Friday, February 26, 2010

Yesterday's topic today

Happy Friday everyone!!!! I'm sooooooooo glad it's finally here! I'm really looking forward to my weekend. I've got a lot of fun stuff planned AND I have some work I really need to get done uninterrupted. Yay for Friday!!!!!

Yesterday I had a topic in mind to talk about and then got sidetracked by my awesomeness (ha!) and the fact that I had 430 fans on my facebook page. That still blows my mind, but I won't be talking about it again (today). :)

WARNING: This is one big long rambling idea-filled blah blah blah of a blog posting. If you're not in the mood for run-on sentences and me thinking "out loud" you might want to skim to the important stuff.... that I'm going to be listening to Sade in the studio today. (oops. I gave away the big finish) Seriously though. It's long-winded, but I don't feel like editing.

Back to what I was saying....

I was at Barnes and Noble the other day and there was an end-cap display about art and entrepreneurial/business of art books. Most of them were the "you make something so now you can make money" types of books which I glanced at and then moved on, but one really caught my attention. It was on a topic that I've been really thinking about lately... marketing in new directions, growing your "brand" (and I am a "brand" even though it's hard to think like that sometimes) and more big-picture/idea sort of things rather than a specific game-plan for "crafting business beginners" with forms and charts that the other books were.

I have barely started into the book and it's already got me thinking about some things differently. One of the things that I'm truly thinking about is a podcast. Crazy, huh???!!!

BUT I'd been thinking about a new blog (again, crazy!) that focuses on the REAL business of beadmaking/creating and why couldn't it be a pod-cast???

(ok, the fact that I have a high voice that sounds like Minnie Mouse sometimes MIGHT be a reason, but I also think it might be something fun and different!)

If I do something about the business end, it will probably focus on marketing.... but that idea leans itself more towards a blog because I'd like to use examples.... sort of like a "call in radio show" but with me taking a look at their site and giving them some ideas while using certain things as examples to teach others. This is something I've been told I'm good at.. looking at something and seeing what works/doesn't work and why as far as marketability goes. I think it's one of those things that's easy for me... easier than it is for a lot of artists. I have a gut instinct about the marketing end of things that isn't really something you can teach, BUT I can share my insights and they might help someone. (My friend Marcy has been telling me for a while that this should be a business for me... sort of a coach-approach to the business of beadmaking. I'm not sure how to make it a career, but maybe this is a start)

At the same time, for the last year on-and-off, I've been working with others on creativity and finding your voice in glass (or other mediums) and this is something that would be nice to explore in a blog/podcast format as well.

This blog is about me me me... just me talking about whatever is on my mind, usually having to do with my artwork. What I'm talking about would be very different.

These other concepts go further than me.... it's about me sharing my philosophies on the bigger picture of craft/art-making and marketing. I like that! I like the synergy that seems to happen when you share what you know with other people in an open way. We're artists, not pharmaceutical companies after all! We don't have any secret formulas (like Mr. Krab's Crabby Patties on Sponge-Bob) that we have to hide from one another or worry about corporate espionage. We SHOULD be sharing. So, that's what I'm thinking about doing through a podcast or new blog.

How do these help me business-wise with my OWN business? I'm not sure yet.... that part is still percolating. I just thought I'd put the ideas out there into outer-blog-space and see what happens. Sometimes I get great feedback from people on things I say here (even if they don't post comments)

So.... what do YOU think? Would you listen to a pod-cast about creativity? What about the business end of things? I'm sort of thinking that a hybrid might be more "me". And again... I'm just percolating. Who knows what will come of this. I'll keep you posted though!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!!!!

tiny blah blah blah...

coffee - oh yeah.... and it was yummy!

music - a tiny bit on the radio, but I'm about to download the new Sade with an I-tunes gift card I got!! YAY for free music AND free coffee!!!!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

This is not the post I planned...

I was going to write about something COMPLETELY different, but I was looking down the sidebar of my blog just now and saw the facebook box. WOW... 430 fans?!!!

How cool is that??? I'm totally floored when I look at things like that. I KNOW there are tons of pages that have a million and three fans or members, but the fact that 430 people chose to click on a button and join my page.... that's pretty cool!

