Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!


And a very Happy Birthday to the love of my life and the most incredible man I've ever met!
(and he's pretty cute too!)

As we end 2011 and look forward to what 2012 will bring, it seems everyone is making resolutions.  I gave up on resolutions years ago when I realized they rarely last more than a few weeks, and I'm not big on feeling like a failure.  I prefer to make plans.  According to a plan is: a scheme or method of acting, doing, proceeding, making,etc., developed in advance.  This makes more sense to me. 

 So this year I plan to get back on the diet and exercise program that I used 2 years ago to lose 40 pounds (and then didn't stick to last year and gained 10 back) :(   And I plan to make this the year that Veda's Beads starts supporting me instead of just itself LOL!  I also intend to make plans to travel to my favorite place in the world again.  

So that's it in a nutshell.  Lose 20 pounds and sell enough beads to go back to Belize.  Sounds easy enough!  

Happy 2012! Let's go make it the best year ever!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What's Up Wednesday - Happy Holidays

What's Up Wednesday
upcoming events, news, and interesting tidbits

Merry Christmas!  
Happy Hanukkah!
Joyous Kwanzaa!
Happy Boxing Day!

No matter which Holiday you celebrate, I hope you all have a beautiful day surrounded by the happy laughter of the people you love!

I'll be taking a few days off to celebrate with my family, and then back in full swing next week. 

Wishing you peace, love and joy this holiday season!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Motivation Monday - Christmas Cookies

Motivation Monday
Things that inspire me, color combinations I love, the music that rocks my studio and 
anything else that makes me want to jump up and make a bead!

Today's motivation has to be cookies and carols! 

When I decide to make cookies this is what I see in my head:

(Picture was found on flickr)

and this is a more accurate depiction of what comes out of my oven:

I'm glad you're buying beads from me instead of cookies!  

As a funny side note, my husband asked me yesterday why I make Christmas cookies.  I said "because I like to".  His response?  "Well, I like to make sandwiches but you never see me make 27 of them and leave them all over the counter".  He always makes me laugh!

and the Christmas carol that always has me singing along (much to the dismay of everyone else in the room):

Silver Bells

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Kwanzaa, and Happy Boxing Day!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What's Up Wednesday

What's up Wednesday
upcoming events, news, and interesting tidbits

Last night I remembered exactly why I make beads.  Money?  Nope.  Fame?  Nope. Power? Nope.  Happiness? YES!  Making beads makes me happy.  And what's even better than that is when my beads make someone else happy!  I got a convo on Etsy last night that brought tears to my eyes.  The customer was just so sweet  and so excited about my beads that she made me get excited about them all over again! I'm very fortunate to have had many customers like this over the years, and each time I hear from them I go back to the torch with renewed enthusiasm.   Well, the kiln is heating up, so I'm off to the torch to work on her special orders and maybe try a couple of  beads from the Motivation Monday post.  Before I go I would just like to offer a heartfelt  thank you to all the wonderful customers out there who make it possible for me to do this.  THANK YOU!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Motivation Monday

                                     Motivation Monday
Things that inspire me, color combinations I love, the music that rocks my studio and anything else that makes me want to jump up and make a bead!

I've been hanging out on pinterest again ~(imagine that!)  and I'm finding manicures surprisingly inspiring. I totally wish I could do my nails like this, but I suck at nail polish; so I'm hoping for beads.  :)

I'm actually pretty excited to try these this week.  I'll make sure I share pictures (good or bad) next week.

Enrique Iglesias  is rocking my studio this week (between Spanish language instructions) thinking I can do two things at once, but we'll see! :)

Thanks for stopping by and stay motivated!

If you still need more motivation check out all the pretty flowers in KTBelleCrafts garden!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Featured Friday

Featured Friday
Cool Handmade Stuff From Artists I Admire

Happy Friday!  There are now 16 shopping days til Christmas ~ and just a week left to make sure online orders reach you in time!   

I know I always have at least one guy on my list who is really hard to find a gift for ~ I think I just found an awesome solution!  Bath products from PlunkSoap.  Pair this great bar of stud soap with a bacon flavored lip balm for a perfect guy gift.  Bacon lip balm, I'm still laughing!

Need something special for anyone in the office?  Boss, secretary?  I love the stained glass business card holders from MoreThanColors!

 I hope we are all shopping at small, local and/or artisan businesses this year.  Big box stores will not care if you spend $100.00 with them, but that same $100.00 could mean everything to a small business. And you get the benefit of better customer service and more meaningful gifts!

