So I made something terrible for my mom last year. Then I didn’t finish it on time so it was going to be late. Then I couldn’t make the design work. Then time got away…

Finally, I have done it. And her gift will be there on time. Sheesh.

She likes long earrings, blue, simple necklaces that aren’t too crazy like the stuff I’d normally wear. Done.

The necklace is made to be worn long or short. It comes with necklace extenders. She can also replace the chain with leather, sari ribbon, etc.

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Okay so last night I got out the sketchbook and the beads Staci Louise sent me for the Bead Soup swap and I LOVE all of them. They scream Staci Louise! I love her work and I’ll show you some of it next…let me also say I am learning a lot about myself through this bead challenge and it’s only the first day I have the beads in my hands.

The second I saw Staci’s work I was drawn to it. There’s something there that just speaks to me, in a whisper…beckoning me to come in further like I’ve known the pieces somewhere before in time. Her style is organic, flowing and natural. It kind of reminds me of having a mama friend that bakes bread and invites you in to tell your story while you nibble a hot fresh loaf. Her jewelry is that inviting.

So I get these beads and I’m like “Oh yeah, I’m so going to do something like her. I’m going to branch out and stretch myself.” And then I grab my sketchbook and spread the beads out and my brain disappoints me. It just stops. The gears come to a halt. I try rearranging the beads on my empty page this way and that and I can’t seem to design anything that feels comfortable. It just doesn’t flow. It only took about 5 minutes to learn that I am not as much like a river as I thought I was.

I suddenly had a flashback from when I designed cards for the catalogs in the design department at PSX Rubber Stamps. I remembered the Art Director telling me my designs were too “matchy-matchy”,  too logical and balanced. “You need to have something off balance to make it work.”

Er. Um. Okay? Hands can’t do…configuration not working…struggle…*sigh. Forget it. I like natural, I like flow, I really do. I just cannot seem to pull it off myself. I realized the soup I sent Staci had all the markings of this linear, measured way of thinking. It’s interesting to get that reflection back at me. I decided to just break up the beads into different pieces that I could do and I managed to kinda maybe make something with organic style that of course has to fit into a linear format. Does that even make sense? You’ll see what I mean on the reveal date. Or maybe you’ll be like…Hello? Emily? That’s pretty measured.

Anyway, you’ve got to see Staci’s work to gawk at how easy she makes it look and notice how it makes you feel.

See what I mean? Total organic flow. Why can’t I pull that off? I don’t know but I’m not going to stress. I’m just going to sit here and drool.

This one is like the star clasp she sent me. So cool!!! Handmade too!

 

I will always come back to Staci’s things to give me that burst of inspiration. That singing under a full moon, drinking nectar in the freshly sown garden feeling. She has mastered her style and it is absolutely original and unique.

To enjoy more of her work:

http://www.stacilouiseoriginals.com/

Heellllooooo thar! To begin this story you will need to press play on the video below.

It’s a short story but it must have suspense music. It just must.

After working in my son’s 1st grade class, running my sick teenager around town and enjoying swollen sinuses I came home to a wonderful surprise in the mail from my Bead Buddy…Staci Louise who’s website is http://www.stacilouiseoriginals.com/ and her style is amazing and very original. I posted a little bit about this adventure in the previous post so if you haven’t read that you might want to go back and catch up a bit. We’ll wait here for you.

Tick toc. Okay, you’re back, great. On with it. Let the story begin.

There we were still sitting in the van in front of the mail box down the street from our house. My 13 year old was clutching the only package that came all the while he was smiling at me. I gave him the evil eye and was all, “Give it NOWwwwwww.” He was like, “Wait, can I open it?”. Hello CRAZY. NO. I know I get all the mail but that’s just bills and junk. He knew this was special. He knew it was from Stacie Louise.

The 6 year old was jumping up and down out of his seat, “Open it, open it!!!”. I had to take charge of these wild beasts of mine, “Wait you guys! Everybody calm down. We have to go inside and photograph the whole process, so sit down and let’s go get in the house and do this right.”