I don't know of a lot of jobs that have "fans" Does the cashier at Publix have a fan page? (mine should... she's really sweet and always remembers me). Does the dentist have a fan page? I'm thinking probably not... although my dentist is wonderful... not sure people would join a dental fan page. Do accountants and lawyers have fan sites? Where you can post "woo hoo! Mr. Abbot (or whatever his/her name is) did my taxes! He(she) rocks!! I'm not thinking so.

So, anyways, how cool is that???!!! To have fans!!! 430 of them!

ok, so I'll talk about what I wanted to talk about before I got distracted by my sparkling fans tomorrow!! It's a fun topic!

tiny blah blah blah

music - praise music.

coffee - yummy Cinnamon Dolce Birthday Latte! (gotta love a birthday that stretches out for an entire month.... or longer if I make the gift cards last!)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

It's Wednesday!

We're half-way there!!!!! I laugh with a friend of mine and name the days of the week different things. I told him this one is called "OMGwillthisweekneverend? Wednesday"

I will be very glad to get to Friday. Not that I really get a day off.... I still work on weekends, but the structure changes a bit and I do get to mix in some social stuff with work AND I get to hang out with people from my church. Can I just say one more time how much I love those people???

I don't think any of them are blog readers, but they are the most incredible group of people... all of them. I go to a funky cool church (you know it's a bit different when the minister wears flip flops and always looks like he has bed-head. Sorry Derek... if you're reading this.... you know it's true, but we still think you're great and wouldn't want you to change) I now work at the church a tiny bit. Just enough to get to spend a little more time with people there... and I really really enjoy it.

The rhythm of my weeks has changed since the new year and I'm slowly getting into the groove. I love all the different things involved with the new schedule (all different hats I'm wearing lately), but it's definitely different and it's taking a little adjusting.... but I will!

One of the really cool things I mentioned on Monday. Marie is back in my studio every once in a while. Beadmaking is such a solitary thing... it's different when she's there, BUT it's nice at the same time to have that change of pace AND to have someone who "gets" me and can help me catch up with things I'm behind on.... and wearing all the hats I wear just in my small business, it's easy to get behind. I'm diligently plugging away at getting caught up though! And Marie is a WONDERFUL help in making strides that direction.

AND I love that it's a bartering situation. I'm helping her get her artfire site going and to get ebay auctions set up. She's a beadmaker as well.... Marie's Artifire shop!

SO, it's a good trade off... computer knowledge (me) for bead-diva-ness (Marie). I like when things work out like that.

ok... back to work catching up!

tiny blah blah blah....

music - not yet

coffee - GIFT CARD purchased Cinnamon dolce latte. YAY for coffee gifts and tips!!! :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Note to self...

Do NOT answer the phone while making beads. If you DO answer the phone, tell the person "can't talk... call you back when I can" and just hang up.

I was making beads yesterday and unfortunately was in the middle of a really complicated one when the phone rang. I thought that I recognized the # as something having to do with the boys, someone I'd called and was waiting on a returned call. Wrong. I got stuck trying to keep a bead warm while talking and I ruined the bead. Granted, this person is clueless about art and the process, so I can't blame them. It was my own fault for picking up the phone.

BUT I wasted over an hour of work, not to mention the glass because I answered the phone. :(

AND because I answered the phone, I was totally out of rhythm once I got back on the torch later. There is something about making beads where the first one you make leads to the next, leads to the next.... and when you interrupt the cycle, it throws things off.

I ruined a piece of art and I was bummed.

SO.... if you call me during the day, you will most likely get voice-mail. If you are a friend or customer or someone who is interested in classes, I will call you back as soon as I take a break. If I called you and you're returning my call, I'll call you back soon too. If you don't fall into those categories.... well, you probably won't get a call until I feel like it.

(oh yeah... happy Tuesday to you!)

tiny blah blah blah...

coffee - totally need some.

music - not yet, but soon.

Monday, February 22, 2010


Not sure what superlative to add with that, but it's definitely Monday.

That said, there was a very bright point in my day... HELP!!!!!

Hooray for Marie who is the beady fairy godmother I've been needing lately!! I've missed having Marie in the studio and it was really nice to have someone around today. REALLY nice.

