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Archive for the ‘Lampwork Beads’ Category

My office has been my pit of despair for a while now. Piles of beads, pendants, scrabble tiles, everywhere, not to mention the paperwork, was all out of control. Part of the problem was I didn’t have enough shelves to put all my trays. It is always bad after the busy holiday season, which of course is my busiest time of year where it is pretty normal to spend at least 10 hours a day from Oct – Dec working on something or other related to my business. So, I finally decided enough was enough and I wanted a new office space with more storage, work surface, and lighting, and I am getting it! We are building cabinets all around 2 walls, and I couldn’t be more thrilled!

Here are some of the inspirations I found for my new creative space. 🙂 I can’t seem to get them to show up as a slide show, but here is the link to my idea book.

my office/creative space idea book

Now, for every great makeover is the dreaded before picture. I can’t believe I am going to post this, but what the heck right? LOL! I bet most of my creative friends all have a space like this where they create. Hopefully theirs aren’t as bad as mine is. I will say this in my defense, this is as bad as it has been in forever, I just had no time or energy to even try to put things away after finishing things up for orders, and shows.  So here it goes.

My computer area where I do all my listings, photo editing, well all of the “work” part of my job. LOL!

This shows the jewelry creating area and to the left are shelves that are home to many things. You name it, it is probably there!

The tall cabinet is home to scrapbooking supplies and the lateral file is home to shipping supplies and of course my photo set up.

So there you have it, my disaster area that has been driving me crazy. It is no longer there,  but now everything that was in there is now  all through out my entire downstairs as we are in the building process of the new office/creative space. Can’t wait until it is done. I want my kitchen table back! LOL!

 

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Many of my glass and jewelry friends will understand this. We have a ton of beads and jewelry around, and most of it is for sale. Well, I have to admit that I don’t have lots of jewelry. I have  a few great pieces that go with the majority of my wardrobe, and that is that. So today I have to say that I am feeling pretty lucky. After we got home from church, I changed into jeans and a great new shirt that I received for Christmas. Well, I didn’t have any jewelry for it, and you know… sometimes it really does come in handy being a jewelry designer and glass artisan. I knew exactly what I wanted to make. I ran downstairs, and grabbed my favorite heart that I have made. (I have brought the heart to shows, but it never has seemed to make it actually to the table to be for sale.) I really wanted to keep it, but didn’t have anything to wear with it. Well, now I do. I turned it into a quick necklace and paired it with some crystal earrings, and a fused silver bracelet that I made before, voila! My outfit is complete!

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Well, I can’t believe another year has come and gone. It has been a rough year for so many of us, and I am thankful to have last year behind me. Lots of good things happened too, but I am always ready for the fresh start that a new year brings. Looking back at my last year resolutions, I only did so so, but that is okay. I did what I could, and while it could have been more, that is what life is about, learning and growing.

One goal that I did meet was being able to take the kids on a surprise vacation when we took them to California and Disneyland in April. That was an incredible trip, and we had a blast! My parents came with us and were able to experience the fun of watching our kids discover the magic there. 🙂

The best part of last year though for me was something that didn’t even happen to me directly.  My sister and her husband were chosen by a birth mom, and were able to adopt a sweet little girl.  It has been an incredible  journey for them and I couldn’t be happier for our entire family as we welcome Katie into our lives.

For this year? I have many of the same goals. This is the year that I find a better way to balance all aspects of my life. Simple right?

So my goals…

  • Fitness – thanks to my friend Annette, all of you can join me as I use her fantastic site, My Fitness Trainer (now Free!)  to continue my quest to get into shape. I will also be going to the gym 3 – 5 times a week, eating healthier, and just trying to “move” more. As I do this, I know I will feel better and have more energy that will help me meet my other goals.
  • Business – a simple yet hard goal. List more, work more consistently throughout the year so I don’t need to put in 12 – 15 hour days the last 3 months of the year, and try to get more wholesale accounts.
  • Family – spend more quality time with them. Sounds simple right? It isn’t. Working from home means there are no set hours, you are always “at work”, and have you met my boss? She can be slightly demanding at times, okay, most of the time! LOL! It is hard to have set hours to work on the torch or in the office taking pictures, working on listings, etc. I need to find a way to set  hours to work, and try to work only when the kids are at school or asleep. It won’t quite work that way, but I need to get closer to that this year.
  • Kids – I want this new year to  provide new experiences and opportunities for growth for them. The girls are taking piano lessons, Daylyn is taking violin, and I want to find something that the boys would like to do. Now don’t get me wrong, the boys are loving school, involved with clubs there,and of course Young Mens, but if there is something else they would like to do, I want to find a way for them to do it.
  • Church – I love my new calling as Secretary for the Young Women in my ward. I want to work harder this year with the girls as they work on their Personal Progress. I want to find fun ways to motivate them, and provide assistance to them as they work towards their goals. It is a wonderful program, and I know I learned so much as I earned my Medallion, and I want the girls to have that experience as well.

