Thursday, October 25, 2012

A few new Goodies

Just listed a few new goodies on Etsy. Trying to get some new and fresh items available. Keep things spicy ya know. Still only getting those few hours of work but hubby was finally able to get back in town today. And I'm so happy as he will be here all next week too. I've gotta hand it to single parents as I often feel this is what family life has become for us these past several months. Hubby hasn't been home during the week for the past 7 weeks. It's been so long that I can't even remember when he was here for an entire week. It takes a huge weight off your shoulders knowing he is here and that makes me so happy:-) 

Artistically I feel like I'm in a huge slump and am getting by on bare minimum. I'm too tired and lazy to do anything that requires inspirational momentum and starting new projects that require mental jazziness seems too daunting. It isn't a fun place to be as an artist, but I realize there are many reasons that are contributing to this place and I'm just in a tuck and survival mode during this season. I am just kind of looking at this as a stage of hibernation and sometime next year I'll be out and ready to go. But having said all of that ...:-) our refrigerator died last week so I thought I would try to step up my work time the best I could to help get a new one. Hubby was hesitant to let me go buy one on my own because as he put it "I'm afraid you will go out and buy a Cadillac." He knows me well. I teased him as I texted and said I found the perfect fridge that has a built in TV and stereo with Bose speakers and I was so excited and bought it. I almost said it had a built in iPad but then I knew he would know I was joking. So he texted back and just said "I hope you are joking".  Then he mentioned that it sounded like I was looking for an iFridge. I would so buy one of those if they were available! But since living out of coolers for a week wasn't really an option, I had to shop for the fridge that I could have delivered in the shortest amount of time. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Time Flies...

Well, I wish I could say that I disappeared on some grand adventure these past few weeks. I guess if you call living the daily calls of life a grand adventure than that has been what I've been doing.

Funny how life gets in the way of beading. I did the numbers in my head this week when trying to figure out why I feel like I don't get a lot of beading work done. It made me feel a tad better mentally. By the time I get the kids off to school and they make their way home a few short hours later, it gives me a total of 5 hours to manage the household and my beading business. Hmmmm, that alone is less than 25 hours a week. which half of that goes to running errands, cleaning, cooking, laundry. Emails are a huge time sucker and then of course so is the internet that just sucks you in which leave me about 5 min to make beads, jewelry, and post new things each day. I was really starting to feel like a louse.

My middle child turned 13 last Friday. Which blows my mind. He had a wonderful birthday. The kids are still busy swimming and Caiden has his very first swim meet on this Saturday. He is doing great and I keep waiting for him to whine and complain about going to swim practice 3 times a week but he never does.

So the new Skylander's Giants video game came out a few days ago which has lead to a new quest for Caiden. I have been to 3 different Targets, 2 Walmarts, and Toys R Us trying to make sure I have gotten all the figures that are out there. Hmm.... that is why I don't have much beading time. I'm to busy out on a quest. For you parents that are looking for good Christmas ideas for video games, Skylanders can't be beat. My 8 year old loves these things but even my 13 and 14 year old enjoy playing the game and had to get their own characters the other day. I just wish they would come out about a week before Christmas because there is no way I can get the kids to hold off and wait until Christmas to collect the characters to play on the game.

I did manage to list a few new toggles on Etsy.  Baby steps right?

So now I need to skid addle and get my youngest breakfast so he can go off to school. Hopefully I will be back sooner than later next time:-)

Monday, October 8, 2012

We Have a Winner....

Thank you everyone who left a comment in the last post. There were some incredible comments and I had so much fun reading them. Thank you for all the smiles.

So I went onto and generated a number from the entrants and Fresh Baked Designs is the winner for the lampwork beads, copper flowers, and copper toggle. Congratulations Lynda. I'll shoot you an email but if you don't get it, give me a shout to claim your prize.

I plan on having give aways just for the heck of it every 4-6 weeks so keep checking back to play again!

So hubby and I went out to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary at Lemp Mansion here in St. Louis on Friday night. It was one of those dinner mystery theater plays. Hmmm..... I was trying to find something different for us to do. Let's just say it was a strange but an entertaining night. It was an interactive play and the other patrons there were so diverse that it led to lots of giggling for us. The food was horrible and very disappointing. At 50 bucks a person, I would never go back just because of the food. We left there and ended up going to one of our favorite tapa's restaurants to get some decent food which just made the night more fun so in a way I guess that was a good thing.

Saturday night we celebrated my mom's birthday and she got loaded up with lots of new jewels. I made her a duplicate of the necklace with the big lentil in the previous post, and then a few other necklaces. This one below was inspired by Mary Hettmansperger's book. She has the coolest style and Joan, and I buy something from her booth at Bead and Button every year and have yet to meet her in person. She has always been away from her booth. But man, if you want some great inspiration...snag any of her books fast. This one is over 2" wide. I admit that I had to wear it out one day before giving it to her. LOL

I made her a few earrings but now I can only find the photos for these ones. I also made a duplicate of these earrings and they will be available on my Etsy store shortly.

Well, it is way past my bedtime so off to call it a night. Catch ya soon!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Bead Soup Blog Tour & A Give Away

Heidi Ho there everyone. Today is special in more than one way. I want to give a shout out to my hubby as we celebrate our 15 year anniversary today. I love these days of reflection and realizing how blessed I am that God gave me someone to love, cherish, and love with all my heart.

Today I get to join on on chatting about Lori Anderson's new book during this book tour from all the contributor's to her book.

