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It’s spring, which means the trees are blooming and our little town grows like tenfold during the Apple Blossom Festival (aka The Bloom). As my husband puts it, it’s an interesting mix of rednecks and rich people, and everyone wears pink and green. I made a “Bloom” Line to sell at the shop downtown, hoping to list the remnants on Etsy, but it doesn’t look like there will be much left. I figured you guys might be starved for new pictures to look at while you’re procrastinating at work on lunch break, so I’ll post some anyway…

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Tutorials update

I always get a kick out of trying a new technique, and this one lends itself well to a kit so I am *hoping* to be able to offer it in early 2009. I call it the Sparkle Link Bracelet, and the sparkles come from both Swarovski crystal rings and twisted sterling silver rings that catch the light beautifully. (If only we had a sunny day to make it really sparkle on camera!) This bracelet was completed with Tabac-colored Swarovski rings, and I also have a Light Volcano set with springy pastels waiting on my bench.

In other news, I’ve closed my Etsy shop temporarily to give myself a break for baby-wrangling. In the meantime I activated the download links for all of my tutorials on my main website’s Kits & Tutorials Page. (Normally I’m not allowed to cross-list items on Etsy that I sell elsewhere, but with my Etsy store closed the tutorials are currently available in only one location.)

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Tutorials on CD

At the suggestion of a fellow Etsy seller, I am now offering sets of my tutorials on CD. You get HALF OFF when you purchase a CD when compared to buying individual tutorials. Or if you are crazy about wire, you can buy just the Wirework CD (or Chain Maille or Beading, and hopefully soon I’ll have a PMC collection).

This is a great gift idea for somebody who is getting into jewelry-making!

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I’m back

Hey, there. Remember me? I’ve been traveling and taking a blog break. I had high hopes of returning to post detailed stories of our adventures and photos worth passing down for generations, but then our plane last night was delayed, we finally got in bed at 4am, I woke up at 10:45am only to realize that I was teaching a class at 11 (I had it in my head it was at 1), then I had a doctor’s appointment and met my dad for coffee, and finally sat down in front of my computer for the first time around 4:30 this afternoon. I still have about 50 unread messages in my inbox, but I did manage to send out my Etsy tutorial orders (you do NOT want to anger jewelry artists and they have been patiently waiting). So, dear readers, thank you for understanding while I get myself together. Regular blogging will resume when I’ve had some more sleep. Hilarity will ensue.  I’ll leave you with some glass porn from the Dale Chihuly exhibit at the DeYoung Museum. If you want to see more pictures from our trip to San Francisco, check out the post from our family blog.

garden of glass chandeliers boat full of glass crazies Aquarium ceiling boat full of glass orbs the size of umbrellas

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Busy Rant

Some people think I sit around and lollygag all day long. Others think I make jewelry all day long. Usually I do neither; my days are often a mix of filling kit orders, making custom jewelry, making jewelry that I feel like making, accounting, research, answering emails (quotes for custom jewelry), ordering supplies (takes forever), walking, errands. Sometimes I am able to go with Steve on his business trips, like last week he went to Ithaca on Wednesday and Rochester on Thursday, so I went along and then we spent Easter weekend with his family nearby. Sometimes I get together with friends, like Tuesday Mom and I went to HomeGoods and Ikea (90 minutes away), yesterday she and I assembled meals at Gourmet on the Go (pictured), Steve and I hung out with friends until late last night, and today I had lunch with one of my college roommates and her kids (60 minutes away). I like that my schedule is flexible, but sometimes there are weeks like this when I start out behind schedule, have a lot going, and still try to fit in extra stuff.

It irritates me that people think that because I work from home and have no children I have all the time in the world. Not everyone understands that there is a difference between having a business and having one with professionalism, quality, and good customer service. If I don’t check email I get messages like, “It has been 8 hours since I ordered on Etsy, where is my tutorial?” I never really stop working in some capacity, because even if I am eating dinner or on vacation my brain is still in work-mode and there is no OFF button. I could hire someone to help me, but the time involved in training them to do things the way I want them to be done is greater than or equal to the time it takes me to do it, so I just outsource the stuff I really don’t want to do. Like taxes. And cooking.

But as I walked through the markethall during our 5th hour at Ikea, stressing about my looming deadlines, I did wonder if maybe that wasn’t the best use for my time. Shouldn’t I be at home working? Should I be canceling activities instead of cramming everything in when I’m busy? Absolutely not. As much as I get stressed out during busy weeks, I never want to lose sight of the fact that the people in my life are what make it so rich.

Okay, and my new shower. It was so worth the wait!

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I can only imagine the robins’ confusion after several cycles of springlike weather in February followed by a blustery day like today.

I long for Spring, so I’ve found myself working with aquas and pinks and making springy stuff like this nest ring, complete with freshwater pearls as the eggs. It was quickly followed by a nest pendant for YOJ Week 6.

Both are available in my Etsy shop.

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Parts Overstock

It’s a new year and I have the urge to purge things that I’m not using. With that in mind I created a new category in my Etsy shop for beads and findings that have been sitting around for a while.

Like this garnet clasp… It’s gorgeous, it’s even my birthstone, but I get a design block when I see it. If you want me to make you something with it (maybe a strand of white pearls with the clasp in front?) just shoot me an email before someone else adopts it.