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Archive for the ‘shopping’ Category

My studio space is a nook carved out of the bonus room in our house.  I share this room with my young boys’ toys, a large television equipped with video games, and other miscellany.  A few months ago, I bought and assembled an L-shaped desk that gave some boundaries and definition to my studio space.

About nine months ago, I had the brilliant idea to get a white utility cabinet and mount it on one of the walls in my space.  I have all sorts of stuff and very, very little storage space.  The three cabinet unit seemed like a perfect solution.  The only problem was that it would be impossible for just my husband and I to install.

Finally, last weekend, my dad and brother were able to come over and provide the problem-solving skills and brute strength required to install my cabinet.  I am so excited to have this space.  There are so many things that need to be accessible, but up and out of the way of little fingers.

I was disappointed to discover that the bins I originally bought to go in the cabinets were not the right size to efficiently use the space.  But I was thrilled to find the perfect bins at Target.  They are clear with green latches, come in three different sizes, and I love them!

Somewhere along the way, I also discovered some great little units at Tuesday Morning.  They were marketed for a child’s craft room (who has such a thing??), but they are going to be great for some of my beady stuff.  They were so easy to put together that I might go back and see if I can find some more.

I’m still working hard at organizing the space, but I’m so excited about how it’s all coming together.

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Going Old School

I love my iPhone. It’s one of my favorite pieces of technology, but the calendar feature falls pretty short with keeping my scheduled organized.

I’m a visual person (which I hope means I’m creative) and this wasn’t doing it for me.

One of my girlfriends whipped out a calendar the other day and proceeded to use pen and paper. What a concept!

About the same time Vera Bradley was advertising 50% off their agenda books. I decided to visit our local store on Saturday and managed to score a cute book for 50% off and an additional $5 off because of the weekend sales. My cute new calendar cost me just over $8.

So far, I love it! I’m having all sorts of fun writing in the things we have going on and using the daily sections for lists of things to do and remember.

I’ve used this type of calendar before and start out strong and soon forget to carry it around with me, so I’m trying it out.  If it works well for this year, I’m going to upgrade to the fancy Mom Agenda Day Planner for next year.

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Bead Bazaar Shopping

My jewelry partner-in-crime and I met up at the Northwest Bead Society Bead Bazaar last weekend and spent a good four hours exploring the booths and chatting with our favorite beading ladies. Last year I didn’t buy anything, but I made up for it this year with purchases at three different shops.

I’m very excited about all of my purchases, but what I love the most are the glass pieces in the upper left corner. These are from a company called Loot! and are made by a local gal who has been doing glass work for over 11 years. She’s found a way to take art glass that cannot be recycled and turn it into these gorgeous pieces. I’m currently planning to make a charm type bracelet, and I can’t wait to play around with it.

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Foxy Findings

A few weeks ago I placed an order with Foxy Findings. I discovered this site through Twitter somehow. I think she started following me first, and after looking at her site and seeing all of the discounted shell beads, crystals, and gemstones, I figured she’d be a fun gal to follow.

I have to admit that I was a bit hooked after I won my first Twitter contest. The only downside for me is the $100 minimum for free shipping. I’m all about the free shipping. Since I’m not actively selling my jewelry, $100 is quite a bit to spend on play beads.

Occasionally she’ll have one day of free shipping for $30, while I missed the first few, I was able to catch the one last Friday. I’m so excited because my purchases arrived this afternoon, and there is an amazing amount of stuff for just over $35! (Ok, so I overspent just a little bit, but you’ll understand why if you read on.)

I’m not even sure where to start. I think the first things I put in my basket were the shell beads. I bought two different colors of both square and round. These are going to be really fun shapes and colors to play with.

In the semi-precious stones, I bought some diamond shaped lava that I plan to use with some other lava I have. It’s a bit smaller than I was envisioning, but I think it’s going to be working itself into a necklace. I bought some natural blue coral teardrop beads, which I have no idea what to do with yet, but I really loved their color and the shape is something I don’t have any of.

I am so excited about the fluorite rectangle beads. The colors are amazing on two of them. The third one is a bit on the pale side, but I’ll find a use for it.

I’m a lot more excited about the African Yellow Opal 34mm “coin” beads than I thought I would be. I’ve been meaning to add some yellow into my jewelry stash, and these beads looked like fun online. They’re a nice, chunky size. I was originally thinking I would pair them with the yellow freshwater pearls I bought for a necklace, but now I’m toying with the idea of taking four of them and making a bracelet and using the last one as a pendant for a necklace.

I bought the muddy green and turquoise porcelain beads on a whim and really have no idea what I’m going to do with them. But for $2.39, I thought they’d be fun to play with.

Finally, I was looking for something to fill in the approximately $2-3 I had remaining to make my $30 minimum, and went searching through their Designer Value Packs. There are pages and pages of these packages, which the video on the site describes as hand picked for color coordination. All you need to supply is your imagination.

They range in price from just over $3 to under $40. Some of them are not my style, but I had little trouble finding an interesting looking set for $5.59. I decided to go with orange tones even though I had a blue set picked out as well. I’m really trying to expand my color pallet and explore tones that I don’t normally gravitate towards. There’s one bead in the set that I’m not too keen on, but I already have some ideas forming for a necklace.

Overall, I’m very pleased and excited about my Foxy Findings order. I wish I had the time to burn through beads so I could place another order right away, but it’ll take me some time to get through these.

I do have to admit that I avoided going through the crystals too much. I’m a bit of a crystal snob and prefer Swarovski. Although I’ve liked the two strands I’ve won in Twitter contests. I think they will make nice pieces and in this economy, sometimes you have to go with your second choice.

Oh, and not pictured was some .015″ Spring Green nylon coated beading wire that I purchased. The spool has 315 feet for under $5! I have no idea what I’m going to to with it yet and I’m not certain about the quality, but for the price, I thought it was worth trying out.

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Bargain Shopping

Like every good gal nowadays, I’m shopping on a budget. I had a little picture project that I needed to do some shopping for, so I ended up at Michael’s. This is not my favorite place to shop for beads, but I like to stroll down their couple of bead-related aisles and see if anything catches my eye.

At the end of one aisle was their clearance bin. Near the top was this blue pendant. Then on one of their other end caps was the green shell pendant. I think they were both marked down to $1.99. I already have some shell (dyed mother of pearl) beads at home that will be perfect for the green one. I really liked the style of the blue one, so I’m sure I’ll be able to find something fun to do with it.

Sometimes it pays to do just a little bit of looking.

Oh, and I made a fun organizational find. I don’t have a picture of it yet, but I had to snatch it up at 40% off. I have dreams for my crafting area, and I’m getting the pieces bit by bit.

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One of the craft stores I like was having a 40% off this weekend for the holiday, so I had to go out and see if I could find any treasures. Actually, I had planned to look for something from Simply Swank. I knew there was some sort of value pack I had my eye on. For some reason I thought it was different varieties of glass, but when I got there I remembered the copper tape.

I did look at their glass “value” packs and was disappointed to discover that four pieces of glass, or two charms, were considered a value pack. At $5 each, I wasn’t about to stock up. I looked around to see if anything else caught my eye and I spotted these boxes of Inkssentials Memory Glass. I read over all of the information and couldn’t find any reason why I couldn’t try using these to make soldered pieces.

I am going to give it a try. For 24 pieces at $7, I think it’s worth testing to see if I can solder them. It seems like there shouldn’t be a problem since they are glass after all, but you never know. I probably won’t get to try this theory out until after the end of September since there are so many things going on this month to keep me more than busy.

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