Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!!!!

Happy New Year!!!!

Today is the day everyone opened my gifts, and looking at what’s been given so far, I may have gone a little overboard. But that’s okay; I don’t think anyone will complain! ;-) I mostly did necklaces, because I wasn’t sure if everyone wore earrings, and it just seemed like earrings were too….easy. Maybe that’s because I can whip up a pair in less than five minutes. Hmmmm.  A couple people did get earrings though, and I think there were two bracelets; I was a little leery about measurements and such to do bracelets for everyone, but the ones I did do were memory wire. That and I didn’t have enough of the same types of beads to do 11 memory bracelets!

As far as the necklaces go…. I suppose it was a bit of learning experience. Not a bad one, by any means. When I was surveying my stash of beads, I remembered a three-strand necklace I’d recently finished and I knew exactly who to send that to! I wasn’t sure I really wanted to put it in my shop because I thought about giving it to my mom for Christmas, but them my dad came and bought a bunch of pieces for me and I decided she was getting plenty of my jewelry ;-) I actually stood in Michael’s and planned that one out in the store, so I was surprised at how fast it came together. Except I couldn’t find my other strand of beads I was using as spacers, so the spacers for the smallest strand took a little doing. I found the other strand in the bottom of my box a day or so later. Grr. For the other necklaces, I chose pendants that had been sitting in organizers FOREVER waiting for me to be inspired, so I went out and found more pendants after seeing that my stash was decidedly lacking in the focal department. Necklaces come together so much faster when you have focal beads!! I just turned on a “soundtrack” of The Mentalist DVDs and had a ball.

SO, I’ve learned that I need to stock up on pendants and other focals for faster necklaces that just seem to look more put-together. Putting the gifts together was really fun. Thanks, Lorelei!

ALSO: I’m headed out for a few days, so I’m taking the remainder of my gifts with me, and I’ll put them in one big post when I get back. For now, here’s links to the other participants that have blogs/shops:

1. Lorelei Eurto
2. Jennifer Heynen
3. Deb Boschert
4. Jodie Marshall
5. Amy Freeland
6. Katie Nelson
7. Amanda
8.  Me!
9. Emanda
10. Melissa
11. Charlie
12. Lori

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Okay, so I jinxed myself!

In my defense, it's been a rather crazy past couple days with all the tearing apart going on around here.  And I rented a game to play on my kinect because I wasn't sure if I'd like it.  Well, from the sore muscles, I'd say I definitely like it!  Anyways, back to the past couple days' worth of gifts!

Day 3-  a handmade pincushion from Deb Boschert.  Thanks, Deb!

 4th Day of Christmas gift from Jodie Marshall:  handmade keychain, bead, and notepad.  Thanks, Jodie!

And today, FIVE GOLDEN RINGS!!!!  Or, this cute pair of earrings from Amy Freeland.  LOVE the kidney-shaped earwires!  Thanks, Amy!

Monday, December 26, 2011

The second day of Christmas....

One the second day of Christmas, Jennifer Jangles, gave to me....

A ceramic snowman ornament!  He is so adorable, and has already found a home on the tree!

Isn't he adorable?!

This 12 Days of Christmas might actually get me to blog for twelve straight days before I abandon it for a solid month again ;)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

On the first day of Christmas....

Merry Christmas, everyone!  I participated in a gift exchange hosted by Lorelei Eurto, who had the idea for a 12 Days of Christmas gift exchange, with 12 participants.  Well, today was the first day of Christmas, and from Lorelei, I recieved:  A cute button bracelet!  I literally wore it all day.  I think my mom is jealous, because she's a button person.  I just love the different earthy tones in the buttons, and the little LE/owl tag is just so CUTE!  My mom got a fancy new camera and a lens and I got to play with the lens while her camera charged since it'll fit on mine.  I'm jealous.  This thing takes closeups from across the room.  It's awesome.  Takes a steady hand though, definitely.  Enjoy the pics!  Thanks, Lorelei!

Closeup of the cute owl tag

the full bracelet, with the L.E. side of the tag

another closeup

closeup again; I was having fun with the camera lens :)

all 11 gifts--they managed to not get crushed, at least!
My dad was like, "Aren't you going to open the other ones?"  "It's the 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS.  One for each day."  "Oh."  I'm pretty sure I had explained it before.  Looking forward to tomorrow's, from Jennifer Heynen.  Hope everyone enjoys the rest of their holiday!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Seriously, I need to organize my stuff

I somehow managed to either lighten the bead load or just sucked it up and hauled the container down a couple flights of stairs to my car when coming home for Christmas.  Then I spent a while yesterday looking for pliers and half-finished projects and missing containers....yeah, not very fun.  I was pawing through one of my containers when I noticed that I had heavy colonial jasper nuggets mixed in with my precious breakable, chippable, otherwise fragile apatite briolette babies.  So I emptied out a container compartment and picked out every single tiny teardrop.  Then I did the same with my citrine briolettes that were also in there, and my sunstone rectangles.  What was I thinking, piling heavy stones in there with fragile gemstones?!  Then I stopped stalling (I organize when I'm procrastinating) and made a pair of earrings with some Diane Hawkey bird beads I've been hoarding.  They're a very different style than what I usually make to sell, but I decided to make some jewelry for myself for once.

I've recieved all of the 12 Days of Christmas gift swap goodies from the gift swap Lorelei Eurto is doing, and I AM SO EXCITED!!  I'll post a picture of under the tree.... maybe tomorrow, but I'm not making any promises! ;) 

I think I actually learned something about getting over an inspirational slump from this gift exchange.... and I've discovered that I need to get more pendants, because that just seems to make things more fun.  I about went nuts in Michael's and ended up putting most of them back when I was looking for ideas there.  I had one gift partially thought out already, meaning I'd been planning on doing something with it for quite awhile.  One gift I had already made a few days beforehand, and the colors and style looked similar to one of the fellow gift swappers.  I'll let them decide whose it was! :-)  The rest, once I sat down and started working instead of procrastinating, came together really fast, although I had a slight freaking out moment when my boxes wouldn't fit my bubble mailers!  Then I carted the rest of them to the post office, but didn't make it there before they closed and stood there at the automated stamp machine for like 20 minutes getting stamps for everything.  It was fun; it really was.

