From my Etsy Shop...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Latest Happenings

I finally finished the Infinity piece and am extremely pleased with the way it turned out. I knew I was saving that upcycled suede for something special. I just had to wait for the design to be shown to me in a dream.

It's made completely with upcycled suede from a purse and coat I found in a thrift store. The Infinity is represented by a continuously flowing Jen's Pind weave, which is sewn into the top layer. Inside of the Infinity are butterfly wings using the same suede and black inlaid dots. To view and read more about this piece, please visit the listing in my Etsy shop.

This weekend I'll be participating in the Durham Art Walk as an exhibitor. My booth will be located at Vert & Vogue... an Eco-friendly clothing store at the Brightleaf Square Mall. I will be there both Saturday (18th) from 10am - 5pm and Sunday (19th) from 1pm - 5pm. This is a huge event with Artists spread throughout the downtown area, all within a 10 minute walking distance. The weather is supposed to be fabulous this weekend, so come on out, get your daily walk in and check out some North Carolina artists.

In two more weeks, I'll be participating in the Salisbury Cultural Arts Festival (May 2nd & 3rd). Since Ted will more than likely be out of town that weekend, a couple of great friends will be making the trip with me to help me out. This will also be an outdoors festival in downtown Salisbury, full of art, music, literature... everything you could possibly want to see. If you're in the area, please come out.

Now to get back to making more pieces... Although we all dream of selling out at a show, we really don't want that to happen. =)

Peace, Love & Happy Mailling,


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Much Fun!

I had a blast this past weekend participating in the Shop Local Fair at Eclectic By Nature in Greensboro. We had 9 artists there, showing off their labors of love. The traffic was kind of slow since the Craftsman's Classic was at the coliseum and there was another festival going on, but it was worth being out there just for the company.

Outside of Eclectic By Nature in the State Street Station. It's a beautiful little strip consisting of many shops, galleries and restaurants. If you're in the area, I highly recommend going there, even if it is to just walk around.

This is my table with every piece of jewelry out for display. I've made of several of my own signs for the credit cards I accept, email list, about the metals I use, etc. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough room to display them all. =)

Some of Angela Jamison's energy artwork paintings were displayed on the walls. She also has prints, magnets, boxes and coffee mugs. I do love her paintings and you'll probably see more in the rest of the pictures below.

This is Angela and her boyfriend, Paul. That's another piece over Paul's head. You can visit Angela and see her work at Lyndon Street Artworks.

Brittany Sondberg is a metalsmith and creates wonderful jewelry out of recycled materials, including recycled Sterling and Fine Silver. She has some awesome rings!!! It was all I could do to keep myself from buying one. She is also at Lyndon Street Artworks if you like to meet her or see more of her work.

Mariana Rodriguez-Pardy is also pictured.

Mariana makes stoneware and burnished terracotta pottery with original designs inspired in prehispanic art and shamanic traditions

Anna Waters and her Tees 4 Trees table. She has organic cotton and bamboo tees with original tree designs. I love the softness of the shirts and they're Eco-friendly.

Vicki Gabba has a self-published book of original poetry and she is also a Metaphysical Consultant. I see lots of readings in my future!
Not pictured are Scott Walden who is a singer of "Shag Rock" music. He and Vicki were sharing a table.

Also not pictured are Marilyn Schendel, owner of Ritual Waters and maker of handmade natural soap and bath products, and Cay Bowman who is a Reiki Master and also handcrafts gorgeous chakra blankets.

Most of us went out for dinner and drinks after the Fair. They're all wonderful people and we all just seemed to click right together. We're talking about having another one in July, also to be held at EBN, so keep an eye out for that information.

My next showing will be at the Durham Art Walk on April 18th and 19th. I will be at Stop #12 on the map, which is Vert & Vogue... an Eco-friendly clothing store in the Brightleaf Square Mall. If you would like more info on the Walk, please visit the Durham Art Walk site.

Until next time...

Peace, Love and Happy Mailling!


