January 30, 2008

Ornament Thursday - Love Story

Well, those crafty gals who brought you Ornament Thursday in December have decided to keep the fun going all year round. On the last Thursday of each month, you'll find a great collection of projects and inspiration from an eclectic and talented group of designers. "Ornament" is being used very loosely as it covers anything crafty that fits within the monthly theme. This month the theme is Love Story.
* Scroll down for the list of participating designers!

Gather up a collection of raspberry pink, lavender and lilac seed beads to accent this cuff bead in garnet. What was my inspiration? Why the lovely hues of Valentine sundries at the supermarket that have been showing off their cheery shades all through drab January. Want the instructions? You can find them on the Beads, Baubles & Jewels website here. Need seed beads? I like Charlene's Beads, Cindy's Crafts and Foxden Designs. (Seed beads are one of my secret loves. "You had me at matte metallic.")


Garnet Cuff Bead

Memory Wire

12 - 2mm silver beads

6 different types of seed beads (I like to add in a few strands of size 8/0 seed beads, they are larger and thread faster.)

6 accent beads - pearls and crystals are a fav.

6 - 1" headpins

2 - 2" headpins or 4" of sterling silver wire, 20 gauge

*big hint - one of my customers used a bead spinner to thread the seed beads, she used the memory wire instead of the hooked needle and said it worked like a charm. You have to love that!

Ornament Thursday Designers:

Hali's Flowers of LOVE in Ancient Bulgarian - 2 paintings in stylized Cyrillic spell out L-U-V

Art Bead Scene - The designers at Art Bead Scene have two jewelry love stories for you! Elaine Ray links together a little love with her ceramic heart components while Melanie Brooks Lukacs tells a little tale of romance in a Gothic Garden

Cindy Gimbrone Beads - Cindy's Love Story is about a hook and beads

Earthenwood Studio Bead Blog - What is sweeter than a mix CD for your Valentine? A yummy gift box in which to present it, filled with candy themed decorations, including a cute bracelet and cell phone charm!

Heart mobile - Jenny’s painted paper pulp hearts.

Humblebeads - Heather shares her favorite bracelet design in a Valentine inspired color scheme.

Jennifer Heynen of Jangles - Jennifer has made a fun "Ornament" for her neck that looks good enought to eat.

Joolz by Lisa - This "Love Story" will last all year long! Lisa shares how beads and books work together.

Katie's Beading Blog - Here's a happy little heart project for you - use it to embellish a bag or your jeans, or as inspiration for a necklace or bracelet.

Kriss Cramer - Art Interrupted - Grow Love! Nurture and care for your loved ones every day. Use this heartfelt book, you can make yourself, to remind you of all the love you have to give.

Linda Augsburg at Make It Mine magazine - Linda's love story project is a dress she embellished by stenciling dancers and a big band along the hem. Read why and learn how to do it yourself on the Make It Mine blog.

Michelle's Love Story... - The band is getting back together again! Ornament Thursday celebrates the story of love...

Ornament Thursday Blog - January is coming to an end and Valentine's Day is looming on the horizon. Whether you wish to shower the people you love with love or show yourself a little well deserved affection, the Ornament Thursday Gang has a bevy of beautiful ideas to inspire you!

Savvy Crafter - Candie's love affair with big rings continue...she's making her own now! Love Stories and more over at the Savvy Crafter! XOXO!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! - Ah, Love ! This satirical creation of Jean's immortalizes certain women's profound affecton for their ... handbags!!!

Strands of Beads - Love speaks many languages. Learn how to say "I Love You" in an untraditional way with Melissa Lee's whimsical jewelry project.

SwellDesigner - Alexa shares with you her truly swell and punny Valentines!

The Impatient Blogger - Love is in the air at The Impatient Blogger! Margot shares two vintage inspired jewelry designs that are oozing with romance...in a good way!

January 13, 2008

It's Alive!

I had some serious technical issues when I tried to publish my website yesterday. It took me until around 3pm to finally have the shopping cart and new beads up and ready to go! Oh computers, we love them and we hate them.

Don't forget I'm giving away free beads this weekend! Visit my site for more information. Humblebeads.com

A few of the new beads. Many of the new items have had a short run on my etsy shop, but are now part of my regular line. This includes my Van Gogh Beads, Winter Branches and William Morris Blue Cuff.

Toggles! Use them as buttons or clasps. I love these. I have them in my Branch colors and in bright leafy designs, called Petals.

Monet Cuff beads, possible the most beautiful beads I've ever made! I have disk beads that match. Yeah for art beads inspired by artists!

Some of my new Petal beads, including toggles and disk beads. The cuffs are my ol' favorites, but now they have buddies.

Are you ready for the snow to melt? (I'm still wishing for the cold) Spring Branch beads will help! I love these ones too!

And a set of matching disk beads. Isn't polymer clay just the most amazing stuff on the planet?

Now I want a day to play with beads and work up some new designs!

Still working on the site, including updating my links and some of the other pages.

January 10, 2008

Whistle while you work

I work much faster with music in the background. I love using Rhapsody to create playlists of my favorite songs or albums. Lately I've been feeling a little mellow, so Paul Simon, Carole King and Johnny Cash are keeping me company in the studio. I also like accu radio, you can listen to Broadway hits, Celtic music or punk, whatever fits your mood for the day.

The website is coming along nicely, I think I've come up with a good solution for easier navigation. I use templates and just plug everything in with a little html for customization. I can't wait to show you my new beads, so above is a sneak peek.