So thank you thank you Miss Lily Marie!!!!!

tiny blah blah blah...

music - nope... too much conversation

coffee - YES! Thank you SO much to everyone who has given me gift-cards this year!!!!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A great Sylviebead day!

It's been a great day in Sylviebead world. Truly.

I acted as teacher's assistant for Caitlin Hyde today. I have always admired her work... never taking a class or seeing a demo, but just looking at her exquisite detailed beads. When I taught a class at the Gathering in Lowell, MA in 2003, her class was next to mine and I really really wished I could have been in the class when I saw her beads. NOW I've seen how they're made and they're even MORE incredible!

I learned a TON today. Truly. EASILY one of the best classes I've taken (although I'm not OFFICIALLY taking it. I do get to watch all the demos!)

And in other news... a show that I REALLY have been interested in doing, contacted ME to see if I'm interested in doing their show! That was truly cool. Hopefully things will work out and I can be a part of this great show. YAY!!

more class tomorrow... can't wait to see what else I learn!

tiny blah blah blah...

coffee - yummy FREE cinnamon dolce latte purchased with a free drink coupon! YAY!!!

music - nope. Just demos.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

So, I have to confess....

I did NOT make baby beads last night. I'm not great at making beads at night. I used to be just fine with it LONG ago, but I've developed a rhythm and I do better if I start my day in the studio. Too many things pop up later in the day and cause me to detour away from it.

Oh well...

So, I didn't make baby beads last night, but I made them today! I didn't have a plan when I went in, and I probably should have. The goal was just baby beads in a color story. I did that.... but everything was all over the place as far as WHAT I made. They all match, but it will be interesting to see what comes out of the kiln tomorrow!

And speaking of tomorrow.... I'm going to have FUN tomorrow and Friday!! I'm the teacher's assistant for Caitlin Hyde's class here in Atlanta. WOO HOO! Her work is beautiful and I can't wait to be a fly on the wall in her class!!

tiny blah blah blah...

coffee - STILL enjoying my gift cards. YAY!!! Cinnamon Dolce Latte... yummy yummy yummy!

music - Dixie Chicks!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Happy Tuesday everyone!!

I'm checking in before I go spend some quality time in the studio.

I'm bundled up and ready to go! It's really cold in ATL today, so it's SUPER cold in the studio.

The plan is LOTS of baby beads. LOTS I tell you!!! I haven't made bead bundles to sell on e-bay in 4 years(?) Could that be right???? Anyways, it's time. They're fun to make when I view it as playing with color and I need some bread-and-butter beads right now, so I'm hoping these will do the trick.

I love just sitting with a color palette in mind and seeing what tiny beads spring forth based on the colors. I usually have a plan, but abandon it a few mandrels into the list and go with what "calls my name" I'm not sure what the color palette du jour is yet, but I'll let you know tomorrow. (I'm thinking pinks, but that could change in 5 minutes!)

The only bad thing about bundles and ebay is the photography, editing, posting, etc. I need to do it, so I'm going to do my best to focus, stay on top of things organizationally (that's a word... if it wasn't, it is now!) and be consistent. I found that was what worked for me. Having a consistent presence on ebay, "branding" my work (even though it was just collections of little beads) and frequent newsletters to my customers. We'll see how it goes.

In other non-baby-bead news... I'm working on my entry to Convergence. She's also the spring kit, so I have double motivation to get her done. She's turning out really cute so far, but there are some challenges ahead. She's got wings!!!!! (and that is the challenge)

ok... I've talked too long. Time for work!

have a great afternoon everyone!!!!!!

tiny blah blah blah...

coffee - yes! yummy Cinnamon dolce latte which they tried to convince me to order "skinny" because they're having a contest. I HATE splenda... it tastes really bad to me. I'm totally on board with the non-fat thing, but the fake sugar thing doesn't work at all, so they didn't get their "star" for selling me a Splenda-rized CDL.

music - not sure what's going to be on the ipod for the studio work, but I'm thinking sing-a-long sounds good, so probably the Dixie Chicks!

Monday, February 15, 2010

The best laid plans of mice and moms.....

This is not a beady post. This is the post of a mom who planned a really special weekend for her boys and was thwarted by bad weather and social studies assignments. Bummer!

