The Midnight Sky

I don't know how I ended up with shadows in these photos - I must have done something weird with the light source. I was sure I had everything set as per usual - but then I was in a crazed rush this morning to get these up on the site. I want to ship this out tomorrow - this is the first of the bracelets I mentioned the other day.

This is absolutely the smallest (in length) bracelet I have ever made. It is 2" wide and 5 5/8" long, excluding the "buttonholes." I searched all over the apartment for anything the right size to use as my working form, and I ended up with a prescription bottle exactly 5 1/2" in diameter.

It took me three tries to get the color mix just the way I wanted it. The last photo shows the effect I was going for most clearly - the sky at midnight as seen from the top of a mountain. Click on it to get the full effect.


I Feel Better Now

I finished the commissioned medallion last night. Here it is:

Sam's Sand Dollar

AND I've been paid my deposit for the first of what may turn into seven bracelets for a client. Now I need to put together a black color mix for a flat peyote band for her. This really is my favorite part of the design process - getting all the elements together.

Now for some interesting news of the synchronous variety. I used to scan the local Craig's List to see if anyone had loose beads for sale. I hadn't done it in over three months and yesterday morning I thought about it and went to the site. A young woman had just posted a listing in which she was selling all her beads, storage, findings and tools for one price. I sent an email to her and called, leaving a message. Making a long story short, I was the first of many to call, first to see them, and the one that walked out with an enormous quantity of very cool stuff as well as one of the best storage systems I've ever seen, for an incredibly low price.

I still have over half of the beads to sift through, but what I've culled out so far has me dancin'. Once I get it all sorted out, I'll take a picture of the swag.


UPDATE: Sam came in to pick up the medallion this afternoon - and he LOVED it! YAY!!


Commission Work

I've taken on two commissions in the last few days - one a medallion and the other a set of bracelets. I've finally hit on an earring design I really like but need to perfect. And I might have two projects to put together for Step by Step Beads by Friday - waiting for a return email on that. In the meantime, the demands at the Other Job have increased (installing a new computer network along with some reorganization), and I feel a little overwhelmed.

I haven't done any beading in the last three days. This may be why I'm feeling off. It's surprising how much I need it in my life. It really is my meditation, my centering, my Zen.

I finally got all my Etsy pieces updated, with jazzed up photos and lowered prices. That took my spare time yesterday.

I feel the need. The need to bead.



I finished this last night. I took photos today and as I handled it, wondering what to call it I realized the deep reddish copper tones reminded me of my cousin Lola - the color of her hair, the color of her freckles. When I was growing up out in California, Lola was my summer sister. I would spend a few weeks in Lodi with her and she would spend a few weeks at my house in Merced. Some of my best memories are of those long summer days spent talking with her, sharing secrets and ridiculing our mutual relatives.

I spent the whole morning re-photographing forty pieces of jewelry. Now I'll spend the afternoon editing all of my Etsy items. And the pictures, with only 2 exceptions, came out wonderfully.

Later, that same day . . .
Well, Etsy is one big ol' ball of spit at the moment. No one is able to edit, the images are loading slower than arctic honey, and apparently the view counters are dicked up. Again.

So I spent the day editing my items on Lov.li, and retagging those forty pieces. Tomorrow morning I'll be putting everything back in the display case - I've done some major price reductions.

Maybe I need to burn some sage in the gift cabinet.


And Another Raspberry Lizard!

Finished this up last night:

And now I'm working on some earrings.

What is it with me and earrings? I have the hardest time making them. I used to make polymer clay earrings by the ton. I sold them wholesale to the big new bookstore where I used to work, lo these many many years ago. I haven't really gotten back to earring design.

Is it that I don't wear earrings anymore? I mean, I do - but not like most people. I wear three different earrings - a tiny cubic zirconium and a small plain ruby stud in one ear, and a small pearl stud in the other. For sentimental reasons. And I rarely change them. I guess I just don't relate to earrings as art or as fashion statements these days.

This is the main reason I'm forcing myself to participate in an earring swap with a beading group. I need to get over this, this whatever it is.


