Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays!

I just wanted to take this opportunity to wish everyone a safe, warm, and happy holiday. I hope you get to spend quality time with friends and loved ones...because that's really what it's all about folks.
The new year is just about upon us and it is time once again to look inward at ourselves, and at the goals we have made. Did you reach your goals? I reached some of mine. The others need attention. Why didn't I achieve what I set out to do? Was my bar set too high? Are there smaller steps I can take to achieve my large scale goals? These are all questions I will be pondering over, and I'm sure many others can apply them to their life goals.
Looking forward to 2009, I can tell you there are some exciting things coming down the pike. As an artist, I've been expanding my knowledge of techniques. I have several projects sitting in my head, anxious to get out. There's just no time right now though, so, next year!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"Snow Queen" winner announced

Congratulations to Karin of Gypsy Eyes Jewelry who won with her Queen of the Frozen Tundra necklace. Isn't it devine?!!

Karin says about this piece:
The Queen is an exquisite hand sculpted and painted porcelain pendant by the fabulous artist Pat Swyler. The patina of her complexion is a lovely icy blue. The crown jewels of her woven head-dress are a shimmering raw silver-gray diamond and magical boulder opals, their brilliant flashes of color reminiscent of the Northern Lights.The necklace represents her kingdom: frost covered branches, snowflakes and icicles - all lovingly hand-beaded/ woven with tiny glass delica beads, opal, aquamarine, rainbow moonstone, pink kunzite, blue topaz and freshwater pearls.

Second: 27. Queen of the Snow - savoystudio

Third: 18. Yuki Onna - Japanese Snow Woman - SmadarsTreasure

Fourth: 11. Frozen Waters - Cuff - triz

Fifth: 7. Snow Queen necklace - CieloDesign

Sixth: 4. A Royal Affair - beadsforever

Seventh: 19. Anastasia choker - MCDdesigns

Eighth: 1. mirka collar - thebeadedlily

Ninth: 23. Snow princess necklace - FleurDeIrk

Tenth: 21. Snowflake Fairy - BeadazzledofOregon

Congrats to all the winners and everyone who participated. Voters, the Etsy Bead Weavers really appreciate you taking the time to vote, so thank you!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bumps in the road...

For the past couple years, I have been using Photoshop CS on my husband's desktop computer to create graphics, and also for cropping and color-balancing photos. Sunday his computer died. Ironically he had ordered a new laptop which he just recieved Monday. Maybe the desktop got jealous and decided to pout.
Because there's no need to fix/replace the old computer (other than my need for PS), I'm outta luck when it comes to photo editing. We have ransacked the house looking for the Photoshop disc but cannot find it anywhere...ugh!
So, until I can find the PS disc, or find a suitable replacement for it (suggestions welcome), photos may be a bit scarce.

I do have a couple earrings to share however, I got these done right before the computer died.

This first one reminds me of feathers. I wove them with cylon blue seed beads, black bugle beads, and matte purple/blue hex cut beads.

This second pair I call "Cabernet & Rust". Deep maroon red bugle beads really compliment the metallic gold delica beads. I finished these off with antiqued brass wire guardians, and antique brass foldover earwires.

Both are available in my Artfire shop HERE.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Etsy Beadweavers December Challenge

The entries for this month's challenge - Snow Queen - are in, and they are beauties baby!! I personally didn't have sufficient time to participate, however there are LOTS of amazing pieces to choose from. Vote for your favorite HERE. I still don't know who has my vote yet, it's so hard to pick just one!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Spreader of Love Award

I was perusing through my comments and was delighted to find that Nicole of Beadwright has bestowed to me the Spreader of Love Award. Nicole is a super talented bead weaver, I've loved her creations for quite some time now. Head on over to her shop to see some of her lovely items.

Here are the rules to spread the love!(1) Post a copy of the award on your blog post. (2) Mention who gave you the award. (3) Pass the award on to 6 others. (4) Leave a message on their blog letting them know the honor has been bestowed upon them
Here are my choices:

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Holiday Delights

I wove these little lovelies over the weekend, realizing that December is here already!

This bracelet is a simple weave, finished off with a gold wire guardian and a gold-plated swivel clasp. I LOVE the swivel clasps, because your bracelet never gets twisted.

This little "Christmas Bell" was woven around a wooden bell shape with toho seed beads, sizes 11 and 15. I included a woven loop bail, and for the "bell" I used a swarovski glass pearl.

I entered this pendant in the Christmas competition on Vote for me HERE.

