Wednesday, November 30, 2011

December EBW Challenge Piece

If I had known how busy this Christmas season was going to be, I might not have attempted this challenge.  But I got far enough into it before the craziness hit that I was determined to finish in the midst of everything else.  I did so I'm really proud of that.

The theme for the December challenge is Arabesque Style.  Honestly there aren't a lot of great articles online about Arabesque style, but many pieces in an Arabesque style include interwoven leaves and/or flowers.  If you do a Google search for Arabesque art, you can see some examples.  My piece isn't designed to mimic any specific color combinations or other features of Arabesque style pieces, but it does have two interwoven strands of leaves.  Perhaps people who have taken online art classes know about the Arabesque Style.

Like my Twisted challenge entry last month, this piece can be worn as a wrap bracelet OR a necklace.  It's long enough to be wrapped three times for a 7 1/2" wrist or smaller.  I am pretty picky about my bracelet fit (which is one reason that I like to design jewelry for myself).  I have tested a few triple wrap pieces as I've designed this new line of jewelry and can honestly say that they do fit a range of wrist sizes.  I have not designed any wrap pieces specifically for myself and have found several lengths to be very comfortable.

Like all of my new herringbone pieces, the charm has a lobster clasp so that it can be detached.  This particular charm is part of my new bead stash from Erika.  Thanks Erika!  Thanks to all of your feedback about the charms for this new line, I have been finalizing my details for the new charm listings.  I've started making a list of possible charm sets.  More on that soon.  If there's something you'd love to see, feel free to let me know now.

I love that this piece is part of my new herringbone line AND incorporates my love of leaf beads.  My new found love of leaves these past few years has really come from my love of Czech glass leaf beads.  I have pulled the leaves for this piece from at least four different sources.

I also love the pink/green color combination.  I'm really pleased with how it came together for this piece.  I'm planning to make separate green and pink herringbone pieces from the seed bead selections I pulled for this piece, but I know that I'm not done with the pink/green combination either.

Yep, I did go a little crazy with the leaf embellishment and also made this piece in tubular herringbone, so like Twisted, this piece will be at the higher end of my new line.  A lot of the pieces in it will be in the $25-$45 range.

You can purchase this new piece here.  Voting will take place December 9-15 on the EBW blog.  I'll post more information about that when it gets closer.

I used this post for Erika's It's a Wrap Link Party 12/5/11.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas show preparation

Do you remember in my second fall show round up post how I mentioned that I had a potential offer?  What happened was that two of the women who jury one of the biggest Christmas shows in the Milwaukee area personally invited me to apply for the show.  When I say, invited me to apply, I mean that they handed me an application and told me that my work would be a great addition to the show.  I don't think that I need to elaborate on how amazing this opportunity is, especially because I didn't have another show lined up for 2011.

Everything worked out with the application process, and I will be doing this show this coming weekend.  This means that I had less than a month to get everything ready.  It might not seem like a big job when I'd already prepared for 2 shows this fall, but it has kept me really busy.  Not only had I not prepared enough show inventory for a third show, especially a large show, but there were a number of things that I had to do for this show than I hadn't had to do for the first two.

I have been working on show inventory almost every day since my last show, which has included lots of button magnets, pins, tacks, and earrings.  All of our items have to be individually tagged with our artist numbers, which means that I've been making 8-10 piece sets of magnets and tacks instead of planning for my usual "make your own sets" set up and pricing.  People really like the "make your own" (especially kids) so it'll be interesting to see how this works.

As mentioned above, because all of our items need to be tagged with our artist numbers, I've been re-tagging all of my items.  While this is a very tedious time-consuming task, I do have much more professionally tagged items now.  Even though all of them have my artist number for this show, I can still use the remaining items as is for future shows.  I included my Etsy address on my tags.  One of my issues with shows is that they almost never generate repeat customers for me.  I would really love to change that, especially as I build a local following in Milwaukee.

I've also been creating an inventory for my entire stock of items.  Normally I record sales as I go during shows, but I won't be able to do that this time so I need a way to check off everything that sells.

I've been busy finishing my December EBW Challenge piece (more info on that tomorrow), but in between that, I've been creating some new jewelry pieces, too.  I'll have a small line of Christmas bell button charm bracelets that will first be available at this show.  If they don't sell out, I'll list what's left on Etsy in early December.  Most of my remaining focus has been on smaller pieces like shell bracelets and earrings.

One of the requirements for this show is that all vendors wear aprons with bibs that represent their art.  Thank goodness for Michael's plain aprons, cheap seed beads, and fabric glue because I seriously did not have the time, energy, money, or motivation to do much more than this.
I safety pinned it through the middle like that so the pockets will be at a functional placement for me.  Hopefully this will be a successful show for me, and I'll be able to use this apron again there in future years.  I love my half vendor apron, but this will be another fun option for other holiday shows, too.

I'll post the details about this show on Friday in case anyone in the Milwaukee area is interested in attending.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Scavenger Hunt and I Heart Macro on Monday

Welcome to another edition of the photo Scavenger Hunt and I Heart Macro!  Enjoy!

1) Waiting

I thought that it would be fun to follow up on the water photos from last week and show you a little more about how Angel's water routine goes.  You get to see a lot of blurry kitty here because she moves around so much while she's waiting.  The last photo is my favorite.