I broke down and bought some resin finally, to try an experiment with this semester's campus newspapers that were piling up in a drawer.  I got the idea off of a FusionBeads inspiration page.  You can get my general gist here.  Then I bought some scrapbook paper to make more circles when the mini-Michael's I went to didn't have any bezels, because I don't want to waste any resin.  I've been systematically sealing the papers and gluing, and I THINK I'm finally done stalling.  I just don't want to mess it up and waste a batch of resin.  I've got one more sheet of paper to punch out and seal, and after that I think I'll be done procrastinating and ready to mix up the resin.  I really hope this turns out well....

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday Aftermath

I feel vaguely like I've been run over by a truck....  I was NOT one of the crazy people running around at midnight, but we did get a good portion of Christmas shopping done by oh about 9 am or so.... I spent most of the rest of the time looking for something to wear to a friend's wedding in December....found a cute gray top and I think I've got a black skirt somewhere that will work.  I.  Am.  Exhausted.  Not even Starbucks helped, although I was slightly more chatty for about five minutes before the exhaustion won out. 

Anyways, just a reminder of tomorrow's free shipping code:  112526SHPG.  Yes, I know I got the dates for this weekend wrong.  Oh, well.  A code's a code.  Happy shopping!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving and Coupon Codes!

I hope everyone is having a happy Thanksgiving!  To start off the sales tomorrow, here are th coupon codes! 

For Friday only: 20% off total purchase with code BLCKFRIDAY20

For free shipping Saturday and Sunday (of course nothing will be shipped Sunday!):  112526SHPG

For Cyber Monday:  15% off with code CYBERMON15....for free shipping with two or more items, convo me for the code BEFORE you buy!!

Everybody be safe out there this weekend, and happy shopping!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I Think My Eyes Are About to Glaze Over

I've been working on pictures and listings All.  Day.  Decided, what the heck, I might as well start photographing stuff now.  So I spent a couple hours this morning taking pictures of EVERY piece of jewelry I hadn't photographed or listed before.  And I discovered:  I have a lot of jewelry lying around.  So I've been editing in batches and then listing those.  In between that somewhere I had to pack my duffel bag, get everyone's dinner order, go get it once they got close enough to still have hot food, and race them back to the apt.  I hadn't quite finished packing when I went to go get the food and they got to the apartment before I was back and had to wait for me to open the gate.  They could have gone through, but they waited so they'd know I was coming....luckily my grandparents have made the move from dial-up to wi-fi, so I can still update my shop.  My views exploded today from all the new listings.  And I've decided to have a Black Friday coupon, a Saturday/weekend coupon, and a Cyber Monday coupon!  I won't be able to ship until Saturday (if we get back that early) or Monday, but I'll go ahead and list the discounts now (You have to WAIT for the codes!) Black Friday:  20% off total purchase!  Saturday&Sunday:  Free Shipping!  Cyber Monday:  15% off and free shipping with two or more items, PLEASE make sure you convo me for the shipping code for that, because it WILL BE DIFFERENT from the weekend's code.  Okay, I think that should do it for sales info, everyone have a very happy and SAFE Thanksgiving, please don't burn anything down!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Glad That's Over!

I seriously thought I was going to have a meltdown last week.  Glad I didn't.  I was starting to overreact Friday while I was packing everything up for the jewelry party when I discovered a hidden stash of earrings I'd forgotten about.  Saved.  It was a fairly decent haul, made a bunch of money off my dad, too ;).  I ended up making about as much (minus my dad) as I did at the only craft show I've done, and that was in two hours with less people.  But more stuff.  It turns out it was a good idea bringing some supplies with me, because a lady my mom knows was looking at two memory wire bracelets I'd made with champagne and burgundy glass pearls but wanted to know if I could do another one with just the champagne pearls.  Lucky me, I had those very same pearls with me. :)  It was a fun time--one person brought a friend, so they both got a free pair of earrings.  Those people actually bought more than one thing, too.  I think if I do another one, this close to Christmas is a bad idea.  Our church does a live nativity, so there were a lot of people helping get started on that, and it was a panic week for me with all of my teachers trying to get stuff in before Thanksgiving, AND I've been preoccupied with NaNoWriMo.  Which I am stalling on right now, but just consider this my typing warm-up.  On the to-do list for after Thanksgiving break:  two research papers and LISTING NEW ITEMS!

Friday, November 18, 2011

My last couple titles have been onomotopoeia, have you noticed?

I'm trying to keep my head above water at this point, but the treading water is really starting to feel like a bunch of floundering around uselessly.  I nearly had a meltdown last night as the realization of exactly how much work I had to do finally sank in.  For starters, I have two research papers due on the last day of class for those classes, December 6, to be exact.  I'm trying not to freak out about that just yet.  I'm stuck in Milton, do not understand any of it, and am having to consult SparkNotes to translate for me what I just read.  That's going slightly okay.  I only seem to be contributing to my novel when I'm at a write-in, but I'm halfway through, and the Night Of Writing Dangerously is this Sunday night.  Six glorious hours of writing!!  I can hardly wait.  I had two presentations this week; or rather, I was supposed to have two presentations.  The first was talking about my research paper, so I at least have a rough outline prepared for me.  The second was on a chapter out of our text, and because the prof wouldn't shut up and let the people talk, we ran over in time and I have to present next week.  Which I'd prefer anyway because I need to check on some pronunciations. 

As far as my French homework goes....well, that was what just about caused the meltdown last night.  I was trying to do the listening parts of my homework, not understanding any of it, and then my roommate whose week it is to clean decides that 9:30 is a good time to clean and vaccum the downstairs.  She ran that thing at least three times.  Drove.  Me.  Nuts.  This is the same roommate I mentioned in my last post, by the way, are you sensing a trend?  I finally got the listening done and went to copy the pages out of the workbook because I don't write in my workbook when I see that I don't have nearly enough ink.  I honestly about crumpled up in a corner and cried.  Then I calmed down and decided that I would just have to write in the workbook, and it might not even be due today, although we don't have class Monday.  I'm really hoping it's not, but I'll write in the dang workbook if I have to. 