Doesn't red, green, and gold simply look great together?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Off the beadin' path - Ghost Hunters, TAPS

I've always been curious about the paranormal, but up until Ghost Hunters premiered on the Sci Fi channel, there were only books and haunted house stories to peak my interest.
At first, Jason and Grant, the main investigators on Ghost Hunters, worked out of a small trailer and still worked their day jobs at Rotor Rooter, a plumbing contractor. It was admitting easy to trust these 2 family men, to take their word at face value. After all, when they investigate a so-called "haunted house" they try to de-bunk, or disprove, the haunting. They try and find all the reasons why people could be hearing sounds or seeing things, other than "oh its a ghost". At least this is what I believed for a while.
I really thought they caught some unbelievable stuff on video, on the thermal camera, EVP's (electronic voice phenomenon), and as it turns out, there's a reason it's unbelievable.
My husband and I have been fans of the show for years. While my husband took the show with a bigger grain of salt than I did, I really trusted that the evidence Jason, Grant, and the team presented to the general public was what they caught, not what they made up. The more digging I do into things though, make me think that Ghost Hunters is the biggest fraud since Madame Cleo.
While looking around for random ghostly videos on youtube, I came across a video "de-bunking the de-bunkers" as it were. As you may or not know, Ghost Hunters performed a live investigation on Halloween, at Fort Delaware. During the live show, Grant really wants us to believe that his hood was tugged several times by a ghost. It is made clear as crystal in the youtube video that he has something in his sleeve connected to his hood. It's insulting that he would even try to pass off a simple parlor trick as paranormal, but perhaps the pressure of performing live makes you do things you normally wouldn't do. Even if this was a one time deal, for me Ghost Hunters has lost all credibility. I can't believe any of their past findings anymore, and certainly not their future findings. Jason, lost 2 fans this week.

If you are a Ghost hunters fan and want to continue to be a fan of the show, I suggest you do NOT watch this video clip. It will more likely than not change your perspective and enjoyment of it. Ignorance is bliss they say.
5 minutes 8 seconds into it is what really gets my goat...if you watch nothing else, start at 5:08.

See for yourself

After watching this video I headed on over to the Taps18+ boards, where I proceed to introduce myself and ask if anyone knew anything about Grant tugging his own coat. Big mistake. These people were on me like white on rice. They got really upset that I even *suggested* the wool might be getting pulled over their eyes. They backed the Ghost Hunters to no end. I told them to go ahead and drink some more of the cult kool aid.
First time I've ever gotten banned from a forum, ever! They deleted my whole thread too. The less evidence, the better it is for them, I guess.
As for me, I feel the need to spread it around. And what better place for me to do that than my blog. Knowledge is power!
Kudos to anyone who actually read my post this far, and apologies to anyone who came looking for beady content. I assure you we will continue with our regularly scheduled programming shortly. =)

Etsy, Artfire, and some great deals

It seems like there's been an explosion of things for me to keep up with nowadays. There's a TON of different shops to sell your wares on - enough to make your head spin!
I've only dabbled with ecrater. Ruby Lane is expensive, and I've heard enough bad customer service stories to keep me away from them. Etsy is just THE popular one right now - but for the seller with only a few sales, it's hard to keep up with the favorites we keep seeing featured.

I signed up for Artfire. It was a deal I couldn't refuse...$7 a month for life to host a shop with all my items, including relisting whenever I feel like it. Maybe you've seen some people blogging about artfire, or maybe (like me) you saw a full page ad in a magazine. If you have been thinking about signing up, now is the time. After the first 5000 people sign up, the monthly rate goes up (to $20 I do believe).

They have a deal for referrals, too. Refer 10 people and your shop is free for life! That's just a jaw dropping deal, so I'm offering some incentive to sign up with uniqueyou as your referrer.
If I manage to refer 10 people, then I will give each of the ten people a 10% off for life discount. That’s right, for life. Anytime you want anything in my shop, you get 10% off. Not bad, eh?
This is open to those who sign up for the $7/month deal, free accounts do not count towards the referal.
Just comment here to let me know you have signed up, and make sure you put uniqueyou in the referal box!
This deal is only good until December 31st, so 10 people will need to sign up before then to get the discount.

Register on

Exposure of course is a good thing, but it comes at a price. I am seriously debating letting most of my items on etsy expire, I just can't pour money into relisting everyday.
I'd love to hear from any shops out there that have been pondering the pros and cons of etsy and artfire.

It's a hot topic right now - to Artfire or to Etsy?

Monday, December 1, 2008

I am in love...

...with my freshly built lightbox, and the man that built it.

My husband (and knight in faded patchies as I like to call him) was quick to the rescue when I got frustrated with my lack of quality pictures. When I mentioned the lightbox he was excited to make it, he loves a good project. And I love a good's a win/win! Lol.

He says there's lots of things he could have done better but I think it came out great. He used diffuser panels on 4 sides, and some concoction of wood framing/velcro allowing it to be broken down. He even dug out an old 3 headed adjustable lamp from the shed for me to use. I have to find some cooler white light bulbs to use, but I took some test shots last night with some bulbs from around the house and I'm quite pleased with the preliminary results.

I have lots of work ahead of me. As any creative person knows, taking photos of your work is NOT the most fun part, and can take lots of time. However, I am determined to get fresh, crisp photos of my entire stock of goodies.

Speaking of fresh, I stitched up four pairs of earrings was addicting. I have done a couple pairs over the course of my beading days, but for some reason yesterday I just couldn't stop! I don't know why I haven't made more of them, they're so fun and there's lots of room for versatility. Here are 3 of the 4 that I got photographed so far:

Yes I KNOW it's winter, but I can't seem to stop playing with bright colors. Purple and green especially, they're one of my favorite color combos. This pendant is a funky half-beaded bead, with a full beaded back. The center is a pretty swarovski glass pearl, and woven around it is delica and toho glass seed beads.