July 31, 2008

Homeward Bound

Home today. I walked into the house last night and felt how empty it was without us. I'm glad to see Jess, but I am sad to be here today. I have some work to do today and then I'm going to clean out my studio. Jess has the day off, so I'm putting him to work. My heart just doesn't feel at home here today.

I have a wonderful new stash of beads to play with, so I'll keep that as the goal for today. Get the work done and then I can play. I have lots of emails to catch up on, so if you are waiting to hear from me today, I will be getting through them by tomorrow.

For those feeling blue too:
I have 3 sets of my Van Gogh beads ready to rush off and be homeward bound to your bead box!

July 28, 2008

ancient owls and sea urchins

Okay, so I couldn't go my whole vacation without making a bead. Rosanne is a terrible enabler. She brought over her sculpey mold-making clay and an ancient Greek coin. We then raided my Grandma's antique & vintage spoon collection for more inspiration. After we made the molds we panicked and ran to Walmart to pick up some clay, who can stand to have molds and not make beads? So this owl is a prototype. The final ones will have a different surface treatment, since my regular paints are in Texas, just waiting for me. The owl coin is dated from 200 B.C. I'll have to copy down the info from her certificate on the lore and details of the coin.

And huh, I didn't bring anything to make jewelry and yet, I managed to make a necklace. This one is some of our treasures from Tradewinds Bead Store and the little bead shop downtown.
The long beads are real sea urchin spines, rockin'! Then we have wood beads, faux sea glass, a lampwork bead, moscuvite and bronze seed beads and of course, the focal is my sea urchin.Here we have Rosanne and Baby J raiding the beads. They were quite funny to watch. Rosanne would put one in the box and Baby J would pick it up and put it in another spot. Each bead got an excited "yum" from both of them. I should have video taped it!

Looking forward to another fun day. We ARE going on the tall ship today, we were gifted with tickets. Can't wait! And tonight my little bro and I are heading to the movies with the Aunties. Only 3 days left, trying not to think about it and squeeze out every moment I can!

July 25, 2008

Summer Beads

Today on the Art Bead Scene is my Trendy Bead report and this week's edition is skeleton keys. Not having any keys I decided to do a secret garden theme with my tiger lily bead. I have quite a few in my etsy shop featured today. For a 20% off discount for my dear blog readers, enter code Trendy725 when you place an order this weekend.

I'm loving my time off. I enjoyed a few beady days with Melanie of Earthenwood. There were bead swaps and bead shopping, jewelry-making and lots of chatting! Good times, good times. I've also been sketching new designs and itching to get back to my clay table. Enjoy your weekend!

July 23, 2008

Beads Ahoy!

Here is a little nautical break for those stuck on land! They have a tall ship in South Haven that sails out daily. It's a little pricey for our vacation budget, did I mention there is going to be bead shopping? It's fun to see the ship on the lake, looks just like the pirates have come to port! Now, if only Johnny Depp would wonder into town...

Is there such a thing as a 5 day weekend? I think I'm having one starting today. A long-time online bead buddy is coming to visit me today! We are going to play tourist downtown and enjoy the beach. Tomorrow will be bead shopping. Friday will be a little more relaxing and then it's back-to-back family picnic/potlucks. Saturday is the beach again, Sunday a cookout. My vacation is flying by too fast. So I'm not sure if I'll be back to the blog for the rest of the week. I think I need to savor some moments!

And speaking of savory, here are two new listing in the ol' etsy shop:

July 22, 2008

Creative Withdrawal!

Okay, I'm starting to feel a little stir crazy with no clay around and nary a pair of pliers in sight! It's so hard for me not have my hands busy all the time!

This is a lariat that I made to wear to my sister's wedding. I used one of my long Klimt beads, 3 branch disk beads, vintaj brass and an assortment of stones, lucite flowers and crystals. It's my new fav!

I've been enjoying the lake, sunsets, sand and waves. Here are some ocean wafer beads that I have had in my stash for a while. I snapped a bunch of photos before I left for vacay, and will be posting the beads to my etsy shop over the week. A girl has to scratch out a living, even on vacation! Actually, I just like having money to shop while I'm here, who can blame me! There is a bead shop in town, farmer's market and a whole row of quaint little shops. I dreamt of antique shopping last night, it might be a sign that there is a treasure waiting for my downtown!

So do you take things to work on while you are on vacation or do you leave it all behind?

July 16, 2008

Camera Works!

