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Friday, December 23, 2011

Color My World

My husband fashioned up a glass windowed bird feeder to hang from a tree in our yard.  We love to watch the daily bird activity and do so from the comfort of our living-room.  It's exciting to see all the different birds fly in to take their turn at the buffet, to hide their cache in the spruce trees, to peck at their previously hidden seeds and to sing their happy songs.  Our regular visitors include Sparrows, Chickadees, Whiskey Jacks (Gray Jay), Blue-Jays and Pine Grosbeaks.  They don't get along all the time but that just adds to the entertainment value afterall, there is a pecking order.

Birds look so delicate and graceful; their beautiful colors inspire the artist within me.  Mother Nature combines colors and textures in a way that makes me take notice.  Winter White on Soft Gray.  Striking Red on Jet Black.  Brilliant Blue striped with Bold Black.  The color combinations play on my mind and before I know it I'm in my studio creating something beautiful inspired by Mother Nature herself.

It's been a decent winter in Northern Alberta so far and we have but a skiff of snow.  This has enabled us to take our daily walk in the forest along the creek.  It rained the other day and the next morning when we went for our walk the frost was an inch thick and covered everything - every branch, twig, blade of grass and rose hip left over from fall.  As the sun began to shine through the trees I just had to stop and take a moment to take it all in.  Everything sparkled and all the colors of nature jumped out at me.  It was a good day to be alive!

I glean jewelry design ideas from all over the place but I never have to look further than the window to find inspiration.  Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.  Make sure you go to my website and sign my guestbook while you're there! I'd love to hear from you.  You can access my online store and blog there also.  Take some time and browse some of the jewelry I've created.  You just might find that special something you've been pining for!  Until next time, Namaste!


Monday, December 19, 2011

Slow Down Sandra!

Lately I've had the privilege of caring for my 9 week old grandson a lot.  There hasn't been a baby close by in the family for a very long time so it's been extra special for us all.  In fact he's exactly what our family needed.  He grounds us.  As I work at the computer and watch my little Marshall nap peacefully nearby, I'm reminded of my younger days.  As we get older we tend to think about our younger selves with a different perspective!  How many times have I wondered outloud how did I do it all back then?!!  There were so many responsibilities - the kids, the husband, the job, the bills, the chores, the pets, the shopping, the cleaning, the endless cleaning and everything else that needed doing back in the day!  I for one just took it all in stride and did what needed doing.  I never thought I was overworked, overtired, overextended or even overbudget!  It was life and I lived it the best way I could!  I always had a tidy home, prepared wonderful meals, the cookie jar was always full and so was the muffin jar!  The kids were well mannered, well adjusted and always had clean clothes and clean faces!  How could I have known that life was whirling by at an alarming pace?  I should have paid better attention when grandma told me that life goes by really fast and to just slow down and savour it. It didn't feel like it was going too fast at the time though - in fact sometimes it felt like life was taking forever!  But not now - oh, no, no.   Every morning I wake up with my mental list of things to get done and every night I go to bed thinking about all the things I still need to do!

That brings me to my present situation.  I'm admitting that I'm a little tired out - the kind of tired that takes days, even weeks to recoup from!   I've accomplished many goals this year.  Some were planned and some were not, but they were accomplished just the same.  The year is almost over now and the festive season is upon us.  I've decided to take grandma's advice from long ago and slow down a wee bit and savour some family time.  The beads projects will always be there and so will the dusty shelves and the laundry.  I'm going to savour the time with my grandson in a way that I didn't with my own kids.  I'm going to allow myself to be okay with a tidy home - it doesn't have to be super clean!  That will free me up to savour time with my husband, family and friends.

Sometimes creative people need to take a little break to recharge!   So y'all watch out come January.  There'll be a flurry of beading activity at my house!!  I can't wait!  Marshall is waking up now and it appears he's my new boss so I must run!  Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog and Namaste!

Blessings of the season to you all.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

My Jewelry Store is LIVE folks!!

