Thursday, February 24, 2011

Learn Digital Photography

After my brother got me hooked to photography last year, it seems that everything in my eye's view is a potential picture.  Although, I have always appreciated and paid attention to the smaller things in life (a delicate flower, a seemingly insignificant grasshopper or caterpillar enjoying its lunch under the warm rays of the sun, the distinctly different, yet harmonious sounds of chirping birds, the hypnotic beat of raindrops tapping my window...), I appreciate them even more.

When I first looked through the viewfinder of my Pentax K200D, everything I looked at was different; the perspective had completely changed.  I needed to adapt to this new way of seeing things.  It took me a good six months of experimenting and many hours of viewing fellow photographers on Flickr to understand what to focus on, how much to focus on and why I would focus on.  When I first began, I felt sloppy, awkward and very disoriented; not knowing what to photograph, what lens to use, how much to zoom in, etc.  I was really out of my element. 

My brother gave me a book on digital photography, written by Scott Kelby.  He told me I needed to read this book and that it would give me a good foundation to my new endeavor.  As far as I'm concerned, every beginner should read that book.  The author, an experienced and very renowned photographer himself, is down to earth and has the knack of simplifying what could easily become a complicated series of explanations.  He doesn't clutter the text unnecessarily with fancy words that obscure the sense of the very essence of what he's trying to say.  I found the exact book on Amazon.  Click on the Photo below to view more information about this wonderful book. He also has a box set which I think is a steal of a deal!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Beeswax Candles and Votives

I've been making candles, melts, votives and wax scented bears for a few years now and I love it!  I began making votives and candles for the main reason of it being the perfect addition to my handmade candle holders, votive holders, etc.  While I was researching about different types of wax and comparing the properties and the price, I came upon the most amazing bit of information about beeswax.  I learned that this seemingly insignificant little creature, that is the bee, produces a product that when burned releases negative ions into the air and therefore replacing the positive ions (pollutants).  In other words, this natural, organic wax is the best air purifier you'll ever find, as far as I'm concerned.  If the beeswax candle maker takes care to use only 100% cotton wicks, then you're guaranteed to purify and freshen the air in your house in no time. This is especially great for asthmatics and allergy sufferers.

Stinky Fish Odors-  I do this all the time:  After cooking fish, I burn a beeswax votive on the kitchen counter.  I let it burn 1 hour or so and usually the fish smell has completely disappeared from the house. It's unbelievable!  It doesn't mask the smell or fill the air with harmful chemicals as a spray can air freshener would.  It literally makes the fishy odor disappear and replaces it with the sweet, healthy scent of honey.  You'll need to try it to believe it.  I brag to all my customers in my walk-in store about this.  I do have my satisfied, happy, repeat clientele.

A part from being a healthy choice, beeswax candles and votives also look great!  They have that look and feel of a by gone era, and yet have adapted so well into our so called "modern way of living."

To read more about the amazing properties of beeswax, click here and read the description.

Monday, February 14, 2011

New Items in My Etsy Store

I've been working really hard to bring up the inventory in my Etsy Baysidewiredesigns and Artfire Baysidewiredesigns2 Stores.  It takes much time to set everything up for the picture part and then I need to process the pictures somewhat (zoom in, crop, lighten up, sharpen and re-size);   Then I need to prepare my little packages, price them and write up the descriptions, calculate the shipping and store them till they're adopted and find a home that will love and cherish them forever.  This is tedious work indeed, but I'm not complaining, it's all worth it in the end.  The store looks great when it's filled with beautiful products that are made with tender love and care.  It is even more rewarding when people love the creations I make and want to be part of who I am by purchasing them.

I've added a couple of really nice sea glass pendants (they are reversible, 2 in 1 pendants).  Here are a couple of pictures of the first one I made; click on the picture to see the second one (it's worth it because it's a piece of light rose depression glass - probably the knob part of a small dish cover or decanter).

Saturday, February 12, 2011

My New Jewelry Supplies Store

I've been working hard to get things rolling with my Bay Supplies Jewelry and Craft Supplies store and it's coming along really good.  I made my first sale. Hooray!! I continue to add different components and findings  I've been making copper earring findings, hook and eye sets (which I will be adding soon) and of course my fused glass cabochon which I make regularly in an array of beautiful, rainbow colors. 

I've also decided to bring vintage beads and findings into my store.  I'm all about recycling whenever we can.  You'll also notice the different cabochons made from my recycled, bottle glass collection

These cabochons are perfect for wire wrapping, wire work.  I've made many different pendants and earring sets with these and they look great!  Here are a couple of pictures with jewelry made from my glass cabs:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Custom Order

Here is a photograph of the custom order pendant that I made.  The customer brought in a stone and wanted it wrapped in a 14k gold filled wire design.  The stone is really thick on one side and gives it kind of a unique look; I brought the wire up on the sides as a wire basket support. 