Yeah! I finally figured out how to upload my photos to this computer. We went for a little nature hike today and there was a field of day lilies that a woman planted in her front yard. Day lilies, tiger lilies are they the same thing? I'm not sure.
This was only half of them!
"...Consider the lilies in the field and how they grow. They don't work or spin yarn, but I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them." - Matthew 6:28-29
Tomorrow is little E's birthday. She'll be 10. Watching your kids grow and become their own person has got to be one of the most amazing experiences you can have ever have. I'm so blessed to be their mom. We miss Jess terribly. Little things will remind us of him and we'll all do a collective sigh. He is mr. lonely, eating his crazy bachelor food, pouting when I call him. Poor, poor Jesse. Maybe he'll feel creative while we are away and spend some time making more amazing things in his corner of the studio. (hint, hint Jess, make more of those houses!!!!) Or maybe he'll really surprise me and have the leaky kitchen faucet fixed by the time I come. (hint, hint, again...no, I didn't just nag my husband via my blog, did I???)
Playing with my macro lens.

Come back tomorrow for some more photos, until then need a vacation of your own but can't get away? Follow Kerri Smith's guide for a free mini vacation.

July 15, 2008

Home Sweet Home!

Time has just flown by and now I'm officially on vacation! But still with one toe in the cyber water. I did bring my beads, my etsy shop is open and if I can figure out how to get my camera to upload photos here I have some beads to list that I took photos of right before I left. Yes, I am a workaholic and need serious help!

Well, I figured out why I love tiger lilies so much. South Haven is covered in them. I've never seen so many! So subconsciously they must remind me home. And what a little slice of heaven it is here. It's so fresh and the weather is so much cooler. Everything is green, what a contrast to the dull drab of dried out Texas. We drove by the Lake today, I can't wait to go to the beach and hope to catch at least one sunset as we walk along the water.

I'm so happy to be with my family. Total bliss! Today was my sister's wedding shower. Here is a photo that my aunt Rosanne snapped of my daughter Hannah. I'm behind her and behind me is my mom. Great photo Rosanne! Tomorrow I'm going to spend the day goofing of with my girls, can't wait.

July 12, 2008

Love and Marriage

My girls and I look at each other this morning and in unison say "2 more days!" followed by a round of overly excited squeals! Did I mention the reason I'm heading home is because my sister is getting married? Which has me thinking a lot about marriage these days and in particular mine.

When I was a little girl my mom made a comment about a couple that we saw at the beach one time. Something about how they were best friends and that is why they were so happy together. That always stuck with me.

Jess is without a doubt my best friend. He so gets me, my humor, my ambition, my creativity, my spirituality. He accepts my faults and there are many! I try to do the same for him, offering grace where there is disappoint. Unconditional love when there was been mistakes. Remembering our carefree youthful days when life is wearing heavily.

"Love covers a multitude of sins." This year has been very trying. The job market that Jess worked in for 12 years has dramatically changed and he has had a hard time finding a new job. Thank goodness for my business! But it's stressful not having a steady paycheck and it's easy to let that stress get in the way of enjoying life.

But life is short and no matter what, each day should be filled with love, grace and joy. Sometimes when I hear Jess joking and laughing with our girls or my youngest daughter is gleefully packing to go to the pool with him in the afternoon I stop to think, those are the memories I want my girls to have of their dad. Not that he was gone working all the time or that he was just a paycheck.

So while we figure out this next phase in our life together, I'm glad we are in it together. I couldn't imagine life without that guy!

(The necklace is a gift that Jess made me, he always has just the right words!)

July 10, 2008

Next Inspiration

A few years ago I ran into this painting online and fell in love with it. The glow of the lanterns with the lilies, the lighting of the sky at dusk, the innocence of children in the garden. It just captured my imagination. I've had it in the back of my mind that I'd like to translate the painting into a series of new beads.
Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose by John Singer Sargent

Well, today I spotted this in Gaea's shop and knew it would the perfect compliment to whatever beads I come up with based on the painting.

So that's all it took to get my gears churning. I will be working on sketching designs while I'm traveling and then making new beads when I come home. (Hey, a girl has to do something on the plane for 3 hours!)Thank you art history and the brilliant painters who inspire us today!

My mind has been feverishly working on formulating some new marketing plans for when I return home. I can't believe I'm about to type this, but I'm already thinking about what I'd like to do with my business for the holidays. Crazy, can't believe I said that! My website also needs a major overhaul. Just thinking about it makes me head hurt...and on that note I'm going to go rest my weary head!

Sleep tight night owls.

July 9, 2008

Fresh and Toasty?

Q: If you were a kitchen appliance, what you be and why?

A: A toaster, because I'm quiet and unassuming, always popping up with good ideas and I get the job done!

5 days until vacation, but who is counting...me! Pictured are various new designs I've been working on for upcoming publications. One of my goals is to be in more magazines, like at least one a month next year.

I treated myself to a heaping helping of Vintaj brass via Bello Modo last month and have been loving using them in my jewelry. Truth be told, I'm just having fun making jewelry too. I started off first as a jewelry designer 15 years ago and I've been making lots of extra beads for my own stash when I sit down to create.

In my studio I have one table dedicated to jewelry-making. I never put anything away and when the mood strikes I work up a new design in between making beads. Hmm, maybe I'll pack up a project to work on while I'm enjoying my time off.

