Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Shopping for Jewelry Supplies

I went to Ashevile yesterday to the Gem and Lapidary Wholesale show. I usually buy most of my non-metal clay supplies there that I'll use to work on new things this winter. Unfortunately, silver has gone up so much that a lot of what I wanted to buy was beyond my budget. I did manage to find some things that were on my shopping list, though:

Some tiny (2.5mm) round stone beads. Citrine, amethyst, clear crystal and garnet. Not sure how these will be used yet. They could be crocheted into a lovely (but terribly expensive) neck chain for a PMC focal piece, or maybe just strung in some way.

An assortment of bead caps, cones and bails in sterling silver. No intended purpose for anything but the cones. I use them for the ends of my multi-strand seed bead necklaces.

Some interesting new sterling silver chain from SII Findings. You gotta watch out for this guy! He's young and cute and has an uncanny ability to talk me into buying a lot more than I asked for in the first place. I'll use it all up eventually, though.

And, lastly, a bunch of watch faces. I've been intending on making some more watches, so this should keep me busy for awhile!

The best part of the day was that after I was done shopping I had lunch with a friend who I haven't seen in about 12 years. I found her on Facebook and it was sooooo much fun getting caught up. It seems that we have run parallel lives since we last saw each other, and the connection was there as if no time had passed at all. Thanks, Cheryl!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

It's Almost Time

Can you believe that it's alomst time to set our clocks back again? Sunday morning, November 1. I'm sure you all get up at 2:00 a.m. to reset all your clocks. Many people are glad that they get an "extra" hour, but if you think about it, where did that hour really come from? There's still 24 hours in a day, right? Or did I miss something? A friend just sent me this story:
When told the reason for daylight savings time the Old Indian said, "Only the government would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket, sew it to the bottom, and have a longer blanket."
It just screws me up. I can't get up in the morning, then I can't get to sleep at night. Takes me weeks and weeks to get straightened out again. I'm not looking forward to it.

BUT, also on Sunday morning (although not at 2:00 a.m.) I'll start listing things for my BIG, BIG BIRTHDAY SALE that will last all of November. (And, I guess I'll have an extra hour to work on it!) I know everyone is poised with their mouse pointer on the link to my Etsy Store, waiting for the bargains to start, but be patient - only a few more days. When you get to the shop, click on the section for the BIG, BIG BIRTHDAY SALE on the right side of your screen to see all the things that are marked down. These are pieces that have slowly sunk to the bottom of the pile. There's nothing wrong with them - they've just been in my inventory too long and need to find a good home and make someone happy.

And, remember that you get an additional 10% off if you also have a birthday in November, or if your birthday falls on the 17th of any month. (You have to be able to prove this somehow.) Everyone who makes a purchase during November will have their name entered into a drawing to win a pair of earrings worth $20.00. Doesn't this sound like fun?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New Etsy Listings

I've had a little time to list some new jewelry in my Etsy shop today. More to come tomorrow. It's been a long time since I've added anything new, so enjoy!

This one was made  from pieces that broke off another one when I was trying to finish it.

This one has a nice square-cut CZ set into it.

A cute pattern with a 4 millimeter lab ruby.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Back Among the Living!

Well, folks, it's been the week from hell. I'm just now getting caught up and feeling well enough to get on with my life and I've found a few minutes to do a blog post.

The last you heard was that I had an infection in my jaw after having a root canal. The pain didn't get better after I started on antibiotics and over-the-counter drugs were not working at all, or not working long enough to allow me a full night's sleep. So... on Friday I called the Dentist at home (yes, at home... I was not about to stand for this and his office was closed). He called in a prescription for better pain drugs, which I picked up that evening after setting up the show that I was supposed to do on Saturday. It was damp, and cold, and I was feeling like crap. These drugs worked great on the pain, but only for about 5 hours. The worst thing was that they made be sleepy and stupid, and I had a SHOW the next day! My good friend Kimberly was here from Charlotte hoping to have a fun weekend at the Valle Country Fair with me, but it wasn't working out at all like that.

I woke up at 6:00 on Saturday morning and the whole left side of my face was swollen to the point that I could hardly see out of that eye. And, I was still running a fever. I woke Kimberly and we tried to figure out what to do and OH MY GOD! She volunteered to go out to Valle Crucis and DO THE SHOW FOR ME! Is that not the most incredible friend you've ever heard of? And, as predicted, it was ccccccold that day, and there was mud everywhere from all the rain. Luckily, several of my artist friends were set up near by and they helped her wherever and whenever they could.

