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....

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The business end of things

I was off of work today, so I decided to make good use of my time to get some pictures taken so I can list some items in my shops. It isn't too early to start thinking about Christmas.

That being said, I *hate* this part of the process. I hate taking pictures, I hate editing them, I hate trying to come up with a clever, witty description - or at least one that is clear on what you are actually purchasing. I wish that there was some magical way to have this part of the process taken care of. Perhaps some magical spell ("picture takeus") that would do all the work for me. (I have a vision in my head of something like Molly Weasley's magical knitting needles.) Would someone please invent that for me? (And while you are at it - would it be too much to ask for a transporter from Star Trek? I would love to actually meet some of my virtual friends.Thanks.)

So - I have spent the vast majority of the day today taking pictures, sorting, editing, cropping, writing, measuring and promoting - for 2 brand new listings in my store. For those of you who say "no big deal" - I want to tell you that it takes me anywhere from 45 minutes to one hour to create one listing - that's including everything from taking the picture, to actually hitting the "list" button. I am glad to have some new things to list, so I will just smile and pretend that I like this part of it. =)

I am done editing for the night as I do have a pretty decent headache. But I will have several more items to share with you tomorrow. =)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Holy cow!

Many of you know that I am a cross-stitcher. I have stitched for many, many years now as my Mom taught me when I was very young. However, in recent years, my stitching has sadly fallen to the wayside in place of beading. I am making an honest effort to correct that now - and although I am not spending as much time stitching as I used too, I have found that I have missed it - and that it is time to make it a regular part of my life again.

So - for the first time in years - I actually have pictures to show you of my current WIP (that's work-in-progress for those of you who don't know). I am doing this as a SAL (stitch-a-long) with my dear friend, Julie. We started this on April 6th - the day before my birthday - and this is what I have done at this time. Julie is doing some crazy-ass rotation where she rotates projects every 2 weeks - and she has approximately 3,000 projects in this rotation. (OK - I was exaggerating a bit there - it's more like 300. Oh - all right - fine. It's really about 20.) Anyways - she currently has about 200 stitches in hers - mine has about 1600 in this picture. I am determined that she will not get ahead of me on this project. Even though she only works on it for 2 weeks at a time - she does not work, so she is able to devote a LOT of time over those 2 weeks to stitching. This design is called Storykeeper by Selena Fenech - and the pattern is made by Heaven and Earth Designs. You can see the project in it's entirety here

Isn't it cool? I am really loving this piece so far as you can really see it coming together already. HAED's get their detail from shading - not backstitch. So there are loads of colors changes, but you can really see the details in the piece already.

I will have another update fairly soon. I've already but in another 400 stitches since I took this picture before I started stitching yesterday.

So what do you think? Do you like it?

Monday, September 5, 2011

It's 3AM and I must be lonely...

Bah - and now I will have that song stuck in my head. Why do I do these things to myself?

Actually - to comment on the title of the post, I am really not lonely. Just awake. Sadly, I have learned that though I have tried - and tried and tried - I will *never* be a morning person. Ever. I love the peace and quiet that night brings. Ansel is hopelessly a morning person. He does not understand how I can stay up half the night and I don't understand why he is so unbearably cheerful in the morning. Really - it is annoying, irritating and downright aggravating. Yesterday morning I got up at around 9:30 to use the bathroom - but I was half-asleep and headed back to bed, because 9:30 is still early to me (yes, yes I know this is sad). I can't remember the entire conversation because well - I was half-asleep but he said something, and I mouthed back - which I am prone to do. He started grumbling - which he does all too well - and said "I could have picked a nice quiet girl over here. 'Yes Ansel. Whatever you say Ansel' but NOOoooo I had to pick the one that was all talky because she was more entertaining. I could have had a nice, quiet peaceful life....but Noooooo." I started laughing - because he is so good at this type of thing.

Actually that brings to mind another story - many of you have heard this one because it is so daggone funny that I tell everyone that will stand still long enough to listen. About a year ago or so - I was putting laundry in the washing machine - Ansel was in clear eye shot of me. He asked me, "What are you doing?" Before I could think about it, I shot back "Vacuuming." He looked at me and said, "I don't know why I put up with you - 5'2" and 5' of you is mouth." Hehehe....

Some of you may wonder what the point of this post is. Really - there is not any reason for it other than I felt like blogging tonight - and sharing a little of myself.

