Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Look How Pretty!

I mean, seriously! Can you even STAND those colors?!  Head over to Laura's blog and enter for your chance to win!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Sun in All Its Glory

After about 6 weeks of working 60 hours a week and with a new semester that started a few weeks ago, I've been a bit stressed out. My lovely boyfriend decided Labor Day weekend was a great time to whisk me away for a couple of days and basically do whatever it took to keep me away from my computer and cell phone. It worked wonders and I feel relaxed and ready to face the world!  We drove to Tucson, which is just a short drive from Phoenix, and spent the weekend in a resort. Something happened to my camera so I only got a few pictures before it broke. (Excuse to buy a better camera!).  However, I wanted to share a couple of the pictures I took.  The first is Friday's night's sunset right as we arrived at the resort. We were driving up toward the lobby and I looked to the west and screamed "STOP THE CAR!" After he recovered from his heart attack, and actually did stop the car, I immediately jumped out of the car with my camera in hand and took the pictures.

The second picture is actually a picture I took tonight on my way to school. I pulled over to the side of the road and took it. So you can see a park that's near my house and the road where I stopped.

I'm in love with the colors in these two pictures!  Arizona has stunning sunsets, although I have to say that a lot of the reason is because of the amount of pollution in the air. I guess it's worth it, though, because our sunsets are absolutely breathtaking!

I need to find that website where you can upload a picture and have it create a color palette for you. I'm finding a lot of inspiration in color lately and these pics definitely represent some serious inspiration!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Bad at Blog Titles

Yup, that's me. I figure it should be short, sweet, and get to the point. However, I never have a clue what the title should be.

I haven't been around much lately and haven't been commenting on your blogs. I have a really good excuse, though. I've worked 60 hours the past couple of weeks, and I've also started a new semester and have a ton of homework. I haven't made any jewelry recently but I have purchased lots of beads. My boyfriend says "you used to be a jewelry-maker but now I think you're just a bead collector."  How true. I have all sorts of ideas running around my head, but working 15 hour days and then coming home to do homework doesn't leave much time.

I am going to make a huge effort over the next couple of weeks to make some jewelry, blog, and visit your blogs on a more regular basis. When I got home from work last night (yes, Sunday) around 10:30, I logged into my Google Reader and had 245 unread blog posts. So instead of crying like I wanted to, I sat down and looked at almost all of them tonight. I didn't take the time to comment because the thought was just too overwhelming. Tomorrow we start anew.

Thank you for visiting my blog. It occurs to me that now that I have a jewelry blog, I really need to start making some. I'm getting there - be patient.

I leave you with this - a picture taken from my trip to Maine last month to visit my boyfriend's family. One of our nephews took this picture. (Yes, I consider them "our" nephews, even though they're technically his. We've been together for six years - and they call me Aunt Tara. That's good enough for me).  I let him use my camera one night when we were having a "lobstah suppah" out on his parent's deck.  He took this on the tree swing while spinning around as fast as he could. I thought the picture turned out simply amazing!

Love this picture.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Coolest Giveaway Ever!

Look how pretty!  This is one of Maria Grimes' "Tide Pool" pendants! I love them so much, I can't even tell you! I haven't purchased one yet because every time I go to her website, they're all sold!  Anyway, she is having a way cool giveaway and you should probably click here to go read all about it. She is going to let the winner pick one word and she will create a set of beads based on that word. My go-to word in these situations is "beach" because I love the color palate and anything near water is a happy place.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I'm Alive...

...but crazy.  I haven't visited your blogs this week or even my own. I worked 67 hours last week and I start a new semester this week, so that means I'm going to be even more busy (busier?) I am exhausted and don't see it improving any time soon. At any rate, I'm still here, but it may be a little while before I'm able to blog again.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

It's Almost Friday... I am going to ask my Friday question a little early.

Can I first say that I just now figured out how to respond to comments? I'll try to do that from now on, so you don't feel like you're talking into a void. I have been desperately trying to strike a balance between my personal life and my work life but it's just not working right now. I have worked 62 hours already this week and I still have to work tomorrow (Friday).

I also wanted to say thank you to everyone who responded to last week's question. I appreciate the insights and will definitely take them to heart.  I'm definitely thinking at at the end of every month, I'd take everyone who took the time to answer my Friday questions and put them all in a hat and have a giveaway. I'll give that some thought.

