Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Poor Poor Neglected Blog

Being able to type fast doesn't help. My poor blog is feeling neglected. For good reason. The last post I made was to introduce my new series of bracelets... Knot, Ready for Prime Time.

Since that last post, I've actually managed to finish and list quite a few of the series in my Etsy shop. I also finished another version of one of my new designs, Morning Glory Vine. And published a couple of new peyote patterns (Camouflage and Queen Anne's Lace). I have two long bead crochet ropes finished, except for the ends. And I have a brand new peyote cuff design, Paisley.

So what happens? Where does the time go? Why don't I pay attention to my poor little blog?

As much as I hate to say it, I almost feel like I need to force myself to follow a schedule. ACK! The mere thought of a schedule for someone who left the corporate world behind (almost five years ago) makes me cringe. EVERYTHING had to be done by a schedule. Meetings, phone calls, goals, more meetings... everything. I've spent the past five years rebelling against schedules of any kind.

I'm going to blame the recent neglect on the extra activity here... my husband has an injured shoulder, so my workload around the house has increased a bit. We had company last weekend, and that meant rearranging lots and lots of boxes so they'd have a place to sleep (we're still living in a rental house, and the bulk of our stuff remains in boxes). Long overdue doctor appointments. Dentist appointments. A few custom orders (those are always nice). Still. I type more than 100 words a minute. There's just no reason for my not being able to update this blog.

For those of you who DO update your blogs with regularity...
Do you write a bunch of posts and schedule them to publish?
Do you have a daily/weekly schedule for blogging?
I'd love to know how you keep your blog up to date and still keep up with everything else.

Just so I don't finish this post without giving you something to look at, here's a sneak peak of my newest peyote cuff design, Paisley. It'll be in my Etsy shop tomorrow, and I'm working on getting the pattern ready to publish too. :-)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Knot, Ready for Prime Time

You know how sometimes you get a song stuck in your head? Well, that's been happening to me a lot lately. Not sure why, as we don't really listen to much music in the house (Pat and I have different tastes in music). Maybe they're coming from the TV shows we watch, as I know is the case with yesterday's stuck-in-my-head melody:

I hear tell you're doing well.
Good things have come to you.
I wish I had your happiness
and you had a do-wacka-do,
wacka-do wacka-do wacka-do.

Catchy, right? An old song by Roger Miller, who made some of the funniest and happiest songs there were back in the 50s. At least I think it was the 50s. I know my Mom had one of his albums and we used to listen to it a LOT and then sing his songs at the tops of our lungs when we were in the car. What fun.

So how does that song relate to the title of this blog post? Follow me here... I've been having these songs stuck in my head... and I've been beading away making some fun new little bracelets using ndebele ropes and magnetic clasps... and as I was making the bracelets I was trying to think of a name that would describe the series... and I wanted to have the word "knot" in the name... and "Not ready for prime time" was stuck in my head. I couldn't get past it. So there you go. Stuck in my head, and now "Knot, Ready for Prime Time" is the name of my new series of bracelets.

I have three of them listed in my Etsy shop so far (with a couple more waiting in the wings). They're such fun to make that I know there are going to be more of them. Anyone have any color suggestions for me? :-)

Also new in my Etsy shop is this bead crochet lariat called Madison Ave.

Matte black and matte silver beads (the silver ones are from one of my favorite Etsy sellers: Shannon, of beadsandbabble) in a diamond pattern (actually diamonds within diamonds). As I was trying to figure out treatment to give to the ends I had a sudden inspiration to use some of my friend Dee's lathe turned polymer clay beads. They're PERFECT!!! I've had these for months, and I even had them sitting on a shelf for awhile because each one is like a tiny sculpture. (By the way, if you want to see more of Dee's wonderful polymer clay creations, visit her Etsy shop, Malodora).

And now it's time for me to get back to work. Currently in progress (because I can never seem to focus on just ONE thing):
- a new version of my Morning Glory Vine cuff
- a new peyote pattern (just needs a bit more tweaking before I bead it)
- getting patterns ready to publish (Queen Anne's Lace, Royal Flourish, Camouflage, and Swoosh are top on the list because I've had requests for them all)
- figuring out how to finish that Lisa Peters bead and ndebele rope that I posted about a few weeks ago (!)

Sometimes multi-tasking gets the best of me. But then I can just sing a verse or two of Do Wacka-Do and everything seems okay. :-)

Friday, October 08, 2010

Fabulous Friday Finds for October 8

It's about time for another installment of Fabulous Friday Finds, don't you think? Once again, I've been less than diligent about posting my finds, but I've still been finding and keeping track of them so I can share. It's been a hectic couple of weeks - doctor appointments (checkups mostly), physical therapy appointments (husband's torn shoulder ligaments), and some custom orders have been taking up lots of time.

