Saturday, December 1, 2012

Wow, wow, wow

I had no idea it had been so long since I had blogged. I kind of forget about my blog. Not intentionally mind you. But with social media, I have a tendency to forget that this little blog is sitting over here and being neglected. Plus a lot of time I have no clue what to write on my blog because my days are pretty much all the same. I don't want to use my blog to become whiny and complain about my everyday life - which would be very easy for me to do. And like so many people - I have a pretty hum-drum life - work, jewelry, eat, bed, rinse, repeat.

That being said - I do have something pretty major to report. Practically since the day I started making jewelry, I have dreamed of being able to be successful enough to have my own little business. Last night, I got an offer by a couple of jeweler friends to put my jewelry in their fine jewelry store. This is a fantastic opportunity - one I cannot pass up - and one that I cannot believe that I am lucky enough to have at this point. The folks that own this business have a store front, but their business is pretty much by appointment only. This makes the risk of theft nearly non-existent - which is a huge plus for me. They are regulars of the restaurant that I work in - and they are some of the nicest people I have had the pleasure of knowing. I cannot really put into words how excited that I am about this chance - because quite honestly - this could be something huge for me. This may be the opportunity I have been looking for my business to become something more than just a pipe dream. The other thing that was pretty cool? It was pretty exciting to see how enthusiastic they were about my work. I had been a little afraid to show them my work - because they create fine jewelry - and well - I sell my stuff at craft shows.

All of this has made me terribly excited - I hardly slept last night. But it has also made me unexpectedly tearful - partially happy tears, but also some sad ones as well. I wish my parents were here to share in my success - especially my Dad. He would have been SOOOOOOOOO excited for me. I know that they know - but still I would like to be able to actually TELL them. =)

Enough on that for now - but I will leave you with my thanks and love - and some pictures of some new items not yet listed in my store.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I'm so excited!

"And I just can't hide it."

(Raise your hand if I just got that song stuck in your head for the rest of the day.)

I am pleased to announce that I am the newest addition to the UK based website and business Acolyte Home and Gifts Acolyte offers a very unique range of home decor and gifts - including body castings, button bouquets, pet portraits and glass ware just to name a few. 

Barbara - owner of Acolyte - approached me some time ago about the possibility of becoming the first international offering in her on-line store. I was excited about the opportunity of reaching an entirely new audience, and jumped at the chance. I cannot say enough great things about Barbara - she has been an absolute joy to work with.

I feel that this is an excellent fit for me, as the unique range of gifts offered showcases some beautiful offerings and amazing creative talent. I am flattered that I was even considered for this opportunity.

If you are interested in seeing my page, please visit here.

Monday, April 16, 2012


So I have been thinking a lot recently about the possibility of taking out a very small loan for my business (thinking $2000-$3000) and I keep waffling back and forth on whether or not I want to take this step. I am looking for any and all feedback that you are willing to share with me - the good and the bad. I am not sure I will even be able to get a loan to begin with as my credit is not exactly what you would call exemplary. But here are the pros and cons as I see them now:

- Would allow me to do more with my business quickly as I would be able to buy several things that I need to do bigger shows.

- Would allow me to try to be accepted to art fairs as they are more expensive to get into - and during warmer months they are mostly outdoors which would require a tent.

- Although this is not a guarantee - it would allow me to make more money as I feel an art fair is more my market than craft shows.

- And finally - I believe that getting the loan would actually allow me to make this a legitimate business - one that I do full time - or nearly full time.

I am not putting this as an official bullet point - but I do feel as though I am being "nudged" to do this - that I need to do this. Maybe it is my sub-conscience. Maybe it is the universe. Maybe it is God. I have no idea, but I am just feeling this way.

- If  I do not do well, would I be able to afford to pay the loan back?

- No guarantee that I will even be able to get into the shows that I want to get into - most have a non-refundable "jury" or "application" fee of $10-$35 - do I want to lose that money?

- Would I be able to make the inventory required to do these larger shows?

So - there's my list - does anyone have any more input? I am really at a loss of what to do.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

I'm so tired....

So this blog is going to be about a topic near and dear to my heart that has absolutely nothing to do with beading. I watched the Grammy's tonight and have seen and read several interviews with Adele recently - which has actually resulted in a little bit of a girl crush for me. I have enjoyed Adele's music - but was not a rabid fan, but have been finding that changing lately. I adore her voice, her lyrics - and from what I have seen of late - her persona. She is brutally, painfully honest, grounded, amazingly talented, comfortable with who she is as a person. Which brings me to the topic of this post: body image.

Adele was recently criticized for being "fat" by Karl Lagerfeld of Chanel. She has a voice of the ages - with a soul and resonance that is rare to find in this age of Britney Spears, Justin Beiber and Lady Gaga. Don't get me wrong - they fill their own niche and do it incredibly well. But Adele is different. Her voice reminds me of Etta James, Rosemary Clooney or Ella Fitzgerald. And yet - this amazingly talented and beautiful woman is being called "fat".

I am SO tired of this. I am tired of hearing woman being criticized for their weight. As if their weight gives or takes any value from who they really are. I figure God made me the way He did for a reason. And that is good enough for me. (Crap - just heard Cookie Monster in my head.) I am comfortable with who I am because of that, but I am tired of hearing people either around me or in the media criticize weight. And why is no one ever seemed to be critiqued for being too thin? I HATE seeing bones (with maybe the exception of the collar bone). I don't want to see your ribs. I don't want to see your pelvic bones. I don't want to be able to count the vertebrae in your spine.

I have known several people who have suffered from eating disorders. I hated seeing them go through it. I've dealt with the issues of depression because of my weight. I have given myself the figurative black eye because of my weight. It's time that we as a society stand up and tell the media that this is NOT what we look like, this is NOT what we want, this is NOT fashion.

