Monday, December 31, 2012

Year in Review for EB

I was reading Amy's blog when she was talking about the Word Cloud from  I thought this was a great idea - I typed in our blog address and the site came up with this word circle.  I think it is awesome - so thanks Amy for talking about this site!  I am not good with words, and I am still surprised how much I have written on this blog and that this site took my words and created a piece of art.  Amazing what technology can do today!

Okay - 2012 review:

  • New for us created our own clasps:

2013 Goals:

Mom's goal for this year is to be healthy.  We know she is going to have to look for a neurosurgeon because she is going to need surgery on her neck; but otherwise we have our fingers crossed no other complications this year!!!!!

Motivation - this is a goal for both of us.  We need to be more motivated!!!  There are so many ideas we have floating around in our heads that we need to get off our butts and get them done (make more clasps and cuffs to sell - new pendant ideas and new jewelry to create).

We also need to look for two new juried shows for us to participate in this year.  We are thinking Champaign, IL and in the area of Noblesville, IN.  Need to start looking for those and send applications.

I want to submit more of our pieces to magazines this year (didn't submit any in 2012).  I have already sent in three pieces to one magazine and now just need to submit more to other magazines.

Both mom and I want to donate another piece to the Purdue Cancer Center benefit in a few months.  I would also like to donate a few more pieces to other charities. Amy, Copper Diem, has a wonderful post called Where Can I Donate My Handmade Jewelry.

I turn 40 this year and I want to get another tattoo.  Mom is working on the design and I just need to make an appointment with a tattoo artist mom knows to get the tattoo done.  I can't wait!

Be more deligient in participating in the ABS Challenges and maybe participate in more blog hops (of couse the 7th Annual Bead Soup Blog Party).

I guess that is a lot, but hopefully pretty manageable for us both.  Of couse, both of us need to work on our houses, but that can always wait :)

May you have a wonderful start to the New Year!!!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Giveaway on Jane's Blog

No. 1 Giveaway - Focal ready to wear
Hey all - I wanted to tell you about a wonderful giveaway on Jane's Blog.

She is having a major giveaway times 3 plus a bonus.

The above focal is one of the giveaways, a set of beads and one of her fabulous lampworking tutorials. And...wait for it...a bonus too.

You just need to head on over to her blog and leave a comment on what giveaway you would like your name put in for.  Now how easy is that!!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Hat - Finally Finished

Started January 2011

I finally finished knitting a hat for a friend of mine - started it back in January 2011.  Lisa wanted one of those knitted hats that has a very long tail (can use it as a scarf and hat) with a pompom at the end of it.  I found three different patterns, let her pick the pattern and Lisa bought the yarn and I started knitting it.  OMG it took forever; it was the never ending hat from hell :)  I promised Lisa I would get it done and I wanted to finish it before the new year.

I finished knitting it last night, while watching one of the new DVDs mom got me for Christmas.  This morning mom had instructions up on how to make a pompom and mom helped me finish it off.

This is Zola checking out the hat as I was taking pics.

This is my friend Lisa, who I made the hat for.  It is snowing here and she said she could wait for me to bring it in but I wanted it out of the house and into her hands because IT WAS DONE!!!!

Lisa wearing and modeling the hat for me - she is such a good egg!

Lisa showing off her pompom to another friend of ours.

Lisa showing off the length of the hat.  I have yarn for another hat but I think Lisa and I are going to talk about a different pattern this time :)  I don't think I could handle knitting another one for her or if I do knit another one it is going to be a VERY LONG time :)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!!!

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. ~Norman Vincent Peale

Merry Christmas!

Best wishes everyone - may you have a wonderful holiday filled with family, friends and much laughter!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

DEC ABS and Other Stuff

Sleeping Beauty by Erté, 1983
26 1/2" x 33" Serigraph
About the Art
Erté's characteristic style found a new and enthusiastic market in the 1960s, and the artist responded to renewed demand by creating a series of colorful lithographic prints and sculpture.
His taste for the exotic and romantic, and his appreciation of the sinuous and lyrical human figure is felt in all of his art.
Mom and I are participating in this month's ABS Challenge - Sleeping Beauty.  We had planned on sawing out a pendant and making beads to go with this wonderful painting, but mom's right hand was not cooperating (had steroid injection earlier this week).  I told mom no sawing until the first of the year, let's give you a break.  So, we used one of our necklaces that was perfect for this piece.

The idea for the pendant - maybe next year we can saw it out and make the necklace.

"Winter Slumber"
This is what we are using for our piece for the December ABS Challenge.  The lampwork beads are made by us and the beaded beads are from Kristen, My Bead Journey. Back in December 2010 Kristen and I had a bead swap and this is what came from that swap.  We did use red glass beads for accents and a Sterling Silver clasp.

A close up of the focal.

A close up of our beads and the beads that Kristen made.

"Winter Slumber"
So, that is our piece for December's ABS Challenge.

