Tuesday, December 27, 2011

For some reason, working on the star with luster transparent Delicas, was so hard on my eyes that I stopped making stars (besides the little fake tree was getting overloaded) and went back to bead crocheting. The colors totally entertained me while I listened to Christmas carols even after the gift-opening splurge. I love these lime-rose magatama beads because their spring-like colors held me over the dark history of the music.
I tried using some of the dark blue magatama but they feel as if they have been covered with a plastic coating and have no "zat" or depth at all.

I did post my 'treasure list' on Etsy but though one person liked my title "So you didn't get what you wanted for Christmas" only about 25 actually looked at the list. I enjoyed making the list, do not think I am good at that, and wonder at the time spent on it. I feel I have done all I could to guide business to my site except add more items but am seriously considering whether all that work is worth it. Then I look at the shop stats and see that 15 -20 people visited the site and I realize that is more pairs of eyes on my stuff than I would get with a shop in either Gualala or Point Arena - and it is a lot warmer here on my computer by the heater and have to rethink my laziness.
My decision today is: do I take down Christmas decorations and set up my photo corner again or do I sit and bead? And if I bead, is there a life beyond a crocheted rope? I am waiting on two orders of brass stampings and if those are waiting at the post office today, they may propel me into something new.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

I hope you are having a Merry Christmas!

My e-greeting to you!

\o/ Jane

Friday, December 23, 2011

As you can see, beads have invaded my Holiday Greetings. I have no excuse for my reasons for this except this is the image came to my mind and I could not get rid of it until I took the photo. I kept thinking there had to be a better photo in the idea and kept photographing the set up as the light moved around only to find, are we surprised? that this first shot was the best one.
I have many other things to do, things that need to be done, yet I am happiest making more of these stars! Reminds me of the starfish faze I was in this summer! This must have been a stary night year for me.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Saturday was our Christmas bead meeting. We had two tables of foods (I did not photograph), one of give aways, one of show and tell. Gorgeous foods. People were torn between filling their plates and finding the best give aways. Marianne had made a basket of goodies and a Fire Mountain gift certificate (that made Vicki gasp) as thanks for all her work placing the orders for us. Marianne also had gifts for each of us - a bottle of Delicas so we could all make stars for our next year Festival of Trees. Fortunately I had given Cindy one for carting me to the meeting so everyone got a look again at it. I was amazed that Suzanne had materials with her, opened the beads, used a paper plate as mat and started beading. That's her in the foreground. Bobbie moved back just as the shutter snapped so I missed her. Marianne and Vicki were discussing how to make the lovely necklace Vicki is working on. Cindy and Sandra are listening. I missed Jan Edwards who was around the corner finding the best beads from the give aways. Both Cindy and Marianne bought some of my clear ball beads and I meant to give Jan one and got side tracked. So much going on and so much laughter. I have been a hermit too long!

Got the strings on the nest necklace and am pleased with the effect. All that work layering the strings paid off. Sandra and Cindy stopped by after the bead meeting and at first they thought it was made of feathers. As they touched it and lifted the threads they were amazed at the play of colors between white and natural. How fortunate that I had some of the fuzzy yarn floating in among my potholder staple of 'sugar and cream.'
The centerpiece of jewels is just hooked in. I have not yet see how that should be finally. Maybe bigger? I tried hanging the earrings next to it but that looked like too much.
At least I know how this is going to be and have over a month to ponder the finish. It is for the Etsy beadweavers challenge for February.

Monday, December 12, 2011

A good day with very little computer work left me with enough energy to get started on the cloud for the "Living on the Edge" exhibit in January. Nearly made a terrible mistake of rolling the finished parts. Thank goodness an inner voice said, Remember you decided that rolling this would mess up the layers? So I am just accordion pleating it so the top and the bottom are separated by the layer of fabric. Those many sleepless hours in the night that I spent mentally making this piece is, I hope, paying off.
The fabric being so gauzy it is fairly easy to check that the string of beads is pulled up tight against the button. I hope to figure out some way of checking them all in the end as I was surprised how many ways a thread could get tangled in the beads. I comfort myself by saying that if a couple are messy I can just clip and forget them. Still I am patterning the beads across the expanse so they do not feel completely random.
I hope to get this done in a couple more days so I can clean the room and put up the tree. So far I have only allowed myself the advent candles.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

This entry has no photo and soon you will be thankful.
Last Friday Vicki called to say the Fire Mountain order had been delivered early. The past couple of months they had come too late for distribution at the meetings so Vicki sent in the order early to have the extra time for them to be late. As the world goes - the order came right through as if there was no Christmas mail.
Werner was just ready to go out the door for the trip to town so I held him up while I wrote a check and reminded him where to put it. He came home exhausted but delighted with himself that he had had enough energy to make the stop at Vicki's for me.
After I put away all the groceries I hurried over to the plastic bag by the mail because I was eager to see the angel wings in the order. As I tore into the green plastic bag I thought Vicki usually packages the orders better than this. Then I noticed tiny things spilling out on the counter and thought, Oh dear a bead box has broken open. Tearing the plastic bag open wider I saw what was in it.

