Friday, February 29, 2008

Good Morning Teacher!

Tomorrow afternoon, I will be attending a Chainmaille class at Caravan Beads in Chicago.  

While I won't be making armor or kinky outfits (unless you need a kinky outfit) with these techniques, it will enable me to design and create custom chains for use with my lampwork beads.  The unique chains that can be made offer a wide array of design possibilities.

The class is being taught by Vanessa of Blue Buddha Boutique.  I found out about this web site and their lovely work while at the Bead and Button show last June.  I was very pleased to learn they were from Chicago, and now I can take one of their classes.

I'll be bringing in one my beads to work into the piece we're making tomorrow and it will eventually be worn by me.  I'll have to get some pictures when the piece is completed, of course!

While these chains can be worn by men and women, I'm hoping to create some more masculine designs with the chains and add another dimension to my work.

Wish me luck and I hope you all have great weekend!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Trellis Vinery - Come Take A Peek

Tonight I went back to the gym again and had a very good (tiring) workout, but I wanted to get this posted before I completely collapse.

My latest entry into my Etsy shop tomorrow morning is called "Trellis Vinery".  It's a grapevine bead with a little bit of different design.  The background of the bead, which is a lovely light ivory color, has been created to have a grooved appearance that runs horizontally around the background.  Can you see it in the picture?

This design creates an interesting trellis effect, which is how the set got its name. 

This bead is a bit larger and more detailed than the ones listed earlier in the week, so I hope you get a chance to stop by the store and take a look when it gets posted with the additional (and larger) pictures and dimensions.

Have a great night, Everyone!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

New Gallery Loaded Into Website!

As I'm typing this entry, I am uploading a new Sculptural Beads gallery into the web site containing my latest non-traditional beads for 2008.  This is just the start of this gallery, so be sure to subscribe to it and get all of the latest updates sent directly to you!

The new gallery contains pictures of my latest leaf bead sets as well as my "Early Bloomers" flower bud beads.

Have I mentioned how much simpler updating my website is now with my new Mac?  

New Item In Etsy

Just when you thought it was safe to go into my shop, you see it.  Another new dot design!

While I made grapes this weekend, that doesn't mean I've listed all of my dot beads yet.  This little gem is called "Pinky Blues" for its Lilac Ice base bead and the deep ink blue of its dots.

It's got a lovely contrast between the warm and cool shades, don't you think?  Under the blue dots, white dots were used and can be seen in the photo if look carefully.

Hope you're having a great night.  Sleep well!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Woodland Vines Coming Soon

Tomorrow morning, I'll be adding another new grape focal to my Esty shop entitled "Woodland Vines".

The bead gets its name from the rich background color I used behind the grapes and vines.  The color is called Desert Chameleon and its a rich beige that works up great with a very cool grain pattern in the glass that reminds me of wood.

The background has been encased in clear and then decorated with some very cool vines and leaves.  This bead has four bunches of ripe grapes (two on each side) and multi-colored vines which add a terrific texture to the whole bead.

I just love grape designs in all sorts of art, and I'm very proud to be able to bring grapevines in my artwork.

Have a great night!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Harry Potter And The Academy Awards

My apologies to everyone who thought you'd get a preview last night of what I was posting into shop this morning.  I had a couple of distractions going yesterday that preventing a blog posting, but you'll be glad to know you didn't miss anything;  I slept in this morning and decided not to add a new item to my store until tomorrow.

What were the distractions, you ask?  Well, first off the Academy Awards were on.  Since we're big movie buffs, that night is rather like Christmas around here.  I wanted to see who was winning which awards and if Johnny Depp would pull-off the Best Actor for "Sweeney Todd".  He didn't, but I had to support him anyway since the movie was so terrific.  Go see it if you haven't already.

