Saturday, May 26, 2012

Happy Birthday, Pam!

In a post earlier this month, I featured a picture of the book sent to me by my sis-in-law, Pam. Below is a necklace I made for her birthday using a pattern from the book.
The pattern used a square cabochon in a prong setting, which I purchased on Etsy. The rest of the materials I had on hand: 11/0 triangles, 11/0 delicas, 15/0 seeds and 3mm and 4mm beads. I bought a sterling choker at a local store and voila! I also made some matching earrings which are a little ohh la la for everyday wear but matched nicely.
Pam is a great sister and also understands how crafting passion can grab you, except her passion is knitting. So happy birthday, dear Pam! We are lucky to have you in our family!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

What'd that cost to make?

Thought it might fun (and maybe a bit horrifying) to start a new column on projects and the costs of creating them. This may not be terribly exciting for beaders who earn a steady living from their art, since they probably do this as a routine. But for bead enthusiasts who sell on occasion, it can be quite an eye-opener to track project costs, your time and the final selling price. Eni Oken sells an excel-based pricing calculator that does a great job incorporating the value of your time as well as base materials costs. This, of course, presumes that you keep good records of what you buy.

I started saving all my receipts four or five years ago but just last year began recording them in excel on an itemized level so I can quickly search for the cost and where I purchased something. (Fortunately, my hubby doesn't explore my excel files very often or he might be astonished at just how much you can spend on something that comes in a very tiny envelope!)

So here's my first column featuring my inaugural effort working with pendant kits from craftfantastic. I bought the kits in late 2010 and they sat neglected until just recently when I was trying to come up with a gift idea. I haven't had much luck with mixed media in the past but the directions seemed easy enough and the cowgirl images came with the kits. I made four pendants but one went back in the reject pile. Below are the three that made it to the photo shoot!

According to Eni's calculator, my materials cost is $8.44 per pendant and below is a screen shot from the calculator. Based upon one hour of work time, she is recommending a $39 sales price which I definitely would not ask. I would probably sell these for about $18-$20. First, I am not an established seller and I think my future attempts using these materials will be a bit more polished.

What do you think?

And if you'd like to share a similar column on your blog, come on back and post the link so we can all read it!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Time To Stitch Challenge

Drum roll.......

Announcing the very first stitching challenge hosted by Therese of Therese's Treasures and Christine of One Kiss Creations. I just added Christine's blog to my reader list but Therese has been one of the very first kind souls to discover my blog when I participated in my first-ever beading challenge last year. Since then, she has been such a dear supporter, always offering kind words of encouragement in her responses to my sporadic posts. So when I saw the post about their inaugural challenge, I had to throw my beads in the ring!

Signs-ups are being accepted though tomorrow so just click here if you would like to learn more. The focus of the challenge is to use peyote stitch, herringbone stitich or both and when I read that, I had an instant idea - so stay tuned for the big reveal on June 12!

A couple posts ago, I mentioned a book that arrived as a surprise gift from my lovely sis-in-law, Pam. The author's name is not showing on the picture below but the artist is Marie Geraud and below is a picture of her book along with just a few versions of the earring pattern that has become my new obsession. I had previously featured the Boheme Bronze shown on the lower level and since then, have made the pattern in more copper variations as well as the blue-ish colors on the first level.

But my very favorite version is one using our esteemed black-and-gold of the Steelers variety in this pattern, which was part of the graduation gift for my niece who is completing her undergrad work at Duke and moving to Pittsburgh. What better way to celebrate her new city than earrings for our favorite football team?

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Bobcat Visitor

I am so excited to show the photo of our very own bobcat visitor. We have seen these critters from afar but never had a chance experience one in close-up. This little fella/lady was sleeping outside our office window this morning. This window is a favorite view spot for our two kitties who amazingly were asleep somewhere else in the house, so we could run for the camera and take the picture without disruption.

Isn't it amazing how their colors blend right into the surroundings? In keeping with the color scheme, I thought I would share a recent gemstone creation using a turquoise stone from my friend, Sandy.

I had the smaller accent stones from a previous project and used them along with 15/0's and 8/0's in the spiral rope. It was a little tricky to connect the two separate spiral strands through the stone but managed to connect the two pieces after some persistence.

Happy Cinqo de Mayo!
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