Oh sure - I can tell you about the wonderful show I vended at last night. And how my friend, Jaime's band (Shadow Prophets) kicked some major ass. I could bitch and whine and moan that I had no sales, but then tell you I had a great time anyways. I could tell you how I banged my head until I gave myself a headache while rocking out to headlining act Tommy Peacock. I could also tell you that another local group (KLNZR) uses a hearse for transporting their equipment - and that you know at that point something fun is going to happen with that group. Or that being a witness to Fallen on High's wedding proposal was awesome.

I could also tell you that I am going to be taking some pictures of some new jewelry this week and hopefully getting pictures edited and listings made so that you can see some new items from me.

But I won't because really this blog entry is about giving you a glimpse into my life. =)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I have a winner!!!!

I am so incredibly happy to announce that I have a winner for my contest! This was a really fun experience for me on so many levels. So many people were willing to share me on FB with their friends and family - or Tweet me on Twitter. And I had some really wonderful bloggy love as well. I want to tell you all "THANKS!!!" from the bottom of my little pea picking heart. It is SO hard to get your name out there - and the more people that see my shop, the better it is for me on so many levels.

Congrats to Kristi - she was kind enough to Tweet me several times. I only had 45 entries for my contest - so this improved her chances quite a bit. I will be sending her an email shortly and I will be posting what she chooses when she does.

Thanks again all for participating. I really do appreciate it. Although it will be a while before I do another giveaway, I will probably do this again in the future. =)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Unintentional Hero

Once in a while, I will happen upon a story that makes me think that the human race is not completely doomed for failure. In today's world, where reality TV, news shows and the internet showcases the worst of the human race in all it's many forms, it is a welcome and refreshing change to hear about something, well - different.

Yesterday, I happened to see a news story on Yahoo about a photographer in Pennsylvania - about 4 hours away from where I live - who had the guts and the courage and the temerity to stand up for what she believes in - the things that she holds as right and true. Here is link to her story:

Here is a self-employed woman - who only has herself to listen too. She decided that listening to her conscience was more important than money. And she took a HUGE risk by doing that. Wow. She refused paying customers because they were bullies - and being mean and hurtful to others on Facebook of all places - not exactly the most private forum in the world. I'd like to think that I would make the same decision if I were in her shoes, but the honest to goodness fact is that money is a powerful motivator in this day and age. Thank you Jen McKen for standing up for what you believe is right. I can only hope that one day, stories like yours will be the norm - and that what we have grown accustomed to in our current society (the hate, the deceit, the anger) will be the "unusual" story of the day. You have given quite a few people hope - and have become an unintentional hero for many, many people. May you have loads and loads of business - because it is truly deserved.

Friday, August 19, 2011

2 weeks left...

Until my giveaway is over! I am terribly excited to have new followers here on my blog. I am not always the best at updating, but I have been getting better. =) This contest is open to everyone - international as well as domestic and here are the quick and easy rules:

I need your help promoting my shop: blog about me, share my shop on FB or tweet my shop and get an entry for each promotion into my drawing to win a free item from my shop. This is up to a $60 value - which only excludes 1 item at this time. Let me know so I don't miss you. I have decided to run this through the end of August - with the drawing on Sept 1st! So still plenty of time to improve your chances to win.

You can find me on FB @ Gems By Jules
On Twitter: GemsByJules
On ArtFire:
On Etsy:

I've been busy creating and making new items. Hexagons seem to have taken over my life for now although there are definitely some more skulls coming into my inventory. I am happy with the results so far. I always have new earrings and possibly some rings in the works as well right now. So lots of new items - just not enough hours in the day to get things beaded.

Speaking of skulls - here is a sneak peek of the necklace I have made up and ready to go (the picture is not the best quality - but it will do for now. I apologize that this is really not up to par for me - Ansel erased the program that I normally use to crop images and make them better - so no idea what I am doing with the current program.) I have gotten a lot of great comments on this necklace - including quite a lot of interest from men on this one. Not that they would actually buy one for themselves - but there has been a lot of studying and interest. =) I happen to think it is adorable.

I am off of here for tonight - I have developed a pounding headache in the meantime - thinking that the issue with the missing picture editing program and trying to learn a new program may have something to do with that. ;-)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Who wants a giveaway?

