Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Well, I did not get lots of new things listed or made but I am getting organized for a big 2009. 2008 didn't seem to be that good but when looking back the events of 2008 led me to where I am now and for that I am very happy. I'll leave you with a picture of our lovely Christmas Tree. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Monday, December 1, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
The first artist is KuteKlipboardsbyAmy who happens to live near me in Flower Mound. Amy is also a member of EtsyDallas Team as well as EtsyTexasCrafters. As her shop name implies she makes and sells decorated clipboards. But wait, these are no ordinary clipboards. Here is a sample of my favorites from her shop. Not only does she do the clipboard but she also decorates binder clips to be used as gift card holders, photo holders and could also be used as place card holders at a dinner party. Contact her for your special requirements.
The second artist I found is someone I reviewed on LinkReferral and she returned the favor. RioRita is from Haifa, Israel and does some of the most beautiful silver and gold work I have seen. I can't really pick a favorite piece as every one I look at becomes my favorite. Please check out her shop and her alternate sites she has listed in her Etsy announcement.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Whew! I finally got some pictures done and more jewelry listed on Michele Cook Designs. Go and check it out. I'm still working on a lovely PMC pendant that is made in a similar way to the Wizard's Eye pendant I listed today. It has a beautiful green dichroic glass cab with vines and leaves. The Wizard's Eye pendant is also done with Silver clay and a dichroic glass cab with a textured background and hand formed bezel for the cab. It was finished off with a free form squiggle design that seemed to add energy to the piece. Now it's back to work for me, so much jewelry, so little time...
Friday, October 3, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Also, I had my 2nd sale last week!!!! Yeah!! I sold my As Blue as the Ocean bracelet and earrings. I'm so excited! On my way, watch out!
Here is a little preview of the next few things I will be listing on Michele Cook Designs.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
New stock coming up, stay posted!
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
I am also signed up with the Indie Collective which is a collection of independent artists. I'll be listed there as a seller also so check it out at Indie Collective.
I am also signed up with ProPay to accept credit cards so if anyone wants to buy something but not use PayPal I can process your credit card with ProPay.
I did actually close the michele38 Etsy store because it was getting confusing so if you have that address bookmarked or had given it out please give out my new store. If you go to Etsy.com just type michelecookdesigns in the search for user names. Be sure to type it as all one word, no spaces. I feel as though I am really officially a full time jewelry seller. Help me spread the word!
Saturday, September 6, 2008
I also realized that I would be able to change the votive cup for the holidays. The same catalog had some cups shaped like jingle bells in red and white that would be cute. So, I'm taking a vote and I will post a poll on my blog. Everyone needs to vote for white, colored or combination. By the way, the colored ones change colors automatically. The description says they fade in and out of 7 different color combination of red, green and blue. I like the votive cup they show in the picture but I'm not sure if I can buy them also or not. WalMart will have some cheap. JoAnn's will also, and probably many in holiday themes and on sale! My first show isn't until November but I want to be prepared! Ok, don't forget to vote!
Thursday, September 4, 2008
I will be blogging more regularly now and I'll give everyone sneak peaks of my new creations. I have some great new cabs to wrap and a couple of new wrapping techniques so stay tuned!
My daughter and grandsons were here for Labor Day weekend. We had lovely weather and my daughter and I did some shopping. We checked out a really great shop in Dallas called The Rock Barrel. They have great stuff. A really good place for tools also. If you are like me I prefer to see the tools and hold them in my hand before making a decision. This place was great and the people running it are very helpful. The do have online ordering if you are not in the Dallas area.
Well, back to the workbench to create some more spectacular jewelry items!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
I haven't listed this yet in Etsy as I have just a touch more to do with taking better photographs. As a matter of fact, my hubby has been working on a light box for me and I'm trying to figure out the best background for my pictures. Once I'm done with that I'll be posting more to Etsy as well as redoing the existing photos.
The light box is very simple. It is a cardboard box about 18" square. He cut out a square on each side leaving about 1.5" border. The bottom is solid and the top has a square hole about 6" square cut for the camera to look through. This allows me to take pictures from the top looking down on the jewelry. Then I took white tissue paper and covered the cutouts on 2 opposite sides leaving the other 2 opposite sides open. If I want to take a picture straight on I can set up the camera outside the box by one of the open sides. I can use this outside as well as indoors. When using it outside I place one of the covered sides facing the sun. Inside I have 2 lamps with 60 watt bulbs that I place about 4" from the paper. Both ways work well. I also have lined the top with aluminum foil and will probably do the other parts as well to reflect more light. I have taken some pictures to show you what I'm talking about.
