Sunday, June 28, 2009

Hello, 1000 Markets!

Now that I've decided to focus on my beadweaving (no more stationery!), I took the plunge and opened a shop on 1000Markets. I had signed up for an account there a few months ago, but I never got around to listing anything or getting the shop approved.

So on Friday night I sat down at the computer and decided to finish the steps required for approval. I uploaded seven of my pieces and clicked the 'I'm Ready' button, and then I waited for them to respond to let me know whether I had been approved. About 16 hours afterward, I received the email! Yay!!!

Figuring that I'd just add an item or two a day to my shop on 1000Markets, I was browsing around through the shops and markets (wishing I could find a 'favorite' button or a wishlist or something to keep track of all the goodies I love!); and I received an email from Matt saying that he had featured my "signature" cuff, Bois Peint, on the Community page!!! How exciting is that?!?!?

So here's my link: time2cre8 on 1000Markets

Stop by and say hello. Tell me your shop name so I can stop by and say hello back. :-)

As much as I like Etsy, and as much as I appreciate the visibility it's brought me over the past few years (3 years?!?!), I have to say that I really like the look of 1000Markets. I have no intention to leave Etsy, but it's nice to be able to look through finished pieces and not be overwhelmed with supplies and vintage stuff.

If you're on 1000Markets, I'd love to hear what you think of the site. Have you had sales from your shop on there? What do you think of their forums? Are you a member of any markets?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Cleaning Up and Moving

We were woken this morning by the sound of the big truck that came to pick up all the flood-damaged stuff. Although we really didn't have a lot of damage, we decided to get rid of the shelving units that had soaked up water. Initially we thought we'd have to burn them, but the village provided pickup service for all the big stuff people lost in the flooding (it wasn't just us!). So yesterday was spent hauling the massive pile of broken up shelves to the end of the driveway. Thank goodness for the riding lawnmower and the lawn cart!

Now it's time to focus on moving. It sure doesn't seem like we're close to being ready, but we'll make it somehow. I've been packing boxes and setting things aside that will be donated or sold. It's amazing just how much stuff we've amassed in the years we've lived in this house.

I mentioned in an earlier blog post that I was discontinuing all the stationery listings from my Etsy shop. I'm happy to report that they're all gone now. Allison Cecil, who already has one Etsy shop called monkeysalwayslook, has opened a second shop and started stocking it with Alice in Wonderland and the Captioned Critters. I know she has LOTS of things to list, and although she'll be using some of the designs I had already put together, I also know she plans to put her own spin on things. Her new shop is called papervictory. Stop by and say hello!

I haven't managed to completely focus my Etsy shop on beadweaving yet, but it's in the works. I'm also going to be opening a second shop that will be for destashing and vintage stuff. It'll be nice to have it separated, I think, even though it'll mean checking another email account. Maybe I can figure out some way to have the second email account forward new messages to my primary email account... hmmm.

There are a few new things to show off, of course. I haven't had a whole lot of time for beadweaving, but I'm one of those people who always seems to have a little pile of things that are finished or almost finished, just waiting for one last touch or (more often than not) waiting to be photographed.

The newest piece, which I just finished a couple of days ago, is called Moirae. It's actually FOUR separate pieces, so it's one of the most versatile of my creations to date. There are three ndebele ropes and a little connector band made to hold them all together. The ropes can be worn separately, paired, or worn all together. And because there are three of them, they can even be braided! Initially created to show off two of the Natasha beads I received from Dee Wilder (aka malodora), I'm so pleased with the way this piece evolved! This picture shows three different ways it can be worn.

Another recent listing was this funky leather (yes, leather!) bead I made. I decided to take this lovely salmon-colored piece of leather and turn it into a giant bead, similar to those paper beads we all made when we were children. Just for fun, I added a little peyote strip around the middle, and then I strung it on an ndebele rope made using the same salmon and pearly white colors from the leather. It's called Striped Salmon. Cool, eh? :-)

Most of my recent creations have been custom orders (yay!). I love it when customers request special colors or designs. Don't get me wrong - it's great fun thinking up new designs and color combinations, but it's also fun to take someone else's ideas and turn them into reality.

Here are some pictures of the custom pieces which have gone to their new homes in the past week or so:

Basic Black Lariat
(bead crochet, with lava rock, bone, and wood beads)

Maelstrom in Aqua and Chocolate
(a special, extra wide, extra long version that will be worn as an armband - above the elbow!)

In Stitches
(20+ shades of pink against a gold background, with silver "stitches")

Purple and Silver Swirls
(a purple, lavender, and silver version of my Modern Metals design)

Little Black Necklace
(simple bead crochet necklace, 20" long, with loop and toggle closure)

And now it's time for latte!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


The rains came down, the ditches filled up, and [unfortunately for us] the sanitary sewer overflowed.


Yes, we had a flood. Thanks to my husband's good hearing, it wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been. He heard the sound of the sump pump running continuously and then opened the basement door and heard the sound of water. Never a good sound coming from a basement. Waterfalls are lovely. Rivers are nice. Kids splashing in a swimming pool are fun. The sound of flowing water coming from the depths of a basement is not a good sound.

