Monday, March 29, 2010

Ahtee's Links- What I'm Reading

A Bead A Day- Lisa announces the giveaway winners AND shows off her new creations using fantastic blue mod beads (LOVE the bracelet!).

ammjewelry- Millie's March book of the month has her folding metal! And with beautiful results!

Be~Jeweled by jana- As a California Girl, I must say, I love this necklace. Makes me wish the ocean wasn't so cold right now.

Bleu Verre- Some recently listed clearance beads... and they're BEAUTIFUL.

Cindy's Art and Soul- Featuring Cindy's Caribbean Blue Necklace. Love the blue star. Makes the piece, I think.

Dawno's Beaded Badge Lanyards and Jewelry- Leftovers from Dawno's St. Patrick's Day bracelet turn into an elegant necklace.

Deez News- I love these "grungeboard" earrings!

Diana Frey- Anyone from Central California? Diana Frey is offering a wonderful workshop where "using heavy gauge wire, students will learn sculptural, free-form wire working techniques to create the choker and cuff foundation." Diana has such beautiful works.

Five Forty at Home- Denim Blue Necklace and Earrings- Such a pretty blue paired with copper and chocolate brown pearls.

Gardanne Glass Lampwork Beads and Artisan Jewelry- I can imagine how tired she is after making these beautiful headpins!

JustATish Designs- Tish re-purposed a necklace she made last year and made some fun bracelets! I love the purple!

Lorelei's Blog- This necklace is so adorable! Fun, feminine, spring-like and all around beautiful.

mariedodd- A very beautiful bracelet "...adorned with lapis which is believed to be a yin yang balancer and healer of emotional wounds..." Absolutely beautiful.

Sue Beads- Sue tries out her new Thompson Enamel colors... I love those flowers. They are, indeed, very earthy!

Summers Studio- Experimenting with toggle bars.

To Bead or Not to Bead What a Question- Jessica tries making some clusters!

Zuleykha's polymer clay- Fish! and FLOWERS! The fish are sooo cute!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Bohemian Wrap-sody: A Trio of Earrings

I've been seeing "messy wraps" everywhere! I just HAD to try them out. The first pair of earrings here are pink jasper. The second pair are rose quartz with metal tear drops with a green patina. And the third pair are quartz... PINEAPPLE quartz (at least that's what the label said at the bead store).

All with copper... mmm... copper.

The rose quartz earring are delicate and cute and possibly my favorite out of the three. And I just love the name pineapple quartz.

More views!

Hopefully, I'll get these into my etsy shop this week. I'm so bad at uploading these things into my shop. Haven't sold a darn thing but it would probably help if I added these in, huh? :P

Side note- I want to learn how to add a patina to metal. Shannon LeVart has some amazing stuff in her etsy shop... I didn't get the metal drops from her but I certainly want to work more of this kind of stuff into my pieces and her stuff makes my fingers tingle with the need to make things.

Hope everyone's ready for the start of a new week! I am! :D

WIP- Flower Failure

Here is a peak into a current work in progress.

It's supposed to bloom into a flower...

...with this pretty rivoli in the middle...

It fits but the beads are supposed to cup over the rivoli.

Otherwise, the rivoli pops out when pushed from the bottom.

I'm pretty sure I need to make the stitches a bit tighter. But I was yanking on them so hard that the string gave me a tiny cut... right on one of my knuckles (totally annoying). I want it to work so badly. It's discouraging but I can't give up!

Who is "Ahtee?"- Week 13

Sleepy Sunday.

Took this picture at 6:30AM. Why? Because that's when I woke up and thought "Hey, I should do that self-portrait blog thing that I said I'd do every week on Sundays..." Then I fell back asleep. Because I was sleepy. Duh. :P

Earring post to come... as soon as I get home (I'm currently at Corner Bakery).

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Gifts from the Sea

While on my mini-vacation, I made this bracelet! I do not enjoy making wrapped loops... so (just like when I was learning to draw and was avoiding hands) I made a whole lot of wrapped loops! In copper wire, too... mmm... copper... :P

This bracelet features sea glass, shell beads (just one, right next to the big green piece of sea glass), coral (that pink piece by the clasp is carved coral... pretty), freshwater pearl (not really from the sea, but I couldn't think of a better name!), and mother of pearl beads.

I made that hook too. *glee* I usually buy hooks and head pins and things like that. I just bought wire and went to town. And I feel good.

More views!