While Kim was freezing her butt off, I was hauling myself off to Urgent Care place because I couldn't figure out why my face swelled up 5 days after having the root canal and 2 days after I started antibiotics. Plus, I was a little scared. I don't think it's a good thing to have an infection anywhere, but I think having one in your HEAD is worth getting all the medical help you can! (One symptom of an allergic reaction to the pain meds was facial swelling, but I didn't think that was it because I was only swollen on my left side.) The Doctor there was pretty much worthless. As soon as he heard that it was a dental problem he brushed me off and told me to see my Dentist again. He did give me some 800mg Motrin, though, which knocked out the pain, lasts for 8 hours, and didn't send me off to la-la-land. Then he was moving on the the next $88.00 customer. He didn't even look in my mouth, or touch me at all. Took all of 5 minutes, at the most. I came home and slept most of the rest of the day.

Yesterday I was back in the Dentist's chair and he was a little clueless, too. The only thing he could come up with was that when he filled the root canal some bacteria was pushed up into the bone, which caused the infection, and bone infections take a long time for antibiotics to get to them. Today the swelling is nearly gone and I haven't had to take pain meds all day.

I am filled with gratitude today. I'm grateful that I have friends who love me and are willing to help me out under the worst possible conditions. I'm grateful to be out of pain. I'm grateful for a good night's sleep. I'm grateful to be feeling almost normal again.

To all of my customers who walked into the booth on Saturday and said to Kim "You're not Zoe", I'm sorry that I couldn't be there to see you. To those of you who made purchases: thank you for helping me pay off my Dentist bill!

Now everyone needs to remember that my BIG, BIG BIRTHDAY SALE starts in exactly 12 days. I've already had some inquiries about it - people sending me convos asking if certain pieces will be marked down. I've thought of another gimmick to get you to purchase: Everyone that makes a purchase will have their name put in for a random drawing for a $20.00 pair of earrings when the sale is over.

And, last, thank you to all of you who called, emailed, facebooked (is that a word?) with your concerns about me.... MMMMMMWWWAAA! I love you all back!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Waaaa waaaa waaaa

Now I have an infection in my jaw and I'm on nasty antibiotics. I feel like crap. I should have just had the damned tooth pulled out, but Dentists get all pale and horrified when you suggest that. I don't have time for this, but I'm going to "soldier on". Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I'll take some cheese with this whine!

Geez. Those of you that have read my previous posts about bad shows and bad show weather, be prepared. There's more in his post and probably more to come. My biggest show of the year is coming up this Saturday and the weather man is calling for... get this... a high temperature NEAR 40 (I think he's afraid to say in the 30's), WIND and SNOW SHOWERS. Great. And it's supposed to be raining when we have to set up on Friday.

On top of all this, I had to go to the dentist yesterday because I'd had a little, annoying toothache. Next thing I knew I was getting a root canal. Now I'm on pain killers because it feels like he beat me with a baseball bat and I can only eat soft foods. I'm tired of bananas, oatmeal and soup. I'm having a really hard time staying positive. I need to make at least $835 at this show so I can pay off my dentist bill. So, those of you out there who believe in positive energy, PLEASE send some my way!

I am looking forward to getting all the show stuff (tent, tables, etc) out of my car next week, though. I loaded up for the first show on September 26 and decided it was too much trouble to unload again after each of my shows. After this next one, I'm sure everything will be wet and need to air out anyway. It's all been rattling around back there for three weeks and cutting down on my gas mileage. It will truly feel like a load lifted when it's all back in the shed.

