December 8, 2008

Indiemade Craft Market Report

Well done Ann and Terri! 

No one could believe it was the first ever... not the vendors, not the attendees. It was crowded and really well organized and great vendors were selected to be there. Of course, being only the third of my year's experiences for shows, I don't have quite as much experience as a vendor. But, all the more experienced that I spoke to concurred with me on that point. There were even a lot of great customers there I would love to see again! It was a great show, and everyone said so to the organizers as they were packing up and heading home too - I heard quite a few of them. 

Another one is planned for June and of course a repeat of the December show as well next year. I've already expressed interest in being at both. I'll let you know. 

Yes, a good show also means I sold a bit of jewelry - and gave out even more cards. The music was pretty good too, but the first of two was an acoustic lilith fair style cover band - yes, two chicks and their guitars - that eventually drove a few of us batty. Really, that was the only disappointment of the day though. 

Phil even helped out a lot. I'm really glad he was with me. 

And now for the pics:

Phil was sitting right infront of that vintage santa poster and, of course, now has a close up of the poster on his phone. Some of his friends to now as well;} 

Thanks to everyone who was there. It was great to meet everyone and I hope I get the chance to run into you all again in the Summer, if not before! 

December 2, 2008

Getting Ready for Indiemade

Well, I'm powering through new designs and getting even more ideas right and left - most of which will have to wait until later, but that's how it often is. 

I just posted a whole slew of jewelry shots - all stuff I've made in the last couple weeks in preparation for the Indienade Craft Market on Sunday - on the Flickr... there's a slide show thing in the middle right of this page (next to the pic of the Citrine earring) if you want to click on it and check them out. Plus, here's a couple for you now: 

This is a brooch I made a couple of days ago with an AzuriteMalachite cabachon all hand wrapped in Sterling Silver. The pin base is steel for a stronger base though. I wrapped the Silver around it. Mostly this is Silver, and stone... and of course, as always, it's the only one. 

There are two of these, being earrings and all, but I only took a picture of one. It was really hard to get the color right. This is a 1940's Vintage Czechoslovakian Crackle Glass bead (that's the main theme for this show) with Citrine. The light on this eventually came out really nice and the Citrine just glowed. They're on 14K Gold Fill wire and hooks and the other earring swirls in the other direction. Don't snort... not all of them are mirrored like that...

Ok. I have to start scrounging for food to make dinner with and get back to the making. 

If you're in the Allentown, PA area on Sunday - grab your wallet and come on in! If you get there early enough, you'll get a swag bag - which will have one of my rings in it; and first dibs on all the new stuff. Bring lots of cash though. Not sure if I'll be able to connect to wifi and get the credit card thing goin. Not sure if anyone will. There's a lot of talent scheduled for this and unlike most of craft shows, there's a bar AND food to go with the live music and crafty sellers. 

Wish me luck and maybe I'll see someone I know... anybody? Hint, hint;}

November 10, 2008

Quicky Stormville Fleamarket Pics


You wanted pics of Stormville, I have a lot to do. 

Yes there are things I want to write about, but I'm saving on the electric by not turning on the heat just yet so my hands are a little cold and stiff and I have to make some jewelry to get ready for the Indie show on December 7th so I thought I'd just pop up some pics of the booth at Stormville - no jewelry wearing that day I'll tell you... it was windy and cold and a lot of displays did not get put out because everything was blowing; the tent next to us came up and sailed away with the vendor at one point! That was exciting. 

Anyway, this is all that Phil took of the set up we had. There are tons of pics of other stuff he took and I think some of them got on his iStock page; but this is all he took of our tent: 

I'm off to make, so type atcha more after the Craft Market

November 3, 2008

The Skinny on the Stormville Flea Market

Well, we went to Stormville yesterday. 

Headed out with an hour to get there; just enough time to get there before the opening time of 8 am. Making good time, almost half an hour to get there and almost there when we got stuck in traffic two exits off the I-84 behind a small pickup - with a trailer - that had caught fire. The pickup, not the trailer. Took almost half an hour to get past that. 

Which meant, that when we finally got close to Stormville, it was exactly opening to public time so it took another half hour of stop and start traffic to just get in! Damn! Streams of cars from all directions! frustrating and kind of crazy! [Around 2pm I heard a woman in front of our tent talking on her phone saying she'd just got there, that it took her and hour to get in, half an hour in line to get food and another half an hour in line to use the bathroom...]

So, by the time we got to our space, driving through hundreds of people to get there - not one casualty, thank you - it was already 9 am; an hour into the event! By the time we got set up, it was 10 am... two hours late. Not a great start to the day but it was a lovely, bright sunny - if not a bit cold and a little windy - day. So, considering that, and what every regular vendor I heard talking about was saying (no one is buying this year), it was still a good day. 

Mostly because right as I was finishing the initial set up, Esther came by with Bill (yay!) and bought the Copper Carob necklace I made last year. It looked fabulous on her, I must say. That took care of my entrance fee and the other costs of getting there so that got my late day off to a good start. 

There were so many people there and a lot of just looking, but a lot of business cards were taken and there were a few small sales plus a lot of wonderful comments made; And at the end of the day, as the sun was setting, a woman who had looked earnestly earlier in the day came back - the only one of many who said they would who did - and bought 5 pieces in the brand new Old Czech Candy Collection. That made the day really worth it! Thanks Chris! 

Phil hasn't uploaded the pics he took of yesterday at Stormville yet, but here's one from the fleamarket we went to at Woodstock's Mower's Market in September:

That fleamarket was not really worth our time... but we had a little fun at least... and good pizza afterward. 

Last night we stopped by Beacon on the way home (to drop off a couple things and close up the shop - thanks for looking after pearldaddy, Mia!) and ate at The Piggy Bank. That was ok. If we weren't so hungry, we probably wouldn't have enjoyed it as much... maybe. Well, the sweet potato fries were really good. Actually, I'm going to have my left overs right now for lunch. 

Then I have chores to do so that's all of the reportage for now. I'll write more as I'm getting ready for the Indiemade Craft Market (December 7th). Til then...

October 20, 2008

Come See Me in Stormville!

