Wednesday, October 3, 2012

summer breeze

Holy moly! Summer has already come and gone. It was a good one, both personally and business-wise. Here are some highlights:

Going to an anime convention in Chesapeake with my boyfriend and little sister. It was really neat seeing the costumes people had built for themselves.

Beach time! I got to spend a little time at Virginia Beach, and spent a few days at Myrtle Beach with my boyfriend, by the generosity of his coworker.

Deep sea fishing in Myrtle Beach (only slightly marred by sea sickness:), and boating on the fourth of July.

Hanging out with my best friend here in Richmond, and seeing the butterfly exhibit at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens.

A few sales, including a wholesale order with Sardine Gallery in Brooklyn, just in time for Open Studios!

Lots of cooking delicious meals, and eating good food around town. I hit up the Vegetarian Festival too (Boka takos, anyone?).

Rearranging furniture and organizing my space in preparation for class (!!)

I'm actually about a month into class right now, time does fly. I'm learning so much, but I'm gonna reserve that for another entry, since this one is such a behemoth already. Maybe if I didn't wait six months to write each blog, I wouldn't have this problem!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

veritably vert

I posted the aforementioned peyote necklace in my shop today. I noticed a micro trend in my crafting as of late, see if you can guess:

Yep, it looks like I have Spring on my mind! I just looked up the word "green" in the dictionary out of curiosity, and there are SO MANY definitions. In addition to being a beautiful, copious color, it also represents so much about growth, life, abundance, new beginnings, freshness (and sometimes even envy and nausea, haha). I also have this attraction to snakes and snake-like imagery. Maybe I'm just wishing for my own garden of Eden. Or maybe it's directly related to the sprawling split-leaf philodendron and rubber tree plant taking over part of my living room. In any case, I welcome the inspiration!

Semi-relatedly, I have a family of finches nesting on my bedroom windowsill. They are situated right beneath the AC window unit, which worries me a bit with summer coming. But it sounds like the loud-mouthed babies (so loud) are getting bigger, so they might be gone by the time I need to cool off. It's actually fun listening to them chirping frantically all day, and then even MORE frantically when the mother comes around. I had a bus stop next to window in one of my old apartments, so birds are actually quite nice in comparison.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

done and done

Just a quick post to say I updated my shop! Latest obsession: boondoggle. I also got a leather tooling kit recently. Lord, help me. There are still other pieces in the works, namely another peyote necklace. I took a little hiatus to do a lot of this:

and a wee bit of this:

along with working my butt off (and having a sore butt from the previous activity). I just started reading The Power of Habit, and along with all the etsy articles I read, it's making me want to make lists and goals and rework my branding again! It's a process, for sure. Thankfully, a fun process! Speaking of fun processes, I'm gonna go eat some pineapple and paint wooden snakes whilst listening to good music.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy Leap Year Day!

It's a dreary, rainy day, but we probably needed the moisture. Here is a peek at my workbench. By the way, it's usually messier than that, but I'm trying to make more of an effort to spruce it up these days.

It's my birthday on Saturday, and my very best girlfriend is coming to celebrate with me this weekend. I can't wait! This also means a needed vacation (for the both of us). Right now, however, I need to worry about picking up and cleaning, ha.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Yeah, I've been around, but I'm due for an update. Today I posted some new stuff in my shop, and I thought I'd also give a little window into my process. I just recently went gaga over a new (to me) technique. Remember how I had my little foray into beading rosettes? I just rediscovered that book on my shelf and began -- peyote stitch!

Anybody who knows me in real life has been inundated with my craft dork talk about this already (tough luck, guys...the obsession has just begun). Let me back up for a minute. I have always had this strange attraction to woven ropes and bungee cords. To refresh your memory:

Why, you ask? Can't you see?? Look closer:

How could you not think those patterns are pretty? So anyway, having this attraction didn't serve me very well. I don't rock climb, I rarely need bungees, and when I do they are for non-aesthetic purposes, such as tying my trunk down and securing items. I suppose I could wear a rope around my neck, but that seems rather morbid. I don't like the idea of itchy nylon on my skin anyhow. What I do like it the feeling of a good weighty piece of jewelry, and what's better for that than a tapestry of glass seed beads?

The patterns seem like they will translate so well. And the possibilities are endless. Ikat, zig-zags, dots, stripes? Sure! I will admit, this process probably looks like torture to some. Painstakingly threading tiny beads... one by one... but I find it to be relaxing and very satisfying to see something so beautiful at the end. I have one big project in mind right now to utilize this technique, and some small ones for the interim. So exciting! It's good to feel inspired, haha.

