Thursday, July 29, 2010

An Idea for a New Project!

I had about ten minutes of free time today, and in that ten minutes, I managed to come up with enough new beading project ideas to keep me busy for, oh, the next six months.

These little ceramic faces were made by Diane Briegleb, and they are leftover from a wholesale order of them that I placed years ago when I was part-owner of a bead shop and fine craft gallery. They have been sitting in a little plastic drawer for the last five years, waiting for me to fish one out now and then and use it for something. Well.

Like I said a few weeks ago, I've been reading a ton of books about British history lately. And I'm reading some new books about British history and important figures in British history. Today, I got to thinking about the six wives of King Henry the VIII, and the whole annulled/beheaded pattern that arose from his quest for a male heir. Ironically, his second daughter became one of the most influential leaders in human history, while his sole male heir, King Edward VI, only ruled for about six and a half years.

So while I was thinking about these six women and their lives, and then I started thinking about some of the other great queens in British history - namely, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth I, the aforementioned daughter of Henry VIII - and I thought how I would love to do beaded "portraits" of them using these ceramic faces.

I went and sat down with my little drawer full of ceramic faces, and then I wrote down a list of names on a couple of pieces of paper. I looked up some official portraits of the women online and then went back to my ceramic faces and found the faces that I felt connected with the names and the portraits. (The internet can be a wonderful thing!)

Now my challenge is to actually find the beads and stitch each one of these faces into a beaded portrait of one of the queens of England. I'm giving myself a deadline for each one - I want to complete one beaded portrait per month.

I know who to start with, too - Catherine of Aragon, the first wife of Henry VIII. The woman who was first married to King Henry, who believed she was still his rightful wife until the day she died after a 24-year marriage. She carried six children, but only one lived to adulthood. She was, many believed, unjustly ousted as queen because Henry VIII wanted to marry Anne Boelyn, who had been one of her ladies-in-waiting.

The ceramic face that I thought would be perfect to portray Catherine was one that I had glued to a piece of Stiff Stuff a long time ago with no particular project in mind. She looks almost virginal, and indeed, there are portraits of Catherine depicting her as the Virgin Mary as well as Mary Magdalene.

What's going to drive me nuts now is that I will have absolutely no time to start on her until maybe Sunday at the farmers' market. Monday at the latest. I've already got the Delica beads picked out to start stitching a bezel around her...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Am I Myself Again? Please?

So, thanks to precipitously dropping hormone levels, I've been feeling almost like myself again since yesterday. My doctor appointment on Monday was uneventful - she said that she thought the drugs did their thing, and that I could go on my way. I still need to go get one more blood test, which I'll do on Friday while I'm running errands in Plattsburgh.

Today, I'm going to see the acupuncturist in Lake Placid to see if she can help me. I don't know why I didn't think of it until someone on Facebook mentioned it to me - I was like, d-oh! I should have called her first! I spoke to her yesterday when I made the appointment, and she has a treatment plan for me already and she has a tonic that will help me, too. After those horrific side effects from the methergine, I am really looking forward to this session of acupuncture.

On a lighter note, my friend Carol Dean Sharpe of Sand Fibers has had her 1,500th sale on Etsy! It's not that amazing when you check out her Etsy shop - her peyote stitch patterns are totally addicting. Any time I need a little "fix", I buy some of her patterns and raid my stash of Delicas to whip up a few new cuffs for myself.

Carol is having a giveaway on her blog - all you have to do is leave a comment and you're entered to win the gorgeous lariat that she has posted on the blog! Earlier this year, Carol and I did a trade for a couple of our beadwoven and bead embroidered necklaces - and her work is absolutely incredible. The piece I traded for with her is one of my all-time favorite pieces of jewelry, and I get so many compliments on it! Yes, I'll post some pictures of it here as soon as I find them - it's an amazing piece.

