Tuesday, August 31, 2010

There's a Kind of Hush all over the World...tonight...

Ok...so it's morning and it's just in my house but the hush is real!
Mom stayed overnight in the hospital for tests...nothing major, just checking her after a couple of symptoms of a mini-stroke which it turned out she didn't have. Better safe than sorry. Now they are doing some tests on her heart and she should be released this afternoon.

She called early this morning all bright and breezy due to having people fuss over her (the strong English accent has that effect), she's always seen her trips to the hospital as a vacation...lol! Mostly because they've never been anything serious.

For me....the house is quiet, no morning rundown of how many times she got out of bed to go to the bathroom, what hurts, what doesn't, etc. When my niece visited she asked me if this was the norm and freaked when I said it was...lol!  

This is what I miss. The quiet time in the morning....I'm smiling, I feel light and optimistic. I feel like me.  So, even though I have errands to run I'm not going!!!! I am making the most of the quiet time and holding onto this feeling as long as I can.

If you missed it on Facebook this is the  latest piece off my bead bench, Olive Expressions. The second picture shows the clasp which I am really happy with....a clasp in disguise.

And now I'm off to bead....the Simple Sister to Gideon's Wheel.
Have a great dayy everyone.

Friday, August 27, 2010


That's my answer today to the "how are you feeling?" question.

But, I think it's normal, given that I am changing things up, of course it being a normal reaction doesn't change the jittery stomach.  I find myself waking in the middle of the night thinking "am I doing the right thing?" and I answer yes and go back to sleep because I know it's the direction I need to go in. I feel like painting "You can do this!" in 3 foot letters around my workroom to cheer myself on.....and wonder if you can hire an exorcist to get rid of doubt.

I think when you have doubts you need to face them head on, find the fear that creates the doubt and do something about it.  One of my fears is if I am a good teacher, I have taught people to bead, and to bead well, I've seen pictures of people taking classes with the top instructors and it looks like I teach exactly like they do but I still have that doubt. The answer is to take a class with a top instructor and I think that's going to be a goal for me....not cheap when you're struggling financially but I think it's what I need. Of course I'd totally enjoy taking a class especially with with one of my fave designers, so I may have to make it a joint Christmas and birthday gift, one of the bonuses of having a birthday near Christmas...lol! The class fund will be started today, if only with a dollar!  I guess I need to start looking at workshops.

I think seeing someone else teach will be just what I need, I know I write great instructions, do wonderful illustrations and take decent photos. I know I have the patience required and that I design original pieces. So, I'm almost there, just need a bit more confidence.

I'm still waiting for bead deliveries to complete some colorways for Gideon's Wheel....I'm loving the Peace Jade version but can't wait to do the Black Onyx sample, which will be mine....all mine!   Wicked Weave is awaiting more turquoise fire-polish to finish the Chocolate/Turquoise colorway and in the same order the Unakite beads arrive for the Coral/Olive version.

And the nerves.....I keep shutting them in the closet.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Battling Through

Stress levels are high right now but I'm being good and doing the aspirin regimen to avoid a repeat of the mini-strokes that have happened twice in my life when my stress levels maxxed out.   Family stuff and not work related though it all affects work when you work from home.

Work is my salvation.  My muse has always ridden to the rescue on a white horse....filling my head with beauty and challenge taking me away from the current troubles.

So my head is FULL of new designs for beading and polymer. I think I have workshop projects for the next year and the new format is making me feel like a professional designer.  I think for the first time in my life I know exactly where I am headed, my direction, my choice and being sure of that I see me leaping all the obstacles that get thrown at me and have derailed me in the past.  When the "get a job" comments come at me and the sneers as if I'm a loser and slacker are thrown at me I just know that it's from fear and jealousy because I am making it happen. 
Proving people wrong does not make them happy...lol!

Thanks to LJ my dream cuff has a name "Wicked Weave" and the two versions are designed, a simple narrow bracelet for the beginner/intermediate beader and a broad cuff for the advanced beader.

I'm loving designing this way....the complex first and then a simplified version, hopefully everyone else feels the same way :)

I'm going to have a polymer day today....muses are on my mind and I think muse pendants would be really cool. We'll see how the ideas translate into reality...cross your fingers.

Monday, August 23, 2010

How to Take a Vacation

When you work for yourself and are reliant on classes for income the idea of taking a break is daunting, to say the least.  But sometimes you just need to take a break. Planning for time off is a really good idea, saving up for it is even better but the realities are that you might not be able to save, new businesses take time to have that kind of income.
So....where does that leave you.....or in this case...me?

The designs for October (Gideon's Wheel) and November (Wicked Weave) are done and the new class format of one large project per month is already proving it's the right decision for me. Next month I have no projects to teach....and just two open bead classes so there is income to make up. 

I'm approaching it all positively, telling myself it will all be ok and then I'm working my tush off to get as many patterns as I can into my Etsy store. I keep all my PDF patterns on a flash drive so even when I'm on vacation I can complete sales.  I have a couple of oldies but goodies that I haven't offered up for sale yet and some interesting pieces I haven't written patterns for...yet.  So, my goal this week is a pattern a day into my store, these are a couple of things that will be showing up.

Anastasia...a delicate setting and stringing for a donut

Bring on the Bling Daisy Tile Bracelet
I definitely need to take better photos of this one....cos it's way sparkly!

Plus along with the pattern writing I want to play with clay and get some new beads and pendants done. So....I have a busy few weeks ahead of me and hopefully the results will make up for the lost income a vacation creates.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Bad, bad, busy Mikki

Ok...so it's been a while since I blogged.  As business grows it seems there is less and less time in the days and I have to rob Peter to pay Paul timewise so something has had to give.

Designing, writing and illustrating three teaching beading projects a month was becoming impossible so I've restructured my classes to one large project a month teaching it in the regular weekly classes over three weeks.   As these projects tend to be advanced I'm also taking the the simplest components and creating a beginner/intermediate project...so students can choose their own level.
The first project will be Gideon's Wheel....a pendant necklace with a donut focal. The easy project for this one will be the bezelled pearls with a simple bail and drop around the donut. I like the idea of a class being open to more than one level of beader.

For those of you who have already asked about the pattern for this and the other workshop projects here's the scoop.  The patterns won't be sold alone but will be sold with a kit and, of course, if you have a group, store or beading society you could always have me come teach :)

I am actually taking a mini-vacation next month as Mom and I scout locations in California for a move once the house is sold.  It's the next logical/sensible move for me as it will put me more into the beading world where I need to be and give me a social life again. Surprisingly Mom is very excited to move, she think it may give her a new lease on life and she has made the realisation that this house and garden is a lot to keep up with since my Dad passed.
We figure it'll take about a year but we may be surprised, a neighbor's house similar to ours but without the garden just sold for a lot more than we thought it would.

I'm hard at work getting workshop projects ready and also trying to find some time to get back to my book and have given myself a Christmas deadline for the proposal.  By request I'm only teachig Open Bead classes next month....and just the first two weeks as there is that vacation. A highlight for me in the trip is the Central California Bead Society's bead show where I get to meet the ladies and snoop at what they do :) Another highlight will be the Clovis Balloon Festival....we got Mom a new digital camera for that as she likes to take photographs.