In other news, the weather has been really great the past couple of days. It seems like Winter and Spring have been playing leapfrog for the past few months. We had snow on Sunday and today -- 72 degrees (!!). It was a nice treat though, and it always puts me in a good mood. I'm gonna utilize my night with an epic beading and new music session.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

farm fresh

I joined a treasury team on Etsy. Now I have a a good excuse for making more treasuries!

Someday I just want to have at least a couple of vegetable plants. I don't know why, but things always taste better when you grew them yourself (even if they look a little uglier than the grocery store behemoth hybrid vegetables :).

Sunday, January 8, 2012

resolution not dissolution

Happy New Year! We are only eight days into 2012, but I already feel like I'm farther than that because of all the plans I have for this year. Normally I hate resolutions, because I don't like feeling like I've "failed" when I don't do things exactly as I'd planned. "January 1st is just another day, I want to live my life organically", and other excuses. I'm also not one to hate on the previous year, so I don't feel the need to reinvent myself annually. But all of that said, I DO have high hopes and some plans that I'm trying to commit to (and some that I have already committed to, in a big way!).

I'm continuing my business-minded-ness this year, and I hope to keep growing in that arena. I already have some exciting projects lined up, and I have a shop update lined up for Tuesday the 10th. I'm planning on applying for a local craft show in the Spring to get my feet wet. Hopefully my iPad will become a good business tool also to make it all a little easier to pull off.

Part of this business drive is just because I enjoy it, but part of it is out of necessity because I will need the extra money for SCHOOL. I can barely believe it myself, but this is a big commitment that I made that begins in August. I've put my deposit down, and I'm so excited! I stumbled upon Sharpe Jewelry Academy on the Visual Arts Center website whilst looking for basic jewelry workshops to brush up on some skills. Jay Sharpe is a local jeweler who has been making/teaching for 20+ years, but the program is new. I can't wait to learn new techniques to elevate my jewelry-making and really immerse myself in the business, whether it's all mine, or a combination of working for myself and a jewelry store. Only time will tell where I land after it ends in June 2013, but I feel like a new chapter in my life and career has begun, and I'm up for the challenge big time.

I'm more "me" than ever before, which I'm sure always comes with age, and I've been defining what I want out of life a lot lately. It feels really good to be doing all of this. For some reason I have had loads of creative energy, so I've been taking advantage and have all sorts of smaller goals and projects to fill in the spaces too. I just want to be healthy and present as much as possible. Every year, not just 2012, is about making it happen! So that's what I'm poised to do.

a very Merry Christmess

What a whirlwind holiday season! The Thanksgiving-Christmas time has always been intense, but especially so in the past eight years since I've been out of school. For the last four years I've made a decided effort to handcraft more presents for people, which doesn't make it any easier, but definitely more satisfying! My day job (retail) requires more hours and is insane around Christmas, and then I spend all of my free moments and money on gifts. So I took a break from blogging, needless to say. Now that it's after December 25th, I can show you what I was working on!

A painting for my mom

Hats for my sister (I also made a grey fox-eared one [checking the fit here!])

An advent calendar for my bf (this is an ornament I made for one of the days)

I made a zipper bracelet for my other sister from this tutorial, handmade earrings for my grandma, made a legit foam hand puppet for a friend, and a dreamcatcher for my bff's birthday/Christmas present. Although I always think really hard about what to get people, I tried to give fewer, more thoughtful gifts to everyone this year. And I tried not to use any credit cards, mostly succeeding! It was a wholly satisfying experience. The weather has been uncharacteristically warm for the season here in Virginia, which made it kind of hard to get into the spirit at first. It made me wonder what it's like to have Christmas in Australia, haha.

Some friends bought MischaLee for their own gift-giving, which I greatly appreciated. I received some really thoughtful presents from everybody, and got to squeeze some time in with my family. Santa brought me an especially amazing and totally unexpected iPad2, which is changing my life right now. This is my first real Apple item besides an iPod, and I could really get used to the non-PC experience, eek! I'm planning on using it as much as possible for business growing, but more on that later.

I know it's late, but I hope everyone else had a great holiday too!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

eye candy

Photograph by Jennifer Parry Dodge

I've been frequenting the Ermie blog for the past couple of months. She takes such beautiful, simple, and peaceful pictures. Check out the Blue posts from November of 2011 for some traditional crafting beauty.

Speaking of blogging (and crafting) I will be back shortly with an update on my busy holiday season!