2) Foliage
I felt like I didn't really need to add another picture of fall leaves to the plethora that people have posted this year so I took a picture of our newly purchased Christmas tree, pre-decorated instead.  One of the things that Jake and I have been super excited about ever since we bought our house this summer is that we can finally get a real Christmas tree.  It was one of the first things on our "to do" list for the day after Thanksgiving.

3) Candid
We take a lot of pictures of Angel just because.  For those of you who stop by here regularly, I'm sure that's a huge surprise (not).  This is a perfect example.  Angel loves it when I don't clean up because it means that she can sit with random stuff on the floor.

4) Knife, Fork, or Spoon
This is the aftermath of my stromboli on Saturday night.  You can get the recipe here.

5) Rule of Thirds
I wish that I'd gotten the peak of the left side of the building a little lower so it really hit that upper point for the thirds guidelines, but I don't consider this a complete fail.  I took this picture yesterday during a little trip that Jake and I made to Chicago to visit a friend.

Here's my shot for I Heart Macro.  One of these weeks I'll take a macro shot of something besides jewelry, but that probably isn't going to happen before Christmas.  This is a re-shoot of an old piece.

studio waterstone

Sunday, November 27, 2011

treasury round up

Please help thank the curators who included my work in their treasuries this past week by visiting their shops and checking out their treasuries!

Karen (MysticWynd) included my Beaded Cuff Bracelet - Cookies 'n Cream in her Give the Gift of Jewelry This Holiday Season treasury.  If you are shopping for any women who enjoy jewelry, this is a great resource.  Check out Karen's Lampwork Glass Bead Bracelet in Teal and Pink w Magnetic Clasp - Rebecca.

Edi (memoriesforlifesb) included my Beaded Bracelet - Button Embellished - Christmas in her It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas! treasury.  I love Christmas items and can't get over how many great ones are in this collection.  Check out Edi's Happy Holidays Scrapbook Photo Album.

Tina (parltradet) included my Beaded Bracelet - Red in her Red! treasury.  Red is one of my all-time favorite colors.  I love seeing so much of it around Christmas.  Check out Tina's Necklace - Lindblomma - green, light green, stretch-choker - 16 1/2 in (pte-30).

Linda (PruittCreations) included my Beaded Bracelet - Heart Fringed - Raspberry in her Black Friday REDS treasury.  I love the mix of red and black here.  Check out Linda's Zippered Pouch in Decorator fabrics matching wristlet available.

Deb (storybeader) included my Button Charm Bracelet - Christmas Trees in her Free Shipping from the BBArtisans Team and others! treasury.  Take advantage of these free shipping offers while you can.  Check out Deb's  Italian paper beads, 30 count.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Saturday Link List

Welcome to this week's edition of my link list.  Enjoy!

This awesome resource from Oh My Handmade includes photo resources, free banners and layouts, and instructions on how to personalize these banners and layouts with Photoshop.

I came across this site during one of my freelance writing projects.  The HubSpot blogs has articles on just about any blog topic that you can imagine.  If you need help or more information about something, check this site out.  This title tip article is a perfect example of what this site has to offer.

If you're looking for free beadweaving tutorials, this is a great resource.  The group isn't updated very often, but what is there is pretty good.

Anyone who blogs will get some helpful information from this article.

Catherine has some of the best recipes!  I just bought some teriyaki sauce and am looking forward to making some new recipes with it.  This one is on my list.

Did you use one of the resources, tutorials, or recipes from my link list?  Leave me a link in the comments or send me an e-mail ( with your photos and stories.  I would love to post them here! 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I know that most people aren't spending a lot of time at their computers today, so I'm keeping this post simple.

I hope that you're getting to take after Angel today and spend some time relaxing with family.  Our regularly scheduled programming will return tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

another edition of why I love my customers

I've had a couple custom orders this month.  Almost all of my custom jewelry orders thus far have been really positive.  I love working with customers to design exactly what they want.  These pieces often get me to try color combinations that I would not have tried on my own.  These recent orders were no exception.

The first order was from a return customer who had ordered a custom set for herself back in April.  She wanted custom sets of bracelets, pendants, and earrings of this design for her four granddaughters.  It took us a few days to finalize the designs and specifications.  Each set is tailored specifically to the recipient with custom lengths.

Here are the four bracelets.  You can click on any of the pictures in this post to see the larger versions.


I'd never made earrings or pendants for this design before.  I'm pretty pleased with the result.  Here are the earrings.  One of the girls can't wear pierced earrings so I designed a clip on pair for her.  I also rigged up a way to attach them to my earring cards.


Finally, here are the pendants.


I included a pair of my Christmas button post earrings for each of the girls.  Again, since one of the girls, can't wear pierced earrings, I designed a pair of clip on Christmas earrings for her.

Many of you probably don't know that I actually don't have pierced ears.  This was the first time that I've designed clip on earrings, and it was pretty fun.  Maybe I'll design some for myself sometime.

The other custom order that I got this month was at the craft fair that I did.  She wanted a button embellished design in a specific length with purple and blue buttons.
Blue and purple are two of my favorite colors.  I can't believe that I never thought of pairing them for this design.  I found enough buttons to make a second version as well.  I don't know if I'm going to list it before my last show so if you're interested, let me know.

I included this post in Michelle's Delicately Constructed Friday 11/25.