On top of that, I picked a really bad week to decide to have this jewelry party.  I've been going crazy trying to get stuff together in between all of this schoolwork and writing and just zonking out in the middle of the day because I'm so exhausted.  I'm taking stuff home today to keep working on some jewelry, simple things like bracelets and earrings.  Necklaces take far too long unless I already have a plan in mind.  I also need to remember to get some fresh Krispy Kreme before I go home and try to remember to not freak out and everything will be okay.  Deep breaths, deeeeeep cleansing breaths.

Friday, November 11, 2011


This blog is really starting to turn into a ranting blog.  So everyone's just gonna have to deal, because the alternative is me going crazy. XD 

I'm doing NaNoWriMo, as I mentioned before.  I went to Panera for a nice bowl of soup tonight before going to an impromptu write-in at Barnes&Noble at 6.  I was there until about 9 or so.  I come back, and the first thing I notice when I get to the door is that it's already unlocked.  Instant disapproval, since the roommate I've been having issues with--we'll call her Krissy, cuz that's her name & she doesn't read this--flipped out last week when both us (there's 3 of us) were home and one of us forgot to lock the door and she came in and freaked and left a NOTE on the fridge.  Like that's now our place to give vent to our spleens (love that Middle Ages term) and get away with it.  The next thing I see is a group of people sitting all over the living room, and I don't even know who it is that invited them, because she's not down here, but I'm assuming it's Krissy since I don't think Jessie would do that without telling us.  Yep, just heard her.  I had thought that Jessie went home for the weekend anyway, but I could be wrong.  Then one girl asks if she can use my bathroom.  I said sure go ahead, and then went into my room and proceeded to shut the door and turn the tv up loud.  And then I remembered that I forgot to put more toilet paper in the bathroom.  I'm not replacing it until they're gone, either.  This is NOT acceptable, cool, going o fly, I really don't care about parallel structure at this point either.  I am NOT going to be here after this semester.

Friday, November 4, 2011


I think I may actually be drowning here.  I have WAY too much on my plate for the month of November.  For one thing, I haven't had a chance to take new pix of my stuff since it's been so cloudy or I've had more important things to do, like, say, essays....  I also am going to have to not do a booth at this craft bazaar/fair even though the space is a super good deal.  I'm very disappointed about this, but I just don't have the time/money to be shopping for things for a setup, and I don't want to be in that big a rush to be making boatloads of jewelry and have to lug it all there and back again by myself.  I think I will do a home jewelry party that weekend, though.  It's much more manageable, and I won't be freaking out nearly as much.

I also have two, count 'em, TWO research papers to do for the same teacher (different classes).  And I have a presentation for one of those classes on a chapter out of our book, which shouldn't be too hard to do, and another presentation for the other class on how our research paper is going and what it's about.  Trying to knock out the chapter one first, since it doesn't involve a research paper. 

On top of all that, as if I feel the sick need to torture myself further, I have decided to participate in NaNoWriMo this year.  November is National Novel Writers Month.  You commit to writing a 50,000 word novel in a month.  Yes, I am woefully behind.  I need to catch up.  I am in over my head. 

I will do this.  If for nothing else than to say later, "You think your month of November was crazy?!  Look at mine!"  It will be awesome if I actually manage to pull all this off and still sell some jewelry.

Friday, October 21, 2011

New Supplies!

I ordered some waxed linen in different colors from Royalwood, Ltd.  They have some really awesome colors there, and it got here super fast!  Maybe that's just because it was shipping from Ohio instead of Washington State, though. ;)  I now see the difference in the plys, too.  When I was looking at them online, I was totally confused, but now that I've got them up close and can see the difference.  I'll probably order more of the 4 ply in the future, but I got 4 ply and 3 ply.  This is definitely not as waxy as the waxed linen I got from Rings&Things, but it cost a little more for a longer spool.  And yes, I have PICTURES!  I'll probably catch up on my jewelry pictures this weekend, but I wanted to take pictures of the pretty colors and dive in.  I just love the dark green!!  The other colors are Williamsburg Blue and Plum.  The smaller spool is the one from Rings&Things.  I've also got my antiqued brass ball chain in a ginormous-looking spool, and dark brown leather cord.  I have black cord and some black rhinestone chain, too, but I like the woodsy colors right now.  So excited!  Here is an overview shot:

And more of a closeup collage that took me forEVER because I was going about it the wrong way:

I also finally took pictures of one of my wrap bracelets.  It's the newest one I've done, and I think I've finally got the measurements down for an "average" size double wrapped bracelet.  Now I can just go crazy with my new colors!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I'm starting to feel a bit depressed and overwhelmed right now.  I feel like I'm stuck in a rut.  Or in a cage.  Which may be partly due to the fact that pretty much my whole world is in a 9x10 box that is my room, and the occasional trip to the bathroom.  In this case it is a water closet.  Literally.  I feel like I'm going crazy, suffocating and in a fishbowl.  My shop/jewelry making is essentially at a standstill.

On the other hand, I ordered some awesome new wire from Rio Grande to make wire bracelets....the first attempt with my other wire I had was just a tad bit small for me, so I gave it to my grandmother when she and my mom came to Greenville.  I took my wire home with me this past weekend and made another bracelet that used up less wire, although it looked the same to me, and made it big enough to fit me.  I have to re-do the half-round silver ties I put around it, though, because they started snapping at the corners when I was wrapping them around the gold frame of the bracelet.  It's rather dark and misting and icky outside, so no good light for pictures today. :(

More good news:  I finally found my other earring stash, which includes my $10 earrings in my shop!  I was getting really worried that I had somehow misplaced them and would have to delete the listings when I found them in little separate earring boxes inside another box.  Whew!  And now I can redo the pix for those, too!  I also need to find some kind of white teacup or something to hang my earrings on for a dangling perspective. 

