Tuesday, April 22, 2008

2nd Attempt

That's better!

The difference a day makes. I like this one much better than what I did yesterday, and hindsight had me cutting down on the 18k beads from every other to every three pearls. Light and summery, with a gorgeous lemon quartz focal bead.

Choker length at just over 16 inches, akoya pearls and faceted 18k gold beads are hand knotted on silk with a brilliant step-faceted lemon quartz focal bead for a more modern look to the basic pearl necklace.

Monday, April 21, 2008


Don't you just hate it when you have the best (or what you think is the best) inspiration for a design, and you set out everything you need, and you begin...only to spend hours on it before you realize that you hate the design that just moments before you thought was the best thing since sliced bread?

Today was such a day. I have had these lovely strands of creamy white Akoya pearls in my stash for ages, toying with different plans for them now and then, until deciding that they really should be hand-knotted on silk. And today would be the day when I would teach myself hand-knotting, with the help of a couple of different techniques that I'd printed out and had beside me.

Once I got over the initial fumbliness (is that a word?) of my unpracticed fingers I strung a few pearls, divided by 18k gold beads, before I decided that the awl and/or tweezers just wasn't working for me and I started using just my fingers. Worked like a charm! I got to the middle of the necklace (a few hours after my early morning start time) and I already had the perfect (or what I thought was the perfect) idea in mind for the centerpiece of the necklace. Keeping it simple, I had planned on using a large, perfect lemon quartz center-drilled bead. But then for some unknown reason I ditched that idea and went with two small peridot rondelles on either side of a very large 18k gold bead...which I thought looked great, until I strung and knotted several more pearls and gold beads...and then it struck me that I just HATED the centerpiece! After all of that knotting! And now of course, I was nearly out of silk thread. Arrrgh!

I then did the smartest thing of my day so far...I put it away (after taking a quick pic of my faux pas to post here), along with the silk and all my other tools of the trade, poured something cold to drink and buried myself in a book. And tried to forget that I'd just wasted several hours of my day. :(

Not a total waste, though. I did learn the hand-knotting thing!

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Taxman...Errr, Tax Lady

The dreaded visit to our tax lady at H&R Block was finally over and done with on Saturday. For three days before, I was buried in receipts, invoices, spreadsheets and PayPal account printouts (thank God I saved everything!). I had a massive headache at the end of each day (I'm truly a right-side-of-the-brain person and I hate numbers!), but with minutes to spare before our appointment I was armed with all the necessary totals for my fledgling jewelry business.

The big surprise: I thought I was all set late Friday night. Wrong!! I suddenly remembered a convo that I had received from Brenda a few months ago when she was working on her taxes. Inventory! Didn't she mention inventory as one of the things she claimed? I sent off a convo to ask her how that worked into things, and with her reply I realized that I'd have to be up early to compile an inventory statement. Arrrgh!!

It wouldn't have been such a problem if I hadn't been such a slacker during 2007 with entering pieces into my jewelry designer software program as I finished them. All day Saturday I spent entering each piece that I have. The chaos could have been prevented by knowing in advance how important careful records of inventory would be.

The bottom line, thanks to my lack of sales (LOL), we have a sizeable refund coming our way. JP was delighted, and I could finally shake off the frequent stabs of guilt I have when I think of how much I spent on supplies last year! :D

It's been a great learning experience. Before this year I had only my webdesign income to claim, and that doesn't require more than payments received and a small list of deductions for business expenses. Now that I understand exactly what is needed for Mardi Studio tax preparation, it will be a far sight easier next year.

I hope!!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Poor Neglected Blog!

I can't believe that it's been so long since my last post ~ it doesn't seem like it's been long at all, but then time flies when you're suddenly overwhelmed with too much to do and too little time to do them in!

I finally dug in my heels and completed my website, Mardi Studio, which I had begun working on ages ago and then procrastinated so long over because I was having such a horrid time with the PHP scripted shopping cart system. It was many hours of poring over the umpteen dozens of files in the script to locate bugs and come up with solutions for them, and then several more hours of tweaking layout issues...but it's done! I have many new designs to stock it with, as well as my Etsy shop, but then there's that time issue again. :D ...Just as I completed the site, I had revamps to make on one of my client's websites as well as designing promotional brochures for them that they wanted the day before they requested them! Somewhere along the way I also made time to design a bracelet for a bridal shower gift. I've made several custom variations of this simple bracelet for clients; this one is amethyst (her birthstone) and topaz (his birthstone), with a very pretty ametrine focal to tie both colors together:

My poor husband came home from a business trip last Thursday and promptly became ill within 48 hours, no doubt from the recycled air on one of his flights. He's had to stay home most of this week (until today), so add to the above list of to-do stuff the nursing back to health of a very unhappy Frenchman! Mon Dieu!

And speaking of Frenchmen (and thus, France), we're planning a trip there this coming fall, and along with the rounds of visits to family and friends I'm planning on visiting as many bead shops near his village, and in Paris, as I can fit in! Something I've never done, as I wasn't designing jewelry the last time we went. :) I'm so looking forward to it!

Okay, lunch at my pc is over and it's back to the grindstone...