John Stewart was pretty funny this year and I think he did a great job hosting. Overall, I really enjoyed this year's show even though I haven't seen  a few of the nominees.
The other MAJOR distraction is "Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows" which I am re-reading.  I love this series of books.  Once I had read my brand new copy of book 7 when it arrived during the summer, I re-started the entire series with book 1 and have been reading it ever since.

The fifth book remains my least favorit and the hardest one to get through (it took a couple of months, but I was also reading about MACs at the time), but is really necessary to set up the rest of the books.  

I'm getting toward the final battle in the book and decided to give it a read instead of blogging last night.  Please don't hate me!

What's New For Tomorrow

Yesterday, I was working on grape focals again and created several new tabular beads with grapes, vines and leaves.  The first of these will be going into my Etsy shop in the morning.

Entitled, "Ripening Harvest", this tabular bead is adorned with three bunches of grapes, lots of creeping vines and vibrant green leaves.

I'm still experimenting with background colors for these types of beads as you will see as the week progresses.

This background is Moroccan Swirl and is encased in a clear layer to add some depth to the bead.

This focal bead is the smallest of the beads I made yesterday, and coincidentally is also the smallest bead.  I don't know why when I'm making these beads, they keep getting bigger as I work.  Probably because I want more room to add the grapes and vines onto the beads.

This bead will be added to Etsy in the morning, so I hope you'll come a take a look.  Have a great night!

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Tax Man Cometh And Other Disappointments

Well, I'm probably up way too late tonight since I have an early morning meeting with my accountant, but I'm pulling together all of the paperwork that I need to take with me in the morning.

While I'm anxious to find out what my refund will be for the personal taxes, it's always a little nerve wracking to put everything down onto paper and let an outsider scrutinize it and ask questions.  I'm always afraid they're going to find that I've done something wrong.

Fortunately, that has not yet happened in the four years I've been running this business.  So, it's doubtful that this will be the year for a major mistake.

After the tax meeting, I'll be heading over to the glass store for a bit of a visit and to pick up the beads that I made during the class I taught a few weeks ago.  

No Club Bead Show

I also found out this morning that a bead show, that I was hoping to participate in for the first time this year, has been cancelled.  Our local bead club always has a show in mid-September and I've attended it for a number of years.  This was the year I was going to actually get a booth and give it a try, but now that will not be happening.   

Back to drawing board on that one.  I'll have to research additional venues for the summer months and see how it goes.

Is Septemberfest Ready For Me?

On a positive note, I have submitted my application to Septemberfest, which is a large arts and crafts show in Schaumburg every year.  It's a great show and I hope it works out that I can display there for my first time.  

I won't find out about this until May 1st, so think happy thoughts for me until then.

Have a great night and a terrific weekend!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Rubies Are Red

As I look over the items in my shop, I have become aware that I am a bit deficient in the color RED.  I attribute part of this problem to the time of year--namely, that Spring is here (or will be soon, I hope) and the colors of spring are blue, green, yellow, and pink.  

Another part of the problem is that I only have a couple of RED rods left and I haven't placed another glass order yet since I'm working to get taxes prepared and applications to art festivals done.

However, I cannot allow my low reserves of RED to allow the colors of beads in my shop slip too far into the cool color scale.  So, may I present to you  "Rubies Are Red"?

This HOT little focal sports lots of this elusive color and just shines in the light.  Sure to FIRE your imagination, the deep, transparent RED dots encompass this focal bead.  It reminds me a bit of a jewel encrusted piece of jewelry such as a Faberge' Egg.

Then, of course, there are those lovely shoes of Dorothy's in "The Wizard Of Oz" which also have a bit of RED on them too.

Well, whatever this bead reminds me of, really doesn't matter.  The only question is, "What does this bead remind you of?"

It'll be in my Etsy shop in the morning.  Please come a take a look and see more pictures of this little gem.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Don't Tell Anyone, But I've Spiked The Punch!

Have you seen the punch yet?  Well,  here it is.