We both dashed to the garage to put on our tall rubber boots (amazing how handy those things are) and then down to the basement to get stuff up off the floor. Not at all happy at the sight of water shooting up 8" from the sanitary sewer drain. Very yucky stuff coming out of that drain. VERY yucky.

Luckily, we didn't have very many boxes sitting in the floor (most were on shelves), but there's a set of furniture down there, a treadmill, a Total Gym, lots of free weights, and assorted other things that we didn't want covered with sewer water. Armed with bunches of 4x4s and 2x4s (it pays to be married to a carpenter who doesn't throw away "useful" pieces of wood), we lifted things and set them on the wood. Meanwhile, water was spreading across the floor...

The sump pump was running at full speed, but it couldn't keep up with the deluge. Of course it was still raining, so in addition to the water coming up out of the drain there was water coming in from the drain tiles underneath the house. So we needed to stop the water coming from the drain so the sump pump could catch up. My job? Stand on top of the drain, pressing my rubber-boot-covered foot firmly over the opening to stem the flow of water, while my husband ran upstairs to grab an old towel to stuff into the drain. He arrived with the towel and a broomstick, I removed my foot from the drain, and he jammed the towel into the hole and tamped it in place with the broomstick. Just for good measure, he put a rubber thing (I don't even know what it was) on top of the towel, and then I put two 35-pound dumbbells on top of that to hold it down. Fingers [figuratively] crossed, we waited to see if the sump pump would catch up.

Of course we didn't just stand around and wait for that. We grabbed big squeegees (everyone has those around, right? - why do we have all this stuff???) and started pushing the yucky water over to the sump pit. Not too much later, the sump pump caught up. Whew.

And so began the cleaning of the basement. Some stuff did get wrecked. Who wants to hang onto cabinets and shelves that have soaked up sewer water?! But not much, considering. The shelves have now been bashed apart. We could have disassembled them, probably, but it was more fun hitting them with sledge hammers. One box of children's books was destroyed. :-( We don't have children, but I have a whole collection of books because I like them!

The insurance company was called, and we were told to take pictures, keep track of what was lost, and keep track of the time we spent cleaning up the mess. Because so many people were flooded, they couldn't offer the cleanup service to us that they normally do, but they'll pay us for our cleanup time! Who'da thought?!

As we drove to the store on Saturday to buy cleaning supplies, we saw people hauling washers and dryers and all sorts of things out into their driveways. One family had a giant dumpster full of stuff. Our next door neighbors had 8" of water in their basement and had to have it pumped out. Our neighbor across the street has to rip out the carpet in their basement. We really didn't have it so bad, compared to some other people.

All this extra activity has severely hampered my beadweaving progress though! We're almost finished with the cleanup (I mopped the entire basement floor with bleach yesterday - those fumes were wicked!), and then I can get back to making things.

May your basements always be dry!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Bloggy Thanks and a Work in Progress

Isn't it nice when you find something you made featured in a blog? I love it! So this post begins with a big THANK YOU to the blogs that have recently featured my creations.

The first is a blog called The Missive Maven, written by a wonderful Etsian named Ilona. She's soooo nice and friendly (how many customers do you know who send you a thank you card?!?!). Well, I didn't realize it, but Ilona posted in her blog a couple of times about my Ravens cards. Her first post, in May, was about the cards themselves. And, like Ilona, I love using these cards with the Poe stamps available at the post office! (I ordered mine online, since most post offices don't seem to have them in stock.) Then she posted earlier this month and showed off a picture of a little raven label I had included as an extra thanks in her package!

Well, the coolest thing happened. Someone was reading Ilona's blog, saw the Ravens cards, followed the link included in the blog post, and bought a couple of sets of cards for herself! She also liked the labels, so even though they're not something I ever listed in my shop, I made some for her.

I still have one set of cards listed in my Etsy shop, but when those are gone I won't be relisting any more... they'll eventually be available again, but not from me. Someone else, a lovely Etsy seller named Allison, is going to be taking over all the Captioned Critters (as well as all my other stationery creations).

The second blog is called Brilliant Beads and is written by an Etsy seller named Gillian (aka Gillianbeads). She just featured my Crossword Puzzle cuff in her Wordless Wednesday post called Beautiful Beadweaving in B&W. It was wonderful to see my cuff there, particularly when it was accompanied by creations made by some of my beady friends. Thanks, Gillian!!

And although she didn't include a picture of any of her own creations in her post, this beautiful black lampwork bead would sure have fit the bill nicely. She has some GORGEOUS lampwork beads in her shop!!!

This week has been pretty consumed so far with gathering stationery supplies and files together so I can send them to Allison, but I've also been working on a very special beadwoven cuff for a custom order. The customer asked me to make a version of Maelstrom using aqua and chocolate colored beads so it would coordinate with the dress she's going to wear to a wedding on July 1. The very special part is that she's going to be wearing it above her elbow! That meant resizing it both in width (she asked for 2.5" wide) and in length (9.5") so it would fit around her upper arm. It's almost finished, and although I probably would have never thought to combine these colors, they're really lovely together.

