Monday, April 30, 2012

Dustbowl Arts Market @ The Norman Music Fest

 This past weekend was my first outdoor show of 2012. I have cut back on outdoor shows because I am not set up well enough to fight the elements... I learned that last year... the hard way! 
This past Saturday was perfect though. Low winds, overcast skies, and cool temperatures. It was  a great day. 
Dustbowl Arts Market!
Experimenting with a new product. Succulents in antique china.
New earring design! Glass scarab with chain tassels.
 This Dustbowl was extra fun because it is part of the Norman Music Festival, which is a completely free festival in downtown Norman. Most of the music was Indie and I hadn't heard of many of the bands but I did know who Alejandro Escovedo and Hayes Carll were and I made my way to their shows after I packed up my booth on Saturday. I thoroughly enjoyed watching both musicians. After Alejandro's set I stuck around the stage waiting for the next show and found myself standing very close to Alejandro. I guess he came out visit with fans. I really wanted to go over and thank him for playing this festival. I had always wanted to see him live but he hasn't toured anywhere close to Norman. I stood there a bit longer and then saw he was going to walk right by me so I stepped over and thanked him! He shook my hand and that was it. It was a fun rock star moment. Hayes Carll was great too, he had local musician Travis Linville sit in with him so that was fun. I have been wanting to see a Hayes show for a while now to... I got to see both for FREE! Thanks Norman Music Fest!

 Sunday brought about a day of rest and tending to our garden. The garden is coming a long quite nicely. We are having some pest problems but hopefully have them under control now. I started some more seeds yesterday, zinnias, sunflowers, pumpkins, habaneros, cherry tomatoes, and I think that is it. I planted my basil starts, some cilantro starts, a lavender plant I purchased, and a few random flowers (because I never have enough flowers!) 

 I am working hard this week and next to make some new statement pieces for Bella Vita. I have a couple of shows coming up in Arkansas and will travel back to my home state for about 12 days. Until then, I am going to enjoy my time at home with my hubs, garden, doggie, and friends. Now, I am off for our morning walk/jog. I downloaded couch to 5k to help me get into jogging... it's just ok. I hate jogging but feel like I can do it so I am trying and Matt is being really patient with me :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Moment in Little Rock

  I spent all last week in Little Rock. I had shows, worked at Argenta Bead, taught a class, got my jewelry in a new gallery (The Butler Center), hung out with old friends, saw new friends, and attended the Tom Petty concert.

  I had an amazing trip! Lots of business was conducted and lots of socializing was done too. But, the most exciting thing was seeing a necklace I made, on a young gals neck at the concert! I shrieked and went over to visit with her... then remembered her mother and best friend picking it out for her a few years ago.
I forgot how "cool" it was. I love the color combo and the vintage brass horse pendant! It has inspired me to do more statement pieces like this.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Beaded Bangles + Giveaway!

Coral + Turquoise set embellished with ruby moonstone, quartz, copper, amethyst, orange moonstone. $75/set
  Back in February I decided to take a risk and invest in these beautiful, handmade, beaded bangle bracelets. I had seen them for the past couple of years at one of my vendors booths but wasn't sure if I wanted to offer something that I didn't make. Well, after thinking about it for a year, I decided I was ready. I had also come up with my own design idea for these handmade bracelets. To put my own twist on these bracelets, I decided I would sell them as is and also embellish them with charms and semi precious stones. 

  Needless to say, the bracelets are a HUGE hit and I am expecting my second order today!
Now, there are a lot of these beaded bangles on the market today. I am really surprised that they became such a hot accessory this year... like I said, I have seen these bangles at my vendor for years! My bangles are not the popular "Lilly and Laura" brand, but, they are just as special! The beads are higher quality glass, smaller in size, and more uniform in shape. A lot of the color combinations are more subtle which allows you to have a more neutral look or a fun/funky look by mixing and matching. The other thing about the bangles I carry is, they cost less than any I have seen so far! How is that? Me, an independent jewelry designer can offer these for $10 each or 3 for $25? I am not really sure... but I do know that I search and travel high and low for you, my clients! It is very important to me to be able to offer you the best possible pricing. So, there you go! Come see me at one of my upcoming shows to personalize your set of bangles. You can choose from my bangles or bring your own. I have a tray of charms and semi precious stones waiting for you!
Or as always, you can order off my website, email, or call me! 

Meditation Set - amethyst, pyrite, silver, garnet, chalcedony. $75/set
About the Bangles and the people that are making them:
(this is directly from my source)
  "All of the bangles we sell we have made for us in Bali and Nepal. We design the colors and patterns and then send over the seed beads for them to crochet - mostly Japanese size 15 & 11.  We have worked with the same family(s) in both countries for over 20 years.  In the last 5 years we have put more energy into designing the colors and patterns according to upcoming color trends, etc.
 In Bali our supplier employees 15+ women and men who come to work from 9 to 5 in her home studio.  It is all open air overlooking a rice paddy and they get an hour for lunch.  When I was there a few years ago I decided I wanted to move back and work for her if only I could learn to crochet and stitch!
  In Nepal we send over the beads to our supplier in Kathmandu and his bead & bangle makers come down once a week/month to his offices to pick up new beads and then they go back to their mountain/village homes.  They work at their own pace while caring for their families etc and when they have finished with their beads they bring them back to Kathmandu.
  In both countries we pay what they ask - a fair wage - and we never
bargain with them."
The women behind the beautiful bangles.
Bangle customized at a recent show... I believe this custom design was around $28. I love this design! I can't wait for my new order to arrive so I can claim a few for myself.

  Now, if you have made it this far in this blog post good for you! Please leave a comment telling me how you would customize your own set of bangles. You can find charm ideas on my website, as well as some of the bangles (I am expecting a lot more colors any day, hopefully today).
I'll be giving away one set of bangles (excluding charms) on Friday, April 27th.
For an extra entry, share this on facebook, twitter or your own blog. Just make sure you leave a comment or email me, so I know. (this contest is open on facebook as well)