Monday, February 28, 2011

A Giveaway from My Shop and a Sale

Hi everyone! It's that time again - giveaway time! Most of the month I feature other artists, but the first week of the month (or last day of the previous month I guess!) will be my shop :) Why? Well I know you guys love me so I have to give you a chance for prizes out of my shop! Let me share the giveaway - then I'll explain my new banner :)

This bracelet was a lot of fun to make! It uses my new paper beads and I made them in orange in honor of my brother! :) Yes, the brother that my banner says I'm supporting right now. I would love to see a lot of entries for this and I would be really honored if the winner of this bracelet prays for or thinks of my brother when they wear it :) Click on the bracelet title for more information.

So How Can You Win?

1. Leave a comment on this blog = 1 entry
2. Visit my FB page and "like" it. Leave a comment there to let me know your a new or returning fan! = 1 entry
3. Visit my Artfire page or Etsy page, come back and leave a separate comment with your favorite piece = 1 entry
4. Follow this blog or let me know your already following = 1 entry
5. Announce this contest on plurk or twitter, come back and leave a comment with a link = 1entry
6. Blog about it! Since this is means monopolizing your blog space it = 2 entries
7. Make a purchase in either of my stores (Artfire or Etsy) = 5 entries! 

That's a total of 12 possible entries! Please remember to leave separate entries for each entry to make my job easier! I'll be keeping track in a spreadsheet and each entry will be given a separate number (based on order received) and I'll pick a winner using the random number generator. *Winner to be announced Saturday, March 5th*

Now to Explain my Header...
And a Sale!

This is my brother, Gordon, also know online as Psycho or Psycho4Jesus. Now often called Cancer Boy. Yes, he has cancer. Stage 4 T cell Hystocite Rich B Cell Lymphoma. That's a very rare form of a type of Non-Hodgekins lympoma. It's very extensive and he's had one chemo treatment so far. The shot above was taken with my phone the first day he was in the hospital.

He was in the hospital because he had a really bad reaction to the chemo and ended up being in the hospital for 2 days and nights. It was hard, but being there was probably the best :) He's been home since Saturday and is slowly recovering! Today, for the first time since he was hospitalized, he actually asked for a second serving of food! That still wasn't much, but very exciting still. 

His next treatment is on the 16th and he will have at least 5 more treatments, possibly 7. We'll know more at the end of April! 

So what am I doing? Well, a lot actually. I'm his secondary caregiver right now. So, when Mom's at work I hang out at the house and help out with medications, food, and anything else he needs. I also took shifts while he was in the hospital and have been coming and helping out whenever needed. This means I'm not going back to work at this time. I will be doing odd jobs to help with my husband and I's finances, but I can't really look for work until he's doing a lot better. My family needs me to much! 

What does this mean to you? I'm looking for your support! There's two things you can do:

1. Your Prayers - If you don't pray, whatever it is you do :) But this is going to be a really rough road. We all covet your prayers right now. I will be providing awareness charms soon to use as prayer reminders that I'll be selling for cost. Also, Gordon's biggest wish right now is that the people would know that he has cancer, cancer does not have him and he hopes that others would be blessed in their relationship with God right now. I'm not going to shove that down your throat - don't worry! I don't want to drive any of you away, but I do feel that its very important to share, and if you have any questions let me know :)

2. I'm doing a sale! All proceeds from my shop will be split between me and Gordon. I need to help pay for my husband and I's bills, and Gordon has no other source of income right now. So I'm doing 15% off in both my shops! On Etsy you'll need to enter the code "cancersupport15" for the discount, and on Artfire it has already been applied. I appreciate your support :)

Now don't forget to enter the giveaway :P

*Update 3/2*
Jujube Jewelry asked a great question! If you want to make a donation you can make a donation through paypal to the e-mail :) Please let me know how you want the money to be used. It can go towards his bills, supporting both of us as (since I'm not working and money is really tight), for him to buy something fun, or for Mom to pay his bills. :) Just let me know!

*Update 3/3*
There's been an addition to this week's giveaway! Meri of Elfling Creations wanted to help raise awareness and support my brother - so she volunteered to giveaway an earring!