I had to share this wonderful gift I received from one of the ladies I work with.  I love, love, love this idea!  She created the card and then in the Starbucks hot holder she put a Starbucks gift card - wonderful idea and I am going to have to swipe it for next year :)

A few months ago mom read this book for work and was telling me about it.  I asked if I could borrow her book, earlier this week, to read.  I am on my second read through - love it. 

"Meet Fred.

In his powerful new book The Fred Factor, motivational speaker Mark Sanborn recounts the true story of Fred, the mail carrier who passionately loves his job and who genuinely cares about the people he serves. Because of that, he is constantly going the extra mile handling the mail – and sometimes watching over the houses – of the people on his route, treating everyone he meets as a friend. Where others might see delivering mail as monotonous drudgery, Fred sees an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those he serves.

We’ve all encountered people like Fred in our lives. In The Fred Factor, Mark Sanborn illuminates the simple steps each of us can take to transform our own lives from the ordinary – into the extraordinary. Sanborn, through stories about Fred and others like him, reveals the four basic principles that will help us bring fresh energy and creativity to our life and work: how to make a real difference everyday, how to become more successful by building strong relationships, how to create real value for others without spending a penny, and how to constantly reinvent yourself.

By following these principles, and by learning from and teaching other “Freds,” you, too, can excel in your career and make your life extraodinary. As Mark Sanborn makes clear, each of us has the potential be a Fred.The Fred Factor shows you how."
from Amazon.

The Seven "B's" of Relationship Building
I plan on going to Barnes and Noble to buy my own copy so I can mark it up as much as I want to.  A lot of what Mark Sanborn says in the books is from what I learned during my time as a squad leader in the military.  I really think if you are in a leadership position you should read this book.  Though I highly recommend this book for everyone.

Just so you know I am not being paid to talk about this book.  I think it really hit home this week reading it that we all should be a "Fred". 

What is funny - I finished reading the book Thursday night and started reading it again.  Well, Friday morning, when I was waiting to get coffee from McDonald's (every morning I get coffee from there) the girl actually took a minute to take a spoon and stir the cream and sugar before she put the lid on.  It was just a little thing, but it really hit home, she did a Fred.

Sleepy Creek after the snowfall
Mom and I are heading out to Sleepy Creek Vineyards for the day.  We have not been there since our show back in September so we are in Sleey Creek withdrawal plus we hope to see Joe and Dawn too.

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Ornaments for Gifts

Idea from Pinterest
Since I am on Pinterest a lot I came across a lot of ideas for homemade ornaments (have a board called Christmas Ornaments).  I had the idea of making ornaments with our pictures of buildings around campus and black and gold for our co-workers.  Mom made up ornaments for her co-workers with family portraits and I used pics of the Purdue buildings.  I have to say mom did a wonderful job in making the ornaments (I am the brains and she is the person to make it work!).  I didn't get pics of the ornaments mom made for her co-workers but I did get pics of the ones for my co-workers.

Here you go:

The Bell Tower

Hovde Fountain

I think this Loeb Fountain

Purdue P Sculpture

The Union

Mom and I went with the black and gold theme - there is glitter in there if you can't see it, gold branches with gold bells and black beads.  Then there is gold and black jewels around the top of the bulb and gold and black ribbon to hang the ornament.  I really like how they turned out - love mom and her ingenuity to get everything in the ornament!

This is mom today after her pain shot.  Yes, she did give me permission to post her picture but of course she is pretty drugged up (you can see it in her eyes).  Mom is crashed in bed and I am making sure she doesn't do anything stupid.  I have my fingers crossed that this shot will last longer than two weeks.  Mom thinks she is going to saw this weekend but I will have her doing other stuff to give her a break and time to heal.  I told her we can start back up the first of the year - sit back and enjoy the holidays!

That is it for now - have a great week everyone!

P.S. - Etsy and a Treasury

Cool news - I created this treasury on Sunday and just found out it was featured on the front page of Etsy this morning at 5am.  How cool is that.  I wish I had known to actually see it there would have really given me a big head :)  Lots of great things out on Etsy if you are still looking for Christmas Gifts!!!!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Break and Selling Yourself Short

Bing Images
Well, I wish I could say that this was a picture of mom and myself on the beach somewhere but it isn't.  Though we are taking a little break right now.  Mom is having a lot of issues with her arm (can't use the flex shaft, trouble writing and don't think she can use a saw). 

Mom sees the pain doctor on Wednesday for her last steroid shot and we have our fingers crossed that it will help for a little bit.  Mom did go and see a chiropractor/acupuncturist for her neck and arm.  Instead of helping it actually set her back - though the deep tissue massage she had on Friday helped out some.  We are hoping if she takes a break it will help out her neck and arm some - cross your fingers.

I did want to share some images of the polymer clay pieces (which I had not done yet) mom and I bought from Alexa at the Frankfort Art Show.  They are so stinking cute!  Mom already has a plan for one of them and I think I have an idea for the owl.

You can find Alexa's work at her website DragonFlame Design.  All of her pieces are awesome but I am especially in love with her dragon pendants and sculptures.  Check it out - you won't be disappointed.

