Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New Directions, Thoughts, and a Bit of a Rant!

Been a bit of time since I last posted - but that doesn't mean I haven't been busy! I have been, both in thinking and doing! Making a few changes as a result of all that thinking, and hopefully it will be a positive change. I know I am liking it very much - and hope you all will too!

I did a lot of going over things on my various venues where I have my jewelry - and wondering yet again why sales just aren't there. After a careful and thoughtful look at it all, I have decided that my jewelry doesn't really reflect who I am, and doesn't really have a particular focus and theme. It is a mish mash of techniques and try-outs - which is not a bad thing - but some things maybe should just be used for learning purposes - that may come in handy later.

I came to a decision about the direction my efforts and my jewelry will take. I have long been a committed Christian - and that really is how I define myself, but that just never came through on most of my jewelry. Now and then it peeked through, but that was not the central focus and purpose behind what I created. Now it will be. I am not intending to change any of the things I have already made - I love them all, and will leave them up on all the venues they are currently on, such as iCraft, Zibbet, byhand.me and Craftstylish.

To launch this new direction - I am taking my blog name (well, variation of), and since I own the domain name, I am building a brand new site for my new creations. The site is called Studio 2:14 - and, like this blog is named after 2nd Chronicles, Chapter 2, verse 14:
...He is trained to work in gold and silver, bronze and iron, stone and wood, and with purple and blue and crimson yarn and fine linen. He is experienced in all kinds of engraving and can execute any design given to him. He will work with your craftsmen and with those of my Lord , David your father.

I love this quote because it refers to all kinds of crafting skills - and I have always believed that God gave me some modest talents to create things. Now I am using my Christian beliefs as the basis for my designs.

Right now there is only one product on the site, and it is definitely a work in progress - and most of the links do not work yet - even so - I invite you to go take a look - there will shortly be two more. I will also be putting other kinds of crafty gifts - I have ideas for baby and for personal goodies - all of which I love - and all of which have their inspiration from the Scriptures. I am truly enjoying this new adventure, and hope you will join me in supporting my efforts!

A related note - when looking for (of all things) dishtowels - being annoyed to no end at the current cost of paper towels - I had a long and unsuccesful hunt for something in what I consider a reasonable cost, and you know why? Everything in the stores now seems to be made in China. I guess I don't get out much, but I was shocked that there was so little that was made in the USA. My hunt was limited, and doesn't involve any high-end stores, or malls - so the results may be skewed, but it made me mad. So....I thought....I'll just make them - I mean it's not rocket science to make a decent-sized dish towel, right? Ha! Guess what - all the suitable fabrics (mostly waffle weave muslin) are.....wait for it......made in CHINA. C'mon folks, I mean really! I mean ALL of them. So, I gave up on that idea, because I refuse to buy into the China owns us syndrome. I still have no dish towels.

That brought up the idea for making - not dish towels - but wonderful soft cotton face and bathing cloths for adults and babies....so off I went on another hunt. I needed cotton yarn for them - and although I love organic - that was out of my price range - but I absolutely was not going to make anything from cotton from anywhere but here (and Canada). It was a search (and thank you! for the law that makes them put the country of origin on things), but I did find that! So...they will be appearing on my site soon.

Ok...done ranting for now...(I have more, but that will have to wait!)

Stay tuned, and I'd sure like some feedback - good or bad - I just request that remarks be civil (or they will be removed). Let me know what you think of my new direction...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Features and Contests, Oh My!

As usual, been too long - but finally have the time and inspiration to get back on track!!

First - a feature! I was so thrilled and excited to be featured on the Handcrafted Creations Blog!! What a boost to my spirits to see my creations on here! I wanted to shout to the world - lookee here!! I want all of you to share in my excitement too - so check it out!
A huge thanks to Victorian Joanne for the kind words and wonderful layout of my craft creations! You all need to follow her blog - it is chock full of interesting things!!

As if that weren't enough excitement for one week - I also have been working on an entry to the "Use the Muse II" contest on The Beader's Muse website. I thought this was such a cool idea - everyone who entered got the same set of components - plus a "Muse" focal element. It was totally up to the entrant to create a piece of 'wearable art' out of these components - and any other goodies from our own stash. It was great fun! We are allowed to show a part of what we did - but - the "Muse" element has to remain a secret until the judging is complete and the winners announced!

In that spirit - here is a 'part' of the necklace I created with these wonderful bits and pieces:

The entry deadline was yesterday (I sent mine in a little early) - and now the waiting! The winners won't be announced for two - three weeks - and it's not the kind of thing where you can go vote - it is up to the chosen judges. The prizes are fabulous - so I'm really hoping!!! Stay tuned....you'll know soon as I do!