Leave a comment with your favorite item from her shop  for an extra entry :) Now here's what she has to say about it: The earring dangles about 1" from the ear cuff, which is silver-plated and 3mm wide. The sun bead has a crescent moon on the reverse side. That bottom bead is a cats eye- that's hard to see in the photo, so I figured I'd mention it. 

I'll be drawing two winners now on Saturday - make sure you check back - and enter! 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Doing the Bead Soup Hop

There's been a lot of build up on my blog, and others, for the big Bead Soup Blog Hop. Well, I'm doing my best! I've had my tea, and coffee, and a smoothie, and even some water! Yet there is still SO FAR to go... I counted my cheat sheet and I've only visited 64 of the 209 other blogs so far.

I've been going through the list from 1-210 in order, but I'm also responding to any comments I get :) So I am going a little out of order for those. Its nice having it all printed up so I can cross things out, circle ones that hadn't posted yet (one because she's having a baby!). I wanted to have more done by now, but things have been a little busy. I'll talk about that more tomorrow.

That's just a quick sneak peek of what tomorrow's all about! It's going to be a busy day. I have news to share, a giveaway to host, and a surprise! I might not get it up until later in the day because I have two doctors appointments for myself and to take someone else to (nothing worrisome on my part, routine). I'm excited though and you should be too! You'll see what the orange has to do with it tomorrow :)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Handarbeitsrkam's Giveaway Winner!

It has been a busy week for me, but I'm happy to report that my brother seems to be doing better and we are hoping he'll go home from the hospital today :) I'll be heading out to see him later. First I want to say make sure you don't miss my blog soup reveal and now, let's announce the winner!

There were 30 entries this time so...

And number 15 is...

Congrats Deci!

It took me a minute to place the name with the blogger/artist, but the one thing I knew right away is that Deci has entered into several of my giveaways now, and she's submitted multiple entries each time! So I think it's only fair that she has gotten to win one! Now to visit her blog and tell you a little bit more about who she is.

Her blog is called Gem Trails

And she's one of my fellow Bead Soup participants! Here's a peek:

Make sure you head over to her blog and see the rest of this wonderful piece!

Congrats again Deci!

Everyone else - check back on Monday for the next Giveaway, and all through the week to see what I'm up to! Just a hint, I'll be doing a big sale soon! I think you guys will be really excited by it :)

Bead Soup Reveal - Feb 2011

Quick note - I will be visiting the blogs as fast as I can - but my brother is in the hospital so I'll be a little behind!.

Welcome to the 3rd Bead Soup Blog Party!
What is a Bead Soup Blog Party?

 Each beader was paired up with another jewelry designer and tasked with sending the following:

~ A focal
~ A special clasp (not just a lobster claw)
~ Some coordinating spacers or beads

Using the focal and the clasp was mandatory, but we could use anything from our own stash to round out the rest, and choose to use the coordinating beads or not.
Here's what I made!

The seed beads and focal shell are mine. The rest is from her! I saw wooden flowers and shells she sent me and knew they went together. It was after several more attempts that I remembered this shell focal in my stash and figured out how I was going to put it all together. I love the fun feel this necklace has. It's perfect for a day at the beach, or any day you wish you were there! 

Yes, I'm well aware that "subtle" and "bling" aren't words that normally go together. However, I think it perfectly describes what we've got going on with this piece! The focal, main beads, and clasp were all in my soup. I added the seed beads and the copper beads. I think the combination of the dark focal and complimenting beads, with the bright copper, is wonderful! I have to say I never would have thought of it if she hadn't given me a copper clasp. I'm glad she did. I'm going to have to play with these colors, and similar ones, more in the future! Ah, if only I had all the time in the day to do what I want and explore my ideas...

Come see what the rest of us made! 
So that everyone gets lots of views I suggest you scroll down to "you are here" and go from there! 

