Monday, January 31, 2011

Bead Soup-Beads

Was it something I said? I just logged on to see that I had lost a follower. I am sitting here wondering why. Was it something I blogged about? Were my goals (it was after that post) stupid and they didn't want to read more. Did their computer get fried? I may never know.

I can finally share my Bead Soup beads with you all now. Here are the 2 packages I wrapped up for my partner Shelly Graves.

Here is what I sent:

I sent an etched rabbit pendant, birds nest and 2 clasps all handmade by me.
Vintage Swarovski Crystals from my Vintage stash.
Glass flowers & leaves from a vendor I love to shop at from at The Innovative Beads Expo.
A handful of Biwa stick pearls and a whole mess of different kinds of Jasper.

Here are the beads I was sent:

A handful of white and clear beads (not sure what they are made of) 2 handmade copper heart charms, 3 Lampwork glass beads, I think the little cup shaped beads and flat rounds are glass and the double strand clasp. update from my partner the white beads are antique German glass.

To say I am stumped is an understatement. I have no clue what to do with these beads. I had better get to work because the deadline is fast approaching! Got any ideas? No! I am kidding this is a challenge to take us out of our comfort zone so I need to let it do just that. Stay tuned I will be posting my finished bead soup jewelry on Saturday February 26th!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Goals - Week 4

This is week 4 in my 52 weeks of blogging and the task for the week is to set goals and share them.
I have no problem setting goals it's the sharing that freaks me out. It makes you have to be accountable to those goals because someone else might be listening/reading. I think having goals is a great thing I am just not one to stick to them.
Had to add a picture of The Girl. Here she is taking care of her Lala's (dolls).

So here is my list, I am sure there will be more goals to come.
-list more items in my etsy store and list more often
-get sales in etsy, I am not going to say 50 for the year or anything like that because I will be happy to get 1 sale although 50+ would be awesome!
-get more organized this goes for my beads and my paperwork
-have a booth at a craft fair. I have never done one and I am a bit freaked out by the whole concept
-host a minimum of 3 home jewelry parties. The 1st one is already booked!
-actually finish ALL 52 weeks of this course
-finish my journaling class with Stephanie Lee.
-finish the scarf and cowl I started crocheting -update 1/30/11 I actually finished the scarf!!! WooHoo!
-learn to knit
-blog more often
-loose weight ugh I hate this one and I am just putting it out there because it might help me even though I really don't want to diet or even really care about it right now but sometime this year I'd like to try to drop a few.
-have it all, a clean house, organized paperwork, time to craft, and time for family. (It's called a schedule and I need to make one!)
-make more jewelry!
-and money!!!
Almost done I promise...

Okay so there is my list as of right now. Do you have any goals you would like to share? Leave me a comment below I love to hear from you guys.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What's on your table?

It's bead table Wednesday again!
Let's see what I have on my bead table, ahem, my kitchen island.

I have a necklace in progress using 2 pieces from Nancy Shindler of Round Rabbit.
I have a strand of pearls and a fine silver pendant that I made from a casting of an old button. I hope to finish this pieces this weekend it is going to be so vintagey looking. (I know not a word but you know what I mean)
There is the pizza box from dinner last night, it is my kitchen ya know.
In the middle is a few pieces I have been working on they are resin coated vintage papers and some resin filled bezels. There is a bead from Marie-Noel of Skye Jewels and a pendant from Marsha Neal Studio patiently waiting for my next day off.

Wanna play along?

Hope you are enjoying your Wednesday! I am off to the salon to get some beautiful nails done. I have a new old client this morning that I haven't seen in a few years so I am really excited to go in. We are supposed to get snow this afternoon so I hope I can get back home or I may have to sleep on the waxing table. lol, um not!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Obstacles - Week 3

First I must say a huge Thank You to everyone who stopped by yesterday to have a look at the necklace I made for the Fusion Beads challenge. Your compliments were so nice and I really appreciate each and every one of you!
The Girl is okay especially after having an ice pop at 10AM! Anyone that knows me knows that is SO not normal for me but I thought it would help the swelling go down and give me a chance to have my coffee and calm down myself.

It is week 3 in my 52 weeks of blogging and I cannot believe we are already into week 3 of 2011.
I have been doing nails for 10 years in April of this year and in July I will celebrate my 10th Wedding Anniversary! It is also the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and of my husband's near fatal car accident.

So where am I going with this?

This weeks topic is on overcoming obstacles. I would like to talk to you about a big one I encountered in my jewelry making career. Morning sickness. I became pregnant with my daughter in October of 2008 and withing a few days (we knew the day we thought we had conceived) I became ill. I thought it may have been a bug when I took a pregnancy test and it was negative. Okay who am I kidding I took like 4 tests. Anyway, I waited and waited and waited. A couple of weeks later on October 25th (the 10th anniversary of the day I met my husband-insert awww here) I took another test and it was indeed positive. So were the next 3.
Leaving for my sister's b-day party a week before The Girl was born

Then the morning sickness started and the afternoon sickness and the evening sickness. I was sick all the time. I woke up, got sick, went to work, got sick at work, came home, got sick and went to bed. I was exhausted. I could barely function because of how sick I was. Even reading a book became difficult. I tried to make jewelry, I had custom orders to finish and repairs to do but the smaller beads made my head spin. I finished up the must dos and put everything in boxes not to be seen again until after The Girl was born.

