Thursday, May 31, 2007
Last night I made about 7 new pendants using sterling silver wire, freshwater pearls, wood, and glass. Sooooo pretty. I also wire-wrapped a chunk of seaglass I found on the beaches of Glouchester, Mass. New project idea: collect pieces of broken glass from sidewalks and other urban areas, tumble them to remove the sharp edges, wrap in sterling wire to make pendants. Brilliant!
The pieces I made are reminiscent of my Luck of the Irish (peridot, sterling silver, freshwater pearls), which sold over the weekend at Shambhala. Double brilliant!
I especially liked two craftspeople in particular:
Jan Yager uses local flora and found urban trash to make her distinct pieces.
Garry Knox Bennett decided one day to be a furniture maker having no experience in woodworking or making furniture.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
But there are a million other words I could throw out there: interesting, freaky, disgusting, fascinating, artistic, nettlesome, colorful, smelly, overwhelming.
It will be in Dallas for 9 more days and then it moves on. I am seriously considering donating my body to an exhibit like this. I've always known I'd donate my body to science in general, but the idea of being plastinated and displayed for others to be wowed, educated, etc. is a really cool thought. I told Jen, "That way even in death I'm entertaining people!"
Check it out if you can! http://www.bodyworlds.com/en.html
Side Note: The plastination process uses a polymer much like the polymer clay I used to make this hot pink Tweet Tweet pendant. Freaky.
Monday, May 21, 2007
Loads of beads.
Close-up of new earring holder and Howie.
Um, this is what we professionals call paperwork. (Okay, so I do have a filing system in place that flirts with Monk-style organization. This is just paperwork that hasn't made its way to my files yet!)
Today I listed a ton of new handmade goods at my etsy shop, including paper beads and decoupage pendants. Also available at my etsy shop are other beads/supplies and my Juicy Fruit collection. Check it out today!
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Here's my latest Etsy purchase (my third today!) from Madison Craft Studio:
I bought this pendant for two reasons:
1) I love birds in design. There's nothing cuter.
2) Madison Craft has inspired me to get back into the paper collage pendant craft. She uses wood and paper, both of which I have tons of at home. In the past I've used polymer clay, and it really is a little too time-consuming for me if I want to keep prices low for you. So I'm going to see about using up some of the wooden scraps and pretty paper I have lying around my studio. We'll see!
In the meantime, I'll string her pendant on a chain and show it off in Look-what-I-bought-on Etsy! fashion. *wink*
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
(At least I don't think any animals were harmed. You never know. I think I had to kick George off of my work table a few times in an effort to keep cat hair off of my sterling silver wire.)
So I thought I would impart, piece by piece, the lessons I've learned on my own. Maybe you'll glean from these little tidbits something that will help you launch your own D.I.Y. business. Or perhaps you'll think Whatever, I'll do it my own way. Either way, more power to ya sister!
Tefi Says I
Don't spend what you aren't willing to lose.
Some people spend their extra paycheck money on shoes, DVDs, clothes, a nice car, eating out, etc. I spend mine on beads and jewelry-making components.
It's a hard truth to face, but if you have a lot of debt, don't launch a business. Get your finances in order before you jump headfirst into a venture that will most likely sap a lot of money and time. That's not to say that you can't launch a business if you have debt. But if debt is consuming you, launching a business wouldn't be the best thing to do.
Right now I don't have any debt other than my mortgage. My ghetto Toyota is paid off, I live fairly frugally, and I never spend what I can't pay off at the end of each month. Now, I don't deny myself a few splurges here and there, but I keep my focus on my passion - handmade jewelry - and that keeps me from overspending on crippy crap I don't need. This is key to running a successful business: Focus.
I know from experience that having personal debt is hard enough. Adding business debt to that can be very stressful. If you are drowning in debt, esp. fluff debt like overshopping and charging to your credit cards, get that in check first. Chances are, there are other forces at work here. Find out what the void is, stop charging, get your debt in order, and focus on becoming self-sufficient. Expect this to take a few years. It took me nearly four years to pay off my credit cards. But in the meantime, hone your craft and learn new techniques. Prepare yourself for the day when you can say - I don't owe you anymore money!
