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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Mixed Media

I recently bought a new sewing machine and I can't wait to put it to use.  But I make jewelry....Hmmm....I can see myself making mixed media/fiber art pendants to go on chokers.  I have not had a sewing machine in 20 or so years. I had one that had tension issues but I was able to make my son his first little comforter and curtain valances for the various apartments we lived in as a military family.

So I am pretty psyched.  When I was in high school, I used to sew basic little tee shirt tops and little A-line skirts with elastic waist bands.  They were so cute. (I was only 68 lbs when I entered high school).  So I am looking forward to recapturing that skill, although it has been 20 or more years since I have used a sewing machine.

Learning to make jewelry about two years ago set off a firestorm of creativity in me. Up until that time, I spent my creative time gardening and planning gardening beds, writing political poetry and knitting scarves.  I worked at a job that was  emotionally draining and often couldn't do much creativly as I was burned out when I got home....I did keep the gardening up. That was merely a therapeutic exercise and I loved the results of creating vignettes in pots for my deck.

Then my sister in law taught me how to use crimp beads, and I created, under her tutelage, my first necklace.  That lit this spark and now, I am viewing art differently, decorating my house differently and creating a piece of jewelry almost every day.  I am absolutely enchanted by my sister's Etsy shop ( and love working on mine - posting product, designing, marketing and thinking of what item my next customer may buy (  I love to look at artisan created items made by my team here in Olympia or my team in Seattle.

I never copy but allow the creativity of others to seep into my creation bones.  What can jumpstart your creativity and get you to look at all the beauty in the world?  Something from my shop?  A lovely bead?  A beautiful fabric or art book?  A poem, a picture, or a beautiful child?  Find your

Monday, May 16, 2011

African Beads

I was reading a few bead books yesterday and I learned that African trade beads were made in Europe and carried to Africa to trade for all types of products: food, clothing, dyes, people, and other cargo. They were made in Europe from glass and they were highly prized. 

The Taureg people made beads from silver that were intricate and favored a five point cross symbolizing their faith.  You can still see women swathed in various beaded necklaces of glass beads and silver. This forms a dowry that can be used in trade for goods and symbolizes a woman's wealth.

Sometimes beads were made from cattle bones and dyes were used to create intricate designs.  Seeds and fruit pits can also make a fine bead.

Beads have been worn for thousands of years and I bet the earlier wearers would be staggered by the colors and materials that make up our beads today. I can find beads made from everything from acrylic to bone, leather to gemstones, pearls to crystals at my two local beadshops here in the Olympia area of Washington: Shipwreck Beads and Unique Beads.  Online, I have even more choice atstores like Cathy Dailey, FireMountain Gems, Lima Beads, and handcrafted at various fine shops on Etsy. 

If we look at our bead stashes and the availability of beautiful beads - we are wealthy indeed.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

What a Week

Well this week was interesting. A full moon.....a Friday the 13th and mucho craziness.

It was interesting out on the road.  I saw a driver try to get on the south bound exit of the freeway intenting to go north. Then when he saw the error of his ways he made a huge u-turn across many lanes of traffic almost running head on with a woman in a turning lane.....and in a much smaller car.

Keep on creating everyone and stay stafe!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day Is Gone; Next!

As a shop owner it is important to look ahead to the next holiday and also the next big holiday gift buying season. It is not too early to start thinking about Christmas events, you may want to attend for sales or even plan on what you may want to make for the holidays.  I was looking at some Halloween beads the other day, my friend who sells hats, was looking at beautiful fall colored yarn.

Plan ahead to keep things from being "holiday" crazy.

It's sister who works in retail came across some lovely little boxes for jewelry made of velvet. They are deep red and that Christmas shade of evergreen. They are beribboned and absolutely lovely.  I am ready to fill some of them for beautiful gifts - so as soon as the fourth of July is over....I can get people in gear to do their Christmas shopping.

My motto is save time, save money, buy local, buy early for holidays. Include save your sanity. Shop Etsy. Shop your local stores and buy at

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Well It's Mother's Day

Well It's Mother's Day.  My cat, Bandit, aroused me from bed to get his breakfast...a fine bowl of kibble. I stumbled through the house, let out the dogs, made coffee and ate a bowl of cereal...before I realized that I should be having breakfast in bed.

But it is not to son is in Hawai'i and my daughter came down on Wednesday and spent till Friday with us.  I had a whole basket of goodies.  Her presence was present enough so I am sustained until my birthday in a few months!

Happy Mother's Day to Mom's out there.  Enjoy the beauty of your children!