I also think I finally found a good standard size for wrap bracelets like the ones featured here at Ornamentea.  The measurements just weren't working out for me, even though my wrists are fairly small, but I think I finally got my magic numbers!  For a double wrapped bracelet I used:  a little over 13 1/2" of ball chain (I'll probably make it an even 13 1/2" next time), 44" of leather cord, and 58" of waxed linen cord.  The leather and waxed linen both had extra left over, but I would rather have too much than too little anytime.

In other news, I have been looking at other apartments like crazy for next year.  One bedroom or studio apartments.  That way I have my own space, don't have to worry about who's using the washer, who left their dishes in the sink, who's drinking all the tea, whose food in the pantry really makes me gag, who's slamming cabinet doors in the middle of the night, and who's using all the hot water.  I cannot wait.  Pitfall:  all the apartments are a HUGE price jump from what I'm paying now.  But I guess the reality is that you get what you pay for.  I'm paying (in comparison to the 1BR apts I've looked at) low prices for a cramped room, cramped kitchen, cramped bathroom and two other people I'm sharing with (except the BR & BA).  I have one roommate I sort of knew before I moved in and we get along just fine, despite the fact we rarely see each other.  The other roommate drives me nuts.  She's older than me, for starters, and sometimes you can tell, but she is just.. agh.  I really need to get this out of my system.  She acts like she's such a neat freak, she even made a schedule of whose week it is to "clean the apartment," but it seems like she's really the one making the mess.  She must brush her hair in the kitchen or something, because every time I go in there, I see her hair on the floor.  Gross.  She also must use the towel that's lying there for her food or something, because it is disgusting-looking and apparently no one wants to wash the kitchen towels with their towels.  It'll wait until I wash mine again, I suppose.  The one time we went to the grocery store together, she said she had a time limit and had to be back to class by 2.  Well, I'm a get-in-and-get-out kind of person when it comes to shopping for groceries, and I'm much faster when I have a time limit.  She decides to skip class and spend TWO HOURS walking up and down each and every aisle there.  She occasionally stopped to apologize and ask if I was mad.  The way I see it, if you have to ask more than once, you know you're getting on my last nerve and no, you're not sorry about it.  Then when we went to check out, I went to the self-check out and she got in line because she had fresh veggies, etc.  She doesn't have an MVP cad, but I do.  So on our way out the door, she decides she's going to go and return everything and use my MVP card and say the guy didn't ask her for hers.  I should have put my foot down there or something.  So of course while the manager lady or whoever she was is re-ringing everything, she says something to the cashier about him not aksing for the card, and he says he did.  Roomie tells me that he was to busy flirting with her to ask.  Yeah, I didn't buy that.  Needless to say, she is never going to the grocery store with me again, and I don't come out of my room unless no one else is downstairs.

I kind of went off on a rant there, but I really had to just let it out for a minute.  I keep telling myself I don't have that much longer to go before I'm outta here for the summer (or at least the semester, for starters), but it doesn't seem to be working.  If I thought I could afford it, Id just move in January when the new semester starts, but my lease isn't up until August.  Blegh.  So my jewelry-making habits remain tethered in a closet for now.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I really do feel badly for not updating since....whenever.  I've had things to blog about, sure, I just....haven't gotten around to it....lame excuse, I know.  Well, here's my update.  I ordered some ball chain, waxed linen and leather cord....yes, to make a wrap bracelet!  Still in the experimentation phase....I seem to struggle with getting the length right, mostly.  And I have discovered that I don't have very many beads that will work as the clasp.  I also ordered some nice wire to try with the wire wrapping book I got a while back.  I forgot that I ordered the gold-filled wire two gauges smaller than the recommended gauge.  It was thinner and definitely made a difference.  But I managed to make a bracelet that turned out decently.  It's a smidge too tight for me, so I might see if my grandmother would like it when she comes down this weekend....and I'll have to remember to give it another half an inch in length for next time.  It was fun, if not a little frustrating though.  Well, I've got class starting at 8 am tomorrow, all three of my least favorite classes in one day.  Time to crash.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Back in the Game

Yes, I know I've been a bit MIA....oh wait, I only missed one day....nevermind!  It really feels like it, though.  I decided to make some more treasury lists on Etsy, mostly because I was bored.... and I thought it'd be cool to see how many people on Etsy went to ECU!  So my first Treasury list features ECU-themed goodies!

And a possibly more season-appropriate collection (although the college football season just started!):


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Study Time!

Today is going to be the day of homework and procrastinating, followed by more homework and procrastination with a dash of cleaning in there somewhere.  I have two papers due on Tuesday for my two Linguistics classes taught by the same teacher....I think I'll do ONE of those first.  Then I have my French listening portion of the homework to do online, and pages to copy and fill out from the workbook, which is due Monday.  I'll do that next.  Then I'll do the other paper.  Then I might clean the bathroom.  It definitely needs a good cleaning sometime this weekend.  Not that it's disgusting or anything, but we really (my mom and I) only gave it a basic cleaning when I moved in.  I'll save the English reading for tonight or maybe tomorrow....the first part of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.  Then I might do some more beading.  I took apart a necklace I made some time ago last night and I'm not quite sure what I was thinking when I made it.  So I decided that since the holes in the beads are too large for me to put with other beads, this will be a good one to knot!  I started last night but wasn't quite sure how long to make it, and didn't feel like moving to find my tape measure.  I'm kind of rambling right now and I think it's because I'm starving....and that might be because it is lunchtime....

Friday, September 9, 2011

More Listings!

