Saturday, August 23, 2008

Making Product Labels

This was a great idea I found somewhere along my travels on the big WorldWide Web. I'm on a serious shoe-string budget and cannot afford professionally printed labels. But I wanted something other than the teeny-tiny threaded labels available at both hobby shops and office supply depots.

I took my business card, shrunk it to 1/4 of it's size and made a new "business card" with my logo/info repeated 4 times. Print out the new card, cut, punch and thread with either pearl cotton or fancy metallic thread and voila! It's a bit laborious, but it can be done whilst watching a movie or favorite TV show.

The back is blank leaving room for price and product information.

I'll be showing today at an open house hosted by a lovely lady I met through one of my local networks. If you're an artist seeking new opportunities to market your wares, joining local networks is a great way to meet new people and find new outlets. A good place to start in finding network groups in your area is here at

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Just a Year Ago

Time does fly! A year ago my daughter and I went to Montana to care for my mother who had emergency surgery. After a week of recuperating at home, we did what we always do ... get out to explore, shop and have fun. This picture was taken at Skalkaho Falls, between Phillipsburg and Hamilton. We had gone to Phillipsburg for a day of sightseeing, shopping and panning for sapphires (what else does a designer of handcrafted jewelry do when she finds herself surrounded by huge mountains of the rocky kind?) when we decided to head home on a route that is off the beaten path. Well, *I* decided since I was doing all the driving!

I asked my Mom about the road and she said: "It's beautiful, very scenic, but it can be a bit hairy," with a touch of nonchalance in her voice.

Now, mind you, my Mom is afraid of heights, very, very afraid. Her idea of hairy and my idea of hairy are totally different. Besides, I figure if it was white-knuckle hairy she'd have insisted we go back to the interstate.

Traveling from Phillipsburg on this route, you start by following a lovely Rocky Mountain creek through a verdant forest of lodge pole pines. Slowly you notice the elevation change, especially with the ears requiring the hard swallow to pop and relieve the building pressure. Eventually, the pavement stops and you pass a sign that states when the road is seasonally closed. The road is a mountain pass with all the switchbacks that are typical in western Montana.

I was driving relatively slowly enjoying the breath-taking scenery. I, like my Mom, have a fear of heights, but not as bad. Besides, the direction we were traveling had me against the mountain. At one point, I was paying more attention to the sights than the road and found myself veering to my left, into what would have been on-coming traffic if it's a well-traveled road, which thankfully it isn't. I made my quick correction with a mental note to be more cautious. As I was making the correction, I glanced to my left and saw ... OMG, saw practically NOTHING. That's when it dawned on me the road has no guardrails and the drop was about 2,000 feet at about a 45 degree pitch. In other word, death-dealing if one makes a huge mistake.

My knuckles went white as I gripped the steering wheel and got back over to my side of the road, the side with the mountain which I hugged with all my life for the rest of the trip! My Mom and daughter continued their banter until my Mom finally realized I was quiet. When she inquired why I was mute, I confessed I was afraid, very, very afraid! I could have taken their lives with my inattention to the road! I had the anxiety attack under control, barely, but she sensed my disturbance and asked if I wanted her to drive. Less than two weeks after major surgery? With the fear of heights that was greater than mine?? That's OK, I'll get us off this mountain safely. Slowly to be sure ... I was creeping along about 20mph, but I'd get us off.

Once we started on the downhill portion, I felt myself relaxing. On certain portions, one can look across the canyon as see the road cut on the other side. To think that's where we were minutes ago. And would you look at the drop if we fell off the road!! Down, anxiety, down. Can't wait until dinner. I'll be having a double, if you please!

After the hairiest part of the drive was over, I was greeted with these beautiful falls! Absolutely wild, untamed and definitely off the beaten path. I stopped the car and we all got out for a half-hour of cool spray and beautiful mountain scenery. Daughter and I scrambled over the rocks and a very lovely lady with her daughters joined us. She took the picture posted.

Just a year ago, another time and definitely in another place from the same old, same old.

I miss Montana. I miss the mountains.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Dichroic Glass

(photo is copyrighted by Lucky Girl Trading Co.)

Amazing that something originally developed for spacesuits and satellites can be so pretty as to be desirable to use in the making of handcrafted jewelry. The coating of glass with metal oxides produces pieces that absorb and reflect some wavelengths of light while allowing others to pass through, and the color produced shifts with the change of angle, creating an optical chameleon that is unique and one-of-a-kind. No two pieces are identical.

I love dichroic glass ... a piece of it has become part of my branding. While I'm not a glass artist, I've used artisan-produced dichroic glass pendants in a number of handcrafted jewelry pieces I've created and all of them sell very quickly.

In my wanderings through the Entrecard community, I found an excellent artist who works in this medium and you can visit her Lucky Girl Trading Company on Etsy. Also be sure to check out her blog. She's currently running a giveaway (the picture shown) and I hoping that a bit of her luck rubs off on me! I already know what I want to do with that gorgeous pendant!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Meet Flory ...


Florence Brick is a fellow member of Skwiggazine and a very creative one at that. Take a pleasant stroll through her beautiful blogs.


We're having wonderfully cooler weather in our lil' ole spot of Texas and have enjoyed some needed rain with the expectation of more. Maybe fall is around the corner after all! I was beginning to think we were in some sort of endless loop of hot, sticky summer vibrations.

School shopping is done! A new routine is around the corner. I'm looking forward to many creative hours ahead.

Clarsonic Skin Care