Saturday, September 27, 2008

And the winner is... tanybug! Even though the Random Number Generator says the number was drawn on the 28th, it's really only 7:30pm on the 27th here in my time zone; so I still squeaked in under the wire on getting the winner chosen. Since tanybug has an Etsy shop, I'm sending her a convo for her mailing address so I can send the Surly Cats her way.

I'm sooooo behind in posting to this blog, but it's been a busy week. My husband's back has been messed up the whole week (he has chronic back pain), and he's not able to get up and do anything. That means I've made hundreds of trips up and down our stairs to carry food, water, medicine, books, glasses, movies, exercise bands, clothes, shoes, etc., etc., etc., to him so he doesn't have to get out of bed. He's still not doing very well, but at least he's improving. My knees will be happy when he's back on his feet.

I have managed to get some beadweaving done in between trips up and down the stairs. Not as much as usual, but I'm happy with these pieces anyway. I also curated a couple of treasuries, kept up with my Etsy shipping, watched a few episodes of House, watched the Obama/McCain debate, finished reading one book (Disordered Minds) and started another (The Front), shipped some books that were mooched from me on Bookmooch, did some updates to the Bead Art Originals website, and kept up with most of the household chores (well, my husband can't come down the stairs to see the dirty dishes in the sink anyway, so they're still there). Why does it still feel like I'm behind? It's that whole not-enough-hours-in-the-day thing again.

Anyway, here are the newest pieces I've listed in my Etsy shop:


In Stitches

and just listed today... Op Art in Silver and Black

If you visit my Etsy shop, you'll see the inspiration for Op Art. I'm really happy with the way this one turned out, so it'll definitely show up with some different colors in the near future. Since one of the things I did this week was open up the box of beads I received from Fire Mountain Gems, I gotta make more things so I can use them!!! :-)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Do you know about the Bead Art Originals Items of the Week? Each week some of our members choose an item from their shops and offer it as the Item of the Week. The Items of the Week all have some kind of special deal associated with them -- some are offered at a discounted price, some are offered with a free gift, and some are offered with free shipping. It varies from week to week, so you never know what you're going to find!

Head over to the Bead Art Originals blog to see the details of this week's items!

Since it's now officially autumn, my Item of the Week for September 22-28 is the Autumn Abstract cuff (shown at the top center). Purchase and pay for the cuff between September 22 and 28 and receive the matching Autumn Abstract pendant free!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Are you a cat lover? I really like all kinds of animals, including cats, but I'm severely allergic to them. So the only kind of cats I can have around me are ones like these... drawings.

I enjoyed reading all the comments from my last giveaway, so I've decided to do another one! This one is for all you cat lovers out there, as I'll be giving away a set of six greeting cards made from my original artwork. All of the cards feature my Surly Cats. I don't have these listed in my Etsy shop, but I've sold lots of them at arts/crafts shows. Each card has a professionally printed copy of one of my drawings attached to an A6 sized blank greeting card. Each print is signed and dated on the back and is removable from the card, so the recipient receives a little piece of artwork suitable for framing (the prints are 3.5" x 5"). I typically sell these cards for $5 each, so the winner will receive a prize worth $30!

The drawings featured on the cards are:
- Cat Want Food Now
- Cat Want New Toy
- Cat Want More Fish
- Cat Not Like Bugs
- Cat Want Valentine
- Persian Queen

How do you win? It's simple.
1. Visit my Etsy shop and find your favorite cat that's NOT one of the ones featured on this set of cards.
2. Come back here and leave a comment with a link to the cat you found. Be sure to tell me why the cat you chose is your favorite. (Make sure to include a way for me to contact you when you leave your comment!)
3. That's it!

The deadline for entering is September 26 at midnight EST. The winner will be determined by a random number generator on September 27.

* * *

Want to see what the last giveaway winners are going to receive? I just mailed their packages out yesterday, so this is a sneak preview for Carol Dean and Dani, in case they're reading.