So, I decided to dig up some old pieces that seem to be very seasonal in appearance and I've relisted them in my Etsy shop.  I also added a couple new pieces as well.  Enjoy!
Jade Beauty

Bright Green & Blue

I was really trying to post the pictures for the other two, but Blogger is trying my nerves, so here's the links for the Jingly Leaf Bracelet and Autumn Leaves Tree Necklace.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Busy Bee

Well, I've been working on trying to up my stash and put some new items in my Etsy shop.  Last night I made I think six pairs of earrings.  Yeah, I was just crankin' em out.  I decided to be all super creative and use some of my fern green Swarovski bicones in earrings and they actually turned out very nice-looking, I think.  I don't have pictures of those yet.  Yes, you are shaking your head and saying, "WHEN?!"  Okay, maybe not.  But I realized I had all these pictures taken of jewelry I had never listed and decided to work on that today.  So, here are some pics of my recent listings:

Snow & Ice

Little Sparrow

Aqua Daisies

I also have a bunch of purple & gold earrings I made for an ECU-themed section in the shop, but I can't find where I packed them!  They'll turn up eventually, I suppose....

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Celtic Knot Wire Bracelet

I thought I'd post some pictures of my attempts so far at the Celtic Knot Bracelet in the book Wire Wrapping.  You can find the link again here.  I was also experimenting with some different settings on my camera, and the different lighting conditions here, so bear with me!

Attempt #1

As you can see, the way I was trying to form the knots made them all irregular, which was especially noticeable with two different gauges and colors of wire.  I did this one during the hurricane when it didn't seem like there was anything else to do.  And I knew it would take me forever and a day to get it done.

Here's attempt #2:

I only posted one picture because I photographed in a hurry and not all of them turned out....but you can definitely see the difference.  It still took awhile to make (I was watching about a two hour movie if that's considered an accurate measure of time), but it looks much better.  I didn't have jump rings that were a thick enough gauge to support the knots, so I whipped some up using the same wire.  Definitely going to buy some already made, because these rings just look....well, like I did the myself and in this case that's not a good thing! 

I'm planning on getting some "nice" wire now so I can keep practicing and possibly put some in my shop.  I'm comparing prices right now, but if anyone knows a good supplier....?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Aftermath and a Book

Well, everyone here is in one piece after Hurricane Irene blew through.... two trees down back home, but none on the house.  I whipped out some wire here finally and tried to make a bracelet like I'd seen in a book at Barnes and Noble but didn't buy.  It turned out okay, but I was way overthinking it.  Lost power twice, and cable was out until yesterday afternoon.  It went out again last night until this morning, hopefully for the last time.  Class was cancelled for yesterday and today, I guess so they can clean up the trees and the general mess without us underfoot. 

I finally opened up my shop again.  Made the announcement that I would last night and then the cable went out so I couldn't until today, but it's back up.  I bought that book at Barnes & Noble and the process was much simpler than I'd expected.  The book is called Wire Wrapping by Linda Chandler and Christine Ritchey.
I really like the step by step photos it has and it explains things very clearly.  I tried the Celtic Knot bracelet for starters because I'd seen that knot before and thought I could do it again on a smaller scale.  It's much easier to do how the book says to do it.  I'm planning on trying some more of the designs as soon as I can get my hands on some decent wire. 

I also discovered that the local A.C. Moore has a totally awesome bead section.  All sorts of pendants and charms....a little lacking in the gemstones for me, but there's a Michael's for that.  Dragonfly Beads is kind of the same way, but AWESOME charms there.  Haven't checked out the Jo-Ann Fabrics yet, it's been kind of hit and miss for me with those.  One in Piqua, Ohio had me practically drooling, and one in Virginia had me going, "meh."  So, plenty of locations to shop for beads!  Now I just need a job. :( Or to sell more jewelry. :)  Off to read some more Beowulf for my Lit. class!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Short Update

Just a short update so I don't fall into the habit of not blogging while my shop is on vacation...

I've officially had all my classes's going to be an interesting semester.  I've got two Linguistics classes with the same teacher.  He's pretty laid-back but definitely a bit set in his opinions, I think.  That was a contradictory statement.  Deal with it.  He's not rude about it or anything, but it makes me want to keep my mouth shut even though he says he welcomes different opinions.  They should prove to be interesting classes nonetheless.

Grammar makes me want to shoot something on the other hand.  My teacher did warn us that the first half of the semester was going to be tedious.  She was NOT exaggerating.  Whe gave us two chapters to read of about 4 pages each and then the practice sheets and exercises to do afterward.  The first lesson I was fine on.  I had to call my mom, who homeschools my brother and knows this stuff pretty well, for the second lesson.  The answers were in the back of the book, but I was getting so many of them wrong that I was frustrated and cranky and by that time it was like 7pm and I still hadn't had dinner.  So I walked away, made a Really Awesome Sandwich (I should patent that term), and then called my mom after some more floundering around.  I finally got the hang of it, with only two or three out of the forty that didn't have the answers in the back of the book.

British Lit class is kind of crazy.  Discovered that I can understand Dutch.  Well, English-speakers can because it's very similar.  At least she's energetic about her subject, which is good when you're reading Chaucer and Beowulf.  Blegh.  Kill me now.

French is, well, French.  The teacher's really cool for not operating computers (he says that's our generation).  If he rattles off a sentence in French he'll at least tell us what he said if he gets a lot of blank stares.  Probably because it's level 1.  I hope it's not too hard, but I hope it's not a really easy A because I had French 3 and barely passed it and that was about 2 years ago.  

I know I'm kind of rambling and I'm cutting this off abruptly because I can't think straight anymore.  I'm also turning off another episode of the Mentalist in the middle of it.  I need to go get stuff for the hurricane tomorrow....*whimper* <-- not the hurricane, just the shopping for it.

Monday, August 22, 2011

All Moved In

Sorry, no design boards today!  I think I missed last week too?  This past week has been crazy with the packing and moving and moving in....*sigh*  But I am all moved in now, and I HAVE INTERNET!  That was a pain.  Took them like forever to install it, but they finally did.  I was by myself Wednesday thru Saturday morning, when I drove back home for the weekend.  I'm not gonna lie, that was just a little but scary.  Friday night it rained a lot, so I didn't have to worry about potential partiers.  This is most definitely a college town.  Met one roommate last night when I came back, and one today, who I kind of already knew.  They're both really nice and everyone's so glad that we all know how to wash our own dishes and we're not all slobs.  :-)

Told them I make jewelry and proceeded to bring it all out and show them.  OH!  And I found the bead store here, Dragonfly Beads.  They have lots of cool charms and stuff.  They were having a bead show when I went and I bought two ceramic purple and gold beads to make into earrings--school colors!  Also found the Michael's in my day of driving around and generally getting lost.  There's an A.C. Moore, too, but I haven't been in yet because I was more interested in the Barnes & Noble.

