Sunday, December 28, 2008

A fantastic holiday visit!

Hi again. I haven't posted in a bit, and I thought I would check in. We had a wonderful Christmas vacation at Mom's house. We stayed from 12/21 to 12/26, and it was wonderful. The kids had a great time playing in the snow and playing video games. We also got to visit my brother Andy, it was great!

I had some great beading time in the midst of all of the excitement too. In an earlier post, I showed you the pendant I started for my Mom using my Grandmother's petrified wood cabochon. I worked on that and finished the pendant by Christmas Eve. Then we went to the local bead store, Indigo Beads, to shop for beads to make the matching necklace. We had a wonderful time shopping and started a new tradition of creating a project for each family member for Christmas. The shop is run by Angie Britton, a friend of mine since junior high. She just opened her store this year, and it's been a screaming success. She has all sorts of amazing treasures! She has also asked me to teach a class for her during the next class schedule! What an awesome honor!

Here is a picture of my mom wearing her new treasure. I have decided to call it "Mother Earth." The pendant is a bead embroidery piece using delicas in 3 blue/grey colors and a Swarovski crystal accent. The necklace is composed of blue and grey freshwater pearls and czech firepolished beads.

I am currently gathering up cabachons to start some new bead embroidery projects for Valentines Day. We will see what they actually end up as. : ) They kind of do their own thing during the creative process. I am very excited about the next EBW Challenge. The theme for the January Challenge is "Tropical Holiday", and my mind is just spinning with ideas already. I am having visions of Hawaiian oceans and Caribbean skies. Ahhhhhh........

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Gearing up for Christmas and a couple of "works in progress."

Hello again from the Arctic! Just kidding, but it sure feels like it. We are only 74 miles away from our house, but the difference in the weather is unbelievable! I can't believe I lived in this town for so many years by choice. : ) We are having a great time in spite of the weather though. My Mom and I went Christmas shopping last night and wore ourselves out. We did find quite a few great deals though. Today I am taking my family to visit my brother, Andy. We haven't seen him in almost 2 years, so we are very excited.

I have a couple of new projects going, and I am very excited about them. At this point they are "works in progress", but I am going to post pictures anyway. The first set are going to be components of a necklace. Green is my favorite color, and therefore also my favorite color to bead with. I think these have turned out very pretty. I can't wait to see them all done.

The next piece is a piece of petrified wood that my Grandma (who passed in 1989) had collected and polished. I am making a pendant for my Mom out of it. I love the wood grain and the blue tones in this piece. I am planning on making a bail on this piece and creating a necklace for it to be worn on. This one was hard to photograph, but I think you will get the idea.

In case I don't get a chance to blog again before Christmas, I just want to say how blessed I have been this year and how thankful I am for my amazing family and friends. I love you all, and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Getting ready for Christmas.

Hello to all! I am posting this blog from my Mom's house in Klamath Falls, Oregon. I have spent the last couple of days freezing my butt off while taking care of some errands here. There has been well over a foot of snow here since I arrived here Thursday night. Brrrrrr!

I saw the dentist this morning and I am happy to report that we now have an extensive plan for getting my teeth all fixed up. I know this is not beading news, but I am so excited that I just had to mention it. I am headed back home to Medford tomorrow, but only briefly. I am coming back to Mom's on Sunday with the whole family to stay through the Christmas holiday. It has been a very busy week, but also a very exciting one.

I finished the holiday order I got for 5 new bracelets in spite of all of the traveling I have done. I am posting a picture for all to see. These are swarovski tennis bracelets in lime green, cobalt blue, purple, pink and lavender. The pink and lavender ones are for little girls, so they are smaller. I think they turned out very pretty. The pictures I take never really do things justice. I am meeting Melissa tomorrow to deliver them to her, and I hope she loves them.

I also just sold the "Time Capsule" pendant to my friend, Nikki as a gift for her mom, Retta. I am so excited that she loved it enough to buy it for her mom, and I am thrilled that it will belong to Retta because she is a great lady. It's a great deal all the way around. : )

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Exciting Developments!

