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!