Thursday, February 26, 2009

I am grounding myself!

I have decided that I am grounded from any craft store or website until May, well unless I have custom orders. I have an overload of items that I need to make. Right now I have a project I have been working on for over a year for Colin's grandma that I just cant seem to get right. Every time I make something I take it apart. I believe I finally have a keeper though and need to move it to the top of my list. I also have 16+ button bracelets laid out to make on the dinning room table. They need made stat! Three bridesmaid necklaces, I have the materials all divided out and the earrings done but need to finish those necklaces. And last but not least I have at least 50 leather bracelets cut out ready to get stitched and dazzled up. Oh I forgot about the beads....this all stems back to my first post. I was supposed to stay focused, I really am not very good at staying on my own schedule. At least everything is geared to one common goal. Oh well, I guess there are some traits about ourselves that are harder to change than others. Molly was right I need to cut down on my hobbies, they are way out of control and I have too many.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Leather Bracelet

I know I already posted today but I couldn't help myself since I finished a few leather bracelets. After many tries and figuring out which leathers work together (I have tons of different textures) I finally have a few done. Here is a two toned brown version. I have several that I have dyed patterns on that are drying since I sealed and water proofed them. Tomorrow I will be making a few more but I need to run to the fabulous leather shop again for some snaps. I only had a few that will work with 2 layers of leather and unfortunately my magnetic snaps don't work. This version is for male or female. It measures at 9" long with 2" overlapping for the snap.

Basement Cave Living

So I have moved my operation mostly into our basement since Colin keeps bringing work home and needs the coffee table clean for his blueprints/drawings. I am ok with this since he is coming home a little earlier even if he is still working. I on the other hand am not getting as much accomplished if I want to hang out with him. That's ok, I would rather he be home.

I started working on setting up a website and have discovered I should stick with my natural talents, that is not one of them. It took up precious time where I could be being productive. I did find an awesome leather store here in Spokane with super friendly people on Monday. I got a few tools and some leather dye to accent materials I have been stockpiling since college. I guess I have gone full circle since my beading started with leather and a leather store in Greeley, CO. Funny how that is, I still shop there every time I go home. They always have things I can use and Mike the owner gives me such a good discount its almost as good as me ordering from my supplier. I love bead stores but I cant talk myself into buying anything except there since I know how much cheaper I can get it on my own. I thought I would share a picture of my leather stash or part of it since this is only half.

Since I have all of this leather I thought I would make some cuff bracelets from it. I have a letter kit and a few metal leather stamps from my grandma. (She used to make beautiful belts when I was a kid). I am testing stamping (with rubber stamps) leather dye onto the leather, letting it dry and sealing it. Here is a sample of one. I am planning on cutting it into a cuff bracelet but think I will stitch red leather to the back side and attach a magnetic snap. Since I obviously have tons of colors there are endless possibilities. I better get to work!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Something New

Today has been a lazy day, Colin decided he got enough done at work yesterday (10am-7pm) that he would stay home so I haven't been very productive. We went for a long walk at the park with the dog since the snow has melted significantly. I have only made one set today and thought I would share. It is composed of Carnelian (orange) and Peridot chips. The set includes the necklace, earrings and a matching bracelet that is not shown ($58). I had to splurge on the Carnelian since the stone has so many variations and is cool looking.

Our crab dinner I mentioned cooking yesterday was delicious! Yum! I was a little worried since I have never cooked crab but I boiled the water and threw the crab legs in for 10 min and it turned out perfect. Colin even ate some of the asparagus (which he doesn't really like) and tons of Cheddar biscuits. Success! Too bad crab legs are not always on sale at the grocery store, but it was less than half the cost if we went out for the same meal. That makes Colin super happy. He would rather I spend double on good grocery's than waste money going out. It's a good thing he is around to balance me out. I love to go out but it probably stems from not liking to clean up after cooking. I am a very messy cook, it runs in the family. My father cooks and my mom cleans. He makes HUGE messes but is an awesome cook.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Do you like Lace? This is my favorite kind.