This little pastel bead, entitled "Spiked Punch", was quite the hit when I took it into work the other morning.  While I knew it was a cute little focal bead, I wasn't expecting the ladies to really take to it as much.

Created from a citrus punch odd lot glass as its base, it has been dotted with copper green which has been completely melted into the bead.

Raised dots of light ivory were then stacked on top each dot to create this fun little work of art.

While it is not etched, it does appear to have a bit more of a matte finish which may be due to the glass reactions with the copper green or just the time it took to create the bead.  It did not devitrify (evaporate some of the metal from the glass) like some other colors tend to do when they produce a non-etched matte finish.

I guess I won't try to analyze, just enjoy it.  This bead will be in my Etsy shop tomorrow morning, which, by the way, has been reorganized into new bead categories.  

I'm hoping the new sections will make it easier to find the various kinds of beads you might be looking for without having to go through pages and pages of beads.

I hope you get a chance to stop by my shop sometime or just drop me a line.   I always love hearing from you.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

New Hollows Coming Tomorrow

Did you think I wasn't going to tell you what was being added to my Etsy shop tonight after seeing that last post?

Well, I wouldn't do that to you.  Tomorrow morning, this bright and cheerful set of hollow beads will be loaded into the shop.

This set consists of six beads, three a deep aqua blue and three a rich Violet (actually it's Ink Blue, but it looks much more purple than blue).  Both colors are transparent and the darker ones in the picture are not as dark as they appear to be.

It's a fun set for Spring, and I hope you like them.  I had a lot of fun making them.

What are they called, you ask?  I haven't decided yet.  Check my Etsy shop tomorrow to find out!

Have a great night.

Welcome To Love Dolts!

Time to reach out a helping hand for those who don't know what love is or what the hell they're doing in their dysfunctional relationships.

Each night as I'm driving home from the gym after work, a local radio stations is playing all love songs and dedications to young lovers from those who call in.  

I only hear about 15 minutes of it each night, but some of these folks dedicating songs really need to re-think their relationships or what they'll admit to on a radio station.  

While I'm not going to give out any actual names (like I could remember them), these are a couple of the more recent dedications that I couldn't believe (paraphrased a bit, but not exaggerated):

CALLER:  I'd like to say to my wife that I'm so sorry, and I'm working to be the man you want and I promise that I will change.  I love you and am trying to be the man that you want me to be.

DJ:  How long have you two been married?

CALLER:  25 years.

Dear caller, if  after 25 years of marriage you're STILL not the man she wants, I've got news for you.  You are EXACTLY the man she wants;  one that is so afraid of upsetting her and with such low self-esteem, she can always get what she wants and you keep crawling back to her.  What kind of relationship do you want?

CALLER:  This song is going out to my boyfriend of 18 years.  He's such a wonderful man, and I love him so much.  We've been together since high school, and I'm so glad he's in my life.  I love you!

DJ:  Marriage never came up in 18 years?

CALLER:  Well, we're both caring for our sick mothers.

Caring for a sick parent is certainly a huge responsibility, but since high school?  If they haven't kicked-off in 18 years, then it's time to turn off their respirators and go and have yourselves a life!  Your mothers got to have a life, why not you?  YOU'RE BEING MANIPULATED or HE'S QUEER DEAR!   Take your pick.

Time for one more call!

CALLER:  I'd like to dedicate this my boyfriend of five years in Colorado.  I love him so much; he's the perfect man for me.  He's being transferred soon to a new city, and I'm hoping that he gets transferred somewhere closer to Chicago!

DJ:  How long has he been in Colorado?

CALLER:  Two years.   We've always been a long-distance relationship, but he's so kind and nice.  I just hope he get relocated closer this time!  I couldn't image a more perfect man.

Of course he's perfect, you don't live with or even near him!  Why wouldn't the relationship be idyllic since you don't have to pick up his socks all over the house and he doesn't have to wait for your bras to dry before taking a shower.  It's easy to live with an ideal, not so much when it's a person.