1.  Lori Anderson, Pretty Things
2. Kitty Durmaj, Perles and Life 
3.  Michelle Heim, Life In the Bead Lane 
4.  Lisa Petrillo, Lucid Moon Studio
5.  Anitra Gordy, Leelu Creations
6.  Paige Maxim, Paige Maxim Designs
7.  Marianna Boylan, Pretty Shiny Things
8.  Cheryl Roe, BeadRoe
9.  Heidi Post, Ex Post Facto
10.  Cindy Wimmer, Sweet Bead Studio

11.  Terri Gauthier, Blooming Ideas
12.  Rachel Walsh, Balanced Crafts
13.  Marian Hertzog, M's Place
14.  Mary McGraw, MK's Musings
15.  Sarabeth Burke, Chronicles of Sarita
16.  Deci Worland, Gem Trails 
17.  Erin Prais-Hintz, Treasures Found
18.  Laura Zeiner, Stick Lizard Designs
19.  Kristin Latimer, MJM Jewelry Designs
20.  Cathryn Brooks-Williams, Chile Cats

21.  Holly Westfall, Silver Rose Designs
22.  Janna Harttgen, Palima-Lim 
23.  Libby Leuchtman, Libby Leu
24.  Rebecca Anderson, Songbeads
25.  Deb Hunter, Living On Air
26.  Diana Ptaszynski, Suburban Girl Studio
27.  Jennifer VanBenschoten, VanBeads 
28.  Margot Potter, The Impatient Crafter
29.  Cyndi Lavin, Beading Arts
30.  Courtney Breul, Beads by Breul

31.  Stefanie Teufel, Stefanie's Sammelsurium
32.  Patricia Gasparino, My Life Under the Bus
33.  Tari Khars, Pearl and Pebble
34.  Kristi Bowman-Gruel, Kristi Bowman Design
35.  Jayne Capps, Mama's Got to Doodle
36.  Becky Fairclough, Chameleons Designs
37.  Evie and Beth McCord, EB Bead & Metal Works
38. Lynne Bowland, Islandgirl's Insights
39.  Barbara Lewis, Painting With Fire
40.  Lorelei Eurto, Inside the Studio

41.  Stacy Hartis, Sissy & Jack's
42.  Jennifer Cameron, Glass Addictions
43.  Marcie Abney, La Bella Joya 
44.  Johanna Rhodes, Fire Phoenix Creations
45.  Nan Emmett, Spirit Rattles 
46.  Melissa Mesara, One Eared Pig  
47.  Amanda Davie, Articulations
48.  Cherin Poovey, Lanyard Lady
49.  Virginia Joste, ViviBijoux

50.  Andrew Thornton, The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
51.  Lori Dorrington, Lori's Glassworks
52.  Melanie Brooks, Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
53.  Kate Gardenghi, Tropical Blonde
54.  Serena Trent, PinkIce Jewel's Blog
55. Malin de Koning, Beading by Malin de Koning
56.  Shai Williams, Shaiha's Ramblings
57.  Francy Inman, 8 Second Studio 
58.  Amy Freeland, Copper Diem
59.  Lisa Liddy, Joolz By Lisa

60.  Sandi Lee James,  Do Be Do Bead Do
61.  Mary Harding, Mary Harding Bead Blog 
62.  Stacey Curry, Star Hitched Wagon
63.  Leslie Gidden, Mad Maggie Designs
64.  Elisabeth Auld, Beads For Busy Gals
65.  Niky Sayers, Silver Nik Nats
66.  Linda Djokic, Lutka and Co.
67.  Tracy Bell, Copper, Glass, and Recycled Trash
68.  Laurel Steven, Rue's Daftique
69.  Ingrid McCue, Wrapped In Silver

70.  Birgitta Lejonklou, Create With Spirit
71.  Diana Hawkey, Diana Hawkey
72.  Norma Turvey, Moonlit Fantaseas
73.  Jeanette Ryan, Jeanette Blix
74.  Jackie Ryan, Silver Lodge Gems
76.  Debbie Goering, Prairie Emporium 
77.  Valerie Norton, Hot Art 
78.  Jana Trupovniece, Stories of the Secret Garden  
79.  Amy Severino, Amy Beads 

