Friday, November 21, 2008

Doing things even if Afraid

I just finished reading a post on the blog of a 1000Markets shop. Abelee's

The title of the post is "Do it Afraid". She talks about stepping up to do something even if you are afraid. For example, doing shows for selling her products even though , at first, they did not work out well. Each improved when she conquered her fear.

It reminded me of a discussion we had at our recent South Shore Beaders meeting. We were laughing about the phrases we have come up with to explain our "problems" that we some times have in making our jewelry. We all need to see that we are not alone in these problems and eventually "forcing" us to step out and do something. Friends are good and Groups of Friends are even better!

One of our laughable phrases is "FOF" and lately "FOG". Fear of Finishing and Fear of Glue. Very silly but sometimes we recognize that it is true and we need to work afraid anyhow.

Fear of finishing is interesting since we are almost finished with a piece, then something holds us up. "I can't find end caps I like" or "The clasps I have just don't go". And on and on the excuses go. I'm sure you can think of a few of your own excuses.

Just do it comes to mind also.

Fear of gluing, well that seems a bit different. There are many steps in making jewelry and gluing is one that we often do, "Just to make sure" something will hold. Is it necessary? Sometimes, and sometimes not. Just another thing to make sure our pieces are as perfect as we can make them.
But gluing is messy, takes time and don't forget about putting the top back on. One of my favorite things my husband says about glue is "If the glue is really good, you shouldn't be able to get the top off" One of the reasons I only buy small sizes of glue is that they always dry up before I use the whole tube. So, does this help you to understand "FOG"?

I won't make any comments about what else "FOG" could represent.

We will be on vacation next week and I'm not sure if I will have Internet access. So, Happy Thanksgiving to you all and thanks for reading my blog.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Organizing Jewelry Supplies and my Grandson

Last night I attend the dinner meeting of the South Shore Beaders. A group of local jewelry designers who get together every 6 weeks or so to enjoy each others company, swap stories, supplies, show and tell and just have "bead talk", in general.

We are recognized by the restaurant people now, often, just by the little boxes we all bring with our items in side. One of our members is an audiologist and one is a nurse who works near an audiologist. It seems hearing aids come in the neatest boxes; for storing jewelry supplies. Rather than throw these boxes away, these ladies bring them to our meetings and share with us all. By now, we each have at least one or two such boxes. It seems that the boxes have been changed and are smaller. Never mind, they'll just fit something else or serve another purpose.

Well, I was working on my lap top this morning when my Grandson decided he needed attention and came over with his cute smile and question "Me sit on your lap, Grandma?" Now, you need to understand that is not really a question because he is very willing to "help" you empty your lap to make room. So, I moved my project box, the finished pieces I had on the chair arm and my laptop to make room for him.

Next, he spied my new, smaller boxes. (See above picture). He reached for one and then told me "Be right back" Down he got and returned with - well look at the next picture.

I'm not sure I'll get this batch of boxes back. He and I spent about half an hour putting cars in and out of the boxes. Shaking them and so on and so forth! Great fun.

I later finished my current project. However, organizing my jewelry supplies will have to wait for another day or until our next meeting of the South Shore Beaders.

This is what my project box looks like. Filled with all the necessary supplies to make Lexie's Jewelry. I'm getting ready for the Holiday Gift Season. It has already begun in earnest and I'm behind already. However, a little diversion is good for everyone!

Lesson learned: You can use almost any discarded boxes to store jewelry supplies ... or cars.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

New Kumihimo Necklace

Awhile ago I showed the Kumihimo disk and the "set up" for making Fiber Kumihimo. I promised to show the finished version.

I had a blue pendant just hanging around in my "stash" and it looked as if it would work together.

They seem to.

It always surprises me when a plan comes together. Nice though.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Swarovski Crystals

When my son was young, he was an avid reader (still is) He read words that he had never heard pronounced. Once in awhile he would try to use them. He usually knew how to use them, just not always how to pronounce them. My favorite was his use of "ka-hee-kee". It took us long time to figure it out. We maybe even asked him to show us the word written. It was Khaki. Looking at it, he certainly should not have been criticized.

