Friday, October 28, 2011

The end of summer

Over at my pond blog Your Daily Pond I have been chronicling the seasons. Almost daily, I lean out my kitchen window and take a picture of the pond in my backyard. I've been doing this for two years, now, and I really feel closer to the seasons, and more aware of the everyday beauty of this little slice of happiness.

Longtime readers will remember that my father created Turtle Island for my birthday, a little raft that the pond's turtles could use for their sunbathing. I've watched the raft avidly for the past two months and had a great deal of delight from it. Here's a recap of the three best turtle pictures (I apologize for the picture quality; I do not have a telephoto lens for my camera):

Today I reeled in Turtle Island, and I did so with a touch of sadness. I know that I'll be able to relaunch it in spring, of course, but I will still miss the turtles very much.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I keep telling myself that October is nearly over. Just one last week of crazycakes, and then I will go back to slightly-fewer-crazycakes.

One last show for the year (unless I decide to find a last-minute craft show). One last week of scrambling to put together the merchandise and figure out display options and find projects to do while I sit there. After that, it's back to the home base. I've cut the day job down to four days a month, I have lots of supplies to make jewelry, I have lots of beads to list, and I'm home for two and a half months. I'm really looking forward to diving into everything headfirst. First, though, on Monday, I will take a deep breath or two, or maybe fifty or sixty, enjoy the pond, spend some time just relaxing.

Today was a small triumph, at least. I finally managed to get the vintage Czech headpins into my Laurel Moon eBay store! At this point they're nearly all gone, but now that I have the initial listings done, they will be easier to list.

Who knew how difficult it would be to make a listing for glass that changes color? I ended up redoing the pictures for the alexandrite flower headpins twice because I was so worried about causing confusion.

In daylight or under incandescent lights, they look like this:

Under fluorescent lights, they look like this:

You see my problem. :) I think I have it all sorted out now, though.

I just need to take a big breath and wish for Monday to get here.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Preparing for the Rustbelt Market

It feels like my to-do list is insurmountable right now. Boxes, displays, pricing jewelry, head is swimming with all of the things I need to do before tomorrow.

Yes, on Saturday and Sunday I'll be at the Rustbelt Market in Ferndale! I'll be there both days from 11 am to 7 pm.

I am very excited about this. It's been ages since I did a show with only my jewelry. It will be so interesting to see what happens! I'm going to bring all of my jewelry and my new displays and hope for the best.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Beads, exciting and new...

I am back from one of my last buying trips of the year. On one hand, I am absolutely delighted because I bought an amazement of beads (that is the proper term for a set of beads, of course). On the other hand, I am sick with some sort of yucky sinus infection, probably triggered by allergies. I seem to get one every time this year!

I have to share pictures of the new amazement. I found the very last of the Buddha cabochons I was sad about in a previous entry, and I also bought more of the lovely German-made glass reproductions of vintage beads:

I swear, these are some of my favorite beads ever. (I know, I know, I say that about all of my beads.) But they really are gorgeous! The colors of the glass are stunning.

I also bought more semiprecious stone beads, of course. Some old favorites, and some new beauties:

From left to right: rutilated quartz, sunstone, faceted lodalite quartz, ammonites, lodalite quartz, ocean jasper, red creek jasper, laguna agate, turitella agate, Norwegian moonstone, fossil coral

Look at these glorious headpins! They are made from the most GORGEOUS glass, so clear and luscious and swirly and decadent that they shine. I adore them. They colors are amazing.

And lastly...ocean jasper. It's mined only in one place, Madagascar, and from what I hear, the main deposits are tapped out. I would believe that, because the new ocean jasper beads I see on the market don't have the same strong colors and distinctive look as the material I was seeing in past years. I found these, however, and they were awesome, from about six years ago:

I am working like mad to get these new yums into the Etsy shop and eBay store soon! Watch my Laurel Moon Twitter feed for links to new listings.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Off again to a bead show!

Tomorrow I will depart at too-early o'clock for the West Michigan Bead Expo in Grand Rapids, MI!

