Thursday, September 30, 2010

Home Business Disrespected Part 2

After all the comments and discussion about home businesses not being respected yesterday it makes me think we need a rally or something to get the message out.
More and more people work from home thesedays, with the economy as it is many of us have had to turn to making our own jobs. We are the new wave of industry! We are going back to grassroots and creating something, marketing and selling it with the help of the Internet. What's really happening, IMO, is a modern day mom & pop business....usually without the pop.
We're growing our own jobs instead of out sourcing and more and more people are recognising this and want to support us by buying handmade.

It's a crying shame that those around us, our friends and family don't get it.

I was heartened when I found which is a company in Fresno who have set up small business parks where you can rent an office equipped with wi-fi, utilities and maintenance included at a price reasonable enough for those of us who are over spilling our home offices or living room or just need some peace to work.  Having an office or studio outside the home instantly makes people sit up and take notice. You might want to do a search in your area for small offfice parks.

I've researched articles about home businesses and this one addresses the top ten problems for a home business...a lot of what we've talked about.
and this one tells us what to do about those ten problems

Other news....Beadwork re-named my bracelet, they decided on "Gothic Butterfly"...YAY!  How great that even though I had accepted "Farfalle" they continued to work on it to come up with a good compromise.
It's really good to know that a large magazine such as Beadwork still is willing to work with we fussy artists and my thanks go our to Melinda and Allison.

My little Gothic self worked last night on the Black Onyx version of Gideon's Wheel and I have to say I'm loving it.

Happy Project Runway Day everyone:)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Home Business Disrespected

I have a feeling I'm not the only one who experiences this.
There's something about working for yourself from home that seems to make people think you can drop everything at any moment to go do something other people feel is fun or necessary.  I've often heard the comment " have no boss to put pressure on you must be heaven!"

The truth is quite different.
I've worked many jobs and though I tend to be a workaholic in whatever job I'm doing I've watched many do as little as possible to not get fired.
The worst I ever saw was working in a government situation, where one guy was constantly found at his desk sleeping, or sitting in the parking lot. He even tried to stuff the reports he should have done into the pile that was completed...I was on to him and I knew which reports he'd been given so they went back on his desk.
When you work for yourself there's no way to hide from the work, no one to push your work way to be lazy, not if you want to pay the bills.

The home office/studio works great if you're the only one at home but if there are others in the house frequently they don't 'get' that you're 'at work', and a closed door doesn't seem to deter them from disturbing or distracting you.
And there are distractions, at home there is always something to do non-work related so you have to focus.  They tell you to treat the home business as if you were going to work (ok, you can stay in your jammies) and for me I have no problem doing that...I'm what they call a 'self-starter'.

However, I do live with someone who has no respect for what I do....don't get me wrong, my mom thinks I make wonderful jewelry, but she does not respect my work time or space.  Today, my "I want to be independent" mom insists I take her shopping in the middle of my day....after her soap though.  Yesterday, it was, at 4pm, "you're making dinner today".  And if she stops in and finds me on FB or writing my blog I get "Oh, you're chatting again" as if I'm not working, and as we all know blogs and FB are how we do marketing these days.  Oh...and my fave, on a class day she says "Oh, this is your day to work".

You get the idea? I'm sure those of you with children at home when you're trying to work can add a zillion examples to that and have husbands who don't understand what the problem is.

Working from home has many advantages (yeah, the PJ commute) but it also has disadvantages and takes a lot of focus, commitment and determination.

So if you know someone who works from home respect what they do, don't get annoyed when they don't take time out of their workday to go for coffee, or shopping or want to chat on the phone for hours.

Me? When we move I'm getting a studio away from home :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Designs Revisited & What Made Me Pout

First off, the designs revisited.
Below are what I call my "Gutter Bracelets" and what I advertise as "Cradled Pearls"....ahh, what's in a name? But we'll get to that.
I've never actually taught the Gutter bracelets, they were originally designed for a workshop that never happened.  But I like the design so I thought I'd revitalize it by making it into a bangle and then creating a sister bangle to round out a workshop....who knows maybe there will be three variations.

Naming projects can be easy, challenging or just plain impossible.
Like the "Gutter Bracelet", which I admit isn't the prettiest of names, hence "Cradled Pearls" which is much more appealing...and I'm sure there will be a new name when they become a bangle class.
Sometimes though I like the names I choose and apparently get very
attached to them as I discovered yesterday.
As my followers and friends know these are my Urchin Wing bracelets and the pattern for these will be a project in the Dec/Jan issue of Beadwork magazine.
However, I learned yesterday that they will have a new name, Farfalle.

I get it, the shape is like farfalle or bow tie pasta and if Urchin Wings is too dark for the magazine, I guess I understand. But that being said having a piece of jewelry named after pasta.....hmmmm.....
One bows to the powers that be and for a year it shall be named "Farfalle", but to me and after a year it will always be "Urchin Wings"...ok, so after a year it will be "Urchin Wings AKA Farfalle".

