The spoils of war

Hee!
OK, unsurprisingly, I spent too much money. But on the up side, I didn’t spend more than I’d brought with me in cash, except at the Kabela booth (and the stuff I bought there is either for me or a gift).

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Chinese crystals in a rainbow of fruit flavors (with the exception of purple). Still… at $4 a strand w/ 2 strands free, pretty happy overall. They’re intended for a design I was working on a few months ago, though I’m sure I’ll find other uses for them, too.

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These aren’t necessarily for me.
They might end up that way, though….

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You can’t tell from the photo, but these are (from left to right) brown goldstone, green goldstone, & two sizes of hemalyke.

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And this is a gorgeous strand of amethyst, two different sizes of lapis lazuli, and a tigers eye. I would’ve liked some malachite, but I didn’t see any I liked. I saw lots of other strands I liked very much, but were decidedly too rich for my blood.

And here’s the Kabela stuff:

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They FINALLY have silver stuff! Yaaay! So at least one of these sets is going to end up a ring for a friend. The iris is mine. Not sure about the rest yet.

So… yeah! A fairly productive event, I feel. I almost bought a new color of epoxy clay, but talked myself out of it; I don’t really need it right now. I’ve got enough projects on my plate as it is.

I also had the pleasure of running into an old co-worker and friend that I hadn’t seen in a long time (four years, maybe?). So that was really nifty, & unexpected. 🙂

OK, I need to start finding places to put all this stuff put away, & then start making things with them. Looking forward to showing you what I come up with!

Fun with PearlEx

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Pardon my cruddy kitchen photography.
Today’s adventures in PearlEx ombre didn’t turn out quite the way I expected. This is white epoxy clay covered with a copper powder. Right now, it looks pretty great, but I’m not sure how much of the powder it’ll hold on to.

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Here, I DID do a little more of an ombre effect; I used three different colors of powder (green, blue, interference blue). But what’s interesting is, it’s really difficult to see it. If you look at it dead on, it’s just got a hint of blue. I expected the interference blue to be something you only saw from an angle, but the green should have been… well, green!

Still, it doesn’t look bad. I think it’s pretty, anyway. 🙂

Beginnings

So! This is my nifty new WordPress blog.

As I set out on this journey of turning my jewelry hobby into a jewelry venture, I’ve been informed by the Etsy community that having a blog is a wise thing to do. I’ve been keeping blogs for years, so on the whole I agree. But apparently the purpose behind an artisan-crafted business-related one, aside from letting the purchasing public get a glimpse into my own personal insanity, is to give them (you) a sense behind how the pieces are created, and why, and what I was thinking when I did them, and what the challenges were, etc.

So… here we go, folks! You’re getting in on the ground floor – I’m not even selling yet. I haven’t got a tax ID, yet. And since I have family in the NJ State Tax Court, it would reflect badly upon both them and me if I sold without the ID. To get the ID, I need a business address, and to get the business address, I need money. The money is coming, and I should have it soon; in the interim, still buying beads (which has been putting a dent in the getting-the-mailbox fund), learning new things, and (hopefully!) making jewelry to get ready for the day this show is on the road!

Next savings goal – buy a kiln!

Next MAJOR MAJOR savings goal – buy a house, to keep all my beads and my kiln in! Because it’s a bit tight in my 1 bedroom apartment, my friends, lemme tell you.

I learned a really nifty way to use PearlEx powder to ombre your epoxy clay last night, and I’m dying to try it out; if I have time tonight, I really hope to work on that. If not, I’m going to start making pairs of the black earrings with the abalone shell drops that get so many compliments. Except probably not with abalone; I’ll use other stuff. But I made a new pair for myself the other day (with blood-red and black Chinese crystals, to match a necklace I bought at a chain store last year), and they came out really quite well, so it’s time to get to work on making them for people who AREN’T me. I even got complimented on the abalone ones at the Bead Society meeting (where I learned about the ombre technique), which pretty much made my day. It’s one thing to get compliments from my co-workers; they don’t know anything about this stuff, so they just think they’re nifty. And that’s cool! But the bead society people DO know about beading and wirework, and they thought they were cool. Gave me quite the thrill. 🙂
I can’t find my titanium flat-pad posts, which is bugging the heck out of me. I was all ready to make some flower studs the other day, and I couldn’t find the posts! I hate that I’m so disorganized. I’m working on it, at least regarding the beading stuff, but apparently those got moved before I got all organize-y last Saturday. I probably put them someplace “safe.” *sigh*
Still waiting for the tax money to drop. Clearly that’s not going to happen in time for me to get a tax ID# prior to the bead show this weekend, which stinks, but what’re you gonna do? The only thing that bothers me is that I would really, really like to buy niobium stuff from this woman whose work I admire immensely (she’s in the bead society, and I think she’s scared of me because I have a bit of a hero worship thing going on, there), but it’s just too expensive. I don’t begrudge her the money (this IS her day job; I’m just a poser!), and I’ve certainly given her a bunch of it over the years (and that was before I was in a bead society with her), but I just don’t have it to spend. When I want something truly artistically gorgeous made out of the stuff, she’ll be the first one I go to, but for wholesale finding materials, I’m going to have to use another source, when the time comes. And it’s coming pretty soon, because I don’t think the nickel-free headpins I bought off Etsy are going to do the trick. They’re what I used to make the dangles for the Art Clay Copper earrings(faceted goldstone beads and mystic black Swarovski pearls), and they were IMPOSSIBLE to wrap well; too soft. It’s going to have to be the niobium, at least if I want to be able to lay claim to hypoallergenicness… and I do. Regardless, I should be able to get all sorts of pretty beads and things at the bead show, including increasing my stash of dichroic cabs, which is always nice. It’ll probably also mean another trip to Michael’s for bead containers; I’m out. Well, I’m out of non-dedicated ones, anyway; everything I’ve got that doesn’t already have stuff in it is intended for a specific use (e.g. more Swarovski rounds for rings, or more Swarovski or Preciosa chatons for the epoxy clay projects). Maybe I’ll even find some nifty metal clay stuff; who knows? I was never into it before, so I never paid too much attention to what might be there for it. Heh.
Of course, the hard part, as always, will be not spending the war debt. Having the tax ID would be helpful on that front, but… well, yeah. Anyway. It’s easy to spend a lot at these shows. But the thing I have to keep in mind is, just because it’s pretty, doesn’t mean I can’t find it cheaper elsewhere. What I want to keep an eye out for is relatively high-quality gemstone strands; I got some truly beautiful amethyst and tigers eye strands the last time. And of course, the Chinese crystal. It bothers me a little to buy that, since it’s not as high-quality as the Swarovski stuff. But it does mean that when I’m finally making and selling, I’m able to charge a lower price for the products I make with it. And I plan to post clearly that it’s made with Chinese crystal.