Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Friends

The following is a post that I made to my studio blog and I thought that it was important enough to post here as well.  There may have been some changes from the original post but overall it is the same.  I hope that if it touches just one person that it will make a difference in that life.  If you find yourself needing a friend, you have come to the right place.  I can be that for you. 

Friends.  Most of us have them. All of us need them. But do we know who they are?

This post seems irrelevant to the studio or to artisans, perhaps.  However, I happen to believe that it is very relevant, especially in today's society.  We are so busy, so on the move, in our fast paced world.  It seems that we never stop to smell the roses much less to realize what we are missing when it comes to friends.  Yes, we all have those friends that we speak to on the phone once or twice a week, some we see every day and we talk for 30 minutes during lunch, go 'kiss kiss' and we are on our way again. 

How many of us have realized the friendships that we create here within our studios, on our facebook pages, fan pages, and blogspots to mention a few?  I did not at first.  I have only been connecting with others here through handmade jewelry on artfire, blogspot, facebook for a few months, but I am beginning to see the difference in our lives.  I am beginning to realize the value of the connections that are made here. 

Many of us will never meet, but we will be fast friends for years to come.  Let's hope.  We learn from one another, we are inspired by one another, we are tested by one another and occasionally we are chastised by one another.  Is that not what friends do?  Is it the jewelry, I don't think so.  Is it the anonymity? Perhaps. Is it the connection of creating handmade items?  Perhaps.  Whatever the reason, we should value these relationships, nurture them and let them grow, no matter that we may never see the other person or persons.  These friendships will carry us through the days of no inspiration, irrational expectations of ourselves and the days of no inspiration.

Like it or not, we are all in this together and I see each and every day, so much support for one another.  I find it absolutely incredible and I wander around the internet all the time and have for years through various business types and various types of people and I do not see the potential for so many lasting friendships than I do through our studios, facebook support and blog support. 

I have recently begun talking to a lady; actually spoken to her once over the phone, communicated through email and blogs, etc.  She is such a smart lady, she assists everyone who asks, no questions, just helps with their studio, their banners, their photos, you name it she does it.  She gave me such good advice about blogging, and tagging, etc.  All of this in the midst of trying to take care of her husband and children and her home as well as make her own jewelry and run her own studio.  How awesome is that?

I just wanted to post this so that we all remember that we are all here for our art, to try to eek out a bit of income from what we love doing, and for some, just to make friends.  For me the most important part of course is the friends that I will make here and other pages that I visit or use to show my jewelry, because it is through these friends that my jewelry will become better and more unique.  Each friend that i make here leaves a bit of a mark and that mark becomes part of a piece of jewelry.

I hope that this post has given us all some food for thought and that we all try to reach out to someone, because you never know, that someone may be the one person who happens to be there because they NEED you so badly.  Sometimes there may be a hole that you can fill for them just by saying "hello" or "beautiful work".  Let us not just walk by without a word. Leave your mark on someone elses life.  God would have us do this and He has placed us here for a reason, let us find that and honor Him with our love for one another as well as our art.

Have a blessed evening

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I'm Up To My Eyeballs

I am up to my eyeballs in research.  Yeah, I finally got me a little hand operated
pasta machine.  I don't go all out for the expensive type until I know that I am going to at least do a fair job of things.  So anyway, a few weeks ago or perhaps longer, I had tried my hand at making some polymer clay beads.  Well they don't look bad, but believe me when I say, I am well aware that everyone could tell they were done by a beginner. 


Anyway, I had to put it aside for awhile because I have a lot of trouble with my hands and I did not want to put myself totally out of commission. I realized that I simply can not condition the clay by hand.  At least my first experience taught me that much, right.  So I waited until I could get a pasta machine of some sort.  I looked around and like I said I did not want to put a lot of money into it if it was going to be something that I did not enjoy doing.  That would be a waste of good money, which I am loathe to do these days.  Anyway, since my daughter works at one of the large craft stores, I decided to wait til they had a 50% coupon and get it then.  GOT IT!!!  Can't go wrong for $12.50 now can you. 