I went into work today to take some things in before Monday and I had these pretty babies sitting at my desk.  They are ceramic buttons that a friend of ours made.  We had talked to her at the Frankfort show about making the buttons to use as clasps and these were waiting for me.  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them.  I can't wait to get creating with these babies!

Bing Images
Selling yourself short as an artist - are we doing that?  Mom is a little down right now because of something that happened on Pinterest.  I have been posting our pieces from Etsy to Pinterest and someone reposted it to their boards and the comment was "WTF".  I know this hurt mom and I told mom you need to have thicker skin - not everyone is going to like what we do.

Yes, I am also mad that the person who repinned the piece does not actually know what goes into making one of our pieces.  One of our plates can take up to 25-30 hours to handsaw out  (with a jewelers saw) the design, then about 5-8 hours of filing and several hours of sanding.  Then the piece is enameled which can take up to four hours for both sides.  Then you have the time of taking the pictures of the piece, cropping, resizing and then posting the piece on Etsy.  In total you have about 46 hours of work in one piece not counting the materials you spent to make the piece (copper, saw blades, files, sandpaper, powdered enamels, shipping boxes and packing materials).

I know there is an awesome article I read - I think it was on Facebook - where an artist broke down what she spent on making one of her hats.  It was a wonderful article on what she pays for her materials, how many hours she spends making her hats, how much she spends on taking photographs, how much she spends on branding and how much she spends on shipping materials and shipping.  If you know the article or post I am talking about please share it - it was very inspiring!

I just read a fantastic article called "The Question All Artists Struggle With: What is Your Art Worth?"  I really loved the last part of the article - Things to Avoid - Don't sell yourself short!

I also loved a post that Lori just did - Everyone Has an Opinion.  I recommend reading it and the article Lori shared.  I am going to have mom read this - I hate to see her hurt by this.  I know people have their opinion's and they can be cruel, but we LOVE what we do and there are other people who love what we create and THAT IS ALL THAT MATTERS!!!

Just so you all know - I am not trying to garner sympthy with this post.  I just wanted to help you all out there who feel like we do.  That you aren't alone.  Plus I wanted to do something to cheer mom up because I hate to see her down!  Also, so you all know I love making the pieces because I get to spend time with my best friend, my mom!  I think that is the best part of this jewelry business.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Ornamentea Wish List

"Win Your Wish" - Ornamentea started a fun contest called "Win Your Wish".  All you need to do is create a Wish List board on Pinterest.  Pin the image above and tag it with "WinMyWish".

Visit and start pinning tools, classes, tutorials, etc. to your wish board and you could win one of your pins.

Don't forget to tag all your pins with #WinMyWish so they can enter you to win.

Head on over to Ornamentea's website and check out the rules.  The drawing will be noon, EST on December 23rd.

Have fun pinning!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Lots Going On

Tiesha in Heaven

I had to share any image of one of my fur babies - Tiesha.  Mom and I still celebrate St. Nicholaus Tag (from our time in Germany) on December 6th.  I bought mom two pairs of earrings and she bought me a heated throw (I keep my house at 62 degrees).  Under the white blanket is the throw and it gets nice and toasty.  The cats have been in heaven the last few days - as you can see with Tiesha all sprawled out.  Yes - she is a watermelon on four legs but that just means more of her to love, like her momma :)

Mom laying out pieces
Sorry for the absence but I think mom and I needed a little break.  The past week we have been laying out pieces we want to take photographs of and post on Etsy.

This is my setup area for taking pics - that is a sunlamp I am using because it has been gloomy the last few days.

Me working on the computer to crop and resize images.  Then working on slowly (very slowly) adding them to the Etsy store.  I have a few more pendants to add, some beads and then I am adding the plates and some jewelry.  Like I said it is very slow going.

While I have been doing the Etsy thing - mom has been working on making ornaments.  I found cool directions on Pinterest for making ornaments.

A couple of finished ornaments.

Bing Images
The last week things have been up in the air at work for me and my co-workers.  There is some moving around of people and we don't know what is going to happen in the next month and a half.  It is nerve wracking when you don't know what is going to happen (at least we know we all have jobs).  But not knowing if you are still going to be working with your friends is not fun.

Bing Images

I am also looking into refinancing my home.  I am more than underwater with my house (and buying a house was supposed to be a good investment).  Over Thanksgiving I tried to call Bank of America (who has my mortgage) and when I started to ask more questions the guy hung up on me.  I am giving the guy the benefit of the doubt (but seriously don't think he wanted to help at all) but I am talking to a manager next time.

Bing Images

I have also been doing a lot of house cleaning.  A lot of good ideas for cleaning the house on Pinterest.

I have been in my house eight years - I moved in on December 31st 2004.  I love my house but I spend so much time at mom's house now it doesn't seem feasible to keep going back and forth between houses.  That is why I so want to refinance the house, find out what I need to do to sell the house, sell the house, move back home with mom (I would love to be back at mom's by this time next year).  Mom and I have a plan of action that I just need to move forward on.  So, cross your fingers for us please.
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