I haven't re-opened my shop yet, mostly because I want to see how a job kind of fits in with the whole routine before I go adding more jewelry and stuff....

Well, my first day of classes is tomorrow, starting bright and early at 8am....blegh.  I really hope I'm ready for this.  Well, the classes are fine, but I'm really nervous about the whole transit bus system thing.  I hope and pray it all goes well tomorrow....

Think I'll go put off going to sleep a little bit longer now!

Friday, August 12, 2011


Today was my last day at work before I leave for college.  It was bittersweet.  On the one hand, I couldn't wait to get away from the whole retail experience with snotty customers asking stupid questions and, in turn, treating me like I was the stupid one.  On the other hand, I'll miss the people--some of them, anyway ;-).  I have literally worked there since I graduated high school, and part time through the two years I was attending the local community college, and then full time for a year after I finished my two year degree.  It's like closing another chapter of my life.  I mean, I know I'll be back in the summer, but it's just not the same.  The reality that I'm actually going away to college is finally, slowly sinking in.  I can't help but wonder how people will talk about me.  The ones that reminisce about the good ol' days with their favorite store managers, and favorite co-workers that aren't there anymore.  I know the people that will count me as a favorite.  It's kind of fun wondering who won't.  Well, fun in a rather twisted way.  I wonder what aspects will go to pieces that I usually took care of.  Like checking the expiration dates on the Lindt and Godiva chocolates, and putting the hangers up in an organized fashion.  I've seen how much of a mess they can be when I'm off for one day :-).  Ahhhhh, but I won't have to deal with that any more.  I saw a couple pallets of giftwares marked "Christmas" in the back yesterday and I just laughed.  And it felt good.  I'll be able to shop on Black Friday this year instead of working it--although how much money I'll actually spend is another matter entirely! 

I'm trying not to think about all the stuff I have to go through and pack.  Like my clothes.  That sound you hear is me whimpering.  And books, and movies....yes, I know I am going to college to learn, but I have to have something to keep me sane!  Oh, yeah, and beads....well, those are mostly always packed in their little organizers anyway, so it's a simple matter of getting them into another box. 


I'm having a sale in my Etsy Shop to help clear out some jewlery!  So with the coupon code PACKITUP25, you can get 25% off storewide!  Go for it!  You know you want to! ;-)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Design It Monday

Well, my life has become increasingly more busy as I get ready to move to college....but I did not forget my design board for this week!  This week I am featuring Maurice's again, one of my favorite stores!  Enjoy!

Bracelet available here, all clothing and accessories from Maurice's.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Design It Monday

Had a nice, relaxing weekend this weekend--didn't do ANY beading (gasp!).  But that may have been just what I needed.  Here's my second design board, this time from Anthropologie:

Jewlery available here, everything else from Anthropologie!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Quick update before I crash and burn tonight!

I decided a while back that I was going to try to make one of those braided bead bracelets in the last issue of Bead Style magazine.  Because I was going so nuts getting ready for the craft show, I didn't want to experiment with anything new, even though I went out and bought the beads I was going to use and maybe include one at my table.  Good thing I didn't. ;-)

I spent, quite literally, all day yesterday making that bracelet.  I started, oh, maybe between 11:30 and 12 noon, took a brief break for lunch, and finished the first prototype--let's call it a rough draft--around 4-ish, maybe?  I took it downstairs to try on my mom's wrist since it was too big for mine, and it was too big for hers too.

Luckily, shortening is easier than starting all over again, so I took beads off and ended up unbraiding and rebraiding--not that that's hard to do; it's just tedious.  Got it all done again and while it kind of fit my mom's wrist better, it was still a little on the too big side.  At that point, it was about 7 (we'd had dinner and I cleaned the kitchen, so it wasn't like I was beading nonstop all day), and I decided I was finished for the day before I curled up into a ball and had a meltdown.  It took two Harry Potter movies and about 30 minutes of another, if that's a better measurement of time for you. ;-)

So, I don't have any pictures yet and I don't think I will until I can get it to fit MY wrist just right.  I'm tearing up now just thinking of how long it's going to take this time. 

The amount of times I'm pressing the backspace button is usually a good indicator that it's time to get off, so happy Wednesday, only 2 days till the weekend! :-D

Monday, July 25, 2011

Trying Something New

In a truly spectacular (for me, at least) endeavor to not neglect my blog, I'm trying something new--for me.  I'm going to start putting together little design boards for Mondays, pairing jewelry I've made with outfits so you can kind of see what it would go with.  Nothing fancy, just a little something fun.  I've seen other blogs/websites that so this, and I've always wished I could.  So, today I said, "Why not?"  The featured store for the time being is Maurice's, one of my I-spend-far-too-much-money-there stores.  Here's this week's design board: 

Pretty in Pink

Earrings are made by me and are now available here on Etsy, everyhing else is from Maurice's!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Today was an awesome day.  Went to the beach super early, found some cool shells--and maybe one or two to use in a necklace?  We got home by 11:30.  I declared today to be the day to go see Harry Potter 7 pt.2.  And so we did.  It rocked.  I'm not even going to nitpick (yet ;D) about it.  So that got me in one of my "moods."  You know, those moments where you have to make something, and you have to start on it NOW!

I've watched Harry Potter movie marathons before while making jewelry and, for some reason, it always inspires me.  Today, I am happy to say, was no different.  I put in the verrrry first movie at around 3:30, 3:45, and started on a bracelet.  Took me all the way till around 6 when dinner was ready, and then another hour and a half to two hours to make it.  But it was worth it.  I absolutely LOVE this bracelet!  I used all glass pearls to make it.  The supersized pearls are from Michael's, but all the others are from a glass pearl mix from Fire Mountain Gems.  Gotta love them!  And since I love this bracelet so much, I took pictures of it in bad lighting AND with a flash.  Somewhere, my digital photography teacher is cringing. :-)  Here they are!