I had a very exciting day in the beading world today, and I have to write all about it. I am very new to marketing my pieces on the internet and to internet sales period. I thought it would be much easier than it is, but I am learning a lot as I go along. I joined Etsy in August, and I had no idea what to do except for to list the couple of items I had for sale and wait for someone to buy them. Fortunately for me, I found the Etsy Beadweavers group early on. There are so many "famous" and brilliant beading artists in this group that I was awe struck. I started learning what these ladies are doing to promote their items and trying to emulate it. I have had quite a time joining all of these sites and figuring out what to do.

One of the ways artists promote themselves and others on Etsy is to create Treasuries. These groupings are usually of like items or items in a certain color scheme etc. The Treasuries are sometimes used on the front page of the website, and also it is another way for customers to shop these items. It's very cool. But anyway.........TODAY I WAS IN MY FIRST TREASURY!!! I was so excited that I posted a picture of it on the blog. I have to send a huge thank you to Grandma Marilyn. She chose my item for her treasury! She is also a very nice lady and one of my friends from my beading group. Please check out her Etsy shop and show her some love.

Another happy occasion as well today. The "Blue Universe" bead embroidered cuff has found a new home. I adore this piece, and I am thrilled that Rebecca has fallen in love with it as well. Here is a picture...

I am really excited about this sale. Of course I am hoping to have more before the holidays, but I am totally thrilled over this one. I got a special order this week for 5 bracelets too! I will be posting pictures as I can of all of the works I have in progress. I think I already like this blogging stuff. : )

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Look at me!.......I'm blogging!

This is SOOO exciting. Hello world! I am officially no longer a "blogging virgin." This whole blogging thing seems like a great idea, and I can see myself really loving it. What's not to love? Aparently I get to talk about my life and all of my creative pursuits as often as I like. What a concept! I'm not sure that the world is ready for this.

Let's see. Where should I begin? I intend to devote this blog to beading and my complete obsession with it, so I guess I will start by telling you how the beading journey began for me. I have always been an artistic person. It was in my blood. I grew up drawing and painting and creating far too many masterpieces to grace the family refrigerator. My Mom is also very creative, so she was an inspiration to me as well. I can remember watching her embroider things for our home and gifts for friends and knowing that I HAD to learn to do that!! That led to many years of artistic exploration for me. I crocheted, knit, sewed, embroidered, painted, scrapbooked and absolutely anything else that caught my eye. One of the most fulfilling creative adventures I have had was working as a specialty cake decorator. It was absolutely amazing. I loved going to work every day and making masterpieces for peoples most special occasions. I was really great at it too. I have always enjoyed the challenge of learning new techniques and making a mental picture into a reality.

I found beading for the first time in early 2006. I had a friend give me a storage container full of beads when she was cleaning out her storage unit. I had no idea what I would ever do with them, but I took them anyway. Then another friend took up making rosaries and asked me to help her make some for gifts for her family. I had so much fun making them that I started making simple strung bracelets and necklaces. Then, one fabulous day, I decided to see what I could do with the hanks of seed beads that I had from the original container of beads. That is when I officially became obsessed. I spent hours searching for beadweaving patterns on the internet and looking through every beading book or magazine I could get my hand on. I spent months trying and mastering all of the major stitches I could find.

All of that beading led me to the local bead store several times a week. I quickly became friends with the owner of the store, and she offered me a job there. Heaven on earth!! Not only could I spend my days talking to people about patterns and designs, I could also spend time working on my own projects. It was a wonderful experience! I have since amassed I huge collection of all sorts of beads and cabochons that inspire me constantly. I have found that I really love doing freeform peyote bracelets and things that flow from my mind into reality. It's amazing what happens when I let the beads create their own designs. Another thing that I LOVE is bead embroidery. I have gone completely over the moon for this style of beading. I am mostly focusing on those types of projects at this point. In fact, the very first post on this blog was a picture and description of my latest bead embroidered cuff.

I look forward to blogging about the creative process and sharing my works in progress with you. Thanks for sharing the process with me!