The boys had 2 days off from school, so I planned a trip away for the weekend a few weeks ago. It was a destination unknown kind of trip (which in our family is called "magical mystery tour") I've done the M.M.T. several times, but our destinations have all been local. I wanted to do something special and planned some really fun ones out of town this time.

WELL... mother nature and Ms. Holloway put a monkey wrench into my plans. Ms. Holloway assigned homework which required the kids to watch specific olympic events, specific athletes and turn in an assignment based on what they'd watched on Tuesday when they returned to school. Great.... just great... does that mean we can't go anywhere, I wondered?? SO, I made arrangements to have things Tivo'd as much as possible (and not all were possible since I get only very basic cable and some of the events were on non-basic channels. Do they assume we all have TVs and extended cable packages?? Luckily I knew others who did have those channels and could tivo them for us to get results from later) and figured we would come home earlier than I intended to finish the assignment. (why do teachers assign things like this on vacations??? They are VERY insistent that we not plan family vacations in times other than school holidays, but then when we GET a holiday, they assign homework that interferes with the time off!!!!! Sorry to rant, but this really bugs me. They do it on spring break too!!)

ANYHOO.... so I had plans to go out of town, but decided to make them a day and a half shorter due to the assignments. THEN weather reports start showing that we might be getting bad weather... so I plan my trip around that... planning to skirt the bad weather by heading north of where it's SUPPOSED to hit.

Well.... again, things did not cooperate. Our first stop on our mystery tour was to be a silly one, but a fun one just the same... a trip to the unclaimed luggage store in Alabama. We were on our way to the Space museum in Huntsville after that and then onto Nashville for the rest of the weekend. WELL.... the snow that was headed to Alabama was supposed to hit fairly far south of Huntsville and my detour to this small town first would help us skirt it even more. I followed the weather channel predictions closely for the 3 days prior to our trip... even the morning of.

We headed out and it started snowing lightly (which I didn't panic about because it was supposed to snow a bit in Atlanta...but not where we were going).... we got further into our trip and it snowed more.... and then more.... and then we were 7 miles from our first stop and the highway was shut down because of a truck being jack-knifed. SO they detoured us onto a back-road for 30 minutes... in that 30 minutes, the roads got progressively worse and they decided to shut that road down due to ice.... that road was the ONLY road to our destination. SEVEN MILES AWAY!!!! We'd driven 3 1/2 hours to get THAT close and be turned away!!!!!!

They said that the roads wouldn't open for quite some time... hours and hours. By then the store would be closed, as would the museum. At that point we had to decide what to do... do we stay the night in nowhere Alabama so that we can go to the store the next day?? Do we try to re-route and go on to Nashville??

The vote from the passengers was "go home and serve twinkies to the neighbors" (which makes no sense to anyone but my kids, but that is their new snow tradition... a tradition meaning they did it ONCE the last time it snowed, so now it's a tradition.) SO being the good mom I am, I decided that I would just bag the trip and take them back home, detouring through the grocery store to buy Twinkies.

It was not the weekend I'd planned. It was not the weekend they planned. But it was the weekend that happened.

And now we're enjoying watching various events that we have no real interest in (Biathalon, Luge, Figure Skating) for Social Studies homework. Why couldn't she have assigned Snow Board Cross or Moguls??? They're at least fun to watch!

Here's to you Ms. Holloway... and Mother Nature! Thanks for screwing up my weekend.

(sorry for the rant. I just needed to get it off my chest)

tiny blah blah blah....

coffee - yes. definitely. SO glad I still have gift-cards a plenty!!!

music - nope.... just the Olympics (gotta love that figure skating background music... ick)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

In today's studio news...

The beads were MUCH better.

The focus, sort of better.... although I did make one of this one of that and not get a list of anything done... but I DID get the 2 beads made that I absolutely needed today. YAY!

Tonight is a beading night. I've got to make some serious progress on the Convergence piece.

short and sweet...

It's freezing freezing freezing in Atlanta today!

tiny blah blah blah...

coffee -- oh yeah! I enjoyed it in starbucks while sketching. I've decided that my "office" time will now be spent at Starbucks. It's a much happier place and less lonely! PLUS they have coffee and I have gift certificates!! WOO HOO!!! Thank you for the birthday gifts everyone!!!

music - Colbie Callait and Corinne Bailey Rae.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Do you ever have so many ideas that it's hard to pick one to focus on?