Well, I've been a little blog quiet lately, I know. Been getting ready for the upcoming shows 1st thing next month and in December and apparently, according to Phil, I've turned into something of a one woman sweat shop. 

So much to make and do to get ready and so little "free" time to do it in. 

Which is to say, this is as long as this entry will get. I'll definitely add another entry with a couple pics thrown in of the event right afterward but, then I have to make more stuff for December's outing. So thanks for checking in and I'll do my best to get more than one entry in a month in the near future. 

Thanks for caring and, of course, let  me finish by saying:  If you happen to be in the Hudson Valley on the 2nd of November, I'd love it if you'd stroll into the New Merchandise section of the Stormville Airport Flea Market and see what I've been toiling over. Who knows, maybe you can pick up a gift or two? 

September 15, 2008

My Life In Limbo; How You Doin?

So much I want to write about, so little time, energy  and a/c. Yes, it's been brutally hot around the computer's this Summer and my work environment is woefully under funded and totally bereft of refridgerated air. The home computer is out of range in a corner in front of a full sun all day window. That just is not where you want to be to try to do anything, let alone compose your thoughts. Plus, as most of you have experienced where ever you are, it's been unusually and unseasonably warm this year with strange cold snaps which I have loved. Which leaves me not wanting to be infront of a computer for any reason... 

Which is good, because I've actually been in hyper create mode. Getting ready for a few things I've planned into my year's end:

Three fleamarkets and a craft show.

Heading to Woodstock, NY next Sunday (Sept. 21st) with a tent, a couple tables, a rug, a bunch of stuff we want to get rid of - or need to get rid of - and a mess o' jewelry. Wish me a good day! Cause a lot of people from the area told me I would do well at Mower's Market, so they better be right;]

If it's a good day, I'll do it again toward the end of the middle of next month at the same place. If not, then the next one will be at the Xmas in November fleamarket at the Stormville Airport on the 2nd. That one is limited to just one type of thing if it's new stuff, which my jewelry kinda is. So, just jewelry at that one. Supposed to be a big deal though, which is reflected in the cost of a space for sure, so wish me luck on that one too. 

AND if you're in the neighborhood, you should drop by the last one; at the Starlite Ballroom in Allentown, PA on the 7th of December. That's the Indiemade Craft Market show repleat with live music. Really looking forward to that one. AND if you go, AND get there early, you might be one of 50 to get a Swag Bag - I was only asked to make 10 items to include, but I'm going to try to get 50 done (simple wire wrapped rings I learned to make just for this purpose). Totally worth getting there early for! 

Wanna see some of the stuff I've been making to sell under the tents? OK.

Here's a Brass, Agate, and Rose Quartz bird's nest pendant:

This is a Copper and 40's Vintage Czech Crackle Glass bead ring:

This is a necklace that matches the ring with Hill Tribe Thai Vermeil beads added to the Vintage Czech Glass:

I have more to show you, but I have to get back to making more of it. Let you know how it went next week - or the week after that... 

P.S.   Did anyone else notice that they used the theme song for Briscoe County Junior for the Olympics in Beijing? I always thought that crappy song was why the series was cancelled, but the arrangement they used sounded ok for the Olympics - though, I did see cowboys on horseback and a train crashing off a cliff every time I heard it...

August 6, 2008

No Time to Blog, Gotta Run


Cough. Weeze. Gasp. Choke. 

No energy... working too much to think... no blogging because no home alone time... too busy... must take random freelance part time jobs before and after work and on days off... sorry... means no blogging...


July 15, 2008

Second Life (No, Not The Virtual One)...

Well, it looks like things are winding up.

A good weekend and the imminent threat of art sales - and one actual sale - are perking up the outlook for the soul sucking boutique of destiny and I'm spending my beginning of the week weekend just cleaning and relaxing and, now, writing. Which always makes me feel a little like a slug, but calms the nerves a bit so it's A-OK for the general mental health. Plus, I did my sit ups yesterday and plan to do some push ups (and laundry) with a little running up and down the stairs (with and without laundry in hand) a little later today. Though, I'm only going outside to get the mail. 

It's MY weekend and I'll be a hermit if I want!

In fact, I'm feeling so stressed and burnt out; I might just veg in front of the TV a little extra bit today too. Watch a movie, if one I want to see happens to be on (or find one on demand if possible). It's amazing how soothing the dancing lights and suspension of disbelief can be if used in an appropriate manor. Now, I'm not condoning addiction, mind you. It's all about moderation and knowing when enough is enough. As with anything. Though, the afore mentioned can indeed be very addictive. 

Ok. So, the whole point of last week's entry (and this weeks too) is how addictive some things can be. I might have sold a couple of large paintings for my current artist (buyer is on vacation so I'll know next week) and the weekend was a good one sales wise so now, I'm thinking maybe I've been too hasty in my retreat. However, as my wise young mother so aptly pointed out:

Running a business tends to make us display clear signs of gambling addiction behavior. 

You're up, you're down... if I can just hold out a little longer, my ship will come in... especially in the first year - even though, technically it's the 6th for pearldaddy, it's a new location and it's a new format, layout, product offerings, etc; so it's a first year equivalent...

Which means I'm back and forth between: "what the hell was I thinking" and "it could be really good, if I can just hold out a little longer" kind of head spinning stress thoughts. Along with alternate ending type thoughts and what to do to pick things up or move them in a new direction. Oh, and trying to think things through a little more without making snap, and possibly hasty decisions - well, not too much anyway. Which just plays back into the "If I can just hold out a little longer" mentality.

So, ya... a drink and a good movie starts looking like a much better idea than running around working my ass off and getting nowhere faster. 


I'll take a veg break and recharge the batteries and start running around again. Until I need another recharge. 


Only the fates can tell. 

July 7, 2008

The End of The Beginning - Or is it The Beginning of The End?

Well, I fought like a pit bull. I worked like a dog. The sweat, blood and tears that went into moving the store to Beacon does not seem to have paid off. Struggle and strife and no support from the original owner (and personal friend), and mostly just lip service support from the meager general public that does come through, has left everything teetering on the brink and now it looks like the year of hard work and money dumped into making it happen was wasted. 