Carol Dean's comment was the first number selected by the random number generator, and I was pretty sure she wasn't going to choose the beadwoven bracelet or the peyote triangle (she's the master of peyote triangles herself - just have a look at the ones in her Etsy shop!). Sure enough, she opted for some Captioned Critters... the Eloquent Elephant, Rhino Rhetoric, and the Daydreaming Dodo.

Dani's was the second number selected by the random number generator, and she chose the peyote triangle pendant. The colors she chose look really great together, too - black, blue, and turquoise. After I made her pendant, I liked it so much that I decided to list it in my Etsy shop as a made-to-order item. This is the one that's on its way to Dani.

Even if you're not a cat lover, Christmas will be here before you know it; and you know there's someone on your Christmas list who'd love these cards!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

They say variety is the spice of life. I don't know who "they" are, but I do like variety; so I've been trying to create lots of different things for my Etsy shop. You may think it's because I want customers to have a lot of choices, and that's definitely one of the reasons. The other reason, though, is that I have the attention span of a gnat and am always doing different things.

These new beadwoven pieces were all created over the past couple of weeks. Different colors, different styles, all fun!

Pretty different, don't you think? Wait'll you see the piece I finished yesterday!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I'm doing the Etsy Front Page Happy Dance. A front page appearance is such an honor. Actually, it's two honors -- one for having something chosen for a Treasury and another one for having the Treasury chosen to grace the front page. Even though I didn't get to see either of these for myself, some of my Etsy buddies grabbed screenshots.

This gorgeous green Treasury was called Yes, it is Chartreuse; and it was curated by fellow Etsy BeadWeaver Ileana (aka enchantedbeads). She was nice enough to include my Midori cuff among the other beautiful pieces she featured. Two other EBW members, Jean (totallytwisted) and Cheryl (littlestonedesign) also had pieces in this collection. What a thrill to see this on the front page!

Ileana's beautiful Emerald Flower Pendant would have fit nicely into the Chartreuse treasury, don't you think?

As if that front page appearance weren't exciting enough, another of my beadwoven bracelets, Two-Tone Teal, was included in this dreamy Treasury (called 'love me do') curated by Lynne (lil922).

As soon as I saw that one, I thought it had front page potential; and I was right! I went off to check out Lynne's shop, and I found these beautiful Indigo Skies earrings. These are wonderful, and I can hardly believe they're only $15!

If you've read any of my recent posts, you know that I'm a big fan of numbers. My friend Carol Dean (SandFibers) recently posted something about the chances of having something selected to be in a treasury when there are so many listings on Etsy. I had to do a little exploration for myself.

The pieces of mine that made it to Etsy's front page were both bracelets, so I'm using that as the basis for this next little bit of information...

- Right now, there are 107,399 items tagged as bracelet (I presume it would have been a similar number when these two treasuries were created).
- Narrowing the search a bit, there are 12,833 items tagged as green bracelet.
- At any given time, there are at least 555 treasuries (between Treasury and Treasury West). With each treasury featuring 16 items, that means that at least 8880 items are included in treasuries. In reality, there are always more active treasuries than that.

I'm sure there's some statistician out there somewhere who would be able to look at those numbers and calculate the odds of my bracelets making it to the front page. Although I took classes in statistics way back when, I don't remember enough about the calculations to figure it out. So I'll just say a big THANK YOU to Ileana and Lynne for choosing my beadweaving for their treasuries and continue to do my Etsy Front Page Happy Dance. :-)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The first item of business... announcing the winner of the giveaway. There were 22 comments on the giveaway post, so I used a Random Integer Generator to choose the lucky number. Drum roll, please...

The eighth comment was left by Carol Dean (aka SandFibers)!!! Carol Dean is a phenomenal beadweaver, something that becomes obvious if you spend any time at all in her Etsy shop. I've long been an admirer of her talent, and I'm also happy to call Carol Dean my friend and cosmic sister.

I decided that since I was offering the winner of the giveaway a choice of (1) the beadwoven braided bracelet, (2) a custom peyote triangle pendant, or (3) three sets of Captioned Critters mini notecards that I would choose TWO winners. So I did the Random Number Generator thing again and let it choose another number...