Here's this week's question. What do you do when the muse escapes you? Do you push through it and create something anyway? Do you look at artwork to inspire you? I've been working so much the past month or so that I feel like I don't have a single creative bone in my body at this point.  I sit down at my little workspace (a corner of my kitchen table and all my supplies are in a box under the table), and it's like I'm being tortured. So how do you get through it?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I Won An Award!

Thank you to the lovely Elisabeth of Beads for Busy Gals!  I won a Versatile Blogger award! 

Here are the rules:

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award
2. Share 7 things about yourself
3. Pass the award along to 15 other bloggers who you recently discovered and think are fabulous
4. Contact the bloggers you chose and let them know about the award! (this will have to happen tomorrow)

Seven random things about me:
  1. I don't know when I was born. I was found in a garbage can in the winter of 1974 in South Korea and taken to an orphanage. They think I was about a month old, so they gave me a birthday the month before. I was adopted when I was five months old and a few years later, the orphanage had a fire and burned to the ground. There is no record of me left in Korea that I know of.
  2. I have a serious Coca-Cola problem. I consume WAY too much of it. Seriously.
  3. I love my job, even lately, when I'm working 60 hour weeks. I do wish there were two of me, though, so I could get a little more rest. 
  4. I started taking piano lessons when I was three years old. I attribute my ability to type 130+ words per minute to that.
  5. I don't really enjoy sweets - I'd rather have a crispy, salty snack instead of candy.
  6. I have never wanted to have kids, even when I was young.
  7. About a year and a half ago, I decided to go back to school part-time and it was a great decision. No matter how stressed I get in a semester, I still love the fact that I'm back in school.
So the next thing to do is award this to some other bloggers. This award has been going around so long now, though, that I don't know anyone who hasn't been tagged. Since I worked 14 hours today, I'm going to give myself a free pass and work on tagging some blogs tomorrow.

Friday, August 6, 2010

ANOTHER Giveaway!

The beading community is so generous!  Here's a giveaway on Copper Diem.  Check out these beauties!  Seriously, head over there and enter to win!


Hi, all!  Thank GOODNESS it's Friday! I worked over 60 hours this week at my day job and I'm worn out!

I wanted to pop in and say hi and thanks for commenting/reading/following my blog. You guys are awesome! I love you guys!

One of the real reasons I started this blog is to learn from the experts!  I have a lot of questions rolling around in my head that I need to put out there and get some help on.  I'm a Newbie Beader, after all!  So every Friday, I'm going to put up a post and ask for some advice/guidance.

This Friday's question is kind of two-part. I've decided that's not cheating. :)

Up until now, I've only worked with silver-plated findings. I haven't tried gold or sterling or any other metals, although I do have a few things in gunmetal that is astounding me, design-wise.  So my question is this - if I wanted to dip my toes into the pool, where's a good place to start? And copper and brass look the same to me - what's the difference? I really like the look of the Vintaj stuff. and I think their prices are pretty reasonable and I like designs I've seen with their components.  I'd also like to start trying sterling silver. I have a few things here and there, as I can afford them, but not a lot. It's a bit out of my price range at this point.

So, who is your favorite supplier for stuff that isn't silver-plated?  Who has the best prices and selection of Vintaj?  My local Hobby Lobby has a small selection, but mostly just charms.  I think Rings & Things has a pretty good selection, but do you need a wholesale license to shop there?  And I know to get the basics - jump rings, wire, pins, etc., but what else should I get?

And that brings me to part 2 of my question. I'm not selling my jewelry right now (see above re: cheap materials), but I might someday. Is getting a wholesale license something I should do now so that I can shop at these places (and for the Tucson Bead Show next year)?  Or should I wait until I'm ready to start selling?

Help me, please!

Thanks, guys - you're the best!

Monday, August 2, 2010


Tish is having a giveaway, y'all!  It's so easy to enter - just leave a comment on this post and tell her your favorite subject in school.  The giveaway is for a pendant - just take a look at this one she posted: 

Look at that wire work!  I'm in awe! Someday I want to be able to do wire work like that!