Cat poop!
Werner had brought home the bag Tom had used to clean out the cat litter box! My order is still at Vicki's so before I get those angel wings and get started on them I am determined to work on the show piece.

Friday, December 9, 2011

I soon was bored with just pouring beads into a glass ball and began to think of what else I could put in through the tiny hole. Soon I was poking threads in and then threading in copper wires. And then there were beads on the wires - but only the tiniest ones. Once Jan Edwards had given me some very old (judging by the strings they were on) Charlottes in a fuchsia color. The beads were somewhat corroded (metal surely) and not evenly made enough for beading but it felt good to save these old, old beads in the glass balls.
Yesterday I said the holes on the balls were not flat but as I worked with them I realized the decorated headpins I was using were not straight. I found that even when they were straightened beads would leak out so I removed all of them and wrapped the wires at the loop instead of making the simple eyelet. This tightened up the end closures and now no beads are straying.
This is the last challenge of the year for the Etsy Beadweavers' in the December "Arabesque Style" contest. You are invited to vote for your favorite in the public poll at http://www.etsy-beadweavers.blogspot.com/ I have nothing in this contest but hope you will enjoy looking at the contestants and will vote for your favorite.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Another effort to avoid doing the show piece. While tooling around Etsy I found someone offering pendants made with the clear glass balls from Fire Mountain. I had gotten some just before I stopped making the Scrotum Series (they do not sell!) so I dug the clear glass balls out to see what I could do with them. The holes are very small - size 11 beads will not go in. So I filled this one with 15s. The outsides of the holes are not flattened and often have one side higher than the other so it is hard to get the head pin to sit flat against the ball. The lady on Etsy filled hers with glitter but unless she found a way to stop the hole better than I could, it seems to me the stuff inside would leak. She made hers horizontal (which would help when the necklace was worn; I can image the jewely box becoming a snowy landscape) which I did not like. I must say I get a great deal of pleasure from touching the glass ball, rolling it in my hand and watching the beads swirl in it. (I am easily entertained.) I tried to think of something else I could put in it but the holes are so small. Maybe threads? Maybe I have another project so I can avoid starting the big work. It is 18 feet long and just thinking about it exhausts me.

I am doing everything I can to avoid having to work on the cloud piece for the January show. The latest issue of Bead Style came the other day and in it I found earrings made like this. Only recently had I discovered a bunch of one-inch head pins Debbe had given me and was thinking that either I should use them up or pass them along in the December Bazaar Bizarre at the bead meeting. The black pair of earrings was so easy (a few months ago I got a new tool that bends the loops perfectly) that I went on to make the white and pink pearl and crystal ones. In a recent order I got the two-strand package of assorted teardrop pearls (for angel bodies) and now am finding so many uses for them - as demonstrated here. These were too easily made and then I nothing more to do. . .

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I see I forgot to show you how the angels ended up. It was amazing how all at once I knew exactly how they should look and what it took to make them be my vision. At first I was putting on silver hearts to 'match' the silver wings but when I figured out that their hearts should be gold, everything fell into place. Accidentally I picked up larger pearls for the heads than I had tried previously and I feel these are much better. They have a presence and a being. I can almost imagine the face of someone who shines.
There is something in me that wants to order many wings and make a bunch of angels for Valentine's day on Etsy and yet there is the Stevenson side of Scotch ancestry that says, "Go slow. All the profits could be swallowed up by over production of something you like. Too often you are not in touch with the likes and dislikes of the rest of the world!"

Stop the presses! So I just ordered thirty pairs of wings. . . and some interesting beads for bodies.

I am so excited about these new lizards. You can barely see in this scan, but along the sides I am now using copper hex cuts so the lizard has better body definition - i.e., fatter sides! The hex cuts are slightly longer so the thread cross-overs are minimized and the belly and back are farther apart. Plus on this color I used black thread which helps hide it.