Yes, this means Fish has said: "Close the store"

I say: "But it's only been a year! Though, it's been a hard and harried one... I put so much of me into this place it's a shame not to see it through to the rest of the year at least... Plus, I just got the online store up, we should at least give that time to bring in sales too..."

And other such things that constantly run around in my head. Torn between knowing that it's time to let go and the knowledge that the first year is always the hardest in a new business. Between exhaustion and the nagging voice that says: Hang on for just a little longer. Let's face it. 50 miles from the original location with virtually no original customers following us over is starting from scratch. I knew that going in. I thought Fish knew it and was going to help. Eh... Things aren't always as they seem or even as spoken of. Though, to be fair, he did try to take out a business loan. Denied. Not surprising in this economic climate I suppose. Or with Fish's track record of not really keeping track, and talent for getting ripped off and stuck in contracts he can't get out of. Oh, and for not getting paid for working. 

Looks like that one might be some kind of virus he passed on to me. I suppose closing would be the acute solution. 

Cons: There's just not enough business and I've been unable to pay the rent on time for the last three months (still don't have the rent yet for this month) and barely able to pay the store bills... let alone my bills...  without back up and reserves, it means the end. Kaput. Over. Stuck so far in debt, the few improvements and ads that may help are out of reach and create a vicious circle. There are A/C issues and another portable that doesn't work that needs to be sent back but, to keep anyone in the store in the summer, A/C is necessary - it's also a necessity for me to be able to make anything and do the custom work  I am asked to do. Plus, I have artists booked for exhibits through until next Fall, so I'll have to cancel all those shows. 

Pros: (with some additional Cons) A lot of people are coming in and saying they will definitely be back - but (Cons:) they are taking an awfully long time to make it back in. Everyone likes the look of the store so the toil was worth it - but (Cons:) it was a lot of time and money that hasn't been made back yet and may have to be forfeited into the building if we close now. Custom work requests are picking up - but (Cons:) with the a/c not working and closure lurking on the horizon; it's a struggle to decide if it's worth getting a new one if we're closing because then I'll just have to sell it a month or two after I get the new one but I can't work if I'm sweating and no one will stay and buy anything to help us at least clear things out... Everyone likes the art work we've exhibited and a lot of artists want to show in our gallery - but (Cons:) I have yet to sell any of it. 

Oh, it just keeps going on. 

So, yes. The woes of being a small, non-essential goods, business in hard economic times compounds the first year business problems. And; with energy levels, morale, customers and therefore funds, running very low; it is with a heavy heart that I prepare to throw in the towel and work on developing Plan C. 

Apparently, Plan B didn't work. 

I should probably work on a Plan D and E just incase too. 


I need a long nap, long vacation, steady income, and some perspective. 

June 17, 2008

Treasure is Where We Find It?!

You know the saying:

One man's trash is another mans treasure... well, that goes for women too... probably for some animals as well... It's a matter of taste and style and upbringing and interests. Always is, no matter what you're talking about. 

I personally love trash AND treasure. I like treasure from trash and I like some trashy treasures. I was a dumpster diver when I was a kid. That was some good treasure, I'll tell you what! 

We lived behind the local shopping center so we could go diving for everything from still good food to toys! Yes, there was a toy store that threw stuff out! Broken display stuff mostly but, there were the occasional broken but still fun toys too. Plus, the other side of the street had a huge vacant, hilly lot that provided a place to build a hidden fort - where we could stash some of our dumpster goods if only have a place to play with them so our parents wouldn't know we'd been dumpster diving - and a lot of native plants and animals to wonder at and catch. Something which made us well known in the pet store as well. Though, I kinda feel bad about it now, we used to catch blue bellies (lizards) and sell em to the pet store for a quarter... which we'd inevitably give them back for the privilege of watching them feed the MataMata turtle - who was supposedly 150 years old! 

Ah, good times. 

This was also a time when my Cracker Jacks were giving up the occasional cool metal toy - like working compasses - and my mother and grandmother were giving me their unwanted extra and broken costume jewelry. Which got even better as I was learning things like how to string jewelry from parental friends during our occasional weekend days at the flea market. Now that was a lesson in finding treasure wherever you looked if there ever was one. It may have even been my inspiration for some of the first jewelry I ever made - from Cracker Jack and gumball machine toys. Mostly earrings, but the occasional necklace too. Still have some of those somewhere. In a box in the garage no doubt. 

Since my mom was also a single one (hi mom!), I was  getting dragged to the field portions of her geology classes around that time too; due to lack of babysitters, and possibly the unending sound of "please take us". That was GREAT! We had our own hammers and got to search for fossils in the shale and sandstone along the creek just like all the adults. Found a geode or two and a fossil here and there. Nothing like banging on rocks to find treasure! Later, every time I went up to visit my mom and sis and aunt and cousins (hi everybody!), I got to wander around Park City finding crystals. Which I eventually learned to wire wrap and started making necklaces and earrings from. 

I still walk around looking at the ground or sifting through the edge of streams and rivers; picking up rocks that speak to me everywhere I go - and sometimes putting them into my jewelry - however, I'm ready to move into a new phase along those lines. So, I'm planning to travel around to all the dig your own gemstone places in the US (everything from diamonds to opals and all the precious stones inbetween!) and incorporate the raw, uncut, might polish them a little first, precious gems I find into some truly unique stuff. I'm aiming to start next Spring. 

I know it won't be everyone's idea of treasure (even though, technically, it will actually be considered precious and therefore: actual treasure) but the raw and found have always captivated me as much as, if not more so, than the finely cut and polished purchases I've made, so I want to reflect that more in my jewelry. 

Now, all I have to do is make my life more conducive to that particular goal.  All help and suggestions welcome! 

June 10, 2008

A Blog By Any Other Name

Everyone is blogging. 