80.  Emma Thomas, Fred Beans Nook
81.  Karen Zanco, Everyday Gypsy
82.  Suzann Sladcik Wilson, Beadphoria
83.  Janet McDonald, Singing Woods
84.  Dana James, Dana's Jewelry Designs
85.  Kristina Johansson, Wild Roses and Blackberries
86.  CJ Bauschka, CJ Bauschka
87.  Angela Barribea, Re: Angela Rae
88. Marcy Lamberson, Studio Marcy
89.  Tanya Floyd, Glass Migrations

90.  Lisa Kavanaugh, Beading Bliss
91.  Sue Hodgkinson, Hello Gorgeous 
92.  Jenni Connolly, Jenni's Bead 
93.  Nally Parfyonova, Nally's Creations 
94.  Karyn White, Releases By Rufydoof  
95. Emanda Johnson, Artemisia Studio 
96.  Sandy Richardson, Sandy's Coloring Box
97.  Cindy Dolezal,  Cindy Dolezal Designs 
98.  Stacie Stamper, Park Avenue
99. Mallory Hoffman, For the Love of Beads

101.  Nicole Valentine-Rimmer, N. Valentine Studio
102.  Jacinta Meyers, Jamberrysong's Creations 
103.  Charlene Gary, Gray Girl Studios
104.  Rubiee Hayes, Glitter and Keys Galore
105.  Marge Beebe, Rock Creek Creations
106.  Elizabeth Freeman, Turquoise Sky
107.  Shelby Foxwell, Sundown Bead Designs Rhetoric
108.  Lynda Moseley, Diva Designs
109.  Grace Danel,  Grace Beading
110.  Lois Moon, Que Onda Quitman

111.  Agnes Shapiro, Beader Bubbe 
112.  Terry Carter, Tapping Flamingo 
113.  Judy Glende, Judith B. Designs
114.  Mary Ellen Parker, Bee Tree By Me
115. Barbara Bechtel, Second Surf
116.  Charlene Sevier, The Bead Dreamer
117. Alice Craddick, Alice's Beads and Baubles 
118.  Cory Celaya, Art With Moxie 
119.  Ronda Adams, The Ravished Heart 
120.  Sandi Volpe, Sandi Volpe Designs 

121. Anna Lear, The Laughing Raven 
122. Susie Hibdon, Vintagesusie & Wings  
123.  Amanda Austin, Sea Shore Glass 
124.  Jennifer Velasquez, Jen Judd Rocks 
125.  Hazel Ward, All Those Things 
126.  Brenda Salzano, Salzanos 
127.  Dee Gordon, Runako Designs by Dee 
128.  Anna Denisova, Anita-M 
129.  Margaret Saari, Mags-Jewelry

130.  Genea Crivello-Knable, Genea Beads 
131.  Penny Neville, Copper Penny
132.  Angela Blasingame, Hopemore
133. Helena Fritz, Beadwork by H's Blog
134. Stephanie LaRose, Confessions of a Bead Hoarder
135. Stephanie Haussler, PixyBug Designs
136. Diane Cook, Rosa & Josies  
137.  Maryse Thillens, Glass Bead Art
138.  Jennifer Pride, Jewelry by J.P.
139.  Shannon Chomanczuk, For My Sweet Daughter

140.  Lisa Godfrey, Bead Happy
141.  Heather Pyle, Welcome to My  Muse
142.  Regina Santerre, Regina's Writings
143.  Liz DeLuca, Creative Arty Facts
144.  Sig Wynne-Evans, Beaded Bear's Nonsense
145.  Loretta Carstensen, Loretta's Boutique
146.  Raida Disbrow, Havana Beads 
147.  Amber Dawn, Inventive Soul 
148.  Shelly Graves, Stars Dance With Me  
149.  Jess Italia Lincoln, Vintaj Blog 

150. JJ Jacobs, Coming Abstractions
151.  Carrie Tahquechi, Carrie T
152.  Staci Smith, Staci Louise Originals
153.  Katarzyna Kwiatkowska, Quiet Area 
154.  Ema Kilroy, Ema K Designs
155. Magdalena Sikora, Poranna Gazeta
156.  Nicole Keller, Nicki's Reef
157.  Ann Rishell, My Critical Eye
158.  Noemi Baena, Fire, Metal, and Color 
159. Christa Murphy, Adventures of One Beady Woman 