Thanks for taking a peak at these great shops ~ and check back next Friday for more fun handmade finds!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What's Up Wednesday

What's Up Wednesday

I recently posted a question in the Etsy forums asking whether a single or a bulk picture should be used first in a listing for one bead with more available.  The majority of the responses critiqued my photographs and as this is the first time I've ever received constructive criticism on my shop,  I really appreciated it!  

So this week I've been working on retaking the pictures for all 152 of my Etsy listings.  At 4-6 pictures per item that's over 750 pictures!  Considering that I haven't found a reliable light source that's anywhere as good as natural light for showing the true colors on beads, this is going to take a long time. I have about a 1 hour window of time when the sun is up but not blocked by the fence or the trees in my yard at this time of year so I just have to hope that happens to be the hour there isn't any cloud cover! Anyway, here is a comparison

New picture

Old Picture

There is a HUGE difference!  I didn't realize how bad my pics were before and I'm extremely grateful to the people who took the time to critique me.

As to the original question: I decided I had to do what felt right to me, which is to use the single bead as the first picture.  It's not as dramatic, but I also don't feel like I'm being deceptive.  In the end, being able to sleep at night is more important to me than the number of sales.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Motivation Monday

Motivation Monday

It's Monday again already ~ where did the weekend go?  It's cold out there this morning!  22 degrees and I am in need of some warmth!  So today's motivation is going to be flowers.

There!  That makes me think of islands where it's warm and sunny every day!

And now for a little warm music: Michael Franti - Sound of Sunshine

One of my favorites, and I just made it my alarm clock ring tone. For the three minutes I lay in bed, snuggled in my blankets, I can pretend it's going to be a sunny day!

Thanks for checking in ~ and stay motivated!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Featured Friday

Featured Friday

I have a very special featured artist today ~  My daughter opened an Etsy shop!  KTBelleCrafts  She does a variety of crafts including some incredible paintings with spray paint, recycled glass crafts and blown eggs.  She opened her shop on Tuesday and she's already had 2 sales.  Congratulations KT!!!  This is one of the eggs (it's reserved but she'll be listing more in the next day or two)

These are so cute!

And here's one of her spray paint paintings:

Can you believe that's spray paint?  I love it!

Thanks for taking a peek ~ and check back next Friday for more fun, handmade finds!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What's Up Wednesday

What's up Wednesday

Most important things first.... COUPONS! I woke up to about 30 emails on Monday from stores offering their Cyber Monday sales, so I decided to go ahead and have a sale too.  Since I did it on a whim, late Monday morning, I also decided to make it good until December 1st.  Use the code CYBERWHIM for 10% off everything!!  Ok, I realize that's not as good as getting a giant TV for $10, but I also promise you won't get pepper sprayed! (and I'm not spamming your email!)

That's the big news, other wise not much.  I survived hosting Thanksgiving dinner at my house and more importantly, so did everyone else!  After that little mini vacation I really had to get it in gear at the torch!  I've been making beads non-stop since Saturday. Well, not exactly non-stop. Occasionally I take a break from the torch to post an Etsy listing, make some jewelry or blog. :)    These were from the weekend.

Lots of new listings are available in my Etsy shop, so stop by and see what you need
 (and don't forget your coupon!)

P.S.  A quick note to the Universe ~ I would love to sell all the beads I make, move to Belize and lose 30lbs.  Thank you!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Motivation Monday

Motivation Monday

It's Motivation Monday!  So what's my motivation for this week?  Doors!  I know, it seems strange, but look at these great doors and try not to get motivated!

I'm not sure how this will wind up in beads, but seriously, how can you not be inspired by these!

and the music that's rocking my studio this week?

Love and Theft

because sometimes, no matter how great things are, I still fantasize about running away.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Featured Friday

Featured Friday
Cool Handmade Stuff From Artists I admire

Because we have officially hit the single biggest Holiday shopping day of the year, I thought I would take a more relaxed approach and share some beautiful ornaments I've found.  Fabulous gifts for even the most difficult to buy for person on your list or something you will treasure year after year as you decorate your tree.

These beautiful snowflake ornaments are from TimberGreenWoods on Etsy.  Not only are these gorgeous little works of art, but this business goes to amazing lengths to be environmentally friendly.  From sustainable farming, to recycled packaging - they do it all! 

This ornament from WolfArtGlass on Etsy is stunning and elegant!  Made from recycled glass with a retro design, I can see this being a cherished addition to any one's Holiday decorations! This shop also uses environmentally friendly packaging, renewable wind energy and recycled glass. 

Thanks for checking out these great shops with me today!  Come back next Friday for more fun, handmade finds!  