You do? Really? Well, that is exactly what I am going to do. =)

After giving this some serious thought today, I have decided that it is high time that I give something back to everyone that has supported me over the years. So - here are the details:

Help promote me and my shop. Blog about my shop, like me on Facebook and share my shop with your friends on your page, follow me on Twitter and re-Tweet my shop. I will give you an entry into the drawing for each promotion you do. Simple. Easy. (I am limiting the number of chances per day to 5 to help make it fair for everyone.) I will close entries on August 25th and draw a name on Sept 1st. (Please note - if you blog about me - please let me know either through FB or Twitter so that I can give you an entry. I will see the shares on my Twitter and FB feeds - but unless I am following you I will not be able to know about blogs.) Also - if you are following me already - that's great and I love you for it! Just promote my shop to get an entry. ;-)

So what do you get if you win? The winner will get to choose from ANY item in my shop - up to a $60 value - which at this current time only excludes one item! YAY!!!

Here are the links to help you out:

To find me: - ArtFire Store - Etsy Store
on FB: Gems By Jules
on Twitter @GemsByJules

Good luck!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Things are a'changin'

It's been some time since I posted and I have actually got some news to report. I am finding myself with a lot of upcoming opportunities - known and unknown. (I have some irons in the fire - but they are really nowhere near formation at this point.) Let me tell you what I have in the works...

At the end of June, I was contacted by a promoter through my ArtFire store. She was looking for jewelry designers to work in conjunction with fashion designers for Boston Fashion week. At first, I was very skeptical as I was pretty certain that this was a phishing attempt. So I started searching - and Googling and looking for anything and everything I could about this show, the event, the venue and sites. It this appears to be a completely legitimate offer. Sadly, I would not be able to raise the necessary funds to go by September, but I am truly flattered - and excited by this prospect.

A few days after this, one of my dear friends, Jaime, contacted me about a music and arts' festival called Sounds of Distinction. Now Jaime is in a band called Shadow Prophets and they were playing this event and theyneededvendorsandwouldIbeinterestedeventhoughitwasreallyshortnotice? So I contacted the gal - Natalie - and she kindly informed me that I would be welcome and that there were no booth fees and that I got keep ALL of my sales. Whoa. That's amazing. I went (it was July 9th) - and although I didn't sell as much as I would have liked, I really, really, really had a great time at the event. I heard some amazing local music talent - including Jaime's band. (By the way - if you like heavy metal/hard rock - I highly recommend them. Jaime is an amazing guitarist and vocalist.) I also got to see some great art - and I got a chance to meet new people and see an old friend. Best part? I have been invited to do another show with Natalie on Sept 3rd. And I am intensely excited about this as well. I never dreamed that I would end up working with a promoter.

This has in many respects opened some new doors for me - and I think it will continue to do so for me. I am looking forward to the opportunities that this may bring for me.

In addition I am looking to vend in more local events and shows. I am wanting to do more at this time with my jewelry and I think it is high time I get my butt in gear and start working on getting my name out there more. I am determined to be able to make a living off of this. I want to be the one in charge of my life. Not a work schedule. Not a boss. Not a manager. Me. Little ole' me.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


"Whoa. Duuuude. Dude."

It appears that I have won a blogging award! One of my blogger buddies, Sweet Seahorse nominated me for a blogger award. Apparently, she actually reads my blog - and even more importantly - likes it. ;-) I now have to share the bloggy love and pass this award along to 5 others whose blogs I enjoy reading.

Liebster Award

So in no particular order:

Julie and Yes Dear's Ravings

Contemporary Beadwork by Kerrie Slade

India Grace Designs

The Adventures of Baldy Locks

Wilde Jewels

I am quite pleased that someone actually enjoys reading my blog. I try to keep it entertaining when I do post - but I am not always sure that I achieve that. It's nice to know that there is at least person out there who enjoys reading my blog. =)

Now - just to figure out how to get some more followers....

Monday, June 13, 2011


I am feeling a bit chuffed this evening. Chuffed you say? (And all my American friends are wondering what the hell chuffed is. Chuffed is a British way of saying that you pleased or proud. And it just so happens that I really like this word. =)) Yes - chuffed - and really not for myself, but for someone else that I hold dear to my heart.

Let me tell you a bit about my day. I traveled today to Cincinnati - a 2 hour drive - to visit with my dear friends Julie and Rosa. Julie lives in Cincy - but Rosa is here visiting from North Carolina. Now, one of the things that has made Rosa and Julie both special is the fact that I originally met them both online and have had the pleasure of meeting them in real life. I am often times amazed at how the internet has made the world a much smaller place. I have met people I would have never met otherwise because of the internet. In that respect, the internet has been a real blessing for me. I am lucky that Julie and Rosa consider me a friend and I am so happy that they are a part of my life. We spent the day talking, stitching, eating, laughing. For me - this is a great day and not something that I get to do often. It was a happy day.

