August 31, 2008

Inspired by Artwork

More on being inspired by artwork today...
Have you seen this book? I need to get my hands on a copy!

What drives me crazy is that I had this idea! To write a book of jewelry designs inspired by my favorite artists. And here it is, they beat me to the punch. (Jess swears he had the idea for Gremlins since he was a little kid, now I understand his pain.)

Anyway, that's the thing about creativity. There is no slice of pie we need to fight over. It is a river, leading to an ocean, wider and deeper than we can know. So who knows, one day I may write my own version. Until then I will enjoy what these talented designers have set forth into the world! Going by the title I wonder if this will be a series? I see the same authors have another book coming soon of jewelry inspired by Art Nouveau!

Back to my own inspirations, I could see using this color scheme from Van Gogh's almond blossom study. I stumbled across this one in my googlin' yesterday for the Iris pic. I may have to go pull out my beads right now and give into the muse. It's Sunday, I can play today, right!

OH, and wait there is more before I rush over to the bead table. I am 6 sales away from 600 in my etsy shop. So for the next six sales I have a free bead for each purchase. I have a little stash of one-of-a-kinds and different experiments that will be heading out with those next 6 orders. For my 600th sale I have a little grab bag of beads that I have been saving for the occasion. So check out the etsy shop and treat yourself to a little surprise today!

August 30, 2008

Van Gogh

I saw my first Van Gogh painting at an Impressionism Exhibit in Ohio when I was in high school. It was my first look at real artwork with the likes of Van Gogh, Degas, Gauguin, Monet and more. To see artwork in person is unlike what we see in books, on the computer screen, printed on T-shirts, etc. There is something about knowing that the artists' hand actually touched the object in front of you that is amazing to me. It's crazy to me that I can go on the other side of town and see one of Van Gogh's paintings. I think my highlight of going to NY this year was seeing Starry Nights in person. When we went to the museum, I wasn't excepting to see that and there it was just hanging out in a gilded frame. It was smaller than I thought it would be. But so much more amazing.

Now as much as I love Starry Nights, my favorite painting of all time is Van Gogh's Irises.
After I finish the series of beads that I'm working on, I'm going to turn my attention to interpreting this painting in beads.

We have a nice long weekend ahead of us. I'm working today, things seem to take me so much longer than I hope. My new beads are slowly coming along, but orders keep popping up that have to go out first. Which is good. It just means my big fall launch will happen after this weekend. I know I keep moving it up, hopefully the new beads will be worth the wait!

August 28, 2008

Going Gothic?

Humblebeads are getting a little darker for the fall. I have a Victorian inspired poppy bead that I've added to my collection. One of many beads that I have been working on this week.
Here is a bracelet I created as the 'action' shot for this bead. It's created using a simple peyote stitch with 2 different size beads, which causes the band to ruffle around. I ended the last row with these luscious keishe pearls that have been pegged to one of my inspiration board for months, calling out to me. When I finished this bead, I knew the pearls would be the perfect match.
Now if only the temperature outside would match my fall mood. I just keep cranking up the air conditioner, pretending that cool October days are quickly approaching.

The Victorian Poppy Beads are in my Esty shop now.

August 26, 2008

Bead-making Music

I have to listen to music when I'm in the studio. Makes the work go by faster. Yesterday was my first day alone in 3 months. I hope to have the new beads ready and photographed by Friday. I'm pretty excited!

Keeping me company today, Vampire Weekend. They are like a quirky, off-beat Paul Simon, not vampire-like at all. The video is just too hilarious. If you loved Pretty in Pink, grew up on vintage MTV and had a crush on Robert Smith from the Cure, this video is going to have you cracking up laughing. Anyway, they are playing in the studio today while I make beads and package up orders.

I'm almost caught up on orders and other obligations, I have only been online long enough to answer urgent emails. If you are waiting to hear from me, I promise to email you back in the new few days. My inbox is an avalanche.

August 21, 2008

Bead Spotlight - Vintage Poppy

Here is a bead that I created earlier this summer and decided to offer it as part of my new line of fall beads. I have 8 of them in stock currently. The new beads are coming along. I fit in a few here and there between the orders, which have been crazy lately. I'm in a mad rush to get caught up by Friday so I can take the weekend off. It's the last weekend of summer vacation - always bittersweet.
Here is a wonderful example of my poppy bead in action. This necklace is by the very talented Lorelei Eurto. This was a two hole bead that she cleverly worked into a pendant.