The last two pictures are using the light box. The one with the PCM pendant is at night with the 2 lights outside the tissue paper and the bracelet is outside with the sun shining in through the tissue paper. Believe it or not the backgrounds in the two pictures are the same. See what a difference light makes?
I have put together all the advice I've read from the eSMArts Team as well as other groups about photographing jewelry, my hubby made me a light box. Now its just up to taking new pictures. Keep checking my Etsy store for new pictures.
Friday, August 22, 2008
I'm also designing a line for Christmas. I'm thinking of doing a show in Dallas called Jingle Bash. I'm a member of the Etsy Dallas team and they are doing it.
Isn't that the cutest picture? I love it.It is an indoor show and I will have lots of people to help me with the set up. I'm really looking forward to it and am working like a mad woman to get enough stock made up. Wish me luck and for those of you who are in this area, come by and see me!
Monday, August 18, 2008
I've also been working on the pricing for my new jewelry and will get it listed on Etsy tomorrow, I hope. Whew! Its been a busy day but I'm glad to be back on track. I even ordered some wire from Lois at ABeadedAffair. She has this great copper wire in square and half round. You should check out her Etsy store here and see her great stuff. She has the most beautiful wire wrap jewelry, chainmaile, beads, etc. Her blog is great and she has a wonderful triple strand of pearls with blue sapphire beads shown there. They are also in her Etsy shop. Check her out, you won't be sorry!
Once I get that wire from her I will be a wrapping fool! I have a beautiful Black Onyx cab that I want to wrap. I saw one that Lois did in her store that she did in copper wire and it is beautiful. I'm going to try that. I may try wrapping it sideways this time and see how it comes out.
I also want to work on a video for my blog. I'll let you know when I have that done. I know you can use One True Media which is connected with You Tube.
So stay tuned and if you get Google, keep trying. My blog will be back up in no time.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Here are the rules:
1) Link to the person who tagged you
2) Post the rules on your blog (this is what you are now reading)
3) Write 6 random things about yourself (see below)
4) Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them
5) Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6) Let the tagger know when your entry is up.
Six Random Things about Me…..
1) I am very small. I am 4'7" tall and wear a size 4 shoe. Actually, I wear a size 5 cause I can't find 4s.
2) My mom spelled my name with one L (Michele). This has always been an issue as I can't get anything already personalized.
3) I named my daughter after my sister who died as an infant. My mom named my sister. Katheryn. Now my daughter can't get anything already personalized.
4) My daughter goes by Katie.
5) I have 4 grandchildren, 3 boys and 1 girl.
6) My husband is English and we met on the internet 10 years ago.
Now I’m tagging….
You have been tagged!!!!
Monday, August 4, 2008
I have been working on some new jewelry and hope to get some pictures uploaded and items added to my Etsy shop. I've been struggling with the lighting, sunlight too much or not enough and flash not right either, so before I post more pictures I want to work on it. I plan to get that done today. Again, its back to the heat thing. Its supposed to be below 100° the middle of the week so we are putting off mowing the yard until then. Hopefully I can get my craft work caught up.
This probably sounds like a bunch of whining but it makes me feel better to whine online for a bit! LOL....
Stay tuned for the next blog which will be what I have found out about local craft venues.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Saturday, July 26, 2008
However, there is so much stuff going on now that I'm having trouble getting my head around all this. The newest thing I have played with today is Feedburner. I'm not sure I really understand what feeds are exactly. I just hope that I have done things right! LOL!!
I think I set up a way for people to subscribe to feeds of my blog. At least that is what I was trying to do. I hope so anyway. So if I did it right, please subscribe to me. Tell all your friends. Let everyone know about my blog, my Etsy store and my jewelry.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
It is on a lazy susan and turns very smoothly. The upright boards have small holes drilled in them at an angle so I can put my dremel bits, small files, etc in them. The top has a hole in the middle that he put a glass in to hold pencils, brushes, emery boards, and the like and around the edge of the top are holds for the handle of my pliers to fit into. It is absolutely fantastic. It works great and I have some space around the bottom to place small objects. I"m also including a picture of my worktable. As you can see, its a bit cluttered. And its not as dark as the picture makes it look, I just didn't force the flash on the camera and it was fooled by the light over my desk.
Tonight I also took some advice I read about in the Wire Wrap Jewelry group about storing your wire. I had all my wire in separate bags all in the same drawer. I was always searching for the gauge or type I wanted. I was reading about using a 3 ring binder so I did that and I had some plastic dividers with places for labels. These went in the binder but also have pockets on the front and back of them. So I put my wire in separate divider page pockets and then printed labels with my label maker for the tabs. I have them labeled by type of metal (copper, SS) then by gauge (18G, 22G), hardness (HH or DS) and then type of wire (round, 1/2 round, square). It all fits nicely in the binder and will be easy to find. Now, you don't really think I will be geeky enough to post pictures of the binder too do you? Well, of course I am. And here it is! :) Just so that you are perfectly clear on how my wire is now organized. Is there such as thing as a professional organizer? That would be a perfect job for me!