His other pronunciation problem came from hearing a word mispronounced, thanks to Popeye. That was "animal" but Popeye said "am-in-al" He admits that he had a hard time unlearning that one.

Well, in making jewelry, Swarovski is my problem word. At least it was until I asked for help. Now, it isn't easy to tell someone, in writing, how to pronounce a written word. Dictionaries do that but it is their job! I tried the online dictionaries since they will verbally pronounce the word. No luck. Not found.

I tried on the jewelrymaking forum at awhile back. Very helpful group and several people helped me out. The most helpful suggestion was:

"Swore - off - ski" Much like the person who had just had a skiing accident and had sworn off skis. I still have trouble with it rolling off my tongue but if I slow down, "Swore - off - ski" works for me.
However it is pronounced, Swarovski crystals make beautiful bracelets.

Monday, November 17, 2008

1000 Markets purchase

Since I joined 1000 Markets to sell my jewelry, it occurred to me that by buying something from another shop, I could find out how easy the process is (or not) plus support I could support another shop owner.
My shop is

I found lots of nice things to purchase from the very talented shop owners. As I browsed the various offerings, I found something I liked at LaWatha's Glass Creations. She is located in Washington State. I purchased a Dichroic Fused Butterfly pendant shown here. I'll probably wear it myself but might consider working it into one of my creations.

To finish the transaction, I received two emails from Amazon (the payment method used by 1000 Markets) One acknowledging the receipt of my order and one that payment was sent. Also I received an email from 1000 Markets acknowledging the order via LaWatha's Glass Creations.

The whole process was very easy.

Check us out. ;
The URL for the rest of the site is


Friday, November 14, 2008

Marie Antoinette Award

Wow. My first blog AWARD- The Marie-Antoinette, A Real Person, A Real Award. It was bestowed upon me by Leslie on Flowers of Life. Leslie and I have an interesting "meet" story. More about that later.

I'm not really sure why I deserve this award other than I AM REAL and Leslie is a good friend!

So, the rules for winning the award are as follows:
1. Please put the logo on your blog
2. Place a link to the person from whom you received the award
3. Nominate at least 7 or more blogs
4. Put the links of those blogs on your blog
5. Leave a message on their blogs to tell them.

And my 7 Awards go to:

1. The Beading Gem's Journal
Pearl writes very interesting posts about jewelry making and so much more

Miachelle is a writer and maker of beautiful jewelry

This is fun. You are encouraged to write a comment about a word in 30 seconds

Kimmi writes about Art that makes you Smile

The LB is a very talented seed bead embroidery artist. Her latest is a Back to the Future DeLorean

6. The FamilLee Jewels
Becky, Fred and Bonnie have a Family Jewelry business that they blog about

Gayle writes about her family and her jewelry business

Leslie's blog is at She is a lovely Artist.
Now the "interesting meet" story. Some of you may have read my posts while I was on vacation at Virginia Beach this fall. I wrote about a very interesting sand sculpture being made by one woman all alone (I found out later she had a friend with her). After we got back home I ran across a blog that had pictures from Virginia Beach's sand sculpture contest. Yep, you guessed it. It was Leslie. After a few emails back and forth we discovered we had a lot in common and have kept in contact ever since. I don't think I posted a picture of her sculpture but here it is now.

"Virginia is for Cat Lovers"
Sorry I took the picture after everyone walked all over it. I looked much nicer before that. We have possible plans to meet at the Neptune Festival next year.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Three Different Bracelets

Most of the time I make jewelry one piece at a time. Not that I don't have several in the works at the same time. However, I came home one day with these lovely green melon beads. I couldn't decide which idea I had running through my mind I preferred.

So, I made three. After I made the easy one, just green melon beads separated by some silver lined spacers I started on the others. The first was easy, simple but pretty.

Then I only had 6 beads left. Now what?

So, I pulled out my chain maille rings. I made several segments of Byzantine. Then made some links with the green melon beads and put them together. Byzantine segment, green melon and on until I had a bracelet. Number two bracelet finished.

Three beads left but I was still in the "mood".

A very simple and popular chain maille design is the "flower". Just three interlinked rings, one into each other. So three linked "flowers", a green melon, three more "flowers" and bracelet three was finished.