The process was started over a year and a half a go when I got an email from Lori asking if I would like to participate in  the book. "Heck Ya" I said. That is a total non brainer. So after a few emails  back and forth, I learned that I would get to work with Libby Leuchtman's bead soup. All I can say is that when I opened up my pack of soup, I was jumping up and down. Have you seen her Lampwork pods? They are incredible. I had always admired them in photos but to see them in person is a revelation. This thing is big, bad, and bold. It measures at least 2" tall.  Truly fabulous, and I couldn't wait to design with the awesome collection.  Working with a large focal can be intimidating to me because I'm never sure what to do with it besides the obvious of just stringing it on a chain.

When I sat down to create with the soup, the design just came together all on its own and there was zero struggle or conflict in the designing process. I do remember thinking that I'm not a big fan of the color peach so I'm going to use the pink as my accent color since or course it is my favorite color. Don't you love it when you have one of those "on" design days?

Here is a teaser photo of the necklace. There is also a matching pair of earrings. The full photos are in the book.

Honestly, Libby's pod beads are drool worthy. You can find them and her other cool beads on her Etsy store.

There are some fabulous creations in the book and each project is written as a tutorial so that you can follow along and make a similar creation or using them as a spring board for creating your own jewelry designs.

Here is the soup that I put together for the book. It includes one of my red Lampwork Hearts that I attach to a hand sawn and shaped sterling silver heart. Lori ended up using it for one of her several bead soup projects. You will have to see the book to see the cool necklace she created with the mix.

So.... For the Give Away....

Just leave a comment here and on the morning of October 9, I will draw a winner and make the announcement of who won. I think Lori will also place the winners on her site too. There will also be one grand prize winner that Lori is hosting a gift for that will be for everyone who posted on any of the Bead Soup Contributors' blogs during the book tour.

The winner chosen from the comments made on my blog will win one of my handshaped and patinaed pure cooper flower toggles that measures 1" wide. AND... 4 of my lampwork beads and 4 pure copper smaller flowers. Use them together or separate them out. Loads of possibilities.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

4 New Necklaces

I discovered something super duper way cool a few nights ago. Something that made me love new technology. For those of you who use your iPhone or iPad to take photos for your blog, Etsy, or other on-line sites where you need to upload photos.... the latest ios6 update now enables you to upload photos directly to your Etsy site, blog or other web sites.

Which means... that I have found a few freedom. I have mentioned before that I think about 80% of my blog/bead/jewelry photos are taken with my iPhone 4S. It's an incredible camera and with iCloud, my photos are on my MAC and my iPad through photo stream. That alone is awesome. Then I usually edit my photos with photoshop on my MAC.

I have tried before to list on Etsy just uploading my photos from my iPad and it didn't work. I was always so bummed by that inability. Now that is no longer the case. You can upload away. There are lots of apps out there for photo editing. I am digging the snapseed app but not 100% satisfied with it. But, if it means the convenience will let me list items more often on Etsy, then I'm all over it. The photo editing may not by 100% to my liking but I'm pretty happy with a 85-90% satisfaction as it now means that I will most likely list more often as I can randomly do it while playing on my iPad.  (sadly PicMonkey requires flash or I would be using them on the iPad)

So here are four new necklaces that I listed on my Etsy store all by just using my iPad. I can promise they would have never been done earlier as I usually like to take my laptop to bed at night and do photos and new listings then. But I'm so darn tired by the time the kids are in bed that it hasn't been happening. I'm just thrilled with having another option and opportunity that makes my life more simple as that is what technology is all about right? Hope this tip might help you guys out too!

Now... if anyone can tell me why my MAC computer and Paypal now no longer get along, I would forever be grateful . The issues have gotten worse every week. I'm at the point where I am lucky to even log onto paypal with my MAC. I can't print out shipping labels without it erroring out. I can not even make a payment using my paypal account. Nor can I send an invoice or transfer $ to my bank account. I have to do to hubby's computer or do it on my phone or iPad.

Am I the only one having these issues? Any suggestions on what the deal is? It's making me really dislike Paypal as heaven forbid that I ever dislike my MAC:-)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Bead Soup Book Tour

So this is the week that some of the participants from the Bead Soup Book are joining in on the Blog Tour and talking about their creations they made for the book and about the entire experience. 

Each day from Oct 1- 8 visit the participant's website to join in on the fun and read all about it. Then, leave a comment on each participant's blog to be entered into a drawing for a free give away or discount. If you comment on anyone's post, then there is a grand prize give away from Lori Anderson that will be announced on Tuesday, Oct 9. I think all of the give aways will be announced on Oct. 8 or 9.

So come back for my day on Thursday, October 4. to read my thoughts and to be entered into the yummy give away I'm offering up.

Below is the list of the Book Tour participants with their special day marked with links to their Blogs. 

Monday, October 1st
Lori Anderson -- 
Rebecca Anderson --
Barbara Bechtel -- 

Tuesday, October 2nd
Lori Anderson --
Kerry Bogert -- 
Jennifer Cameron --   

 Wednesday, October 3rd
Lori Anderson --

Thursday, October 4th
 Lori Anderson --
Jeannie Dukic --  
Lyn Foley --  

Friday, October 5th
Lori Anderson -- 
Cindy Wimmer -- www.SweetBeadStudio 
Barbara Lewis -- Painting With Fire

Saturday, October 6th

Sunday, October 7th
Erin Prais-Hintz --  

Monday, October 8th
Lori Anderson,