Monday, July 21, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
All in all the garden is looking much better this year. Tomorrow I will tell you all about the flower beds.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
When I was growing up I wanted to be a scientist. I had a microscope, and a chemistry set when I was probably younger than I should have been. I loved them! I also had a rock testing kit. You had to perform different tests on a rock and then stick pegs in specific holes to indicate an answer to the question about the qualities of the rock. Inside was a stack of cards with holes punched in them and when you were all done with your tests you would pull out a tray and a card or cards would drop down and tell you what kind of rock it was. I really loved that. I think it was that scientific mind that drew me into medicine.
Respiratory Therapy was sort of a fluke as a choice though as I had planned on being a doctor. I had entered a science fair in high school and part of my experiment involved radiation and my teacher would take me to LSU hospital in Shreveport, LA where he had friends in the radiation lab. He was a pre-med student and was substitute teaching at my high school while waiting for a place in med school to open up. My experiment involved exposing fruit fly larvae to different levels of radiation and then when they hatched to inspect the flies for any mutations. It was actually quite a good experiment and got me to the International Science Fair in California that year. So I went to LSU-Shreveport with a specific goal of pre-med. Then I got married, had kids and of course dropped out of school. When I went back to school when my son, Chris, was about 2 I got interested in the Respiratory Therapy certification program offered at the local community college.
And the rest, as they say, is history. I do really love being a respiratory therapist, and the education aspect of it is my favorite. Whether I am educating patients on how to take better care of them selves or other therapists or care givers on how to take care of the patient doesn't matter. I love it all. I've been in clinical management for about the last 10-15 years and was working for a large, national home care company, Rotech Healthcare, when I was laid off.
If any of you are familiar with Medicare's cuts in reimbursement for things like oxygen, nebulizer medications, CPAP etc. you will probably understand this. A home care company doesn't bill Medicare for the visits an RT makes to the patient like home health does for nursing visits. They only bill for the purchase or rental of equipment and supplies. Having RTs to visit your patients is a value added benefit for the referral source like the hospital, or doctor office, and the patient. The RT can spend time with the patient helping them understand what their medication or equipment does to help them and how to make best use of it all. Unfortunately with the recent changes in Medicare reimbursement for medications and the oxygen cap and competitive bidding challenges having the RTs became a burden of cost for the company. So now the patient has less access to care but Medicare "saves" money. In my book its a lose-lose situation.
That is why I have chosen now to start pushing the jewelery making business while I'm looking for a job. I feel I was given an opportunity to put some time into it.
But...... if any of you out there has a job for me, let me know! :)
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
I started knitting about 4 years ago. I had tried as a child when I was crocheting but I could never get the hang of it. For some reason when I tried about 4 years ago it just worked! I made a couple of scarves and then went right into a sweater! It actually came out ok, its quite comfortable even if it is a bit boxy. I also tried socks and that is when I fell in love! I have made many, many pairs of socks, a lot of them were with bulkier yards and we use them for house sox in the winter. All our floors downstairs are hardwood, and you sure can slide in those sox! :) Anyway, the real reason I like making socks is because I'm quite small and I have size 5 (really size 4) feet and most socks are too big for me. I love making them to fit! With all the lovely self patterning yarn now you can really make them special. My newest thing is making 2 at once by using a long cable needle. I got a book on it and its great. You don't have to continuously measure and count rows on the 2nd sock to make them exactly even but you also avoid the dreaded "orphan" sock.
The biggest problem for me with crafts is that I don't like to have a deadline to complete a project. For example, last year I had a Calendar-A-Day for Knitting. I saw a sleeveless sweater that I knew my daughter would love. It is very simple, only stockinette stitch for the front and back, no sleeves. I started it last summer and wanted to give it to her for her birthday this past March. Well,,,, I just finished it this past week.... almost a year and 4 months after her birthday! Of course, I hadn't told her I was making it until her birthday, but still. A friend of mine once asked me to make a baby quilt for her pregnant friend. The baby was 6 months old before she got it! I even have a quilt on my lap frame that I am hand quilting for the past 6 years. Oh well..... I think most crafters are like that. Everyone seems to have an over abundance of WIP or Works In Progress.
So, if you want me to make something other than jewelry for you, be prepared to wait,,,, for a while.
See you tomorrow when I will be talking about work,,, or the lack of it.