I love seeing what my bead fans make with their humblebeads!

The launch of the new beads are going to have to wait until next week, when the girls are back in school and I have 8 hours a day to work again.

August 17, 2008

Humblebeads Restocked

The ol' esty shop has been restocked. I have beads and orders filling the whole studio today. Poor Jess is hiding in his corner. I hear him snipping metal and he'll occasionally run over with the next part of his project complete. He is constructing some kind of glass soldered alter that has little doors that open up. Can't wait to see it finished.

I have been making beads, making beads, making beads.

Today I snuck off to the The Bead Market. Looking for blue apatite. I tell you, don't go to a bead show with one thing in mind. You'll end spending way too much money on faceted blue labradorite rondells. I was helpless against their shiny, flashy powers of persuasion.
You can find this strand on etsy from jNicLoft, these are the same color.

What else did I pick up? Not much really, a few stands of copper spacers and bead caps, copper clasps and a some small strands of czech glass. This show has mostly low end stands of stones, lots of deals for $3 and $6. But I wasn't looking for bargains today, I was looking for the unusual. What can I say, the next show is just around the corner. I'll hold out for that.

Oh, and I probably was a little shopped out, I put in an order from Rings & Things on Friday. Can you say gunmetal and copper findings? Yep, they have a very cool selection and a great new updated website, very user-friendly. (Maybe too user-friendly!) I will have to snap some photos of my recent purchases soon.

Amidst the beadmaking and shopping I have been a fury of jewelry-making superpowers. Unfortunately I can't show them yet, some of are for a top-secret project that I am working on, I promise to share as soon as I can.

Thank you for all the birthday wishes this week. I had a very lovely celebration and the beads to prove it. Hopefully by tomorrow I will be caught up on orders and back to blogging, taking photos and most importantly sharing my new line of beads!!!

August 11, 2008

Shooting Stars and birthday S'mores!

Conversation from Friday:
Mom - Vangie, take off your bathing suit, we aren't going swimming today.
Vangie - No, I want to keep it on.
Mom - Go take it off kiddo, we aren't going to the pool.
Vangie - I want to wear it.
Mom - Why?
Vangie - It keeps my tan in place.

Alrighty then, who am I to argue with such logic?

Image removed pending publication.

Check out my party earrings that I'm wearing today? And why am I wearing party earrings, because it's my birthday!

And what a great start to my day. I counted up my etsy sales from this weekend, 54. Yep, 54. My shop is almost sold out. Craziness. So today I am filling orders.

Tonight will be birthday s'mores!

I took the day off yesterday and we went swimming/wading in the Guadalupe River and had a little picnic.

Now tonight, if you live away from the city lights you can watch the Perseids Meteor Show. During it's peak you can spot hundreds of shooting stars. The best time to see them is pre-dawn. I'll wake up early tomorrow to see if I can spot any, but I live in the city so I doubt it.

One year Jess worked until 11pm on my birthday. When he got home he told me to bundle up the kids so we could go for a drive. (they were 1 & 3 at the time.) We drove an hour to South Haven and laid on the beach for hours watching the stars and talking. Best birthday ever.

Okay, I'm off to work quickly so I can have fun for the rest of the day!

August 7, 2008

showing off and sharing

First I'll share, then I'll show off...

I've decided my etsy shop is looking a little crowded, I like to keep it around a more manageable 35-40 listings. I added in some of my regular humblebeads line when I went on vacation and would just renew if I still had one in stock. So hence the overpopulation of humblebeads. Help me weed out and get ready for my new fall line!
20% off AND free shipping through Sunday, August 10th. Splurge now!

And now for the showing off! Look at what my super-awesome-way-too-talented-husband made me for an early birthday present! It's 6" tall x 4" wide. He originally made it so that you'd put a tea light inside and there are secret images that shine through. But I think he wants to convert it into a little lamp later on. I love it so much! Here are the back and the sides:

I don't know if he'll make more, he did enjoy the process and it set his little sculpture brain on full-speed ahead.