Well, after weeks of hard work my website is 'on the air'.  Wowzers - I can't believe I managed to pull this off.   There's still plenty of work to do and of course ongoing maintenance and best of all the addition of new product!!!!!  But the lion's share of the work is complete and now I can relax a bit and get ready for the festive season and get back in my studio doing what I love to do creating beautiful pieces of wearable art!

Yay me!!!!!  I'm so happy I could do the happy dance!!


Tee hee hee!!!

Here's the link to my site:


 
Shop til you drop!!




Distractions, or What?!

Oh December, you are such a distraction!  What, with the shopping, the baking, the cooking, the friends, the family gatherings, and of course the big celebration........and then there's all the other things that have popped up like my little grandson Marshall, born in October and the blogging, the tweeting, the website design and to top off the load the Mary Kay!!!!  When will it end!!

Then there's the usual things like bead shopping, jewelry design and every day life!
I've been a busy girl for sure.  I'm having a blast though and moving at my own pace so that all the zillion things I'm working on don't overwhelm me.  Everybody I talk to is of the same opinion - that there aren't enough hours in a day and December rolls by at an alarming pace!

I hope that everyone is finding the joy in the everyday little things and that we remind ourselves to take stock every once in a while as to what's really important!  My joyful little thing today is filing my nails while spending time with my little grandson who is camped out in my livingroom!  Afterall it is the little things that make us the most happy, right!

Website coming sooner than later!

Namaste!







Monday, December 12, 2011

Looking for 'Like'

Hello!  In an effort to build my online presence I'm looking for a little 'Like'!  Head on over to my Facebook profile here and 'Like' me, okay!?  That would be wonnnnnnnnnnnnnderful!  Thank you very much.  and for those that have already demonstrated that they 'like' me, thank you - I like you too!!

I added a whole bunch of pictures today of some of the jewelry I have for sale.  Just a little something for you to preview while I toil away on the website!  It's getting closer.  My goodness it's a lot of work.  It's going to be well worth it though.  My bead obsession and jewelry making hobby is beginning to feel like the business I envisioned it to be.   What a great feeling!!!

Gypsy Road Beads thanks you and Namaste.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Telephone Service & Web Designers

What's the chance that all of a sudden your telephone doesn't work?  It's actually pretty good out here in the frozen north.  Two nights ago I picked up the land line receiver to make a long distance call to get help with my website.  No dial tone.  Great.  We had unusually forceful winds that evening so I assumed that there was a problem caused by that and that I could expect it to be repaired in the morning.  Just my luck we ended up with no power that night too!  Well, that was a couple of days ago and still no phone!  I have a cell phone but not a long distance plan so here I am fighting with my computer getting greyer with every attempt to work on my website. I'm so bummed out because it's perfect weather to work on the computer by a window watching snow fall.

It seemed like a great idea at the time and really quite affordable to sign up with Go Daddy.  There are pre-designed templates to use and my blog can be incorporated as well as a shopping cart for my jewelry, which is the reason in the first place to have a site.  It seemed like it would be a breeze!  But.....and there's the but......it's a lot of bloody work!  Holy Moly!  I thought studying Spanish was a challenge but website design takes the cake.  So, here's a shout out to all the web designers out there - you guys ROCK!  Not that I can afford to pay one but after trying to do it myself I realise that web designers are worth their weight in gold.  Also, the operators at the call center for Go Daddy are knowledgeable and personable and I feel very comfortable calling them and asking stupid questions!!
 
I believe that everything happens for a reason.  The phone hasn't worked for 2 days and likely won't work until next week.  Is the universe telling me to quit whining and get my brain in gear!?  Possibly.  So, if you don't hear from me for a week now you know why!  I'll be up to my eyeballs in html, ssl, and many other foreign terms to me.  I'll be so happy when my site is up and running.  All this web design is taking me away from the designing that I really love to do, which is jewelry.

Take care and Namaste!



Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Be Organized!

"A place for everything and everything in its place" is just one of my mantras!  I've tried to pass this trait down to my children.  I can't think straight when things aren't organized!