Also in a moment of inspiration I used three beads at the end of the nose and now it looks like a dragon. I look down my photography set up in preparation of the Christmas tree in that corner but now I feel I need to get closer with the other camera.

And today I sold another of the lizard bangles so have posted two new ones on Etsy. Hopefully their holiday-like spirit and color will chase someone else into the line of buyers! I think people do not truly appreciate how there is a double thrill for a gift that is bought from the artist. I often feel I get a greater lift of spirits knowing someone has bought something I made than I do from a gift given me. So when you buy a homemade gift you give twice the thrills - one to the maker and another to the recipient of your gift.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

I must have been under an undo influence when I placed my last Fire Mountain order. I was shocked to realize that among the stuff I really needed, and was waiting for, I had ordered the elements to make angels. After putting away the stuff, I tried the angel on the left but something about her kept bothering me. So days later I began to play around with the mate and came up with pearl heads which I find much better than the 'empty' crystals. Fine. But I could not stop. So I added a heart. Then I felt the heart hung down too far, was too big for the body so I added the little glass flower 'waist' but I am unhappy with that. I am still debating whether I like / need / want the heart. I do not want my angels look like the fifteen million other angels made by this technique.
Then while looking at Fire Mountain's Black Friday ad I saw that they also have other angel wings. I paid $2.32 for the pair I got and I did not feel they were very well designed. They look much better here in the photograph than in real life. Then I found some with excellent design that cost $1.62 for 20. Problem now is: do I buy 20 of the better made wings and go on making angels or do I stop myself here and now. The new wings are on my shopping list. We will see if they make the cut next month.
Am still making stars. Werner is unconsciously encouraging them by buying two HUGE boxes of cotton balls. I think I am going to have to go back to making teddy bears to use them all.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Am on another beading jag. I simply cannot stop making these stars. I am making them faster than I can buy cotton balls to stuff them. Hence the flat one above.
It is certainly true that one cannot expect the color of the work to be the same as the beads in the tube. I love the metallic iris Delicas and in the tube they were gold. I have used them on bracelets and they were gold. Now as a star they go dark on me. Dark star! Just what I needed. Holidays are always nerve-wracking for me, even when I do nothing and go nowhere, so I am doing comfort beading - stars! And I need light, brightness, warmth.
In the summer it was the starfish and the only reason I stopped making them was because I could not find the alabaster color in a rounded opaque 11. However the big box of cylindrical Delicas bought for the starfish have now all been used up in making the stars.

I cleaned up the inside studio and put away the photography corner (which you can see in last Friday's blog). I am very discouraged about Etsy. It was so much work building shots and photographing the items and phtotoshopping all those photos (five per item) but I have only had two sales in this the second best month. People do see my stuff and are putting some of my items in their treasury list (for which I am very thankful) but sales. . . We will see when I will have made enough of these stars that I feel I must do 'something' to get them out there and post them on Etsy.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Between passing rainstorms we were able to drive to The Dolphin in Gualala in sunshine. I had put the big bird in the back seat with a thought that I should fasten its seatbelt but dreaded mashing my arrangements. Half way there, on Highway One, some idiot made a left hand turn across our lane. Werner was quick enough to hit the brakes and we skidded just past his right taillight. Heart stopping for us but the big bird made a flying leap off the seat. He was the least of our worries as we talked each other out of our panic all the way to town!
I was pleasantly surprised when I unwrapped the bird that only a couple bracelets had been dislodged. All that pinning down of every piece paid off.
The ladies doing take-in were very organized and already were prepared for me. Evidently Harriet had told them of our phone call so they were very careful to check that I had put tags on everything and that the tags had all the info! No letting me get by with the idea that all my things were one price so there was no need for tags. In gratitude one of them filled out the paper work for me.
They had repainted the gallery so the brown walls were gone and the white was glistening. Someone with good taste had chosen and placed swags of Christmas decorations along the wall. There was some debating about where to put the bead bird ("Oh, its so big!") and "No there is no way to stablize it from the ceiling." These conversations were escalating until I wondered if he would be accepted at all when Dee Taylor came sailing into the room. "Are things for sale, yet?" When I said mine were, she zoomed in on the bird while the sweet white-haired lady was still debating IF and where to put it. She pried Dee off of it long enough to let the two of us carry it to a table in a corner at the back (which conveniently hides three sides of the display).
None of this stopped Dee who, by the time I left, had bought 6 bracelets. We chatted and kidded about the sexual orientation of the bead bird and had so much fun that I forgot to take a photo of it in situ for this blog. Dee's joy at finding so many bracelets she wanted to buy made me feel it was a good decision to make the display and put it in the Christmas show. The guardian angel who saved us a near frontal smash-up got many prayers of thanksgiving.

