Friday, April 30, 2010

Where the fun stuff is...

I've started a new blog called BohoExpress. It's theme is all the quirky, whimsical, fun and downright weird things that catch my fancy that I don't really want to put here...this blog is where I pretend to be artsy and intellectual (snort!!) and drink vodka (for the bottles, of course) and keep my nose up in the air (unless it rains).

That blog is more about my interest in others and what they're doing and will include some interviews and reports on cool (to me) things...this one is more about ME.

That blog is more about the internal me, this one about the external me.
So--do me a favor and check it out...tell me what you think!

And, while you're at it, check out
Simpleelements' blog, where you'll find a series of interviews of artists and what inspires them...she actually asked me! and i'm up there with some really fantastic artists--but seriously, it's really so interesting to hear what hits people and urges them to create.
Thanks so much Simple, for the opportunity!

Monday, April 26, 2010


I did the shows last week and it was fantastic! Even more than making sales, which is always wonderful as my pockets are feeling a bit lonesome lately, but I met some wonderful women. I even have plans to see them again in the future!

I received my daily Handmade Spark Today from Timothy Adam-who is the Etsy guru and on March 28 (I'm a little behind on my reading) there was a really great article from Joyous Treasure's blog, Etsy Treasure Chest about nice and affordable packaging for your Etsy sales-which are going to be many, right?? Some really great ideas, and I immediately got out my supplies to compare what I did with what they showed. I LIKE what I do, but it could stand some tweaking, which I'm playing with now. Here's what I do now:

1. Each piece gets its own little protective pouch made
from T-shirts that I sew up myself-recycling at it's finest!

2. Then they get put into a ziplock baggie along with my business card

3. Then I put them into a really neat pastel padded envelope with cardboard to keep the package stiff.

Changes: I'm keeping the pouch and the baggie, but I tried recycling one of my many, many, many paint cards that I can't stop taking--I just LOVE the shot of color they give me!--and write my 'Thank You!' on it, fold it over the top of the zip lock bag and staple it closed...then wrap the whole in tissue paper with a business card enclosed.

I'm working on adding a small giftie--either a larger printed business card/book mark, or a fridgie magnet. In the past, I've made a little match-book purse notepad and I may still do that...maybe I'll do all of them and you'll never know what you'll get!

Friday, April 23, 2010

It's almost time, and here's a preview:

Here is a sneak peek at a few of the new pendants I've made in this latest collection. They range from soft and romantic with delicate beading, to smooth and sleek edges...from hearts and rounded teardrops to rectangles and squares.

I hope you like them!

A very pretty simple green heart. Sometimes its not all about the lacy romance, but just a clean, sleek look.
I've done a few very sleek, contemporary green pieces in this collection.

The heart itself measures 1-1/2" long (37mm), not including the ring.

This is one of my popular Absolut text pieces. It measures 1 X 3/4" (25X20mm).
It's fun to work with these pieces and see what types of phrases I can come up with...this one says, "...was in the...". They remind me of fragments of a love letter or an overheard lost conversation.

This piece is made from broken crystal stemware. I was so upset that the glass broke, but then all was well when I realized I could make it into jewelry!

It's a really nice heavy 1-1/2" faceted crystal drop accented with beads of silver solder.

Here is a 45 mm (1-3/4") heart from a Bombay Sapphire Gin bottle with just a touch of beaded solder on the one side.
It's always a nice change to make something from the beautiful aqua pastel bottles--so different from the usual dark green or brown wine bottle.

This is a nice romantic Victorian-like piece with its frosted glass, delicately beaded edge, and the silvery knot that holds the glass drop to the chain.
The entire drop measures 2 1/4" long.

So, there you have a preview of my current collection of pendants that I just finished. If you'd like to see more, stay tuned as I'll be uploading all the pieces to my flickr site for another Pre-Listing Sale!

The way it works is like this:
After I batch load them, you have the opportunity to see them all. If you see something you like and you let me know before I've taken all the photos and written all the descriptions for uploading to Etsy, I will give you 10% off the purchase price as my way of thanking you for saving me the work! I will then upload just a single photo and create a custom listing for you at the discounted price for you to purchase as normal through my Etsy account.