Well I spent the majority of Friday re-teaching myself how to make lace with seed beads. It has been forever since I have made any, almost 10 years! These are a new and improved version. 10 years ago I was unaware of all the great products they sell. For instance I used to just use nylon nymo thread when making this lace, a few of my necklaces were in small boutiques displayed. After being in the sun quite awhile they were not very durable and several needed repaired. Now I can use fireline and not worry! So they are coming out of my pile of old projects. Here is a sample of one minus the clasp. I am offering them at $29 for a necklace and $19 for a bracelet. I don't like how the earrings turn out (they are floppy) so unless asked they will not be offered.

I also for some silly reason decided to try making tubular peyote loops from a magazine article that I have. It turned out different than I thought and may end up in my pile of things I have tried and haven't been thrilled with. I might finish it up and turn it into a bracelet though. Who knows.

I haven't made much else other than a few bracelets the last few days as I was hanging out in the basement soldering everything under the sun. My allergies are suffering because of it so I am avoiding metals (which is why the lace has no clasp). I cant even wear my wedding ring or earrings right now :( I am seriously considering acupuncture as I have heard that it helps with allergies. Since I know I wont quit making jewelry it sounds like a good option. I should be working since I think my husband moved into his office at work. He has been swamped and hasn't been home much other than to sleep :( Poor guy needs a vacation! I am cooking a fancy dinner tomorrow night though so maybe that will help. We are having crab legs, asparagus, and cheesy biscuits like at Red Lobster. Yum!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Hi Ho, Hi Ho its off to work I go.....

I have had silly songs stuck in my head most of the day so the 7 dwarfs song seems plausible to be stuck in my head as well.

Today has been a busy day, I spent majority of it soldering anything I have made. I must look a sight :) I have had my safety glasses on the top of my head all day, which defeats the purpose of having them. Of course Colin asked me about that when he got home, I got a death look that I better be wearing them. Since I have had things flying and exploding in the past that doesn't seem like a bad suggestion. Though he has never taken me to the emergency room yet I have taken him more than once.

After that ordeal I have been pricing and setting up an order for supplies to make cancer bracelets for a friend in Colorado. She participates in all different types of activity's to raise money for her cause. I most likely will be offering a few at my show to help her out. They currently have 8 colors representing 8 different types of cancer: Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Leukemia, Colon Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Liver Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer, and Heart Disease. Since her cause is Breast Cancer they will feature a pink ribbon but will come with a card showing each cancer and its respective color. Here is a sample minus the pink ribbon since they are on the supply order.
I have been so busy this week I haven't taken the time to post new pictures but I have several new pieces. Back to work, I have to keep up on that schedule.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Pictures are the Best!

Well I made true of my sleeping wish....the house is suffering though because of it. Thought that I would share a few pictures of my productive last few days.

Here are a ton of button bracelets laid out ready to be made, and a garnet set of necklace-bracelet-earrings. This picture doesn't do the earrings and charm justice. Let me know if you want better pictures.
I also finished a Sodalite set including a necklace and bracelet, and while I was in the process I made several earring choices. To the right is a sterling chain with Leopardskin Jasper dangling away.

Here is a 3 strand Red Coral Necklace, each strand is a different type bead. Amethyst and Pearls (I have coordinating earrings). And last but not least a double stranded Turquoise necklace and bracelet set.

I should be busy the next few days with a few new goodies for the Jewelry Party.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Sleep Sounds Wonderful

Well we didn't get much more than a dusting of snow the other night so I'm not sure it improved skiing but it sounded like it was fun. Colin and his brother and dad went up the mountain while his mom and I toured Sandpoint, ID. Which was also fun and not so chilly. We managed to scrounge up a few more buttons in a couple of fun colors that I didn't have yet. I think I might be more obsessed with finding buttons than my beads. I can't think of any of the hobbies that I have tried over the years that have ever competed at the same level as my beads. I suppose that the buttons are used with my beads so maybe that is more of an extension of my obsession. Who knows?