So, you see that last picture there? The five MOP beads and the FW pearls are strung on a thinner wire than the other beads because I couldn't ream out the beads! Do you think that will be a problem? I wore the bracelet and it feels fine... I am worried though *bites nails.*

Monday, March 22, 2010

Ahtee's Links- What I'm Reading

A Bead A Day- Such a pretty bracelet! And... Lisa celebrates the first day of spring with an awesome giveaway!

ammjewelry- Rivet practice and a beautiful copper bracelet

Beading Arts- Give your bead shop (or one you frequent) a shout out!

Be~Jeweled by jana- Jana wants to know more about you! Post 5 random facts about yourself and you will be entered to win the beautiful necklace pictured in the blog post!

Dawno's Beaded Badge Lanyards and Jewelry- I provided some links for Miss Dawno (she was looking for a clasp) and they helped her finish a necklace! She makes such beautiful pieces!

Humblebeads- *SQUEE!!!* Look at that FOX!

JustATish- Blue love! Shell pearls, chain, and lots of blue beads... a beautiful and elegant necklace!

Katie's Beading Blog- I love copper and Katie made one beauty of a necklace featured in this post.

Lorelei's Blog- Lorelei's "Yes" bracelet has such wonderful colors and a fun focal!

maryhardingjewelry bead blog- Love these leaves!

WireWorked by SMRdesigns- Beautiful earrings!

Zuleykha's Polymer Clay- This tulip bracelet makes me wish my first day of spring wasn't cloudy and muggy!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring in Brass

Not a terribly complicated necklace. I found that little brass flower focal at my local bead store, but thought it was too small for the necklace so I added the branch looking thing (that I found at Michaels). The brass chain is also from Michaels. It has little flowers in it.

The peach seed beads match the brass nicely, I think. I also love the color of the Czech flowers near the focal. There are little metal butterflies and flowers throughout the piece as well as peach glass beads and peach fire polished beads.

A close up of the focal. And the chain as well.

Who is "Ahtee?"- Week 12

Tired and grumpy. Humph.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Adventures with Rod: Big Bear- PT1

Our mini-vacation has taken us to Big Bear, California. Here's the view from the ride up (I got car sick... headachy and dizzy). We had a little car trouble with some rocks that slid off the mountain. Survived a little fight (I forget how much couples fight until we're done with one. Silly me). And had a yummy steak dinner...

"Smile or I'll fork you!" :P Silly. More pictures tomorrow! And I promise, there will be more jewelry posts next week... if not at the end of this week. Just taking a little break.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Who is "Ahtee?"- Week 11

I'm told... when I smile... sometimes... I look like a "Wallace and Gromit" character...

What do you think? :P

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Budget Bride- Earrings

I was looking at wedding magazines (shh! Don't tell my boyfriend) when I saw a pair of earrings that I just adored! But I know I wouldn't be able to afford them if I were getting married. I don't even know if I'd want to spend that kind of money on earrings I might only wear once! I wonder if I'm the only girl who thinks that.

ANYHOO. I made these. These are for the girl who wants the look but can't (and just refuses) to pay the price of the real thing. Glass pearls, fire polished glass, filigree beads, sterling silver hooks... just as pretty as the ones in the magazine and affordable!

Will post on Etsy soon. Alternate views! I love alternate views :D

Victorian Lace- Black and Purple

I'm not quite sure how I feel about this piece. I wanted to design something around that black filigree-type piece and this is what came out of my head. Its wearable. It's purple and black and pretty and shiny... but... I just don't know. I know sometimes I'm unhappy with how the s-hooks hold it but sometimes I like it. I love how it hangs low on my wrist and the chain dangles and I love the color, but I'm just not confident in the design. Blah.

Alternate views for you lovelies :D

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Wonderful Surprise!

Well, perhaps it wasn't really a surprise as I'd been waiting for it... but... it was quite a nice thing to come home to!

So simply packaged but very cute! And a little hand-written thank you (my full first name is Rosemarie, in case you hadn't guessed from the pic :P). I just adore it. Such a beautiful color! I have big plans for this cute little piece of ceramic. LOVE!

Visit LeAnn's blog or her Etsy shop to look at more of these lovelies. I was JUST browsing her Etsy not two hours ago, dreaming of making another purchase... and I came home to this! I'm very happy with my first Etsy purchase. *glee!!!*

Monday, March 8, 2010

Ahtee's Links- What I'm Reading

A Bead A Day- Lisa has a FANTASTIC bracelet featured with her links. Looks like something a pirate would put together as they found bits of treasure in their travels.