Friday, November 18, 2011

As you can see I did dust off the big bead bird and started loading him up for the holidays. I tried to keep myself from being depressed about the discouraging task of selling beads, or any other art work, in these times by telling myself I was doing this to decorate the Christmas Shoppe at the The Dolphin and to be part of the community holiday activities. It took a lot of chocolate and a lovely phone call to Harriet to work out a way for me to do the smallest amount of inventory work and yet not mess up her systems.
Solution? I made everything just $15 and I bowed to her need to put a tag on every item. I still have to find some weird things for the bottoms of the bird's feet and then I can count up the number of items and I am ready to roll.

When I read the ICO I saw the Senior Citizens are having a Craft Fair also. Got the idea of donating the things that did not fit on the bird to them. They can take all the profits. They could have one of their vendors include my things with theirs or just put out a table with a donation jar and the beaded things. Saves me being a sales clerk (first I typed cluck - which is more correct!). Am waiting on a call back. . .

So today, after cleaning away things you can see in this messy photo I can get back to my cloud. I am amazed how big a job will seem until I actually get down to doing it. It only took nine hours to get to this. What a fool I am!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

This photo fairly represents my mind today. I do not know what to do. I am in gear and the cloud piece is going well. I am excited with it and happy how things look now.
However I peeked into the newest issue of Sketches and see that on Sunday or Monday I could enter things in The Dolphin Christmas Show. Do I risk losing my momentum and stop to spend several days pricing and inventorying pieces to put on the big bird? Is all that work worth the less than $100. I would get? At least there is no up-front booth fee and I do not have to be a sales clerk for 4 - 8 hours. How valueless is my time? The Dolphin is the only place that keeps good records and pays promptly. However, sales are sometimes very low there. Even the back and forth in my writing echoes my mind. In order to do a good job on the "cloud" I need to use my best energy. Anyone have an I-ching coin?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

With Werner's help, the baskets of beads on my desk have all returned to the studio. I still have four of the front-close chunky necklaces to finish off and to photograph but my heart is not really in that job any more. I am thinking, and have begun to work on the piece for the Gualala Arts Center show in January called "Living on the Edge." Mine will be the edge of a cloud. I still have not gotten the title firmly in mind but all the materials have arrived and the deck is cleared!
Have started making the 'raindrops' already. At first I thought of making a pattern and then stringing them all alike. While trying out different designs I got the idea that raindrops are not really all the same and it would be a lot more fun to let myself redesign the strips of rain each time I made one.

I just photographed this one and I see that the beads do not hang straight! Back to the drawing board here. I can take variation but not wobbly raindrops.

Today I can decide if the living room floor is big enough to lay out the fabric or if I must take the car out of the garage, clean the floor and work out there. Sitting on carpeting is so much nicer than cold cement.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Here you can almost see a comparison of the snowflake with crystals or with just beads. In reality the crystals do a lot to 'organize' the impressions. I reduced the number of protrusions on the snowflake with crystals because I found the original looked too dense and busy. We will see what Vicki says on Friday.
In the meantime I have returned to the stars. It takes a long time for me to make 10 identical diagonal pieces but I love sewing the star together and seeing how the pressure on the sides changes the shape.
Just a quick reminder that you can vote for your favorite entry in the challenge "Totally Twisted" on Etsy by clicking here. Voting is open until November 15 so you have time to go and look over all the entries, to get new bead ideas and inspiration, and test your judging skills. Have fun!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I just realized I was so eager to show you the snowflakes, I forgot to let you see the several trees I did for a customer on Etsy. This woman in Maryland ordered my Christmas tree earrings and liked them so much she said she wanted five more pair. That is the second time a customer has been more pleased with the actual item than the photo!
So I spent the whole weekend making four new trees and redoing the one red tree from a Valentine's day ornament into Christmas tree. I hope she is happy with them. She wanted a purple tree so I changed the ball-adding scheme so there would be less of them and I really liked the look. The one at the top here is the former pattern.
Luckily the sun was shining yesterday and I was able to get these photos. In just the couple of weeks I have been using the set-up by the window, the angle of the light has changed so much I am going to have to rebuild it. The sun was only in the right position about 15 minutes because it angles in so low.

