Wednesday, December 31, 2008

If you are interested, here is the link to a new pendant I've listed on Etsy:
Have a wonderful New Year's Eve, everyone!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

If you would like to take a peek, here is a link to a new listing in my Etsy shop:

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Today, I worked on samples of jewelry for a bride to review for her wedding party. The gowns are a gorgeous champagne color, with burgundy accents. Here are my designs...with strict budget limitations:

The pearls appear pink, but they are actually more champagne.

Below is an additional design...I'm guessing it is out of budget, but I just couldn't help myself!!

I don't normally use swarovski crystals ... so, this is a new look for me! I think I like it, for a change!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A General Update

Well, my stepson & his fiancee have decided to get married in Las Vegas. So, our next adventure will be to travel there for the wedding. Actually, we were supposed to leave yesterday...but that's OK...we'll just have to drive a little faster!

Will & Crystal are flying out, but we're taking the camper, a 31ft Hitchhiker 5th wheel, which I love. It is so nice to sleep in my own bed with my own clothes in my own drawers! It is very comforting to me to have my own "stuff" around me! Hopefully, the trip will be uneventful, relaxing and refreshing.

We had planned to celebrate my Grandmother's 100th birthday in Pompano Beach (9/26). Then the wedding plans came into view...and we were struggling with how to manage all of this and not lose our jobs (LOL!). Well, Grandma solved the problem for us by flying to Germany to visit with other members of her family for her birthday! Can you imagine, flying to Germany at 100 years old! Well, she's a heck of a lady, let me tell you!

I stumbled on a blog of interesting recipes earlier...I thought I would share with you. Then, I need to finish loading the camper so we can leave, hopefully in an hour or so. (I call it a camper, but it really is a vacation home on wheels!) I'm so ready for this trip...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Middletown Peach Festival

Well, Saturday was the Sixteenth Annual Middletown (DE) Peach Festival. What a beautiful day it proved to be. It was a great day for me, as I had quite a bit of interest in my jewelry. Honestly, sales were down about 1/3 from last year, but I was very pleased with how I was received by the attendees.

Delaware's state flower is the peach blossom. Although the peach industry is insignificant now, in the early to mid 1800's, Delaware was a major peach shipper/supplier.

There was a threat of rain, but it held off...and the temperatures were perfect. Middletown's main street was a bustle of activity from just after 9:00 until almost 4:00. Of course, the parade came first...Miss Delaware, the local politicians, bands, etc. After that, folks began to walk the streets and shop. This was my 3rd Peach Festival...and I have noticed that the Fair is getting a little larger each year. A very nice event for a family outing.

My booth neighbor was my friend, Dolores Michels, who takes the most fantastic photographs. ( I think she will go far...she has been photographing for NASCAR for a couple of years now, and is becoming a regular with them. She then prints her photographs out on a very high quality cotton paper with archival inks that will last 100 years. Honestly, they look like paintings. They are just gorgeous!! Her brother began a framing business in order to appropriately frame them...and his frames are first class

Unfortunately, the wind began gusting mightily at about 3:00, so we did begin packing up shortly after that. I'm hoping that the rest of the shows I have scheduled for the remainder of the year are as pleasant as this one!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Controlling Bead Inventory

I’ve been trying to figure out how to manage and organize all of my beads and I think I finally have part of it figured out…although, I’m still trying to work on storage.

I purchased plastic boxes with separators….about 8 x 11 or so, like many places sell. I think most craft stores sell them and Harbor Freight sells them for a couple of bucks a piece, too. So, I’ve been putting each kind of bead in a section in a box. I then got one of those labelers that prints a nicely typed label. I have marked each box with a number and each section of the box has a number assigned to it. I decided to do it like the old “Battleship” game…each row is a letter and each column is a number, so the first section in the 1st box would be 1A1.

I then had an “angel” friend (Thank you, Andy!!) VOLUNTEER to count all of my beads and label all of the boxes for me! (I think I have close to 40 boxes. Each box has between 12 and 31 sections.) She made a list of what is in every box along with the count.

I also purchased Art Affair software (which, by the way, I LOVE). Now I am putting each of the beads into the computer inventory. Where I don’t have the original invoice, I go online and try to find the same or a similar bead and estimate the cost. I know this isn’t perfect, but at least I’ll be able to put the correct info in for new purchases. This also allows me to cost out my pieces correctly and I can keep instructions and photos, too, along with sales information.

When I get “caught up” (do we ever get caught up? LOL!!), then I can print out a lovely catalog of all of my finished pieces so that I leave it with someone or whatever.

By the way, I tried Jewelry Designer Manager Pro/Deluxe for several years. I really like Art Affair better. It seems easier to use and has more functions. It even includes a calendar for keeping track of shows. Oh, and both keep vendor info, too and associate the vendor with the bead. That way, you’ll know where to buy more!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Advanced Silversmithing (March 2008)

Jerry and I made these rings as our first project in the advanced class. (Jerry's is the malachite on the left). He chose to leave his band smooth. Mine (the black sardonyx) has a textured band. These are not quite finished, as we want to narrow them a little, then the need to be polished.

These are the bracelets we made for our 2nd advanced class project. Jerry chose the pretty blue sodalite cabachon. He did a great job--since it was to be my bracelet, he let me design it. He did a great job--I love it! I am equally proud of my rhodonite bracelet, on the right. If you ever have a chance to take a class with Don, I would highly recommend it!

And, here is our class--except Jerry is to Don's right, and out of sight. I'm the photographer. The location is Sparkles Bead Shop in Newark, DE.