February 29, 2008

leap day

Has it really been a week since my last post?

Here it is, the end of February, and my blog-love series didn't even make it to Valentine's Day. There were more blogs I intended to send hearts to, but alas, I have a very short attention span and an aversion to commitment. Seems like just when I set my sights in one direction, something else catches my eye and off I go, taking a fork in the road that leads me far away from my original destination.

I've been enjoying some time off from posting, but since I have an extra day, I thought I'd stop in and say hello.

February 22, 2008

beads, beads, more beads

I'm feeling a case of blog neglect coming on as other things make their way to the top of my 'to-do' list.

I spent the morning editing the listings of de-stash supplies in my Highwood Studio etsy shop, lowering prices as well as shipping charges. My plan is to continue pulling beads from my over-flowing inventory and get them listed during the next few weeks. Some items are quite unique, most are priced at or below my cost, and I want to give first dibs to Etsy people. Whatever hasn't sold by summer will be put in a basket and offered at the yard sales I plan to have when the warm weather finally arrives.

Check out my shop from time to time and see what's new.

a few of the tiny treasures
available at Highwood Studio

February 21, 2008


first light on a gray morning
Buffalo Mountain
Silverthorne, Colorado

February 20, 2008

It's official !!

Exciting news....
for those of you who have been waiting for the outcome of the city council meeting regarding the chicken ordinance....

**front page news**
The Mountain Mail
Salida, Colorado
February 20, 2008

February 17, 2008

on the road again

Beautiful Colorado
(of course, you can click the picture for a better view)

I'm off to take care of business now
and will check back in when I get home.

Have a great week!

February 15, 2008

pearl pretties

Every woman needs at least one pearl bracelet, whether it's classic white or something more bohemian, like the dark peacock pearls with Thai silver at the far right in the picture above.

My favorite right now is the copper drops bracelet in my Etsy shop. The dangly pearls all around give it the playful feel of a charm bracelet without the weight (or the noise!) This one has been my 'everyday bracelet' lately because it's just so much fun to wear.

February 14, 2008

brightly colored pretties

It's my natural inclination to work with subtle colors but some people likes 'em bright! I'm hoping my customers will go for red this year because I bought about 25 strands of coral at the bead show. I hadn't planned to buy so much - just couldn't help myself! (But, of course, that's the way it is with everything I buy at the bead show).

Funny thing about making jewelry, for me anyway, is that I make it and then put it in a drawer and don't even look at it again until it's time to pack it up to sell, and that's when I suddenly feel so attached to it that I don't want to let any of it go!!
I wonder if that happens to other people - I'm sure it must.

February 13, 2008

a profusion of pretties

Getting ready for another sales trip to the mountains - if it will ever stop snowing up there! When packing my jewelry, I like to group pieces by color or materials and put them on large binder rings - very handy for grabbing a hank at a time. As I was gathering and sorting this time, I decided to take some 'group photos' before these go to new homes. Sometimes I miss them when they are gone!

I'll post more as the packing continues.

February 12, 2008

how to waste an entire day

1. brew a pot of coffee
2. sit down at the computer
3. decide to change your banner

mission accomplished

Continuing on from my last post...the organization mission is - well, nearly - complete.

The last pile of 'stuff' got stuffed! I crammed it all into drawers and boxes - until (I told myself) some time when I get around to sorting through it, which I know will never actually happen.

So, now, I have a little more elbow room and don't feel quite so claustrophobic.

I know this need to clear some space is actually just cabin fever that comes from being indoors too much in the winter. My house does not feel quite so small in the summer, when I can enjoy the outdoors or at least leave my doors open to the outside world.

And this summer, there will be yard sales! No, not the ones I go to and haul in more stuff that I will be wanting to throw away next winter. I will be having the yard sales this summer - not one, but several!

I can hardly wait.

February 11, 2008

too much stuff

Do you ever want to throw everything away and start over?

the top of the refrigerator
is the only calm place in the house right now

I've been re-arranging furniture and every time I do that, I end up with a pile of little things that I don't have room for. In a house as tiny as mine, I find I constantly have to re-adjust the flow in order to keep things running smoothly. Working at home requires space to function in an organized way. There's the bead table - the production area - and all the attendant sorting and storage issues. The 'office' - desk, file cabinet, computer, office supplies, printer, scanner, which all take up way too much room. Now I have a small table top area for packaging and shipping with bags, boxes, mailers, labels, etc.
(Yes, supplies from Highwood Studio are actually selling on Etsy).
That leaves the kitchen counter for taking pictures. Thank goodness the camera is tiny and that I get plenty of light in my little house because I have no room at all for a light-box. The closet is stuffed with display gear for summer craft shows. The only 'me' space in the whole house is a book case, an easy chair, and my bed!

