Saturday, 28 January 2012

Taking a chance, getting published...

When I started playing with beads in January 2011 I truly did not expect to take it too far.  I bought some cheap-O beads from Walmart and played around with stringing while my DH was working late nights.  It was something to do to kill time.   I certainly never imagined I would sale any of my pieces, but as I started following more accomplished beaders on Facebook I was feeling more compelled to look deeper into this world of beading.  I fell in love, bad. 

I started ordering some fantastic artisan components.  I soon became a regular customer at my local bead shop, picture the TV show Cheers, but only when I walk in they shout Traci!, yes sometimes you got to go where everyone knows your name.  I have become a regular order on some of the etsy sites.  Yes, my bead boxes have started to become embarrassing in quantity (NOT).  When the mail comes I always look for parcel mail and feel quite disappointed when there isn't a beady goodness parcel addressed to me.  My name is Traci and I am addicted to beads.

With all these grand beads and components, I was well on my way to figuring things out.  I wanted to have more and more, learn more and more.  I'm pretty sure I threw my folks for a loop when my birthday rolled around and I asked for a steel ring mandrel and hammer.  I was determined to teach myself how to make rings and I did.  I have been self-teaching myself and have learned how to wire wrap beads, string beads (properly) and try to be experimental with techniques, but I know it will forever be a learning process. 

As 2011 progressed and I started reading Bead Trends magazine I felt an urge to try submitting my work for consideration, but I was still timid.  All those swirling self-doubt questions we all have just kept me from proceeding.  Finally, after receiving some great positive reinforcement from my DH and some beading friends I went for it.  I sent in 3 pieces for consideration for the February 2012 issue of Bead Trends.  I pressed the send button on each email submission and immediately felt like I needed a TUMS.  It was going to be a long couple of weeks waiting to hear back from them, if I was going to hear back from them.  Well, I did hear back from them and they wanted 2 of my 3 submissions!  I remember feeling light-headed, excited and then the nerves kicked in again...OH NO! now A LOT of people are going to see my work.   What have I done??  Well, with butterflies swirling in my stomach I mailed off my pieces to Bead Trends and have been waiting months to see my very first published pieces beautifully photographed by Northridge Publishing.

This bracelet is called 'Wish'.  It features an altered art 'Wish' charm by J-Lynn Jewels, Dragon's Egg Faceted Czech Glass Beads, Silk Ribbon, Antique Brass chain and a Antique Brass Filigree Toggle Clasp.

These earrings are called 'Medusa's Trance'.  They feature Boro Lampwork Beads by SeaShore Glass, Glass Pearls, Glass Faceted Beads and lots of Antique Brass.

I feel very honored and blessed to be published in Bead Trends.  I admire many of the designers who are featured in this magazine and am tickled to be included in and amongst them.  Although I find great joy in submitting my creations for publication and even more joy in being accepted, I certainly do not take it for granted or feel it is a necessity for me to continue on as a jewelry designer.  I will continue to design and submit pieces and feel very fortunate as I watch where this adventure takes me.

Check out my sale in my Etsy Shop for Valentine's Day.  Enter coupon code SWEETHEART15 at checkout to receive 15% OFF your purchase.

Monday, 23 January 2012

The Move, Kindergarten, Bead Soup and Life...

It feels like forever since I have logged onto a computer, its been a week.  The move last week went well despite the very wintry weather we had the day of the move.  Mother Nature decided it was time we had winter and she picked the day of our move to put us in a deep freeze.  It was a balmy -30C (-22F) the day of the move, lucky for us we hired movers.  We are not old by no means, but a little too old to be doing the moving on our own.  This particular day the money for the movers was well worth it.  Anyway, like I said the move went well for whatever you want to call a good move.  We have started to settle right into our new home.  Of course there has been lots of cleaning on my part, as I am a bit of a nut when it comes to sanitizing and cleaning.  We have also been acclimating to our new neighborhood, its a little different than what I am used to, but in time it will become more familiar. 