I am told by Bead Goddess, Marcia, that it's happened to her and the best thing to do is to have a good laugh about it and change the name back after the contract is up. So, the jokes are already popping into my head....stitch it too tight and it's "al dente", too loose and it's a "limp noodle".
I may still pout a little about someone I don't know renaming my baby but I've accepted it.

I will say that the thing that surprised me the most was that they felt the name had a "dark feel" to it.  I'm not saying it doesn't, anyone who knows me knows my style is a bit Gothic but with the popularity of Steampunk which is decidedly dark I wouldn't have thought it was an issue.
Sometimes one is just surprised!

Anyway, it'll be out in December for all those of you who have contacted me about this pattern and are chomping at the bit to make your own.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday, Monday

The start of a new week and always lots to do.
I'm hoping beads get here today....the last few that I need to be able to pack up the Gideon's Wheel and Dots'n'Dashes kits that are ordered...but I figure it's more likely to be Wednesday.

I need to finish up the DnD pattern and start working on the Wicked Weave II pattern, though somehow I managed to get Wicked Weave I done already...well, except for the clasp.

I am thinking about adding a crystal version of Wicked Weave, the two kits that are in production right now are gemstone based, turquoise howlite and unakite. I'm toying with the idea of Siam and Topaz, of course it does put the price of the kits up.  The original version of Wicked Weave II (black and silver above) was done with all Swarovski and I may offer that colorway too....IF I can get hold of PF silver Tohos which sell out so damn quickly from the wholesaler.

On Saturday night I did manage to finally get the base of the armature piece fully I just have to add all the top embellishments which means more bezels and lots of netting.

I think I need to put my big white board back up so I can put my to do list on it....always help to see things being checked off :)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Crystal Corners

So, the pattern is up....just click the page link in the upper right under my banner and you'll have the instructions for this new stitch.
It's a nice basic stitch that looks good by itself but also gives you a
good base for embellishing. Have fun with it.

Today, I'm feeling the after effects of the trip with a cold due to a weakened immune system.  But the Alka Seltzer Cold seems to be holding it off.
I may just piddle around all day and am not setting any goals or projects today...just take it easy and hopefully tomorrow I'll be feeling better and ready to get back to it.

I'll do the drawing for the necklace next you've got a week to make a comment for your chance to win.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Celebration Giveaway

When I was getting close to 100 followers I started to think of some kind of celebration for when I hit 100....before I decided on anything 100 was history!
But I didn't stop thinking. So today as I was routing through boxes of class samples I pulled one of my slider necklaces out.

I've been wearing my gunmetal version of this lately and I was surprised at the number of compliments it gets.  So, here is the golden version, great for fall, ready to go to some lucky winner chosen at random from the comments left.

But that didn't seem fair to everyone so I'm adding something tomorrow that will be for everyone. It's so hot off the presses it isn't done yet :)
Stay tuned!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fly Links?

Get your swatters out!
So, as some of you have seen on Facebook I finished the challenge I got myself!
With the arrival of Miyuki's new Tila beads Perry at Yorkbeads posed the question as to whether the 2-holed Tilas would work with their 2-holed daggers. I was a smart Alec (you're shocked, right?) and suggested that he send me some so I could test them out.  Perry e-mailed me almost immediately and said he would send me some...WOW!
 True to his word they were in my mail when I got back from vacation and yesterday afternoon I sat and played with them.

I came up with this adaptation of right angle weave that I'm calling 'fly links' for obvious reasons.  It's a very quick stitch and I was surprised at how striking it is...the spotted daggers make for a fabulous edging.
And yes, the 2 holes of the daggers and the Tila beads match up perfectly.
I'm not a stringer but these two beads will string extremely well giving some delightful curves to your work...I'm going to try and put something together later today to show you what I mean.

I am definitely feeling revitalized after my trip.....I got to see the light at the end of the tunnel and am feeling reassured that I'm on the right track in my life...finally!
Lots to do but I confess I'm not looking too far ahead right now, taking it a day at a time so I don't get overwhelmed. I am taking the time to bead and plan on doing so through the weekend as I didn't bead for a solid week because of the trip.  So look for new items cropping up on FB :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Life is Like a Box of Chocolates

Or maybe jewelry is.

As soon as I saw Margie Deeb's Fall Color Report I was in love with the Chocolate Truffle color so when Artbeads asked me to design something in the new fall colors the choice was easy!

Swarovski I love you!
And your maroon pearls and your mocca bicones....scrumptious and decadent but this Chocolate Box will only add weight to your wrist and not the parts we won't mention.  I highlighted all the chocolatey goodness with some dark copper Tohos (11/0) and a magnetic copper slide lock clasp.