I don't want to jinx myself, but I think this Sunday is going to be my first farmers' market of the season. Since I'm feeling back to myself, and since we really need the income, I'll be setting up at the Keene Valley farmers' market this Sunday from 9:30 until 2. I'll have my line of bead embroidered necklaces, pendants and cuff bracelets available, along with a couple of special close-outs from my other lines of jewelry that I was selling in years past. And every purchase made will get a free piece of dichroic glass jewelry! (Same goes if you make a purchase in my Etsy shop - buy anything and get a free piece of dichroic glass jewelry from my remaining stock!)

Tomorrow I teach a class in African beadweaving for a group of kids at the JEMS theater in Jay, right down the road from my house! I'm very excited - I missed teaching last week because of all the nonsense going on with my uterus, but I'll be teaching the next two Thursdays. This Thursday is African beadweaving and next week is basic jewelry making. I'm very excited - I love working with kids and I love teaching, so this should be great. I just have a ton of things to pull together before tomorrow afternoon, so off I go!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Iron Man Lake Placid

When we bought our house, we were so excited about the workshop in the garage and the finished basement and the hardwood floors we found under the ugly carpet that we never stopped to think, oh yeah, we're right on the Iron Man race route...

Once a year, on a Sunday morning, thousands of athletes race their bikes up the hill right past our house. The roads are closed, of course, so in years past, we've gone for day trips on race day. One year, Kathy and the girls were here for the race, and we all stood outside in the pouring rain while the bikers went past the house, and Kady and Kinsey cheered them on and played in the rain.

While the Iron Man does bring some business to the area (mostly to Lake Placid - the only thing Wilmington and Jay get are headaches from the road closures), it also creates a lot of traffic hazards during the months leading up the race. Athletes who are training on the bike routes tend to travel in packs - and sometimes they ride four or six across the middle of the road. And they can be rude. More than once have we exchanged unpleasantness with a biker who made a rude gesture or shouted at us as we drove past them. And it drives me insane to see them biking through Wilmington Notch, a very narrow, twisty road nestled between steep cliffs and the AuSable River. Cars absolutely fly through that road - much faster than the 35 mph - 50 mph speed limits - and the bikers just don't seem to care that there are so many cars on the road.

That said, it is amazing to watch these men and women. The Iron Man, for those of you that don't know, starts out with a 2 mile swim in Mirror Lake, followed by a 112 mile bicycle race and then a 26.5 mile foot race. The winners usually finish in about 8 1/2 or 9 1/2 hours, and some of the participants don't finish until midnight, when the race officially ends.

I read this morning in the newspaper that the man who finished first overall walked over to get some congratulations from his friends and supporters and then COLLAPSED and had to be carried off by medical personnel. Nothing else about his condition this morning, though, so I hope he's okay. I can't imagine pushing my body to such limits - some days it feels as though I'm pushing my limits just taking care of Colden and working and taking care of the house!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Last Night with the Girls

So, on the last night that Kathy, Kady and Kinsey were here, we went over to see everyone for dinner. Before dinner, Tom blew bubbles with everyone in the backyard. It was hilarious - the kids loved the gigantic bubble wand, and once Tom got the bubble machine working, everyone was dancing in the bubbles!

After dinner, I promised the girls that we could make necklaces. Since Kady didn't have a chance to come over and make a necklace like Kinsey did when she first got here, I brought over a whole bunch of beads and tools and clasps and let the girls pick out the beads they wanted to use to make a necklace. Colden helped pick out the beads.

Kady finished her necklace first. She used all the cool lampwork beads that I got years and years ago, back when I was still a "beadweaving whelp", to use a phrase by Rachel Nelson-Smith. Her necklace came out so nicely!


Then Kinsey finished her necklace, using some gorgeous blue Chinese crystal and some black Czech glass beads. I really love the colors that she picked out!

And then it was time to go home. It was sad to say good-bye, because we won't see them again until next summer, unless Tom and I decide to pack it in for Christmas and go out to Reno. But flying from up here in the winter can be dicey at best - you never know when we're going to get slammed with a storm and wind up sleeping at the airport.

So, this morning it seems that most of the nasty side effects from the drugs have gone away, except that my abdomen feels like someone spent the last 24 hours kicking it with a boot. The hot shower helped a little bit, and I'm hoping the painkillers kick in soon. But the good news is that it appears that the spotting has stopped, and maybe I'll get some more good news at the doctor tomorrow.