As a side note, if he's in Colorado having a long distance relationship with you, who's to say he's not having relationships all over the place with ladies who think he's just perfect too?

Time for a prayer:

Dear Lord, 

Help these poor Love Dolts and show them the path to healthy, loving relationships with actual people they know and who love them back.  Their current partner's suck!


Monday, February 18, 2008

It's Alive!

Well after much promises and reassurances that the new web site was going to be coming, it is finally here.

The old site is now dead and the new one is up and running in its place with lots of pictures and new features that the old one didn't have, not mention a much snazzier look and feel than the old one.

Check out the new web site here: and let me know what you think of it.  Post a comment or two in any number of areas that you'd like to comment on.  I've even put out a new blog announcement on the site which you can view directly here

Many more pictures and galleries will be loaded now that it is up and running. 

What's New Tomorrow

Tomorrow, this bright blue bead will be coming your way in my Etsy shop.  This little gem is called "Swimming Pools" due to all of the blue pools that remind me of tiny beads of water just big enough for maybe an ant to swim in, if ants swam.

This bead is a turquoise base with transparent blue dots arranged around the bead.  The back color for the deep blue pools is actually  pink, which gives this bead a nice warmth despite it being a cool color.

Anyway, have a great night.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A Most Productive Weekend

What a difference a week makes.

Unlike last weekend when I was sick and feeling lousy, this weekend I was able to actually accomplish a number of things.

One of the items on my list of accomplishments is this necklace called "Tribal Summer" which consists of 7 lampwork lentil beads in a bright orange and decorated with turquoise scrollwork.  

A sterling silver toggle clasp and black onyx beads complete the design which was a custom order for one of my clients who loved the Tribal Summer set of beads in my shop too much to let anyone else have them.

Usually when I'm on the torch, I like to have a lot of beads made and ready for the week, but his weekend I was in a very different mood.  I decided to think less about quantity, and more about creating something that was beautiful--regardless of how large or small the items were.

I hope you appreciate the results.  Several new focal beads and new hollow set were created out of this endeavor. 
This first focal is entitled "Sherwood Forest" and was created from a rich chocolate brown base bead.  Onto the dark background, dots of banana yellow were arranged all around the bead and melted down a bit. 

For a touch of neon and to give this focal a bit of zing, a layer of transparent emerald green was then placed over the top of the banana dots and fused onto the banana dots with a good dose of heat.

Voila!  One little focal bead that will be showing up in my Etsy shop in the morning along with a lot more pictures!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Winter Is Cold, But There Are Cool!

Tomorrow morning another new set of beads will be going up into my Etsy shop.
This sparkling set of leaf beads and spacers reminds me of the cool blue ice of compacted snow that turns to glacial ice after thousands of years and pressure, hence the name of this cool new set, "Glacial Foliage".
The set comes with five sculptured leaf beads and eight transparent spacers of Aqua blue.  Even in the icy color of these leaves, there are pale hints of a warm spring with the transparent uranium yellow accents on each of the leaf tips.

The light just dances on and in this set, and hope they find a warm and loving home!

Happy Valentines Day!

Good Morning Everyone!  I hope this finds you and your loved ones enjoying a wonderful day and that you have some special plans for later to look forward to.

I realized after last night's posting, that I needed to update it a bit for my jewelry designs since the pricing portions were focused so much on the lampwork pricing.  So, I got up this morning, and I put an additional paragraph in about pricing jewelry that might be helpful.

Have a wonderful Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Tools Of The Trade Part 4: The Price Is Right?

While strategies for pricing a work may not be considered a classic tool used by the artist, the technique of calculating a fair price for a work is an essential tool for any artisan that is in business.  Without an objective method of assessing a price, we run the risk of not being able to afford to continue our artistic pursuits.