I finally got the tree earrings done for Paula, got them photographed and posted. Then I was able to get around to the goodies Vicki had sent with the Fire Mountain order. This was a beaded snowflake she had found at Pay N' Take. It was made on silver wire which had tarnished as had the silver linking of the white beads. I was able to replicate the design in seed beads instead of bugles. I was surprised how much changing the size of the beads changed the shape of the snowflake. When I turned off the light at midnight I was feeling there was something else I wanted to try. This morning, in the crystal light of dawn, I realized! Crystals! on the points. Or should I do one completely in Swarovski crystals? I have a bunch of the seed bead size but I doubt there are enough. I could maybe simplify the design. Hmmm. . .
Anyhow here I am supposed to be getting ready for Christmas and all I want to do is to make new designs.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Even though I have left and am boycotting Facebook, Facebook is still stuck with showing my stuff. Just found out that the entries in the "Totally Twisted" Challenge are now posted there.

Good news.

Also I showed Vicki my little peyote star and she loved it! Wants to learn how to do it. Last night I started a big one and am eager to see how that comes out. One two-sided leg of the star took all evening to make. Somehow twice as big seems a lot bigger.

I heard from one of my customers at Etsy and she loved the Christmas trees but wanted something less Christmassy and more of just winter so I scanned these earrings I had made for Valentine's day to see if she likes them. She also suggested trees decorated with purple. I am tempted to drop the stars and do whatever she wants or suggests. I am so thankful to have the input of others I will even go to making purple 'Christmas' trees. Maybe blue and white for Hanukkah? I could have yellow dots for lights!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

In the most recent Bead & Button magazine I saw an ad for a kit to make a star. I checked out the web site and when I saw the kit cost $90 my fingers moved more slowly over the keyboard. However, when I saw it was judged to be a very advanced (6 stars) peyote stitch I easily lost interest because the peyote stitch is the most difficult for me to do and to figure out. I was not paying $90. for a kit only Sue Hansen could bead!
When I returned to my bead tray I simply could not get the image of that star out of my mind. Recently I had ordered some Delicas, forgetting that they are so cylindrical, and needing rounded beads for the seastar I loved making so much. All these thoughts brought me back to the Christmas star in the ad. . .
On my first try at reproducing the real thing from the tiny photo, I was able to do it. Here it is. If you saw a photo of it you could see how dimensional it it. I love making this, though it takes over 5 hours, and will probably make many more for Christmas ornaments. The scan does not do it justice! If you want to see the kit, and its more extravegant embellishment you can see it here.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

In an effort to NOT think about scam scum buyer I had on Etsy, I am concentrating on the good news that CE Brown would welcome a work from me for her show "Living on the Edge" scheduled for January, 2012. I wanted to see how strings of crystals would pull and shape a soft cloth. I tried this in the studio aka living room with the cheapest gauze from Werner's supplies for polishing the car. I see it does what I want so I am off to Dharma Trading Company with the hope they still have the harem cloth I used for the big haiku book. It is gauzy but is much better woven and straight.

I see this piece as being the bottom edge of a cloud that demonstrates how rain drops pull and shape the cloud. CE's show gets the GAC Foyer so hopefully I can make it big and hang it high. Am debating how long to make the crystal drops and how many acrylic beads I will need for it.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Well, the necklace won or at least got its way with me. I tried shortening the chain one, two and three links and it still gave off the same message of "Here I am and I am very proud of it!" I also tried three other ways of photographing it and nothing seemed to make any difference. I definitely got the feeling it knew better than I what it wanted to be.

So today I posted it on Etsy with a wobbly heart full of excitement. It is entered (I think!) in the November Etsy Beadweavers challenge. You can vote for your favorite Totally Twisted work between November 9th and 15th by following this link.

Monday, October 31, 2011

I got this done in time for the contest with the theme of "Totally Twisted" by the Etsy Bead Weavers for November which closes on Friday. And the sun was shining! So I got this picture. Now that I am able to look at the piece with the detachment of a camera, I am wondering if the dangle is too long or hangs down too far. . .
Since the sun still shines today, I think I will take the time to shorten the chain about three links. Still I love the opulence of the dangle and having it a tad too far from the rest of the necklace seems to add to its oddness and aloofness. I will have to ask the necklace what it wants.

I really pushed the twisted in me on this one. The ropes are all spirals and by running a wire through the copper colored one I got it to twist too. What you cannot see is the twisted copper wires that hold each of those copper leaves on the bottom rope. I am sure there is also a twist in one or more of the chains or will be by the time I give up fussing with this.

