Friday, July 30, 2010

Video Footage!

Photo from the NTV Good Life Page
The interview segment that NTV did last weekend at the Highland Park Farmer's Market last Saturday is online on the site below. Watch for Chris making a marble and a picture of his beads and marbles! To watch the video, click on the right side that says watch Good Life videos here, then click on the Highland Park video.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Isn't It Romantic!

Awhile back, on Facebook, a video game company I playtest for, PlayFirst, was running a contest.  They wanted to hear your romantic story of meeting your significant other.  So, since I love to tell the story of me pushing Chris off the sidewalk while we were in college that led us to be married for 19 years after dating for 3 years, I entered us.  AND I WON!!!!  We have a couple named for us in the latest edition of the Wedding Dash series, this one for the iPhone or iTouch (which I just happen to have).  How cool is that?!!!  So I got the email today with the picture of our page in the game and had to share it with you!  Pretty funny to see the demands for our wedding, neither of us care about the Sistine Chapel, and we both love tomatoes.  Our wedding cake was pretty nasty, so I don't think I would mind the tilted layers!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Exploration - My Art Bead Scene Blog Carnival Topic

: the act or an instance of exploring
: to travel over (new territory) for adventure or discovery
Exploration has many definitions.  For Chris and I, this year has found us exploring new venues to sell our beads and in doing so, exploring new customers that haven't seen our beads and jewelry before.  We have added several new shows to the other shows we have become regulars at over the last couple years.  We did the Omaha Bead Show for the first time this year in April. This was our table at the Bead Show.
 Chris has been enjoying his adventure into the Farmer's Market venue on Saturday mornings this summer.  We get set up at the Highland Park Farmer's Market in Hastings around 7am (when not at our other summer shows) and then I head for work downtown in Hastings at Julie's Xpressions.  When he is finished, he runs errands or comes down to the shop to hang out until I am finished with work.  The Farmer's Market has opened our business up to a whole bunch of new customers, and brought in a BUNCH of special orders!  We also get to see and visit with friends and customers who have seen us at other shows.  These pictures are of  the Farmer's Market set up.

We also did a new show in Geneva this year.  Art on the Green, on July 3, was a great show for us.  New customers and it was a beautiful day for an outdoor summer show!  This was our set up for that show.
This summer also finds us adding the Nebraska Entrepreneur show at Kool-Aid Days, August 14, to our list of summer shows.  We will be in the old Middle School building from 8-5 and Chris will be doing bead making demos all day.  Stop by if you are in the area!
For me, exploration also involves finding new materials to work with, finding new ideas, and new sources for ideas.  One of my favorite places to explore is Etsy and other jewelry, beadmakers, and glassworkers on Facebook.  I LOVE beading magazines.  They are a great source for ideas, techniques, and new supplies and suppliers.  I live in Central Nebraska, work at the only local bead store, and don' t have access to classes without driving an hour and a half to Lincoln or two hours to Omaha.  So beading magazines and the internet work great for me to get ideas and network with beaders I have met, and those I know only through the internet. These are some of my favorite bead magazines. 

I have become fascinated by British beading magazines.  I don't subscribe to them, but I pick them up anytime I am near a Barnes and Noble.  While they are just another beading magazine, I look at it as a exploration in beading anthropology!  They use different terms and have different display styles than the US magazines, and it is interesting to see how our bead trends compare to their bead trends.
While this post isn't especially about art beads, it is about our exploration to expand our art bead business, and to find new ideas and inspiration for art beads in jewelry..

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Losing someone you love is always difficult.  Whether it is a friend, family member, or a pet, it hurts.  Yesterday, we loss our hamster, Mr. Pip, to old age.  We knew it was coming, as he had developed growths on his tummy, he was going bald, and we had loved him for more than a year and a half.  Most dwarf hamsters don't live that long, usually a life span of a year or so.  Mr. Pip was our 2nd hamster.  Bubbles was our first, and we were devastated when she died, because we hadn't had her long (about 6 months) and she was briefly sick.  With Mr. Pip we have been preparing ourselves, and though it wasn't as bad as with Bubbles (who died while Chris was holding her), it is still an absence in our life. 