As artists, we often struggle with how to price our items since we are creating items from base materials whether they are paint, fabric, stone, or in my case, glass.  Our creations are, hopefully, worth more than the materials we used to create them from, but how much  more?

When I first started out, I had no idea of how to price my work and just kind of did the "Shot In The Dark" method.  I find this tends to be how everyone initially starts pricing their items when they first start out.  At first we're thrilled that anyone would want what we've made.

At my first show that I attended with my lampwork beads, a teenager came up and asked about buying a couple of bead that he wanted.  When he asked the price and I told him, he looked up at me as said, "Why is it so expensive?  It's just sand, isn't it?" 

I didn't know how to respond to him.  I'd just lost a $20 sale and had no idea how to answer him and educate him at the same time.  He'd obviously never been exposed artisan beads and jewelry, and in comparison to the price he could get beads at the craft store, it did seem expensive to him.

After several years of selling my beads and jewelry, I was still guessing at the worth of my work so when I found a class at last year's Bead And Button Show on pricing artist's work, I signed up immediately.   I would highly recommend it for any artists out there who are struggling with pricing there work... and you know who you are!

Finally, someone was going to tell me how much my work was worth  WRONG!  What he did do was give the class a number of factors to consider before pricing our work since everyone in the room worked in a different medium.

The instructor worked in fine jewelry using gold, platinum, diamonds and other expensive materials in the fabrication of his jewelry.  So for him, he needed to really price out how much his material cost was going to be in order to weigh whether or not he would actually complete the work since the materials could end up pricing it right out of the market--no matter how fabulous it would have been.

Fortunately, I work in glass, sterling silver and natural stone instead of gold, platinum and diamonds.  

After spending hours working out formulas, spreadsheets, material pricing, etc., I found that my material costs really didn't impact much of the final price.  The most important factor in pricing my glass work turned out to be my TIME at the torch.

Time turned out to be such a factor, that it is almost the sole basis of pricing my lampwork.  I keep track of the time I work on making the set of beads or a single bead and then multiply it by my hourly wage that I pay myself (pretend you're your own boss), and that's the price of the set.

While lampwork glass can run anywhere from $8 per pound on up past $100 per pound, there really isn't a lot of weight involved in a set of beads. If there is a lot of weight in the beads, such as a large set of tigers, then there is also an equal amount of extra time needed to work and shape that extra glass which can be translated back into time spent in that set.

Well that seems pretty cut and dry and simple doesn't it?  Not so fast.  If I'm working out a new design or trying a technique that I'm not familiar with it may go much slower initially until I get the hang of it.   Is it fair to charge the first few customers of that style twice what it will cost the rest of the customers just because I wasn't as adept at that technique?  Of course not.

If I find that my time is unusually long on a particular bead or set of beads due to technical proficiency, then I examine the finished set and figure out the amount of time it should have taken and price it based upon that instead.

When it comes to pricing my jewelry and gift items that include my beads, then I must include the prices of the silver wire, toggles, findings, stones and other items into the cost of the piece.  Fortunately, I know what those costs are and that is an easy calculation to add them into the formula with the additional time of designing and stringing the items.

I always strive to give all of my customers good value for their money, but at the same time ensure that the prices I charge enable me to continue working in this wonderful medium.

If art was priced solely based upon the materials used, then I could buy a Picaso painting for the few dollars of paint and a canvas that it took to create it.

If I ever get asked again, "It's just sand, isn't it?"  I can guarantee you I'll know how to answer them this time around.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Roses On The Brain

Thanks for hanging in there while I've been getting over my cold.  I'm doing much better tonight, and have actually gotten the couple of bead sets that I made on Sunday cleaned up and photographed.
I must have roses on the brain from making all of those sets last week which is why my latest set to come to my Etsy shop is entitled "Rose Leaves".

I named this set because the deep rich color the purple base and spacer beads that lightens out to the rich emerald green around the edges of the leaves remind me of the coloration of some of my Grandmother's rose bushes when I was growing up.