When I get into one of these re-arranging frenzies, I also want to dump the blog, the Etsy shop, half the files and folders and the mile-long list of bookmarks on my computer and 90% of the clutter filling up my head.

It's ALL just taking up too much space.

Zen Habits says that re-arranging systems is just a form of avoidance. Makes sense to me since I spend an inordinate amount of time organizing stuff. If only I wasn't so OCD and could be okay with some clutter and just a little bit of confusion. I know people who manage to function very well in the midst of what, to me, looks like the debris of years of creative chaos. It just doesn't bother them.

I'm really missing the days when this jewelry thing was just a hobby.
No computer to keep track of inventory, supplies, pricing, billing, bookkeeping, taxes. No need for (my current) 137 strands of assorted beads, not to mention a hundred small containers of loose beads, and 13 boxes (with 16 compartments each) of silver spacers, caps, pins, charms, clasps, chain, wire. And drawers filled with finished jewelry, tags, bags, earring cards, tools.

I've never wanted to use my blog as a place to rant, but do you ever just want to throw everything away and start over?

February 10, 2008

a vintage heart

From time to time, I fantasize about living in a country cottage filled with faded pastel linens and white painted furniture. Louise is living the very life I've dreamed about and I can now enjoy it vicariously through her blog, Louise Loves Pin Board.

Louise lives in Builth Wells, Wales, UK and is a dealer of vintage textiles as well as having her own line of vintage-inspired printed cottons. Seriously Shabby Chic! She has an on-line shop, selling everything from fabric covered books to lampshades to vintage quilt covered clothes hangers - everything you need for your own idyllic shabby cottage.

Her blog is all about life at her country home, Stable Cottage. There are pictures galore and you can read about raising guinea fowl, the blooming of the crocuses in the spring, and some travels to nearby towns that have all the charm you'd expect of the Welch countryside. There's a tutorial on making a hydrangea wreath and the photos of her home have a wealth of decorating inspiration.

If you love country living and all things vintage, you're sure to enjoy this lovely blog.

February 07, 2008

this cyber-heart goes to...

I absolutely love the warm earthy colors of autumn and from now on I’m sure I will simply think of them as nataJane colors. Her Etsy shop is filled with rich greens, golds, reds, and mochas.

The same palette and sensibility is carried over to her blog, where the glimpses she gives of her life and her world are as soft and muted, as warm and cozy as her scarves and wrist gloves.

This blog is as comfortable as the big leather easy chair on the banner and at the same time full of completely unexpected surprises. I've discovered what a multi-talented artist Natalie is. She draws, paints, sews, makes the most mouthwatering brownies and takes great photographs!

Maybe it’s the smoky colors and aura of candle light that give the feeling of turning the well-worn pages of a treasured family album, and I love that her family regularly comments and cheers her on. They’re so obviously proud of their girl and it’s very endearing.

Visit once and you can’t help but go back again and again.
You will want to be part of her family.

February 04, 2008

another heart

My next cyber-valentine goes to Pussman & Co, a blog by Danielle Roothooft, an artist who lives in Kalmthout, Belgium.

I was hooked from the moment I saw her banner.

We get to peek inside her home - meet her adorable dog, Milan - and her original stuffed dolls, which are like American primitive folk art - see her delightfully innocent and whimsical drawings - along with pages from her illustrated books.

Her wonderful art always makes me smile!

Danielle does not sell on Etsy, but on her blog she does have links to where you can purchase her charming illustrations on shirts, mugs, hats and baby clothes - as well as links to her other blogs where she sells her 'Pussmanstuffies' and original drawings and paintings.

I don't know how Danielle found my blog, but she linked to it and I'm so pleased she did because otherwise, I might never have found her.

When you visit, I hope you'll take the time to browse the archives and check out all the sweet pleasures on this happy little blog.

February 01, 2008

blog love

Ah, February...Cupid will be running around shooting his little arrows at people, and I will be sending cyber-valentines to some of my favorite blogs!

I've already posted about No Impact Man and Zen Habits but have completely neglected my favorite crafty people. I thought I should remedy that. So I'm sending my first heart to Monaco Designs, the very first blog I linked to.

Kim Monaco and I 'met' in the Etsy forums - in a thread about blogging actually. I was only thinking about starting a blog at the time, and when I finally did, Kim generously helped me with some things I couldn't figure out. If not for her, I might have given up on my very first post.

Her blog is so entertaining and full of useless information - her description, not mine! And she even keeps a long list of links to free things you can get!!

Kim makes very cool jewelry and takes great photos of her work....

like these

I hope you'll visit her blog and take the time to read some of her wonderfully humorous posts.

You will find gems like:
Why isn't 11 pronounced onety one? -and-
What was the best thing before sliced bread?

It's a great blog to cheer you when you need a dose of good energy.