160.  Barbara Blaszczyk, Labotorium Flory
161.  Collette Collins, Firefly Myst
162.  Carola Greiser, Polymer Clay Shed
163.  Joanna Kopijczuk, Bizuteria z Filcu
164. LeAnn Weih, Summers Studio 
165.  Cassandra Watsham, Design by Cassandra
166. Anna Motz, Stunning
167.  Shea Zukowski, Gr8findings
168.  Susan Kennedy, Sue Beads
169.  Lisa Boucher, Lisa's Clay Happenings

170.  Hope Smitherman, Crafty Hope
171.  Alison Crenshaw, Beads by Earth Tones
172.  Dorcas Midkiff, Wondrous Strange Designs 
173.  Melissa Rediger, Sea of Glass 
174.  Marina Dobrynina, Savon Feutre  
176.  Menka Gupta, Menka's Blog
177. Patsy Evins, Patsy Evins Studio
178.  Cherrie Fick, En La Lumie're
179.  Suzette Bentley, Ellie's Bijoux

180.  Molly Alexander, Beautifully Broken Me
181.  Lyn Foley, Lyn Foley Wearable Art
182. Tara Plote, The Newbie Beader's Blog
183. Natalie Schuetz, Natalie S Perlen 
184. Kim Hutchinson, Running on Ink
185. Haley Frank, Wide Eyed Smilin 
186. Grace Caputo, Suddenly Last Summer
187. Marie-Noel Voyer-Cramp, Skye Jewels 
188. Erin Siegel, Erin Siegel Jewelry 
189.  Janea McDonald, Organized Chaos

190.  Kristi Evenson, Colie Bug & Co.
191.  Linda Inhelder, Must Haves Jewelry
192.  Hilary Frye, FryeStyle
193. Whitney Lassini, Whitney Lassini
194. Nancy Schindler, The Rabbit Muse
195. Pam Brisse, The Blue Between
196. Beth Bricker, Vintage Sweets
197.  Ruthie Stickney, Rose Works Jewelry and Gifts You Are Here
198.  Rose Noble, Lady Noble Designs
199. Karen Williams, Baublicious

200.  Claire Maunsell, The Next Bend
201.  Christine Damm, Stories They Tell
202.  Kerry Bogert, Kab's Creative Concepts
203.  Wendy Blum, Sand & Sea Designs
204.  Juli Cannon, Julsbeads
205.  Jenny Robledo, La Dona Boutique
206.  Krista French, French Elegant Jewelry
207.  Pam Krinski, Ewa Beads
208.  Melissa Meman, Melissa Meman, Art, Life, Love
209.  Dana Jones, Dana's Jewelry
210.  Shirley Moore, Beads and Bread

The next party's sign ups begin August 1-3, 2011.  Don't miss it!
Keep track of what's going on at our wonderful hostess, Lori Anderson's, blog - Pretty Things.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Fast for Friday!

Today's post is just a quick flyby! My brother has cancer and he had his first chemo treatment this week and his in the hospital right now with what seems to be normal complications. They will be keeping him through tomorrow as of right now. So....I'm just throwing up a quick post before I head back to the hospital to be with him!

First - today is your LAST chance to enter this week's giveaway! Make sure you head over and drop off your entries. 

Tomorrow is the big bead soup reveal! I'll be putting together a post tonight to go up first thing tomorrow. I'll also be posting about the winner at some point. I'm really excited! See you then :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Etsy Bloggers Featured Artist - Faerie Garden Fancies

Now that I'm getting back "into the flow" it's time to start catching up on my team requirements for the Etsy Bloggers Team! I've always loved these guys, and I'm more than happy to feature this month's featured team member! She's not one of the team mates I know, probably because I've been out of the loop, but I had a lot of fun checking out her shop! 

Isn't her shop banner cute? That was that the first clue I was going to love her shop! I thought I'd share my two of her awesome pieces. 

Isn't this perfect for St Patricks Day?

And this one is my favorite item...

And last but not least - don't forget to enter this week's giveaway!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sneak Peeks

I'm so excited right now I'm practically bursting! I'm going to have all kinds of new pieces up, and very soon too. I already posted a sneak peek of my first bead soup piece and now I have a sneak peek for you of the second one, and my project for the Etsy Bead Weavers!

