Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Time For A Breather

Whew! It's now 3:26 pm here in cool and cloudy Plainfield IL, at the office. Love that little Weatherbug icon in my systray, I can look at it and know what the temperature is without walking outside. Right now it's 43 but the forecast says it is going to drop, then by Friday be in the 60's! This is goofy, no wonder so many people are sick. Nobody knows how to dress so either you're overdressed and sweat your butt off, then get chilled; or you are underdressed and get chilled right off the bat! All I can say is.....LAYERS LAYERS LAYERS. It's easier to take something off if you're too warm (within reason of course), but you can hardly put something on to warm up if you don't have it with you to begin with!

Anyway, I finished what I hope is the work I had for the day and needed some time to regroup before I hit the rush hour traffic on my way home.

I put in another order for some odds & ends with Fire Mountain, among which are jewelry boxes. Have to get ready for the holidays. I can feel those sales ringing up for holiday gift giving.

While I was eating my lunch today, I decided to do some rearranging in my shop. Moved everything that was $10 or less to a special category, obviously named "Ten Dollars and Under". Then did some changing of gallery pictures so different ones were shown on the first view. Trying to see if a change of scenery will spark more interest, altho I have to say I was suprised at the amount of views I have received. I see a lot of new views when I post in Twitter about new listings. Every little bit helps!

Today I submitted my shop url to google search and msn search. Let's see if this brings in any new interest. It all depends if their search engines decide to crawl my url or not. I'm keeping my toes crossed...can't cross my fingers or I wouldn't be able to type...or bead!

Tonight I am going to see if my son will go with me to Michael's so I can find some silk thread. I have some Crystazzi pearls and I want to try my hand at stringing and knotting pearls. Wish me luck!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

New Listing - Swarovski Crystal Earrings---GORGEOUS!

OH! I just love the way these earrings turned out! They are so pretty, I'm tempted to keep them for myself. I just listed them on my Etsy shop so go take a look.

These would go great with the Swarovski Crystal bracelet that is already there.

If you buy both, mention that you saw my blog, and I will give you a 10% discount!


New Listings on Etsy...More To Come

Just listed a new bracelet, and an eyeglass chain on Etsy.
Both are made with primarily Czech glass beads.

The creative juices are flowing and will have more listed by the end of the weekend.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I'm Finally In A Treasury!!

I answered a post in Etsy forums for pink, and it got me a spot in a Treasury West Treasury!

Here is a part of the listing (a screenshot):

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I Saw The Great Pumpkin!!

Halloween has always been an interesting time of year. The colors are changing, the air gets crisp, and the Great Pumpkin comes to life.

Today my family and I went to a local pumpkin patch for the afternoon. The name of it is Siegel's Cottonwood Farms, and it is in Crest Hill IL on Weber Road. This is an awesome place for families to spend an afternoon.

It was a beautiful day, a little cool but pleasant enough to spend the day walking among nature and all it has to offer.

I have been to other pumpkin patches but this one really has a lot of activities for haunters of all ages. There is a petting zoo, a hayrack ride, train ride, pony rides, two haunted houses, two corn mazes, and even a place where you can pan for gems or fossils.

We tried the gem search and found a couple of pretty good pieces of what appears to be quartz, carnelian, agate, and several smaller pieces of peridot and other stones that we haven't yet identified Oh yes, and plenty of "fools gold".

The hayrack ride was fun, lasting about a half hour and there is even a spot where you can get off and pick your own pumpkin.

The haunted house was a walking venture, with lots of scary scenes and noises. There is also another larger haunted house that we didn't get to since it doesn't open until 7pm. That's the Statesville Haunted Prison, named for the nearby prison. I'm not sure I have the guts to go thru that one tho.

There are a displays of farm animals: a mama cow and her calf, geese, chickens, ducks, and pigs. The ducks were interesting, especially the one that would "laugh" whenever I said "AFLAC" to it. There were about 6 in the cage but this one was the only one that reacted.

The farm has a website where you can see all the activities and times of operation.


No, I am not a paid advertiser, I just live in the area and finally found the time to go there. I am so glad we did. The pumpkin my son's girlfriend picked out is in my front window, and it's a real beauty. My son's is still on the kitchen table, he has an intricate design he plans on carving into it and said it will take him a day or two to complete.

This was a much better way to spend the day instead of sitting inside and playing on the computer or watching tv....or doing laundry hehehe.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Is It The Maturity Factor, Or Is It Sheer Exhaustion?