Well as you might guess, I am chomping at the bit to get started, but I thought I should do some more research first.  So tonight I have been on the computer as usual and did lots of reading.  My eyes are so very tired, watery from all the reading.  But I found a site, Polymer Clay Central and they have loads of artisans who have posted tutorials there.


I found so much information on techniques and blending and canes, I could not possibly read it all tonight, but I did read til the cows came home as they say.  It was very interesting to see how to make the blends and oh so easy with the pasta machine.  Of course, if it can be made difficult, I will probably find a way.  But not only that I found another location, (sorry I did not write down the link for you) that had a chart of colors.  This chart gave you the amounts of each color you would need to make a completely different color.


Since apparently a lot of colors that were very popular are being discontinued from some clay producers, this artisan decided to make sure that everyone could still create beautiful colors.  It lists the amount of the base color and the amount of either white or black to put with it to get the color that you want.  Of course, I supposed if one wanted to experiment with the portions, you could come up with a myriad of different colors.  Anyway, my plans for the moment with the polymer clay is to try to learn everything I can from anyone who wants to teach me and hopefully one day I will be able to create beads like these below.  My mouth fell open when I saw these, they are absolutely stunning. These were done by Cathy of Polymer Clay Shed.  She is absolutely great!!!


 Handmade Polymer Clay Buttons, by CAG


Polymer Clay Lentil Beads, by CAG








I think these are beautiful



Now does everyone know why I have been reading all night?  Yes, these are why.  When I saw these, I just knew that I had to try to create something with polymer clay.  Of course I can not hope to do anything nearly as good as these, but with practice I may be able to create something of my own that I can be proud of.


I will certainly keep you posted on the progress.  I should be able to start learning how to do the skinner blend tomorrow.  We shall see.  Stay tuned for updates on the progress of my learning and my attempts.


Have a wonderful Sunday and May God Bless You.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Email Address Theft Warning

I do not want to be the bearer of any negative information, however, I feel that I am obligated by my commitment to handmade artisans everywhere to share this information. I would not want there to be unintended negativity to or from our consumers.



I was notified today of an order from my studio on Artfire. Within just a short time I was notifiied by PayPal that payment had been received. I really thought it was odd that the email was my email address, however, PayPal email salutatin was "hello Cynthia Taylor". So I went to my paypal account to check for payment. There was none. I called PayPal and they verified that someone else had my email address attached to their established paypal account and that person had received the payment meant for my account. Paypal did not offer to help in anyway than to suggest that the buyer file a dispute to get their money refunded to them and then to reorder. This was not satisfacotry to me so I went a bit higher and was told that the other persons account had been established in 2006 many years before I set up my email address just recently after moving to a new location. They suggested that perhaps this account holder simply had made a type. Now, really, a person named Cynthia Taylor had set up and email account with MY NAME. I find that really difficult to believe. Please be careful with your paypal account. What has actually happened is that a person or persons have an established paypal account that they use on a regular basis, however, they regularly change the email address attached to this account based on the information they are able to retrieve from people like you and I from their Artfire, Etsy, blogger, forum accounts. Most of the forums and guilds require email address as the login user ID. So a good computer hacker can get that information easily. This person was not interested in intercepting my emails or even in sending out emails in my name, but in having funds redirected from my paypal account to hers without anyone being the wiser. So she is a few dollars richer and I had the unpleasant task tonight of trying to explain the unexplainable to my buyer as well as change the email address and passwords on hundreds of accounts that I use on a daily basis. I truly hope that does not happen or has not happened to anyone else who produces handmade jewelry or any other venue for that matter.



Just a kind warning so this does not happen to you.

Friday, February 4, 2011

TRYING SOMETHING NEW

Good day everyone.  Well I am on to a new piece.  I am trying something a little different.  I know that everyone has seen the bracelets and/or necklaces that have lots and lots of beads attached to a base.  I could not find a photo of an example to show here, most photos are copyrighted and I would never infringe. 

