Sunday, November 30, 2008

No More Artwork on Etsy (or... time 2 update my website!)

I've made a decision... After giving it a lot of thought and after reviewing my sales for the past two years, I've decided that I'm going to let all of my artwork listings expire and/or be sold and discontinue offering my artwork/ACEOs for sale in my Etsy shop.

The funny thing is that when I first joined Etsy it was with the intention of selling prints of my ACEOs. I had been selling originals on eBay for about a year, and they were doing pretty well, but I wanted to get more mileage out of the work I put into the drawings. They've done okay on Etsy, and I get lots of comments from people who think they're cute; but I find that I'm doing more renewing than relisting because the sales are rather infrequent.

I still enjoy all my little drawings, and this will be added incentive for me to finish work on my website and provide a way to purchase my artwork there.

If you've visited my Etsy shop, you may recognize Jerry Jester. I used him as my avatar for a long time. I've also featured Marcel, my silly mime, in my Etsy shop banner and as my Entrecard avatar. I like both of those silly drawings, but my husband recently told me he thought Marcel was "creepy." Hmph.

I haven't done an extensive amount of analysis on my ACEO print sales, but I'm pretty sure it's the Surly Cats who garnered the most attention. People just seem to be drawn (no pun intended) to these silly felines, all of whom are displaying some serious cattitude.

Friday, November 28, 2008


From BLACK FRIDAY to CYBER MONDAY (November 28 through December 1) the Bead Art Originals are having an Open House!!!! Members are offering specials during the weekend (the list of participants is below). (When purchasing from one of these shops during the Open House weekend, be sure to include the code BAO OPEN HOUSE in the Notes to Seller.)

When you visit the blog, don't forget to sign up for the Twelve Days of BAO Holidays drawings. There's a new one every day, and there are some wonderful prizes!!

  • Anna (ARoseByName): free shipping
  • Heather (Humblebeads): free shipping on all orders and a free gift with purchases of $50 or more
  • Carli (Juiceglass): free shipping
  • Lisa (LisaP etersArt): free surprise gift (at least $5 value) with any purchase over $30 (note that this special is being offered through the end of the year)
  • Mak (MAKUstudio): free shipping + 10% off purchases over $50 and 15% off purchases over $100
  • Dee (Malodora): free shipping
  • Swanee (MistyRidgeBeads): free shipping
  • Janice (Naftali): free shipping
  • Melody (SalamanderHouse): free shipping
  • Smadar (SmadarsTreasure): free shipping + 10% off the second item purchased
  • Sarah (thebeadedlily): free shipping
  • Darcy (thejadedog): free shipping
  • MaryLou (time2cre8): free shipping on entire order with the purchase of anything with the "bao team" tag
  • Lisa (tqbdesigns): free shipping
  • Triz (triz): free shipping
***BONUS BLOG SALE: During the BAO Open House (November 28 through December 1), visit my Etsy shop and receive FREE SHIPPING worldwide on your entire order with the purchase of anything tagged with "BAO TEAM". In addition to that, leave me a comment in the notes to seller that you saw the promotion here and receive an additional 10% off your purchase!!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!! (and for those of you not in the U.S., happy Thursday!)

It's a happy day indeed, since my In Stitches beadwoven cuff was featured on Etsy's front page today. Yay! And thanks so much to Ulixis for putting together the gorgeous treasury.

It's almost time to head out for the family gathering (my husband's family) so we can consume massive amounts of turkey and stuffing.

Just one more thing for this post though... Be sure to visit the Bead Art Originals blog to enter the giveaways! There's a button up there at the top of this blog that will take you there. There are TWELVE separate giveaways!!! And they're all wonderful. :-)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The faster I go, the behinder I get. That's something my Mother used to say, and it's exactly how I feel right now. Having been forced to adhere to a strict schedule for years and years, I'm reluctant to assign a schedule to myself. It's getting to the point, though, where speed alone (because I'm pretty fast at what I do) isn't effective enough. Maybe I just need a list. There's something cathartic about having a list and marking things off as they're finished...

Okay, enough whining about time and my lack thereof. I recognize that I'm incredibly lucky to be able to work (or play, in my case) at my own pace. Isn't there something ironic about someone whose online shop is called time2cre8 talking about a lack of time???

So what's been going on? Well, there's still that project involving the 64,700 beads... so far, I'm at the 43,600 mark. My "goal" (which, for someone who spent years in corporate life, is a bad word) is to finish by the end of the weekend.

My Obama Merry Christmas cards have proven to be pretty popular, so I've been kept hopping filling orders for those. I created them on a whim, just because I had a silly idea that flitted through my head, and I have to admit that I still smile when I see them. I'm glad others like them too. (In fact, if you're a reader of this blog and you decide you want some, I'll give you a 10% discount if you mention that you read about them in here - just leave me a note in the comments when you check out.)