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Ahhh... A Break

I've been super busy the last several weeks trying to get things ready for the NADE Convention and then the First Friday Art Show. Now that both of those are over, things can get back to a normal pace for a little while. I don't have anymore shows until April... a small one at the beginning of the month, then an Art Walk in Durham in the middle of the month, so it'll be nice to sit down at my work table and ponder how to bring my next Leather N Maille piece to life. As before with Tiger Lilly and Lace (see next post down), I can see it clearly in my mind, I just need to figure out how to get it all to work in real life. =)

It's been a gorgeous weekend here... mid to high 70's both days, and we've taken full advantage of it. Saturday I parked myself in the driveway and stained shutter doors the whole day. I'm planning on using them as part of my displays at shows, but didn't like the plain wood. I went to Lowe's a while back (last Fall) and purchased Cherry Orchard and Onyx stains to use together. It's a timely process... stain with Cherry, let dry a little bit... stain with Onyx, let dry a little bit... repeat... but it'll be well worth it for the look. I was having to fight to stain between the slats, but Ted got tired of listening to me complain, so he pulled all of them out. It's making the whole thing go a whole lot faster and it looks so much better. =) I'm wanting to get those finished up in the next few weekends since I've applied to be a Juried Exhibitor at the Lexington BBQ Festival in October and they need booth pics by May. The deadline is a pretty good motivator to get it completed.

Today we had softball practice... a mix of co-ed and women's. The sun was blazing both days, so needless to say, my face looks like a beet. It's not painful, but I know it's there. It is however, painful to look at. LOL At least I'm not a halvsie like some people turned out. You know... like Richard Dreyfus from Close Encounters... sun burned (or UFO burned) just on one half of my face. LOL I can tell I got a little more on my left side though, it's just not that noticeable. Hopefully it'll sink in a lot by tomorrow morning.

Well, I'm off for now. I'm gonna finish watching Stargate-SG1 then I'm headed to bed. I can't wait 'til tomorrow so I can start on the new leather piece.

Until next time...

Peace, Love & Happy Mailling!


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Still Working at Home and Loving It!

It's been a little over a month now since I was laid off from my Administrative job and I've been working on jewelry the entire time. Of course the first two weeks were taken up with getting my taxes organized, but the last two weeks have been nothing but jewelry. It's been wonderful and I can really tell a difference in the way I think (creatively). My mind has opened up like never before and all of these ideas have just flooded in.

For the past few weeks, I've been incorporating leather in my chainmaille pieces. Actually it's more the other way around... lots of leather with chainmaille accents. I've completed two pieces with great results. I finished the third piece last night, but unfortunately, it didn't make the cut. It wasn't up to my standards and it pretty much looked like crap. LOL The leather cuff itself turned out great, but the chainmaille accent wasn't working right. Because of the way it was all tied together, I ended up having to trash the whole thing except for the maille. Here are the first two pieces.

(Lace) Upcycled black leather pieces with black leather cord used for the stitching.

The chainmaille piece is a Stainless Steel Japanese 12-in-2 weave. All metal is covered with leather, so there's no need to worry about any allergies you may have.

(Tiger Lilly) Upcycled orange leather pieces for the front and back with black leather cord used for the stitching. Black leather inlaid dots accent the piece and break up the orange nicely.

The chainmaille piece is a Stainless Steel Helm (or Parallel) weave. Once again, all metal is covered on the back of the piece, so only soft leather comes in contact with your skin.

I'm really proud of these two pieces, since it's a first (and second) for me and leather. I just wish my third piece had turned out. I'll have to give it another go to see if I can make it work. I don't give up on things that easily. I keep at it until it works. =)

On the job front, I just started getting my resume out there. I applied to 4 jobs by email and one through the mail this week. It sure is different since the last time I was forced to job hunt (yet another lay-off back in 1990). Now, just about everything is done electronically instead of by the good old US Postal Service. The four jobs I applied for the other night, I actually FORGOT to attach my resume on the email. LOL How stupid is that!?!?! Yep... I resent them with resume attached, but I don't expect to get any replies on that batch. LOL

As I type this, I just got a response from one of them. Go figure... The sucky economy strikes again. The position I applied for is no longer available due to unexpected cut backs at the company. It just goes to show you that no job is safe. Oh well!

Today I'll be finishing up a "regular" maille piece that's been sitting in my work-in-progress box. It's a Stainless Steel Dragonscale weave that's massive. It's 1-1/2" wide and it's fabulous! I can't wait to get it finished and listed.

