Saturday, June 30, 2012


I  want to wish all my friends in the USA a very
***Happy Fourth of July***

However,the freedom I am going to discuss this week is
freedom from boring clasps !
I am so sad when I see fabulous designs finished with so,so clasps.
In a quest to find unique closures for my own work I have started making my own.
I also have a Pinterest board to share my toggle and clasp finds.
But,one of my  favorite ways to finish my own bracelets does not technically use a clasp at all.
I have come up with a simple way to use my collection of vintage brooches to close my designs.
I just string a bracelet (also works for a necklace) and finish both ends with jump rings.
Then I hook the pin through the jump rings ,close the pin clasp and that's it!
The best part,I can change pins.The same bracelet can have many different looks
This is wonderful for holidays. Plenty of great holiday themed brooches are available, not too many great themed toggle clasps  to pick from.

If you want to give this idea a try , I do have a few tips.
It is possible to fasten the pin while the bracelet is on your arm. But,unless you have someone to help you , it might take a zillion tries and you will probably use some very bad words!
I make my bracelets long enough so that they will slide on when the pin is fastened. Think bangle size.
In order to use different sized brooches on the same bracelet, I add a second jump ring on each end. Just loop small pins through this second ring ,larger pins through both rings.
 Since some pins are a bit heavy it is best to use sturdy jump rings and close with solder.
If you are severely solder impaired,like I am,a split ring does the trick!
If you already own  a stash of neat brooches, you are set to give this idea a try .
If  you  decide to buy brooches for this project
beware ...
sooooooooo many great inexpensive choices are  available,collecting pins can highly addictive!!!
this week Celebrate beading freedom
fasten a design in an inventive way
Bead Happy !

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Slippery as an Eel

Eel at Looe Reef 6/12

I'm not certain if this  post is  about venting or just asking  a question.
When someone "favorites " my ETSY  listing or my shop,I  look at their profile to see who they are.I think it's useful to know who likes my work. And yes, I do try to determine if  this is a future buyer or just a browser. In the end I create for my own enjoyment ,in my own style. But ,knowing who your customer base is,certainly  helps to merchandize your product.

So who are the slippery eels???

They are the people who slip around ETSY
"favorite-ting"items,hoping the sellers will look at their shop.
 And what do they sell? They sell "how tos" about ESTY success ,
shop makeovers, off ETSY sales venues. These people aren't really marking shops to buy from or even for inspiration .
They are targeting shops they hope will buy what they are selling.
Is there really anything wrong with this ?
It does count as one more 'heart " for a listing or a shop...that's a good thing
It doesn't really hurt anyone,does it?
Maybe there is a chance some sellers will find the service offered useful.
However , I personally find it a bit annoying.
I believe a successful shop takes work . I have read article after article on tips about selling on line,taking good photos ,using SEOs ,etc etc.
And yes,writing blogs...LOL!!!
I have purchased  many "how to tuts" and booklets. I welcome advice and information.
But, I find it at little cheesy for people to slip in under the guise of "favoriting" my shop .
I think would rather get a straight forward message "hey, I sell how improve your shop stuff.... r u interested ? "
I'm wondering if you have had any slippery eels visit your shop .
How do you feel about it ?
this week
"favorite" a friend
Bead Happy !.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Summer Vacation

All year I look forward to my summer vacation.
Then in a flash it is over. Why is the week before vacation soooo long and the week of vacation so short?
Fortunately the memories last forever.
Every year we head down to the Florida Keys to scuba dive.
We treat our selves to amazing meals at our favorite restaurants.
We especially love Blue Heaven and Hog Fish Grill. To me fresh seafood, expertly prepared, and served under the stars ,is as perfect  a dinning experience as is possible . We walk Duval street shopping and people watching . We take in the Sunset Celebration at Mallory square.
We spent lazy hours relaxing on the beach at Fort Zachary .

I am a beach person . I grew up spending summers in Ocean City Maryland. In Maryland summer means hard crabs ,silver queen sweet corn and goin "down the ocean".
I loved playing in the surf and eating french fries from the board walk vendors . When I was growing up there were no highrise hotels or  elbow to elbow crowds on the beach . But, things have changed or maybe I have . Never the less,ocean of my childhood holds a special place in my heart.

