Monday, January 31, 2011

Tiny Brass Birds

A couple of weeks ago on my Facebook page, I mentioned that the new jewelry I was designing involves adorable little brass birds.

Well, over the weekend (which started off strong, but 3/4 of which involved me lying on the couch feeling sick, boo), I finally managed to get some pictures taken and some listings up on Etsy.

Since my asymmetrical flower necklaces have sold so well, I decided to do something similar, replacing the flower with a little bird. I used 4mm beads (instead of the 6mm or 8mm beads I used for the flowers) to make the necklace more delicate and feminine.

It's available in green aventurine, amethyst, shell, or red tiger's eye. And of course I made matching bracelets:

I also made earrings, which will hopefully be listed on Etsy soon.

Now I must get going. I need to protect Elvis from the impending snow. That dog is seriously afraid of everything. ;-)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Snowed In

I very rarely get a snow day.

It doesn't happen in my day job unless the governor declares a state of emergency, which has not happened in the past 5 1/2 years I've worked there.

The library where I work part-time does periodically close for inclement weather, but it hasn't happened on a day I work in the nearly 5 years I've worked there.

Until tonight. I'd be upset if I didn't desperately need the time off to relax, since I could feel that I was on the verge of getting sick. I think the plan for tonight is to make more jewelry while I watch TV while I lounge around on...

My brand new living room furniture!

The pillows that came with the set just happened to match our color scheme of gray and red!

It's definitely a different look than the original set I was looking at, but it's incredibly comfortable, it's the right material, the right color, AND the sofa is actually a sleeper sofa, which was not an option available with the set I was originally looking at. Now I just need to find something to put on that poor, naked wall behind it.

Unfortunately I completely flaked out on doing a "before" picture. We had already dragged the old sofa out to the curb by the time I remembered, so instead my husband took a picture of my lounging on it in front of the house.

My arm's covering the damaged part of the cushion, but trust me, it wasn't pretty. ;-)

Monday, January 24, 2011

My Super-Busy Weekend

I'm starting this week out exhausted already!

I spend all day Saturday wandering around NYC. I got together with two of my roommates from college with the intention of taking the ferry to the Statue of Liberty, but once we realized how brutally cold it was, we decided to wait until warmer weather.

We did spend a little time near the South Street Seaport, checking out the shops and looking at the Brooklyn Bridge.

We decided to add "walk across the Brooklyn Bridge" to our list of things to do - once it gets warmer.

And of course we took the obligatory self-portrait.

Faye, Jency and me, huddled together for warmth!
City Hall Park looked so picturesque as we walked to the subway station to go to SoHo for a little more window shopping.

Around this point, I just sort of stopped taking pictures. But once the former roomies and I parted ways, I met up with my husband and some other friends for pizza, followed by a taping of Wyatt Cenac's stand-up special for Comedy Central. We had amazing seats, in the 3rd row... So if you happen to catch the special on TV this spring or summer, keep an eye of for me! ;-)

On Sunday afternoon Glen and I went over to our friends' house. He was helping to bottle a batch of beer, and I was working on another custom order for a bridal party.

How sweet are those little daisy beads?

We spent the evening hanging out at the in-laws' house, watching football and eating junk food.

This week is looking equally busy: Band rehearsal, extra library shifts, a furniture delivery (I'll be sure to share before and after photos of the living room!) on top of my usual work schedule. Oh, and hopefully a few new Etsy listings to share if I can find the time!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Involuntary Redecorating

Earlier last year, I introduced you to my sweet little rats, Nory and Sery.

Over the weekend, someone (and by someone I mean me) left their cage door open after feeding them. In the morning Glen noticed that the door was open and they weren't in the cage. Fortunately we knew just where to look.

Those little critters like nothing more than hiding underneath blankets, and there are blankets draped over the top of our sofa.

Their second favorite thing is chewing on stuff. Unfortunately in this case, "stuff" consisted of one of the couch cushions.