Here is the picture -
I also made her a ring that I'm not quite finished yet.  I need to put the finishing touches.  I'll be posting a picture later. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Ball is Rolling

I'm not sure if I deserve a pat on the back because I didn't quite accomplish what I set out to do yesterday.  I did work on my custom orders and finished the pendant (I'll add a picture later today), and I did add the swarovski crystals to my Bay Supplies Store and my Artfire store which I'm really happy about.  Before judging me, you must know that the only reason I didn't work on the glass project (I know what you're thinking, but this is not an excuse, I assure you) was because I passed some quality time with my hubby (now your thinking: ohhh how sweet!)  Sometimes you just need to set your priorities straight and husband goes before work... Right??  OK, so now that I've got that in the open, I feel much better.  I've posted a picture of some of the beautiful crystals I was talking about.  See below. 
Aren't they gorgeous!  I just love the awesome turquoise color - they would make terrific jewelry for the new spring and summer collection!  I really like the teardrop shape; these would look great in any wedding or fancy jewelry design or tiara.  They're a really nice size too.  They measure 8x12mm which I find to be the perfect size for any design.  Of course these are crystals so they sparkle like diamonds in the light.  I also have them in pink, light sapphire, peridot, topaz, amethyst. 

What's on my schedule for today:  I want to start that ring I was dreading to do and I will be working on adding more supplies to my Bay Supplies Store and Artfire Store and if I have time this evening, I will begin a glass project. 

If all goes well, I should be able to accomplish everything, but we never know what can come up during the day.  We'll just see!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Schedule for Monday

I've decided to make my schedule for this week and I'll be posting my progress with each day.  Today, Monday, February 7th, I want to do the following:  Work on custom, jewelry orders; work on a new glass project; prepare and add swarovski crystals to my Bay Supplies store. 

The custom orders I want to work on are a wire wrapped pendant in 14k gold-filled (I will post a picture of the pendant once I'm done).  It's my customer's stone and she has brought it for me to wrap.  The stone is a little thick, but I think I can work with that, although I prefer flatter stones; they always turn out better.  I also have two rings to make - they're not my favorite, but I'll power through it. 

It's a beautiful, sunny day and I'm inspired to work.  I feel like the ideas are flowing and I'm anxious to get work.  I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

I did It!

Oh yeah!  I did it!  I made a to do list and stuck to it.  I accomplished what I wanted to do.  I knew I could do it. 

By the way, my glass experimental project from last night... a flop.  I'm not surprised, every time I have an idea, it usually takes a few tweaks before getting it just right.  It's all about learning as we go along.  I'm the plunge head first type of person and I take it from there.  I won't have time to work on a new glass project tonight, but I'll probably try tomorrow.  You're probably just dying to know what it is I'm working on...  I'll give you a hint:  it has to do with recycled, bottle glass.  That should get your mind going. lol

I have a little project (something completely different than what I'm doing), something I've been dying to try.  I won't give you any details, but it involves carving somewhat and it's not wood.  I'll be starting on that once I've caught up with my custom orders. 

I took the cutest shot of my dog the other day; it's a bit out of focus because he's always moving, but it's still so adorable.  See it below.  The stuffed bear is fighting back and he's got Sammy, the Min Pin, in a nose lock.  I wonder who will be the all time champion?  Will Sammy be defeated by this girly, lilac, stuffed bear?  Surely not!

Well, since I don't have a maid cleaning up after me, I guess I'll go clean up my kitchen, catch up on some reading and get some well deserved rest!

Friday, February 4, 2011

My New Etsy Store - Bay Supplies-

I finally did it!  I kicked myself in the behind to get my wheels back into gear and I'm back to work.  When I told a good friend of mine I was putting together a work schedule so that I can manage to do what I plan to, she laughed slightly...  What was that??  I guess my reputation's made.  I'm not quite the schedule type person.  But I have to admit, I always thought I followed a schedule... somewhat anyway.  Do sticky notes all over the fridge count as a schedule?  lol.  Whatever...  I decided to make a weekly schedule and that way I won't overwhelm myself with work and it'll be like taking baby steps and then when I re-open my store in May, voila, I will have accomplished what I wanted.  Well, that's the plan.  We'll see.  I'll prove my friend wrong.  I can do it.  I know I can.

I'm off to a great start.  The first thing on my agenda was to setup my new Etsy shop "Bay Supplies".  This new store will be offering craft and jewelry supplies.  Many of the jewelry supplies I will be making, such as glass cabochons, sterling silver, copper and 14k gold filled findings such as ear wires, eyes and hook sets, components and more...

I'm happy to say I've organized everything for the Bay Supplies store and now I'm filling it between washings, dishes, putting the dog out, cooking (reheating left overs), eating on the fly and taking a coffee break with my neglected husband. 

Next thing on my agenda is to catch up with special orders that I've been neglecting; I'll be beginning tomorrow morning... I will really.

Wow!  I thought I didn't follow schedules... Doesn't that look like a schedule? lol

Take a moment to checkout my new supplies store - it's a little empty at the moment, but I will be filling it up a little each day... another scheduled event.

Well enough with the whole schedule thing.  I have a couple of fused glass projects I will be adding to the kiln.  I'm going to pop in a chick flick while I babysit my baby glass projects.  I'll be done by 10:30pm.

If the project looks good, I'll be adding a picture tomorrow.  This is an experimental project and I'll only post it if it was successful.

Good night!