I think they look nice together, each in its own difference but similar.

Do you have a favorite?


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Shells / Stones?

The sermon at our church Sunday was about Joshua, chapter 4. It talks about the Lord parting the waters so they could cross the river and the 12 stones they gathered and carried to the other side. The stones were for the Israelites and their descendants to remember what had occurred there.

Our Pastor explained that other things can serve as remembrances besides stones. He shared several pictures taken many years ago of church members and projects of our church. We are celebrating our 125 th anniversary this year. Several people have gathered old pictures of the building, church committees and members. It is not only fun to see the pictures but to either remember or imagine what it was like when the pictures were taken. Some of the pictures are over 100 years old.

Well, sharing pictures is what I do a lot in this blog. Whether it be a picture of one of my projects or jewelry pieces or something else. Anyhow, I want to share a picture of some shell jewelry my Mother made during WWII. The economy then was tougher than it is today. But being creative, she found a way to earn some money (Specifically to buy a new vacuum cleaner)

She had some friends who wintered in Florida. Each spring when they returned, they brought some new craft ideas. (But that is another whole story!) One year they brought back lots of shells. She turned them into lovely pieces of jewelry. Just a few small shells and voila you have flowers or a basket. She made pins and earrings. Her cousin worked at Eastman Kodak and many of her co-workers were eager to have something different. Good costume jewelry did not exist during the war.

Anyhow, this picture is a "stone" that not only represents my memory of my Mother (obviously) but also of the times and what can be done even in bad economic times. Lets face it, jewelry is something that we can do with out. However, the holiday season of giving is coming up and perhaps we can use my Mom's idea of making something from "shells" and start a whole new memory.

And don't forget to tell your children about your stones and/or pictures or any other remembrances you may have. It is a way of passing on your "stories" for the future.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

1000 Markets new shop

I've started a new adventure. Most of you know about Esty and the shops you can have on that web site. About a year or so ago, I signed up for an Esty account but never did anything with it. Not sure why I signed up really. I like the site and there are some beautiful things offered there.
I made my own web site . I used a wysiwyg program to write it. It took time and I think it looks good. I even get some orders from it.

About two weeks ago I found It is relatively new and looked very professional. It is very similar to Esty. So, off I went to see what it was all about and if I could make a "shop". As you may have guessed, I now have a shop on 1000 Markets.

The URL is I only have 6 items in the shop so far. Little steps, but a start. I have plans for new items soon.

Take a look as let me know what you think. (If you notice any typos let me know, please!)


Monday, November 10, 2008


Friday evening TV usually isn't very good. (IMHO) This year there is a new program called Crusoe. It is TV's version of Robinson Crusoe. So far it has been interesting though there are a few scenes that are "stretched" a bit.

I have noticed, however that both Crusoe and Friday have very interesting jewelry. It seems to be different in each scene and I do wonder where it all comes from. (One of the stretches I see - along with a very amazing "Tree House")

Here is a link to some of the pictures from the show. (They are not all jewelry pictures but you have to take the whole link.)
What do you think? A "stretch" or just imaginative?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Chain Maille - Olivia

One of my favorite Chain Maille patterns is Byzantine. Not only is it beautiful on its own but it can be adapted in many ways.

You can change the gauge (thickness of the wire used to make the rings) and you can change the order of the segments. This is one of those changes called "Olivia" The segments are lined up parallel to each other and then connected at the end of the segments. This picture shows the Olivia pattern in 18 gauge.

The next picture shows the same pattern in 16 gauge. (The smaller number gauge is thicker. ie 16 gauge is thicker or bigger than 18 gauge.) I realize it is hard to tell in the picture but there is a big difference. The 18 gauge bracelet is much more delicate and narrower than the 16 gauge. Some day I'll try the pattern in 20 gauge. It should be even more delicate and narrower.
The next picture is a regular Byzantine pattern bracelet (with a dicroic rectangle as focal) Just so you can see what it looks like (in case you haven't seen the pattern before - or in case you call it something else; a common problem with naming Chain Maille. Byzantine is also called Bird Cage, for example)

I'll show some other Byzantine variations in future posts.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Charles Schultz

Everyone is talking about the elections today. Now before anyone complains, I think the election is very important (See my post on Woman's Suffrage) but somehow, I need a break. Breaks for me usually are something funny. Here is one for today. Seriously funny, however.