Mr. Pip was a funny hamster.  Pip loved treats, and that is probably what kept him alive longer than just what his hamster food (which he wasn't fond of) would have.  He loved raisins, dried cranberries, Cheerios, fresh cucumbers, green beans, cantaloupe, nuts, and cheese.  He didn't like tomatoes or bananas.  When we got Pip out of his cage, he would taste you.  Not bite you, just taste you to see who you were.  He did bite a few times (but wasn't nearly as cranky as Bubbles was), and he could get a bit aggressive.  We called him Pip, short for Pipsqueak, because he would chitter at you while you had him out and after Pippen, a hobbit in the Lord of the Rings, stories because of his furry toes.  Towards the end of his life, he became a bit senile, chewing on his cage bars relentlessly, until we gave him a treat.  He would also doze off while half in his tubes, food dish, or house.  We knew it was coming, know he is no longer in pain, but we will miss him all the same.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Gosh, I love this necklace!  It was fun to make and didn't take long.  It uses a mix of beads, wire, and art beads.  And it is sold.  But, I get to keep it long enough to enter it in the State Fair next month.  Chris and I have been asked to help judge the State Fair, though since we are entering it won't be in jewelry.  I believe Chris will be in Youth, and I will be in Scrapbooking.  Anywhoo, I just wanted to share about the fair, and I have another raven necklace in the works.  It will be waiting until fall for the beads to be completed, as both the artist, Jen Martin, and I are kind of swamped at the moment!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Version 1 and Version 2

These two necklaces are made with the same beads, but in different styles.  I made the one on the left just before Cottonwood Festival and it went to a new home the next day.  Version two is slightly different, more free style, but still the same fun, chunky summer style necklace.  I like it better.  Which is your favorite?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

For The Next Few Weeks

Mina started her summer job today.  For the next three weeks or so, she will be spending her days wandering through the Central Nebraska "corn jungle" doing detasseling for seed corn companies.  There are few summer jobs that pay teens so well, but those teens are expected to work hard and will come home completely exhausted and filthy! 
I found the cornfield picture here.

Friday, July 9, 2010

When Jewelry Finds It's Home

Often when I make jewelry, and then haul it from show to show to gallery, and back again, I wonder "will this piece ever sell?"  But more often then not, it just hasn't "found" it's person yet.  Beads and jewelry have a "mystical" ability to know and communicate not only what they want to be, but who they will belong to.  Okay, I know this sounds like I have been hitting the allergy pills and tequila hard, but I have seen it again and again.  For example, the really lovely carved rose and silk ribbon necklace I made late last summer/early fall.  I loved it, but knew that it would have to be for someone with the long, lovely neck to wear it.  It finally found it's home at Cottonwood, when it went home to Iowa with this lovely young lady.  She was fascinated with Chris's beads and marbles and demo, and when her Mom came back to find her, Mom spotted the necklace and it found it's person.  Doesn't it look lovely on her?!  I am often asked if I know what I will make with the beads when I purchase them.  My answer is no, most of the time not.  I look for fun, funky, and unusual beads.  Beads that "call" to me.  Only on rare occasions do I know when I purchase the beads what they will be in the end.  However, on those occasions, it is VERY clear in my head what it will be, and usually takes only a few minutes to make it.  I enjoy the mystery, mysticism, and the magic that comes with beads and jewelry making!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Cake Testers or Plant Pokes...You decide!

We started making these at Christmas in 2009.  They have sold very well for us!  They are stainless steel rods about 12" long with a critter, cupcake, or just a cool glass sculpture made by Chris on the end of each rod.  Most of the glass is built right on to the rods, but some are attached afterward.   I particularly like the newest beetle bug ladybug one in the picture here.  My other faves are the tatterpillars and the cupcakes that look like they have sugar topping on the frosting!  They make super gift items!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Geneva's Art on the Green

We will be here, Saturday!  Be sure to stop by and see us!
Join us on Saturday July 3rd for our first Art on the Green, under the shade trees on the beautiful Fillmore County Courthouse lawn.  Held in conjunction with Celebrate Geneva Patriotism, stop by and see what Nebraska's artists have to offer.

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