And while we were at Julie's, another wonderful friend of ours popped onto messenger to let us know that 6 of her needlework designs are being carried by Nordic Needle here in the US. And this is why I am chuffed:

My friend Vicki is an absolute gem. She lives in the UK - and I would have never had the chance to know her if it was not for the internet. She is an uber-talented needlework designer and has struggled to get her name out there as a designer. (This is an incredibly hard thing - trust me, I know.) Nordic Needle is THE site to go too for specialty needlework. I am SO utterly pleased that she is finally getting some of the recognition she so richly deserves. Please check out India Grace Designs on Nordic Needle or to see her complete collection go here. Well done Vicki I am so proud of you (and chuffed too)! ;-)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Thoughts on Mother's Day

I have been debating whether or not to write about my personal reflections on Mother's Day as I was not sure I wanted to share something so deeply personal for me. But after a great deal of thought and reflection, I have decided to blog in the hopes that it may help others out there.

As most of you know, I lost my own Mom 12 years ago to complications from diabetes and kidney failure. Mom and I were extremely close - about as close as a daughter and Mom can get. She was a joy to be around, had a gentle spirit and sense of humor. She loved her family, her friends, and God with a deep and undying passion. She was an amazing and talented artist and she shared those gifts with those that she loved. I have always said that I was truly and deeply blessed to have the Mom that I had - and in the grand scheme of things, 24 years was not nearly long enough to share with her.

As you can imagine, Mother's Day since then has been particularly difficult, and is compounded for me by another issue. When I was 19, I was diagnosed with PCOD which to make a long story short, means that I cannot have children. Oh, I could maybe, but it would involve thousands of dollars worth of fertilization treatments and as most of you know, money is NEVER something I have enough of. And of course there is the hassle, the pain, the agony of the fertilization treatments. Add to it that I am diabetic, and I have had to come with terms with the fact that children are something that will most likely never be a part of my future.

Over the years, I have endured the looks, the questions, the embarrassment of trying to explain to people why I don't have children. It is extremely painful to try to explain and often times, I am hiding tears while trying to explain "what is wrong with me." (And yes - I have been asked this question more than once.) Once when going through a particularly hard financial spot in my life, I was told by a co-worker (who had several children of her own) to "just have a kid" so that I could get government help - as if it was that

So Mother's Day often brings a huge plethora of emotions for me - but mainly it makes me sad - sad for what is missing in my life and sad for the fact that I will never hear the word "mom' meant for me.

This Mother's Day, I want all of you out there with children to hold them close, give them a kiss and be thankful for the blessing you received. If you are lucky enough to still have your Mom with you, then do the same. And if you see a childless woman, please think before asking what is wrong with her. It may not be by her choosing that she has no children.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Color My World

I have been quietly working away on some pieces - a couple of new designs, and some of my classic patterns in new color ways will be coming out fairly soon. I am always looking for new inspiration and thought I would ask those of you out there what colors would you like to see me design in? What color combinations turn you on? What colors do you wear most? I would really love to hear some of your suggestions because it may give me a fresh perspective of some of my pieces.

Other than that, things have been pretty quiet around these parts. I found myself being quite interested in the Royal Wedding - at the last minute. I am not sure why as it was not something I was really interested in until it actually happened. Maybe it does speak to that small part of me that always dreamed of being a Princess. =)

And there is a large part of me that feels a little bit guilty for being happy at the news that Osama Bin Laden was dead. It really goes against my nature to feel happy upon hearing the news that someone died. But as one of my friends said on Facebook "However he died was too good for him." That pretty much sums it up for me.

Last but not least, I am wondering if my bank will approve me for a loan to buy gas and groceries? Here in central Ohio, gas is currently at $4.19/gal - and the cost of groceries has sky-rocketed in the past week.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

It's a Small World...

(do you have the awful song stuck in your head now???? Do ya, do ya, do ya???)

Sorry about that. Really, I didn't mean to do it, but I did it to myself so thought that I would share my pain with you. ;-)

I have to share with you a funny story - one of those "wow, that is really weird" kind of stories.

As many of you know, I work as a waitress. A couple of months ago, I started working at a breakfast bistro place here in town. I really like it a lot and it is the happiest I have been at a job in years. In the evenings, you will often find me in front of my computer plugging my shop online or on the couch in front of the tv, working on a new design or a special order.

