Thursday, August 30, 2012

Necklace Rescue Mission

A project I’ve worked on recently is a repair of a friend’s mother’s necklace.  I’m not going to say a whole lot about it, except that I’m very happy with how it came out. I can’t take too much credit for that of course because the necklace had great “bones” to work with. I just added a little extra color and shine as you will see in the after pictures.

In this before picture, we see that it had two stringing materials, a silver chain and a gold beading cord where the gold tinsel on it came loose and balled up between the beads.

I decided to use beading wire for strength. I added silver beads as spacers in the upper position and a very light turquoise seed bead as a pop of color in the lower position. I think it gives the necklace a little added something without taking too much attention away from the main beads.

I also added chain to the end to make it the 18" length that was requested, but then I decided to make it a little longer, no more than an inch and a half. That way, she has an option to change the length if she’s ever wearing a something with a collar/neckline that conflicts with it. I really hope she loves it!
End with a Show-stopper. I think the red background really makes it pop!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Colorful Experiment

So I’ve fallen back down the research hole. Which would be fine but in this particular hole, all kinds of sources have been throwing in conflicting advice. There is an elevator that will take me back to ground level, but it’s awfully slow and I’m still not sure that it will take me to the right place or not. There’s another elevator that I’m sure says that it goes up but really will go further down. 

Man, I love talking figuratively to get my point across. Makes things interesting doesn’t it?

Anyway, I did have a brief vacation out of the hole when I spent a week working on these bracelets. This is the original here: Oscar Bracelet, which I had shown before, and while I usually like to make one or a couple of any particular design (see, my bridal designs), I took a good look at it and realized that I would LOVE to see how it would look in other color combinations. 

The original pattern for this, titled "Lattice Lace Bracelet", was designed by Carolyn S. DeGroff of CSD designs (look her up, she’s a great designer) but I tweaked it a bit to fit my aesthetic. 

Lucky for me, my husband is an artist who has a great sense of color combination and he’s also very honest. If I do something that’s not jiving with him, he will gently let me know that it’s not working. When he raves about something, I know it must be really good!

He raved about this one. It was the first one that I tried. I’m not usually a fan of gold, as I have probably mentioned before, but this combination just spoke to me. Besides, it’s a pale gold.

This one was next. He liked it but didn’t really RAVE. Still, I know it’s not bad. Also, for some reason I have come across many who go balls-on-fire crazy for all things purple. I’m not worried about having any takers on this one.

This one he REALLY liked because of how the clear grey beads pick up on the colors of the skin or any other surface that it’s on.  I really liked the blue and grey together. 

This last one is using a color that I find myself using quite a lot; teal. This is funny to me because I used to HATE teal and turquois until I had seen it used in really beautiful ways, like being paired with brown and white. This bracelet almost turned out completely different, but for some reason, that bracelet didn’t want to be made. I swear it, I had to take it apart several times because the thread wouldn’t cooperate and as soon as I switched the beads to the ones I used, I no longer had any thread problem. Figure that, huh? After I finished, I was glad that I listened to the thread.

I had such a hard time picking the pictures to use for this blog. Here's a link to a photo album with more pictures

All of the bracelets have a quartz bead, clear or smoky, as a toggle clasp. I like that because then I don’t have to worry about gold or silver prices. I also think that it adds something special. Funny thing about that… I bought the two strands because when they were strung up I thought they were so pretty, but whenever I used them in a design, I didn’t quite like the look. Until one day, I was trying to figure out what bead to use as a toggle for something else and BAM it hit me. Now they are my favorite go-to beads to finish off a bracelet.  I’m going to be sad when I run out, especially if I have a hard time finding more. But I’m sure I’ll be able to find a great substitute. I’m lucky that way. I might even have some great substitutes now, but I’m not using them because it hasn’t occurred to me yet.  Yes, beads are wonderful and they speak to me in a beautiful language.

Lastly, I feel sometimes that I work with blue far too often and would like to jump into some more reds and greens maybe even orange. I feel sometimes that most people don’t quite like orange as much as I do.   If I’m going to work with more reds and greens, it means I must go shopping, which I’m ITCHING to do, but sometimes I feel bad about buying more things without having specific plans for something. I could very well get out of hand. But that’s the fun part isn’t it?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Getting Down to Business

 First off, I'd like to apologize for taking so long to get back into blogging. My laptop took a crap and died on me and so now I'm stuck with trying to do things on my netbook. The netbook is rather impractical for all of the things that I want to do. Still, I'm soldiering on, mainly because I have good news as well. I am pleased to announce that I am no longer having bank issues, I've got my account set up and attached to Etsy, PayPal, etc. That also means that I've finally decided to stop the research spiral and went to get my sellers permit, I filed and published my DBA and I am now an official business. YAY!

I'm hoping to start adding things to my Etsy shop this very week. I would've begun a lot sooner but the one thing I'm trying to figure out is how to add tax to my listings. Who do I tax and at what rate? I understand that California is a whole mishmash of different tax rates for different counties and cities and from what I gather, in some cases it goes from neighborhood to neighborhood. So far, all the reading I have done hasn't clarified it for me. Makes me wish I lived in one of those places with no sales tax, or at least a straight tax throughout the state, if that even exists. Do I use the tax-rate for the area I'm sending things to or the rate for the area that I am shipping from. They really need to make these things simpler to understand, unless I'm just missing something. That could be the case. It's 106 degrees today (maybe more), my brain works optimally at around 30 degrees cooler and I am really fighting the urge to just nap all day. It wouldn't be a good sleep anyway so I'm not going to bother.

So this sales tax issue has me back in research mode. I don't want to under- or over-tax anyone and I want to be sure that any filing I do is correct. But I've decided that I'll balance it out with actual work. I've been trying to transform the small space I have at my disposal into an office that works for me. So far it's looking pretty good and I know once I have everything in place, running the business should be peachy... I hope.