Pony Time Reprise

Vinnie and Monet got their new manes and tales and I finally got around to photographing them and putting them up for sale on Etsy.


A Garden at Big Sur

This is my entry in the Spring Beading Challenge being hosted this year by Lava Jewelry over at Etsy. I like it so much, I may not be able to let it go.


BJP for March: Ostara

This took freakin' forever. I must have sketched my ideas over and over and over. I knew what I wanted to do, but it just never wanted to come together. A few weeks ago I was wandering around in an overpriced imported food grocery store - you know the kind I mean, where a box of Earl Grey tea and a bottle of British ketchup occasions the taking out of a small business loan - anyway. I spotted this display of sale stuff. There was a bundle of "spring themed cookie cutters." Eureka!!

Easter time always reminds me of my childhood. Every spring we'd have a week off from school, so rather than let us run nuts around the neighborhood, our parents would drag us to Vacation Bible School. I remember carving blocks of Ivory soap into anamorphic blobs that were supposed to be chicks or bunnies, and we covered Scotties paper napkins with crayon abstracts of flowers.

Later I found meaning in those symbols of spring, but I never lost my nostalgic feeling for the simplicity of their representations.

So there I am, smack in the middle of the egg full of pearls of wisdom, waiting to hatch. A tulip, a forget-me-not, a chick and a bunny. These all spell the promise of spring, the beginning of life, the stirring of energies. Ostara. Vernal Equinox.


Then Again, Maybe Not

So the Universe was 1 for 2. I found a new source of inspiration, but as for the craft fair . . . I basically got what I paid for (the spaces were free).

We got to the craft fair site at about 9 am. We found our space and were set up, ready to go in about half an hour. As we began, we were in full shade with a light breeze and we were freezing. We took turns walking around, looking at all the other stuff - about half of the vendors were in the sunshine, though, under canopies, so we had a chance to warm up. Out of 62 vendors, there were four who were NOT selling jewelry. Tough crowd. There were only about 3 beadweavers - the rest were stringers, wireworkers and/or metal workers.

The host of the fair, Mama's Minerals, had engaged a chair masseuse for all the vendors to enjoy for free. She set up right next to us, so we all took turns. Twice.

I spent most of my time saying, "Yes, those are My Little Ponies that I've encased in beads," and "No, it isn't work when you love what you do," and "Yes, they did take a lot of time to make." I will say this, though - no one walked by without stopping to admire them. If you click on the photo above, you'll see that I managed to finish the manes and tails for Vinnie and Monet (better pictures later).

The morning was overcast, which was great - kept us from frying - but the last three hours of our tour was full burn. It was the worst turnout for a craft fair I'd ever seen. We packed it in at 4 pm. I sold a few of my sale pieces and some of my destash seed beads - I walked away from the experience with a wicked sunburn, a slight case of dehydration, a migraine, massive hunger, and $63.50.

NOTE TO SELF: Never, ever do an outdoor craft fair in Albuquerque WITHOUT a canopy. Doesn't matter how much water you drink; if the sun's staring you down, you're gonna lose.

There was a high spot to the day, though. Inspiration #15 is a lampworker I found on Craigs List last year. We corresponded for a while and he was interested in trading beads for bookstore credit. His business has taken him all over the country and we never managed to connect, until yesterday. I am now the proud conservator of two of his fabulous "high desert twist" lampworked beads - he is the exceptional Rashan Omari Jones. Check out his gallery - you'll be glad you did!


When the Universe Gives You What You Ask For

So I'm wandering around in Hastings, feeling a bit lost, wishing for some artistic direction, looking for Something to light a fire in me, when I spot this:

And it's now Inspiration #14, happily taking new pride of place in my bookshelf.

Then I'm working all day yesterday at the bookstore and business is really slow, giving me a chance to catch up on some chores around the place. I look at all my bead work in the Gift Cabinet and feel somehow too anchored to the past, wishing I could clear things away a little faster and trying not to despair. Resigning myself to the snail's pace that is Etsy.

Next thing I know one of our regular customers is chatting with me about this 'n that. She turns around and looks into the gift cabinet and turns back to me - "Say - I got a space at the Mama's Minerals craft fair on Saturday. All I have is a bunch of earrings and some of my mom's paintings. I have way too much space - you wanna come and sell some of your bracelets?" In less than five minutes, we've traded numbers, made arrangements, committed. I have to dig out all my show gear - table and display stuff, credit card stuff, packaging stuff - and I'll need to re-tag some items. I love acting on impulse - I don't have any time to over-think things. I'll take my camera and see if I can document the enterprise.

The message is simple: be careful what you wish for. Sometimes it involves work. I'll be at the Craft Fair hosted by Mama's Minerals on Saturday, April 19th from 10 am to 6 pm, 1100 San Mateo NE, and if you're in town with a little time to kill, haul on over and say hey!


Clearance, Clarence!

I spent all day yesterday labeling tubes, photographing and listing my destash beads on Etsy - and I still have about 23 more listings to make. Normally, it feels good to clear out all of the extra stuff, to clear the decks and clear my head at the same time. I did this once before, about three years ago - I had an "indoor yard sale" {beads only} and cleared out all of the large beads I realized I'd never get around to using as I was now concentrating on seed bead work. It was a little difficult, letting go, but nothing like it is this time.

Check out my DeStashios Shop right HERE

The thing is, it took me about six months to get myself to the place in my head and heart where I could let go of these beads. As I was sorting and cleaning and measuring, though, I kept thinking of projects and taking things out of the "to sell" pile.

It's true I haven't touched these particular beads in over two years (for the majority of them) and I'd already made tons of stuff with those particular mixes, and even though all of it is far over in excess of what I'll be needing in the foreseeable future, still it bothers me - letting them go. I know they'll eventually go to the right hands and become objects of beauty whose forms I cannot conceive, and I know I need the space, and I can tell myself over and over why I need to destash but if you've ever had to do this yourself, you know of what I speak.

It pains me in ways I can't express.