What are you doing still hanging around here? Click and comment!  On the other hand, don't - I want to win!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

I Popped My Etsy Cherry!

Is that post title too graphic? Sorry, I'm just really excited! I've been obsessed with Etsy for well over a year now. I look every day and I love just doing random searches and seeing what pops up. There are so many talented people in the world!

I finally made my first purchases today and I'm so excited! I can't wait to get my hands on the little lovelies I bought! I just hope I can do them justice.

First, from Summers Studio:

Look how pretty!

Then this: 
Love this.

My next stop was to Mermaid Glass where I bought these
Fairy flowers

And Bayou Blue Spacers

Then my last purchase was from Bella Beads & More

Are you noticing a pattern?  I am addicted to blue. Well, actually, blue, green and purple.  Throw in some occasional pink and you've got my favorite color palette!  I had no idea that I was buying only blue stuff today, but it seems fitting for right now. My eye is just automatically drawn to any color that feels "beachy" to me.

I'm going to be haunting my mailbox every day until they arrive!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Creative Jewelry

I got my copy of Creative Jewelry yesterday at Hobby Lobby.  I grabbed it, walked over to the checkout counter and when the guy told me my total was $16.38, I almost had a stroke!  Oh well...totally worth it!

Some of my favorite bloggers are in there, too - Lorelei, Lori, Silver Parrot, Jen Judd, Kerry Bogert, and all sorts of other people!  These blogs were among the first I found and I decided I want to be just like all of them when I grow up!  Way to go, gals!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Big Giveaway!

This is going to sound like I'm sucking up, but I'm really not.

When I first started making jewelry, I went in search of jewelry blogs. I am also a huge fan of food blogs and I know from that experience that you can get a lot of great ideas from other people.  The very first blog I found was Silver Parrot.  I thought she might be my twin!  She loves all the same colors I do - whatever reminds her of the beach! She also has a love of lampwork and so do I.  Then there's the Bead Porn she does every Friday!  It's literally the high point of my week!  The night I found her blog, I literally spent HOURS reading the whole thing all the way back to the first post.

She started blogging six years ago and to celebrate, she is having a giveaway.  You really should go over to her post and find out how to enter!  She's been sick with a summer cold so I don't have a picture of what she's giving away, but when she posts one, I'll show you!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Girly Stuff

I spent an awesome girly day with my sister on Saturday!  The first stop? Bead shopping, of course!  I was on a limited budget so didn't end up getting anything, but I helped her instead. She is also just getting started, so we bought her first set of pliers, bead board, findings, etc. It was so much fun!

After that, we went clothes shopping, lunch, more bead shopping, and then got pedicures.  All in all, a great day!  Sisters rock!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The First

Hi! I'm Tara and I'm a Newbie Beader. A little over a year ago, I had been laid off from my second mortgage company in 12 months and needed a hobby to keep me from going insane while at home all day. I happened to find the Auntie's Beads website somehow and then stumbled upon a goldmine - the Karla Kam videos. I watched her make bracelets, necklaces, and just do basic stuff, and I said to myself "I can do that!" And so now I am.
I've never been to a class, although I keep meaning to sign up. I've gotten a lot of ideas from YouTube and other peoples' blogs, though.

I am woefully unskilled when it comes to taking pictures, but here are a few of the stuff I've done so far.

The first is a necklace I made for my sister in law. It's an illusion "mothers" necklace with Swarovski crystals in her sons' birthstones. This is a really bad picture because there is too much in the background and it's hard to see the detail on the picture.

This is a pair of earrings with some blue glass beads I got at a little bead store near work on clearance and some Swarovski crystals. My loops look terrible and should have been wrapped loops instead of simple loops. Those were among the first pieces I made.

There is so much I want to learn when it comes to jewelry making. I need to perfect my wrapped loops because they are very inconsistent. I want to do a LOT more with wire. I want to test my creative side more. I have no plans to sell my jewelry as of right now, but maybe after I've gotten a lot better. Since I'm still learning, I am still using silver plated materials and cheap components. I want to venture into more quality stuff, but am nervous at this point about screwing up and wasting thing like headpins, chain, etc.

So here I am. A newbie beader. Please be gentle with me as I learn what I am doing, and if you have any tips for me, I'd love to hear them!