Tom and Colden are outside mowing the lawn and doing gardening and taking care of the chickens. I'm going to get caught up on my blogging for the week on the site, get my newsletter edited, tackle the mountain of dishes sitting on the kitchen counter, and then sit down with my beads for a little while. I actually feel good enough to bead today, so I'm taking full advantage of it!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Saturday Again...

I can't believe how fast this week went by! Amazing... And because I'm trying to deal with round two of the uterine-contracting drugs from the doctor, I need to do something to keep my mind off the chest pains, headache, and incredible cramps. Tom and I decided that we are going to cut this round short - it's treating me way worse than the first round did - and instead, I'm going to call the acupuncturist on Monday morning. There must be a way to do this without wrecking my body any more.

Anyway, this is a picture of the piece I started last week with some of the goodies that I got from Laura McCabe's eBay shop:

It's not a great picture. I used some of the seed beads that I got from Whimbeads to stitch sections of netted lace beneath each of the faceted calcite beads. Then I used the gray daggers in the very last row of lace. I attached a peyote ring to each end of the work. I think these are going to be the side pieces and I'll just work a big, elaborate piece of lace for the centerpiece.

Those faceted calcite beads were a steal - I think they were like $5 for the bag. Makes me want to go back and get some more.

Sunday morning, we went blueberry picking with Kathy and the girls. It was hot, but we went early in the morning before the heat got too bad. And it went faster - we managed to fill up all the quart containers we brought with us in half the time it took us to fill just five of them when we went the Sunday before.

We stopped at the farm stand to pay for the blueberries, and Kathy came back with a bag of cider donuts. Colden promptly chomped right into one, then fell asleep, covered with sugar and donut bits:

Had my doctor check up on Monday, which is why I was given the uterine-contracting drugs, then we managed to sneak in a visit to ECHO in Burlington. We got to take the girls on the ferry, and Colden was so excited! He kept saying, "Boat - 'Mont!" (Boat to Vermont, LOL!)

After dinner, we cracked open the geodes I bought for everyone from the gift shop at ECHO. We did this last year with the geodes that I brought back from the Syracuse Gem & Mineral Show, but I had to cancel my plans to go back for that show this year. So I think I'm going to have to find a source for these geodes so we can do this every summer when the girls come out to visit.

Colden looked on very patiently until it was his turn to whack his geode with the hammer. Tom finished the job for him!

I've got some more pictures from the last night we spent with Kathy and the girls before they went back to Reno. I'll write about that later, maybe tomorrow, because this post is getting way too long, and I need to get some other work done before I go to bed.

And another giveaway is coming soon - I swear! As soon as I figure out what I'm doing with my life this week, I'll post the details here!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Catching Up

I spent the last few days trying to catch up, or at least get started, on some beading projects that have been sitting around for a year. Or more.

These delicious little plum blossom beads were designed by Chris Prussing - I think they are actually icosahedron beads, or something along those lines. (It's early in the morning, and my brain is still a little fuzzy.) Chris used to sell them as a kit in her Etsy shop, but her shop has been in vacation mode for some time now, and the message says that she is undergoing medical treatment. I certainly hope that she is feeling well and that she can get back to her beads soon! The directions are available at as Item 9296. I love the way Chris writes and illustrates her directions - you have to concentrate on what you're doing, but you also have to disconnect in a weird sort of Zen way. I love stitching up her beads because they allow me to do that Zen disconnecting thing.

This here is "Old Blue". I found this gorgeous 27mm Swarovski stone while shopping at Beyond Beadery at Bead Fest Philadelphia last summer. I bought this one and one other stone, which was a beautiful yellow/green/turquoise color. But this one - I've got plans for this one. I've had an idea for a necklace for the longest time called "Lady Sings the Blues", and I think I have FINALLY found the centerpiece for it. I've got a huge bag of 30mm blue iris bugle beads, a couple of tubes of silver lined purple and navy blue seed beads, and a huge Swarovski teardrop in the same shade as the stone. And that's all I'm sayin' for now!