It's time to tell them that we love ourselves the way that we are - simply because we were made that way. And that makes us beautifully, inherently unique.

And now - I am going to go eat a cookie. Or some ice cream. Or maybe I will just bead. But I will love myself no matter what I decide. =)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

So far so good

Been a while since I posted and I am happy to report that 2012 is off to a decent start for me. Surprisingly, business has been busier than I expected with several special orders - and the tail end of orders from my holiday shows - keeping my hands busy while I watch tv.

My muse has been working overtime the past few days and as a result, I have laid out plans for 4 new designs. I can hardly wait to get my special orders done so that I can get them all made up. Hopefully I will have enough money left over from my income tax refund after catching up my bills, that I will be able to upgrade my photo software program so I can actually upload some new pictures to my shop! I have many, many more designs in my head just waiting to be laid out, but just don't have enough time in the day to get them all planned and made. Boredom will never be an issue with me. =)

I actually printed a contract today for show on November 17th, 2012. I can hardly believe that I am looking at a show for November already! I hope that I can find some shows to do over the  spring and summer though. I love doing warm weather shows but seem to have trouble finding ones that are inside. At some point I would love to have a tent, but I don't see that being in my foreseeable future.

I have decided that I need to find an investor. I need someone to give me about $5000 so that I can buy the aforementioned tent, tables, display items, beads. Of course, part of that money would be for me to live on so that I could take some time off of work to doing some designing and making. =) If you have 5 grand laying around collecting dust, please let me know so that I can take it off your hands for you. I promise I will work really hard. ;-)

I feel like my blog is SO plain without any pictures to add. As much as I hate taking photos, I do love showing off my work.

Have a great night all!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

2011 Wrap Up

Ok -so I am a little early for New Year's, but I will go ahead and wish you a very Merry Christmas and bright and blessed 2012. I hope that it is a happy and prosperous year for us all! I am going to go ahead and give my wrap up for this year while I have the chance. =)

I did quite a few shows in Oct, Nov and Dec - a total of six which is the most I have ever done in that short amount of time. I have had some success with them and have several special orders that I am working my  way through at this time. I love doing special orders - and I have figured out that at least 50% of my sales are special orders. 

The success that I have had with my shows this fall has really given me a glimpse at the potential and possibilities for my business - and I am really excited at what I am seeing. For 2012, I am going to be looking at the possibilities of a retail environment as well as trying to get into larger shows. This means I will be spending lots of time working on inventory. I guess it is a good thing that I love doing it!

 I am also thinking about trying to learn kumihimo. This is a ceremonial form of Japanese braiding that was useed by samurais to create cording for their swards and armor. It can used with or without beads and can use various fibers: silks, satins, wool, cotton, etc. I am always looking to learn something new, so this is an interesting prospect for me as well.

I've been having some photo software issues and hope to get that resolved at the beginning of 2012 (perhaps with income tax money). I may have some help with taking pictures as well (in the form of co-worker), so I am hoping that 2012 will also show a large increase in inventory to my shop. YAY!!!

For all of those you who have supported my business in one form or another - whether it be by buying, whether it be a word of encouragement, whether it be sharing my page or telling someone about me, I thank you from the bottom of my pea-pickin' heart. You make me happy with your encouragement in whatever form it comes. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Years

I debated on whether or not I was going to blog about the tenth anniversary of Sept 11th. After all, I was not directly impacted by the horrific events of  9/11 - I didn't lose loved ones, or friends, or co-workers, or even a casual acquaintance. But I can tell you that have absolutely no direct connection to those who died on Sept 11, 2001 really didn't matter - my life changed on that day. I had the presence of mind to know that my life would never be the same. How I wasn't sure, but I knew that it would be different.

I had just moved to Columbus out of my Dad's house and was officially on my own. Like NYC, it was a beautiful, gorgeous day there - kind of like it is here today. I was staying at his place to dog-sit as he was in Vegas and due to fly back home that day. My friend, April was staying with me to keep my company as I didn't like staying at his place by myself. April had gotten up before me and she woke me up - we sat and stared in dumb-founded astonishment at the tv. I remember feeling like I was going to hyper-ventilate when I saw the first tower go down. All those people so senselessly, tragically, brutally killed.

Many of you know I wear my heart on my sleeve. I am a crier (which I hate about myself, but have learned to accept). The events that unfolded that day made me sob with grief over the next few days and weeks. I am not a firefighter, or EMT or cop or military - mainly because I am a big chicken. I have often wondered about Flight 93 that went down in Shanksville, PA - would I have been brave enough to try to take back the flight knowing with absolute certainty that I would die? Would I have been willing to give up my own life bravely in order to save countless others? I'd like to think that I am capable of that kind of bravery.

The thing about 9/11 that is so striking is that it was not just an attack on US soil, it really was an attack on the world, with people killed from 115 countries. People from every walk of life, religion, sexual orientation, beliefs, nationality were murdered that day. And then something amazing happened - people came together. They stood in 2-3 hour long lines to donate blood - because like me - so many people felt so helpless and giving blood was the only thing they could do to feel useful. They gave money. They flew the American flag and sang the National Anthem with gusto in the days, weeks, months after the attacks. It was amazing to witness - and I wish that it is something that we could find as a country again. People were kinder and gentler with each other.

So as we remember today, let us not not forget the families left behind, the heroes of the day. Let us remember the kinder, gentler people we became and reflect on the fact that we became stronger, more resolved as a nation (even if it was only for a short time). Let us remember those that gave everything in the hope of helping or saving others.

Let us not forget....