This time it was the twenty-first comment, left by Dani. Dani writes a blog called Bee-Mused, where she posts frequently about pets and pet-related topics and LOTS of giveaways!

Thanks to everyone who left a comment for the giveaway! I'm going to be posting another giveaway before the end of the week, so stay tuned!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Did you enter my giveaway yet? Only a couple more days until I choose a winner.

For those of you who might have passed by because the bracelet won't fit you, I've finally chosen the alternatives... So the winner will be able to choose one of these three options as his/her prize:

Option #1 -- The beadwoven braided bracelet shown in the picture.
Option #2 -- A peyote triangle pendant in your choice of three colors. You can see some examples here.
Option #3 -- Your choice of three sets of Captioned Critters mini notecards. You can see all the Captioned Critters here.

Please make sure you post your entry to the original blog post! Sometime just before midnight on the 15th I'll use a random number generator to choose the winner from the qualifying comments.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Inspiration can come from anywhere. I've said that before, and I'll continue to say it. I must admit that I rarely have any problem coming up with new ideas. In fact, it's quite the opposite because I see inspiration just about everywhere I look. My problem is that there's never enough time to do everything!!!

It was Saturday afternoon, and my husband asked me to help him put our canoe up on the racks on top of our van. We don't drive the van very often, so it's a good place to store it. As I was standing there, I happened to notice the row of rivets around the top of the canoe. And I started to think how neat it would look if I could design a cuff that would look like it was riveted together.

You can't really see the rivets in the picture unless you zoom way in on it. Trust me, though. They're there.

And here's what they inspired: the newly-listed Rivets in Steel cuff.

If only I could be inspired by dirty dishes or laundry... :-)

Sunday, September 07, 2008

I have decided that I LOVE to make ndebele ropes!!! After creating the necklace that featured Lisa Peters' gorgeous raku button (Turquoise with a Twist), and seeing the twist that developed when I used two different size beads, I decided to make a twisted rope. I have so many Czech glass beads to choose from (the result of attending several of the Bead and Button shows and melting my credit card), but when I put these dark matte copper beads next to the larger bluish-green lined bads, I realized it was a match made in heaven.

It's a whopping 45" long, a continuous loop that can be worn as a necklace or as a bracelet. I named this one Verdigris, because the lighter colored beads look just like the patina that develops on aged copper.

Even though these take several hours to complete, and several needle stabs as well, they're a lot of fun. Oh, to have enough hours in the day to make more of them...

My other creation that was listed yesterday isn't beadweaving, but it's also fun. In addition to beadwoven jewelry, I like making all kinds of stationery -- mini notecards, large size cards, tags, and things of that nature. Someone had contacted me about a special order. She wanted the Alice in Wonderland tags I have listed in my shop, Alice and Her Friends All Dressed in Red...

but she wanted them in pink! I had digitally added the red to the Sir John Tenniel illustrations, so off I went to edit them and make them pink. After I made the new tags, I loved them so much I decided to add them to my shop. So yesterday I listed Alice and Her Friends are Pretty in Pink.

Now I'm off to do some more creating! :-)

Friday, September 05, 2008

It's been another busy week! I kept meaning to come here to post, but I never quite got around to it. So I'm going to try to catch up...

First... Thanks to my cosmic sister Carol Dean (aka SandFibers) for sending me a note about my giveaway. Obviously, the bracelet that I have posted as the prize won't fit everyone; so I'm going to offer some alternative prizes. I haven't quite figured out what they'll be yet. Maybe a peyote triangle pendant. Maybe another bracelet. Maybe some of my Captioned Critters. Or maybe I'll just give the winner a choice!

Second... I made my 3333rd sale in my Etsy shop yesterday! Yes, I know you're thinking that it should have been on 9/3 to fit in with the whole "THREE" theme, but think about it. 9/4/2008. 9+4+2008=2021. And that's divisible by 3. It was fate. I hadn't advertised it anywhere, but I had already decided to award the person who bought that 3333rd item with something, so Kelly (who's a buyer on Etsy but doesn't have an Etsy shop of her own) got to choose some free gifts from my shop. She said she'd never won anything, and she was pretty happy to have won!