And then, there is my latest stash from my first session of Retail Therapy. (Thanks to my sister for helping to fund this session, ha ha ha!) I kind of went nuts in Laura McCabe's eBay store, HighEndBeads. And the nice thing is, I got a ton of beads - including some gorgeous Swarovski Margaritas, Czech glass tulips, Czech glass fire polished, matte grey daggers, and faceted Calcite beads, all for around $40. Those Calcite beads and the grey daggers already have a design waiting for them - something that I dreamed up on one of those nights when I just could not get my mind calmed down enough to actually sleep. I'm looking forward to playing with the design today while I have some time. It's a variation of square stitch that I started playing with two years ago, and I have combined it with the flat spiral stitch I've become so fond of lately. I think this is going to be an awesome finished piece. Maybe worthy of Bead Dreams in the spring...

So, that said, everyone has gone off to the Paul Smiths Visitor Interpretive Center for the day, leaving me some peace and quiet to get my work done for this week and next. Tom and I decided today that I shouldn't try to get to the farmers' market until August - I am just still not myself, still having wicked headaches in the mornings and evenings, and pushing myself in this heat and humidity is probably not a smart thing to do.

Aaaaand, I am going to do another giveaway next week. This time, it will be for a pair of earrings made from those yummy plum blossom beads pictured above! Stay tuned for details! (This one will be a little harder than the last one!)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Wild Center

It was disgustingly hot again today. Even Kathy thought so. When I finally arrived so that we could all go to the Wild Center, I told her that the heat and humidity were killing me today - and she said the same thing! So, we weren't nuts. This heat is out of control.

That said, it was the perfect day to take the kids out to Tupper Lake and the Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks, also known as The Wild Center. The place is pretty cool - lots of huge tanks of native fish, turtles, ducks, snakes, frogs, lizards, and a couple of river otters. The river otters were a huge hit - we went back after lunch and had, as Kathy put it, our own "private viewing" of the otter just doing his thing. Playing with his little blue Kong, swimming, rolling, frolicking... Colden would just scream with delight every time that otter swam past him in the tank.

So, as usual, not enough time in the day for everything that I want to/need to accomplish. I've been doing as much writing as I can from home, since we are spending most evenings over at Tom's parents' house having dinner with everyone. (I so wish we could see them more than once a year!!!) I think I'm going to have to spend most of Saturday cleaning out the car, finishing up my new price tags and story cards, and just getting organized if I'm going to make it to the Keene farmers' market on Sunday.

My body continues to clean itself out, which is a huge relief and at the same time, gives me incredible sadness. My hormones continue to take me on a wild ride - I cry at the drop of a hat, and I seem to lose my temper much easier than usual. I have had a headache, on and off, for over a week now. Most likely hormonal. Cramping comes and goes, and when it gets bad, I tend to lose it and start crying about anything - everything. My face is breaking out again, I'm dizzy, tired, etc. - it's just like having my period, every single day for the last ten days. I know this is just my body trying to get itself back to normal, so I'm doing the best that I can and just kind of going with the flow. Not much else I can do, really. I just take it as it comes, and when I feel terrible and need to lie down, I grab a magazine and a movie and try to cuddle up with Colden. (I try to cuddle with Colden - it doesn't always work. Sometimes, he just wants to grab on my hair and yank, and that's not good for either of us.)

Tomorrow, Kathy and I are going to get pedicures in the morning. I'll have to post some pictures of my pretty toes later in the afternoon! I just realized that I have loads of things sitting in my light tent that need to be photographed - maybe I can do them tomorrow afternoon after we get back, or they'll just have to wait until I get a few minutes on Saturday. Plum blossom beads; a huge, bezeled rivoli I got at Bead Fest Philly last summer; and a custom bead embroidered cabochon pendant. Cool, cool stuff.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Designing New Displays...Again.

Every year since I started selling my work at farmers' markets, art shows and craft shows, I've been looking for new ways to display my work. And since this year I'm focusing on the high(er) end embroidered pieces that I do, I've decided that I need to change them yet again.

