Monday, December 30, 2013

New Year, Goals, Inspiration

A new year, new goals, new inspiration. 

First  I need to say a huge thank you to all of my customers for their continued support and feedback. You make my job such a pleasure! And a big thank you to my friends, artist and non, for their support when I was stressed out, serving as a sounding board, helping me brainstorm new ideas and listening to the occasional whine. 

I have not had a chance to run all my numbers (those that know me, know how I like numbers!) but I do know that I met many of the goals I set for this year. That feels good.

I will start 2014 with new technology, a new camera and a new computer. There will be the inevitable learning curve, but I hope once mastered I will be more efficient at my tasks. I also got a battery set up at years end that will allow me to have lights in my booth whether there is power or not. Cool! 

Among my many goals for this year are to add to my wholesale line, update my catalog and get additional accounts. My wholesale rep has already given my a list of possibilities to add to my line. I want to improve my photographs. The new camera is already helping with that and I will be investigating a new light box and backgrounds. Might be time to retire the cardboard box I currently use!

A very important goal is to learn some new techniques in metal and wire work. I am going to tap into some friends who have these skills and take a few classes. I was inspired by 2 websites I came across. One is amazing wire work. There are some tutorials and I plan to give some a try. The other site had interesting metal pendants. When I am in a meeting my notepaper is covered with doodles. It occurred to me that I may be able to turn these doodles into metal art pendants. 

I am looking forward to putting all these new ideas to work in the new year.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Recent Work

During the last hour of my time at Tidefest in Gig Harbor I sold all of my green opal and several snakeskin jasper necklaces. So I took time this morning to make a few more. Here are three new necklaces visitors to my sale in Minneapolis will find.

 Green opal, glass and copper.  SOLD
  Green opal, glass and copper.  SOLD.
Snakeskin jasper, aventurine, glass and copper.  SOLD

Friday, November 29, 2013

Shop Local/Shop Small

If you live in my neck of the woods take a break this weekend from all the commercial shopping madness and come to Winterfest at Peninsula High School in Gig Harbor. There you will find several hundred hand picked artisans and crafts people selling their beautiful creations. The nominal entry fee goes to support school programs. Or check out an arts and crafts event near you. You can feel good about your purchases in that the monies you spend will go back into your local community and you will come home with quality handmade gifts.

Here are a few new Beadware pieces you will see in my both this weekend:

 Green opal pendant with a pewter leaf. SOLD
 Agate and ocean jasper pendant with brass accents and a brass leaf clasp.  SOLD
 Agate pendant with brass accents.  SOLD

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Glass Teardrops

Delicate, simple, understated. just a few words I have heard my customers use to describe these necklaces. They are made using glass seed beads, gold or silver plated rounds, and a faceted glass teardrop. The length can be adjusted thanks to a chain and lobster clasp. So versatile. Good with jeans and a t-shirt or that little black dress. A new version features a few freshwater seed pearls. Sorry, the pictures are a bit dark. This was before I figured out my new camera!

The 2 on the left have been sold.
The one on the right has been SOLD.
The 2 at the top have been SOLD.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Shop Local

Big box stores are jam packed with deals to lure in holiday shoppers. As you do your holiday shopping consider shopping at a local art and craft fair. Every town has them, at schools, churches and community centers. Buying gifts at these events not only supports local artisans, in many cases the booth fess the vendors have paid or the nominal entry fees directly support community programs.

The high school events that I do often let you know where your vendor fee goes. They tell you what the funds were used for last year like buying musical instruments or art supplies. And, when you buy from a local crafts person, that money is very likely also go back into your local community as they use that income to pay bills or buy things locally.

And you can talk to person that made the item you are buying. Get the story behind it. This can be fun to share with the recipient and not something you get from a big box store! 

If you live near me just check out my events page for a list of a few local events where you will find Beadware and other artisans. Check your local paper or ask around. Buy local and buy handmade!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Recent Work - Jasper Teardrops

I am continuing to beef up my inventory for my holiday shows. One recent series uses jasper teardrops.