I'd love to exchange links with you if you have a website, leave the link in the comments section and I'll add you to the list!

Random Bits:
How often do you hear your husband say this in the morning, "Don't put away the sewing machine, I'm going to use it after work." What will that man of mine make now?

January 9, 2008

Website Relaunch

Well, I have been working away hoping to have my website ready by tomorrow. Ha, nope. My grand re-opening will be Saturday, January 12th. I just need a few more days.

I have two prizes that I'll be giving away during the weekend. The first one is a $50 gift certificate to my shop. Each customer that places an order Saturday & Sunday will be entered. And I have a $25 gift certificate for new newsletter subscribers that sign up during the weekend. Winners will be randomly drawn on Monday.

In the meantime, my etsy shop is nice and full. Here are two of my latest creations:

January 8, 2008

Goals for 2008

Inspired by Elaine Ray's post yesterday on the Art Bead Scene, I thought I'd share some of my goals with you for 2008.

First you'll notice this picture, it's my task sheet for the next two weeks. Each day has no more than 6 tasks, because I realized last year that I am not a robot and I do require things like sleep and a day off once a week! (These are huge pads of paper that offices use for presentations.)

I have another pad that lists my goals for 2008. I'm so good at setting goals in the beginning of the year and then fizzle out. (like everyone else, right!) So I've decided to list them larger than life right by my door so each time I leave the room I see the list. The task list is on the door coming in, so I can see what I need to accomplish before I rush off on any tangents!

Goals for 2008

Relaunch website with shipping in 1-2 days
This requires me to have a large stash of inventory on hand. Before, I would fill orders as they came in, unfortunately I found out at the end of year, that there can be a thing as too many orders at one time and I was shipping out later and later. Not good for business, but I only have two hands! So that is the first thing to change for 2008.

Submit 1 project a month to bead magazines
I have ideas bursting at the seems and hope that you'll see more of my work in print!

Take one day off each week and get 8 hours of sleep
Did you know a lack of sleep can cause serious health problems. There were many days that I would go to bed at 1am and get up at 5am for the day. How did I function! So I try to put myself to bed by 11, which is very hard for me to do, but I need more sleep.

I read something the other day that rang true for me. "Work, no matter how fulfilling it is or how much you enjoy it, is not downtime."

Everyone needs a day off. It's not good to work more than anything else in life, no matter how much fun it is and beads are so much fun! So I have vowed to not work on Sundays. This Sunday I spent the day with my girls, doing a little tidying up, cooking and made pillowcases. I'm going to make a quilt for my bed over the next few weeks. I woke up on Monday so happy and refreshed. So if you work from home, take a day off this week and see what you are missing!

My last goal that I'm sharing today is Organizing my Studio. I've been working at one corner, table, shelf at a time. It may take me all year!!!

January 7, 2008

Seeing Red

Just a few photos of new items in the ol' shop.
A few hours left in the ETC sale!

1st Monday Sale!

50% off holiday items in my Winter Wonderland section and free gift with every purchase. (one per customer.)

With almost 50 other Etsy Texas Crafters having sales today, it's a nice day to treat yourself to a little something something!

See today's list of sales:

January 6, 2008

A Fool for Love...

Oh, don't you love this time of year? A whole brand new year ahead of us, sparkling with possibilities. The pinks, red and purples in the stores ushering Valentine's Day to arrive quickly, to push away the winter doldrums and offer the flutter of sweet-nothings from our someone specials.

I've been busy organizing and making beads. Next is working on my website for my big re-launch on the 10th. I can't wait to share my new beads with you! Until then, check out the ol' etsy shop and the "Be Mine" section for some Valentine inspired treats. Monday is the Etsy Texas Crafters 1st Monday sale, so check back here for details bright and early Monday morning!

Have a peaceful Sunday. If you work from home, I hope you take the day off today. We all need a little more rest!

January 5, 2008

Holiday Re-Hash

I always wait until the weekend after New Year's to take down my holiday decorations. Since we weren't here for the week of Christmas, it's been especially nice to enjoy them a week longer. Although I have a feeling some of my snowmen may stay out until February, they are wintery after all and not just for Christmas.Here are some handmade ornaments I've collected through the years. The wooden nativity was given to me by Grandma, I can remember seeing it on her tree was little.
We had two small fake trees in the living this year. Usually we splurge on a real one. I love the smell of the pine during the holidays. Oh well, no free mulch for us this year. This is a little holiday vignette that I set up with the nativity. I made the stockings out of fancy place mats!
Some of the handmade ornaments on our bigger tree. This tree usually goes in the girl's bedroom. We have beaded snowflakes, recycled paper balls that Jess made along with his soldered microscope glass ornaments. I have a felted ornament and my beaded one from one of the Ornament Thursday's. And at the top is a faux quilt ornament. I glued the fabric down on foam sheets, hand stitched on top of it and whipped stitched around the border.

Thanks for letting me give Christmas one last hurray before I pack it away!

January 4, 2008

Bird Beads

A little playing around this week in the studio. I created some bird beads, just because. I picked up a few tiny bird figures in Michigan and felt like I needed some beads to fit the theme. I'm indulging my playful side more in 2008, so expect a little whimsy from me every now and then. For these birds I wanted to create something that looked like faux terra cotta, as if they were little sculptures from a long neglected garden.

p.s. the birds are ready to fly the coop, you can find them in my etsy shop.

January 2, 2008

New Books

The good thing about gift cards...

Now I'm eagerly waiting for them to arrive!