I ended that with an exclamation point so it would sound like I was super excited. Well, I am super excited about the show, but maybe not about getting up early. After that, I will jog over to WI for my nephew's birthday, and then it's back home again. I'm looking forward to restocking my eBay store and Etsy shop with scarab cabs and the like, and I will have some new treasures, too!

If you're in the neighborhood tomorrow, stop by and say hi!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Flashy scarabs are invading!

I love getting new merchandise. I especially love getting new old merchandise. I know that sounds like a contradiction, but I'm just referring to buying vintage that I haven't had before--it's new to me, even though the beads are vintage.

I had the great fortune to find these amazing foilback scarabs recently:

These are small but really stunning scarab cabochons in some great bright colors. I love the detail and the deep flash. These are really great flatbacks and I've already seen them flying out of my Laurel Moon eBay store and my Laurel Moon Etsy shop.

I also found more beaaaaaaaaaaads. Yum. Who doesn't want more beads? I found opalino beads with aventurine:

I'm not sure that I can adequately convey my delight. You see, opalino glass, a semi-translucent white glass, is awesome. And aventurine glass, which contains specks of copper for amazing sparklage, is awesome. Together, they are so exponentially beyond awesome that, as I said, it's difficult to convey the actual awesomeness of said beads, because they kind of short-circuit my ability to describe their vast awesomenitude.

I picked up some great little baroque filler beads in tanzanite and montana glass. You know, the kind of bead you always need to finish a design.

And I haven't even started talking about the numerous porcelain bead lots I've listed! It's been a busy couple weeks here. Stay tuned--I'll have more scarab lots up soon!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Treasures from the Bead Bonanza

I had a lovely day at the Bead Bonanza yesterday! Lots of familiar faces and favorite customers stopped by my booth to chat, and I had a great time. It seemed like a busy show, with lots of people clustered at the table at many points, and I seemed to be in motion for nearly the entire day.

I did have a little bit of time to visit a couple vendors. My neighbor Kristi is the artistic force behind Coliebug Beads (CB&Co), and her work was enthralling! She uses so many techniques to create her multilayered pendants, and she's such a great neighbor. I had a wonderful time talking to her about etching techniques. I bought this absolutely wonderful crow pendant from her:

I also stopped by Earthenwood Studio to see Melanie, of course! We've been friends for ages, and I love her work so very much. I had to pick up a "D" pendant...D for Detroit! I also grabbed a few new sugar skull components, a keyhole pendant, and a crow pendant. I can't wait to use these!

This weekend I have another bead show in Grand Rapids. After that, I'm going to spend time with my new beads. I really can't wait to design new pieces of jewelry!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A trip to the cider mill

Today I took a much-needed break before the Great Lakes Beadworkers Guild Bead Bonanza and went to the Paint Creek Cider Mill for some yums and to see the creek.

The weather was glorious! The fall colors have not yet hit their peak, but they were still beautiful. We went inside and ordered our food. The ceiling is interesting, covered with signed dollar bills. We ate our donuts and sipped our cider while listening to a local musician, and met a sweet pupper. Afterward we went behind the mill to walk along the trail that runs next to the creek.

Hope to see you at the show tomorrow! If not, I hope you're enjoying the weather!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Goodbye to Buddha

I love vintage beads and cabochons. I probably love them a little too much, in fact. I have a stash overflowing with lovely treasures.

I've been selling vintage on eBay for a few years, and it's been a great experience. I love it when customers send me photos of what they've done with their beads. I enjoy sharing vintage and sending these pretty little gems out into the world.

There's one sadness, though, and that is when I get to the end of of a particular bead or cab. Today, for example, I set up my last listing of these beautiful green marble glass Buddha cabochons:

Sometimes I find a few more of a bead or cab, but usually once I sell out, that's it. It's not just that it reduces the variety in my eBay store; it's the sadness of not being able to share more of them.