I really think the single black pearl gives it character.  I mean, it's gorgeous with the cream white and the ivory white, but the black pearl adds a little bit of personality, I think. 

I'm still tossing around names for it.  Black Pearl's Bounty, Black Pearl's Curse (it was a Scott O'Dell book first, PotC fans!).  On With the Bling, Supersize Me....any ideas?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Now What?

I feel kind of lost now that I don't have a craft show to panic--I mean prepare--for!  I did, however, get the wheels turning in my mind and made a bracelet and a pair of earrings yesterday.  I'll try to start posting more pictures, I know I'm really bad about that.  The bracelet came about from this little focal I made for a necklace, but I could not for the world figure out what kind of necklace to make, so it finally came to me to make it a bracelet!  It's really kind of cute, but it's too big for my wrist.  I suppose I could always adjust it.  I'll have to start adding that disclaimer on my bracelets not strung on beading wire....that they can be lengthened or shortened to the customer's preferred length.  I've started experimenting with superembellishing chain--and yes, I am turning that into a compound word. Why?  Because it looks awesome.  Anyways, I've started experimenting with superembellishing chain with different sizes of beads and got the idea (at the craft fair Saturday--great place to connect and be inspired by some of the nicest people!) to try pearls.  Of course, the only type of pearls I have in any kind of abundance are some glass pearls left over from a rather large assortment from Fire Mountain Gems.  I tried just doing some in a little cluster at the bottom of some chain yesterday.  I kind of like it, but I might add on and embellish the whole chain and then, if I still have some left over, I'll make another pair and try a cluster at the bottom.  I might even do a bracelet and make a set with my already existing multistrand pink pearl necklace.  I should really post some pictures.

In other news, I got my ECU card for refund dispersal today.  It came super fast, too.  Must be because I'm not that far away.  I'll have to call Pirate's Place tomorrow just to double check and make sure I can pay my rent with this card before I pick which method of disbursment.  I should be able to rest easy when buying my books now, although I might go ahead and buy one or two of the more cost-efficient books.  After  I pay my first month's rent.  And in better news, my contacts did not break the bank like I thought they would.  But I left the extra money from savings in my account anyways because I was going to take it out to pay rent at the end of the week when I get paid.  I also deposited the money from the craft fair before I had a chance to spend it so that way I may use, for books or something (college books).

Well, I'm exhausted, and we're getting up at 6 in the lovely a.m. to walk again tomorrow, so I'm peacing out and crashing.  Night all!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Whirlwind Week

Well, that was a busy week!  Today was the craft show down at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Havelock.  I spent this week in full panic mode, making jewelry just about every day.  Well, no, I think I put price tags on the jewelry one day, than made two bracelets another day, then made a couple pair of earrings another day, then priced some more....yeah, I pretty much panicked.  And possibly overreacted as to how much merchandise I actually needed. 

I didn't take my camera (that didn't even make the list of "stuff to bring"), so no pictures, but I think I can describe it pretty well for you:  Table, light blue spread of fabric, jewelry all arranged on it. 

That's it. 

I didn't particularly want to spend the money on pricey displays, but I think what I'll do in the future is get something for my bracelets, at least, and one or two necklace displays.  And possibly something to prop the earrings up on.  Although I did discover that on 90% of the earrings, they'd stand up on the ends of the earwires if you balanced them  just right. 

So, lessons learned?
  • One:  Next time, take some stuff to make risers under the fabric for different levels; more height looks like  more stuff.
  • Two:  You can never have too many pairs of earrings.  Especially the $10 ones.
  • Three:  Find a lightweight table instead of absconding with one from the church barn.  Well, we didn't really abscond with it, per se, but that thing was HEAVY.
  • Four:  Do not wait until the night before to get the table, only to discover that your dad's truck broke and you have to fit a 6ft table into a 4 1/2-5ft trunk.  He did have it fixed by the time the show was over. :-)
  • Five:  Make the most of your 8ft x 8ft space.  Do an L-shape, or go on both sides with little tables, or do  a little corner thing.  Make it cool-looking.
  • Six:  I'm actually running out of things to say, but bullets really grab your attention, don't they?
Overall, I think it went fairly well, being my first show and all.  The turnout was....decent....but the church didn't really advertise other than word of mouth.  It was their first craft show, too, so I guess they'll have their little "plus-delta" meeting and discuss what to do next year or whenever their next craft show is.

I am exhausted, but overall in a positive mood!

Here's something to laugh at:

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Knotting....and Procrastinating....

So I learned how to knot last night.  Without a special tool or anything!  It was kind of fun, actually.  I had these heavy-looking blue adventurine beads that I couldn't think how to string up until I remembered the article on knotting in the latest Stringing magazine.  So I knotted one strand of the beads and paired it with two kinds of copper chain with a clasp in the front.  Wasn't too sure about the copper, so I dug out some antique brass chain I forgot I had and used that instead.  Much better.  I wore it to work today, though, with the copper chain and all. 

I was bound and determind to knot something else tonight, but my only problem is not having enough beads in matching colors with holes big enough for the leather cord.  I'll probably have to learn how to knot thread now too....that sounds much less exciting.  That being said, I am starting to panic a little bit about the craft show being NEXT WEEKEND.  And I still don't have a table.  Or a chair for that matter.  Oh, well.  I'll get it together somehow; not much I can do about it right this minute so why stress about it? 

Sale still going on till tomorrow night at my Etsy Shop!

Friday, July 8, 2011


I decided to have a "just because" sale!  Now thru Sunday, 7/10, you can get 10% off of your order with coupon code JUSCUZ10.  Have a great weekend!  ENJOY!!!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cracking the Whip

Took a little bit of a break over the holiday weekend.  Now I'm busy trying to get enough stuff for my table at a craft fair on the 16th.  Still haven't gotten any word about which table I'm at or anything, starting to get a little anxious about that.