If you've seen my Gideon's Wheel necklace you'll recognise the diamond square component and this bracelet pattern is included with the Gideon's Wheel Kit.  The pattern will be available from my Etsy store in the next day or know, as soon as I can get to it :)

I used 4mm pearls and 5mm crystals for the bracelet which gives it a chunky feel, for a more dainty bracelet 3mm pearls and 4mm crystals work wonderfully...and are the sizes I use in Gideon's Wheel.   The component also makes a great dangle for matching earrings.  Just remember to order LOTS of pearls and crystals...the bracelet pictured took 250 pearls and 84 crystals but you'll need a lot more than that if you make the 3mm version.

Artbeads supplied the beads for this project but do not pay me for my review and the opinion you get is my honest one.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

An Amazing Trip I'm back ...and surprisingly I woke up at 7:30am!  Surprising because I don't think I've ever been as tired as I was on this trip.  When you do the PJ commute and your class is just 5 minutes away there's not much need for being behind the wheel for long.  So putting 1300 miles on the car in five days means I spent many, many hours driving. About 8 hours freeway driving days one and five and about four hours a day the middle three days driving around neighborhoods. As I only wear my glasses for driving and distance having to wear them so much made my eyes sore.....just not used to it.

At the end of each day I was so tired, I could barely do more than look at the computor to see where I needed to be the next day so I was most definitely absent from FB.  If you asked me something, know I will get caught up today :)

As some of you know I actually sold a couple of pieces at the Bead Show, this was totally! I know enough not to go anywhere without taking samples of my work but this is the first time I've sold that way .... thankyou ladies!

The Bead Show was very cool, busy and bustling, I had a limited time there as I had to get back to Mom who stayed at the hotel so I didn't get to see everything.....which may be a good thing for my wallet!   I did stock up on 15s which are almost impossible to find here, some 11s and I couldn't resist some vintage Swarovski rivolis from Kandra's Bead...and no, I have no idea what to do with!

I met Sandy who is the mover and shaker of the CCBS and a lovely lady who was helping Kandra with her booth. Next to them were Bead Artistry ownded by mother and daughter team Penny and Stephanie....I stopped by their store, which is uber elegant, the next day, twice actually as talk of my doing a workshop there left no time to shop the first visit.  I was all over town that day going from realtor to bead store to hotel to bead store to neighborhood snooping.  I did manage to stop by Beads Etc in Clovis and spend a relaxing visit with the delightful Arline fun for me to sit and yap about designing with another designer/instructor.  Another great little bead store with another Mom and daughter team, Becky and Beth.  I found the missing fire-polished rounds I needed so badly there, more seed beads....can a gal ever have enough?

There are more bead stores in Fresno than I had time to visit on this trip and I am so looking forward to moving there so I get to see and shop them all.

Today I have to unpack, and deal with my car which was parked in the garage while we were away and obviously liked it so much it wants to stay there...which it will until I can get the flat battery jumped...sheesh!

For everyone I met on my trip, Jacquie, Leslie, all the above mentioned and everyone whose name got lost in my jumbled was fabulous to meet you, match FB friends with faces and I can't wait until I'm amongst you and have my booth at next year's Bead Show :)  Thank you all for your amazing welcome, introductions, support and heck...just for being beadaholics like me :)

Friday, September 10, 2010

How a Beader Packs For Vacation


It's a week away and Mom keeps asking if I know what clothes I'm taking.
I need clothes?
I figure I'll take whatever is clean and closest to my suitcase....because
the beads are more important!!

I'll be packing the components and CDs for the Gideon's Wheel and Dots'n'Dashes kits so I can get any other supplies I need from the bead show and mail them out if needs be.
Did y'all know they are both listed in my Etsy store now?
I'll be listing the military pin version soon....cos it's perfect for the military look destined to be popular this fall season.

Of course I'll also need to figure out what I'll want to make while I'm away....maybe I should save the Onyx Gideon's Wheel for the trip.

A week to go and lots to do but I sure am looking forward to being in California again...if only for a few days.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hushed to Rushed

My hush time lasted an evening and a morning....then all hell broke loose.
Everything turned out fine for stroke, no problems really....they said possibly an inner ear infection.
And you know how it hold yourself together while you have to and then you crumble.   That was what happened last night...I was so stressed out I was in bed at 6pm.  If I were to bet on who lives longest I'd put my money on Mom cos all this stress has to be doing something to my body.

Anway....nuff of that!
Coffee with a friend this morning is just what the doctor ordered and I'll try not to whine, and concentrate on all the good things that have been happening lately.

I hope to finish the Simple Sister to Gideon's Wheel today....I'm referring to it as the "It" necklace as the dot, dot, dash spells "it" in morse code...I know I have a screw loose.
I took the bezelled pearls from Gideon's Wheel and created a simple pendant necklace with the donut and a CZ teardrop. It has a nice simple elegance to it.  There will be an extender clasp to round out the project.  I turned my Gideon's Wheel sample into a brooch as I only had 8mm pearls and I wanted 10mm for it, Suz will be doing this colorway for the complete sample.  I like the brooch has a military (medal) feel to it which is going to be hot this fall/winter season.

And the finished It necklace

Thanks to everyone who sent me good wishes when the stress hit me  and pretty much made me comatose yesterday....much appreciated!