Monday, March 28, 2011

Giveaway Celebration!!!

Can you believe it?  I have reached 100 posts!  When I started this blog, October 31st of 2009, I had no idea what I would write about on a regular basis, if anyone would ever read what I had to say, or how long I would continue to do it.  So far it has been a great journey!  I have met so many wonderful people and made such good friends through the blog world.  It has been great for me because I don't get out much, and I have never been good at meeting people.  Maybe it's just that I don't put myself in situations to be able to meet new people.  I live a very sheltered life, even having gone through almost 2 years of severe agoraphobia where I barely even left my room let alone went out and spoke to someone.

I have so very much enjoyed writing, reading your comments, emailing you back and talking about things and then visiting your blogs and getting to know you through your posts.  I appreciate your friendships very much.  In return for your kindness, I would like to give away one of my pieces.  I thought about making something new, but all of you probably already know I am really short on funds, and I didn't want to skimp on anything.  I wanted to give away something special.  So what I have decided to do is take one of my cuffs out of my online shops and give it away to one of my readers for my 100th Post Celebration.  I am giving away one of my bead embroidered cuffs that I call "Drops of Honey".  It is one of my favorites.  I just love the shell discs.  The colors are so rich and creamy...they look just like nice big dollops of honey to me.  Here are some photos of it:
What do you think?  Do you like it?  It is made with an aluminum cuff base with microsuede on the inside.  It could be yours!  All you have to do is be (or become) a follower here on my blog and leave me a comment...make sure you tell me how to reach you in the event you are the winner.  If you'd like a 2nd chance to win, post this to your blog with a link to the post, and I'll even do a 3rd chance to win by sharing to your Facebook page (you'll have to friend me, too.)  Leave me a separate comment for each of your 3 ways to win so I can keep an easy count.  I will do a random number generator to pick the winner.

The deadline for entering my giveaway is going to be Saturday, April 2nd at midnight EST.  I will ship this anywhere, so everyone is welcome to enter.  I will announce the winner on Sunday, April 3rd.  I hope you like my giveaway, and I hope to see lots of entries to make my celebration a party.

Thank you again for making my blogging experience a great one!!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

New Opportunity

I'm sorry if I haven't gotten to everyone's blog posts this weekend.  Please forgive me.  I ask that you all keep my family in your thoughts, prayers, send hugs...whatever it is that you do.  It was an extremely traumatic weekend, and I will never be the same. 

I went out with my mil and daughter today for a day out, trying to carry on and forcing myself to not sit and think.  It was a good day for the most part.  Samantha, who hardly ever goes out with us, went and she got pretty spoiled.  A new haircut, some clothes, a flat iron, body wash, and a smoothie to top it off.  Oh!  And a Buzz Lightyear bubble wand from Michael's!  lol.  We were standing there and the display was in front of us while we were waiting for my mil.  I jokingly asked her if she wanted one.  She said yes!  Even 15 year olds need bubbles in their lives, right?  I bought the bubbles and a little package of fimo clay.  I had my 25% off purchase coupon in my hand and the man behind me said he would buy my coupon off me.  I thought he was joking at first, but he wasn't.  At first he said he would split his savings difference with me (his order before the coupon was almost $80), but I felt guilty about that.  My things only came to $5.98, so I said I'd be more than happy with a fiver.  He was so happy and willing to do that!  lol.  It worked out for both of us...He saved a bunch and I got mine for 98 cents!

On to my new opportunity.  We have an art district here in my town with lots of artsy fartsy things, jewelry, clothing, southwest stuff, a few souvenir shops, lots of paintings, pottery and other artwork.  My mil yesterday went into two of the shops and while she was there asked the people if they use work from local artists in their shops.  She said her dil does really wonderful jewelry and beadwork.  (Thank you, Linda) They said to bring it in.  We went into one shop, and the shop owner (Nooshie) was a very sweet, outgoing woman.  She looked at my things I had packed up.  She is putting 3 of my things in her jewelry case with my business cards (no rent for shelf space) and showing them on consignment.  We really had a hard time discussing prices, though.  I got the short end of the stick.  On one hand she's stressing to me how she wants everything to be sterling silver and then she's talking about how other artists sell her things dirt cheap.  Sterling silver and dirt cheap don't go well together.  I gave her my pieces well below what I feel they are worth and lower than what they are listed for in my shops (barely even over my costs), but if I sell them then I get to buy more beads.  I don't know how to buy good quality beads cheaply.  What's wrong with silver plated components anyways?

