Monday, June 30, 2008

And the Winners Are...



just completed the name-drawing for the pink flower earrings giveaway contest and we have some winners: (drumroll please... and perhaps a flourish of trumpets)

Congratulations All! What I need from you now is your snail mail addresses so these little beauties can start their adventures.

Thanks to all who participated.

1:00PM Follow-up:

I thank all of you for getting your mailing info to me so super-quick! I'm sending them this afternoon.

Be sure to tell all your friends where you got the earrings when they "ooh" and "ahh" over them!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Virtual Partying is Hard Work!

So much revelry! After twirling, moon dancing, slurping tea, eating nibbles, schmoozing with my new friends all day, and pedaling my tricycle around the garden, I'm exhausted. I had a sugar crash and slept just like our old pooch here - dead to the world.

This morning, I think I still have stardust in my eyes (no, wait, it's glitter! I'm never gonna be able to clean it all up. How did it get THERE?! And there, and there...??? Hey, what the... it's even in my underwear!).

I sure hope my new friends out there in Blogland felt welcome and will come back again. Thank you, Vanessa, for organizing this fancy event. I had a fabulous time.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

It's Party Day!

I just snuck around the garden gate to peek at Vanessa's party preparations only to find she's all set up and full-out spectacularly wild over there. Happy 200th post, Vanessa! I had hoped to have something a little lavish to celebrate the occasion, but, alas, managed only a small tea party. I look forward to seeing all who feel like having a cookie and slurping a cup of tea (make mine iced, please - it's HOT here!) to celebrate Vanessa. (This is a wild party; slurping is allowed.)

First off - I apologize for some of the photography. My camera just had to pick this week to die, forcing me to borrow a video camera which did not take very good stills. The food is much better tasting than it looks, I promise!


I made some blueberry corn muffins. Delicious!

I picked out my frilliest tea pot - the one with the bas relief roses all over it.


And I put out the pretty decorated sugar cubes that Sis-in-law Paula Mandel gave me.


My little leather friend, Roo is sporting her favorite garden party hat, waiting for y'all to help yourself to some treats , and wants to hear about your day.


My own favorite garden hat with my handmade vintage ribbon cabbage roses and tulle.

And here's a surprise: I'm giving one pair of these handmade earrings to three randomly picked people who leave comments today! Yay! I will put your names into my fab garden hat and pick three winners on Monday morning. I'll advertise the winners here and leave you a note on your blogsite Monday afternoon. Cross your fingers!


So, come on in, set a while, have some nibbles and celebrate Vanessa's special day.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Challenge of Earrings

I've discovered through my Etsy experience that people are mostly interested in earrings right now. I guess it's 'cuz they're in that affordable "under $30" price range. The trouble is, I find earrings the most difficult to make, not because they are technically difficult (although they can be), but because they are so small, creatively they are a challenge. Each bead's relationship to the others is so important. How do you make a beautiful pair that will not overwhelm the wearer ("Hey! Look at those earrings wearing that person!"), but not so skimpy as to be uninteresting or cheap-looking? Quite the conundrum.

(Click the images to see the Etsy listings)

I made this first pair using carnelian beads throughout the design. I loved the different sizes and shapes of the different beads. By using all the same color, I could concentrate the viewer's eye on the large oval bead and use the smaller rounds beads to complement that oval. But when I showed them to Marble Man, he piped up and said they needed contrast.

I changed out the larger round bead for a black porcelain one, and "POP"! The earrings came alive. I still like the all-red ones, and have them listed for sale. I will list the red and black pair tomorrow.

To satisfy demand, I'll make more earrings, but I still enjoy creating necklaces the most. I make those to feed my soul.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Vanessa's Having a Tea Party!

Vanessa is having a tea party on June 28th to celebrate her 200th blog post. Congratulations, Vanessa!

It looks like it will be lots of fun with stories and fanciful party hats and masks. You can find out more about it at her blogsite: A Fanciful Twist

Time to have some fun and celebrate Vanessa's success! Don't be late.

By the way, for those of you who haven't visited her blog, Vanessa's site is full of her creativity. I visit often ever hopeful that some will rub off on me! You can also find her fabulous work for sale at her Etsy site

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

New Work, New Pictures

Summer is here and my new work seems to reflect the lighter, softer mood of the season:
(Click the pictures below to see Etsy listings)

texture and color evoke memories of the beach...

A beautiful lampwork bead by RB Glass (also at Etsy) is the focus of this ocean jasper and labradorite necklace.

a chunky, fun necklace...

What an amazing find! Gasperite faceted barrel beads and desert jasper faceted ovals were on sale at my favorite bead shop. Mix with deep red and brown jasper rounds, coffee brown jasper rondelles, add a fancy sterling silver box clasp...


One of the great things about Etsy, is there are people selling craft supplies too. These antiqued brass filigree bead caps and ear wires were perfect for making some old fashioned, inexpensive earrings to sell.

sweet summer romance...

Creamy pale green amazonite round beads and vintage styled brass bead caps and Lucite flower beads come together in a budget-friendly pair of earrings.

how to look like a 1950's movie star...

One of my extra long shibori dyed chiffon silk scarves gets a romantic, yet chic, makeover on a summer hat.

modern, yet classic...

Another wonderful find at my local bead store: purplish brown muscovite ovals were also on sale. Strung with freshwater pearls, gold-filled beads, and faceted red jasper rounds, this necklace makes a dramatic statement.


I'm so grateful to Marble Man for helping me get some studio time in the last couple of weeks. I've had a blast.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

A Really Slow Learning Curve...

...and an obsessive attention to detail means I spend most of each day thinking of ways to improve my listings.

At first, I shot pieces on plaster mannequins. The display forms stay where you put them, don't chew gum, talk, or play with their hair while I'm pointing the camera at them. After experimenting, I found the best time of day for optimum daylight, the best room to use, etc. And I took an insane number of pictures.

Now to publish. I was happy with the individual pictures. But, as a whole, apparently people felt they're boring: row after row of white mannequins. The only thing that changes is the piece they are wearing. Potential customers would veer away from my shop without interesting images.

*Sigh* They're right. After several days perusing other sites, I knew the direction I would take. I ransacked the house, collecting all the funky demitasses, plates, wine glasses, and other chtatchkas that would be useful and started again. MUUUUuuuuch better!


...and after shots of yellow turquoise earrings


Last weekend, Dear Ya-ya Debbie, came over to model my yummy silk scarves (Stock whose pictures badly needed spicing up). She did an amazing job. What a creative mind!

before and after shots of a scarflet


a beautiful scarf becomes a chic belt


a chiffon scarf becomes a floaty little overskirt


Debbie modeled for a couple of hours on Saturday. There were MANY pieces still to photograph after she left, so I thought of other ways to hook people into viewing. I raided my shoe collection for some sexy little numbers. Artful draping, crazy gorgeous shoes, result: a high "wow" factor.

My favorite pair of beaded and ruffled taffeta shoes
are a fab display base


quilted violet suede and patent leather:
a great contrast to blue


Debbie hard at work

FINALLY! Time to goof off a little