Once a pendant is uploaded to my Etsy site with its usual description and photos, however, the purchase price reverts to its normal amount. YOU NEED TO CATCH ME BEFORE I CREATE THE LISTING. The point of the prelisting sale is to save me the writing and photographing of each piece.
If you have any questions, just ask...and be sure to tell all your friends! I would SO love to just list pre-sold items and not have to agonize over the descriptions and photos!!!
Here is my flickr account. Happy Shopping!!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Now that I'm starting to recover a little bit and have time to take stock, I'm pleased with the success of the shows over the weekend. For not being "Art" shows but speaking events where the artists were an aside, the reactions were very positive.

The best part is, since I worked like mad to get inventory for a new gallery plus both the shows, I now have plenty of items to share and put aside for my next show May 22/23,

the Hessler Street Fair by the campus of Case Western Reserve University and right at the base of Little Italy-a great place to visit, check out all the shops, and of course, Eat! And, if you go there, be sure to stop by La Lanterna, where you can see my Urban Aritfaks in person!

Here is what 50+ necklaces looks like, awaiting their moment in the spotlight to get photographed and uploaded to my Etsy shop. Of course, since that will take absolutely weeks to do, I will once again have my PreListing Sale where I will batch upload pictures to my Flickr account.
The Prelisting Sale works like this:
I batch upload photos to Flickr just to share what I've been creating lately. If you see anything there that you can't live without, or you want more information on, then you email me. If you want to buy something before I get it uploaded to Etsy, then YOU get to purchase the piece at a 10% discount!! I will then list the item as a 'reserved for' at its reduced price, and you can purchase it there as usual.
The savings are in effect up until I get the piece uploaded to my Etsy account so be sure to check there before ordering.
I offer this discount because, if you purchase before I upload it to Etsy, you save me a lot of trouble taking all the detail pictures and writing up the description. I'll still create the listing for the item, but I can include the discounted price and I just need show the one photo. It's a totally win-win situation, and Oh, how I love those!!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Wow, it feels so good to have just slept and slept until I woke up, and woke up only when I was rested for a change! That can mean only one thing>I made it past another deadline.

I had a show--actually, *2* shows--Saturday (i need to carry my calendar with me at all times again) and I was focused on getting enough jewelry done for the shows. (How much inventory is enough??? No matter what you have, it's not the right color, the right size, the right style and we panic that we won't have what we need to do a show but when all is said and done, just do what you can and then trust that it will all work out just fine.)

I did a women's retreat from my church Saturday held in Lima, Ohio, out towards Toledo. I was hesitant about doing it as my jewelry isn't mainstream beads, crystals, precious stones or metals but its urban, made from bottles-liquor bottles, no less... Could I even say that there??? And my jewelry is, well, just different.
Did I stereotype and prejudge my market? You bet. But Donna Kephart, my pastor's wife and a fantastic lady, who is in charge of the district women's group assured me that they would love my work and that my story of creating something beautiful from the ashes of what could have defeated me would connect with them as well.
She was right. The women were fantastic, and there were a few of them that I sensed a connection with immediately like I've seldom felt before. What warm and welcoming women!

I think it hit me then that we are ALL on a rocky journey through this life, some rockier than others, but I feel like I'm among a unique band of comrades-and I like that...we have experiences in common. We are all working and striving, dealing with trials and problems but, instead of isolating us, it brings us together.

Together. I like that.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Hanging in there, One More Week!

Taxes are DONE as of yesterday-with 1 day to spare, no less.
Inventory-nearly DONE, or at least enough to get me by

It must be spring...i found myself washing the coffeemaker! No!! Not yet!!! I can't do spring cleaning until next week, AFTER the show!!!!

I Got My MoJo Back!!

My soldering nightmare seems to have ended!!! I can't express how thrillllllled I am!

I mean, LOOK at this! the solder globs up, which would indicate not enough heat to melt it, and it would spike into sharp points-again, not enough heat so the solder would cling to the tip...and yet,
if I tapped it just a wee bit harder or hold it a smidge longer, the solder would melt and run like water!

I'm not sure why or what happened or what I'm doing different...maybe it was just buying a new soldering iron (and eating the tip up in 30 minutes of use!!!) and maybe that just scared my little irons to pieces thinking they were about to be replaced?

I don't know but as soon as I unplugged that new, cheapie iron and heated up my old one, things were suddenly A-OK.


here are my 2 irons-the 50-watt one on the right was my dad's and is probably decades old--and i've put more use on it in one month than he did in all the years he's had it...the other one is my 100 watt iron that I bought when I started.

I've got 6 dozen pieces soldered, cleaned, polished, and on chains-giving me a total of *12* dozen pieces!! ready for Saturday's shows-yes, that's plural, as in 2 shows in one day.