I spend way too much time cleaning and organizing everything, but I especially enjoy keeping my beads and findings organized.  It's a full time job really.  Every time I clear out a few projects that means re-organizing.  Not only so I can see what I have to play with but also so I know what I'm low on.  {If there's anything I like more than organizing it's shopping!  And shopping for beads is just plain fun in my world}.

I'm a bit of a 'collector' of boxes and bags.  I just can't stand to throw out any type of container that I could possibly reuse to keep other things organized.  This does become a problem however!

The focus of this blog is actually the fact that I've been working extremely hard on building a website.  This is no easy task!  There's a lot to it, which brings me to my dilemma with being organized!  If I could get myself organized to finish this website task it would be done and I could move on with more interesting blogs!  This is what happens when I'm not organized - I become discombobulated.  The problem is I don't exactly know what I'm doing therefore I cannot put together a list and get organized!

So, stay on track everybody and try to keep things organized in your life!  I'm having a little trouble with this at the moment but I know that a positive attitude will get me through this project.  Then we'll ALL be able to enjoy the fruits of my labour!

Thank you and Namaste!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Tibetan Styled Necklaces

Here's a couple of necklaces I've been working on.  The Top pendant is faux turquoise and coral but you can probably tell that just by looking at the big blue plastic stone!  It is a Tibetan style though and would be a lot of fun to wear with jeans!  It's a very lightweight, versatile necklace and is strung with old Tibetan and big red marble resin beads.

The bottom necklace is the grand prize!  The repossed brass pendant contains turquoise and coral inlay.  It's strung with red jasper, wood, gold freshwater pearls and turquoise.  It's a stunning piece - unique and beautiful. You'll know you're wearing a significant piece when it's around your neck.

I wanted to share these two pieces to show how effective a faux piece can be and of course how beautiful real stones can be.  I love to create beautiful jewelry that everybody can afford.  As soon as my website is up you'll be able to find exceptional pieces that you will love to wear for years to come.  Faux, real or a mix of each!

Thank you for looking and Namaste!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Beginnings



It started out innocently enough.  Out of the blue I decided to string a simple little seed bead necklace to match my blouse.  I already had the seed beads leftover in my scrapbook stash and thought I would just use them up.  Before I knew it I was online searching the word beads.  Oh my goodness.  Unknown to me there was a whole world of beautiful baubles just waiting for me to toy with them!  And so it began......my obsession with beads.

The shopping spree for beads was well under way and I was having so much fun creating bracelets, necklaces and earrings.  Before I knew it I had more pieces of  jewelry than I'd ever be able to wear.  So I started selling some of them to friends and family.  The feedback has been amazingly positive so I've ventured into selling my wares online and have learned how to build a website in the process.  Well, I'm not quite there yet - but close!  It's a big undertaking even with predesigned platforms to use!  There's a lot to it.  Blogger, Facebook, Twitter, E-Mail, the list goes on with all the things to be on top of but all the effort will be so worth it in the end.

I love creating affordable, quality jewelry that every woman would be proud to wear.  The best part of the creative process is seeing how my customers react the first time they put on a piece of my work.  It's a wonderful feeling to know that something I put my heart and soul into makes someone else feel wonderful too.

I can't wait for my website to be ready for y'all!

Have a wonderful day!  Namaste.
 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Beads on Display!




How cool is this!!!  My girlfriend, Corinne Roby, owns a Metaphysical Store called "The Messenger's Emporium" in Bowser, British Columbia out on Vancouver Island.  You can 'favorite' the Emporium on Facebook but do take a minute to check out her website also.  She snapped a few pictures for me so I could see what my jewelry looks like on display!

I'm getting closer to the unveiling of my own website very soon!

Stay tuned!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bead Weather, Not 'Bad' Weather

We're in for a winter storm here in Northern Alberta.  Yay!!!  Perfect bead weather if you ask me.  Just don't tell my husband how much I like it afterall he has to work in it.  It's not terribly cold.  Only about -12C but there's a wicked 37km/hour wind coming from the east so it 'feels' like we're on Antarctica.  In fact there was a snow drift blocking my front door this morning.