I loved the displays I had last year, but I always felt like my tables looked like a garage sale. The colors were all mismatched. And I didn't have any consistency between the types of displays, either, except that most of them were black.

So, this year, I went out and bought a couple of new tablecloths - the ones I've been using for three years have been officially retired to in-home use only! - and then last night, we went to Bed, Bath and Beyond to buy a set of wall shelves that I am going to use as risers and display cubes. I also decided that I need more necklace busts - I've only got about a dozen of them, but they'll do for now.

I want to try to do a mock up later today or tomorrow to see how it's all going to fit together, so I'll get some pictures then.

Cramping came back with a vengeance last night, and I was exhausted already from not sleeping well the night before. I think I was also just totally discouraged and upset that the cramping is not over yet - I had been thinking that my body had emptied everything out already and that I could get on with it. But no, my body (and my hormones) had other plans for me last night. So I laid in bed and watched "Ratatouille" (which I need to return to the library today) and tried to sleep. Still crampy this morning - we'll see what happens.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Strawberry Picking in the Summer

Yesterday afternoon, we decided to go strawberry picking up at Rulf's Orchard in Peru. It was a gorgeous day, but just a little hot and humid. I only picked one container full before the heat started getting to me, and then I went and sat in the shade of the van with Kathy, Kinsey and Colden.

Picking berries was hard this year. They were tiny, and you really had to bend down and look under the leaves to find any of them. An intense smell of warm strawberries came from the rows of plants, and in places where the berries had been crushed or nibbled or started to rot, it almost smelled like strawberry wine. (Fermented strawberries, yikes!)

Tom asked when the blueberry picking started, and the attendant told him that we could pick blueberries right now, if we wanted to. I think we might do that this weekend, if it's a little cooler - I don't think I can handle standing out in 85 degrees again to pick blueberries. Kind of gives me a whole new perspective on the whole issue of migrant farm workers. It's one thing for us to go out there and do it for fun with the kids, but for the people who do it to earn a living, that has got to be a hard job. After less than an hour, I thought I was going to pass out from the heat - what about people who have to stay out there all day?

Anyway, I don't want to get into a whole other social issue today. It's too hot, and I'm too tired, and I have too many other things to do today. But maybe after we go blueberry picking, I'll get into that can of worms, so to speak.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

I've Been Featured on the Beads of Clay Blog!

Wow, well this is exciting! I went to the farmers' market this morning (as a buyer, not as a vendor - I just couldn't get organized this week, once again), and when I got home, I found an email from Mary Ann of Beads of Clay. Earlier this week, she sent me a list of interview questions that I answered (it was something good to keep me occupied), and the interview went up this morning. You can read it here: Stylin' Sunday with Beads of Clay.

She used this picture - which I love - of me and Colden at "work". It's not always like this - I can't usually bead when Colden is sitting on my lap, because he wants to "help". But this is the general idea - I work from home so that I can spend time with Colden. It was an awesome interview, and I was really excited when I read it on the blog.

So, like I said before, once again, I could not get my stuff together to go to the farmers' market this Sunday. I think I was just completely unprepared for the pain I had the first few days of the week, and then I was just trying to catch up with all the work and the emails that went neglected while I was trying to recover. But when Kathy and I went to the market this morning, I realized that I've made some great friends at these markets the last few years. Everyone had a big smile for me, and they all wanted to know if I had set up as a vendor, and then they all wanted to know when I was coming back! It's just been a rough summer so far, unfortunately.

I'm still on the fence about whether or not to set up next week, since the Mason's are having their annual "craft fair", and when they share the space with the farmers' market, it's never done very well. Last year, the weather was horrible, and there was so much arguing between the farmers' market people and the Masons' show organizer that the setup was just totally not conducive to having a good flow of customers through the grounds. On top of that, they had me and my friend Heather (both jewelry artists) set up right next to a woman selling SILPADA! Silpada! At what is supposed to be a handmade craft show! I spent most the time there looking daggers at this woman, who obviously hadn't made a single thing on her table, and the rest of the time I tried to occupy myself with writing some articles. It was not a pleasant day. If the weather is good, maybe I'll go.