We ended up not going to the 2nd shop because they were closed and not going to be back for a couple hours.

I would really love to have conversation on this, so please leave your comments and tell me your thoughts/experiences.

ONE MORE POST TILL THE BIG 100TH POST CELEBRATION!  I hope you all join me...keep watching for it.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Go Team!

Guess what!  I am on a team!  I am so out of shape and unathletic it's a real good thing that it's not a sports team.  No, definitely not one of those!  I joined a team on Etsy called Saturday Night Sellers.  This team does sales in their shops from 5 p.m. EST on Saturdays until 6:00 a.m. EST the next morning.  Fun, huh?  I love sales!  I will tell you all that my sale this week will be 15% off anything in my store...even the bead embroidered bracelet that is already marked down.  So that item is a double sale.  The coupon code will be sns032611.  If you've been looking at something in my shop, tomorrow night just may be the day you would want to get it.  Also, if you want to see other sales in other shops, just click on "community" at the top of the Etsy page and do a team search for Saturday Night Sellers.  There will be posts of sales there for you to look at.  Also, I probably won't run a sale every Saturday night, so come now while the gittin's good!

We are just a couple more posts away from my giveaway!  Keep coming back, and tell your friends to come keep an eye out to see what's up for grabs.  I think it's a pretty good one, if I do say so myself!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Branching Out...again

Hi, all.  Hope everyone has been having a great week.  Things will be changing around my house.  My son and his girlfriend finally got a car yesterday!  That means my taxi service duties will drastically be cut down.  I'm really excited about that!  That's all the news I have from the home front. 

But in the beady world I have decided to do something new.  Do you remember how I had bead embroidery videos up on that video website (not youtube)?  And then how I took them down because I thought they were crooks?  Well, I had someone ask about them, so what I decided to do was post them on another blog.  I wanted to see what Wordpress was like, and was thinking maybe I'd be able to meet a whole new group of people besides all you wonderful ones here on Blogger.  So I started a Wordpress blog, and I have decided to start posting my bead embroidery video series on it.  I am hosting through youtube, but I have the videos marked as "unlisted", which means you can't search for them on youtube.  The only way you (and all your friends you tell about it *wink*) is by going to my new blog and watching them from there.  I've only got a couple up right now, but if you bookmark the page you can keep coming back and checking for more.

Is there something other than bead embroidery you would like to see a video of?  Leave me your comments and suggestions and maybe I can make a video of your request.  To go to my Wordpress blog, click here

Also trying to think of what I should have for my giveaway for reaching 100 posts.  hmmmm. what to do, what to do.  Such dilemmas I have these days.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Blogger went haywire on me

I just had a really weird thing happen.  I made a post 3 days ago and thought that nobody liked what I had to show because just one person left a comment.  I went to look at the post from my dashboard because I needed the link to give to someone, and it said that my post was still in edit and not published!  I thought how weird is that because one person did comment on it.  Then I scrolled through the blogroll, and sure enough it showed up as having been posted 3 days ago.  But then it was mysteriously in edit mode.  hmmmm.  I'm very confused.  Not that it takes much these days.  But anyhow, I just wanted to let you know if you haven't seen it, or tried to see it and it wasn't there, please look at my previous post.  I showed something I made that's actually not beading.  And some updated info on the contest I'm in.  Please go have a look-see. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Something a little different

Did you know that I had a life of hand crafts before beads?  lol.  Yes, it's true.  I did lots of things before I did beads.  I was downloading pics off a flash drive from my dearly departed desktop the other day, and I came across a photo of one of my projects.  I learned how to do a technique called "filet crochet".  Have you ever heard of it?  It used to be wildly popular back in the day to make table runners, sofa arm covers, doilies, wall hangings, etc.