Additionally, the shape of the leaves is also reminiscent to the rose leaves on these bushes.  Rather than wrack my brain to come up with another name that just wouldn't suit them as well, I went with my first impression of the set which is usually the right one.

The purple color used as the base color for this set is a deep wine color that is very rich, but hard to capture in a picture.  Five leaves are included in this set along with eight spacers.

As usual, I'll be adding this set to my shop in the morning, so I hope you'll stop by and check it out with the additional pictures and information on the set.

Have a great night!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

More Rest Needed- I hate being sick!

Yes, unfortunately, I'm still not feeling well yet.  It's hard to say whether I feel better than a few days ago or not.  I'm taking my cold medicine and sleeping a good bit, which definitely helps, but I'm still not up to my old self.

Today I did get some time in on the torch and will have a couple of new sets to list this week.  I also made an experimental bead that I'm anxious to see how it works out.

Overall, I think the beads I made will be nice, but my energy level and creativity has just not been the same with this stupid cold.

Hopefully, I will get over it soon and be back to my old self.   

I hope you all have a terrific week, and I'll be back to health shortly (I hope!)

Saturday, February 9, 2008

New Website Update - A Bit Under The Weather

Today the new web site took a major new step toward being my only website with addition of the new Jewelry Galleries page and the What's New section which is a blog about web updates, announcements and other items of interest.

In the Jewelry Galleries, I have put up the inaugural galleries for my 2007 designs with many more past and present galleries scheduled over the next few days and weeks.  These galleries are categorized by Earrings, Necklaces, Bracelets and Pendants, Sets and More which are all other types of designs which do not fit into those categories including my popular pendant and earring sets.

The What's New blog section will contain announcements and news items that will be of interest to the viewers of the web site.  While there will be some overlap in content with this blog, it probably will not be a day-to-day blog as this one is.  Be sure to check it out though since I will probably have different items on the two blogs rather than just one being a copy of the other.  

I'll have to see how having two blogs works out and try to keep them both updated and interesting.  Of course, the new blog, like this one, supports RSS feeds so you can be notified immediately when changes are made if you subscribe to it.

In addition to the content update of the new web site, I have put in the transfer of the domain to point to the new web site as instructed by DotMac.  It may take up to 48 hours for the change to take effect, but I keep checking the link often to see if it changes.  Considering I did it on a weekend, it may be a bit longer.  

Fighting Off A Cold

For the past few days, I've been coming down with a cold that I've not been able to shake off which is affecting my productivity this weekend.  I was hoping to have some torch time today since I only needed a little bit of time to finish up the updates I started on my partial day off thanks to the snow storms we've had.  

Alas, I just didn't have the energy today.  Instead I took a nice long nap which was very nice, but doesn't help me get anything new into the shop or have items to show you.

I've got a new bead design that I am planning on making plus some new pink roses for a custom order, so let's hope that I feel better tomorrow and can actually get some things done.  I may also create a couple of sculptural leaf bead sets for Spring.

So, Please send me happy thoughts, and I'll let you know how everything turns out tomorrow sometime.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

More Rose Colored Glasses!

Time off for snow!

Well, you all must have been praying a lot last night after my post because, while I did go into work in the morning, it was snowing so much noon they had to send everyone home due to deteriorating conditions on the roads.

It was unexpected and quite welcome for a change in the work week, and did allow me to get a lot work done on bringing up the new Jewelry galleries on the new web site.  I was able to organize the 2007 jewelry pictures, split them into galleries, set up the new jewelry navigation and pages and import a few of the galleries.

I have one more page that needs to be added to the site before I can bring up the inaugural jewelry galleries.  I haven't posted the changes yet, but they will be coming shortly.

Spray Of Roses Set

The third and final installment in the Rose orders that I've created for one of my clients is called "Spray Of Roses" and features a large lentil pendant and matching earrings.

