Friday, November 26, 2010

Redesigned! Check out the before and afters...

A few posts ago, I was reflecting on some of the things that I had been making over the past few months.  I also got some new design inspiration.  I want to focus on this one piece that I had made many, many months ago - a holiday bracelet.

Here is what the old design looked like:
The bracelet is made from safety pins and Christmas buttons.  Months later after I made this, I have decided that it might be a little too Christmas-y if you know what I mean.  So I redesigned the bracelet into a gift set.  It's a bracelet and bobby pins.  And I just think that everything looks a lot better and they are super duper cute.

Here's the new design:

Let me know what you think of the redesign!  Look at other pictures of the gift set here:

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Battle of the Yard

Last week I decided to wage a battle that has not been waged in many, many years:  the yard.  I remember fondly to the days when I was younger and helped my grandmother rake the leaves that her many oak trees left behind as the seasons changed from summer to fall.  I got to play in the piles of leaves that she raked and I got to push the wheelbarrow around as she loaded the leaves and other yard debris.  And I remember that it was fun.  I totally won those battles.  I was the rockstar of yardwork.

Flashforward to today:  now I understand why I thought raking leaves was so much fun - I actually didn't rake the leaves and didn't get frustrated that the little leaves seemed to multiply no matter how many times I raked.  I didn't know that raking the yard leads to blisters on your hands (even if you are wearing gloves) and leaves you with a sore lower back the next day. 

In my ignorance of what was to lay before me in this battle, I went out in full force with my rakes, contractor trash bags, and wheelbarrow.  I was fully armed and prepared for whatever those leaves had for me.  I tried to wait until I was sure all the leaves had been blown of the trees.  We had just had a big storm that blew most of the leaves off of the tree, so my yard was fully covered.  And I do mean fully.  I have pictures to prove it.

I started raking...and raking...and raking.  I waged my battle for a good hour before it got too dark to work anymore.  Less than 10% of the yard was completely clear of leaves and I had four or five massive piles of fat golden yellow sycamore tree leaves in my yard.  These weren't the little oak tree leaves that I helped my grandmother with years ago.  It was then I understood the nature of the battle I was fighting.

I enlisted another soldier in my army:  my boyfriend.  This past weekend both of us were out in my yard raking...and raking...and raking.  And we stuffed bag after bag of leaves and hauled them in their trashbags down to the road.  All in all - 7 bags!  Huge 40-something gallon bags!  Boyfriend had to tote them because they were nearly as big as I am. 

And so by the end of that day, the yard was clear and I believed this battle to be over.  But no.  Mr. Hickory Tree has been clinging on for dear life to its leaves and since the weekend little hickory tree leaves have scattered once more across my entire yard.  Needless to say, I had some very unpleasant words spoken aloud.

The first battle in my own personal Yard War has been won.  I'm strategically planning the second battle.  It may involve a leaf blower, industrial dump truck, or fire (just kidding on the last two - I couldn't fit a dump truck in my yard if I tried and burning is illegal in my town, but it was nice to think about).

The Yard War continues...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A moment of reflection...

We all have those moments where we go "What the heck was I thinking?"  Right?

Upon reviewing all of my jewelry creations, I have had several of those moments.  I know that my harshest critic has always been myself and I have taken some time to reflect upon the things I have been making.  I have sold/traded 9 items at this point in my store since July which for me I think is awesome.  I was super proud of those items.  But I've been looking at the things that have been listed since August (especially my earrings) and wondering why I even posted them on Etsy!  I don't like them any more.  And I feel like if I don't like then I can't sell them.  Am I crazy?

So, I've deactivated several of my listings.  I'm going to revamp some pieces and relist them.  My creative design juices are flowing again after having designer's block (instead of writer's block, haha).  I can't wait to show them to everyone.  Meanwhile, in the last 2 days I have made nearly 7 new pairs of earrings and they are totally amazing.  My plan is to photograph them tomorrow so I can list them tomorrow night.

