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!