Jasper is a form of chalcedony or quartz.  It brings joy into your life! Clean you jasper jewelry with a soft dry cloth as the polish can be washed off with water. Jasper is believed to strengthen the stomach and cure gynecological problems. Mystically, jasper is believed to bring one what they need and to aid in attaining a sound sleep. Jasper also increases your ability to feel joy and carries a protective power.Jasper has been thought to drive away evil spirits and protect against snake and spider bites. (Note this information is provided for curiosity only and is not meant to be taken as medical advice. )

These have booth been SOLD.
The one on the left has been SOLD.
These have been SOLD.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Destash - Something New

I have added some new items to my online store today. They are not finished pieces, but instead are jewelry components. To keep my prices reasonable I buy my supplies in large quantities to take advantage of bulk and wholesale pricing. This means I often have way more of an item than I can use over several years.

You will find these items in the section called Supplies and Destash. I will be adding more items as time permits so check back often. And who knows, if this experiment takes off I may one day open another online store just for supplies.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Snakeskin Jasper

I have never met a snakeskin jasper I did like like. They are gorgeous stones. The patterns and colors are amazing. Snakeskin jasper is a stone of protection and invisibility. It guards against negative attitudes and actions. Its energy is useful in moving energy and can be helpful during massage. It can also be helpful during meditation, bringing one peace of mind. Snakeskin jasper is also thought to bring productivity and abundance to our minds and bodies. (Note this information is for curiosity only and is not meant to be medical advice.)

Here are some recent examples off my work bench. The ones marked sold were purchased their first day on display at my studio sale. A testament to just how gorgeous these are! I do have more of these stones and will create some new treasures this month. See one you like? Send me an email quick as I do not expect these to last long. $49 each.
These have been SOLD.
 The one reminds me of a watercolor. SOLD

 And this one reminds me of a river.
This was bought by a friend. That makes me happy! SOLD

These have been SOLD.
 This one lives up to its snakeskin name. Look at the pattern on this stone. SOLD

In this I see a mountain landscape. What do you see?  SOLD

Another one with a very textural look. The coordinating seed beads are a beautiful soft green. 

Another one with a truly snakeskin appearance. 
Mixed with soft olive green seed beads and brass accents.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Fiber and Jelly - Featured Artist

Fiber and jelly sounds like a sticky combo. But Mona, one of the featured spinners at Beadware's annual holiday sale, is accomplished at both. As I started to get inquiries about this year's sale, the most common questions was "will you have that fabulous jalapeno jelly again"? The answer is yes! Mona is busy making batches of jalapeno and of blackberry jelly. Yum!

Mona will also be doing fiber spinning demos along with Jan. I actually know both these accomplished artists from a totally different facet of my life, motorcycling. We three belong to the same women's motorcycling group. Oh what tangled webs we weave in our lives!

 A finished project - rainbow towels.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

This Weeks Work

This week I am still working in blues and greens. Yesterday I started working with the most gorgeous snakeskin jasper. Click on the photos to enlarge them so you can see the detail in the stones. You will see these and more at my upcoming studio sale!

 Snakeskin jasper, Czech crystals, glass and pewter. This stone is so pretty. 
The earrings remind me of the shape of an ice cream cone. SOLD
 Agate, glass and pewter. SOLD
 Snakeskin jasper, glass and copper. Another amazing stone. SOLD
 Sodalite, square glass beads and pewter. SOLD
 Another beautiful snakeskin jasper pendant 
on a double strand of soft green glass seed beads.SOLD

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Featured Artist - Almond Branch

Another of the artists you will see at Beadware's annual holiday sale is Sandra Saldivar of Almond Branch. Sandra was my occasional booth neighbor this summer at the Seattle Waterfront. I just love her handmade bags and journals. She studied Visual Arts at Seattle University which is obvious in they way she selects and combines fabric colors and patterns. The cosmetic bags have water proof or resistant lining in them. They come in an assortment of sizes and fabrics. A great gift idea!!

cosmetic bags

tote bag

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Featured Artist - Mary Lou McCambridge

Artist Mary Lou McCambridge says "Painting is a passion! I love all things creative." Mary Lou will have paintings and art cards at Beadware's Holiday Preview Sale on Nov 2 & 3. Her recent work is
mixed media using rice paper, gold leaf and acrylic paints. Mary Lou has a long history in art, attending the Burnley School of Professional Arts (now known as the Art Institute of Seattle) and working professionally  as a graphic designer and illustrator. She has done everything from print and web logo design, to illustration, to fine art painting. her work is vibrant and full of life. Here are some examples:

mixed media

mixed media

 mixed media
Baby Firs

Olympic Mountains - acrylic

Sunset - digital painting