I have a ton of work to complete this week and next and I am determined to stick to my schedule for once.
It is: invitations for March 7th (we moved back the date) -10 African Lace/Net Necklaces, bracelets and matching earrings -finish filling my small earring stand -tag everything -solder clasps shut -and make at least 10 more sets of necklaces and bracelets

I think I am going to give up sleep, hence it sounds like heaven :) Happy early Valentines Day since I may not have time to post tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Cleaning for a better cause.

So I should be picking up the house today since Colin's parents fly in tomorrow morning. Like normal I put it off. Monday I went button hunting with my friend Mandy. We found a few good buttons for my bracelets but not near as many as I had hoped :( Tuesday I accomplished nothing except making signs and sharing my last bottle of Michigan wine with Kelsey while we had a girls night, well until Colin came home anyway.

I am packaging up some great supplies that I have been hording in my sewing stash. I have a very ambitious friend that is going to be making all of her and her children's clothing for the next year. Since I have so many items that I probably wont use or throw away I am sending them to a better home. Here is a picture of one reason my house is still not ready for guests.

And here is another reason my house is not dining room table is covered in finished items, packaging, and tags. In addition the coffee table is covered in pictures for inspiration and bead containers. Colin is being way more supportive than I ever imagined since our house doesn't normally look like a bomb went off. Today I really need to go get my valentines gift and clean. Ahhhhh.....sadly I just checked FEDEX and my supplies will also be here today. Guess I can't open the box :(
Happy Note: We are going skiing Friday!!!!! And it snowed a little this morning.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Where is the sun?

I mean that in so many ways this afternoon. The sky is cloudy and grey, hopefully the sun will grace us with its company later this week at least. I called Sallie Mae (student loans) this morning since of course they are closed Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and I have to say long story short their phone system is by far the worst I have ever had to use to talk to a "live" person. Had to vent a little more, sorry.

On a happy note I am planning on going button hunting today for more buttons. I really would like to have a little more selection of them and since I have no more buttons its a little hard to make more bracelets. I saw an awesome pendant that inspired me Saturday that was made with buttons. It was at this great vintage jewelry store in Spokane called Finders Keepers that is like a jewelry heaven. In addition they have a vintage clothing boutique on the side that has clothes from every era. :) I could have spent a lot of money on the clothing side....and the jewelry side inspired me which was great. That kind of went off on a tangent but that seems to be how my brain works, so oh well.

Colin made me a large board that is covered in velvet this weekend to hang more necklaces and bracelets on. It has a great stand/easel we found surprisingly in the floral section of the craft store. He is awesome, but I think is ready for me to do this show so my stands aren't hanging out in our family room along with numerous bead containers and button jars. I have to give my dog some credit as well, the last month I have had things scattered all over and not once has he picked anything up to chew on it. He normally doesn't touch anything that isnt one of his toys but there is a lot of temptation and he is a great dog.

Since I am just rambling today, I am going to log off. Hope everyone has a great "sunny" week.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Floating on a cloud of Happiness!

So Colin just set up that table in the basement for my torch, took a bit longer than I thought but he has been working a lot of hours. I think my finished jewelry will be taking up the space though since I am running out of room for all of it. I like to see it all out on display so I can tell how I am doing on having enough pieces.

I asked my mother to have a party as well in May when we fly in for a visit. Hopefully some of the work will be done on her new house so she can show it off. Since at some point in the next few years we should be moving back to Colorado I will have to visit some of the stores I used to sell items at and work that angle as well. I don't want to go to the trouble of doing that here unless we find out we are not moving again in a year.

I have a few more button bracelets completed. Here is a black and silver version. I think they are my favorite pieces. I want to keep all of them and am having a hard time leaving them on the "for sale" table. Each of them is unique since I use vintage buttons which kills me that I can't make two of each, 1 for me and 1 for sale. If anyone has any buttons and is willing to sell them I am interested. I am running VERY low.

I thought I would also share some of my silver necklace loops. I have ordered several sterling pendants and am in the process of making a few myself. I have smooth wire and twisted wire loops both in round and oval shapes. Smooth wire loops $15 and twisted are $16 each. They are great to have and you can just swap the charm. I am making coordinating bracelets and earrings to match the charms.