My first Fabulous Friday Find is one for any Etsy sellers who haven't already discovered it: Etsy On Sale. I think the fact that there are currently about 35,000 listings on the site means that it's been pretty well advertised and promoted, but it bears mentioning nonetheless.

If you're an Etsy seller, I'm sure you've been frustrated that there's never been an automated way to put items on sale. Any special deal, whether for a day or a month, required editing each individual listing. What a pain in the neck. My shop has more than 300 items, so the editing process is pretty painful.

Well, Etsy On Sale allows you to put everything in your shop on sale or everything in a particular section (so you could create a Sale section and move items into it). You can apply the sale for a given amount of time, select whether your sale is for a certain dollar amount off the price or a percentage off the price, and select the duration of the sale. It's sooooooo easy! And if you're looking for things to buy, you can even shop there using the same categories you'll find on Etsy.

I'm currently using it to put all my peyote patterns on sale. It works so seamlessly with Etsy that all you have to do is go to the Patterns section of my Etsy shop, and you'll see the sale prices (20% off the regular price).

The next Fabulous Friday Find is the work of an amazingly talented clay artist named Dan Friedlander.

The photo you see to the right is one of his Tower works, this one called Tower Power. He also creates tiles and other sculptures, but I just love the towers.

He uses lots and lots of white clay, and each and every tiny piece you see is created using just his fingers. Can you imagine all that rolling, squishing, squeezing, flattening, and placing?

Make sure you check out his macro photographs so you can see how much detail there is in the pieces.

I'd love to have a whole wall full of his tiles. Of course, the fact that I'm not a big fan of dusting means that's probably not the best idea for me... :-)

Next up is another clay artist. Of a completely different sort. And I'll tell you now that I pretty much want everything she has listed in her Etsy shop, blamethemoon!!!

I really haven't understood the whole cupcake craze that's been going on for the past few months... cupcakes on stationery, cupcake rings, cupcake necklaces, cupcake art.

But now I get it. I am completely in love with this guy. His name is Sprinklez. And he has some major attitude. Just you try to take a bite out of this pink cupcake - I don't think so. :-)

Sprinklez was created by a professional cake decorator named Karly. Talk about bringing your work home with you. If you want to see more of Karly's work, including some "real" cakes, check out her blog. What fun!!!

I don't carry a purse. I think I gave up the whole purse thing when I was still in junior high school, never quite understanding why some people need to carry all kinds of things around with them.

While I don't think I'm going to take up purse carrying again, this Big Fish Handbag just makes me smile. Of course, if I had a purse like this I doubt I'd ever let it leave the house. I think it would become wall art.

The Big Fish Handbag was created by a sculptural artist named Debra Gavant, and her Etsy shop is called RandomIntent. It's filled with all sorts of strange and wonderful creatures and creations.

She claims to be an alien.

I think I believe her.

She may be here to take over our planet.

We could do worse.


Sticking with the weird and wonderful, my next Fabulous Friday Find is a weird and wonderful ring.

Not a practical ring. Not a ring you could wear for everyday. Not a ring you could wear when you're typing. But what a FUN ring!!

This incredible piece, which is made from oxidized silver, was created by a jewelry designer and gemologist named Maria Goti. I came across this ring on Etsy, but you can find more of her work on flickr and in her blog.

At only 24 years old (according to her Etsy profile), it's obvious that Maria is going to be creating art for many years to come. Her work is varied - everything from the elaborate ring you see here to some very simple, modern designs - and it's all gorgeous.

I am in awe.

I'm also in awe of the clocks created by James Borden. His clocks are called Timeshapes, and they are absolutely totally amazing.

The picture here is a closeup of one of his clocks, a cherry wall clock that's 5 feet high and 3 feet wide!!

From James' biographical statement:
Timeshapes are essentially mechanical weight-driven or spring-driven clocks, every part of which has been designed and built by James Borden. The pendulums and escapements are also of the artist’s own design. Timeshapes exhibit a wide, graceful motion and soft, woody, clicking sounds which are mesmerizing and relaxing to watch and hear.

I just know they're incredible, and I wish I had the money to buy one. Of course, I'd probably never get anything done because I'd be sitting and staring at it all the time.

Okay, that's it for this week. It's after 11:00, and I'm determined to get this post published before midnight! Hope you enjoyed this week's finds. :-)