Everybody's lamenting on facebook about purchasing snow shovels for the impending dump of the fluffy white stuff.  Luckily I live in the country and we use a piece of equipment that you sit in to move snow!  And luckier yet I don't know how to run it!

Anyhow, when the weather turns like this I go into the craft zone.  All happy and giddy, sipping tea and playing with my stash.  I hide out in my studio and create beautiful things.  Yes, I have a studio - I'm a very lucky girl.  And if you want one too all you have to do is use the kitchen table as your work area for several days in a row and pile your craft 'crap' in front of the fridge blocking access to the beer and your husband will construct one for you also!

Seriously, today I will finish the four unusual pieces on my work table.  I've ventured into Tibetan beads and tribal-like necklaces.  It's quite a challenge as I really don't know much about this stuff in particular but do I ever love how the pieces are turning out.  I cannot wait to share them with the world!  My inspiration for these pieces was from the work of a gifted artisan named Deborah Snyder found on ETSY. Allysarosedesigns is the shop name.  I'll fill the link in when I can get onto that site but you can find her by searching her shop name.

Have a great day everybody and make the best of the weather and go make some snow angels and run with the dogs - they seem to love the weather.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and Namaste.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Online Shopping

Have you ever shopped online?  These days it seems that everyone does.  I'm definately an online shopper!  I love the fact that I can sit in my big comfy chair in my jammies sipping on coffee while shopping for whatever item I need that day and never have to leave the house.

My absolute favorite place to buy things is an online market called ETSYWikipedia defines ETSY as "an e-commerce website focused on handmade and vintage items as well as arts and craft supplies".  There's a wide array of things you can buy.  ETSY is the coolest craft fair whenever you want right from your lap!   I purchase a lot of my beads there as well as finished jewelry and knitted sweaters.  It's composed of people like you and me as well as commercial vendors.  I've made more than 150 purchases there and not once have I experienced any problems.  I've met so many wonderful sellers there that I've become friends with.  Mentors if you will.  And hey - if you have something handmade to sell give ETSY a try.  You can set up your own website for free.  You just pay a very small listing fee for each item you want to sell.

One thing for sure is that even if you don't buy online you can definately get a really good idea of what things are worth and what's available so when you actually step foot into a store you're empowered with knowledge.  This worked out beautifully for me when I got into beading.  I had no idea about anything really.  I'm self taught.  Having the world at my fingertips is very beneficial for me in obtaining the best prices possible for beads and the components to finish jewelry.  Good for me - good for my customers!

I woke up to a frosty -17 morning.  But as the sun is beginning to shine as I type away, I can see the frost beginning to melt off the birch trees and the glistening snow on what once was green lawn is near blinding.  Winters are long and cold in Northern Alberta so I've learned to be patient with the weather and appreciate what Mother Nature gives us to admire.  It's actually very inspiring.

Thank you for reading my blog.
Namaste

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Yoga - My Daily Fix

What does yoga have to do with creating jewelry?  Well, for me practicing regular yoga detoxifies my body and centers my mind thereby opening the channels of creativity!  That's what.


We all have fun things we love to do but sometimes we're just too busy with life to enjoy doing them.  How often do we use or hear the excuse "I don't have time".  The reality of that excuse is that what it really means is that you won't make time.  Even though I don't work at a 'day job' anymore I'm no different.  I'm busier now than ever before and fun time is hard to come by.  By chance I stumbled upon the benefits of yoga and my life hasn't been the same since.  Everything is better.  I am able to accomplish the things that need doing in a day so I can relax and do the fun stuff, like creating jewelry.  I'm amazed that by just spending 20 minutes doing some nice slow stretches and simple meditation I have tons more energy, am more alert and feel happy.  I told my physiotherapist that if everybody practiced yoga the world would be a much happier place.  I really mean that!