The following is the philosophy of Charles Schulz, the creator of the 'Peanuts' comic strip.
You don't have to actually answer the questions. Just read straight through, and you'll get the point.

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America pageant.
4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.

How did you do? The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies.. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special!!
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

Easier? The lesson: The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials...the most money...or the most awards. They simply are the ones who care the most. AND, THE ONES WHO MAKE YOU FEEL GOOD ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Enjoy your day!


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Organizing Beads

It seems lately every time I want something that I know that I have, I can't find it. I seem to waste a lot of time just looking. It is very upsetting and/or embarrassing!

For example, a friend gave me a set of pearls that she had purchased. The request was to add spacers and change the clasp. The pearls were too tight and didn't drape well. There were two necklaces and a bracelet. Very simple request. I started with the bracelet. Now bracelets are length specific and by adding the spacers, I changed the length. So, I needed to have her try it on before I crimped.
Suddenly, I could not find the bracelet. So, I continued with the necklaces until I finally had to confess that I had misplaced the bracelet because no matter how hard I looked, I could not find that bracelet! I sent her an email and she nicely said "Not to worry. It will show up". Still, the bracelet was missing. I felt terrible and secretly hoped it had not ended up in the trash by accident.

Well, one day it got cold outside and the heat came on. This necessitated removing items that had been placed on the radiators. Lo and behold, in a tin on the radiator near my work table, was the bracelet, in the tin. Invisible to the quick look. So, all is well that ends well but my organization problem (and loosing things) still remains.

The next part of the solution is to go through all my drawers with supplies and all the little baskets I have stashed items and get ORGANIZED.

My organization plan was not bad. I had silver in divided boxes, all in plastic bags, gemstones in other divided boxes and so forth. But when I was finished with a bead or finding, I didn't put them back where they belonged. Plus, while looking through my drawers, I found some items that I had forgotten about.

There is a jewelry show this weekend and I AM NOT GOING! I really need to continue organizing what I have. Then start making pieces with what I have. I know I'll need a few items to fill in but I bet I can go along time before I need more "stuff" - at least the main focus of the piece. You see, when I go to jewelry shows, I see really nice beads but do not always follow through with the plan before I'm on to something else. Sometimes the beads are so beautiful, I just say "I'll find something to do with them" Well, times up! I need to do something with what I have.

Anyone else have this problem? Any suggestions?


Sunday, November 2, 2008

American Woman's Suffrage

This has appeared on several blogs. I also received it from a friend. When I read it I was amazed at how much I did not realize about what our female ancestors went through to get the Woman's Right to Vote. It was written by Deloris Wright. Remember to VOTE this year. Everyone!

So, refresh my memory. Some women won't vote this year because- -why, exactly? We have carpool duties? We have to get to work? Our vote doesn't matter? It's raining?
Last week, I went to a sparsely attended screening of HBO's new movie 'Iron Jawed Angels.' It is a graphic depiction of the battle these women waged so that I could pull the curtain at the polling booth and have my say. I am ashamed to say I needed the reminder.
All these years later, voter registration is still my passion. But the actual act of voting had become less personal for me, more rote. Frankly, voting often felt more like an obligation than a privilege. Sometimes it was inconvenient.
My friend Wendy, who is my age and studied women's history, saw the HBO movie, too. When she stopped by my desk to talk about it, she looked angry. She was--with herself. 'One thought kept coming back to me as I watched that movie,' she said. 'What would those women think of the way I use, or don't use, my right to vote? All of us take it for granted now, not just younger women, but those of us who did seek to learn.' The right to vote, she said, had become valuable to her 'all over again.'
HBO released the movie on video and DVD . I wish all history, social studies and government teachers would include the movie in their curriculum I want it shown on Bunco night, too, and anywhere else women gather. I realize this isn't our usual idea of socializing, but we are not voting in the numbers that we should be, and I think a little shock therapy is in order.
It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn't make her crazy.
The doctor admonished the men: 'Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.'
Again, remember to VOTE. Thank you Deloris Wright