Everybody ran inside and threw their backpacks on the floor, ran around doing who knows what, yelling from the other room..”Don’t open it without me…”. Kids are so funny. I love that my family is enjoying this journey as much as I am. Okay so, are you ready? Have I given you enough suspense? Are you sure you’re ready?….okay, okay.

The Big Reveal

Inside this box is a secret. A secrety secret that’s so secret you’ll only see it here…

Unwrap the silky ribbon (which I will probably use in the necklace by the way…)

And we opened it further to uncover……….

Holy cow, I wasn’t expecting this much lusciousness. Were you? I know right?

Okay, want more? Let’s break it down.

I may not know all of the names of the beads here so pardon if I miss. Hold on, grabbing a sip of coffee okay? You should too. It adds to the suspense.

We have here…. Labradorite (love, love, love!), purple potato pearls, white longish pearls, KYANITE (how did you know I love that Staci?), a cool triangular wooden bead, three white beads with little black stars on them (very child of the moon-ish), two big pearly dark gray beads, some small teal beads that look like amazonite (best guess), some very cool sea glass (again, were you follwing me at Michael’s or something?), an oblong natural peach pearl, organic shaped copper discy things (awesome and reminds me of you), SEA SPIKES yowzah, 3 faceted black and white rondelles, very mod stripey shells, MaryAnn Carol’s Artisan Beads in ceramic (lovely handiwork Carol), a quartz teardrop so sweet and some very awesome big and small bronze chain. The very cool clasps ARE: a neat-O spiral that I believe is soldered and then given a patina (bless you O Brave one, for I have not soldered but once), another sprially thingy doo in black (very organic), a handmade spiral in bronze and a so so so cool handmade bronze star clasp. HAND MADE! BRONZE. I had to shout that because IT’s THAT COOL! Okay, breathe.

Now, before I get to the best part you are probably running out of suspenseful music and you can hear your housemates telling you about their boring day in the background. Well, we just need to drown that out for a minute. You just shout your head around the corner real quick and say “Yeah, I got it, uh huh..” a couple of times like you’re listening and I’ll go grab the music for the last photo off of YouTube. If you’re a speed reader go back up to the top and press pause on that suspense music, scroll back down and press play on this one below…

Here’s another organized shot to look at while the music intro plays. Oh this is so the best part. Goodie! Goodie!

All right Staci. *shaking finger at you. Are you the Oracle or something? This is the first thing I fell in love with on your site!

You ladies are like, really? I wish I could be her right now! I know! I’m so lucky!

This Eye pendant is awesome. This song is awesome and reminds me of memories of being a little girl in the car with my Dad. He would put on Alan Parson’s and we would listen to this song over and over on the way to school, on the way to pizza, on the way to the beach, on the way to ice cream. Pretty much we could just sit in the driveway and listen to them. Anyway, I’ll be listening while I make my Bead Soup challenge. Breaking out the Eye in the Sky album!

Special Thanks! goes to:

Staci Louise @ http://www.stacilouiseoriginals.com/

and the person who facilitated all of this wonderment…

Lori Anderson @ http://www.prettythingsblog.com/

 

 

 

Push, push…puuuuushhhh….arrrgggghhhhhh.

Okay, enough painful reminders of child birth. I joined Lori’s Bead Soup swap and that’s what it feels like is happening. Suddenly, Gaia Copia and I are being birthed together.

First of all, my bead buddy, Staci Louise couldn’t have been a better match. It’s like she was hand picked for me. Wait, she was. You can find her royal awesomeness here (http://www.stacilouiseoriginals.com/). Since I began this little bead swap and met her she has been a bit of a tour guide for me into the bead blogging world.

Let me back up and say that I knew I was making jewelry FOR ME, because I love it, because I close my eyes and see jewelry designs constantly, because if I don’t do it I’ll have to mop the floor or something. However, I had no idea that there was such a big blogosphere out there for people like me. I guess I’m kind of slow because I know there are “blogs” and then I thought jewelry business was somehow in a seperate “businessy” category. Like, I think I’m only supposed to blog for Google rankings or something if it’s about my business. But I went scouting around for inspiration and found the Bead Soup challenge and all of the sudden my whole world has opened up. I’m so excited.