I guess that's enough blogging for the day. I'm off to finish me some maille. =)

Peace, Love and Happy Mailling!!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Nothing But Fun

You are The Wheel of Fortune

Good fortune and happiness but sometimes a species of
intoxication with success

The Wheel of Fortune is all about big things, luck, change, fortune. Almost always good fortune. You are lucky in all things that you do and happy with the things that come to you. Be careful that success does not go to your head however. Sometimes luck can change.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

When I first read this card, I thought "what luck have I had lately... this totally doesn't fit me". But then I thought about the other things the card mentions. All of the awesome friends I have, all of the things I've succeeded at and my wonderful family, son and boyfriend... Whether it's luck or fortune, I'm grateful to have every piece in my life. I'm happy by nature... pretty much always... and the simplest things in life bring me the most joy. And there's definitely a big change coming. What it is, I'm not sure of yet. But it's there, just barely peeking over the horizon, just waiting to be seen. So yeah... it does fit, and it fits well.

I pop bubble wrap at 17.04 bubbles per second!

I popped 196 bubbles in 11.5 seconds
Can you beat my score?

Just fun... simple, enjoyable, bubble popping fun. =)


* Electric Light Orchestra was who inspired me to play the violin.
* I have a Geographic and Fissured Tongue, as does my mom, brother and grandma.
* I hate getting in a swimming pool, but don't think twice about getting in the ocean.
* I have to pop both of my big toes before I can go to sleep.
* I often sing the Muppet song "MuhnuhMuhnuh" (in my head) to clear my mind when I can't sleep.
* I still sleep with my original baby pillow from when I was born.

I'm tagging Martha Horman, Zephi, and ChatNoir. My tagger was CLKcreative. The rules (more or less): link to your tagger, share 6 random things about yourself, tag a few others (be sure to tell them). Participate only if it makes you smile. And of course, post the rules.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Big Changes for 2009

Well... what can I say? The first month of the new year isn't even over yet, and I'm already in for some big changes ahead.

Two days before Christmas, my sweet little kitty, Ms. Moe (Elmo), passed away. She was my companion for a little over 17 years and a big part of my life. From the start she was "my" cat... she had tagged me as hers. (The cat people out there will get what I mean.) As a little kitten, she would hunt me down and crawl up in my lap no matter where I was or what I was doing. Of course this became the norm. If I was sitting or laying down, she was too, right there on me. She would sleep with me every single night, laying right on my hip. If it was a restless night for me, she would roll as I rolled and turn as I turned. If it was a cold night, she would root her way under the covers and curl up against my stomach. She was the most precious and sweet cat... and the biggest pig.

She loved food... human food. Her first experience, (well... sort of), was one day, when my son was little, he was sitting in the floor eating a chicken wing. Moe took off running towards him and without stopping at all, she snatched that chicken wing right out of his hand and kept on running. It was hilarious, but unfortunately (for her), my husband (at the time), got a hold of her and took the wing away. All I could do was laugh, but he was pretty mad at her. From then on, where ever the food was, she was. Always meowing and whining, wanting food and getting under your feet or in your face to get it. She weighed all of 4.5 lbs... she was a tiny cat, but man, she could eat like nobody's business.

I could go on and on about her, but I won't. I'll just say that Moe was the best cat ever... sweet, comical, loving, and didn't have issues when we brought other cats home. She holds a very special place in my heart and I will never ever forget her.

Rest In Peace sweet Moe!

The second change came about by way of needing to organize my work area. I've been using my kitchen table as my work area for a long time. We have two, so it wasn't the kitchen-kitchen table... the one we eat at. That was all the space I had, but with a few accessories, I was able to make the space work by adding shelves to the back to put things on and by using cork board on the wall to hang my finished pieces on. That lasted about a year until this past Christmas when I just couldn't take it anymore. I didn't have anymore room because I had too much stuff and it was taking over. It was almost impossible to keep the table clean to give me enough room to make maille, so Ted brought home a credenza from his office for me to spread out on. I have before and after pictures to show the difference... and what a wonderful difference it is. The before is REALLY bad, but please know that it only got this bad because I hadn't been doing any maille for the last few weeks of the year, I was preparing for tax time and the things I got for Christmas were just laying there (not put up). I am a VERY organized person normally, so I'm pretty ashamed of these pictures.

These are BC (before credenza):

My space... all of it (YUCK!) Everything is everywhere, and with no place to put my lap top, I had all of a about 1-1/2 feet back to work on. My supplies were very organized... clasps, earwires and beads are in the containers on the shelves (there are two more behind the laptop) and rings, wire, cords and "special beads" are in the little stacking containers on the left side. Tools and other packaging supplies are in the rolling bin under the table.

Everything is just kinda crammed everywhere. There's no easy access to anything because you have to move things out of the way to reach something.