What a great movie. The story is as tragic as anything and there's fighting for independence galore. There is just something great about people who fight to be free. I put it up there with one of my all-time favorites, Braveheart, and I don't even like Mel Gibson. Sometimes the story is greater than its individual parts.
But the individual parts - i.e. the actors - in Tristan + Isolde are fantastic. The men are beautiful, the women (well, Isolde) is striking. She reminds me of Kate Winslet, whom I think is one of the prettiest women I've ever seen. And at the risk of sounding like a twelve year old boy, the sword fights are really cool. It's like a visit to Medieval Times without all of the cheese.
I've yet to see the Wagner opera, but I hear it's, well, long. There was a recent production of Tristan + Isolde at the Dallas Opera that was 5 hours long. The original opera, if I understand correctly, was written to be 8 hours long. That's a whole work day of sword fights and unrequited love!
Here's a necklace from my Pottery Shard collection that I appropriately dubbed "Tristan & Isolde." I sold it last week and miss it already!
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Necktie tee from Anthropologie
Isabelle red patent shoes by Rampage
Caribbean Sea, necklace by Tefi Designs (me!)
As many of you know, I had a blast at the Urban Street Bazaar this past weekend. I sold a ton of handmade jewelry, met some really great people (customers and crafters alike) and generally enjoyed myself, rain notwithstanding. So imagine my joy when I stumbled upon a shout-out directed squarely at Tefi. Check it out: http://snapshotsunmade.typepad.com/snapshots_from_an_unmade_/2007/05/the_arts.html
What's funny is both of the other stories she mentioned (which we both happened to catch on NPR) have what I consider to be more interesting topics than my little ol' necklaces. I mean, 18,000 nekkid people in D.F.? Well, I'm not complaining. She rocks!
Here. A little something to titilate ya:
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
I learned this afternoon (about 6 days after the fact) that my staple Tuesday night event is ending. And next week no less.
Yes folks, Gilmore Girls is about to become a thing of reruns. While I watched last night's episode that Jason had recorded (I was busy kung fuing), it hit me. I savored every bit of it, and didn't get emotional until the end when they showed a preview of next week's episode under the banner "Series Finale." I sort of got the weepy eyed thing going at first - you know, where the corners of your mouth turn downward and little tears begin to form. Then I got to thinking of seven years ago when the show started, when my addiction started. Cue the waterworks.
Seven years ago was when I took the leap into teaching. Then I met Jason. Then 9-11 happened. Then Jason and I moved in together and began a new phase in our lives. I suffered a miscarriage, semi-adopted Ketchup, then later adopted Oliver. My grandmother died, my stepmother died, my grandfather died. I spent four years teaching in the public school system and lived to tell. Each summer I watched episode after episode on my newly delivered GG complete season DVDs (thanks, Amazon). Jason and I went to Colombia and he met my family. I began a new career as a grant writer and later launched my own jewelry design company. I bought a house. I watched seven years of Gilmore Girls.
Those close to me know that on Tuesdays nights I am out of pocket. They know I don't answer phones, emails, doors, smoke signals, or SOS's. They know that if I do happen to pick up the phone during commercial breaks, I'll simply say, "Watching Gilmore Girls," and hang up. They know not to take it personally.
So ends an era. I've got all the DVD box sets on call, ready to feed my addiction - to give me the jolt I need when I feel an emptiness on Tuesday nights. It seems silly, but when a ritual ends, whatever it may be, it's a loss that is felt deeply and immediately. It's just really sad.
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
Sweet Apricot: $42
Easter Egg: $40
They say it's going to rain all week, and should subside by Friday. Hope, hope, hope. I'll be under a small tent at the Farmer's Market both Saturday and Sunday, putting in 11 hour work days. If it rained that would mean no business for Tefi, and no business makes Tefi a sad designer.
Here's the flyer (front and back) for the Bazaar. Hope to see you all out there. Don't forget to wear your wellies!