sometimes for years) to put something together. This one was a natural and I was able to wear it right away!
The next three are for sale in my Etsy shop.

Here's Vintaj's fussy peacock paired up with some filigree and labradorite. I even upgraded my necklace similar to this by adding a filigree layer behind my other 2 layers.
Here's another necklace I made with the pendants Wabisabipottery made for me. To look back, the first one I did was in this post too. It's been fun stringing these up and down or sideways.And last, here is a very colorful one I did with a shell pendant I had.Well, I'm off to enjoy the rest of my day in the studio!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Day Late

Well, I had wanted to post these pics yesterday, but ran out of time. The Wearable Art event at the Art Center was a huge success! The first hour flew by as I was an "artist in motion". The second hour, my hubby met me and we enjoyed the wonderful food and people. The other "artists in motion" were a drawer, weaver, and henna tattooist. Pictures from the event should be posted on a website soon and I will share them.

People could interpret this event however they wanted. Everything from elaborate costumes down to just wearing something handmade (like I did). I was inspired by Van Gogh and Klimt to create the following pieces to bring to the event - they are now for sale on my Etsy site.

Starry Night Necklace

Kiss Cuff

A Nice Long Kiss

Also, I provided this DaVinci Code necklace for a drawing. The centerpiece is a Mona Lisa pendant and the following are elements I pulled from the story: Fleur de Lis = symbol of Priory of Sion, crown = royal blood line, roses = Mary Magdalene, secret key clasp. (Sorry for the glare, Mona!)

The gal who won it has an online eco-friendly site called Root Beginnings. Check it out! I highly recommend bamboo products! In my wardrobe I have bamboo socks. In my bathroom I have bamboo towels. In my bedroom I have bamboo sheets. In my kitchen I have bamboo spoons and cutting board. It is a wonderful material! I, of course, want the "One Word, One Chance" t-shirt she offers as it has great peacocks in the design!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Wearable Art Event

I am looking forward to this event at the Art Center tomorrow evening. I am going to be one of six "artists in motion" - meaning I will be demonstrating a jewelry technique. For simplicity sake, I think I am going to show how to make my layering necklaces since I have had them for sale there. Easy steps of wire wrapping and cutting chain.

As for the "art" I am going to wear, I have a Klimt Kiss Bead from Humblebeads that I have to turn into a necklace. I have many other ideas floating in my head of art inspired pieces to bring for display as well. Finally, I am donating a necklace for a drawing. It started with a Mona Lisa pendant and after watching The DaVinci Code last week and digging around my supplies, it has many elements from the story in it. I will post pics of these pieces once I get them done!

Thursday, January 15, 2009


I am cleaning out my Etsy shop in order to bring new stuff in!

All jewelry is 30% off and the prices have been adjusted as such.

All wood burned beads are 50% off with a lowered shipping rate.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Gentlemen's League

Okay, follow the family tree here..... Seth Stevens is my aunt's brother-in-law. Eighteen years ago, we were paired up together as part of the wedding party - that is, my aunt's wedding.

He is now a well known designer in New York and this is his company (The Gentlemen's League) with another artist, Adam Razak. They create one of a kind, personalized handbags. The extended family (meaning, myself) was alerted to this when an article ran in the December issue of Vogue about them! From what I understand, you meet with them to discuss your bag and then it is made to your specifications. Even though I'd never be able to afford one, I know what I'd get on mine - a peacock!!!

Wow, I am going to have to pull out my older scrapbooks and look at the high school photo Seth sent me when we corresponded after the wedding. I guess you could say we had a very minor fling (don't get grossed out - remember there is no blood relation here).

Check out their website here. And Seth, if you by chance ever read this, do you remember me? Do you remember our innocent kiss? Do you remember holding hands at the St. Rita festival? Ahhh, such silly young memories........

Friday, January 9, 2009

I've fallen.....

I've fallen 100%, utterly and totally completed in love with this peacock necklace from Nancy at Round Rabbit. I have emailed her, asking if she would be willing to sell it to me, but I have not heard back yet. Everyday I check my email with baited breath, hoping to find good news. Oh please dear, sweet Nancy say "yes". Until then, I have to practice patience - not easy for me. If anyone could help or put in a good word for me???

Thursday, January 8, 2009

January is National Paper Crafting Month

Here is a pic of some pages I completed last Friday night with some friends. You can see my sweet little dogs in their Halloween costumes - they are such good sports! Biscuit was a robot in one and then they were both owls in the other! I really like how the pages with Jon and I turned out with the peacock elements - I have the best luck finding peacock cards at Target! I love that I can then preserve them in my pages.

I am scrapping again this Friday night and also on the 23rd and 30th. I am looking forward to good times with friends and getting caught up on memories! In a totally unrelated subject, our snow blower is running again just in time for more snow! Luckily, it was a very simple fix thanks to my handy hubby!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Better Late Than Never

I've come to realize that I never really blogged about my holiday time, probably because I was enjoying my 2 week vacation so much. Even though it is late, I will do a quick recap. We had a great time visiting our families in Wisconsin from the 23rd - 29th. On the 28th, we spent the night at Blue Harbor Resort. Jon's sister rented a 4 bedroom condo for the family as her gift to us! It was beautiful, facing Lake Michigan! We all had fun at the water park and I enjoyed spending time with my 3 nieces. There was a bead store there (The Bead Coop) but unfortunately, it was closed the day we went to check it out. We can't wait to do this again as we plan to rent the condo again in the summer to take advantage of the beach and get around to more of the little shops.

Even though the holidays are generally good times, it can be a little much and we were glad to get home too. I think I kissed the door frame of my house and said "I love you"! This was the year for car trouble I think.... we usually take my PT Cruiser on trips, but the suspension was acting up the day before we left. Luckily, Jon had put snow tires and a new battery in his little truck but it sure got stuffy in the cab with 2 adults and 2 dogs and the trip took longer than normal! Once there, he had to work on the brakes and an antifreeze leak. Then, his brother hit a pothole on his trip from Ohio that took out 2 of his wheels and had to take care of that. Luckily, we are all safe and sound.

We are now back to work.... back to school..... trying to dig out from a pile of paperwork and emails...... back to the gym..... slowly taking down holiday decorations..... me back to ordering little goodies online and awaiting their arrival in the mail..... just trying to get back in a routine. Here are my beady goals for this year:

1. Stop buying displays (after lucking out at 2 stores last week, I think I should be set in the display department)

2. Make more jewelry and beads (obviously)

3. Get published in a magazine

4. Get work for sale in another store

5. Take better pictures / get a cohesive look going

6. Stay organized

7. Use what I have on hand

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Just my luck...

It's been really hard to get back into the swing of things this week, but it must be my lucky week when it comes to displays! Got a Steve & Barry's store in your neck of the woods? Are they going out of business? If so, you can buy mannequins from them for $25!!! I was so thrilled. I have been wanting a mannequin for some time now and I think the cheapest I ever found on eBay was $40 not including shipping.

Certainly, I would love an old antique one but this fits the budget - so well that I bought 2 of them! Just thought I would share in case others are in need too.....

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Get on over to Pier 1

I'm glad to hear everyone had nice holidays. I am glad to be home, and will write more on the subject later.... But first, if you are looking for reasonable jewelry displays, Pier 1 has a bunch of them on clearance!

I got 3 little wire dress forms that are too cute. And then a large metal structure with pegs to hold necklaces and a smaller tree for bracelets or earrings. These will reside in my studio for display/storage but I will also use them for taking photos and at art fairs! I don't think any one piece was over $10!