So. This afternoon, Tom's cousin Dave and his wife Mary Kate are coming to visit, and we're all going up to Peru to pick strawberries! I didn't get to go last year, since that was the weekend I was in Syracuse. But today, it's a beautiful day, if not still a little hot, and picking strawberries sounds like a wonderful way to spend an afternoon...

Friday, July 09, 2010

Under the Mast

The week before things went entirely to pot, I ordered myself a treat - one of Marcia DeCoster's incredible "Under the Mast" kits. She had an extremely limited number of kits, and she put some of us on a waiting list. Thankfully, my wait was only for a couple of days before my kit was shipped and appeared, almost miraculously, in my mailbox just two days later.

I chose the medium green Vitrial color - I love metallic green - and the Swarovski stone is absolutely wonderful.

For me, the fun part was figuring out what to write on the piece of paper I slipped under the stone between the stone and the backing. I won't reveal what I wrote, but I will say that it is a word that has helped me immensely in the last two weeks, and it's probably the reason I've been wearing this piece every day since I finished it. It's a subtle reminder and a source of strength for me as I get through these days.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

One More Reason to Love Artbeads!

Okay, I know I haven't been a customer of Artbeads for very long, but wow, so far, I have never had a bad experience with them. They have fast shipping, everything is well packed, and their customer service is absolutely superb. I especially love the fact that they are a small, family-owned business.

But when I opened my mail last week, I got yet another reason to love Artbeads. As one of their Design Partners, they gave me a coupon code worth 10% off all purchases until July 31, 2010, and they told me to share it with my blog readers! So here it is:


So, after my sad news from this past weekend, my sister and I agreed that a little retail therapy is in order. I've got some great ideas for a few new pieces made with those gorgeous Swarovski stones - their aquamarine fancy octagonal stones are just calling to me! - and I've been perusing the online auction catalogs for Sotheby's and Christie's, and I've decided to make an entry for the August Etsy Beadweavers' Challenge.

I can't think of a better way to spend a hot, gross summer afternoon than sitting in the air conditioning, shopping for beads on my laptop. (Unless, of course, I'm in the swimming pool with Colden.)

Anyway, we're off to have dinner with the family tonight, and I'll be watching Colden blow bubbles again outside, if I can stand the heat!

Monday, July 05, 2010

Some Things are Just Not Meant to Be

This was a rough weekend. I had a very unexpected miscarriage that started on Friday, and I've been just completely wiped out ever since.

It started on Friday morning, but I didn't think anything about it, since I had similar symptoms when I was pregnant with Colden that turned out to be nothing. But by Friday evening, I was concerned enough to call the midwife who was on call from my OB's office who told me to stay in bed and drink a lot of fluids. Sitting around all day Saturday was enough to drive me insane - I wished that I knew what was going on, since nothing seemed to be improving. I was hesitant to go to the emergency room and run up a huge bill, but then when things changed, Tom and I headed for Plattsburgh around 8 p.m. They did some blood tests and an ultrasound and found that there had been no growth since 7 weeks and no heartbeat was visible. My hCg levels (the human growth hormone that you produce when you're pregnant) were way too low for someone in her 10th week of pregnancy, so it was determined that I was about to have a miscarriage.

The biggest relief to me was that I finally knew what was going on. Once I heard everything from the doctor, as disappointed and sad as I was, I at least felt like I had a direction to go in. So now it's just a matter of getting through the physical part of losing a pregnancy, and then Tom and I will just try again.

We decided that there's no sense in stressing out about what went wrong. It just wasn't meant to be this time around. That was the attitude we took when we decided to try having kids in the first place: if it happens, that's great, and if it doesn't work out, then that's okay, too. No sense in driving yourself crazy over something that just isn't meant to be. And sure, we're disappointed, and we were a little shocked, because everything with my first pregnancy went so perfectly that it never even entered into our minds that something could go wrong with the second.

So, now it's just time for us to let the dust settle and get on with things. I still have a week full of other emotional things to deal with - the arraignment of the suspect in my uncle's murder is tomorrow, then the day after that is two years since my mom passed away. In between all this, I'll have to get to the doctor's office to follow up.