A week or two ago, an old friend of mine (Tammy) contacted me and asked me to make my funky plaid bracelet in black, silver and gold. Of course I agreed - I love to make my designs in new color ways - so over the weekend, I worked it up and it turned out beautifully! I was thrilled with the end result. I finished it up last night, and let Tammy now that her piece was ready - and that I would be taking pictures of it today.

(Stick with me here - I promise that my apparent rambling will make sense by the end.)

This morning, I was getting ready for work - and decided to wear Tammy's piece in - because it was a really, really cool bracelet. Also - I will do this some times as a quality control measure - to make sure that my pieces will not fall apart easily. It also gives me a chance to look for any issues that may arise with it.

I went to work and had been there about 45 minutes, when 2 young ladies came in with a little girl. I greeted them at the door - and to my complete jaw-dropping astonishment, it was Tammy! Yes - the same Tammy that had ordered this bracelet. Yes - the same Tammy I had not seen in 20 years. Yes - that Tammy. She had no idea I worked there - this was simply a "we decided to go out for breakfast and we like to eat here" kind of thing. I am still in shock over this "small world" occurrence.

She was thrilled with the bracelet by the way - and took it home with her. Which means no pictures - but I will be making another one of these. =)

God works in mysterious ways.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Etsy, Etsy, Etsy...

*shakes head in sadness*

Etsy - I used to love you. Yes - I may not have ever had a ton of sales through you, but I did in fact love and respect you and all that you used to represent. I told so many people about you and the great and unique items that could be found on your site. I told strangers about you. I loved you and cared for you. I met new and wonderful people through you. Then like a romance going bad, you started making little changes that show me that the end of our love story is coming. And it makes me sad, very, very sad.

I have not given up on our love just yet. Oh no. But be aware that I see the signs coming. You can still change back into the site I used to love, although my hope diminishes by the day. You keep making changes that cause hundreds if not thousands of vendors and buyers beg you to change, and you quite simply, ignore them. I do not want you to become another EBay or Facebook because you are Etsy - and that is indeed a grand and glorious thing!

In the past six months, I have seen you change the thriving forum community on Etsy into a fond memory. Oh sure - they are still there - but they are a fragment of what the community once was because YOU disbanded them. You forced people to join teams for the same things that they used to do in the forums - only we reached a much larger audience through the forums. By doing this, you have made it much harder for customers to actually be able to find us. (Not that it was ever easy to find us through Etsy - but the old forums did make it easier.)

Then there was the whole privacy debacle that occurred recently. What would EVER possess you automatically "opt in" everyone so that their information would be shared on the site??? Why would you think that this would be a good thing? Why did you not notify everyone of this change ahead of time??? Whoever thought that this was a good decision, needs a serious time out in the corner to think about what he has done. I don't need another Facebook in my life - one is enough.

And then there are the front page listings I have seen of late. The one that really made me upset - and made me realize that my unique, handmade, original jewelry designs mean nothing to you - was the listing for "sawdust"( Yes - a listing for FRESH (because who wants stale) sawdust made it to the front page of Etsy. (You can throw it instead of rice at a wedding.) So for $2.99 + shipping and handling, you can own a 5x7" bag of sawdust. Now Etsy, I realize that I am MUCH more expensive than $2.99, but you know - I was really hurt by this betrayal. I put a lot more effort into my items than scooping some sawdust off the floor, so I do feel that I am worth more than $2.99 + s&h. And you felt that this was front page worthy??? Really. Well - that does make me feel pretty worthless to you - and makes me pretty darn angry.

I was thinking that maybe I would open another store called "Stuff in A Jar" or even "Sh*t in a Jar" and see what I could come up with that might be front page worthy. I have some dryer lint around here - I know I could get a jar or 2 of that pretty quickly. And I have some pretty unruly dust bunnies ("Just in time for Easter!") that I could wrangle up. (They are organic, free-range dust bunnies.) And I have plenty of dust around here as well. All of these would go nicely in a jar. I could even add glitter and sequins to them for that added touch.

Please Etsy, don't make me break up with you. I don't want too. Please don't make me. I want us to be happy and committed to each other and walk into the sunset hand-in-hand together. I want us to be "happily-ever-after." Please stop the suicidal mission that you seem to be on - one that is driving away vendors and buyers. We love what you once were...

Saturday, March 26, 2011

What to do?