Filet crochet uses a series of chains and double chains to make a grid of open and closed squares.  The closed squares create a picture.  I found this free pattern that dated back to the Victorian era!  How neat is that?  The string is not black as it looks in the photo.  It is actually navy blue...the closest I could find to indigo. :)  It is quite big.  If I remember correctly it is about 22" long and I think 14" tall.  Something like that.  I am embarrassed to say it is folded up in my closet somewhere.  I really should frame this one.  Last I saw it, though, the folded side facing up was dusty so I would need to figure out how to clean it without completely destroying it first.  Here's a photo of my filet crochet Victorian Dragon...
I liked this patter so much, in fact, that I converted it into beading patterns for both peyote and loom/square stitch.  Both are for sale (just $4!!!!!).  If you would like to see (and consider buying) these patterns, just click here for the loom/square stitch and here for the peyote.  Because I am soooo creative (lol) I have them on the first page under "2 Tone Dragon". 

Now, I want to thank those of you who have voted for me so very much! Right now I am in the lead!  Yea!!! You have left some really awesome comments, and it sure was an instant warm fuzzy! However, some people have come to me because they aren't sure what to put in the blanks in order to cast a vote.  When you click here to see my entry page, scroll to the bottom of the page.  You will then see this:
The first blank is for your name.  You don't even have to put your whole name if you don't want to.  The second blank says "mail" and it is for your email address.  It won't be published.  The third space says "website" and you can leave that blank.  Then, just fill in a comment and click the submit button.  Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy!

Here's a reminder of my entry...Remember...the use of tagua beads (the type of beads this contest is promoting and giving away) SAVES THE LIVES OF ELEPHANTS!!!  It's a great cause.
Did you know that I'm getting close to my 100th post?  Do you know what that means?  Yep!!!  It's going to be giveaway time!!!  So stay's coming soon.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Can you please help me? I need votes!

I have entered my very first beading contest!  I am not a "bead diva" and I am not in the "in crowd", so I need all the help I can get from those of you who read my blog, because we're all friends, right?  YES!!!  I have entered a contest by Ecuadorian Hands.  They run a monthly contest to promote tagua beads.  Have you heard of tagua?  I'll give you a little info, because they really a great item to know about and use.  Tagua comes from the ivory palm.  When the tagua is dried out it can be used just as elephant ivory.  It is very hard, can be carved just like ivory to make things like figurines, and of course...beads.  Tagua is also dyed with some really gorgeous, vibrant colors.

They have just opened up the contest to include all materials, not just tagua, in an effort to more widely promote the use of tagua and TO SAVE ELEPHANTS!  And, if I remember correctly from when I bought some of these types of beads, some of the money from the sale of tagua is also used to help save rain forests.  Are these good causes, or what???!!! 

I am really hoping that you will take the time to go to my entry and leave a comment to vote for my hard work in making my netted collar.

To vote for me, please click HERE.

Thank you so much!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I Conquered Netting!!!

Yea for me!  I am a very stubborn person when I set my mind to it.  Thank you to all of you who responded so helpfully to my last post.  What I ended up doing was finding a very very basic netting pattern, and I studied the thread paths and how the rows went together.  From there I designed my own pattern.  Now I don't know if my pattern is "correct", if there is such a thing for "technically sound" netting, but it is what it is and I am over the moon for it.  This is going to be my April installment for my 2011 Bead Journal Project.  I am actually ahead of schedule a little bit.  Well, not really.  I still have the earrings and bracelet to make to go with it, but I ran out of seed beads and the store where I got them is fresh out (I took the last two tubes to finish my collar).  I put some more on order so I can finish up the bracelet and earrings. 

I bought these wonderful red daggers from Fusion Beads, and there weren't very many left.  I got most of what they had in at the time.  I do get lucky sometimes!  I bought the Swarovski Pearls in Bordeaux from Artbeads.  I had intended to use my reds and whites to make something for a Valentine's Day contest.  I have never entered a contest.  However, at the time my muse was on hiatus and I couldn't come up with a single thing.  Too bad I didn't come up with this collar at the time because I would have been proud to put it on display.

The collar is just about 22" long by 4 1/2" wide.  It is quite substantial and a little weighty.  That's good, though, because it doesn't slide around too much.  I used A TON of 11/0 seed beads, size 8/0 seed beads, bugle beads, 4mm cubes, 5mm Swarovski Pearls and the red daggers on the ends.  I couldn't believe how many seed beads this thing ate up!!!  I used about 3 tubes!