I used to run around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to get things done and feeling rushed and pressured to do even more.  But since beginning yoga this past March I'm able to prioritize, organize and follow through with the things that matter most.  I've learned that the most important thing I can do in a day is to take time for my 'self'.  By that I mean to take care of my body. 

So, sometimes it's not that we don't have time to do a particular thing it's more a case of we're simply too stressed or frazzled to allow our minds to focus.  If you ever feel like this please take a little advice and give yoga a try.  I picked up Rodney Yee's DVD, Yoga for Beginners (learn more at http://www.gaiam.com/) and first watched the pose instruction section then tried it.  The benefits were immediate for me.  Since then I've been doing his 20 minute morning workout in the morning, afternoon, evening or just whenever I feel like it or need to.  Rodney Yee is my hero and yoga has changed my life.  'Like' him on facebook

By the way I don't have a 'yoga body', I need to lose 20 pounds.  I also have a chronic illness but I don't let these things hold me back from doing the best I can with yoga because the benefits have been tremendous.  I'd love to hear if you practice yoga and what it's done for you.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.
Namaste!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Addict or Hoarder?

Ever look the words "addict" or "hoarder" up in the dictionary?  Well, I have.  Since I began beading and creating jewelry these words have been used quite a bit in my home!  I confess to being a bead addict.  I don't deny it.  Not a day goes by that I don't shop for, design and create jewelry with, touch or dream about the silly things!  There are so many colors, shapes, textures and sizes to choose from that I never grow bored in my endless search for these marvelous little creations.

I've been feeling kind of guilty about my obsession with beads.  I've been accused of going a 'little overboard'.  That's when I decided to look up the words.  Here's the definition of addict that pertains to me:

ADDICT -  'an enthusiastic devotee of a sport or pastime'.

That doesn't sound so bad now does it?  I can live with that.

Then I looked up hoarder.  Since A&E aired their TV program "Hoarders", the word hoarder seems to just rolls off our tongues.  I watch that show with shock and awe and really don't care to be thought of in the hoarding category.  Here's the definition that I can live with:

HOARDER - 'accumulate more than one's current requirements of food, etc. in a time of scarcity'.

Well, beads are scarce in my town!  It's true that I have more beads than I'll ever be able to use.  But just when my stash seems to be dwindling someone will ask me to make something for them and just my luck I don't have the perfect beads to create that request.  And so the hoarding begins.  

My husband can tease me all he wants I guess.  After all, he does fund my so-called addiction.   He uses phrases like 'my wife is a bead junkie' or, 'my wife hoards beads' or my favorite one, 'how's the bead addict today'?

So, I guess I'm a little bit of both.  But, I'm going to call myself an artist.  In fact, I used the word artist on the 'occupation' field on a form recently.  It seemed kind of weird but sometimes we don't give ourselves enough credit for the things we create.  I'm very proud of my work and it's time to take the compliments seriously and get to the business of creating beautiful, affordable pieces of wearable art that others may enjoy!

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.

I promise it's only going to get better and better and soon there will be pictures!

Thank you and namaste.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Transform Your Passion

Last week I had a interesting chance encounter with a friendly fellow named Erwin Rivera.  As it turns out he is a person that can help establish my online presence to market my hand crafted jewelry.


Erwin sent me an e-mail entitled "Transform Your Passion".  What a great title!  It really got me fired up about my passion for creating affordable quality jewelry for every woman.


I scour my favorite online stores at ETSY for hours on end searching for the perfect beads, gemstones and components needed to create my wearable art.  I have a stash that any beader would be envious of!  I have so many beautiful bracelets, necklaces and earrings and even more ideas that I want to share with everyone!  Afterall, I can't wear all these pieces myself!  And what's worse is - I can't seem to stop creating them!  I love to make jewelry and you'll love to wear it! 


So follow me on my journey as I begin the process of setting up a website where you can browse my wares.  You'll be able to find me on Facebook soon as well.


So, here's to passion!


Thank you for the inspiration Erwin!