The large lentil that is the focal of the pendant is adorned with green leaves with delicate striping detail.  Across these leaves, the three red roses are in full bloom and migrate in the opposite direction of the leaves creating a sort of "X".  This pattern is repeated on other side of the pendant as well.

The set of earrings is a shrunken down version of this pendant in that the same patterns on those lentil beads is also represented on a smaller scale.  Actually, the pendant was a blow-up of the earrings rather than the earrings being a shrunk down version because I made the earrings first and then designed the larger version for the pendant.

As with the other two sets, the pendant and earrings are strung on sterling silver wire and sterling lever-back earring findings.  Black onyx beads and zinc flower spacers finish the design of these pieces.

The challenges of these sets was a bit daunting to me initially, but I'm so glad I accepted the challenge and worked through the design issues to create these pieces.  Not only does it give me another design to add to my skill set, but also the confidence to tackle other challenges.

I  hope you're all coping with the horrible weather that is ravaging the country and that you and yours are all warm, safe and sound.

Have a great night!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

I Never Promised You A Rose Garden...

But I created one anyway with this pendant and earring set entitled "Rose Garden".

The second in my series of three custom orders that I designed, it has deep red roses and purple hyacinth flowers blooming against a background of black which makes the colors really pop and seem electric.

Sterling silver lever-back earrings each have a medium lentil bead with a hyacinth and rose flower on each side.

Both the pendant and earrings use sterling silver wire, and small zinc bicones for some added pizazz.  

As I worked on the various rose beads, I have noticed that the control over the flowers is getting better and each bead gets a little more uniform. 

This amazes me every time I see something that I couldn't do before become closer and close to how I imagined the set to come out.  Practice, especially in lampwork, does make a huge difference.

On The Web Front

Tomorrow, I will not be going to the gym, so I will get a chance to work on the new web site and start pulling in the jewelry galleries which are still absent at the moment.   I've had to wait until I procured the actual web hosting space, since I was using the trial subscription to see how the new software would interact with the service.

Now, I'm pleased to report that the .Mac (pronounced Dot-Mac) service and its integration with the software, is really going to make maintaining my web site easier and give you much more features to view and enjoy and hopefully keep you coming back for more!

We're expecting snow tonight and tomorrow, so if I get a snow day from work, then I might get some torch time too!  However, the predictions of lots of snow tonight are now being restated for lots of snow during tomorrow, so I'll probably have to work afterall.  

Pray for snow everyone!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Bunches Of Roses Parade!

I was quite productive last night and got a lot of jewelry made from the beads that I'd created on Saturday and a couple weeks back.

A customer of mine wanted some jewelry designed around a red rose theme, so I worked up a few designs, and should ordered all three pendants with matching earrings!

Tonight, you get to see the first of the three rose jewelry sets.

The pendant in this set is the largest of the three, but with its bright red roses encircling the bead, it really commands attentions.

The earrings are round with four roses on each bead and leaf flourish to match the original bead.  

The pendant and earrings are strung on sterling silver wire with black onyx stones and zinc accents to give a little zing to the set.  The lever back findings are also sterling silver.

This set came out a lot better than I had hoped since roses aren't really one of my strong suits, but I do like the canes I've designed for them better than the traditional rose canes.

What to you think?

Sunday, February 3, 2008

An Odd Week Coming

This week will see a few re-lists on my Etsy shop and probably no new items since I've spent the weekend getting several custom orders all set up and ready to go.  

In addition, I have purchased the web space for my updated web site, so I can now continue adding new galleries, pictures and turn it into the actual web site for  

While all this is going on, I will be posting pictures of my custom work in the blog, so you will not be without posts and pictures this week. 

We may even get a new Tools Of The Trade post if I would just take the pictures I need for it.  I'll get to it soon, I'm sure.  

Anyway, I hope you have a terrific week and don't be afraid to let me know what you think or want to know.