So there it is, in black and white for all to see. The kids have their resolutions too, and with hard work, I am hoping we can all achieve our resolutions and goals this year. Good luck to all of you as you greet the New Year too, and may it be a wonderful year for all of us.

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Well, it has been a week since I set my goals for the year, and I thought I would see how I am doing.  So far so good, except I didn’t list anything new on etsy last week. I did reopen my store though since I had it in vacation mode while I was busy in December with all of my shows, and had never gotten around to reopening through the holidays.  So that is my main goal this week, to list in my etsy store. I listed 2 fun frog pendants today, and I have a boro set, and a Valentine Viking knit bracelet all ready to go tomorrow. I even have the pictures done for a bracelet for my website! Woohoo! Progress!

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This is the topic of the week at Flaming Hot. Most of us sell our beads and jewelry online, however that isn’t always enough. I have a wholesale Children’s line of jewelry that doesn’t include lampworking at all, but it is what lead me to start lampworking in the first place, so I am forever grateful to that line. I also have a wholesale line of knitting markers that is a lot of fun as well. I also look forward to the selling at different shows in my area. I love getting to meet my customers face to face and enjoy the reactions of them as they say, “You make the beads?” I always carry some glass and examples of beads in the stages of making a bead so that I have a tangible example of how I create the beads. This helps them understand the process of lampworking better and they can appreciate and understand why my items are more expensive than a lot of the other jewelry at the shows. My other favorite way of selling is to do home shows. It is a win win situation for all involved. The hostess earns a pair of free earrings, a discount on her purchases, as well as earning free money based on the sales at her party. Her friends get to come and visit, shop, and snack on good food. I get out of the house, and once again, get to meet my customers face to face, and create new friends. I always have a wonderful time at these parties. In the end, the best way to diversify my business is to keep an open mind, to look for new and different ways to market my products. I only wish I had enough time to implement all of my ideas. Time does get short in a house with 4 kids after all!

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Yesterday Allison got to make her first beads! Needless to say, Mom held her hands over Allison’s. She had a lot of help, and was never without my hands on hers at all near the torch. She is not ready for that, but had a fantastic time! She first made the bead on the left, then the right, and then asked if she could make a froggy bead. It took me almost 4 1/2 years to work up to that, and here she is on her first day, wanting to try anything! I should be more like her in that way, not being afraid to explore new ideas and techniques. Anyways, I told her that if she made the base bead, that Mom would put a frog on it for her. She was delighted and  quickly picked out her colors. After I made the frog and put it in the kiln, she went inside for about 5 minutes. She than came out and declared,” I think the beads are done now, can we get them out?” LOL! She wasn’t thrilled when I told her they wouldn’t be ready for her to see until the morning.  When she woke up this morning, the first words out of her mouth were, “Can we get my frog out of the kiln now?” She was so excited when I answered yes!  Here she is with the beads right out of the kiln, a close up of her beads, and then her with her beads and frog all dressed up on a necklace. It was so much fun to see her excitement. She wants to make more beads today, I may have created a monster!

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Reality came at me early this morning as I woke up and realized that Tyler’s alarm clock hadn’t gone off for school, so I scrambled quickly out of bed, woke him up, and wished for a few more days of spring break. After a glorious week of sleeping in,  no one was ready to go back to school today.

The kids had a good spring break filled with friends, movies, and of course, they played a lot of Wii. It would have been the perfect week if I hadn’t thrown my back out on Wednesday. Chris was sweet and stayed home with me so he could drive me to the doctor’s as there was no way I could drive. They loaded me up on muscle relaxers and pain killers that knocked me out each day. I don’t remember the last time I slept so much. I was finally able to start moving around well on Sat. and I snuck in some “therapy” otherwise known as torch time. I had to make more frogs, I just can’t seem to stop making them! Here are some of the new ones.

Frog pendants

One great thing about my back going out was that I was able to get some reading in. I read the last book in the Tally Whyte series, “The Bone Man.” I loved it! If you haven’t read the series by Vicki Stiefel, you should check them out. I sure hope there are more of these books coming soon as I want to know more about Tally and where her life takes her.

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