Many times, I think about blogging - and then don't because I am not sure what to write. I try to keep my blog focused on my jewelery - with the occasional update about my life as I want my readers to get to know me. Plus - how boring would my blog be if every post was "Look at what I made!" or "Here's my newest creation!" I love making jewelery (don't get me wrong) but reading a blog like that would quite simply bore me.

Many of my fellow bead weaving artisans are very creative with their blogs. They talk about anything and everything and somehow relate it to their business or their designs. I struggle with this. I find inspiration from searching the web often times which is not exactly the most exciting topic of discussion. And so I am back to the question: "What to do?" or more exactly "I know I need to update my blog but I have absolutely no idea what to talk about."

And so we arrive here:

I am blogging a little about my life today. Not long ago, I posted about the tumult in my life and the uncertainty I was facing after losing my job. It took me a while, but I have found a new job as a server at a breakfast place. Now those of you who actually, personally know me will think that hell has indeed frozen over as I am *NOT* a morning person. Nope. No way. Snowball has a better chance in hell than me actually being a morning person. But here's the thing: I have been there several weeks so far - and I am truly liking it. I don't hate getting out of bed in the morning. I actually WANT to get out of bed in the morning - and the only time I have said that I didn't want to go into work was 1 morning in which I really, really, really wanted to go back to sleep. I am holding out hope that I may in fact become a morning person although I will be sad to put the "night owl" to rest so to speak. (I have always loved the peace and the quiet of the middle of the night.) I want to function on a "normal" schedule without it feeling like a drag.

On the jewelery front, the new job has given me more time to work on making jewelery. I am focusing more on my stores online. I have quite a few new designs coming, but the biggest problem I have is taking pictures. I simply hate doing it. The process has gotten easier, but I still hate doing it. I will share pictures with you once I get some more taken and of course when I have some new pieces to show you.

Last but not least, the new job has allowed me to spend more time with Ansel. I do enjoy his company a lot. At the old job, we were often like 2 ships passing in the night as he would be getting home from work and I would be going in - and by the time I got home he would be already asleep or close to it. Last week, we had the following exchange that I found really funny:

Ansel (after looking at my rather messy work uniform): "You are a mess. I could work all day and not get anything on me."
Me: "Well, not everyone can be perfect like you are, darling."
Ansel: "Now, now let's get this straight. I am ONLY perfect on Tuesdays and since today is Friday, you will just have to wait until Tuesday for perfection." =)

Good night all!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

It's a fiesta!

OK - maybe it is not really a fiesta - but my newest design certainly feels like a party! I am calling it my Day of the Dead inspired piece. I love the bright colors I chose for this one - and I am really pleased with how the little skulls turned out. The boy skull is wooing the girl - and since she is all puckered up for kiss, the flower he is holding in his mouth must have done the trick! =)

I also have pictures to show you of my Butterfly Dreams bracelet done with a yellow butterfly - it is certainly cheerful!

And last but not least, I have pictures of the art deco choker that I made. It turned out great! I need to find a wealthy rock star as I have decided that I need to make this one into a guitar strap.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Boil, boil, trouble and toil...

Well, I am here. I managed to survive the holidays this year, but I was terribly glad to see them go. My grinch-like persona was magnified by this being the first holiday season without my Dad. Add to that being completely and totally broke - and well - it was a relief when it was over.

The last few months have been chaotic for me. I have struggled at work as I discovered that this was toxic environment to work in. It is hard to stay positive as a server when everything around you brings you down. It all came to a head last Friday night when I slipped and said a cuss word (mind you - away from my tables and no guests heard me) and a manager heard it. In my defense - I had worked 32 hours in 3 days and was pretty exhausted at that point - and was not pleased when I got sat another table that night (after already being there over 10 hours). Monday, I come to find myself without employment which is quite honestly stressing me out. I know I should not have said it - but I did and I cannot take it back. I felt terrible about it right away - and apologized quite a few times about it - but I am human and unfortunately it was a mistake. I have learned from it but hope that I will be able to find gainful employment quickly. However, I am firm in my belief that God does not close one window without opening another.

So, I find myself suddenly with quite a bit of free time on my hands in between searching for a job online and filling out applications. So I have been busy beading. Above I have shared with you the pictures of projects taken over the past few months - but were never posted here on my blog. There will be more pictures coming over the next few days/weeks as I have quite a bit more on my plate - and several patterns that are waiting to be beaded - not to mention all the projects that simply need to be completed. What can I say? I have completion issues. =)

And last but not least, today would have been my Dad's 65th birthday. I miss you so much - you are still my number 1 fan.