Thursday, January 26, 2012

2 new hearts

I managed to get up 2 new awesome hearts on etsy. I'm smitten with them for the moment, and about to head back down to the studio to make some more, along with dogtags, and maybe some buttons for those Chan Luu inspired bracelets. I think I need to make myself one of those!

I'm still having camera issues. I just can't get a decent picture out of the loaned camera. It's quite old, and every single picture is coming up insanely blurry. These two were taken on my iphone, which seems to work ok for the bronze items, but not for the lampwork beads.  I have a whole whack of beads to post, but they'll have to wait until I get my new camera. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Evil Sneak Peek

 I know, I know.... Here ya go Lorelei! These are now on their way to you.  This is so much fun :-)  For those of you just tuning in. Lorelei and I are partners in the 5th Bead Soup Blog party. Be sure to check out the link to see all of the participants.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Angry kitty

Don't ever run out of cat food...even for a few minutes. Yeesh, you'd think we were starving him. The dog ate all of the cat food last night, and while hubby is off to buy more, he just can't get here fast enough. Sam is currently trying to assassinate me by getting under my feet, and swatting and biting at my ankles. So much for my cute little kitten. The sweetest thing ever - unless he's hungry ;-)

A camera!

Whew, Thank you to my wonderful sis in law for the loan of hers! New etsy listings coming up on Sunday!  Both shops will be getting an update, mostly though I've got tons of beads and components for the bead and finding shop.

Today is studio day. I've got a kiln load of bronze to fire, a torch session, and my most important task is of course to finally decide exactly what I'm sending to Lorelei. Her package is shipping out on Monday. I'll post a little teaser then :-)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

No etsy listings for a bit

I mentioned before that my camera is broken.  Well, I just spent the last hour trying to get decent pictures of jewelry and beads with my iPhone.  It's just not happening. While I can certainly get a decent enough pic of a group of things to post on the blog. The close ups are beyond terrible.   I will continue to work on new goodies, and as soon as I get my new camera I'll plan for a massive update on both shops. As much as I'm tempted to run out and get a cheap camera, I think it's best to wait and get the DSLR that I really want. I should have it by sometime in early February - so really, only a few more weeks.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Kids crafting weekend

This past weekend was primarily spent indoors. 1) It was far too cold to actually go out. Saturday I think it dipped to -20! Sunday wasn't much better. The kids and I pulled out the craft supplies and made these:

We had so much fun! These were made with the regular cheapo craft felt you can find at Michaels. Of course, I'm now lusting over the sumptuous looking  pure wool felt I've found on etsy. I just can't decide which colours I want. Some of the shops I've found stock between 50 and 70 colours. I want them all! I will behave though :-)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bead Soup Blog Party!

I made it in! I was trying not to keep my hopes up, as there were of course so many entries, and only 200 possible participants. For once, I was one of the lucky ones, and even luckier - my partner is non other than the awesome Lorelei. 

Hmmm, now to think about what goodies to send her! Obviously, it's going to have to be something pretty fantastic. I cant wait to see what she does with whatever I come up with. 

In other less fabulous news, my camera is still broken. I can't decide if I should wait and save up for the camera I actually want, or just go get a cheap camera until I can afford the one I actually want. Tomorrow, I'll see if I can get a decent picture from my new iPhone. The camera on the newer version is better than the old one, but will it be good enough? I have lots of stuff to post on etsy, so I think I'll give it a shot.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Yup, see that above? That's what I get when I try to take a picture from my newish camera. Sigh....I've been on a roll trying to get lots of goodies ready for etsy, as this year was the year I was really going to focus on my jewelry/beads again.  According to some research, this problem is fixable by Canon, but will cost about the same as a new camera.

Hubby was going to buy me a new DSLR for my birthday,  to replace to SLR that was getting a little old (plus, I lost the battery charger for it). A new battery charger for the SLR I have is very specific and hard to find. The cheapest I found was $120 plus shipping.  Since my birthday is not until March, I think I'll either be getting a very early birthday present, or will have to suck it up and buy a new one myself. With the work I do, not having a camera is simply not an option. I can't work without a camera...  Off to hunt kijiji. Etsy updates are on hold til I find a new one. I'll still be making stuff in the meantime!

Monday, January 9, 2012

It's time....

                                                                     Source: via frecklesqueak on Pinterest

A new year finally. 2011 kinda sucked to be honest. I'm glad it's over, and more than ready to move on. Today is the first day the kids are back at school, and I just realized that it's completely quiet. I was only tempted momentarily to turn on some music, or the news as background noise while I work. It's blissful the silence, and I think I'll savor it a wee bit longer.

I'm looking forward to the new year, and making some fairly dramatic changes in my life. One, I need to work on time management. Although I work from home, I work on three completely different projects. Two are completely creative, but one of them has me working on all sorts of tasks - everything from data entry, to writing, to design, to customer service. I love it all, but need to better fit the tasks into very specific time slots. It's been too many years of erratic sleeping, and possibly working too much (but not very efficiently). That's my goal for this week - come up with a workable time management plan, and stick to it.