Kindergarten has snuck up on us.  I can hardly believe my little guy is going to be 5 years old this year and will be starting Kindergarten in the fall.  We went to his school today and registered him for school.  He seems quite excited....Mommy is quite sad. :)

I recently registered for a Bead Soup Blog Hop and I was one of the lucky ones to get picked by random draw.  I have to say that I am thrilled and have been wanting to participate in one of these since I started beading last year.  I have been paired up with my partner, Sonya Stille, she lives in Augusta, Georgia.  Sonya and I have emailed one another and I have sent off her parcel of Bead Soup Mix.  I hope she likes the array of things I sent her.  :)

Then there has been life happening on a daily basis while all these other things going on.  Sometimes life gives you a good dose of reality and sometimes it doesn`t always seem fair.  I got some troubling news the other day and quite honestly it brings me to tears at random times during the day.  Unfortunately, its not an easy fix problem and will take some time, lots of faith, hope & praying to God to get through it.   Please remember to tell the people in your life that you love them, appreciate them and let them know how important they are to you.  Things change on a moments notice and we will miss our chance to let people know just how much we love them.

That`s all for now, take care and have a great day!

Saturday, 14 January 2012

3 more sleeps....

Well, I kind of wish I was saying 3 more sleeps until Disney World or Hawaii or something fun like that, but our 3 more sleeps means that we will no longer be living in this house.  As I look forward to a new beginning in our new home, I have great moments of sadness leaving our current residence.  This house is just a house and a home is where your heart & family are, but we did have a lot of great experiences here and for those reasons leaving sometimes makes me sad.  Our greatest joy was bringing our son home from the hospital to this house and of course we built this house almost 8 years ago, so every inch oozes our hand-picked choices. 

We've also had some great sadness while living in this house and for some of those reasons I am quite sad about leaving this house too.

As the last few days come to a close in this house I am becoming more emotional.  There have been days this week that I should have been home packing, but instead planned outings with my son just for self-preservation and the sheer enjoyment of spending some quality time with my son.

I have been anxiously picking up the mail the last several days (looking for bead stashes) and on Thursday we received a letter from the new owner of our house.  Yes, this through me for a tailspin.  I had to read the envelope 3 times to just confirm that we were being contacted directly by the new owner.  I found this peculiar and in my somewhat paranoid way didn't want to open the envelope for fear they were going to ask for something else.  However, I opened the envelope to find a smiley face card and a hand-written note from the 'new' lady of the house. :)  She was quite kind with her words and very much wanted us to know that our home was beautiful and after looking at over 30 homes our home was the only one that fit for cleanliness & comfort for her young children.  She wished us the best in our future, BUT she also said that if there was anything we wanted that we forgot to add to the exclusions that we could feel free to contact them.  This really left the door open...

Remember, I said earlier we also had some great sadness in this home, well, in our backyard we planted a small ornamental spruce tree in memory of a baby we lost (prior to my beautiful blessing of a son).  Unfortunately, due to winter weather and the fact that it has been planted there since 2005 we didn't include it in our exclusions.  Anyone who really knows our story knows that leaving that particular plant has been gut-wrenching for me.  So, after speaking with our realtor and explaining to him recent going on's I am leaving a return note for the new owners.  I will wish them all the happiness in the world in their new home, I will also be leaving a small request that if they ever think they are going to take out that small ornamental spruce tree out to please contact our realtor, as I will take that plant with me in a heartbeat. 

Thank you new owners for being so understanding and treating us like humans on the other end of this transaction.

Well, with the end of this chapter a new one will be starting and out of my sadness will come great happiness.  I have Faith in God that he is leading us in the direction we are meant to go and I have Hope that our days will be filled with more love & happiness beyond anything we can imagine.

All the best,

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

New Year's Resolutions....Bah Humbug! ;) And Yay 2012!

I don't like New Year's Resolutions because by the end of January most people seem to forget all the ideas of grandeur they had on New Year's.  I like making 'goals to do better'.  I don't think its a cop out, I think its reality and a way of being less harsh on oneself.  In a world that can beat you down do we really need to say 'I failed at my New Year's Resolution' and beat ourselves up over it.  I think if we strive to be better than it leads to a path a little less harsh and leaves room for failure and surprises!  The key to being better is to pick yourself up, acknowledge the defeat, correct the action and finally leads to the ability to try to do better at the next attempt.   This can pertain to most anything in your life.

My 2011 has been a bag of stress, I am looking at 2012 as a year of BIG positive change.  I looking forward to being a better Mom, better wife, better Traci, better daughter, better sister, better runner, better jewelry designer, better photgrapher, better friend and a better all around human being.  I am looking forward to spending more quality time with my son and my husband without worry about tomorrow.  This upcoming year brings a lot of milestone moments for me, I'm turning 40, my DS is turning 5, my DH & I are celebrating 15 years of wedded bliss, DS starts to kindergarten and fingers crossed my jewelry has some BIG moments too.

I wish you all a year of doing better and being better.  Happy 2012 Everyone!

Here are a few new designs I completed already this year.