I am especially happy with the dangle! I had not planned on doing that but the chain was too long and it came out that way. I made a flat Celini spiral on a flat weaving and it curled up like that all by itself. A pink CZ crystal drop would have been nice, but I only had a purple one. It feels to me as if it calms all that pink noise up in the necklace.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The other day I was accepted into the Etsy Bead Weavers Team! That gave me something to cheer about in a week of no sales. The group, about 780 strong, holds challenges each month on a theme and part of the membership requirement is to enter at least one challenge a year and to vote on the others. The theme for November is "twisted" so yesterday I started this. I think my twisted is more of a spiral but I am enjoying the twisted beads. I had made wire beads for one of the scrotum series and never felt it was very good.

So for these I started with an inch of plastic tubing and wired a basis of larger beads to it. On top I left more wire show but did add some 8s to each wrap. I did them on the sticks so I could find the opening and to be able to hold it while I did it. This was such fun that I am thinking of trying more. I want to make some small ones using only 8s.

I do enjoy 'challenges' as they get my mind going in new ways. I am not sure if this necklace will turn out good enough for a contest and if my 'twisted' is twisted enough but I am certainly enjoying the twisted journey. I have to have it done and posted by November 5th. My biggest worry is whether there will be a good day of sun when I do get the necklace done in time to get a good photograph. Amazing how we (I!) set ourselves up with worries and deadlines just so we feel alive!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

With the arrival of the origami necklace back from Fire Mountain (it was a finalist in the Seed Bead Contest) and my posting it on Etsy yesterday I am calling a halt to my posting of items there. I think there are about 31 now. Also I reposted some of the photographs hoping to show more of the item and less of the screwy formatting of photos. Suddenly I feel like I have so much time!

I am so eager for sales I have actually thought of going to E-bay to list some things there. Scary how desperate I am.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Had a customer on my Etsy shop who, when her order arrived, turned around and ordered two more pairs of my earrings. A repeat customer! The very best kind to have. There are SO many offerings on Etsy it is a miracle if anyone finds my stuff. However, the repeat customer can actually finger the stuff, wiggle it and try it on and then come back again. Beautiful.
In spite of my bitching, I am getting items tagged as favorites by people I do not know so something is working with the searches. Last week two people picked items from my shop to include in their gallery listings. There are some very bright and exciting young women on Etsy.

Here is a photo of the earrings I photographed on Monday when the sun was actually shining. I have a whole tray of new items lined up with the hope that the sun that is shining now will come in my window at 3:15.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

by Rochelle Mort

My granddaughter Caitlin Steiner got married last Saturday and this is my favorite photo. It gives me such happiness I just had to put it here to show it off. She is now Mrs. Brandon Lowry! Congratulations and much happiness for both of you!

Caitlin is a great beader when she is not teaching school, working on her Master's Degree, or remodeling the house she and Brandon bought two years ago. Her, now out of date blog, is "The House on the Corner" but being a new bride she gets forgiven for letting that job slip. Caitlin and her mom Carol did the wedding themselves - doing it all and proving that a home-made wedding really has heart. Rochelle's blog has more photos.

Add Video

Cindy stopped by to pick up her Etsy order and we were talking about Etsy and I said I was searching for some way to tie my photos together so a visitor to my shop would get a reinforced image.

Cindy, who always shoots straight to the center, said, "With the name of The Bead Beach, why don't you photograph your bead work on sand, or beach rocks?"

So that very afternoon, with the last of the sun before the next winter storm rolled in, I did. Thanks so much Cindy!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Have had my first two sales at the Etsy store and have now posted new items to take the place of the deleted ones. Was glad to find out several more automatic functions at Etsy. When an item sells, they automatically remove it from your listing. Wow! But if you have multiples of that item, it is easy to copy it and get it reposted. It was sooooo good to make the two sales and now I am busy finding out how to package and ship my stuff. So much to learn! But I like that.

Also it is possible for members to make lists or galleries of items they admire or ones which fit a certain category (just like making a gallery show!). Today my pumpkin made the treasure list for Halloween. I was so glad that someone could find it (among the many items on Etsy!) and liked it enough to post it AND having photographed it with the professional background it looked professional. I was very proud of it.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

My new new shop on Etsy, The Bead Beach, is now officially open! Please do stop by to take a look. Many of the items are ones you have watched me develop and make with your help on these journal pages.

It would help me a great deal if you would mark your favorites. One of the ways I get started on a new project is the fact that someone likes something I've made. So here is your chance to channel my efforts.