Reflections are tough, but it's going to make me a better jewelry designer!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I'm back!

Wow...has it ever been a while!  I can hardly believe it's November.  Life has been such a blur since August.  But I guess that's life in education.  I didn't plan on dropping off the face of the planet - but my school year got off to an especially rough start and it's still a bit bumpy.  In order to regain some semblance of my sanity, I'm getting back to the hobby that gives me satisfaction and happiness. 

I have spent this Sunday afternoon making lots of beautiful earrings.  I am so excited about them!  Here they are!  I'm going to post them on Etsy tomorrow afternoon - but you saw them here first!

 Let me know what you think!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A/C Resolution

So as you all know, last night I got to sleep with no air conditioning.  In North Carolina - in the middle of August.  Luckily, the weather played nice yesterday evening and it started raining about the time I went to bed and kept raining the whole night.  It was perfect - I could sleep with the windows down and the wind wasn't blowing the rain in my house.  Those are the nights with the best sleep.

But I digress...I woke up this morning and the air conditioner still wasn't responding.  I had to go to work, so my dad came over and called the repair person.  He didn't make it to my house until about 3pm.  He stayed for about 15 minutes and said that my thermostat wasn't programmed correctly.  So, he programmed it for me, checked my freon, charged me $170 (yeah, you read that correctly) and left.  My dad called to tell me he was done and that it was working around 3:15.  Dad left my house and I decided to come home from work (teacher workday today) and I got there around 3:30.

Much to my dismay, I walked in the house thinking, "Hooray!  My air conditioner works now!" - only to be brutally disappointed.  No cool air was blowing out.  Outside, unit is once again a snow cone.  Tears of frustration start pouring down my face as I call my dad to tell him once more that it's not working. 

By 5:30pm, repair guy is back at my house.  He goes under the house and discovers that one of the relays/delays (whatever) that switches the fan on and off in the air handler (which blows the cool air in the house) is completely and totally broken.  So he has to replace them.  Add another $105 for my parts and now my air conditioner works like a dream come true. 

I am now exhausted, but relieved.  I have been worrying all day about the worst of the worst with my air conditioner.  Thankfully, it wasn't that major.  Just wish I didn't have to part with $275...but it could have been much worse, I know :)

Another blog featured me!

Thanks to The Merriweather Council for featuring me in their latest blog.  You can see me featured here:

I am so honored to be in this blog!  It's my first blog feature.  Please visit their store on Etsy, too:

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I have no A/C, but I do have new earrings!

Last weekend, my grandparents' air conditioning went kaput.  And now mine is acting up!  In the hottest month of the year.  Here in NC, we are on the 60-something day of over 90 degree highs.  I know my A/C has worked overtime, but I came home today to find the unit covered in ice!  The pipes looked like a snow cone. 

Anyway, it's the evening and it's a little stuffy in my house, but I've got people coming tomorrow to take a look at it.  I changed the air filter - I haven't changed it in 4 months - and it looked like dryer lint screen!  Yeah, it was pretty bad.  Now, I'm not dumb, but I have rented for years and this is the first time I've ever had to think about changing the air filter.  I don't know if changing the air filter worked because the unit is STILL defrosting...three hours later.  *sigh*

Despite my hardships, I have endured and even made some new jewelry.  The fans are definitely on the highest level possible here at JMEBeads. 

The first set of earrings I would like to show you I am calling my Blue Disco Earrings because they remind me of those spinning disco balls!  If you are in to retro glamor, these are totally it!

The next set of earrings are geared towards fall.  They are another set of leaf earrings, like my yellow wooden earrings.  But this time, they are peach colored and shiny!  Take a look...

Finally, I've made a third set of earrings that are just gorgeous!  They are purple and bronze/copper glass beads with a copper/bronze charm.  They are lovely for fall with the rich purple and bronze tones.  I will be posting these on Etsy soon, but you saw them here first!

Let me know what you think about these new works of art!  There are more on the way!  I am experimenting with some brand new designs that break away from what I've been doing.  More to come!