Friday, July 31, 2009

Merry Go Round - What Inspires

It's Merry-Go-Round topic blogging time! Each month a group of creative folks get together, pick a topic and then blog about it at the same time...give or take a time zone =).

This month's topic is to answer the question..."What inspires us: a peak into journals, pinboards, folders or wherever we keep our little snippets of inspiring stuff...?.

So even though I knew this topic was coming I wasn't very please to share. LOL. Not that I didn't want to share but in order to share I had to brave the inspiration box. The inspiration box started out as a inspiration folder that grew into an inspiration binder that...well grew into a box over the years. So what's in there that inspires me you wonder?

It's a combo of a binder and bits and pieces of things I find interesting like fabric, magazine ads, jewelry sketches, etc. Inspiration for me doesn't come from just jewelry, beading or fashion magazines. Anything I find interesting that can be re-made into a jewelry design goes in there. I also write little notes on the pages so I remember what inspired me and how I want to experiment with the idea.

But as I look at my box I fear it's outgrown it's current size. LOL. I've been trying to prune it and remove ideas that I've completed or that I'm not inspired by anymore. Still there's still lots in there to be inspired by...

Sadly this is my last contribution for the Merry-Go-Round project. But the other members are still sharing and blogging so please make a note of their links and go take a visit.

Andreanna @ Glamasaurus
Charlotte @ Fancy Picnic
Fabienne @ Easterya
Marian @ Florcita
Wendren @ Wren

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ladybugs and Fireflies Necklace Inspired by Artbeads

Making jewelry is not as easy as some people try to tell you...some people feel as long as you have some beads and other jewelry supplies then your all set. Well not for me at this stage of my life. I've been struggling to make this necklace using the Stoneware Porcelain Pendants for days now. So, what's the issue?

Some might say a creative block but that's never's usually about time management. I had to stop and start this necklace a few times because other things demanded time but I'm proud to say I kept going when I could sneak time for it and it is!

I decided to name this necklace Ladybugs and Fireflies...even though there isn't any fireflies in the pendant. But I felt the carnelian chip beads seem very firefly-ish to me in color and form. As for the pendant instead of metal or gemstone I chose one of Stoneware Porcelain Pendants for the symbolism of the ladybug.

Wanna know some cool ladybugs legends?

- Nearly ALL cultures believe that a Ladybug is lucky! Killing one is said to bring sadness and misfortune.
- In some Asian cultures, it is believed that the Ladybug understands human language, and has been blessed by God, Himself.
- In France, if a Ladybug landed on you, whatever ailment you had would fly away with the Ladybug!

And my personal favorite

- People in Switzerland told their young children that they were brought to them, as babies, by Ladybugs!

To me jewelry is more then just precious metal and gemstones to look pretty with. I feel jewelry should also have a symbolic connection with the wearer. One purpose of wearing jewelry is to adorn but people also wear jewelry to protect and bless the wearer. I hope my ladybug blesses the person who's spirit leads them to it.

So that's what I did with my Stoneware Rectangle Pendant - Spring Blooms and Ladybug. What do you think?

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Tease of Inspiration

After the morning drama of getting my son ready for his first day of daycare, then coming all the way into the city for a class that booted me out and told me to sign up for an upcoming one can imagine that I was feeling a bit out of sorts.

I didn't want to hop back on the train again feeling that way so I decided to take a walk to breathe and bring my focus back to a positive level. It's been a long time since I took a walk alone...without a baby or stroller. At first I felt a little weird but the combination of a sunny day with the hustle and bustle of people in union square soon had me smiling and getting into a walking groove.

I decided to stroll uptown and see the sights and window shop. As I was strolling I passed by Anthropologie's store window and fell in love. There resting on the collar of a mannequin was a butterfly necklace made of beads that spoke to me. I don't know why or what about it caught my attention but I was soon walking into the store looking to view the necklace up close and personal.

But at first I couldn't find it. Darn! So in my desperation I flagged down the first sales rep I saw...btw, a very nice girl...and asked in a near whisper where I could find the necklace. She soon directed me to a display box on one of the tables. As I contained my shout of Ah Ha! she got her keys to open the box. She inserted the key and...the lock wouldn't open. She tried another key...again the same thing. Whaaaa is goin on I wanted to shout. Can't you see I need to see that necklace up close and personal?!

Of course I didn't say that I just smiled and said...well if you can't get the box open...But being a trooper she said, hold on I'm going to get the master key....which she did...which did not open the box either. In the end we tried all different types of keys with the help of one of the store mangers. But that necklace never made it out the box into my hand. Why? I have no idea.

In the end I admitted defeat to the gods of inspiration, said goodbye to the necklace and walked out the store as one frustrated jewelry lover. LOL. All in all I think it was best since the necklace cost around $200. I of course don't have an extra $200 laying around but it was nice to forget the price for a while and be inspired by the design.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

National Independent Retailers Week

National Independent Retailers Week starts today. Did you know this? I sure didn't until I saw it on the website. How can something so important start and pass so quietly in some area? Maybe because some might feel that the jewelry industry doesn't fall under this movement’s umbrella but I disagree.

So many jewelry makers and suppliers are family owned business. These small scaled business have struggled along with the large jewelry companies and have craved out their niche while building loyal customers. They deserve some recognition and our support.

So for those like me out the loop of things. lol. Here is some background info about this movement.

This summer, National Independent Retailers Week will be celebrated July 19-25. This special week was created by retail guru Tom Shay of Profits+Plus Seminars to help shoppers break the chain-store habit. His grandmother, the second generation in his retail family, was one of his favorite people, so when he created National Independent Retailers Week, he decided that it should fall each year during the week of her birthday, which is July 21.

National Independent Retailers Week celebrates the uniqueness that locally owned businesses bring to a community. Money that is spent in a locally owned business stays in the local community much longer. Why? Because the local business owners purchase more of their supplies, equipment, and inventory from other area businesses.

Local businesses are often owned by multi-generation families, and were started by the oldest generation years ago. Usually, the older generation is still a part of the business, but now a second and even a third generation are also taking part in day-to-day operations.

Shay established National Independent Retailers Week more than a decade ago, to remind us all of the importance of the locally owned small businesses within our communities. These "Mom and Pop" retailers provide local flavor and color not found at the big-box conglomerates. Shay hopes that this week will encourage consumers to support their diverse local businesses all year round

Suggestions are available about how retailers can get their area chamber of commerce or board of tourism to participate in National Independent Retailers Week at

Samples of newspaper ads and free bumper stickers can be found on the site as well. Visit the site to find out more about how you can promote this important week in your own community.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Moving forward with Blogging for Beads Program

After many emails back and forth with the Artbeads Coordinator of the Blogging for Beads Program where I'd asked...yet again...what was the latest selection of jewelry goodies to choose from...I finally buckled down, picked my item AND sent in the order. I'm happy to say it arrived today. What did I choose?

I chose this Stoneware Rectangle Pendant in Spring Blooms and Ladybug. I originally was going to chose one of the Hill Tribe Silver Pendants since I had a idea to use it with some fresh water pearls I've had stashed away to long. But after seeing the Stoneware pendants I felt my inspiration lead me down another path. Well, I better go and start being creative =)