But ,when I learned to scuba dive eleven years ago, I discovered the Florida Keys . Wow!!!!
Clear, warm water in indescribable shades of aqua green !
I could not believe I could stand in the ocean and see my toes!
Not only could I not see below the water in Maryland , I was sometimes lucky to keep my toes in the sand standing in that surf!
Plus, I fell in love with a place that thinks the very act of the sun setting is reason enough to celebrate.
This year ,as every year, I returned home with a heart full of treasured memories and a brain full of bead inspiration . The sights,colors and energy of the Keys influences my work all year long.
I really do think I should be able to claim my trips as a business expense. My hubby and my daughter are my business helpers. Shouldn't our dinners classify as executive meetings that I can write off my taxes?  I really need to talk to the IRS about this . 
Throughout the year I will be sharing photos from my vacation on this blog. I will be creating beads inspired by my trip to the Keys .
Doesn't that prove a beader's vacation should be business expense???
Shouldn't our inspirational trips be a legitimate tax write off???
This week prove to the IRS your vacation IS part or your beadie expenses
make  a vacation inspired creation
Bead Happy !


Saturday, June 9, 2012

ABS June Inspiration

Time for the June ABS challenge !
At first glance ,I was struck by the masculine feel of the strong graphics and deep colors in this month's painting "Nighthawks" by Edward Hopper.  However, taking a second look,those metal urns caught my eye .  What was familiar about them?
Here's how convoluted my inspiration  can sometime be...
For Xmas my boss gave me some fantastic beaded guls !
I Loved them ! While searching for more to add to my new "collection",
I purchased some tribal silver button tassels .
These are often used as adornments for belly dance costumes.
I think that is about as far from the Hopper painting as one can possible get !!!
But, the shape of one of my beads seemed to perfectly mimic those urns.
That was all my muse needed to be off and running.
 The urn shaped bead became my focal pendant.
I had some  large beads in my stash in just the right jade greens and yellow ocre tones. For a pop of color I pulled beads in the blue from the man's shirt. Then I copied that blue to make a polymer clay toggle in the rhomboid window shape. For more of that masculine feel, I added some bits of leather cord.  I liked the look so far . But, I felt I wanted a little bling to create a balance of masculine /feminine ...yin/yang.
The scene's brightness comes from "hidden fluorescent " lights
Since we can't see them ,could we imagine them to be those old round drugstore light fixtures?  A few vintage chandelier crystals could be those lights and add my desired touch of girly glitz!

My new necklace promises to be one of my fall favorites.
It should  be perfect with  wooly sweaters and tweeds.
A June challenge entry ready for autumn adornment !
This is my night diner design from belly dance element inspiration .
My  mused sometimes gets confused about themes !
this week
follow your muse
even if she's confused ....
Bead Happy !

Friday, June 1, 2012

Lima Beads Readers Challenge

Spring Promise

For many of us ,the Memorial day weekend marked the beginning of Summer .
For  teachers  and students the last day of school is the start of Summer.
Technically  Summer begins on June 20 ,the day of the summer solstice. Therefore it is  still Spring !

The Lima Beads Readers Challenge kit is titled the "Spring kit" .
I fell in love with the  gorgeous blues and greens of the beads .
I have been seriously coveting the Green Girl Rabbit toggle for sometime now. Do birds get any more charming than that little Earthenwood guy  !
I was thrilled down to the tips of my toes when I was able to join the challenge !!!! I really did do a  happy dance !!!
Lucky for my readers I don't know how to add video to my blog!!!

However,my bead  muse is presently in Summer mode .
What  Spring design inspiration could I come up with ?
What is Summer  but Spring's promise fulfilled .
Spring is the promise of warm days , sunshine , flowers
birds and ...yes... bunnies !
All  those seeds  are just waiting for the Spring sunshine to make them sprout and bloom into Summer splendor.
they are like the beads in our bead stash , just waiting for our imagination to grow them into a design creation..................

Before I start better  hop on over to Andrew Thornton's Blog
and enjoy the  participant's garden of bead creations!
this week grow a little something from your bead stash
Bead Happy!