I'm there.

I have a deadline at the end of the month for a juried competition. I have self-imposed deadlines for new patterns and projects (also at the end of the month) and I need to get my website up and running, filled with glass beads in addition to the kits.

YET more new ideas keep popping into my head, not allowing me to focus on the tasks at hand.

I had a studio day from hell yesterday. I tried my hardest to make beads and NONE of them (ok, maybe a few of them) turned out any good. They were seriously BAD beads. I gave up after a couple of hours because I could see that I was just spinning my wheels.

Hopefully today will be better. I've GOT to get a couple of good beads made for orders and a couple of more for the new project proto-types AND a couple to choose from for the juried pieces.

I'm putting pressure on myself, but these things HAVE to get completed.... in addition to the non-artistic stuff that goes along with my life and business.

ok... that was an overwhelming post. I'm not as overwhelmed as it sounds like... just a bit scattered in my focus.

time for some coffee!!!

tiny blah blah blah...

coffee - very badly needed. will remedy this quickly

music - Corinne Bailey Rae was the studio music of yesterday. I think today will need to be a little more rockin'. We'll see how things turn out.

Friday, February 05, 2010

It's Friday and it's BIRTHDAY WEEKEND!!!!!!!


(insert Eric Hutchins song Rock n' Roll here... not sure why, but I think it fits)

I have a wonderful weekend with friends and family planned. Other people might think it's a party weekend because of the Super Bowl, but they just don't know they're celebrating MY birthday (and my friends Laura and Nikki's birthdays too! Hi Nikki and Laura!! Happy Birthday to you too!!!)

This is a totally non-beady post... just to say "Happy Birthday" to me. I love my birthday (can you tell?) I love that valentines stuff is in the stores because I associate that with my birthday instead of the holiday. I see them as aisles devoted to ME!!! (see? I'm all about me me me today)

So, when you're planning your superbowl party, make sure to include some birthday cake!

(we'll get back to bead stuff next week. Hopefully I'll have some fun stuff to share)

happy weekend everyone!!

tiny blah blah blah...

coffee - provided by Starbucks. YAY for free coffee coupon!

music - very quiet. I need to turn on Pandora!!!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

It's Thursday and I haven't blogged much this week.

I haven't had much to blog about! It's not been a very beady week. I wish I could say it was, but it hasn't been. I'm just not feeling it this week. I'm going to have to go crank out some spacer beads just to make myself do some torch work. I think that will be a good catalyst to get me inspired to make other beads. Sometimes it just takes being on the torch and making SOMETHING to get me back into a groove.

I just haven't been in a groove.

I am REALLY thinking about re-locating my studio to another area of the house. I'm not sure where, but there is just something I don't like about where it is now. I haven't EVER liked it in the spot it is now. It wasn't originally designed to be the studio... moving my bench into there was an after-thought due to a play-room relocation. And the kids don't use that room as a playroom NOR do they wish to re-locate to it as a teenage hang-out bedroom (which I'd thought they might) SO... I might move the studio back where it was. OR I might do something entirely different. No matter what, I think I need to move it somewhere that I like.... because I DON'T like where it is now.

Not that this is an excuse for avoiding the studio work itself... it's just something I've been thinking about, so I'm sharing it with you (because i know you care)

have a great day blog readers!

tiny blah blah blah...

no coffee - iced tea with my sick kid instead.

music - only in the car... if I do get to be in the studio for a while today I'm going to play my new Corinne Bailey Rae album! yay!!

Monday, February 01, 2010

It's Monday and I'm FREEZING!!!!

The house is cold, the studio is cold, the WORLD is cold!!! (ok... maybe it's not cold in the Southern Hemisphere, but it's sure cold here!!)

It's "time to make the donuts" and I'm totally dreading the cold of the studio. Being bundled up doesn't really work for beadmaking, so I'm layering... LOTS of t-shirts!! Luckily I have UGGs again, so my feet will be warm, even if the rest of me is still f-f-f-f-reezing!!!!

Off to work, hot coffee in hand!

tiny blah blah blah...

coffee - made by Mr. Keurig and me (we're a great couple!)

music - not sure what's the soundtrack for today... I'll update you later!