You know copper is really underrated as a "bling" metal. I think of bling and I think silver or gold, but I made this piece and it suddenly hit me that copper can be just as bright! Not that this piece is over the top, I think the balance between the dark browns and the bright copper is actually perfect. I can hardly wait to show you!

I'm working on an 80's piece right now - and I'm loving it! I plan on submitting my bracelet for the current Etsy Bead Weavers contest, but I'm going to run with the theme and make a necklace, earrings, and rings too! Hey - when you've got a something your enjoying - you need to run with it! Hopefully I'll have the bracelet up by this weekend as well.

And don't forget to enter this week's giveaway

Monday, February 21, 2011

Giveaway Feature - Handarbeitskram!

I don't remember how I first met Yvonne of handarbeitskram but we have a lot of geekiness in common! She hand dye's yarn (how cool is that?), knits, and sells incredible stitch markers. I love the yarn above because it's called "police box" after Tardis from Dr. Who! Great inspiration huh? Now, to let you get to know her a little bit better ...

1. Where can we find your work and what do you create? 

I sell on Artfire, my shop is I offer handdyed yarns, stitch markers for knitting and some knit or crochet patterns. And if you don't know how to knit or crochet, you can order a custom made item from me.

2. What's your favorite part about being an independent artist? 

I love that I can be creative without anyone telling me what to do. I don't think I could be creative on a timeline with given themes all the time, with my own shop I decide about the pace and about the designs or colours.

3. Where do you find your inspiration? 

Everywhere... Sometimes it's movies or TV shows I like, sometimes flowers, trees or other things I find in nature. But it can be artwork as well or something that comes to mind when I read a book or listen to a song. There are so many possible influences when you mainly work with colour, everything has a colour or a combination of several colours and might inspire a new yarn.

4. What advice would you give to other artists?

Do what you love to do. And don't be afraid to try new things, it might sometimes lead to the best results. Be willing to break the rules, it's your work, you decide about the rules

You could win a set of 6 Millefiori Stitch Markers!
Here's what she has to say about it :)

The brightly coloured glass millefiori beads I used for this set of stitch markers are an eye catcher. 
I framed them with silvery spacer beads, iridescent black rocailles and black faceted beads. 
I can make them as crochet markers as well if you prefer those 
and if you don't knit or crochet I can make a key chain with the same beads for you. Item value: $6

So how can you win?
1. Comment on this entry
2. Share their favorite item from her shop(s) (scroll up for links)
3. Plurk or twitter about it and leave a comment with link.
4. Blog about it and leave a comment with link
5. Purchase an item from her shop (for 5 entries) (links above)

Important: All entries must be submitted by comments on this blog post.
I'm keeping track of the entries, so telling Yvonne about them won't help :P

Interested in doing an artist feature/giveaway on this blog? Just let me know!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

JPride Jewelry's Giveaway Winner!

Yes, it's later in the day than normal for me to announce my giveaway winner, but I had a long day yesterday! I had a 3 yr old's birthday party that I helped throw then clean up from, took a friend to the ER (don't worry, he's ok), and then went to a roof party that my cousin was throwing! Whew. I feel I got run over by the party truck. And now for the winner...

There weren't as many entries this time :(
But there's what the random generator had to say...

But who is number 2?

Congrats SissyandJacks!

Now to share a little bit about our winner...

You can find her blog here.

Looking over her blog I quickly realized why the name is familiar ...
She's part of the Bead Soup Blog Party!
So make sure you check out her blog (and mine!) on the 26th,
for the big party reveal! 

Looking through her shop I found my favorite item:

Which is perfect! If you read my love story earlier this week you found out I love dance :)

Congrats again SissyandJacks!

Stay tuned - we have another exciting giveaway tomorrow - your going to love it!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Featured Friday

Hi everyone! It's Friday - so that means my new blog feature - Featured Friday! I realized this morning the best part about doing this is that I didn't need to figure out what I was going to blog about! Yes, lazy, I know, but it does also bring some consistency to my blog, and I like that. Now...