Have you ever been driving somewhere that you go to regularly, such as work, and took your normal route, but for some unknown reason the scenery didn't look familiar? Did you think you missed a turn, or turned at the wrong spot? A cold chill runs up the spine because you're thinking you have to turn around and figure out where you are.

This happened to me this morning. As I was driving to work, I was thinking of some new jewelry design and calculating what I need to complete it. I mechanically made the necessary turns, but after making the third one, the landscape looked strange, or different. Granted, it was dark, and I was a bit on the tired side, but still, I really thought I missed my turn. Panic gripped me for a moment as I tried to figure out WHICH turn I missed. I am driving thru a heavily industrial area with a lot of sub-lots and half roads and not really sure what went to where. All of a sudden I saw the familiar curve in the road that tells me the next corner is a sharp right turn, and I felt better.

I hate when that happens!


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Thought Processes That Go BUMP In The Night

Never fails, I get ideas of new designs when I am no where near my work area. I'm either at work, driving, at the store, or sleeping. It can be very difficult to convey in words the idea I have. I'm not good at sketching so drawing the idea out would only complicate things. I have a mental image of my work table. I know what I have and pretty much how much. I have already put my inventory in my PDA so that I have it when I am away from home. There's no telling when I might be in a supply store area and they advertise a big "SALE" in their window. At least this way I can see what I have already and what I might be low on. The only problem I have, is that I fail to regularly sync my PDA with the PC or laptop, so my list is often not up to date.

Ok, getting back to the flashes of creativity that whiz across my mind at the most inopportune times. I have decided that I will attempt, (notice I said "attempt"), to photograph every supply I buy and insert the pictures in the database I built to keep everything organized. This way, at least I will have the image to look at and possibly cut and paste my ideas, even if just the single item, but more visual than just words to remember later. Hopefully, by having an image of say, an 8mm Swarovski bicone in lt. siam and a ruby and black lampwork bead, and silver spacers, I can visualize my design, and hopefully remember what it was that I wanted to do with them. I'm not saying I have memory issues, it's just that I get so many ideas when I can't work them out right away. I need something more than just a few words on a scrap of paper to remember the original idea.

If anyone has a proven method that they use to overcome these "creativity crashes", feel free to post them. I'm sure there are many out there that have this same problem that could benefit.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Monday Technology Quirks - Very Frustrating!

So it's Monday. Not a holiday for me, I have to be at work. Not sure what I will accomplish. Banks are closed, no mail, half of our job sites are closed down for the holiday, yet here I sit.

I had a brainstorm to create and upload a page to the sub-domain I created last week on our home site. Not being much with raw html code, I thought I did pretty good for a simple and basic page. Even did the background color, text color, etc. Ok, next step is to ftp it to the server. No problem. I even remembered my ftp username and password!! Wow, that's an accomplishment for me, since I have so many different logins and passwords for the many sites, programs, and other access points that I use. I've been meaning to create a wallet of all my logins so that I have them. Never fails, I try to login to one of my suppliers and I can't remember my login, then have to remember which email address I used to register so they can send me my login. Ok, I digress.

I was happy to see that the page I had just coded loaded and displayed as best as I can expect, considering I didn't do anything fancy, with the exception of adding my etsy mini. Now, when I signed up with the hosting server, I was given $75 in free google adwords. I figured I might as well use them, so I proceeded to login to my account (yep, remembered the login, this time!). Lo and behold, the server is DOWN! I managed to access the support page, of course THAT isn't down. It appears that their main server had a nervous breakdown and they are "working" on getting things up and running, but no word on how long it will take. Great! I get my site online, have it referring to my etsy site, and nobody will find it because I can't setup the adwords.

I am seriously considering moving my web to another host, but not sure which one is good. I like yahoo but it can be quite costly. But I guess you get what you pay for, huh?

If anyone has any suggestion for a web host, please, let me know! I am currently on powweb. I like it, there are a lot of features that make it easy for someone who hasn't kept up with her html coding that was learned many years ago, (Can't even do CSS, XHTML, or any of the other ones, just basic HTML), but what good is it if it's always down?

Oh, and if you want to check out the new page, it's at http://rukar.karuss.com/

Happy Monday!


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Found A New Bead Store!