Even Phil; who is a man of well chosen words. That means he's pretty quiet, for the most part. Though, when he has something to say, he has a lot of it to say. I think he stores it up. Usually he communicates through his music, art or photography. The last of which is the basis for his new blog, the name for which came to him before the content. Well, actually, when he went to start his blog, there were already two that had differently spelled versions of the same name Phil was going to use, so he settled on this:

Which is a play on his more well known online moniker: The Polywog
(and contrary to the copyright info at the bottom of the polywog site, I actually took both of the pics of Phil that he uses for each of the two sections on his website. I should probably make him credit me, noh?)

Not a lot of verbiage on this new outlet. Not a lot on his website either. All his descriptions, stories and musings are short and to the point but, I think, pretty interesting. Right now, there's just a small selection of his amazing nature photography (with a lot more to come) and a story of how one set of those photos came to be. 

I'll probably be getting roped in to check for mistakes and even edit those few words from time to time and even though it probably wont be updated on a regular basis, when he does update, he changes and adds a lot. So, if you like what you see, check back regularly - just in case. 

Now, if I can just get him to add his magic touch to the design for my blog... 

June 2, 2008

No Fuel From Food!!!

A couple years ago, when I heard about the new fuel they were making from corn, I was happily surprised that they finally figured out how to and started making fuel from the wasted corn stalks. Which is what any normal person would have assumed right? Who in their right mind would make ethanol fuel from the actual corn? Which is, as I read further and found out, is exactly what they're doing. Plus biodiesel production from Soybeans (now one of the leading illegally denuding farming culprits in the Amazon rain forests) and Palm Oil (plantations of which are now destroying the forests of Indonesia, Malaysia and Borneo) is becoming such a huge industry that it's affecting people in other parts of the world too. With the millions of extra acres needed to grow food plants for fuel, that also means billions of fewer trees to absorb the problem they're being cut down to solve. Which also leads to other problems, as most of us know, such as lower biodiversity and water issues.

But, with the new flex fuel cars, other straight alcohol burning cars, electric and hydrogen fuel cell cars being designed and developed; plus lots of scientists working on ethanol from non-food sources and lighter, stronger materials to use in basic construction and longer lasting batteries; it looks like a move is being made in the right direction. 

Wrong. The flex fuel cars are only available on a limited basis and mostly sold in the corn belt, where E85 is available all over. Surprise. Not really, since the government actually gives huge subsidies to farmers to use their corn crops for fuel and virtually no money to research and production of other non-food sourced ethanol; with absolutely no discernment between processes that cause more pollution in the production phases and ones that don't. And, E85 flex fuel efficiency is already way lower than regular fuel. Oh, that and the production process of corn based ethanol is actually polluting more than the end result saves, so it's actually making more of an environmental problem. It's a lose/lose product. Can you say: "Greedy scam!"?

With all the hype, you'd also think the move to hybrids is a good thing. Which it is, if the technology is optimized. Did you know that the newer "more efficient" electric with gasoline back up hybrids actually get worse gas milage than the discontinued gasoline with electric back up ones did? Honda Insight was the first of the later type and it got lower gas mileage as it was rereleased right up until it was discontinued but, still gets better gas mileage than the newer hybrids of the same size! Actually. It got about the same gas mileage as a Geo Metro. Hell, I get the same gas mileage on my five year old non hybrid Hyundai as a friend does with a similar sized, brand new, Honda Hybrid! As for the other hybrid options, well, they aren't even options until they start making them. 

So, even though over use of mass produced food based biodiesel is becoming a definite problem, current ethanol fuels are still the worst of the "environmental" helpers here in the States. Besides all the other problems, most of the ethanol from corn is going into our regular gas tanks - none of which are made to run on alcohol - which actually makes every tank of gas "up to 10%" less fuel efficient (I get up to 10 miles a gallon more on gas without ethanol or very little ethanol added!) which means we're all buying more gas so it defeats the purpose. Not to mention the production process for the corn ethanol they're spiking our tanks with is actually more polluting over all than if we didn't use it. 

So, how does this directly relate to jewelry makers and other crafters? 

Well, more food being used for fuel is mostly what's driving up food prices - even when fuel costs are lower - so more people are spending otherwise disposable income on necessities. Worse gas mileage while prices are so high means more of that same income is being spent on gas. Which means less money being spent anywhere else. Which is why fewer people are coming out to the fairs and shows. Crafters and artists and designers, of course, are all in the same boat: paying high prices while trying to make a living, while no one can afford to help them out in that respect. Plus, with delivery costs being so high, all of our basic necessities for our crafts are increasing in cost as well, so we have to charge more to make a profit. Not a good thing. 

It all effects everyone in some way, and this particular "It" is a doozy! If this race to make food based fuel keeps up, it's only going to get worse. Even when gas prices go back down. 

Eliminating corn, and other food crops, as fuel will lower the prices of ALL food products. Eliminating ethanol from our fuel will increase efficiency (and actually reduce the pollution the corn ethanol production makes), and so require less gas while the prices are so high (so does keeping your car tuned and regularly maintained by the way). Changing over from gas to fuels made from waste products, or to electric, will strengthen the country's economy over all. That in turn will mean more money goes back into the regular economy and everyone wins. It's really simple economics. 

So, what can you do to help change this current abuse and get us all moving to the win/win situation we'd all like to be in? Lobby to have the 10% ethanol requirement removed. Write your representatives and tell them you want a ban on using food for fuel and the subsidies going to pay for that food based fuel rerouted to people producing switch grass, algae, corn stalks and other waste product fuel. Tell them you want research grants to go to people working in these fields so they can speed up the research process to get viable mass production from those sources in the next couple years, not ten. If you can afford it, invest in companies that are investing in more sustainable fuel production (GM, surprisingly, is one of them). Tell the major car companies that you will buy their cars IF and WHEN they run on non-gas, non-food fuels; ask if you can reserve yours now. Plug in hybrids are a good idea too; and those are currently  much more feasible for a quick turn around for change; so encourage the companies that have put that technology on the shelf to bring it down. Tell your representative you want extensive tax breaks for switching over to non-gas powered transport now. 

