Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Collaboration ~ Let's Do IT

For most of us moving onto the next chapter is quite frightening.  Part of that journey for me is cleaning up the clutter, organizing and trying to get the things around me in order.  You may look at this as a procrastination tactic but in the end when I look around I take a deep breath and feel relieved.  Then I’m able to move onto the next project.  (I have donated dozens of magazines over the past week...progress!!)

Being an entrepreneur is challenging and fulfilling but also VERY demanding regardless of how large or small your business is right now.  Good self-care is necessary and achieved in a different ways by each of us.  Exercise, eating right and stress relief help raise our awareness, increase vitality and clarify our vision.  I use meditation to focus on opening my third eye to help increase my "knowing."  Sometimes I include gemstones in my meditation.  Surprise?  I'm not.




Increasing awareness and tuning in is important when you are a business person.  Maintaining focus is vital to the survival of your business.  I think that many of us spend LOTS of time chasing this and that and spinning ideas of what "might" work.  I'm finding more and more that if I don't live my life based on what-if and I live my life based on right-NOW and continue doing what works then the world around me operates more smoothly and my stress stays at a level that I can manage.

Well my meditation is a great reminder about why I started blogging in the first place.  Presently at Fairies Market I am working on growing my blog.  And what does that mean??? For me it means remembering why I started this electronic journey... to connect with others who design and make jewelry ~ crafty folks who want to share quality products that people feel good about buying. 

I do connect with others on Etsy through teams and that works great but I would like to use this platform to connect with others.  If Y-O-U are a crafter, artist, designer or hobbyist let me know.  I would love to share your story here on Fairies Market. Collaboration works so let's work together and GROW.

"Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean." - Ryunosuke Satoro

So REACH OUT let me know you're there ... leave a comment.  I would LOVE to work with you by featuring you and your work here on Fairies Market where all are welcome.  


Karen






Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Clear The Clutter

I originally wrote this post with the intention of cleaning up the clutter around my house in order to create a work space.  Look I have two sheds and two empty bedrooms now that I am an empty nester.  In my home I have surrounded myself with nice art, heirloom pieces that my mother and grandmother gave me and wonderful memories of my life.  But there are other things taking up space too.


There’s a movement on the rise called minimalism where the goal is to simplify your life in order to live the life you’ve dreamed of.  I know I’m not a minimalist because I wonder how getting rid of magazines, books, shoes and stuff is going to give me the life I REALLY want.  There's no way I can fit even half of my life in one of those small houses.  

Well, it’s much more than that, right?  For me I think the clutter holds me back from really taking THAT GIANT LEAP FORWARD – being catapulted into action.  I’ve been living the same life for a very long time and I’m quite cozy….or am I?  There have been times when I want to just give all my belongings away and get the heck out of Dodge…but I’m still here. 

I’ve been reading some good articles about cleaning up the clutter or simplifying and all the time I’m laughing, rolling my eyes, shaking my head yes, saying “no way!” and then reading some more.  I am aware that by reading and reading I am not doing anything about my clutter except learning about how others got rid of their sentimental items and survived the ordeal.  Did I someone say catapult? 

I know that downsizing is hard for everyone. Most of us have spent years saving and collecting things that add meaning to our lives.  That being said,isn’t it funny how we hold certain things near and dear to our hearts like my bead stash, my books, my magazines and my shoes?  Hey, the list goes on and on…

I realize that I don’t even have time to read all those books or use most of the stuff in the shed.  Did I mention that I have two sheds, yes TWO!  Call a crane operator to get me off my butt and into action already.  The truth of the matter is that I don’t have time to read because I have a very busy life and a demanding job and making time to clear the clutter seems overwhelming.  Plus there are some things I am absolutely not going to part with at this time in my life.  I’m just not gonna do it. 

I found some good suggestions to my dilemma on the World Wide Web some even included suggestions on how to simplify your life and maybe even make a buck or two in the process.  I’ve found in this review of information that the minimalism/simplification lifestyle has a good community of wonderfully supportive people willing to share their experiences.  This tells me that it’s not easy for anyone, right?  We all need a hug every now and then.  Hey I’m not a minimalist….I’m miles away from that but I just have too much stuff and realize that a call to action is necessary. 

I want to share a few of the articles that I read~
  • Man vs. Debt is a great website whose mantra is Sell Your Crap…Pay Off Your Debt…Do What You Love!
    • This site and many of the articles keep me grounded knowing that all that “stuff” doesn’t bring me total happiness.  It’s the people in my life; friends and family that bring me infinite joy.  (and my dog Riley)  Lots of helpful hints for selling on Craigslist and Face Book. 