Today I was introduced to a new bead store. I was on a quest with my son's girlfriend to find a bead so we could fix her bracelet. She has a Lia Sophia bracelet, a 3-strand beaded bracelet with black beads, gunmetal ball end eye pins and gunmetal clasp. The bead we needed was a 10mm faceted Czech bead. None of my usual places carried this bead in 10mm. Plenty of 8mm and 12mm, but no 10mm. After making stops at 3 places, she mentioned that there was a bead shop near her house which is a few towns over. Since we were near there, we decided to check it out. Voila!!! We no sooner walked in the door than her sharp eyes spotted the beads in a drawer of a display unit. My eyes were still adjusting to the change in the lighting, but I could see it would do the job. It was a Swarovski, and the bracelet was made with Czech, but the only difference we could see was the price. I'm sure a Czech glass bead would have cost less, but having none to be found, this was our best choice. The new bead is the one at the top center, next to one of the originals. (You can see that it is unattached to the rest.)

The next leg of my quest was locating the gunmetal findings, which we didn't see at any of our previous stops, and the bead shop only carried a few findings, earring and necklace components.
So, when we got back home, I fired up my laptop, made a pot of coffee (3rd one today and it was only 2:30pm), and proceeded to check out all my online sources. Very few of them carry the gunmetal head/eye pins and/or the wire, but the hard part was finding the ball end headpin. After searching through all the jewelry supply sites that I could find, I remembered that there were a few stores on etsy that had supplies. After flipping through a few pages of my search results, I finally found a source for my headpins. The picture was very clear, and the color was right on to what we needed. So I ordered, paid and already got my response from the seller that they will be mailed out on Monday. Being that Monday is a holiday, I anticipate not getting them until Friday, which will be perfect since I don't get much bead work done during the week.

All in all it was a good day. I had an enjoyable afternoon with my son's girlfriend as we had our fun in the craft stores, discovered a new bead store that I intended to get back to on occasion, and I found everything I will need to put her bracelet back together. Oh, and yes, I did buy more beads at the new bead store. Watch for the new items in my shop in the next few weeks.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

New Jewelry Listings Today

The mistress has been busy. She made four new jewelry creations last night, but managed to find time to spend with me of course!

Her new items are necklace and earring sets, bracelet and earring sets, and a Swarovski crystal bracelet that I think would look "mahvelous" on ME for a collar! I suggested that, but she just chuckled. Oh well, can't fault me for trying!

Check them out:

This is the Swarovski crystal bracelet.

Don't you think it should be on my neck?

I do.

This is the amber and glass bead necklace and earring set.

Too big for me but I'll bet it would make a nice harness for the big dog that lives behind us. This beauty is 29" long!

Now this is a real beauty! What lady wouldn't like this for an special evening out, like Anniversary dinner, or New Years Eve.

This one is 18" long.

This is the ruby red and black bead bracelet/earring set.

If I lose weight, this bracelet would probably fit me.

naaaa, I like to eat too much!

You can see these and others at her Etsy shop. Just click the link on the side bar or go to http://designsbyrukar.etsy.com/

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Mystery Stones

Ok, I'm on flickr now, mainly to store pictures for etsy so if I have them ready but don't list, I can always get them and do it at work when I'm bored LOL


Right now it's just pics of some stones that I was asking others on etsy to help identify. They told me they are carnelian, a type of agate. All I know is they were part of a necklace that my mom had. She got it from a lady she used to work with who got it when she was in Africa, sometime around the early to mid 80's My niece broke it when she was about 2 (she's 17 now), so I know the stones are at least 20 years old or more. She had it when my son was small and he is 27 now.

Carnelian is supposed to have powers, healing, stuff like that. I asked my friend Laurie what she thinks of them, she knows a lot about spiritual things.

I don't know what to do with them. They're too heavy for earrings or a bracelet, and I dont have enough to make a necklace with them. I don't know if I should try to sell them or what. I'M SO CONFUSED!!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Our First Sale!

We did it! We made our first sale in our Etsy shop. It was the turquoise earrings, which we called "Mysterious Sparkle Earrings". It is very exciting to make a sale, and also very encouraging.

Last night mistress and master went to their favorite craft supply store and pretty much depleted the gift cards that the mistress received for her birthday. Watch for some new sparkly and "pearly" creations in the near future. They also bought more storage containers, which were needed DESPERATELY! Unfortunately, I cannot open them as easily as I could the other boxes, so that means the only way I get to play with beads is if they are open or there are some out on the bead boards. Altho mistress seems to be wise to me now!

below: Catscan

p.s. How do you like this font? Does it make my ears look big? ;)