So with all this stuff going on, I'm also trying to fit in some Christmas shopping. I have a few things out of the way, and I really don't have that many people on my list (my husband and I stopped exchanging gifts a long time ago); but I'm still searching. I also have some custom orders to get finished for other people who are relying on me for some of their Christmas shopping.

And on the topic of that, how's your shopping going? Looking for something special? Have you checked out the beautiful bead art offerings by members of the Etsy Bead Art Originals team? Carol Dean (aka SandFibers) just assembled this gorgeous Treasury to help promote our OPEN HOUSE -- we have lots of members offering specials during the upcoming holiday weekend, from Black Friday through Cyber Monday. You can see the details about the specials on the BAO blog.

Here are some other things you should check out!

Subscribe to the Bead Art Originals newsletter to be entered into our monthly drawing for a prize donated by one of our members.

bead art originals holiday gift guide button

Visit the Bead Art Originals Holiday Gift Guide to see special pieces chosen by our members... great gift ideas for everyone on your list!

BAO Button 125 x 125

Visit the Bead Art Originals Blog to see information about our Open House AND to see and enter the drawings we're going to be holding from now through the end of the year. You could win something fabulous!!!

And now... IT'S TIME TO BEAD!!! :-)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

One new design and one not-so-new design in a different color palette... Here are two of my newest listings. The Copper Vine bracelet is the not-so-new design, this time woven using matte and shiny copper delicas. I'm so happy with the way this one turned out, and it was totally unplanned. I just happened to see the two types of copper beads sitting there next to each other, and it seemed like fate. I had already printed the pattern so I could make a custom bracelet for someone, but since I had to order some of the beads for the custom order I figured I'd go ahead with the copper ones. I'm so glad I did! This makes me want to try some other monochromatic combinations...

The Damask design is my newest one, although I was working on it for awhile. I wanted something that had the leafy, flowery look of the damask prints, and it needed to be in just two colors. This is the first version of it, created in the brightest red and white beads I have in my bead stash, but I'm sure there will be more colors in the future.

Wouldn't that make a great one for Christmas parties? I love the contrast of the red and white.

I don't know how much time I'm going to have to work on new designs over the next couple of weeks, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to be busy. I was just figuring out all the pieces I'm working on, and it's quite a long list! I'm just glad that I'm pretty quick at this (although "quick" in terms of beadweaving means that a bracelet like Damask takes three hours instead of four or five).

I was doing some Christmas shopping on Etsy, and I thought I'd see if a couple of my fellow Bead Art Originals members would be up for trading; and I'm so happy that they were!!! I've received one of the packages, and I couldn't be more thrilled with its contents!!!!!! I expect the other package to show up soon, and I already know I'm going to love it.

So anyway, that list of things I have to do includes one bracelet that's part of the trade. In addition to that one (which I'm currently "designing" in my head), I have two cuffs to make for my husband's aunt (both of which will be Christmas presents for his cousins), one special order bracelet for a special friend, AND last but not least... a project that involves 67,400 beads. I'm not saying what it is, but I'm sure you recognize that's a LOT of beads!! I'll post something about that project when it's finished. :-)

I'm not sleepy yet, and there are beads on my beading board and thread in my needle, so I'm getting back to work.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Most of my posts to this blog are about my creations. I guess that's only natural when I spend such a significant amount of my time creating, but I also do other things. I read loads of books (check out the Shelfari display at the bottom of my blog to see a small fraction of them. I'm still uploading.). I do some semblance of housekeeping, although I'm sure Martha Stewart would be appalled. That's not a problem, though, as I'm not really a Martha fan anyway. I manage to keep the dishes done, keep the dust down to a manageable level, do the laundry, and the other "regular" chores, in addition to doing yardwork. Truth be told, I prefer yardwork over any of the indoor chores.

It doesn't seem like someone with my kind of life would need a vacation, but sometimes it's just fun to go somewhere new. So my husband and I traveled to Williamsburg, Virginia, last week. It was too late in the season for Busch Gardens to be open, but we did get to see some other cool places.

The Virginia Living Museum was really nice. It's geared a little more toward children than adults, but it was nice to be able to walk around outside to see all the animals they've rescued and housed on the site. It was rainy, so I didn't carry my camera with me; but we saw foxes, wolves, bobcats, eagles, and a bunch of other critters.

We also went to see Colonial Williamsburg, Yorktown, and Jamestown. Yorktown (for me) was the least interesting. I'm not a big history buff anyway, and seeing Yorktown meant driving around a 16-mile auto tour in the rain, reading the signs that described the battles that took place there. Colonial Williamsburg was nice, even though some of the buildings we wanted to see weren't open when we went there.