He started making these house pendants. These are so much like the work he did in art school, only miniature. Each one is a piece of artwork, with many layers and meanings put into them. He has some very tiny house sculptures that he is working on, they in are in the prototype stage at the moment. I am in awe.

We've been talking and planning. We decided that he will help me with my grunt work/shipping and I will manage his etsy shop and market for him. That leaves both of us with more time for creating. And my super marketing idea for today: necklace upgrades for his pendants. You can purchase a pendant and the necklace upgrade if you are not a jewelry-makin' person. I'm thinking of doing this for my shop too.

So spread the net love, heart his shop. If you like his stuff mention him in a blog post. Visit his flickr page, leave a comment for him there. He reads them!

August 6, 2008

new work

I had to take a few days to get orders out the door and do some serious resting. Hopefully I'll be back to normal soon. It's so hard to get back on schedule after such a long break!

Here are two new listings, very beach inspired!

What else is new? The Art Bead Scene has it's new monthly challenge listed. "Something to Say!" is our theme for this month. I have some wonderful beads from Earthenwood to work with that have little sayings. I also have a glass toggle from Lynn at Expedition D and the wonderful stamped metal pendant from Jennifer Stumpf to work into jewelry this month. I love making things for the challenge too, it's a creative stretch that I enjoy!

Jess is one of the sponsors this month. He has donated this dream pendant as one of the prizes! I love this design. It was fun to watch Jess create all these collages last year. He did most of the designs during the fall in the evenings and on weekends. He had all these old art history books and his exacto knife. He would cut and collect images and words, later he pieced them together in all sorts of cleverness. He then scanned everything and has sheets of all this amazing collages that he prints and then puts them into pendants. His work is very personal and most of it deals with his loss of art and the struggle to regain the creative process. We've been filling up his etsy shop, he has some house pendants that I hope he finishes by the weekend. I'll try not to steal them before they make into his shop, but they are amazing and the temptation will be great!

August 3, 2008

Sunday Morning

Today I'd like to run away for a little adventure. Take my bathing suit, scrounge from treasure at the local flea market, eat real tacos for lunch, laugh like I have not a care in the world, hold my husband's hand, swim like a fish, sketch some new drawings, listen to my children, turn my heart towards heaven and soak in each moment today, there will never be another day just like this one.

Some music to share, another blast from my teenage angst past.

So I'm off to pack my beach bag and wake up my sleepy bunch. Enjoy the little things today.

August 2, 2008

"The Owls Are Not What They Seem"

Here are the owls, some experiments for different colors and finishes. I love the patina and sea salt one. But the patina, I think I may start that with a copper/bronze under-color so it shines through more like an old coin. But I like this version too.

They are all up in the etsy shop in limited quantities, if I have more than one I listed it.
I'm feeling a little goofy today, so I have a small owl charm to give away to the first person who can tell me where today's title quote comes from, leave the answer in the comments. You can also win one of these pendants on the Art Bead Scene this week, today was my turn for Studio Saturday.

It's been a long day of beadmaking, filling orders and answering email. I think I'll order a yummy pizza and watch a movie with the fam. That is if I can tear Jess away from his worktable. Holy Cow! Wait until your eyes feast upon his genius. I'm so impressed!

August 1, 2008


Sorry for my sad little post yesterday. I'm feeling better today, thank you for all your sweet messages.
So 500 what? Etsy sales!!! I hit the big 5-0-0 this morning. The lucky customer is actually going on the Bead Cruise with us next year, so that was sweet. I'm going to throw in a little surprise for her.
So, what is the secret to my Etsy success?
1. Read all the tips and hints offered on the Storque and attend the shop critiques to learn how to improve.
2. Learn to take better photos.
3. List everyday, more than once a day if you can.
4. Have a line of work that you create over and over along with one-of-a-kind pieces that keep customers coming back to see what's new.
5. Advertise and market outside of etsy. Take advantage of flickr, blogging, twitter, facebook, myspace, etc.
6. Join a street team for cross-promotion.
There is more, but that's the top 6. Learning to run an online business is a constant challenge and takes an investment of time.