As you will see, the shop is so new I still have not had a sale yet, so if there is a kind hearted beader who would like the 'honor' of being my first customer I would be delighted.

Today my granddaughter Caitlin Steiner is marrying Brandon Lowery in Kingsburg California. I wish we could be there to see their shining faces! but are sending long distance love until they can come over to the coast to see us.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Another day of rain and/or cloudy weather. We are supposed to have a rain storm and then a few hours of sunshine before the next one blows in. Now when I really need the sunshine for my Etsy photos all I get are clouds - six days worth of clouds. Between two of them I snagged this shot of the piled up new necklaces. When I used the timer option on the camera, often the sun that was shining when I clicked the shutter was already gone by the time the actual shutter opened. All of which was a great excuse to go back to making more of these necklaces that I love. I feel as if I must make one with every color combination. Right now on the trays is a white one and a black one (am tempted to make it a Halloween fright necklace. . .) and I sewing on AB rootbeer with bronze iris delicas. The colors are so yummy I cannot think about them and stay here on the computer.

I consulted with Sandy Smith and she said what I had known was right: I need some smaller, lower priced items for the Etsy store. However for the better photos of these items I need sunshine! And until I get sunshine the boxes of 'smaller items - errings and suncatchers - pile up around the camera set-up.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Ah what a difference getting out the big camera with a backdrop makes. It was worth the effort hauling stuff in from the garage and even the couple of hours trying to get the necklace photographed on black velvet - which absolutely did not work.
By the time I realized that white on white was best, the afternoon light was already fading. But the sharp angle of the sun gave me that dark background. Thank goodness the sun is shining again today.
I am working on the blue necklaces now. I find it really helpful to leave the beading cord extra long and running it through several stones so it holds well enough for me to hang the necklace, let my hot ideas cool off and if necessary, make adjustments before crimping and cutting it off.
I love all the 'stuff' going on in this! However, when I laid aside the first one with the idea of adding more to it, it suddenly seemed so simple and. . . good for what it was.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Yesterday's necklace is still not finalized. I need to think on it a bit more. I found that by leaving a long tail on the bead wire I can move the necklace around and still be about to open it up and redo any part that does not hang right. I did a second one in similar colors but needs more immediate care before I show it to you. Each day I vow to set up the photo backdrop to get better photos than just these wobbly scans. Really not fair to you!

That is a Debbe Hulle lampwork bead as focal point.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

It does pay to redo things! I often think of 'stringing' as the easy part of a necklace or the less time consuming part of the job but for some reason re-stringing this seemed to take up most of the afternoon. I am often amazed when a necklace "takes over and tells me what to do." I had no idea of having the dangle on the side but somehow in this version the large-link copper colored chain was just that much too long. Rather than cut it to fit I added the stone dangle. I am getting eager to make photos of this series with the proper set-up but hanging the backdrop is such a hard job and I hate the plastic smell of it so it has to be done in the garage.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Here you can see what happens when I put the shorter section of tubing at the top. If you could see it on the neck of a real person you would notice that the side interests sit far too high. Also the thicker, longer section of tubing does not hang right. It needs the 'drape' of the softer tubing. So the job today will be to cut this one apart and to redo it.
However the work was not wasted as I have a new idea on how to made the second beaded section better and faster. Instead of sewing it in with thread, I will make the section on the beading wire with loops at both ends. Then I can thread it on the main loop and get chain and beads done together. This will encourage me to add MORE to the bottom. . .

In this photo it is hard to see that the brownish lump on the left is a bottle covered with 15s. A lot of work that gets wasted here.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The joy of this design continues! I am still making the neck loop too large. I think the problem is because my 'tubes' were made too large to begin with. Am eager to try another necklace with a shorter tube to see if I can get myself to correct this 'error' by understanding the piece instead of measuring it. It really helps me to see scans of the works. It is so hard for me to be critical about the actual piece because I am so overwhelmed that it turned out as good as it is.

I am hoping I can get to the new necklace this afternoon. I have promised myself to pack up books for shipping, but I really want to just want to sit in my chair, listen to Margaret George's story of Elizabeth - The Virgin Queen as an audio book and make necklaces.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I got a second one made in just one day only because I had done all the tubes before. I am very pleased with this one and feel I am making each one better than the last. Found a way to suspend the chains on the wire center so I can avoid jump rings.

I like the shorter ones like this one so the excitement is closer to the throat. I did not redo the one from yesterday after I tried it on and felt that for a tall woman it was just the right length. Last night at midnight I had another necklace in gold tones on the tray.