Third... Okay, this isn't Etsy related at all, but I'm pretty happy about it nonetheless. I thought my espresso machine was broken. And I was going through major latte withdrawal. Despite being able to have French press coffee, I really missed my lattes. The steam thingy was working just fine, but the water flowing through the coffee grounds had slowed to a mere trickle and was getting worse every day. I was prowling around on the internet doing research on what kind of machine I should buy, and I'd just about submitted the order for a $200 machine from Starbucks, when I came across a site talking about descaling. Apparently there's some kind of solution that can be purchased for cleaning a machine, but I read further and found that lemon juice would work. I headed into the kitchen, squirted a bunch of lemon juice into the water reservoir, cycled about 40 cups of water through the machine; and after only about 10 cups, it started to flow better!!! Yahoooooooo!!! My machine works again, and I had my lattes today! :-)

Fourth... I found my Moon River cuff featured on The Art Zoo blog yesterday!!! It's a pretty cool blog, and I'm definitely going to keep my eye out. Every day there are new items featured, and I love the other pieces I've seen featured. It's a great way to find Etsy goodies.

Fifth... Another Etsy seller, elizabethjayne, sent me a note to let me know she had featured my Obama cuff on her blog, in a very Democratic post. I just had to check out her shop, and look at this gorgeous necklace I found!!! Isn't that beautiful!??!

Fifth... This was a busy creating week for me! I listed a few new bracelets in my Etsy shop, as well as a couple of necklaces. One of the necklaces features a BEAUTIFUL turquoise colored raku button made by Lisa Peters. Here are the new creations:

Dusty Rose Stripes

Citrus Concentrate

Turquoise with a Twist
Luscious Lime and Teal Necklace


Crystal and Copper Cuff

There's more, but I'm tired of typing, and this post is getting really long! I'll just have to save some of it till later. :-)

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

It's a giveaway! To celebrate an impending milestone in my Etsy shop, I'm going to be having a giveaway here on my blog.

The milestone may not seem obvious to everyone, but I'm approaching my 3333rd sale!!! The number 3 has special meaning for me, so I decided that was an event worth celebrating. My husband, whose birthday is 3/3, is exactly 3 years and 3 days younger than I am; and our birthdays are 3 days apart
(except in Leap Years, of course). During the course of our time together, we noticed all sorts of other 3s cropping up; so it became an important number.

Anyway, here's the deal to be entered for the giveaway:

1. Visit my Etsy shop,

2. Find something in my shop that relates to the number 3. There's a lot to choose from -- it could be a piece of artwork that features three of something; a beadweaving technique listed in the description; the listing date for a particular piece... it just needs to relate to the number 3 somehow.

3. Come back here and leave a comment, and include what you chose from my shop that relates to 3 (make sure to leave your contact information so I can let you know if you won).

That's it. It's really easy!

On September 15, I'll choose a winner.
Yes, I know the 15th isn't technically a 3, but it all fits:
- September is the 9th month (3x3)
- 15 is divisible by 3
- If you add the 1 and 5, you get 6, also divisible by 3.
- If you add 9, 1, and 5, you get 15...

See how that all works out? Anyway, the winner will be chosen from among the qualifying comments, using a random number generator. Wouldn't it be a hoot if the RNG chose 3? Or 33? :-)

The all-important question... what do you win? For this giveaway, the prize is this beadwoven bracelet. It's woven with Czech glass beads in THREE colors. It was woven in peyote stitch, and the center portion is braided. The bracelet measures 3/4" wide and it will fit a 6" or smaller wrist.

Good luck!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Check out Bead Art Originals Items of the Week! Every week some of our members offer a special deal on an item from their Etsy shops.

My offering this week, in light of the recent Democratic Convention, is the Obama beadwoven cuff. Purchase this cuff during the week of September 1-7 and receive free shipping on your entire order.

Keep your eyes peeled on this blog later in the week, too... I'm going to be having a giveaway for a special Etsy occasion.


Visit the Bead Art Originals blog to check out the other great offers! Here's a preview: