October 30, 2012

Living the Dream

Okay, I was so excited about sharing my news today that I tortured a few Facebook friends with a little tease.  I hope they will be as excited for me about my happy news, I'm insanely excited about it! 

For the last 6 years or so I have been dreaming about moving to South Haven.  To be near my family, to live in that sleepy little town where life has slowed down, to be so near to the beach.  We moved back to Grand Rapids from Texas last year, which was awesome but not quite where I wanted to be.  We started our search in earnest in June, hunting for a home in our budget.  A little while ago I posted a picture of my dream home, it was perfect in such a quaint setting.  I thought about that place day and night.  But alas, it was not meant to be.

A few weeks ago I customer that I had talked to at a show this summer asked if we were still looking for a house.  Her husband had one that she thought we might want to look at.  And so we did. Funny story, her husband was my science teacher in high school. Such a small world!

It's a huge 1910 farmhouse that has been thoroughly updated, inside and out with just enough of it's original charm..  It's 5 minutes from Rosanne's house.  (My beloved aunt and partner in beady crime.)  It's 5 minutes from my Grandma and other aunt.  It's 5 minutes from my Dad's where my younger sister and brother still live at home.  Are you seeing how perfect this place is positioned?  And it happens to be less than 10 minutes from downtown South Haven and most importantly - the beach!

We pick up the keys on Thursday.  I'm going out of mind I'm so excited.  Yes, that is a photo of the house above.

It's a big ol' house in the middle of nowhere. I will be a country girl, which is kind of funny because I'm certainly not one.  The theme of Green Acres has been running though my head.  This is the view from what will be my studio.  The girls have a whole level of the house to themselves.  Room to spread out.  Room to roam around inside and out.  We have already started planning Thanksgiving at our new home.

Yep, cloud nine - that's where you will find me this week.

So I've been thinking that a sale to celebrate such good news would be good.  And would also help give us a little cushion for those unexpected expenses that happen when you move, like having a propane tank filled - yes, it's that kind of country living and all the other little things that are needed when you are making your new house a home.  So if you are a Humblebeads fan and would like to show a little support, I have an awesome sale that will go out in our newsletter later tonight.  Make sure you are signed up here.  This sale will only be for newsletter subscribers, so don't miss out.  We won't be offering another % off sale for a few months. 

This will be the scene 10 minutes from our home. I'm so thankful, so happy, so, so, so - you can just imagine.  How does it feel to have your dreams come true?  It feels a little like heaven has been handed to you in a picnic basket: a bit of surprise, something homey and requires a little work to enjoy.

October 29, 2012

Pin It Winner

First, I want to thank everyone who played along.  The response was a bit humbling.  Ha, I didn't mean to be puny. I was really in awe of all the pins you created featuring your favorite Humblebeads.  I feel so loved!  And even better I discovered all sorts of new pins and fun people to follow.  Some of you were so industrious in your pins, thank you for sharing my work with your friends and followers! 

The winner of the Pin It to Win It contest is Wendy of the Crafter's Apprentice.  Her pin was the purple willow disk beads.  She won the beads above and a $50 gift certificate!

For those who played along, I would like to thank you with a coupon code for 20% off your next purchase.  Email me and I will send the code over to you!  

October 24, 2012

New Jewelry

I've added a few new pieces of jewelry to my shop.  Inspired by the woods, home, taking care of your hopes and dreams and summer memories. We are busy this week but still shipping orders until Friday morning.  If you find something you like, use discount code HOMEFREE for free shipping through the weekend.

October 22, 2012

Pin It to Win It Contest

I'm busy this week working on the final details for my retreat so I won't be able to work on marketing mojo as much as usually. I thought hey - you guys could help me this week and we'll turn it into a fun contest.  And what better place to play than my favorite social media site, Pinterest!

So on to the contest.  First up - what can you win?
A $50 credit to my Etsy shop and the item you pin! *

How to play:
1. Pin your favorite Humblebead from my Etsy shop.
2. Share the link from your pin in the comments below.

Enter as many times as you'd like.
One link per comment please.
I'll pick one random winner on October 29th.  

Have fun and happy pinning! 

*One Exception: excludes grab bags or bead bundles.

This contest is now closed.

October 21, 2012

Owl Beads & Charms

I'm never more creative when I have a deadline looming!  I don't know what it is, but I find all sorts of ways to procrastinate when I should be gettin' down to business.  I call it creation procrastination.  This morning, I was stuck with the sudden need to make owls.  Probably because everyone is buzzing out this contest.  And hey, who isn't up for new owls.  Whooo, I ask you, whoooo?  Okay, went overboard there.  

 These guys started out as sketchy little characters this morning. 

 I created these pieces in April 2011, and decided they would the inspiration for the new owls.

I pulled out some copper bezels I had stashed away and added my clay.  I then sketched out each little guy with my tools and popped them in the oven.  A little splash of paint and they were ready for adventures in the great big world. 

Yep, adventures indeed - they have already been flying out of my Etsy shop.  Back to the to-do list for me, now that I have those out of my system!

October 16, 2012

Jewelry Collection

I'm taking the Flourish & Thrive Academy classes this month while I'm preparing to debut my wholesale line.  We had to put together two sample sheets with our collection for an evaluation, so I thought I'd share what I sent in here.  The class is amazing!  I feel like my head is going to burst from all the great information and lessons we are going through.  I'm working on a website for my jewelry, I need some place for stores to order from - so that is a slow going process that I have been whittling away at in the evenings. 

Some days I am bursting with thankfulness that this in my job.  How amazing and wonderful. 

October 12, 2012

Bead Show and Giveaway Winner

Okay dear bead buddies, first up is the winner of the $30 gift certificate from last week's blog book tour.  Thank you to everyone who entered!  Congratulations to Kathy Lindermer!

So there is a nice bead show over in Southfield, MI this weekend hosted by the Great Lakes Beaderworkers Guild. I was not planning on doing this show. I told myself for the last few months, two events in October is enough, you can do the spring show.

But two things happened: 
1. I am saving up to move, so an extra show is very appealing.  (We are hoping to move by the lakeshore to South Haven or Glenn.)
2. I was tempted by photos from their facebook group and really felt like I was going to miss out on all the fun. 

So I am doing the show this weekend.  If you are on the east side of Michigan, I hope you'll stop by on Sunday.  Here is a link to the show. Come and see my latest designs and say hello!

The show has some of my favorites, like Earthenwood Studio, Diane Hawkey, Haeger Studios, Green Girl Studios and many more!  The goal will be to not spend all my money on beads while I'm there.  Please pray for me, beads make me weak.

October 11, 2012

Autumn Stroll - Scarf Inspiration

I love scarves and wear them year round.  Actually they travel from one neck to the next in my family, as my teenage girls are quite the scarf fans too.  I created this treasury to showcase a few of my favorites along with my scarf pins.

Deep Crimson Red Knitted Lac...
Colorful Birds in Tree Branc...
Knitted Scarf Reversible, Ha...
Bird Scarf Pin
Autumn Aspen Trees Miles of ...
Yellow scarf, Winter knitted...
Bokeh Photograph fine art. s...
Luxurious Lily of the Valley...
Lacy Knit Scarf with beads i...
Grey lace scarf, knitted alp...
Hand Knit Candy Apple Red Sc...
left behind - 5x7 branches m...
Chunky Knit Scarf in Cinnamo...
Owl Scarf Pin - Brass
Knitted lace scarf in fawn b...
LAST ONE SALE Wool lace knit...

I've even been known to knit a scarf or two in my day, although they were nothing as wonderful as these creations.  And then I found my scarves getting shorter and shorter until they became more like collars - I knew then it was time to put down the knitting needles.  I may try to knit one again this year.  It might be a nice way to relax in the evening.  Anyone seen a pattern that they would like to share?  

This one from Kiwi and Company looks like one I could tackle.  The pattern is clearly labeled easy, so that offers some hope!  And it seems like it's in line with my short attention span and need for immediate gratification.

Have you seen the 40 Ways to Wear a Scarf from Scarf.net?  No shortage on inspiration on ways to wear a scarf!  So bundle up this week and throw on a scarf!

Link Party:
The 36th Avenue

October 10, 2012

BTW - Winter Inspiration

I'm not rushing things here - I'm loving every minute of fall.  But I do know that there are holiday shows and gifts to prepare for and my customers need to get a jump on things.  In fact, holiday things were some of my biggest sellers at the show I did this weekend.  So no time like the present to think about presents!

I have 30 beads in my winter collection.  The latest editions are the shabby chic white-washed snowflakes and pine trees pictured above.  My two favorites from last year are the tiny pinecone charms and my striking cardinal pendant.
I would like to add a few more designs to the series and created a Pinterest board to help inspire me.  I love the muted color palette with just a pop of color here and there.  And snow, glorious, wonderful, magical snow!  But not yet though, I'm in no rush!

(Images from Pinterest, please click here to see more details about each photo)

My top picks to compliment my winter collection:

Jess and I worked up these tiny tree pins and they were our best seller last weekend.  I knew it was a crafty crowd and they were smitten.  Which reminds me, I want to do a mitten pin next!  At first I strugged with the idea of not using art beads on a piece.  But they are so cute and still work in with the rest of our holiday line, which is heavy on the illustrative cuteness with snowman, trees and snowflakes.

And now for the Bead Table Wednesday look at the aftermath of prepping for the show we did last year.  There is a table under there somewhere.  Good thing we have two other tables to work on this week, because I'm not ready to tackle that mess.  Sheesh, why don't I have little bead elves that organize things while I sleep?

Check out the Bead Table Wednesday flickr group and share your beady mess or latest creation with us!

October 9, 2012

Photography Practice

I'm still working on gaining my foothold over my photos.  Sometimes they are great, other times - meh.  Do I forget what I'm doing?  Maybe!  One thing I do know - practice makes perfect.

Adjusting to the northern light was been a challenge over the year.  I do have these great big windows lining my living room wall and take photos with natural daylight.  One thing that I find challenging is too much light creates dark shadows and makes my camera wonky.  Yep, technical term there. 

My solution?  A piece of paper.  Mmm-hmm, that's it.  You can see the dramatic results above that the paper tent creates.  I'll sometimes use a piece of vellum, but I didn't have one yesterday and a good ol' sheet of printer paper worked like a charm.  

Fancy - I know!  I may break down and work on a more professional set up later this year - when winter and dull gray days are here.  For now, I still like the natural light best and will work with what I have. 

Here is another example. Another thing I have been playing with and I don't know if it works or not but I'm pretending that it does - for a few of my photos, I pull the camera back a little and then zoom in.  It's been softening up my backgrounds and creating more depth of field.  I'm liking it.