If we all encourage government and commerce to invest in the infrastructure necessary to publicly provide these alternative fuels, now (most companies won't even start production until the fuels are widely available), things will start changing as soon the new government is in. You have to let them know that's a priority though. The more people who speak up, the more they will listen. You can even suggest that the government make these types of changes first. Starting with their own fleets! Hello, Post Office!? No lip service required. Telling them this now, and implying that making these changes is implicit in getting your vote, is key. 

Most people think this is going to take YEARS. In fact, the only barrier to the problems we have are more social and psychological - and governmental. If we speak out and demand products that are possible now, then the companies and government will change quicker. It would be economically better for everyone, so if everyone wants it... and makes a lot of noise about it... it will happen sooner. That's how California almost changed over to electric cars in a just a couple years. It's completely feasible and completely reasonable. As long as we all speak up and ask for it. Demand it. NOW!  

May 20, 2008

Writing For And About Others...

Guess what I did this week? Go ahead. I'll wait...

Ok. I'll tell you:

I wrote an intereview for Smidge. The Canadian website/forum/blog about all things Etsy cool and fabulous, and it's up there right now. It's on/with Jessica Pierce who created Spidercamp and it's all about her rude little rabbits - and pocket bacon - and why they exist. Oh, and about how super cool they are and how nice and talented Jessica is... ya, it's a bit kiss ass, but I really like her stuff (I got two of her rabbits for Phil, I'm looking at the little "poop" one now - I was the first one to get a tiny version, by special request, cause I'm so cool!;) 

I already know who I'm going to ask to do the next one too... the intereview on that is... but I'll let you know when I get a go ahead from subject and publication alike. 

Speaking of which, I have a spot in the Etsy group ad in the June issue of Bust Magazine that comes out today - well, probably just to subscribers - so peel your eyes for that and wish me money well spent! That would be another form of good luck...

I used this for my section of the ad:

But I haven't seen the ad yet... hopefully I'll be able to grab a copy soon and check out how it came out. Haha, I  just looked at the site and they have a single issue for sale, so I thought: I'll just have it delivered! Not going to happen! Cost me almost exactly the same price for shipping as the mag! Which would make the single issue cost, appropriately enough since it is the 15th anniversary issue, $15+! 

Crazy, I just checked out the bottom half of the online Bust homepage (under lady pink) and there was a picture of this past weekend's Beacon art event, Electric Windows! I missed it cause it was the exact hours the shop was open, but it looks pretty good. I'll definitely have to wander down and have look in person soon! Hmmm, seems you can let them know about special events right from and onto the website. I'll have to remember that for my next opening/special event! 

Ok. Got a lot to do and get done for the day so I'll leave it here for now and you guys go click around and check out and read and leave comments and have a fun day full of bad words and other things that start with the letter "B". I'm off to clean the bathroom! 

May 13, 2008

It's All About the Blog...

Talking with my significant where would I be without the other day and the topic of Blogs came up. As it does so often in the news and on comedy shows and other places in daily life these days, blogs just come up. This particular conversation started out:

Where did the name "Blog" come from?

This question is much like the question:

Why do they call them "Biners" in the U.S. and "Crabs" in Oz? 

It's the kind of question that leads to the pondering of such things as:

If they were made famous in another country, would they be called something else? And what would that something else be? (this is the cue for you all to jump in with pithy comments!)

The answer to the Q. that started the whole thing is inevitably: It's short for web log. As far as I know. But, people were doing this long before it was common and commonly known as a blog. So, what was it called in the early incarnations? 

Web Diary. Blather. Newsletters. Letters. (another perfect place to add comments and ideas about)

As many of you have already read, or knew before, I'm not really partial to the blog moniker. It sounds like a verbalized euphemism for online diarrhea... or vomit... which, I guess, in some cases it is. 

Personally, I prefer to think of it all as a kind of cathartic release. A silently verbal pressure release valve. (another cue for comments right here)

When I join the forums and read the advice for why and how you should blog when I'm roaming Etsy, they all seem to allude to the "promotion" issue. Ok. Some are just straight out saying: Blog to promote! I'm not really in agreement with this advice. On the whole. Obviously, there is some shameless self promotion featured prominently on my blog site. There is also some promotion of others and recommendations of things I think are fun and entertaining. However, I don't feel inclined to use the wordy aspect of the blog medium for shameless mememeness. 

Ok. The whole thing is not always about me, but in general, it is my thoughts and what I'm doing. THAT is the point of doing this though, isn't it? To express thoughts and ideas to and with people you don't connect regularly enough with or who you might not connect with otherwise? My intention for starting this was to allow my friends and family a place to check in to see what I'm up to and get a feel for what my life is like when they aren't around (which is, with most everyone I know living in another state or country, unfortunately most of the time). Sometimes that includes stuff about my jewelry (which then pertains to my Etsy shop); sometimes it's just random thoughts expressed on the computer (which is aimed primarily at my friends). Depends on where my head is at the day I sit down to write and what pops out through my fingers when I actually get into the act of spewing. 

Well, yes. Spewing. That is definitely the way it feels, AND, definitely the kind of thing that fits right into the sound you get when you talk about the thing you are now reading. They do call it a BLOG; and what sounds more like an onomatopoeia for spewing than that? 

May 5, 2008

The Revolution May Very Well Be Online

Whew! This running three business things is taking it's toll. I'm ready to go back on the road. Waaay more relaxing! 

Just opened another Etsy store for pearldaddy Wed. Extra pearls and clasps and things like that for sale. Right now, supplies. More pictures taken and some jewelry will get added in the next couple weeks too. So, I've been doing as much promotion online as I can - mostly while at the store - and trying to get all the things that keeping that place open entails too. Which is a lot. Have a couple custom orders I have to get to next week. Had to order some things for that so I have a week before I can really get started. 

Big art opening on Saturday at pearldaddy too. Party with music and all planned. So, there is still that to prepare for. Just finished the store newsletter today and'll get that cleaned up and off in the virtual mail later tonight. I also added a new listing on my regular Etsy site today. Spent the morning editing the photos and writing the description then did a bit of promo surfing. In the Treasury, leaving comments. In the forum joining in conversations and leaving links. Going to blogs and commenting there. (oh, I've got a pendant and chain in the Smidge May Giveaway; if you want to leave a comment there for your chance to win it:  OR you can always just get one from my Etsy store below)

My whole week has pretty much been spent in front of the computer. AND, I'm looking to pick up another part time job that will require an additional 10 hours or so infront of the computer. One of those do from home things working for someone else with an online store presence. 