My cork board to hang finished piece on. I loved this idea as it keeps everything right there within reach. It also reminds me to promote, promote, promote, because it's a visual reminder of what I need to sell. LOL

My printer-on-a-crate. LOL I didn't have anywhere else to put it, so Ted brought in the crate for me to sit it on. Of course it was always in the way and I was always hitting my knee either on it or the rolling bin on the left side.

Behind the printer was where I stashed all of my shipping boxes. It wasn't the ideal place for them because I couldn't ever see what I was grabbing.

Ok... here are the after pictures:

Now, I have plenty of work space. I can keep my laptop pushed back when I want to do maille or I can slide it up when I need to use it. My original bins are still on the left and I added one more big one and one more smaller one to the right to separate ring types (precious metals on the left, others on the right). My photography lamps are in the corners, within easy reach and easily slideable when I need them. My timer is on the right, so I can keep track of how much time is spent on whatever maille I'm working on.

The Sun on the left is one of my favorite things. It's a Story People piece by Brian Andreas. I have a few of his poems/prints throughout the house and plan on getting more. My hooks on the door stayed put. They hold my headphones and my Story People bag that I got for my birthday.

My rolling bin is still there, it's just a lot less cluttered and a lot more organized. Tools on top, tags, and bags in the middle and glues, torch and butane in the bottom. I even have room on the table now for my coffee warmer. =)

There's nothing on the right side of my chair for me to hit anymore... everything has a place and is within easy reach. My make-shift light box is easily gettable and usable without having to move anything. And I have my little foot rest back too. =)

Here's the credenza all neatly organized with everything having a space. I moved the shelf that was behind my laptop over to the center opening and am still using it to hold my supplies. I keep my beading and cutting boards on the very top and use the shelf itself as a divider to seperate printer supplies on the left and my AR/AP file, receipt book and cost notebook on the right. I purchased the little blue baskets (2 for $1.00) at Walmart and they're great for keeping packaging tape, files, my jewelry tags and hole punches in.

We purchased a (put it together yourself) two drawer unit ($25.00 at Target) to keep my packaging tins and tissue paper in. The little baskets on top ($2.00 each at Walmart) are for my leather tools and supplies. Mailing boxes and tin filler are beside the drawer unit, putting everything I need to ship orders right within reach.

My printer is now off the floor (finally) and is sitting on the back corner of the credenza. All of the supplies for it are below it on the left side of the shelves.

I now have room on top for my Hex Cats from ChatNoirStudios, my SevenBot from TofuNutLoaf, Marvin The Martian and other little doodads that I like.

Whew!!! That was alot of work. LOL But it was all worth it. Now I just have to not buy any big supplies that'll take up more room. Pfffth... yeah right! I'll probably outgrow this in another year or so.

Now, on to the last big change so far this year (I'm sure it won't be the last though).

As of today, I have been unemployed for a week. My employer laid me off last week after 12 years of service. It's been hard to deal with, but I'm coming to terms with it, realizing that it was probably for the best. Part of my mind was ready for a change before the lay-off, but the other part just didn't want to accept it, so I held on as long as I could. I've been doing administrative work since I was 18 years old... I even took classes for it in high school. I did enjoy it, but it just got so boring and mind numbing. Our business had slowed down tremendously, so I'm really surprised they kept me on as long as they did.

What now, you ask??? I have no clue. LOL I do know that I'll take full advantage of being at home for a while... at least a few weeks... to work on my jewelry business. I won't be able to draw unemployment for another 5 weeks because of the severance package I received. I have to figure out the insurance part too. That's up at the end of January and I can't go without it because of my asthma. I have looked in the paper for other adminstrative jobs, but so far there hasn't been much. This past Sunday, there were only 3 part time jobs listed. Not a whole heck of alot to choose from. LOL I've been on several websites looking, but I just can't seem to wrap my mind around staying in the same field. I want to do something different now... something fun and interesting... something that'll keep me from sitting on my butt 8 hours a day. Welding maybe, but I would have to take classes unless someones willing to hire me as an apprentice. Retail??? Hmmm, that's a possibility if I could find the right type of shop. I've thought about construction and landscaping too. It's all coming back to me doing things with my hands. That, I think, is what would keep me happy... working with my hands.

One door closes and another door opens, right? Hopefully the universe will show me that other door pretty soon. In the meantime, I'll do what I can to keep my sanity, to stay busy and to stay happy.
Until next time...

Love, Peace and Happy Mailling!