With the erratic sleeping, also came erratic eating. I'm very good about giving the girls healthy meals and snacks. Unfortunately, they eat far better than I do! Dinner is at 6 for them (and us), but when you're still awake at three am - it's too easy to eat again. I can guarantee you, it's not something healthy at that point. ;-) A friend posted a picture of me on facebook from New Years eve. I can't tell you how much I was tempted to delete it. Really, my god...what has happened to me? I think it sometimes takes a picture like that to really give yourself a kick in the ass. I mean come on, there is really no excuse for that. Yeah, I've been busy, and stressed out, and have a recurring health issue...blah, blah, blah... I can come up with excuses for days! It's time to just snap out of it. So that's changing as well - my diet, and damn it, I'll get some exercise somehow.

I also can't wait to really get back in the studio. Bear with me for a week or so while I sort out how I'm going to manage my time both with jewelry/beadmaking, and my other two projects. I'm sure I'll figure it out. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Bead Soup Blog Party

Signups have begun! The blog party is limited to 200 participants this time around, with the participants being chosen by lottery. I've put my name in, and fingers are crossed that I get a spot!

In other news, I have an increasing pile of goodies to both photograph, and list on etsy. I'll admit, that the editing and listing process is far from my favourite part of the online selling process - and I have a bad habit of letting it pile up to gargantuan proportions, while I continue to blissfully work away in my studio creating even more items to add to the pile. ;-) I've decided that once that number passes 10 (and we're well past that), I will not allow myself to make anything else until they're listed. Both shops will be getting updates today! .... once I've had more coffee.  

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Latest batch of fast fire bronze

Squeeee! I'm a little excited ;-) Not so much for the pieces themselves (although, I love how they came out), but mainly for the fact that I've had yet another completely successful firing of the fast fire bronze. I'm now hooked, and I can move past the testing phase. In batches past, I was nervous about spending too much time creating designs, that may/or may not survive the firing process. And lets face it, simple cutouts with stamped texture gets more than a little boring.

I made these last night while watching a few episodes of Work of Art - a reality TV show similar to the project runway theme. While I generally hate reality TV (and this show really isn't much better), I did find I was inspired to create. Made it though 5 episodes - I think I'll break open another pack of clay tonight and watch the rest ;-)

These will be going up on the jenniferbeads etsy site soonish. Still need to clean them up a bit.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Creating your own bustform challenge @ beadfx!

I'm sharing a post I made on the beadFX blog this morning. What started out as a fairly simple link to a tutorial, turned into a challenge of sorts. I hope you'll come along for the ride - should be lots of fun!

Yesterday's post turned into quite the discussion on facebook. It seems I'm certainly not the only one who has been hoping to find/make a cool bustform for jewelry display! We've started a little challenge, with a few of us vowing to either make or alter an existing form somehow by the end of February. We'd love to have more of you join in, as always the more the merrier! Feel free to reblog this, or share with your friends. The beading/jewelry community is highly creative!

The deadline for submission is February 29th. Send me pics, and a little information about you, and of course your process/artistic vision in creating your bust forms.  I've copied yesterday's post below for ease of sharing!  And I think this time, a prize will be in order. Hmmm, to be determined - but will most likely involve some handmade beads, and a bit of destash!

Prize will be drawn randomly based on the number of participants. We're not going to judge your artwork!

Send your submissions to by February 29th. The reveal post will be very early March - depending on how many submissions we have.

You have almost 2 months - time to get busy!

Here is a copy of yesterdays post - Sorry for the duplicate!

For a while now, I've been occasionally hunting kijiji for a cheap dressmakers judy to use for photographing necklaces. I have some necklace display forms, but really wanted something close to lifesize for photography - or at least bigger than your standard display forms. I came across a tutorial online that I wanted to share with you all.  The Polka Dot Closet shows how she altered some inexpensive larger jewelry displays. Maybe we can get Marg to order some of these larger displays - We'll have space once we move!

If you would prefer to go full on out DIY, you can create your own completely from scratch with this tutorial from Linda's Art Quilts.

Here are some decorating ideas no matter which method you choose:

                                                                             Source: via Rachelle on Pinterest

                                                                               Source: via Teresa on Pinterest

                                                                                         Source: via Krislyn on Pinterest

While these may not have a subtle enough background to actually make your jewelry stand out, they're too awesome not to share.

                                                                                               Source: via ms on Pinterest

                                                                               Source: via Wendy on Pinterest

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

My New Years resolutions are simply to have none this year. Every year, I make all of these crazy resolutions (lose weight, renovate my studio, make a gazzilion beads per day, etc), only to completely set myself up for failure. My friend Lyndsey mentioned on facebook that rather than set yourself up for complete failure with a resolution, she sets goals. Goals are easily broken down into small attainable steps.

So, with that in mind my first goals of the year are to lose 5 lbs, and work towards managing my time better. I would love to spend more time making beads and jewelry - unfortunately, with my other commitments I find I have nowhere near enough time. I do however spend far too much time on the computer, and a good chunk of it is not hugely productive ;-) This I can most certainly manage!

One of the more productive tasks I've taken care of over the last week, is to separate my jewelry listings from my bead listings on etsy. I've set up a separate shop for my jewelry here. I'm hoping this will make my bead and component etsy site far less cluttered and more cohesive.  There's not that much there yet - but that's another goal for the new year ;-)