The good news is that I have found more of several different small matte glass leaf cabs such as these matte topaz leaf cabs:

Farewell, lovely Buddha cabs, you will be missed!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Bead Table Wednesday!

It's that time of the week again! I've been pretty busy with sorting beads and cabs, so my picture this week is of a giant pile of leaf cabs in topaz colors, very appropriate for this time of year.

Other than my owl necklace for the Very Vintage Challenge, I haven't made new jewelry in a couple weeks. I've been concentrating on sorting beads. I've managed to get through a lot of the new stuff, but there is one huge bin that is just staring at me, daring me to try and sort it.

Today, I'm working on getting my Laurel Moon eBay store restocked. I hope to have many of the old favorites back in, and I also hope to get a few new beads up as well.

I'm enjoying the last beautiful warm days before fall truly sets in. I've been watching avidly for turtles on my Turtle Island raft. Yesterday, I did see one sitting on the flipper:

Soon enough the pond will be covered with ice, and the turtles will be slumbering. For today, though, I'm enjoying seeing them, and the warm sunshine. For more pond pictures and turtles, watch my pond blog at Your Daily Pond.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Very Vintage Challenge Reveal!

I've never participated in a beading challenge before, but when I saw the name Very Vintage Challenge I was immediately hooked! You all know how I like vintage, so this was a win-win situation. The challenge is hosted by Michelle Mach and I ordered my kit from her, thinking that this might be a lot of fun.

Fall Challenge Button

When I received the kit, I was intrigued. I've never used lucite before, and I've only used Vintaj components once or twice, so I knew this would be a true challenge for me.

I knew I didn't have a lot in my stash that would match, so I bought a smattering of Vintaj and antiqued brass components and chain. I went through my stash and began to pull out semiprecious stone that I thought might coordinate, like fossil coral and carnelian.

I laid things out and began trying to put things together. The first thing I decided was that I liked the Vintaj branch. A lot. I contemplated how to use it in the necklace, and realized that it could be a great centerpiece if I punched holes in it. I pulled out my two-hole punch and went to work.

After I'd modified the Vintaj component, I remembered the ceramic owl beads I just bought, and I thought that it would be a perfect focal bead. I also found some large fossilized wood cylinders, and when I put the beadcap from the kit on top, it looked like an acorn, so I incorporated that as well.

After that, I experimented with different links and textures, and here's the final result:

Hope you have time to stop by the other blogs and see what everyone did with their kits!

Andrew: The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton

Cat: Boo Beads


Cilla: Tell Your Girlfriends

Cyndi: Beading Arts

Cynthia: Cynth's Blog

Dawn: Morning Glory Beading

Donetta: Simply Gorgeous

Heather: As I Bead It

Holly: SilverRose Designs

Kate: We Can Make That at Home

Kristina: Wild Roses and Blackberries

Linda: Lutka & Co

Lisa: Lucid Mood Studio

Lola: Bead Lola Bead

Mary: MLH Jewelry

Melinda: Melinda Orr Metal & Clay Jewelry Designs

Michelle : Beads & Books

Michelle H.: Firefly Visions

Salla: Blog by Salla

Shannon: Falling into the Sky

Shay: Shaiha's Ramblings

Shel: MiShel Designs

Shirley: Beads and Bread

Stephanie: Pixybug Designs

Tari: Pearl and Pebbles

Terry: Pink Chapeau Vintage Jewelry

Tracy: The Bead Junkie

Monday, October 3, 2011

Mushroom Village

I'm back from the show in WI, and now I am looking at the grindstone and preparing to put my nose to it. I have so much to do, and so many irons in the fire right now! My to-do list is the size of Rhode Island. I have a challenge piece to make, Etsy and eBay stores to restock, shows to prep for, merchandise to sort...whew!

This morning I was stressing about how much I need to do, and my dear husband called and told me to go outside and look next to the garage. Imagine my delight when I discovered this amazing Mushroom Village that had sprung up overnight!

It was so wonderful to take a moment to enjoy the sunshine and the (still) mild weather and wander among the mushrooms.