Remember that my BIG, BIG BIRTHDAY sale starts on November 1. (Should I change the name to BIG, BIG BIRTHDAY AND PAY OFF THE DENTIST SALE?) I sent out an email to customers earlier this week and I've already had some inquiries about which pieces will be marked down. I hope that the interest continues through the end of November.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Weather Report from Deep Gap

Image by Marty Hulsebos of High Country Images
"Misty Forest Road in Autumn"

This is what it looks like here today. The leaves are nearly at their peak of color and it's a drizzly, foggy day. It's strange that the weather where I live - on the east side of the county - can be so different from the weather on the west side - just 20 miles away. I live "near the edge". That's close to the Eastern Contintental Divide. When the moist winds come from the east they create what the weather man calls a "wedge" and the cool wet makes it really foggy here on days when the sun might be shining closer to the Tennessee line. There used to be a sign on the old highway that read "Fog Likely Next 4 Miles". Those of us that live in this area can explain to locals where we are by merely saying "I live in Fog Likely". Everyone knows where that is. The other case, of course, is that most of our snow storms come from the west, so those on the other side of the county can get two to three times the snow that we get over here. That's when the weather man talks about the "Western Facing Slopes". I really prefer the fog over lots of snow.

So, today I'm staying in, playing with silver and beads and tweaking a few things in the studio, reading a little and trying to enjoy the day. Other people get time off from their jobs, so I think I'll take the rest of today for myself.

Here's a couple more images by Marty Hulsebos. I love all of his photos, but especially his collection of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Autumn. Check out all of them here:

Autumn Sunrise

Forest Road in Autumn

Hawksbill, Table Rock and Linville Gorge

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Time To Think About 2010

I just got word from Marjorie Oxman that her Metal Clay Calendar for 2010 is available and that of one of my pieces is featured! In the photo above it's on the bottom row, third from the left. It's one of my toggle pendants with a dichroic glass cabachon. I haven't seen the completed calendar, only what you're seeing here, but I know that the lineup of artists us wonderful and I'm honored to be amongst them.

If you'd like one, you can order it from And, if you order before October 11 you can save 25% by using the coupon code FALLFOTO Thank you SO MUCH, Marjorie!

Monday, October 5, 2009

I Knew Better...

Note to self: Never, ever, ever agree to show your jewelry at something called a "Festival" again!!! I know this. I do not do well where the emphasis is on music, or food, or wine. My work sells best at fine art shows where people come to appreciate and, hopefully, buy high-end art and craft. When my $100 pieces of jewelry are displayed next to hand-made soap or, what my Mama always called "Pigs on sticks", people just walk on by. I heard Dionne Warwick singing all weekend.

Shows, especially outdoor shows, require an incredible amount of work. The tent frame itself weighs 90 pounds and requires two people to set it up. If I don't have a helper with me, I just look wistfully at the other vendors and someone usually steps up. You can never count on the weather. Rain is the worst, but wind can be pretty bad, too. I've seen several of the lighter-weight tents that you can buy at Sam's Club ending up as kites flying across parking lots, stopping with their spindly little legs twisted into unrecognizable balls of metal.

So, why did I agree to do the Chatham Hill Winery's Harvest Festival last weekend? Because the economy is bad, my sales are down, and my sister thought it might be good for me. All poor reasons, but what the heck. Might as well give it a try - who knows - I might make some money. HA! I knew better, but agreed to go anyway. This is exactly why I now call myself a "Craft Ho". Schlepping that stuff around in any weather just to make a buck or two. Good thing I'm my own pimp.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

One Month From Today....

I want to announce that on November 1 I'll be starting the BIG BIG BIRTHDAY SALE in my Etsy Store that will last the entire month. My birthday is in November, hence the name. I'm not having a BIG BIRTHDAY this year - this one doesn't have a zero - this is going to be a BIG BIG SALE. I have several pieces of jewelry that have just been hanging around in my inventory for way too long and they need a little nudge so that they'll go home with someone, be worn, and make someone happy. Because of the economy I've been relucant to buy a lot of supplies this year (silver's expensive) and I have a nice cushion of jewelry inventory on hand already. Therefore, I've been jonesing to make more, but haven't been able to do as much as I'd like. Winter is coming and I need something to do to stave off cabin fever, so I decided to sell off some of the ones that have circulated to the bottom of the pile at greatly reduced prices. I'll be adding new things to the store every day and there will be additional discounts available, as well as free shipping. Stay tuned and pass the word!

I had a little frost this morning. I don't think it killed anything, but fall is definitely here. Time to drive around and look at the leaves and buy pumpkins and enjoy the clear, crisp weather.

I'm getting ready to go to the Raleigh-Durham area for the Chatham Hill Winery's Harvest Festival this weekend. I hope they're interested in jewelry as well as wine! Maybe if they drink enough... Send in your requests for me that the weather is nicer this weekend than it was last!