July 8, 2008

Humblebeads Jewelry

(Updated Van Gogh Beads)

Hey there blog readers! I hope you had a fun weekend. We did! But now it's back to business. And what a great day, I'm finally caught up on all my orders, trades and packages to publishers. Ah, did you feel that? The weight of the world just lifted off my shoulders!

This weekend I spent some time making jewelry, I have a few designs that I wanted to put in my etsy shop. I'm leaving for vacation on Monday, but I will take along my Etsy inventory with me and ship items while I'm away.
My Humblebeads.com shop will be closed during that time and orders placed after Friday will be shipped out on August 5th.
One last piece of news, check out my latest article in Simply Beads, "The New Face of Polymer Clay." It offers an overview on using polymer clay beads in your jewelry designs and what to look for as a bead shopper. I have a few beads showcased in the article and I'm offering a special edition set of them in my etsy shop.
Okay, on to the jewelry show and tell:
Pagoda Earrings in copper and teal with a little lucite flower.

Nesting Pendant, I have this one in 3 other colors.
Tiger Lily Necklace, art bead on a gunmetal chain. I also have dandelions in earthy summer colors. I could see these layered with the longer chain necklaces for an up-to-date look.
image removed pending publication

Remember my Garden Trellis bracelets? I made 2 for my shop. So loving the Vintaj leaf.

I have one of these that I throw on whenever I want to dress up a casual outfit. Instant 1920's flare! (This design will be coming to a popular bead magazine next spring!)

Visit my etsy shop to see the entire collection. It's a chance to own an original Humblebead design!

July 5, 2008

Waffle Boat Anyone?

Okay, first the winner of yesterday's bead drawing: Louise! Please email me your address.

Want another chance? Check out the Art Bead Scene today to see my new beads and to enter our weekly drawing.

All my reminiscing about South Haven yesterday brought up a terrible craving - waffle boats. I worked at a restaurant next to the pier when I was in high school. They made the most amazing waffle boats, yep, boat shaped waffles, filled with fresh blueberries, whipped cream and a little flag toothpick. AWESOME!

South Haven is the blueberry capital of the world, with their very own Blueberry Festival every year. Which happens during my birthday weekend in August. I wanted to stay in South Haven until my birthday, but I think my grandma would have worried that I was moving in! 9 days until my vacation. Poor Jess, he isn't going with us and looks like I stepped on his puppy every time I talk about us leaving!
That berry-licious photo was stolen from Rosanne's blog, I live vicariously through her postings of our hometown! Now I'm off to buy frozen waffles. : P

July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July!

These new beads remind me of fireworks!

I always miss home on the 4th of July. It's when my little hometown is at it's most quaint. Starting with the parade down main street in the morning. Followed by an afternoon of grilling, watermelon and sparklers. Finished off with the beach and fireworks display at night.

I'm counting down the days until I can go home. 10, in fact. I'm off for the day. Heading to the market to buy some strawberries, blueberries and whipped cream! Then it's a day with family and friends. I'll be back tomorrow with Studio Saturday at the Art Bead Scene and more new beads!

Are you online today? Leave a comment and I'll draw a name for one of my new beads tomorrow morning! (sorry, the contest is now over.)

July 3, 2008

Deadlines Amuse Me

I have more deadlines this week than you can shake a stick at! Who exactly is going around shaking sticks at things? Not me, I'm way too busy this week getting projects and orders out the door. But not too busy to share a little inspiration with you this morning!

Here is what is currently on my bead table. Jennifer Stumpf made the amazing word pendant for me. As you can imagine, that really speaks to the workaholic in me! I can't wait to sit down and make something with it. My Dandelion Wine bead is in the background along with a tree pendant from Mary Harding.

Letting go - not the easiest thing in the world to do. But everything does get done, we always have exactly what we need and life is just so much easier when I'm not fighting to get upstream.

July 2, 2008

New Beads

Oh, I'm always running late. I swear I'm related to this guy:
In between orders and baking beads, I've managed to get some of the new goodies photographed and listed. I have more coming later this week. Really pretty teal/green dandelion beads and some new Klimt beads are on the table awaiting my magic before they are transformed from little lumps of clay into Humblebeads. Here are the ones just listed:

A square tiger lily bead, the other side has the dandelion design. These are a new fav!

I was playing around with some smaller sets of spacer beads last week and came up with a few to share. I decided to pair them up with some matching beads. This is the Floral Trio.

And here we have a punchy poppy set. These polka dot beads remind me of little mushrooms. Hmm, suddenly the Smurf theme song is running through my head! I also have the little spacers on their own too. Tiny humblebeads, you gotta love 'em!

And thrown into the mix, a pair of summery earrings in bronze and raspberry. Speaking of summer, "Summer Vacation" is the new Art Bead Scene challenge theme. We are giving away $100 in art beads, so check it out! Back to the bead table...