Ok, everyone.  Here it is!  I call it...
Wrapped in Red

What do you think?  Was I successful in defeating the netting stitch, or did I make technical errors?  I can't wait to do the bracelet to match.  As soon as the beads come in to my local stomping grounds and I pick them up I will get going on it.  Obviously a bracelet won't take nearly as many hours as I have invested into this collar, so I should hopefully have it up soon.  I also see so many possibilities with this stitch.  Color combinations, patterns, etc.  I think I will do more of this!

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone!  Don't have too much green beer! 

Monday, March 14, 2011

3 - 2 - 1 Blast Off!!!

I am very excited to bring you this news.  My very good friend Beth over at Bellesanbeaus Crafts is an enormously talented woman.  I look at her work and wonder how she can do what she does.  She has many talents, but the one I want to tell you about today is her creation of face cabochons.  No two are identical.  The painting and details are wonderful.  They are so unique and interesting, I just love them.  I have to admit that I don't particularly care for face cabs.  I think they're weird.  Maybe even creepy.  But THESE face cabs are so phenomenal that I knew I had to own some.  You want to know the really good news?  Now you can too!!!

Beth has launched her first online store over at Bellesanbeaus Crafts on Artfire!  I think they are a complete steal, too.  You will not find artwork of this nature and caliber anywhere for this price.  I'm not kidding.  Just go to her Artfire shop and see for yourself.  Each one is molded and hand-painted, and you can even tell her your unique specifications so she can create one (or lots!) especially for you.  She even has created one with glitzy glitter, which is a lot of fun.  She will also be opening an Etsy shop, but it isn't done quite yet.

I thought I would include here pics of some that I own and also some pics of ones currently for sale.  Take a look at these beautiful painted ladies!

She calls them Mardi Gras, but I call them Masquerades.  I love the mask and the swirly curly q's.  The eyes themselves have great detail.

The next one she based on the concept of the Greenman.  I love it!!!
The Moon Face is unique and has double dimension to it.
Here are some more recent ones in the past couple weeks...
This last one is the one that has the glitter and sparkle in the paint.  Cool, huh?  So please won't you go visit Beth's new Artfire shop?  These cabs are really awesome with bead embroidery around them.  I'm positive you will be more than happy with what you receive!!!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Thanks and a Reminder

Wow!  I sure did get a lot of support in my frustration over netting!  You ladies really rallied around for me.  I appreciate it so much!  I have managed to figure out the basics of netting!  woohoo for me!!!  It's not such a monster once you get the hang of it.  In my quest for instructions I have seen netting worked two different ways...I have seen it done horizontally, and I don't like that way at all.  I much prefer to work vertically.  It is much easier for me to grasp for some reason.  I drew up my own pattern :0) and I was able to make it a little fancier than just a basic netting stitch.  I had no idea that it would take up so many seed beads!!!  I had 3/4 of a tube left from a long time ago, and that got sucked up so fast!  I am going to the bead store today to buy more so I can finish this project, and I estimate that I will need at least 3 more tubes!!!  holy cow!!!  I hope you will all stay tuned to see what I accomplish with my netting and my pattern.

Click here to enter!
Now, on to WINNING!  You don't even have to be Charlie Sheen to be a winner.  bwahahaha!  Nope!  All you need to do is go to where? of course!!!  Your time is running out to enter the sweeptstakes for a trip for two to next year's bead and gem show in sunny Tucson, Arizona.  You know why I should win?  Because I am right here in Phoenix and they wouldn't even have to buy me a plane ticket!  Not only do you get airfare, but you get accommodations and classes, too.  What would be more fun than to spend a few days around new and exciting beady things with your best bead buddy?  Just click here to get to the right spot to enter your name.  And tell your friends too, because if one of them wins, you might be the person they take with them!  Good luck!!!!

Until next time, my friends!  Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Netting is kicking my butt.  I have in my mind what I want to create, but A) I can't find a pattern that's even similar and B) I don't know how to create it myself.  Frustration has definitely set in.  I have some beautiful beads that I want to use, and I think what I have in my mind could be really cool....*sigh*...if only.  I found a free beginning netting pattern.  I think I will start with that and then modify from there.  I just need to remember where I put that pad of graph paper. (hmmmm.  If I were graph paper, where would I be hiding?)  Wish me luck with this one, kids.

What's on your tables these days?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Weekend of Grab Bag Blog Stuff

Happy weekend everyone!  It's been a very busy weekend for me.  Our house is VERY noisy!  ick.  But it's all been for a very good cause.  Tomorrow is my son Matthew's 11th birthday!  He had a couple of his buddies from school spend the night, and he's had a great little party.  He doesn't like cake, so he requested pie.  He wanted dutch apple and cherry, but his friends like pumpkin.  Over $20 for those dang pies!!!  Would have been so much cheaper to get a Betty Crocker cake mix, but these are the things we do for our babies, right?  Of course he got the 2 new video games he wanted for his X Box, and they are playing those right now...right next to me.  ugh.  I'm sooooo happy he's having a good time, but I have to admit that I'm watching the clock waiting for the party to be over.  Happy Birthday Precious!!!!!!!  (lol.  I'm not supposed to call him that in public, but you all can keep a secret, right?  :)

Next up.  O M G ! ! !  You all need to head on over to Happy Mango Beads and see the absolutely incredible giveaway they are having!!!!  I'm only telling you this out of courtesy because those beads are MINE!!!  lol.  Actually...they are giving away FOUR sets of this bead package, so I'll share with you.

Finally, I made a few things the past few days that I thought I'd show you.  Remember the forest green RAW bracelet I made about a week ago?  Well, I made one just like it in a royal purple that I think is really pretty.  Here's a pic.
I was going to make a ring with one of these really cool 9mm gaspeite beads I got, but the dang wire wouldn't fit through the hole!  Let down.  I wondered what I would do with those beads, and then I remembered these really pretty antique copper celtic heart beads I had leftover from a previous project.  I thought they would go really well together, so I made a pair of earrings with them.

Ok, kids!  That's all I got for today.  I'll see what I can come up with next and post again soon.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Please Visit

Solar Flare, Wall Art by Jan
I just wanted everyone to know that there are a couple new shops in town!  First of all, I want to tell you about my good friend, Jan, over at Laughing Dog Arts on Etsy.  Her shop is newly re-opened, and I really encourage you to go take a look at the vibrant, colorful works of art she has to offer.  Jan does amazing things with fibers and beads.  Please go take a look, and keep checking back because I'm sure she'll be adding more wonderful pieces.  This is just one example.  Look at those colors, shapes and textures!  She also has a blog that I'm sure you will want to see, also Laughing Dog Arts, right here on blogspot. 

Next up is a teaser.  You know how I'm always talking about the fantabulous work done by my super friend Beth over at Bellesanbeaus Crafts?  Well, guess what!!!  She is finally going to be opening an Etsy shop!  I'm so excited about that!  I don't have the URL yet, but you can be sure that as soon as I have it, you will get it!  Isn't the banner for her Etsy shop really cute?  lol...I can say that because I made it for her.  :)

I opened an Artfire shop!  I actually opened an account months ago, but I just started putting things in it.  If you've visited my Etsy shop, thank you very much!  But I want to tell you that each of my shops carries a few different things.  So if you're not looking at all of them, you may be missing something.  Please stop in!  I would be ever so grateful for whispers in the ears of even just one of your friends that I exist.  Word of mouth is the best way to grow, and I'm just asking for that little seed.  Also, did you know that I design patterns for peyote and loom/square stitch?  If you do these stitches, come see my 174 patterns for both tapestries (large and small) and bracelets.  You can find me at The Bead Coop.  Links for my Shop Handmade and Etsy stores are in the right side bar.

I want to thank you all for being a part of my little corner of the world.  It gives me so much pleasure to share with you and hear from you!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Faeries, Dragonflies and Crystals, oh my!

I made a few little things yesterday.  I made two pairs of earrings and a ring.  I got charms and a square Swarovski crystal button from know how much I love shopping there!  Here are a few pics.

It really sparkles in the light!

The dragonfly earrings I made with large blue beads and 2 smaller beads that change colors in the light...purple, green and blue.  Pretty!  :)

Just as much as I love dragonflies, I also love faeries!  They are made with purple beads.

Please see my new items in my Shop Handmade store and in my Etsy shop.  (Not all items are listed in both shops.)  

Hope everyone is having a great week!