But there are things to look forward to this week: Kathy and Kady are flying in tonight, and Tom's birthday is Saturday, so we'll probably do something with his parents and Kathy and the girls, and maybe we'll get to go do something on our own, if I'm feeling up for it.

Maybe this is one of the reasons I've always wanted to keep myself busy. It keeps me moving forward and it doesn't let me drag myself down when life throws me a curve ball. I've still got Colden, Tom, Moose, the chickens, and my friends to keep me going.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Guess the Lucky Number Sale in my Etsy Shop

To celebrate the Fourth of July this weekend (and to celebrate the fact that I am not going to be sitting outside in 90+ degrees for 6 hours!) I am having a Guess the Lucky Number Sale on all of my finished jewelry in my Etsy shop. This sale is effective immediately and expires at midnight EST on Sunday, July 4, 2010. All of my finished jewelry (including custom orders) are eligible to receive a discount of between 10 and 50%, but the discount you receive is up to you!

Here's how it works:

When you purchase any item of finished jewelry in my Etsy shop, don't send a payment right away. (Don't worry if you do - I can correct it or refund it later.) In the "Notes to Seller" section of the Etsy checkout, specify a number between 1 and 9. I have pre-assigned discounts of different values to each of those numbers, so you will receive at least 10% off your purchase. The folks who guess the "Lucky" number will receive 50% OFF their entire order of finished jewelry!

For example, if you put the number "8" in the "Notes to Seller" section, you will receive a 35% discount. If you put the number "5", you will receive a 40% discount. (Those are just examples - maybe.)

Only finished jewelry (and custom made jewelry) is included in the sale. Kits, patterns and tutorials are NOT included.

Good luck, and have fun shopping!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

It's very late...

And I'm very tired, but I didn't have much of a chance to write today, since my niece was here most of the day trying to finish up her first beaded necklace project. (More on that later on!)

First, I'd like to congratulate Kassie Inman of the Beading Butterfly and Lethea Benson, the winners of my first blog giveaway! Each of them will receive a set of handmade fused glass jewelry that includes a pair of stud earrings and a wire-wrapped bracelet. Congratulations, ladies!

Second, since circumstances have dictated that I will NOT be attending the Keene Valley farmers' market this Sunday as a vendor, I am instead having a huge sale on my finished jewelry in my Etsy shop starting Friday, July 2. More details about that sale will be posted here and on my Facebook page tomorrow morning.

And last but not least, my wonderful niece Kinsey came over to play the other day, and after watching me stitching away on my "Under the Mast" kit by Marcia DeCoster and looking at a couple of my beaded necklaces, she decided that she wanted to learn how to stitch beads. So we waited for Colden to go down for his nap, and then I let her pick out some beads to make a necklace. The stitch that she wanted to learn? Right angle weave!

Not wanting to discourage her, I decided that a simple one-row necklace of right angle weave would be something she could learn. I laid out the beads for her, helped her thread her needle, and then showed her how to make a basic unit using Czech fire polished beads and seed beads.

To my total amazement, she picked it up like she'd been doing it for years. There were a couple of times where I had to stop and show her which direction she needed to be stitching in, but most of the time, she knew exactly where to go and she managed to create a beautiful piece of beadwork!

We picked out a vintage glass flower pendant and a vintage Lucite flower to use as her centerpiece, and I think she's decided on the Lucite pendant. (We were supposed to attach the pendant tonight, but Tom had to go back to work unexpectedly, so that won't happen until tomorrow. That kid must be going nuts - she wanted to finish it TODAY!)

So, it's nearly 10:45 right now, and I am starting to fade. Tomorrow will have to be a nose-to-the-grindstone day to get my writing done and uploaded, in addition to doing some serious housecleaning. Lately I find that when I feel like my life has spiraled completely out of control, the one thing I can do to make myself feel better is clean! I think it will be one o those move-the-furniture-and-roll-up-the-rugs kinda cleaning, too... I've already made a mental note of where Tom stashed the Clorox wipes and the new box of Swiffer pads!