They probably won't be big selling days, as the arts are more for display and inspiration, but there will be some sales, I'm sure...and then, next week, I can start uploading new merchandise to my UrbanArtifaks etsy shop!

And YES, I've started carrying my calendar around with me all the time again.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

tonight was The night

i finally had The Talk with my's been nearly 4 1/2 years that I've lived in limbo, married but not really, alone but not free. I've made efforts at this discussion before and while he admitted yes, we probably should just do it, no effort was made, no real closure achieved.

But tonight, after dealing again with the income taxes, married--but filing separately and married--but not living together, married--but... it's time. I'm tired of being married--but. I'm emotionally drained.

I wish him the best. I wish for him to find happiness. He's a good man but it hurts too much to linger, and he just wants to be alone. And me? Even though it's been over 4 years, I haven't been able to begin the healing process...that can only start once it's really Over.

So I have dared to think ahead, to dream a little. There are so many things I want to do with my life...places to go, people to meet, experiences to share, things to make. My future is somewhere out there now, and I want to be able to move forward and set goals and follow my path and see where life will take me. My cup has always been half I want it to spill over.

I want to live for myself and not someone else now.

I want to live.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

bouncing around my head

I delivered 30 pieces of jewelry to Zocalo's Mexican Grill and Tequila Bar this week. I wanted to come up with a display that would show off the necklaces but where they wouldn't be easy to walk off with-something you need to worry about in a bar type atmosphere.

I came up with lots of ideas, but they were either a lot of work or not quite right. Sometimes the simplest idea is the best. This is what I decided on:

I found picture frames at our local closeout store 12X22" for sale, 2/$.99...fantastic!! They're even painted a nice silvery color-which is kinda Mexican. (I bought all 12 of them, BTW.) Then I bought a roll of galvanized hardware cloth with 1/4" mesh...

some lanyard clips, and some velcro strips.

I cut the hardware cloth 1" larger all around than the picture frame opening...folded the excess in like a hem and stapled it inside the picture frame.
I scattered the lanyard clips evenly and hooked them to the metal mesh so they could hang down; stuck velcro on each corner and its ready to install! I'll take this to the restaurant tomorrow, attach the other side of the velcro to the underside of their shelving, and it's done!
The jewelry will hook into each of the lanyard clips and will hang about eye level--perfect to catch the eye. To examine closer, the hostess will have to unhook each piece which needs two hands-easy enough but impossible to just grab and walk off with.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I love the ocean. On one of our trips to Florida, our condo overlooked the ocean. The master bath was open to the bedroom and I could leave the balcony door open and the shower door open and shower while watching the ocean waves...then I would breakfast each day on the balcony-it was the most peaceful, calm-my-soul type of day. My goal is to start each day of my life like that.

I was reading one of my favorite blogs today,
Low Tide High Style and they are having a giveaway. I don't generally participate in these but she is offering the most beautiful earrings made by Scarborough Seashells and I had to share them with you!
They are made of beach pottery of the deepest blue with white that look just like a deep blue summer sky and are finished with a perfect silver bezel. These earrings are the most wonderful way to keep a bit of summer memories with you all the time.
I'm sorry she's giving them away because I could buy them but I never win these things and, as one-of-a-kind pieces go, these are all there are.


But, if not me, then maybe one of you will win them and I can enjoy them vicariously through you.

Now, go over there and check them out!! Good Luck!

Views of The Golden Years

One of the perils of living in an assisted living retirement complex is that they are prone to certain issues...such as last night, I was absolutely the only one in the building to be awaken by the most god-awfully, 'I'm-asleep-and-my-hearing-aid's-on-the-dresser' loud fire alarm going off.

I'm wandering the hall in my PJ's and scared the crap out of the girl from the front building who came running over to investigate--either she's not used to people actually waking up with this alarm, or I look that frightful; it's a toss-up.

So here it turns out that the guy in apartment D was sitting watching TV (I thought I heard something out there, he said to her) and had put a pan of dried prunes (I kid you not) on to cook and forgot about them, filling his apartment with smoke and stench-neither of which he noticed-and setting off the fire alarm.

It was nearly an hour before the fire truck had finished its investigation, written their report, and driven off, leaving those of us awake to finally try to sleep again, not an easy thing for me to do at any time, but when I'm over-exhausted, harder than ever.

There may be some benefits to putting your hearing aid on the dresser after all........