By far the most interesting place was Jamestown. We went to both the state and the national sites, two very different depictions. The state site is a reproduction of the Powhatan village and the Jamestown fort, and although that was pretty interesting both my husband and I were fascinated with the real site. Since I'm not a history buff, I had no idea that the original Jamestown site was uncovered in 1994. Prior to that, it was thought the site was washed away into the river. There are archaeologists working on the site now, and visitors are able to watch them while they work on the excavation. More than a million artifacts have been recovered so far, and they're still working away. I think I'd have made a good archaeologist - I love looking for things like that!

So, instead of showing you pictures of my creations today, here are some pictures of Virginia in November. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

For someone whose favorite colors are black and white (pretty obvious if you take a look at my closet), I sure seem to be on a color kick lately. I'm not sure what's causing it. Maybe it's just a phase. It's kind of fun, though, so I don't mind that all these colors are inserting themselves into my designs.

The Crazy Quilt cuff is one of the newest designs I've created, and I did it after I designed the crazy quilt heart pendant. I thought I needed to have a crazy quilt bracelet to go with the pendant, so I began with the same design and just kept adding wacky shapes and colors. I started this one before I left on vacation (did I mention that I was in Virginia for a week?), and because I didn't want to haul a dozen colors of delicas on vacation with me it had to sit and wait for me to return.

Lest my black beads feel abandoned, I also recently made another one of the twisted ndebele ropes. These are really fun to make, although they're kind of time consuming. It's not actually black, but it's pretty close - dark charcoal gray beads, lined with silver; and one row of larger crystal clear beads to make the rope twist. I named it Mercurial.

This is the fourth or fifth one of these twisted ropes I've made now. Some of them twist more than others. I finished one not too long ago that's wickedly twisted - so much so that I can't quite figure out what to do with it. For now it's been relegated to the almost-finished-but-needs-more-work basket. Don't we all have one of those baskets? Or boxes? Or drawers? I've actually pulled a few things out of the basket lately. It's interesting to see the progression in my designs.

Okay, now for a couple of silly things. The first of the silly things is a new set of Christmas cards I designed. Apparently a couple of the presidential campaign slogans stuck in my mind, and the idea for these cards just popped into my head. I think lots of people are going to be having a merrier Christmas this year since Barack's been elected. There are probably still some McCain (Palin?) supporters out there who'd appreciate a Barack Obama Merry Christmas card. Right?

In case you can't read the captions, they say Yes we can have a Merry Christmas! and Have a Merry Christmas for a change!

The other silly thing is a picture my husband's uncle emailed to me. This is one of those things that elicited a single "ha!" when I first saw it.

I love a good blonde joke. After all, blonde is more than just a hair color - it's a state of mind.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

It's been awhile since I entered one of the Etsy BeadWeavers challenges, and my entry into this one is a little out of the ordinary. The challenge theme, which was chosen by previous winner Deb (, is Ancestral Expressions.

My challenge is that I really don't know much about my ancestry. No one in my family ever talked about ancestors arriving here on a boat, and no one ever even mentioned anything about ancestors from another country! I always had a suspicion that there might be some Native American ancestry, but I have no proof of it. That theory stemmed from seeing pictures of my great grandfather's family, all of whom were very dark complected, had those long stereotypical Indian noses, and had black hair. The surnames in my family didn't give me that many clues either -- Wilson, Sparks, Justice, James, Boggs. I only know that some of them are English and Scottish, but I didn't ever try to trace any of them. Maybe if I'd had children I'd have been more concerned with that, but since I've lopped off this branch of the family tree I just didn't ever pursue it.

So what does one create for a theme called Ancestral Expressions when one doesn't really have any idea about ancestry? My mind went to the purest form of ancestry -- DNA.

I'd been playing around with a design that had two ropes or ribbons twisting around each other, and that design was well suited to create the double helix form of DNA. Anyone looking at this might think I'm heavily into science, but that's not the case at all. Although I did well in school, science and biology were probably my least favorite subjects (I was a big fan of math and literature).

Today's the last day for members of Etsy BeadWeavers to list their entries into the Ancestral Expressions challenge, and voting will begin on the EBW blog on November 9. There are some other entries listed already, and I'm amazed at the amount of thought and talent that went into them. Click here to see the entries. And don't forget to visit the blog to vote in a few days! I'll bet you thought all the voting was finished, didn't you?

While you're visiting blogs, don't forget to check out the Bead Art Originals blog to see all the Items of the Week specials offered by our members. There are some incredible pieces included, and all sorts of great deals - just in time for your holiday shopping!

One last thing for today, November 5, 2008. BARACK WON!!! Hooray!!!!!!!!!!