Today's Featured Friday also happens to be Black Friday ~ so I would just like to say, whether you choose to shop on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, or any other day between now and Christmas (or any other day of the year); please consider the importance of shopping at small, locally owned and artisan businesses.  These are your friends and neighbors and the people who put their heart and soul into making your treasures. They are also the businesses that volunteer in the local community, donate to local charities and youth groups, and let you put your signs in their windows and your donation cans on their counters.  These businesses are run by people instead of corporations, they focus on customers more than bottom lines, and they care about the environment.  You just don't get that kind of heart from the big box stores.  Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What's Up Wednesday

What's Up Wednesday

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, so this week I've been focusing on all the things I'm thankful for.  Foremost is the fact that I'm married to the perfect man.  He makes me supremely happy every single day, and he makes me laugh - loudly and often! But the most important reason I'm thankful for him is the way his love, kindness, support and respect provide my daughters with an example of what a husband really should be. I'm thankful for my daughters, three of the most beautiful people I know inside and out. Each of them is funny, sweet, smart, caring, imaginative - I could go on and on!  I'm thankful for my best friend, the one that listens when I need to vent, rationalizes for me when I screw up and just acts as a general sanity check. I'm thankful for my Dad whom I know I can always turn to for advice and encouragement. And I'm thankful for my grandparents whom I continue to learn so much from and my siblings who always make me laugh. I'm thankful for internet friends who seem to suffer from insomnia as much as I do :)  and I'm thankful for the fans and customers who  make it possible for me to do what I love to do.  What it comes down to is I'm thankful for people. It's the people in my life that make it worthwhile, and I appreciate every single one of them! I hope that each of you are surrounded by the people you are thankful for this holiday ~ Happy Thanksgiving!!

P.s. My new weekly schedule is working out well!  Ok, it worked well last week; we aren't counting this week since I'm hosting dinner and that kind of overruled the bead list!  

Monday, November 21, 2011

Motivation Monday

Motivation Monday
things that inspire me, color combinations I love, the music that rocks my studio and anything else that makes me want to jump up and make a bead!

It seems I've been inspired by everything rainbow. How can anyone look at a rainbow and not be happy? I love happy!!

These fun pancakes are from . I think if everyone ate these for breakfast ever day the world would be a friendlier place!

And look at these fun cookies from I don't even need to eat these, just looking at them makes me happy!

And I'm rocking it old school with Def Leopard!

See you all next Monday ~ and until then Stay Motivated!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Featured Friday

Cool handmade stuff from artists I admire

My friend Maybeads makes the most adorable critters!  Every one of them makes me smile :) They sell out quick though, so if you see one you like don't hesitate!!

I love this piece by Metamorphosi!  Partly because it's glass of course ~ but it's also up cycled and beautiful and just looking at it makes me really, really want to hear how it sounds in a gentle breeze!

Thanks for taking a peak ~ and check back next Friday for more great handmade finds!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What's Up Wednesday

Another regular feature on my blog?  YES!  What's up Wednesday is where you will find upcoming events, news, and interesting tidbits. 

So what's up this Wednesday?   I'm attempting to make a major overhaul in the way I manage my time.  Until last week I managed my time by making a daily to-do list.  Totally sounds like a great idea.  It's not. My list included everything, everyday, and I do mean EVERYTHING! 

Here's a sample:
Make beads,
clean and photograph yesterday's beads,
deliver beads to Sun Dog,
list on Etsy,
Flikr update,
fan page update,
post office and/or bank,
make jewelry
(plus housework, dinner, laundry, grocery shopping, dishes, etc., etc., etc.)

See what I mean?  Basically, I always felt like I was behind, then overwhelmed, and then in need of a nap. Not to mention the guilt over whatever didn't get done.

So my new program is to make a list of everything that needs to get done in a week and assign tasks to specific days.  Many of these things could be done once a week. I don't have to clean and photograph beads everyday; if I do it once a week I only drag out all the supplies for those jobs once (saves time and since it's not on the list every day I don't feel like it's overwhelming me).

Many of you are probably thinking "well, duh!".  But believe me, it's huge for me to tell myself it's ok to put something on the list for Tuesday, and then only worry about that thing on Tuesday.

This is my first week, so I'm still tweaking my schedule - but I see this working really well for me.  The goal is to eventually get everything done, AND be less stressed, and (slightly) less neurotic ~ Wish me Luck!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Motivation Monday

YAY it's Monday!  Ok, that was probably overly enthusiastic for a Monday, but hey, it can't hurt to start the week off with a positive attitude! :)  Motivation Monday will now become a regular feature on my blog. Here you'll find the things that inspire me, color combinations I love, the music that rocks my studio and anything else that makes me want to jump up and make a bead! 

Like many (many) people, I have become addicted to pinterest.  I've found it's a great place to find color, shape and pattern inspiration for beads.  This week I've found cakes particularly inspiring ~ somehow they all look like beads to me!  Here's a few to show you what I mean:

This one is from Project Wedding

and here's one from Party Inspirations facebook fan page:

For some reason cakes really speak to me as beads. Perhaps because the color palettes are similar, or because the process of applying frosting is similar to applying layers of glass.  Either way, there is a wealth of inspiration out there in the cake world!

And lately Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers have been rocking my studio!

See you all next Monday ~ and until then Stay Motivated!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Featured Friday

I decided my blog needed a little more structure. Or maybe I need a little more structure so I quit neglecting my blog!  So on Friday's I will be sharing cool handmade products from great artists that I've found. I hope you find things you'll love too!

First ~ A little something from my friend Rachel of Inferno Glass Beads  I love her big hole lampwork charm beads!  Doesn't this one just glow? Check out her Etsy page for more great lampwork!

I also love the metal work from Christopher Crooks Metal Art  I have one of his geckos and it's beautiful!  Actually, I intended to hang it out on my deck but it's so great I hung it in my living room so I could enjoy it year round. Take a peek at his Etsy shop and I'm sure you'll find something you love too! Here's one of my current favorites ~

Check back next Friday for more great handmade finds!

Friday, October 21, 2011



Sometimes you wonder where a person gets the inspiration for their art.  Sometimes you think "wow, that's beautiful, I wonder what inspired it?"  And sometimes you think "what the heck gave them that idea?"

So, in case you're wondering, I thought I would share.

                        A couple of days ago the sunrise at my house was particularly beautiful.

                                            Inspiring me to make these beads:

Okay, they're nothing like each other.  I did say "inspired" right?  :)

Then I saw these cupcakes:
                                                        And I made this bead:

I try to remind myself to find new inspiration every day.  If you are open to it, inspiration can come from anywhere!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Great Studio Clean Up

WARNING:  This post will be image heavy, and mildly alarming ~ small children and those with OCD should look away!  :)

I'm so embarrassed I can't believe I'm sharing this!  My studio is in a convenient location to be the dumping ground for everyone in the house.  If you don't know where it goes, just put it in the studio "Mom will deal with it".  Okay, that might work if Mom actually dealt with it.  But I don't.  Usually, I'm in a hurry so I just push the stuff into piles to get it out of my way, then dig through it to find stuff that I "know" is in there. You know the drill, I can't possibly be alone in this!

Anyway, here are the before pictures.  I should have taken a picture of the floor, the game trails were a nice touch!



SEVERAL hours later..... The studio looked like this:


Sooooo worth it!  I can find stuff again (well, except for the stuff I'm currently packing all over creation!)

There is one small remaining problem.....

I didn't touch the glass storage.  To be honest, the task is so overwhelming I'm afraid to start. 

                                                                                  Under the torch:
Torch Table:

And the all important "oh, there's an empty spot" method of actually storing the glass.

I want labels, I want organized by color, I want to know what I need BEFORE I place an order.  I don't see that happening anytime soon.

Anyone want to come help? There might be some glass in it for you!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Long Distance Running

No, I'm not running a marathon (no suprise to those of you who know me!), but it certainly feels like it these days.  Right now I'm running my life, my home and my business long distance while I help my Grandfather with harvest.  I'm scattered all over "Hell's half acre" (as Grandpa puts it) and it's a bit of a challenge.  Hubby and the kids are at home ~ thank goodness for text messaging and facebook! And I must say, Dusty makes a much better housewife than I do!

But the business stuff all has to travel back and forth between here and home when we're not picking. Unfortunately, that sometimes means that no matter where I am, something I need is in another location.

This is the temporary torch set up at my in-law's house:



I have an 8X10 studio at home that is absolutely packed ~ so when my husband saw this he said "really, is that all you need?"  Um, no.  I need all that stuff, this is just the very bare essentials.

And my temporary jewelry, Etsy, mailing station at my friend's house:


But it's totally worth it when I get to spend all day outside; fresh air, the sun on my face, and haning out with my Grandpa!  This amazing man has so much knowledge to share and so many interesting stories to tell. I learn something new every time he talks to me.  It is an incredible experience to go to work every day with a man who truly loves what he does and I continue to learn so much from his passion for life. 

I wouldn't miss this opportunity for anything!

Here's my Farmville post from last year, and every word of it holds true.

Plus ~ I get to play fun games like "Can you spot the fruit in this tree?"  Hint: It's a pear.


And just look at the view from my "office"!


So, while my life may be crazy, busy, scattered ~ I wouldn't have it any other way!

Today's experiences are tomorrow's memories, and I treasure every one.