Anyway, this is the piece.  It is called 'Heavy Metal Sunset'

I know it looks like a lot of wire, hence the name, but when you where it, all the colors of the beads come into focus and you see all the colors in the sunset.  Sunset is what inspired this bracelet and I hope that you like it.    If you don't, please tell me what you don't like.  I respond well to criticism and look forward to what everyone thinks.  My designs are created for everyone to wear and if I create something that women won't wear then I am just spinning my wheels so you input is necessary to streamline my work.

This took me 3 days to create and lots of hot pads on my arthritic hand but I think it was worth it.  I love this bracelet and my daughter is absolutely in love with it.  It is a bit heavier than most of my creations, but it is for the woman or young lady who likes to make a statement.




Thank you so much for following this blog and I look forward to getting to know you better in the near future.  You may also post comments, they are moderated, but will be posted within 24 hours.

Again, thank you and may God Bless You all.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Next Piece, Gimme Your Opinion

Ok, on networked blogs yesterday, I promised today there would be a new piece.  I have been working on this a couple of days.  Of course it was not non-stop.  There is a 3 year old living in my house remember.  Anyway, I have been looking at other folks "S" Swirls, that's what I call them, I don't know about you.  Anyway, telling myself, "I have to get better at this, there must be a trick to this."  Well I did the piece on my last post, well actually my daughter did the pendant and I did the necklace to put it on.  If you look at the last post, you will see it.  I used 'closed' "S" swirls with 'figure 8' links to connect.  I loved the look.  It was made for a friend to give as a gift.  The recipient of the gift loved it, she put it on immediately and told her mother, "mom, get her card, I want some more, so here we go.  Thanks Lord.

Anyway, back to the reason I am here today.  I have some Ecru glass pearl beads of 3 different sizes and wanted to use them.  I wanted to create something that could be worn out and dressed up or to the office or just to the supermarket.  So I did not want to the  above mentioned 'closed' "S" swirls.  I wanted them more open, but had been having lots of trouble getting them to look the way I wanted.  So, here is what I did,  TIP OF THE DAY FROM A BEADED AFFAIR>  Using round nose pliers at the largest part of the pliers, I started my curl, then rather than use my flat nose pliers (no ridges) I used my nylon covered pliers that I generally only use to straighten my wire if it gets a little kink in it.  Well those pliers have paid for themselves, literally.

Take a look and see what I mean.

ALL THAT TO SHOW THIS:



I think they turned out spectacularly.  The beads are called Ecru, however, there is one that has a bit of a matte finish with a gray gone and the other is a bit shinier and a bit more Ecru or "off white".  The smallest bead is 8 mm, then 10 mm, then 12 mm I think.  Sorry, I did not measure them and it was not on the packaging.  I used 16 gauge silver colored copper wire, "Zebra Wire".  It was great to work with, I really like it.  This was the first time I had ordered Zebra Wire and though I will try other types of wire, I really like the way this wire handles.  The curls at the bottom of the earrings are of 20 gauge wire simply because the largest of the 3 bead sizes would not accommodate the 16 gauge.  The only components not handmade are the ear wires and the beads.

Ok, let me have it.  Tell me what you think and be honest, I can take it.

Be sure to check back often as there will be more new pieces this week.  Not sure when, but my daughter is working on another piece similar to the last post. called Swirls and Curls.  This time she is working with gold colored copper wire and the necklace, well I have yet to decide.  I guess it depends on the type of stone she uses in the inner circle.  I used the "S" swirls on the Swirls and Curls because of the swirl in the stone. 

Ok, gotta run, other blogs to post and lots of networking to get done, and it is very very late here.  I need my beauty rest as well you see.  I have to go sell real estate in the morning and these days that is no simple task.  Wish me luck.

And again, let me know what you think of "Pearls and Swirls".

Good Night
Pam