Featured Facebook

Did you know that Facebook has changed a lot of their policy's recently? One of them is that you won't see postings from other people unless you've been interacting with their page. So...if you want to keep up with what I'm doing...come comment on my facebook page! Guess what? There is a surprise waiting for you over there...

Featured Giveaway

Have you checked out this week's giveaway yet? It's a lovely bracelet! And she needs entries! So come by and visit JPrideJewelry's Giveaway! I'm running this contest through Sunday Morning (whenever I wake up and get to it LOL) instead of Saturday! Yah, I was a bad girl and got it up a day late...

Featured Contest Winner

No - not my contest - the Etsy Bead Weavers!

Every month we have a contest and this month's contest was all about royalty! She won - and I thought I'd start featuring the winner each month. I love this team! Her piece was one of my top favorites too :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Bead Soup in Progress!

A few days ago I shared about my bead soup that I received from this rounds swap partner. Now it's time to share a little taste of the soup! It's done, and I'd love to tell you about the cooking process, but I can't show you the final product yet! The bead soup party is on the 26th and I'll be able to reveal all then. For now...

I truly believe in evolution. Not Darwin's kind, but I think that so much of creating is an evolutionary process! I don't think most people realize the work that can go into even a simply strung necklace. Why? Because it's constantly changing until you settle down on the final piece!

This piece started out with a handful of bead soup from Shai. I separated the beads into two groups and I thought I knew exactly what I was doing with this set! So, a couple of nights ago I put the beads on a paper plate (don't ask) and proceeded with my plan. It failed. Completely. I later figured out how I probably could have made it work, but that was after I had finally managed to create something I liked!

So plan 1 down, I was on to plan 2! That failed as well and I was going to make a simple bracelet. I was about half way done when I remembered a focal I had noticed earlier but put aside because it was definitely meant for a necklace.

Trust me - that close up isn't the most flattering - it looks much better as a whole! But I have to preserve some of the mystery don't I? Looking at the focal, and then at the bracelet, I knew what these beads wanted to be - a necklace!

For those of you keeping track - that was plan 3 down onto plan 4. But wait - there's more!

I was originally thinking of using some heavy cream beads (they look like a coffee with tons of cream!) to accent the main beads. I got them out, looked at them under my desk light (the rest of the room is rather dim) and noticed that the shell's Shai had sent me are a dark brown to tan with white accents! Yes, I said white. Bye - bye heavy cream! Onto plan 5.

I pulled out the white beads and started to string the necklace and decided the white was boring. It also didn't complement Shai's shell beads very well by itself. Back to the bead box! Plan 6 was to add in some brown seed beads.

It took a couple of try's after that to get the write count of seed beads to main beads, but I'll leave it at plan 6 because that is such an incredibly normal part of the process that it doesn't deserve it's own incarnation :P

*Phew* That was quite a journey for a simple necklace! It turned out lovely though - and I even have a name for it! I just have to wait until the 26th before I can show it off :) I have one more piece to make with her bead soup too! I'm looking forward to working on that one - hopefully it will be a less convoluted process. Especially because I have a lot of projects in my bead box right now!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Love Story

Before I share my story - don't forget to enter this week's Giveaway

I'm part of the Blogfire Guild on Artfire - only I haven't been a very good member! Working to be a good member again, and that means participating in our blog carnivals. The current blog carnival's first option is: 1. Love (this can include love items or thoughts on love or a story about love) So I decided it's time to tell you my love story!

Have I ever told you guys I used to be a dancer? I was. I used to be a swing dancer, in fact, I used to be friends with some of the best dancers in the area, I wasn't competition level or anything, but I was fairly decent. Then I got sick and that all changed - but that's not important to this story!

Four years ago I was at the peak of my dancing, and I had an opportunity to take a ball room course at the community college I was attending. The problem with dancing is that it's addicting, and I always wanted to learn more! It's a good thing I did.

I tried to get to know everyone in the ballroom class. I even made a few friends! I remember this shy guy who could barely dance, never took his blue coat off, and seemed to mess up more when he danced with me. I didn't think much of that, there were a couple guys I had that effect on! I just put it down to the fact that I came into the class knowing how to dance, and that gave me an edge on most of the rest. 