I added a bunch of new links on this blogsite too. Some fun stuff to do and great places to look for cool stuff. Some Etsy related and some not. Look around and see what you can find. I'll probably be rearranging it as you look so don't freak out if you come back from a link and the link is somewhere else. I think I'll spend the rest of the week changing the blog layout around. Just so I can burn the hell out of my retinas! 

I don't think it's possible to spend too much time on the computer, no matter how nauseous it makes me feel. No matter how much my arms and wrists hurt. No matter how much my eyes burn. The computer is where it all happens! I have to be where it's all happening! 

Heck. I think I'll just set myself up with a table and a tent and hit the road! 

See that blaaahhg later in the year;}

April 22, 2008

Back in New York and Rarin' to Sleep

Wow. I have to do more of those parties! 

It actually started snowing as we were driving to the hostess's house - and didn't stop until we left! So, the turn out was a little lower than expected but, it was still pretty good. And it was a lot of fun - a lot of work, but still - a lot of fun. And it was great to see everyone. And I sold a few things and took a custom order. AND, got some requests to come back later in the year for another couple of parties. It was a good experience. 

I did wind up bringing a lot more than I sold... Though, there were a lot of positive comments on even the stuff that didn't sell, so that was encouraging. 

April 4, 2008

There Ain't No Party Like a Family and Friends Jewelry Party!

So, I'm doing a jewelry party a week from Tuesday. Excited, and stressed about it all at once. 

This is my first one so it's going to be the test and the big learning curve event for all parties to come. Plus, financially, I kind of need the party to go well. ie: I need to sell a bunch of jewelry. I have no idea how many people are coming to buy jewelry, so I don't know how much to bring. I need to bring enough for the people who are planning to buy, but I don't want to bring too much either since it's pretty far away. I don't really have a way of displaying anything except by loose display in the boxes they come in either, so I'm hoping that won't be a problem. That's the stress part. Which isn't really too bad as far as stress goes - except for the financial need part. 

It should be a pretty big party, but I know a lot of people (family actually) who are coming later, just for the party part and not buying anything. Though, I have had some requests for somewhat specific things people want, so hopefully, that's a good sign of success to come. I'm planning to take custom orders while I'm at it too, so that will hopefully help with the financial success part.

Been thinking about doing a craft show or two as well. Of course, I have to buy or make a lot of displays to do that. It also seems that most of the ones listed near me are all juried. I don't know that I have a good enough photo of anything, let alone several things, to be included in a juried show. Or that my jewelry is actually appropriate for a juried show. Though, to be fair, some of the photos in the lesser know "juried" shows' websites don't show anything that's really that daunting as far as getting into the show. The whole thing is a bit daunting though. I'd really like to find a small local one to get started with or someone to share a table with at a bigger show. Someone with craft show experience. 

I really need a vacation from the store. I really need the store to start being more successful in the new location too. And support from my "business partner". I'm mostly stressed about what's going on with that right now. Ah, the Happy Blahg;} Blahg. Ha. That's funny. I need a vacation. 

March 25, 2008

Rainbows in the Sink

Sometimes I have one of those days: Nothing is going well; someone tried or did run into me on the drive into or while parked at work; machinery stops working or starts working like it's possessed by evil gremlins; no matter how gently I work the wire, the gemstones still break. Sometimes it just feels like the world is out to get me. 

Eh, we all have days like that, right? No point moping and sulking about it though. Too much to do. So, like a lot of people, I take steps to get over it. Occasionally, besides deep breathes and premeditated exercises in perspective, I'll also get a sign that everything is still just fine. 

In the form of rainbows. Not always in the sky either. In fact, as I age, the sky type seem to come less and less frequently but, the indoor types seem to get more so. I see them on the ceiling, on the walls, on the floor, in the sink... no prisms necessary! 

This last one came to me in the bathroom sink. There are these great blocks in the window that refract light - if it hits at just the right angle - into wonderful rainbows all over the place. I see the rainbows, stop, and everything seems much better. 

March 13, 2008

Mommy... Where Do Ideas Come From?

Ok. So I don't have kids tugging at my skirt asking me questions about life, the universe and everything but, I have had a lot of people ask me where I get my inspiration lately. A question I've always found odd. 



Just because. 

Ok. Not just because. Because it seems like a strange question to ask. Like: "why do I have a mouth?" or: "why do I think?". Strange because, what do you do with an answer to that question - where does inspiration come from? Do you use it to look for your own? Does it concretize the object the inspiration creates in some vast bubble of "Ohhhhh."? It's just something I've personally never wondered about in regards to anyone else's art or anything else. Personally. Myself. Plus, it's such a complicated question to answer. You might as well ask: "why do we exist?" 

Inspiration. Some people have it. Some people don't. That's it. Like being able to dance or play an instrument. Like seeing the sun rise and knowing life is good. Like watching the sunset behind a storm and being mesmerized by the color and shapes of the storm clouds roiling before it. It's just there. Or it isn't. No specific place. No specific thing. Many places. Many things make up inspiration. Sure. Skills can be learned, but there has to be talent to develop behind those skills or there is just robotic motion. Same with inspiration. Can't force it. Just has to be there.

Ok. That said. How does one answer such a question. Most artists say:
"I don't know. It just happened."

Or some such thing. Which makes art critics crazy so they wind up making something up; which is why they looooove to critique dead artist's work. No one to say: "That's not it at all." Which inevitably, all living artists do; at some point. 

Right. I just make jewelry and I make it mostly from other people's things. True. Right now. I have, however, created small metal sculptures from nothing. And choreographed movement to music. Something else I've at some point in my life created from nothing. Words form in my head and get translated into poetry and short stories and essays from time to time as well. Sometimes I draw things that are recognizable or swirl paint around so I can have pretty colors on something. I didn't go to art school. I have taken classes in different art forms. There is much I want to learn and more I want to do. I will. No. I don't consider myself an artist. I do consider myself artistic - though, sometimes I feel more autistic. 