I am just finishing up the last necklace for a friends bridesmaids jewelry. As soon as a get the letter pendants I ordered for each I will post them. They are gorgeous! Back to work....:) I love this job! Crossing my fingers it loves me as well since I just made another order for supplies. Have a happy weekend!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Laundry Day....

I had a very productive day yesterday. I have all but five of my $5 bracelets completed and gemstone information cards to go with each corrdinating piece. As well as a few extra pieces here and there. Today I think I am taking a break to enjoy life. My brain and hands are tired of thinking up new ideas and when you force it they usually are never any good.

So its laundry and cleaning day, as long as I avoid ironing no big deal. Though I have to say I had an annoying habit to my mother as a child (we started doing our own laundry at ten) I always forgot to take my clothes out of the dryer before they started getting wrinkly. I still at this point in my life have that awful habit, and just cant seem to break it. Everytime I pull clothes out of the dryer Colin asks me how long they have been in there :( I really need to work on that flaw....guess its never been a priority.

We got a netflix account for Christmas from Colin's parents and I love it! I usually just turn my Ipod on when I'm working but I love having the option of movies that come in the mail since there is nothing on TV all day. Bonus is I never have to drive back to the store and return them! Tonight we are watching the Bank Job. Best present ever I will have to say!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The sun is out :)

The snow is finally melting just a little again today. YEAH!!! Maybe by this weekend we can park one of our vehicle's on the side of the street without being in the street. I missed the snow and cold weather (yes I said cold) more than I thought when we lived in Phoenix for the short duration but I am really ready for spring. I have all this fun new jewelry and cute "warm" weather shoes that want to come out of storage.

Last night I focused on $5 bracelets and earrings and I am doing the same today. I am trying to use up all of my glass beads and non sterling findings that I have accumulated over the past few years because I am running out of storage containers and shelf space. That and they are a great addition to my higher priced gemstone and sterling pieces. I am not posting these on etsy due to after fees and shipping it defeats the purpose of having lower prices.
Happy Thursday!!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Check one thing off my list....what was I supposed to be doing again?

Well like normal I haven't stuck with my schedule. I don't know why I bother to write them out. Today I restocked my business cards since they have dwindled and I added my blog to them. In addition I tweaked my new order again, there should be about 7 new colors and different gemstone pieces in the very near future. They will include: Garnet, Sodalite, Citrine, small Heishi shells, Black Onyx, Black Jade, Leopardskin Jasper, more Maukaite, Red Coral and Crystal Quartz.

We have finally set a more final date for the show, February 28th. I have so much to make to get ready. As well as make a few prizes and coupons. I need to sell a lot since Colin had me add my camera and ink cartridge for the printer to my business expenses. Yuck!
I posted a few of my new sets to etsy this afternoon. But here is one that I haven't put on there. It is chunky Green Adventurine with large sterling accents and a hook and eye clasp. A pair of dangle earrings is included, they are on posts since the stones are so heavy.
I may not be posting much the next few days as I should be cleaning my house for guests again, but since they wont be here until next Thursday I most likely will put it off.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Growling like Gunther!

I have just spent majority of the day accomplishing NOTHING, and I had such high hopes.

I finished 2 pairs of earrings this morning and moved on to making new labels and more business cards. No luck as my printer is out of colored ink. I couldn't stamp my logo and emboss them if they aren't printed.

Then I decided I have been making so much stuff maybe I should post a little bit on etsy, 9 items and several hours later.... I think I may have to limit myself to posting one item per day and use Friday for the bulk of my items. It consumed so much time I haven't accomplished anything. (I was getting sidetracked looking at other items)

Tomorrow I WILL work on my african net/lace necklaces and Wednesday I am working on leather baby cowboy boots since they amended the CPSIA for at least a year. Everyone that makes items for kid's I'm sure is cheering all over the country. Yeah!!!!

Check out etsy for some of my new items.

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