13 June 2013

Refreshed and Renewed

It was a rush of inspiration, fueled by panic, prompted by a simple request - "We'd like to try anything you have that's new." 

For the past year and a half String Me Along Jewelry has been sold at the Gallery Shop of the Art Gallery of Sudbury, in Ontario.  When placing their Spring order, they asked for new products.  I felt a rising dread.  I've been ... what?  Tired? Uninspired? Lacking direction? Bored?  Hard to say, but the answer was simply that I had not had any new product in ages.  And that suddenly seemed like a serious shortcoming. 

I pored over my somewhat depleted bead stash and ideas start to coalesce.  Those larger blue beads, with these pressed glass flowers.  These bead caps with this simply stunning faceted glass.  Next thing I knew, my work surface was a mess, but new product was happening.  I was pleased with the results.  I was invigorated by the results, more importantly.  Then, I looked again at my depleted bead stash and thought "This simply won't do!".  I loaded up online shopping carts with beads and drained my paypal.  Then, I sat back and anxiously awaited the packages hoping that the inspiration and spark would not fade before the arrivals.  Lucky for me, it lasted.

Luckier still for me, while I was waiting for the packages, I was found by a local boutique.  My bobby pin sets are now located at Fancy Lucky Vintage Boutique in Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia. 

Suddenly, it seemed that everything was coming up Carol!!

Now, I am happy to say that I have a whole mass of new items.  I am happier to say that I have made the decision to stay with etsy and press on.  Most of these items are now ready to list and will be appearing in my shop over the coming weeks.  Here is a sneak preview:

What this does mean is that all items in my shop will be at long last returning to regular price.  Until June 21 however you can use coupon code RENEW30 to enjoy a 30% discount.

On top of that, any purchases made between now and July 12 will qualify the buyer for a ballot in a prize draw.  Up for grabs is: a pair of glass beaded earrings, featuring pretty berry coloured trumpet flowers; a necklace with a pretty rust coloured patina butterfly, an ivory flower and a czech bead, and; a set of stormy blue-grey bobby pins.  Value of the prize is $50. 

Visit my etsy shop today and check back regularly for new listings. 

17 February 2013

Food Love

I make no secret of the fact that I love to eat.  Food is a celebration.  It should amuse all our senses.  Taste is of course important, but it should also please the eye. 

Yesterday I enjoyed a course of jewel tones.  Rich amethysts and emeralds with a taste both sweet and sharp.

A wonderfully ripe fig nestled into a generous slice of herb enrobed goat cheese, perched on a thin slice of day old baguette, broiled until melted and warmed.  The beautiful colours of the fig were a jewelled delight atop the snowy goat cheese.  Scattered alongside the crostini was a blend of matching lettuces in deep greens and purples.


14 February 2013

Love Day

I have a confession to make. 

Secretly, a little bit, I really love Valentine's Day. It is a little bit about the chocolate, but its more about the kitschiness of the day.  But then, I am a product of the 70's, a time when Valentine cards left in school-desk mailboxes didn't need to be politically correct, were loaded with bad puns, and were truly garish in design.  It was an amazing time then!

 Here are a couple favourites I found:



These two are great because its food... in love.  How sweet and silly is that.  Better than that, how loaded with puns can you be?  Well, seemingly the answer is really loaded, after all three puns in one short sentence is a gold standard of punny excellence!  Or should I say "eggs-ellence"! 

Now these two are great because they are so unabashedly NOT politically correct.  First of all, children with guns! And look how happy they are to be brandishing them. That would pretty much never happen now.  I am also pretty certain that on the Davy Crocket kid on top, that is not a faux fur cap he's wearing.  Pissing off at least two lobby groups at once with that card.  Awesome!

This one is interesting. She seems to be taking this rather lascivious looking chap and his double entendre with a surprising amount of good grace.  But she does have the decency at least to blush at his advances.  I am not sure if this was meant to be a child's Valentine or not.  If so, then it actually is a little disturbing. 

And then we come to this:

I can't even hazard a guess as to what this card is about.  Putting "thing" in quotation marks though makes it seem mildly dirty.  And somehow even more confusing.  Is it a decorated toilet paper roll?  I really don't understand.

Anyway.... I could do this all day.  But, I won't.  Instead I will simply wish you a Happy Valentine's Day.  May Cupid pierce your heart. 

11 February 2013

Spring Really IS on the Horizon

... if I keep telling myself this, it is bound to be true. 

In actual fact though, there are small little hints of it if you know where to look.  For example, look past the 2 foot snow drifts that have collected around the bottom of the gardens.  Focus instead on the fact that each day the amount of daylight hours seems to expand by at least five minutes.  That's a good sign, right?

And while yesterday was rather frigid and blustery, today the breezes are calm and the mercury is pushing its way past zero.   Expect it to drop again at some point, sure, but know also that soon these little pulses will be a more common occurrence. 

Acknowledge that this exists:

But then, choose to remind yourself that spring's thawing temperatures and fresh blooms are just a mere few weeks away with these:

The inventory blowout in my etsy shop continues.  As I continue to work through my supply stash, keep an eye out for new listings. 

10 February 2013

Crafting a Resolution

Among my New Year's resolutions this year was to try a new craft project, or revisit an abandoned craft project, once each month. 

This is January's project. 

Embroidery had been on my must-try list for sometime, and lucky for me my very generous friend Pegg of fiveforty sent me an embroidery starter set from Whimsiology.

The set included the embroidery hoop, complete with the fabric which had a drawing on it that I simply needed to follow using the supplied embroidery thread.  Simple instructions on stitching had me going in no time.  There are a few rough spots in my attempt - some of those little bends are tricky! - but I was pretty pleased with my first attempt.  Embroidery for the win!  I totally loved this little project and can see myself tackling another project sometime in the future.

February's attempt at crafting is a little more ambitious.  I am revisiting an abandoned craft this month - needle-felting.  Some time ago, I rough sketched a version of Van Gogh's Starry Night onto a flat piece of felt that I bought at the Belfast Mini Mills in PEI.  (You can read a bit about them here.)   Using tufts of roving that I have collected over the years, I am now in the process of felting the picture. 

Here it is in the early stages.   You can see bits of the sketched out part as well as the beginnings of the felting - that's a cypress in case you are wondering.  :)

7 February 2013

Thinking About the Future

You know you can't ever know what the future holds.  But, sometimes you have an idea that your path might be about to change direction. I think that is where I am at.  I see a fork ahead and some choices that will need to be made.

In preparation for whatever the future may hold, I have decided to sell through my existing stock of String Me Along Jewellery and to take a breather from etsy.  It does not mean that I will be going away entirely.  In time, I might feel inspired and stimulated and want to start anew.   But not right now....

So, while it saddens me to do so, I am offering all my designs at up to 50% off until my shop is empty. 

Prices have already been marked down in the shop so there is no hassle with coupon codes, etc.  Just pop by my shop and feel free to send me a convo if you are interested in different colour selections.  I still do have a huge hoard of beads and supplies so might be able to accommodate requests.