(a picture of my favorite small sculpture - in Sterling)

I digress. 

I'm supposed to be answering the question: "Where do you get your inspiration?" aren't I? Ok. Here goes:


Really. From the things I see around me. From music and sounds I hear. From things I read. From the materials I have to work with. From my dreams. Sometimes things just pop into my head and I have an overwhelming desire to make it. Or write it down. Or move with it. 

Of course, sometimes there is no inspiration. Things won't work the way I want them to or my hands aren't working; or my mind. So, whatever I'm trying to do at the time gets set aside until a better time. This is a good thing to learn: If it isn't working out, walk away from it and come back later. If it still isn't working out, leave it alone a little longer and try again later. Eventually, if it's something you're supposed to do, it will work out. If not, there are always other ideas to work on. Personally, there are dozens of ideas still in my head - that's where I file them, mostly - that are just waiting for the right time to come out into the world. If the time is never right, there are dozens more that might get the chance. 

So, anyone else got a different outlook on inspiration? Leave me a note for all to see. 

March 5, 2008

The Perimenopause Blahs

Wow. Early menopause sure sucks. Well, certain parts of it anyway. Like the random headaches and nausea and worsening PMS symptoms... I did manage to make most of a necklace today. Ran out of light and then started getting a headache - which, apparently along with night sweats, dry eyes and nose, tenderness, nausea and achy joints - is something I'm just about getting used to getting. 

When this all started a year or so ago, I thought I was just getting intermittent fevers and chills and flu. Put it all together with a monthly cycle, month after month after month though, and it's pre-menopause. Which is fine. The night sweats aren't really bothering me that much any more - though, it is winter and if I don't keep covered I wind up getting chills; with night sweats. But the whole idea of getting to menopause early is great. Seriously, I've been looking forward to it for years now. And, since I don't have and don't want children, that whole getting old and barren depression aspect of it isn't an issue for me either.

I'm actually looking forward to post menopause now. This pre-menopause headache and random nausea, dry eyes and nose thing... Well, I guess I'm one of the lucky ones - only a small percent of women get ALL the symptoms and it looks like I'm pretty darned close. I don't have the mood swings and, well, and that's about it. I've got all the rest. So this part is like being sick all the time. That sucks. Oh, and all of a sudden, my younger than 40 year appearance is not so younger than. My skin is really getting the rough end of this. But, eh, character.

Maybe that's why I'm so obsessed with using old jewelry parts these days. Well, that and the fact that the quality and design is often so much better than modern costume jewelry parts. Which is probably why a lot of people are finding them and using them AND/OR making copies of the originals. And it's a great way to recycle.

Reuse doesn't really apply to most of the vintage I use since it never was used in the first place. There are a few people who have hoards of vintage beads and parts that were (or still are) part of original stashes of unused stock that've been hiding away in a warehouse for a few decades. There's actually a lot of it out there too. It makes more sense to use good condition parts from these supplies before contributing to the production of future unused stock. Though, it is necessary to get new supplies for some things, I still prefer to use as much old as I can. Old, like me... older!

Speaking of old... I just finished three Lucky Charms necklaces using mostly 60+ year old parts. There's a few (thank you all the vintage supply people on Etsy) copper and brass I got that are FRom the 60's, and 70's, but most of it (including the MOP pendants with the REAL four leaf clovers) date back to the 40's. Have a look:



Silver, Steel, and Rhodium Plated Brass (mostly)

Look for them in my Etsy shop next week. I'm off to enjoy some more night sweats - wheeeeeeeeee!

February 26, 2008

They Say It's Spring, The Birds Are Light As a Feather...

Hmmm... not sure that's how it actually goes, but I'm in the mood for a little Blossom Dearie. Took my mother to see her play when she was out here visiting a couple years back. She's still a pistol that Blossom!
It's been snowing a little here today, but I sure feel the Spring coming on. You know that feeling you get when the season is getting ready to change? A little antsy and rarin to go... I think that's what gets some people "Spring Cleaning"... it's like a Pre-Spring thing. The "Spring is Here" feeling is different. Once it's here, there's no staying inside! No concentrating on the work at hand. I think that's why I'm itching to make so much stuff right now.

As I type, there's a mostly finished necklace waiting for me to come back to it. Brass and green stones and beads with some of it OLD vintage and some of it newer. Charms and beads and lopsidedly balanced.
I'm a big fan of the lopsided. Always been an asymmetrical person. My face is lopsided. My hair is usually longer on one side. I have more earrings in one ear than the other. I even like to dress crooked when I feel I can get away with it.
Back in the day I even had my own look. No, Shabby chic was never my style, the way I put it together I used to call Hobo Chic:
Rayon traditional Chinese style shirt or dress and a skinny 20' or 30's silk tie around the collar or my neck; worn on top of well worn jeans or immaculate 60's pinstripe slacks, always with a huge buckle belt; and a 40's vintage semi bowler hat and High Tops just to make the look complete.
I still prefer mens clothes to women's. Loose fit to tight. Though, I do wear more of both of the latter these days. I seem to be wearing a lot less jewelry these days too - as I get older, I just don't put any on before I go anywhere. Ironic for someone who makes jewelry, noh? 

Well, when I was a master control operator for local TV, I didn't have a television... though, I did listen to a lot of music at home when I was a radio DJ... hmmm... and I did go out dancing a lot when I was choreographing and teaching fellow companymates technique... Ok. doesn't always follow. I almost never listen to music at home or go out dancing now... Maybe I'm just getting old?


Ok. Not really.  I'm actually what the kids call middle aged. No, wait. The kids call me old. Drat those kids!

So, I took some time to finish the necklace. Elegantly complicated. Convolute in it's simplicity. I'll get a picture or two in the next couple days and put it up for all to see next week. It's full of lucky charms. It's a March themed month. Everything I've been working on this month includes these gorgeous MOP pendants from the early to late 1940's that have real Four Leaf Clovers on them. I've got some imbedded in resin and mounted in Silver frames I plan to use for bracelets too. Right now, I'm mixing them with Copper and Brass, vintage and modern. There are leaves and horseshoes and coins; all wireworked into a dangling mess of beauty.