How was this an obstacle you may be asking yourself. It was for me because I never stick with anything. I was a serial dater in high school, I have held more jobs than some people go through in a lifetime. I jump from hobby to hobby. But jewelry making was different. While I was sick I collected books and magazines. I drew and imagined and dreamed of making jewelry again someday. When The Girl was born I dreamt of the days I would have the time and energy (she was colic) to bead again.

That day came in early August when I asked my husband to help me start bringing boxes back in from the garage. The biggest problem? I had nowhere to work. We had redone the living room and got rid of my beading table. Okay it was an old card table but still it was mine. I also knew that once The Girl started crawling/pulling up a folding table wouldn't work. We brought in the beads and I started out by beading on an old lap desk on the couch. Then my husband brought in our old dining room table from the garage and I was able to put my bead boxes out on that. Then he, finally, built my kitchen island and I spread myself out on that too.

I had beads and beady things all over my tiny house before long. My husband didn't care and we never have company because my house has been under construction for 11 years so it wasn't an issue. I hated it. I could never find anything and before long my dining room table organization station also became a dumping ground for anything and everything. I would have to clear off the table to get to the beads and I could never find anything.
Look above her head and you can see my beads on the dining room table

How are we overcoming this obstacle? I now house the majority of my beads in the spare bedroom that doubles as the sanctuary for the dogs and cat. My husband built a 6 foot desk for me and I spread my beads out on to of that. They never get anything put on top of them and that makes me very happy. I am still beading at the kitchen island for now but in the near future we are hoping to convert a portion of my basement or garage into a studio for me to house my beads, kiln and metalworking supplies.

I have overcome obstacles that to some may seem small and trivial but to me could have been major deterrents to continuing my jewelry making career. It took writing this post to make me realize how much I actually love making jewelry and how much it has become a part of our lives.

What obstacles have you overcome in your life or career?
Leave me a comment below I would love to hear about it.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fusion Beads Reveal

Today is the big reveal day for Lorelei's Fusion Beads Challenge.
In this challenge we were given a number of items to order from Fusion beads and then were to make a necklace using those items. This time around Lorelei gave us a clasp from Green Girl Studios to work with.

I want to start off by apologizing for the late post my day didn't start off as planned. The plan was to get up early and catch the sun to take my pictures. I woke up late to start with and then the sun wasn't co-operating because we got snow. Then my 19 month old fell and split her lip. She is okay but I am pretty sure it took yet another year off my life.

Okay now on with the challenge!!!!

In an effort to use up my (ever growing) Round Rabbit stash I chose this connector to use in this necklace. I knew it was perfect when my order arrived and the colors went so well together. I chose to keep the neutral palette and add only wire, jump rings and 3 smoky quartz briolettes.

I wanted the leaves to have movement so I wire wrapped them with one of the wood beads and hung them from a Vintaj jump ring. Oh and you may notice I used 2 different colors of leaves. I ordered them both because Fusion was sold out of the one's we were suggested to use and I didn't know which color I would like best. I liked them both and loved them even better together.

I wove the green leather up and around the fire polished beads and knotted it in between. I love how this worked out! I must say I got lucky that the leather fit through enough of the beads to make this work. Up the other side I use 1 strand of the teardrop seed beads and 1 strand of the wood beads. Then I added chain and more wire wrapped fire polished beads.

Here is my lovely model with the necklace on:

and here is my trusty garage sale find with the necklace on:

Thanks so my for visiting now go and check out the rest of the blogs, I will stop by everyone's blog during The Girl's nap later in the afternoon.
 ~Shannon <-------- You Are Here!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

First Stages - Week 2

This is week 2 in my 52 weeks of blogging . This weeks assignment was to share a piece in it's first stages.
Since the things I have been working on generally only take a few hours to a few days I was able to shop you a piece I had in my head become a piece of jewelry.
It all started with this component from Nancy Schindler of Round Rabbit.
from Round Rabbit

I wanted to make a bracelet with it. So I turned it on it's side. I was determined so when my husband came in and said "no way" I didn't listen and kept right on combining beads.

I got the bracelet almost finished, it looked great. I was going to leave it as a bracelet. I tried it on and still liked it as a bracelet.

I made the clasp and set the bracelet down on the bead table and it said "I want to be a necklace!" Really loud. So I cut it all apart and restrung it into a necklace.

I added Vintaj chain, a pearl dangle and the clasp I had made. I love how it came out, even if my husband was right (don't tell him I said so).

A glimpse into the crazy world that is my bead table/kitchen island. It took all day to make this necklace. I had a dream about the bracelet design a couple of days ago but have been working at the salon so I had no time. I got the beads out last night (my beads are now stored in our spare bedroom and not on the dining room table) and I was able to assemble/dis-assemble/re-assemble the piece while my daughter had her nap this afternoon. Oh and we have no heat, not sure what happened but my daughter actually napped while my husband's father came over to take a look at the broken furnace!