I was part of a on campus Bible Study at the time and that shy guy, who's name is Moses, started going. We both ended up going on a trip to LA to work with the homeless. It during the preparation for that trip that I found out he wasn't 19! He was 22. Which, at 24, made a big difference to me! Yes, he looks young. 

Mo still wasn't on my radar that much, but I made a point to get to know the members of the team, especially the shy one's, so that included Moses. Some where along the line I realized he liked me. Then I realized I liked him too. We went out a week after the trip on his birthday, and the rest, they say, is history! We celebrated our 3rd marriage anniversary December 15th and we'll be celebrating 4 years total together on his birthday at the end of March! 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Giveaway Feature - JPrideJewelry

1. Where can we find your work and what do you create?

My work is almost exclusively on Etsy (, although I do sell some locally (Raleigh/Cary, NC) by word-of-mouth.  I may put an item or two on Ebay every once in a while just for the heck of it.

What  make is jewelry for women.  Necklaces, bracelets, earrings.. that sort of thing.  I'm still pretty new to selling what I create, so I haven't settled into a particular style.  If you look, my collection is fairly eclectic.  From a simple single strand of beads with a charm, to delicately linked bead units.  I'm starting to get into chain mail and wire work, so we'll see how that goes.

You can also read my blog entry about my bead soup and what I'm going to do with it.  These pieces are some that will be going on Ebay.  I'd like to get maximum exposure for this particular sale and you'll see why when you read the post!

2. What's your favorite part about being an independent artist?

My favorite part of being an independent artist is that it gives me an outlet for my pent-up creative energy.  I have ADD, and so most things I find tedious, yet I can make a necklace with over 2000 beads without batting an eye.

3. Where do you find your inspiration?

My inspiration comes primarily from my imagination.  That or impulse.  What I mean by impulse is I'l be strolling along in the bead shop, having already picked out what I came for, and I'll see something that I have to have because I immediately see it for what it can become.  My Peruvian Pink Opal earrings are a prime example.  I saw them at the last minute, but what I saw was not a bowl of pink beads.  I saw a beautiful pair of earrings with that soft pink paired with pale blue-green.

Other inspiration comes from books or magazines.  In those cases it's a particular technique I want to try, or a new color that I've never used before.

4. What advice would you give to other artists?

Advice for other artists?  Oh gosh, I'm still looking at more established artists myself.  I think the advice I would give to those just starting out is to be persistent and determined.  Don't give up because you aren't making any sales.  Don't be afraid to put yourself out there, otherwise your chances of success are kinda slim.  If I hadn't put myself out there, I wouldn't be participating in things like Lori's Bead Soup Blog Party, or Bead Table Wednesday on Flickr, or being featured here. ;)

Now that you've met Jennifer - ready to win???

Here's Jennifer's Description about the bracelet - which is titled Golden Garden Butterflies.  Rose gold combines with Swarovski crystal to form this bracelet which brings to mind butterflies lazily fluttering in a garden.  The rose gold components are rose gold plated over copper and the bracelet is 6 3/4" long. 
Valued at $35.

How can you win?
1. Comment on this entry
2. Share their favorite item from her shop(s) (scroll up for links)
3. Plurk or twitter about it and leave a comment with link.
4. Blog about it and leave a comment with link
5. Purchase an item from her shop (for 5 entries) (links above)

Important: All entries must be submitted by comments on this blog post.
I'm keeping track of the entries, so telling Jennifer about them won't help :P

Normally I announce my winners on Saturday - but not this week!
I'll announce the winner on Sunday since I'm posting this a day late :)

Are you interested in being featured on this blog? You would receive a week's worth of free promotion from me! What does that mean? I promote my giveaway features on a daily basis (barring emergency's) and your shop will be promoted to over 100 facebook fans, 130 people on Plurk, 4 teams on Etsy, and non-site-specific jewelry/blogging group, and on Artfire! That's a lot of chances for people to discover YOUR work.  Interested? Just leave me a comment or e-mail me at roseworksjewelryATgmailDOTcom.