Here’s what’s changed.  I am still alone in my studio. Yet not alone in spirit now that I’ve found fellow beaders.

This changes everything because the people I converse with regularly are a)myself b)anything under 3 feet tall, anything covered with fur or somebody that eats all the food in my house c)I know that now when I talk (blog) shop talk there are people listening that know what I’m talking about AND have something more intelligent to say than “meow” or “uh-huh”….and THAT makes all the difference in the world to me! It’s the interaction and connectedness that inspires.

So, I’m going to go change my diaper now that I have been birthed, grab some tea and get back to work. I’ve been having WAY TOO MUCH FUN reading people’s blogs and adding them to my shiny new Blogroll. Gotta say that with pizazz, ’cause I just figured out how to do that too. I suppose I’ll have more time for that next week.

The work I’m seeing is amazing. The common thread is jewelry, creativity and sometimes it’s nice to read about the REALNESS of people and thier private lives too. It’s like we’re really not all that seperate, really not all that different.

Photo credit: BeginWithin.org

 

 

Penny From Heaven Bracelet

I confess. I have been a little down about the jewelry business over the past year. There’s been some health struggles and the struggle for more time since I am also a stay at home mom with young kids…but partly, a lot of time sitting at the desk and not enough time moving, meeting people, getting outside.

Recently, I struck up a conversation with the produce dude, Henry,  at the store I go to every week. It’s kind of the one time I get to dress up as the REAL ME and get out in the world. I see it as an adventure. Woe, grocery shopping IS an adventure.

Henry told me an awesome story about his wife and how before her mother died she always told her “Someday you’ll get pennies from heaven”. She collects them when she finds them and thinks of her Mom. Henry had seen a bracelet with a small, fake penny on it but didn’t buy it for her because it just wasn’t right. He asked if I could make him a bracelet for her. We agreed on a price and even though it was a bit less than I’d normally charge, the sentimental story and my understanding about hard times got the better of me. I was juiced again!

I came home and got to work right away. This time I skipped the sketch book. I knew exactly what I was going to do. It came out exactly how I had pictured it. 3 strands of copper chain, handmade adjustable clasp, boho style, and little chips of amber and sunstone for healing and sunny disposition.

I discovered that pennies from 1982 or later are made of zinc and melt with heat. I found an older penny and gave it a patina, buffed Lincoln and the Lincoln Memorial to a high shine with specialty jewelery sanding paper and then buffed it to a high shine with a rouge cloth. I had thought of basket weaving around the penny so I got to work making a frame and then with hair thin wire I wove and wove and wove. I did a final round with small apricot aurora borealis seed beads  around the edges and some little copper balls for a whimsical feel.

Finally, I had the synchronous sign I needed to kick me in the rear and get me moving again. I had been feeling like my website and my jewelry is just LOST amongst all of the other artists on Etsy and Artfire. I make sales through meeting people but so far have not been discovered online. I got what I needed to renew my fire for what I’m working so hard on this website for. Since completing the Penny Bracelet I dug in and made some matching earrings, revamped some of my web pages and got out the photography equipment and started photographing items that have been needing to get listed for some time now. I completed 7 of 8 bracelets that needed finishing clasps and got a few more pairs of earrings done. I have another custom order in the works too, but this one is a gift for my Mom’s 60th birthday coming up….will post on that this weekend.

Here’s the photos from the penny order…

 

 

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This was my second attempt. Actually, it was amazing to me how my hands took over when my head got out of the way. It was truly like being led by the heart. The first one I did put a couple of scratches on the backside which means of course I have to keep it now, just terrible. My first trial run had me thinking about which way I would twist and turn the wires, what move I would do next, where would these go, etc. but the second heart just happened. My hands just directed the wire in the most organic way and I didn’t have to think about it at all. Now I am craving trying this out on a few more items. I ordered some like this but in a circular shape which seems really whole. I’ll probably pick up a couple more hearts too but we’ll have to see if this one sells….

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