What have you made this week? I would love to hear about it, leave me a link to your blog if you blogged about something you made this second week of January 2011.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

First Jewelry Made in 2011

These are the first pieces of jewelry that I have made this year. As I said in my last post I have been in a bit of a funk so to be out of it feels great. I read somewhere to just make something so I have been crocheting a 50 inch cowl (scarf/hat) to keep being creative while I figure out which pile of laundry my muse is buried beneath. I am actually almost done with it a goal in and of itself as I have ton's of projects half finished in my house.

I was inspired by this view outside of my window to make this first bracelet. It snowed here on Friday and it was so beautiful. The flakes were small but there were so many of them. The Girl kept running to the door screaming snow! snow! The sky was the perfect shade of blue which made me run to my bead stash and pull from one of my favorite artists Nancy Schindler.

The ring is from Nancy Schindler of RoundRabbitExtra who's items I have a bit of an obsession with. She does these one day updates and it is like being at Kleinfeld's for their wedding gown sale. Everything sells so quickly that you have to jump on the pieces before someone else does. I sometimes can't pick and end up buying WAY too much stuff. I know I will make something with them sometime but I think I need rehab. The rest of the bracelet is sea glass from a shop in LaGrange, NY I Dream of Beading, the biwa pearls are from a bead store in Red Hook that went out of business last year (sad for them, score for me), some sterling silver wire, crystal quartz beads in different shapes, a blue lace agate, a chalcedony bead and a toggle clasp that resembled the ring from Nancy finishes off this wintry feeling bracelet.

Another bracelet I made features a Bee from Nan Emmett of Spirited Earth I love her bee pieces partly because my In-Laws are bee keepers and I find that fascinating, Nan's colors are amazing and because I just love anything with wings. This bracelet also has 2 beads from Gaea Cannaday, I have to get more of these beads because it is so hard to find the perfect white/cream beads and these are great. I left them in a cup of coffee for a few days to add some color to the crackles. I used seed beads, green adventurine and grain stone ovals from Michael's, metal flowers from Hobby Lobby, spacer beads from Tierra Cast and clasp from Vintaj.

The last bracelet I made is perfect because Valentine's Day is around the corner but it isn't too Valentinesy (I know that's not really a word)! In fact when I first got this charm from Marie-Noel Cramp of More Skye Jewels I didn't notice the heart at all. I ordered a grab bag of beads from Marie and this was one of them.  I used a bead from Nan Emmett, wire from Parawire, green olive jade from and Vintaj chain. I made the clasp myself and after the baby's nap and these pictures I was able to hammer it for some texture and strength.

Let me know what you think of my new bracelets. Funny that everything I made today was bracelets,  I usually am on necklace kicks.

Friday, January 7, 2011

New Directions- Week 1

Where to begin?
I am lost. 

I have been stuck in a rut of my own creation. I have been questioning everything in my creative life. Why do I make jewelry? Do people really like my jewelry? Should I bother making more jewelry? What is my style? Who am I as an artist? What is next for me and my family in this creative journey? How would people describe me? My jewelry?
I have not made anything in a few weeks and I am pretty sure the holidays and the cold weather here in NY are to blame for my slump. That and the bad cold I had for New Year's add in self doubt and a teething 18 month old and you can probably see why I am surrounded by question marks.
I have decided to start a new journey in 2011- 52 Weeks of Blogging Your Passion by Tara Gentile of Scoutie Girl.
I first read about 52 Weeks on Brandi Girl Blog and wanted to do this myself. I desided the best time to start would be January 1st so I bought the e-book for an affordable $15 and decided to jump right in.
The first task was to write a mission statement for your blog and to share it with your readers. I have no idea why I was paralyzed with self doubt and fear to do this task and almost gave up before I even started. I had to push through. It took 7 days but I finally wrote a mission statement I am satisfied with. It may change or evolve but for this time, this place I am in it is good and I am happy.

The purpose of my blog For My Sweet Daughter is to capture the fleeting moments. 
To share with others my story, the things that make me happy, inspire me and make me who I am.
To connect with artists and those who love and appreciate handmade items 
and to share my handmade jewelry, components and other items with the artisan community.

There it is and it was not an easy thing to write so my brain is mush. I did finally make a bracelet today though so maybe I am starting to break out. I was inspired by the snow that fell today and a piece from Nancy Schindler of RoundRabbitExtra. As soon as I can I will take pictures and share.


Winners Announced

The poor baby was up most of the night last night so I got a late start this morning....

Here are the winners of the Jewelry Displays:

#5 - EB Bead and Metal Works 

#16 - Marie Cramp

and the winner of the necklace is:

#29 - The Dixon Family

I want to say a big thank you to those that played along 
and those that shared this giveaway on FaceBook and Twitter.

Stay tuned because I will be having more giveaway's in the future!