Let me know if you want one for your very own; I am now taking custom orders. I can even do some earrings if you want. I did some for the physical shop with the smaller MOP charms. Quite nice. Waiting for the replacement bulbs so I can get the pictures of the new stuff, but here's a look at the earrings and one necklace I did for the store:

Sterling Silver w/vintage Swarovski
Gold Fill with New Jade
Gold Fill w/vintage Japanese glass

I've got another Gold Fill necklace waiting to get photoed and Silver necklaces on the way... I better get busy! 

Ok. Off I go. Until next week...

February 20, 2008

The Spring in Your Bling

Well,  it might be threatening to snow later in the day, but my amaryllis have leaves and Mourning Doves have started cooing me awake each morning, and I felt like changing my blog to lighter colors so, I think Spring is imminent! To prove it, I've been making things with leaves and flowers and rocks and watery stones. Then photographing them to show others - who may eventually want to give me money to have it all to themselves...  or to give to someone else they'd like to have it more. 

I've also been making things with gemstones that look like those other things mentioned above (which I'd show you, but I'm  having trouble getting the images to upload and move around properly. Apparently,  it's only all in the same alignment or they load in the different arrangement on top of the blog and can't be moved around. hmmm. can't find any help issues that address this so I guess you only get the one image today and my blog will not be as planned. Looks like I'm going to have to learn a little more HTML so I can make it do what I want - any help with this problem would  be appreciated!)

Oh, and I did my bead Spring cleaning last week. Anyone else Spring cleaning? Inclined to? Know what I'm talking about? The car gets it tomorrow. Oil change, tire rotation, a good vacuuming... tune up when it's actually warm outside and I don't have to stay in the waiting room cause I don't want to brave the weather to walk down to the store and back while they're working on my mode d'transport. 

Yes, Spring is coming. 

The legs are getting fidgety to take long walks in the woods... inspiration from nature leaps to my mind and into my fingers and voila, creation... the ideas are pouring into my brain so fast they're practically keeping me from sleeping! Unfortunately, I'm having to file most of them away for now as the other menial but necessary tasks of life must take precedence. Noh? Well, they do if I want to have a roof from under which to work! 

Ah, life on the road. Those were the days. Not a care in the world - except the car. Hoping this year is the turning when I get to rome around the country plying my wares. Anyone who wants me to come visit them better be ready to host a rockin jewelry party so I can afford to come out! Rockin? With enough people ready to buy some jewelry that my trip is paid for AND the bills for that month. Work will have to be missed after all...

Anybody? I'm ready! 

Falalalla Spring....

February 13, 2008

Blah Blah ART blah Blah Create Blah blah!

I reorganized my beads etc. yesterday. I know. Sounds like FUN! You're all jealous, admit it! 

Had to though; I'd gotten to the point where I was just shoving all my new treasures in anywhere they would fit. I wound up not being able to find anything without taking everything out of every drawer and box... there are a lot of drawers and boxes to look in... and usually just not finding what I wanted at all! So, I decided to take EVERYTHING out (I was ass deep in beads!) and seperate and replace them all in a much more orderly fashion. 

It took most of the day to do it! [I cleaned the apartment first, naturally, but didn't get anything else done.]

Now, if I want my 1930's French Glass, I know where to find it. 1940's and 50's Swarovski? All in one drawer! Vintage German beads? They have 3 consecutive drawers divided by color shades: cool, warm, black/white. Pressed glass buttons? In the drawer with the modern glass beads. Precious metal plated leaves? You get the idea: All the modern is in the right stack, all the vintage in the left. Now, I can find what I'm looking for in half the time! Bring on the custom orders! 

So, since I felt compelled to get that out of the way on the first day of my mid-week weekend, I'm writing this blog entry a day later than my scheduled appearance. Hey. At least I'm writing. 

Hey again; is anyone watching Breaking Bad on AMC? Anyone out there living - or like me, having had lived - in ABQ? Did you see Sunday's episode? I thought the Crossroads got fixed up, it looked worse than I remember it... and that was definitely a Hollywood and Vine street walker and not a Central crack hooer... Noh? 

Just had to throw that in there;}

So, back to topic...

Now that my stash is better organized; I'm finishing this up and then getting straight to work on some more necklaces like the one I made for my sister's 40th (see "recently finished" pic). Though, since the heart shaped rock was found on the banks of the Hudson (and heart shaped river rocks are a little rare from my experience), and the leaves are real ivy coated in Sterling Silver (so each one is a different size and shape), and that particular style of prayer box doesn't seem to be out there anymore, and the chain is mostly vintage (so I'll run out of it soon with no more available to buy); they won't all look exactly like that. Did I mention the vintage station links? Or the hand wrapped Amethyst (birthstone) stamen and gewgah decoration? That always winds up a bit different too... jist? They're all going to be unique. Like most everything I make. 

The one I'm getting ready to work on now - because there is nothing I like to do more on a dark and snowy winter day - is with 14KGF wire, 40's Vintage Gold Plated chain and Brass links, with a 70's Vintage 24K Gold coated Ginko leaf as the center. I have a whitish yellowish river rock I'll use and some 30's Vintage French Glass bead - as yet unchosen - in place of the prayer box. Moonstone and Garnet replaces the Amethyst, and Sugalite and Crazy Lace Agate replaces the Botwana Agate and faceted Quartz Crystal. If I'm lucky, I'll be able to get it finished and get a picture up next week. I'm thinking closer to the end of the month for this one though. Lots of other stuff going on that keeps interrupting my jewelry making. Damn and Blast! 

In the meantime, you'll just have to gawk at the one my sister will be wearing after this weekend and then, when you can't stand it anymore, drop a line to ask me to make one for yourself;} [I've got great copper chains and copper coated Carob leaves as well as some Brass stamped leaves to go with the vintage Brass chain I just got... some vintage keys are on the way as well as some cool old stampings... all colors, styles and price ranges accommodated here!] 

So, until then, blog ya next week.