Thank goodness we were planning to replace our living room furniture soon. Considering we bought our sofa, loveseat, and recliner more than 5 years ago from a friend of a friend of my mother's for a mere $200, I'd say we got our money's worth. We'll probably just replace the sofa and loveseat, because our living room is not terribly big (17x13) and Elvis is the only one who sits on the recliner lately anyway. And we both agreed it would be silly to buy a recliner for our dog, no matter how much we love him. ;-)

I have a pretty specific idea of what I want (Glen's only criteria is "comfortable"), which actually makes it HARDER to find something. My criteria:
  • Medium to dark gray (our walls are light gray and the curtains and other accent pieces are red, so I like the way a darker gray with red throw pillows would look)

  • Microfiber (our recliners are microfiber and they are sooo easy to clean, since dog/rat/degu fur doesn't get embedded in them)

  • Modern style with clean lines (aesthetically speaking, I am not a fan of lumpy-looking couches, even if they are super comfortable)

We checked out Ashley Furniture, but they had a grand total of one sofa available in gray, and it was chenille. Not an ideal material when you have a shedding dog.
But I think this sofa from Raymour and Flanigan fits the criteria quite nicely.
And of course, the matching loveseat:
We're planning on checking out some other places over the next week or two, but I think I might officially be in love with this set. What do you think?

Monday, January 10, 2011

New Price Tags!

I didn't get nearly as much done this weekend as I'd hoped.
I updated my spreadsheet somewhat, but I'm not quite sure how to go about updating my inventory of finished products, so I haven't tied in my new spreadsheet to the old one just yet. I think it's going to involve sitting down with all my finished products, making piles of similar styles, and separating out items that don't fit anymore so I can take them apart and reuse the pieces. Once I figure out what pieces still fit into my new, more focused vision for my jewelry, I'll assign the new inventory numbers.
I didn't reorganize my raw materials either. That's going to be an interesting experience, to say the least. But I really need to separate the parts that I'm unlikely to use this year and figure out what I'm going to do with them. Right now all they're doing is cluttering up my storage space and making it harder to motivate myself to sit down and make some jewelry.

But on a more positive note:
I DID clean most of my house, even if my office is still a mess. I'll take care of my office later this week, once I sort through my inventory.

On Saturday I finished up the custom order bracelets I was working on for a bridal party.

AND - I put together a TON of price tags last night. What do you think?

A mere fraction of my brand new price tags

I couldn't find plain silver ribbon, but I think I actually like the black ribbon with silver trim even better.
Also, I came up with a really, really cute idea for some necklaces and bracelets. Once I finish getting myself organized, I'll make a couple of pieces and post pictures here.
P.S. I know most of you are scattered all over the country, but on the off chance that anyone out there lives in the Lehigh Valley/North Jersey area and would like to host a jewelry party, please contact me for details! :-)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Weekend Jewelry Project

One of my favorite things to do is custom jewelry orders, and a specific category of custom orders that kind of cropped up unsolicited is bridal party jewelry. I have a couple of sets to do for weddings this spring, and my plan for this weekend is to complete one of those sets.

I don't do a ton of wire wrapping, but the set of bracelets I'm working on requires it. It came our pretty nicely, I think, though:

One down, five more to go!

Also on the agenda:
  • This past week I reworked my inventory and sales spreadsheets, so now I need to tie those into my cash flow spreadsheet.
  • Finish putting together my new price tags and earring display cards. I'll share pictures of them when I'm done.
  • Re-organize raw materials inventory. Now that I'm planning to somewhat limit the styles of jewelry I make, I need to weed out the stuff that doesn't fit in anymore and find some use for it.
  • Clean my messy, messy (by my standards anyway) house!
I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! :-)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Glen and I just got back from spending New Year's Eve in Wildwood with some friends from college.

The view from our balcony this morning.

The place we stayed had an indoor pool with two water slides, one of which actually left the building before sending you back inside to the pool.

View of the water park from outside. That's the slide - OUTSIDE the building - on the left!

From about 1:00am til 2:00am we went down the slides over and over again. Seriously, there's nothing like water slides to help you get back in touch with your inner child!
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