Had ALL day today and only got two things made.  One was a pair of earrings for this set that I started making on Monday.  Strung the necklace Monday night, then wire-wrapped half the bracelet Tuesday and Wednesday night, and made the earrings today.  It's a combination of these pale peach-y looking stones whose name I have forgotten and some slightly smaller blue goldstone rounds.  My typing is terrible tonight.  Hitting the backspace about every other word.  I was going to try to do something with these big glass pearls after a design in a Bead Style magazine, but I just don't know if it would sell.  I suppose if it didn't, then I could always keep it....

Trying not to go crazy with all I have to do here, but look!  I updated! No, no.  No need to applaud. ;-)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What I Did(n't) Get Done

Welllll, today was, not exactly a waste, but I could use a do-over.  Thought we were going to do our morning walk so I set my alarm early, and heard some shuffling around, but it was just my dad leaving to go somewhere early.  So, I rolled over and went back to sleep and figured someone would slam a door or something and that would wake me up.  Not so.  Woke up at 10.  Not cool.  I DID however, get registered for classes ALL BY MY LONESOME.  I got really excited about them, too, and was slightly disappointed to see that the Shakespeare class I wanted was full.  I'm done every day with my classes before 1.  My mom says this is good, and I can work a part time job.  I say I'll wait and see what my homework load is like with 15 credit hours of classes.  I would LIKE to be able to support myself with making jewelry.  A job at Maurice's, however, sounds enticing because I love that store.  I wonder how well they'll work with schedules.  And maybe I could go straight there after lunch and be home in the evenings, depending on how their shifts work....

Mental slap time.  Back to my to-do list for today.  Did not get laundry done.  Did not organize necklaces.  DID move hung earrings to a more out-of-the-way location.  DID get a necklace I'm considering as a signature piece made and it will be my entry for the door prize/raffle for the craft fair.  Did not order boxes from Fire Mountain Gems.  DID order two filigree/findings mixes, and three different kinds of earring backs.  Oh, well.  I might keep the boxes for shipping and wrap the things at the craft fair in tissue paper.  Sounds like a better plan, anyway.  I should start amassing some purple and gold things to get some ECU Pirate-y spirit going on.  Had a brilliant idea this weekend.  I was thinking of offering a discount for ECU students for my Etsy shop.  I'll tell them (somehow) to look for things on Etsy tagged "ecu" or "ecupirates" or "purpleandgold" and then to look for my shop, and use discount code whatever at checkout.  Seems like an awesome idea to me.  I've heard that there's somewhere on campus you can sell your stuff as long as it's ECU-themed. 

To-do list for tomorrow:  Morning--LAUNDRY.  Earrings?  Two pair?  Evening:  sleep.  Have to work early in the morning.  Well, opening shift. 

Night, all!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Been A While

Yes, I know it's been awhile.  I have no excuses.  I did start a Facebook page and gathered a few follwers in the hopes that it could meybe boost sales.  I'll be heading off to college in a little under two months now (!!) and I'm trying not to lose heart.  I really want to get things off the ground so I don't have to worry about juggling a "real" part-time job with 15-16 credit hours of classes--which is what they say you need to take to graduate on time.  Ugh.  Bonus:  I got alllll my earrings hung on little cards I ordered from etsy (with some help) and I'm going to set up a table at a craft show.  It's a great  deal, too: $30 for the table and entering 1 piece for a door prize, they don't take any of your profits.  Which is wonderful!!  I hope things start looking better soon, I really do.  And I just remembered that tomorrow I will be organizing all my jewelry.  I can't wait (did you her the sarcasm?).

Monday, January 24, 2011

Keep Plugging On

Really trying to build up my stock here in jewelry, as well as try new things.  I follwed a couple patterns in an old Stringing magazine that I'd really liked and then tried doing them differently. 

Also trying to use up all these little findings I got forever and a day ago in a findings assortment from FMG (that's Fire Mountain Gems) by making earrings, and even a dainty little focal.  I'm behind on my picture taking because it always seems to be cloudy or otherwise dark when I'm ready to take pictures.  I'll get them done and posted soon, I suppose.  Yeah, I know, I say that a lot and then never do it, but I suppose my intentions are good.

Going through an Etsy success shop makeover series right's pretty helpful, actually.  I have also discovered that while I'm getting the hang of my crimping beads, wrapped loops are a whole new animal.  Whole.  New.  Animal.  It's not really that they're hard; they just require....patience....

Will update soon! (hopefully with pictures!)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New Year, New Plans

I'm ignoring the fact I haven't updated this in forever.  Really, I am.  So, here's what I've been doing....

I FINALLY got my mom's necklace for Christmas finished maybe the week of Christmas.  I found these topaz-y flowery connectors at Michael's and fell in love with them.  So I picked out some brown facted rounds with gold around the edges and a smaller version in a more rice pellet shape.  Then I strung two strands of the larger rounds on the lower half of the connectors (and typing this is making it sound MUCH easier than it was--took me two or three tries to get the length right!).  I had orignially intended to use one strand of both sizes for the top and bottom strands, but I like the larger better.  for the top of the connectors, first I strung four little rice beads on each side and then crimped it so it looked like a little triangle.  Then I just strung it as usual until it was somewhere between 18-20 inches total length.  I believe that part took me two tries because I made it too short....and I forgot to take pictures so you'll just have to use your imagination!

I decided I wanted a more beachy themed necklace too, because I had beads left over from my sister's necklace (which didn't take me NEARLY as long).  It had a silver hoop connector with a strand of blue pearls and a strand of bluish rounds and tan mother of pearl-ish shell beads.  These went over to a flying bird connector with a regular silver chain to finish it off.  I didn't have a present for my grandmother yet, so I gave her that for Christmas.  My aunt was very jealous.  :D  I'm making another one for myself because I liked it so much, but it's a much different version because I'm running out of those beads.  And I have to go restring it because I crimped it wrong....blegh....

I also went and completely rephotographed every piece of jewelry I have for sale in my Etsy shop.  It looks SO much better now, and I posted some new pieces of jewelry!

I promise to try to keep this up more often!