“The only man who sticks closer to you in adversity than a friend is a creditor.”

-Unknown


  • Miss Minimalist shares real life experiences on her site.  Some of these stories are SO funny and of course I see myself in a lot of them.  Read this week’s post from Agilborder.  She kicked her clutter where it counts!!
    • Calling in help and being candid with family members is a great suggestion.  Making a few bucks in the process of clearing the clutter isn’t too shabby either.

Rather go to bed with out dinner than to rise in debt.

I've realized that making room for things that are presently in your life is important too.  Having room to meditate is important to maintain health and well being.  Having space to work on my bead work is important because it inspires creativity.  Having a comfortable space for family and friends to unwind and visit is important.  This has helped me to realize the purpose for this exercise ~ PUTTING PEOPLE BEFORE POSSESIONS.  Now THAT motivates and excites me!!!!!!  If I do one little thing I can move closer to the BIGGER things that I want to accomplish.


Friends I ask you, “What is standing in your way from making room for growth and prosperity?  Please post a comment….your words mean a lot to me.  


Karen

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Picture Tutorial - Multi-strand Necklace

As I move along in my creative venture of jewelry making I am dedicated to use as much of my stash as possible before adding more beauties to my collection.  So this week I'm using some 11 seed beads, white iridescent glass tube beads, bead caps, crimp beads and a clasp.






































For this project I used Beadalon 49 stand bead stringing wire, .018" in diameter.  This has proven to be strong and hold its shape wonderfully.  No kinks or unwanted twists.

I cut four stands at 20 inches long and began stringing.  I can't tell you how many beads in total.  Instead of securing the ends with a crimp bead secure the strands with a bead stopper.  This will hold them in place while you finish stringing the desired number of strands.    




































Measure a four inch (4") piece of artistic wire and make a head pin.  
Secure each wire to the headpin and crimp each strand to ensure that each strand holds tight.  Slide a bead cone over the wires to keep it all neatly tucked away.  


Add a clasp and there you have a beautiful necklace .  I made a pair of earrings to go with the necklace. 








































You can always find great videos on YouTube so don't hesitate to search for a little help.  I was inspired by this video from Aunties Beads.  I like their videos because the instructions are clear and easy to follow.  If you have any questions just drop me a line.


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Crafty Friends


Over the years, I have met all sorts of people as a result of my personal interest in jewelry making and blogging.  These experiences have been an absolute joy.  The one pleasure I derive from jewelry making and blogging is the time afterwards when I read comments and I have the chance to reflect and communicate with others. Although I don't get a whole lot of comments left on my blog--yet. I enjoy learning about what folks are creating through our mutual enthusiasm.

A few of my experiences as a jewelry maker/blogger have even turned out to be the means that lead to unexpected and lasting friendships.  BONUS!  I've participated in some blog hops and had a great time meeting others.  Link Parties are great ways to connect with people who have similar interests as you; motivational, green living, travel, cultural events..you name it there's a link up for you.

Several of my beading buddies have been busy while I've been "elsewhere".  There are some great blog hops going on out there.  I always enjoy reading the posts and seeing all pretty handmade crafts.

One of my favorite sites is Toltec Jewels for Jewel School Friends.  Unfortunately I wasn't able to participate in this cool hop but I am a regular follower of this blog.



Check out the first annual challenge at Beadrecipes - I'm sure you'll find inspiration with every click.



This blog post wouldn't be complete if I didn't mention Earrings Everyday and the great monthly challenges posted there.  If you're looking for a creative jewelry challenge I encourage you to participate in the We're All Ears challenge to make earrings inspired by a specific picture/post, all you have to do is write a post on your blog and add your link.  This month's deadline is Friday, August 15th so you better get to it!


A Garden of Threads blog is one of my favorites.  Jen takes the most beautiful photos and shares wonderful stories about her life and her interests.  She was nice enough to lend me a photo of one of her quilts (thanks!)-isn't it beautiful!  Jen inspires me with her quilts and photography.  I admire that she is comfortable with who she is and what she loves and she shares that with all of us.  You've got to check out the quilts on her blog, they are a true display of craftsmanship.



The truth is that I never know where my passion for jewelry making and blogging will take me. It’s a solitary act that has brought me closer to people in ways I could not have imagined.  I’ve also learned a lot about myself and what inspires me to continue on this blogging journey.

I want you to think about the person-to-person connections that you've made as a result of your experiences as a blogger.  Please post a comment and share your experience.  Your opinion matters to me.

Take some time to stop by the blogs listed above and leave a note saying ‘HELLO’.  

Keep Creating,

Karen