There is enough the same on them so I can confidently move into the creation part and yet there are so many options that every necklace can be different.

Unfortunately the chains do not hang well in a scan so I am going to have to set up the photo stuff again. Also I need some good photos for Etsy. I could post more items if I had the photos. . .

Friday, September 23, 2011

Finally got up the courage to put one of these new necklace designs together. All month I have making tubes, just because they are fun and I love doing them. However I had been putting off the actually completing the design because I felt I needed to be feeling really good in order to give the job my very best. I did this yesterday and then stayed awake for hours in the night planning the revisions. I am hoping to make them this afternoon, but first I wanted to show you the initial attempt.

Much of my time at the computer this week has been given to getting seven items up on Etsy. What a lot of work and there is still so much to do even before anyone does order something. My shop is called BeadsNJane .

Sandy has been marvelous at hand-holding and giving me pages of possible corrections to my postings. She has been simply super.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Our bead group, Beads N' Beyond, had a very successful meeting yesterday thanks to efforts of Sandy Smith. She talked about her experiences selling her silverwork jewelry on Etsy. Wow, what a power presentation. On her computer we could visit her site, and she compiled a fantastic hand-out with all her points, figures and addresses. You can check out her site but you really missed something if you were not there for her enthusiastic and down to earth talk.
Several members had tried, or at least investigated Etsy, so for some Sandy's comments were encouragement and validation. For others she introduced all the processes and skills need to run a successful store online.
There is a lot to do in the set-up but for someone like me with so many beaded works and less and less ability to do vendor booths, I feel I must make another attempt. Armed with the handout I intend to start up again.
Thanks Sandy!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Am back to beading and how much better I feel! I have something to lead me forward. The new ideas are like carrots to my days.

Then this morning I got the notice from Fire Mountain that the Circle of Hope Beads are posted on this site . I was thrilled to see that one of my beads (the one in the right hand upper corner )was used in the advertisement! Right next to mine, as if they knew our connection, is one of Debbe Hall's lampwork beads (with the big bright flowers). I think Debbe, ever generous as she is, had contributed more beads than anyone else! At the website you can see all the beads donated which will be for sale in October.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Flaying. I think that is the word that describes my approach to bead work in recent weeks. I knew I wanted to have my beads take me somewhere but had no idea where that was. Makes picking projects very dicey.
Then yesterday, after picking up the unsold "Ghost Mouse Returns to the Great Pumpkin" from Art in the Redwood - which should have greatly depressed me - I stopped at Carla Fagan's for a Studio Discovery Tour visit. It was such a joy to see her work and scope out where she gets her beads and what she has that I do not. It was interesting. . . I really stopped to see her double strand necklaces because I have had nudges to go in that direction. Amazingly she only had one ($1,735.) because she had sold the other one. All the rest of her over 30 necklaces were single stands. Lovely yes, but I was looking for more. . . excitement? inspiration?

On the way home I realized what I was looking for what I had been doing in these two necklaces! I get to combine my delight in bead weaving with the bands around the neck (and have smooth 'no clasp' parts under the hair and bead stringing in the front that is asymmetrical. So I had to see the work of someone whom I admire only to find my way back to my own work.

One thing I did learn from Carla was how to store and display my 'better' necklaces. She had each one in a glass covered black jewelry tray. Yes! I thought and then wondered how much those would cost. To my delight I found out they are called Riker cases and can be gotten from Fire Mountain for under $10. each. A new part of my admiring my own work is to give it dust-free, professional protection and display. All in all, a very productive day in spite of the big pumpkin still on my shelf.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

When Vicki called to tell me this piece sold she forgot to tell me it also got a first place in Mixed Media! I was so surprised to find this when I went in to Gualala Arts to photograph the "Self Portrait." There it was with the first place ribbon and the tiny red dot (on the pedestal) to show the work sold. After the several (natural) defeats of this season I am totally reveling in this positive feedback.

Am having trouble settling down to new work but that is okay! I need this time to celebrate!


I found out it was Jeanne Jackson who bought this. She is the lady I made the crystal pillar for. So now she has two pieces from me and that has become a "collection,"

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Doing catch-up here. I should have posted this on Sunday when I got the good news in a phone call from Vicki. Better late than never. Now what does this do to my plans for new necklaces? The message is the art piece sold and the beaded pumpkin did not? Or was it the low price? I put too many months in the pumpkin to lower it below $500. It is a steal at that price, I think. I just need to find the person who really wants it!