A Raspberry Lizard

I just finished it this morning - and here it is.

I just put this up on Etsy. I still have quite a bit of the beads strung and ready to crochet, so I'm going to make a bracelet, and maybe a pair of earrings with what I've got here. I need the earrings for a swap I'm committed to.

Did I mention someone asked me if I would do some commission work on a set of three peyote band bracelets? I got the initial inquiry, then a sort-of confirmation, and now I'm waiting for her to tell me color and size. That's where the transaction has stalled. We'll see.

I might just make up a couple of bands, anyway, for old times' sake. Who knows.


Sugar Cookies!

Just posted this little cutie over on Etsy and lov.li:

This was a ton of fun to put together. The photos came out great on the first try. I may be getting the hang of this.

In spite of a crushing migraine, I've been working on another "frog princess" type necklace. Here's some shots of the work in progress:

I got an Etsy convo yesterday from the organizer of the Neighborhood Market. She wanted to let me know they've reduced the fee for the first two Saturdays. I went to the site and yes, indeed, they've dropped the fee a bit. But they don't have tables and chairs for rent, and they don't say where people are supposed to park. My problem would be one of logistics, actually. And I have a severe dislike of driving in the downtown area. I could take the bus there if all I had to deal with was the jewelry and table decor, but I can't see myself wrestling a table and chair, too, and I've imposed on my friends enough for one year to beg a ride.


Dick Contino ROCKS!!

Anyone ever see the movie "Daddy-O"? Dick Contino sings the left side of the cafe menu in a song called "Rock Candy Baby," and it's solid movie gold. If you love really cheesy movies, that is. Anyway, I just finished this and posted it on Etsy and Lov.Li.

Rock Candy Baby, You're Mine!

I still have the cold from Hell, but I'm not letting that get too much in my way. I just finished a three-bead net rope lariat in a Day of the Dead theme - pics of that maybe tomorrow. Right now I'm working on something a little different - an embroidered cuff using some different materials - I can say no more for now.

As I am fond of saying these days, these beads ain't gonna weave themselves - gotta go!


Return of the Cold From Hell

I'm taking a forced vacation - again - while I battle a recurrence of that miserable virus that had me down for so long. Apparently I didn't fully recover before my partner and best mate went in for his shoulder surgery. The stress of that very long weekend weakened me to the point of relapse.

I've spent most of the Easter weekend huddled in a ball on the bed, trying to hack up a lung.

This is not conducive to any sort of creative frame of mind. However. I have loads of time for reflection. The sketches I've made in the past few days are almost incoherent, my notes a foreign language even to myself, but I have had some interesting ideas.

I recently picked up a copy of this:

This was an eye-opener and directional spin for me. It made me look at jewelry design in a way I never would have found on my own. To appreciate the form as art and not exclusively wearable art - hard to explain.

Time for my meds.


A Modest Opinion

Over on Etsy I've noticed this insanity I call "treasury* fever," a mad scramble to get one, to maintain one in such a way as to always be on the first page, and from a good many posts in the forums over there, the desperate desire to be featured in one.

Over the last three weeks, for some reason**, I've been featured in no less than two, no more than four, treasuries every single day. This is incredibly flattering, but I haven't sold a thing. My view numbers have gone up marginally, which had not translated into sales.

Personally, I love browsing the treasuries - and I've even bought a few things by doing so. And I like to see what other people think is beautiful, interesting, etc. But as for it being this Holy Grail of Marketing - Buzzzzz! - wrong! but thanks for playing!! Maybe other members have a vastly different experience than I, but then this is My Modest Opinion.

That having been said, I'm going to go browse the treasuries some more - you never know what you'll find!

* a treasury is a member-built webpage listing hand-picked items from other members' shops - usually with a theme. Etsy allows 150 of these pages at a time, and each list is viewable for a limited time of 48 hours - I think.

**I too got caught up in the fever, and managed to snag a treasury spot. Everyone I featured in my treasury who managed to get one of their own has returned the favor, but I've been featured in three other treasuries that were not of the payback variety.