Now it's time to get back to work. Or play. 'Cuz I'm going to be doing something else with beads, and that's definitely play for me!!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Heck Tick!

I wonder what the search engines will do with that... I'm sure you've figured out that I really mean "hectic." That's the current state of affairs here.

I just had to take some time out of the schedule to show you the newest listings - three different pieces, all very different from each other:

First is my Giraffe bracelet. I actually created this design more than a year ago (!), but the giraffe was visiting my friends at Interweave Press, waiting to see if he was going to join his buddies in one of the magazines. He didn't make it, but his pal the Limelight Leopard appeared in the June/July 2009 issue of Beadwork. Giraffe is back at home with me now, but he's looking for someone else to take him in and love him. :-)

You'll see more animal prints appearing in my Etsy shop soon... more versions of the Leopard, a couple of Zebra, and a Tiger! And there will be some interesting color combinations also... since some of these animals will be "living" in the cities, I had to change their coats.

Another of my new pieces is called Lothiriel. One of my Etsy buddies, Deb DiSalvo (aka ArtisticFlair) suggested a red, white, and black caterpillar. The one I created just prior to this one, called Galadriel, is done in those colors, but since the base is the only part of it that's black, it's kind of hidden. Not so with this one! Doesn't this one really look like a caterpillar?! You know, one of those you're not supposed to touch because you'll get stung...

I made a comment when I uploaded the pictures to my flickr photostream that someone had suggested these colors, but then my cosmic sister Carol Dean Sharpe (aka SandFibers) pointed out to me that no one really needed to suggest to ME that I use red, white, and black. She's right - they're my favorite colors!

The newest listing I have is for a design I came up with a couple of weeks ago. The design was inspired by a piece of fabric (now carefully packed away and ready to be moved), but I had to come up with a different name for it. As I looked at the design, it occurred to me that it looks a bit like a topo map. So here's the first version of Topography, created in some ultra-cool retro colors.

Although I've spent most of my beading time since I returned from the Bead and Button Show working on custom orders, I just had to make something with one of the beads I bought from Lisa Peters at the show. These little tube beads of hers are so cool. The colors are wonderful, and I really like the tall, skinny shape! I gave this one a very simple treatment -- just an ndebele rope done in colors to match the bead, with a loop and toggle closure. Named for the colors in the bead, this one is called Curry and Sage.

If you've visited my shop recently, you may have noticed a sharp reduction in the number of items listed... Work continues on taking inventory of all my stationery so I can turn that part of the business over to someone else! The only cards and tags I have listed now are ones I actually have on hand. I'm still taking custom orders from some of my repeat customers at this point, but I won't be listing any new stationery items. And I'm offering a 25% discount on all stationery purchases over $10, good only for the inventory I have on hand, so if you've been wanting some this is a great time to pick them up!

I'm kind of sad to see the stationery go, but I really want to be able to focus on my beadweaving (not to mention how much I need to focus on preparing to move!!!). I know the person who's going to take them over (her name is Allison, but I can't give you her shop name yet because she's going to open a new one) is going to have great fun making the Captioned Critters, all the Alice in Wonderland things, and all the other pieces!

Time to get going... after one more latte!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Back from Bead and Button and Busy!

What an exhausting (but totally FUN) weekend! The Bead and Button show was just as much fun as it's been in years past. I have a whole new appreciation for lampwork beads (having spent the past year ogling them on Etsy), so I bought quite a few of them. In years past I've bought pounds of seed beads, but since I still have a lot of those in my collection I was focused this year more on finding some beads I could use as focals. They'll be appearing in my Etsy shop as time goes by...

You'll be happy to know that I managed to finish work on Gaia, the piece I created for Lisa Peters' booth at the Bead and Button show. I'm really pleased with the way it turned out, and it received some nice compliments at the show - both when displayed on the bust AND when Lisa's mom was wearing it!

Because of the treatment I used on the back of the cabochon, it's a very versatile piece that can be worn as a necklace (using the triple-strand necklace I created for it or something completely different), as a scarf holder (shown in the pictures with a fabric remnant I had on hand), or it could even be used as a brooch!

Having pretty much exhausted myself working on that piece (not because it was particularly difficult but because I waited too late to start and had to race to finish!), I decided I needed to create something simpler. I really enjoy making ndebele ropes (aka tubular herringbone), so I created Mira using turquoise silver-lined, zircon blue silver-lined, and galvanized silver delicas. The lampwork bead is one I picked up several years ago at a Bead and Button show, and it perfectly matches the colors in the rope!

Now that I'm back home I'm beadweaving like crazy. There are a few custom orders to be done (yay!), and I just can't resist the urge to create new pieces just for the fun of it.

If you visit my Etsy shop over the next week or two you're going to be noticing some changes. I've decided that I'm not going to be making stationery items any longer, so I'm not relisting them as they sell; and I'm not listing anything new. If you're a fan of the Captioned Critters or the Alice in Wonderland goodies, though, never fear! They're not going to disappear off the face of the earth. I'm in the process of working with another Etsy seller who will probably be taking them over and putting her own spin on them. More about that later...