Beads, Beads, Beads- Beautiful wedding jewelry!

Be-Jeweled by Jana- Jana's charm will be going to someone who needs some positive energy. I want to send something as well...

Bonnin Designs- Such a fun idea for spoons!

Cynthia Thornton of Green Girl Studios- LOVE. But... what is an owl munny anyway? :P

Dawno's Beaded Badge Lanyards and Jewelry- My favorite thing about this bracelet is the splash of orange that stands out beautifully with the purple!

Deez Newz- So many earrings! And they're all so cute! I love the brass washer earrings.

Gardanne Glass Lampwork Beads and Artisan Jewelry- Bead Giveaway! And they're BEAUTIFUL!

JustATish Designs- My birthstone never looked so good!

Lorelei's Blog- A girly one from Lorelei

mariedodd- The little bird necklace is so cute! And such a wonderful quote.

maryhardingjewelry bead blog- I have to try this stitch. Its so pretty! I'm going to make a poster with these quotes on it. They really helped me from falling into depression completely on Saturday.

Pearl and Pebble- That little focal is just darling. And the balance of the colors in the piece works so well!

Smadar's Treasure- STUNNING wire bracelet. Makes me want to try wire wrapping again...

Sundown Bead Designs Rhetoric- Using up the stash with "Bumps in the Road"

The Blue Between- Good GOD those are beautiful "Tiger beads!!!"

The Cerebral Dilettante- Bringing some warmth to winter with her summer necklace.

This Girl Beads- I love the look of beaded flowers.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Who is "Ahtee?"- Week 10

I lost my job this past week. I have mentioned it briefly but, for my own sanity, I need to dedicate an entire post to it. So here's my story:

I was a shelver, bookseller, kids expert, merchandising supervisor, and "Sales Account Representative" (school orders). And now, I am a former Borders employee... laid-off because my current two positions (merch sup/SAR) were no longer available.

I started at Borders in October of 2007. At the time, I was still going to art school and needed some extra money. I started as an overnight shelver. I would go to school in the morning, sleep for a few hours, work from 10pm to 7am (sometimes 6am), drive to school, sleep in my car or do some homework, then go to class. I would fit in eating when I had time.

The night shelving crew was moved to day because it was costly to have an overnight crew (they re-instated the overnight crew a few months after that decision was made). Sometime after, my mother told me that, even though she said she had money for my tuition that year, she apparently didn't and the money was going to my sister (she's going to become an RN, my mom says). I was angry... I was frustrated. I dropped out. Went to full-time.

Fast forward to late 2009. Our district manager left and my general manager was asked to fill in until they found a replacement. That meant a key-holder position was available. I wanted to be the Inventory Supervisor. I left a message with my general manager, but he promoted someone who joined the team after me... and I was told he didn't get my message. I was told that I was just as good and the decision was actually up to the previous district manager. I bought it... afterall, why would he lie? He's a good man.

I heard a rumor of a children's expert position becoming available. I was currently shelving kids. I learned the product because I liked it. And I like children. So I waited for the position to be posted so I could apply. I was already the person people turned to with their kids questions. But the interim general manager asked me to become another key holder since another manager had left. I took it. And that same week, after I agreed to the be another key holder, the children's expert position was posted.

I was also helping Tony with the school orders, but it wasn't really my job. He left late last year to go back to school and the task fell on me. I was told that they would probably hire a new SAR, but that never happened.

I was also still a kids expert. I still did the kids parties. I shelved. I merched. We were all doing multiple jobs. We kind of had to (and those still there still have to... even more so with the recent lay-offs).

Fast forward to March 4th. We were called in for training. The day was originally going to be me and Rod's day-off. And our general manager says he didn't even know we were being let go until the night before. I so desperately want to believe him. He was always so nice. I was lucky to have so many cool managers at this job. But, it still hurts.

I feel embarrassed. I went in to the work that morning making mental notes on who to contact for an upcoming teacher event. I was day-dreaming about the vacation we had coming up in April. I was wondering if Rod and I would be able to have lunch together.

I hadn't been in for more than half an hour when I heard the words "Your position is no longer available here at Borders." I tried not to cry because he told me not to panic because it wasn't all bad, but I did. And when he said he wasn't going to walk me out because he didn't want to embarrass me, I sobbed when he walked away. Sobbed. I thought I was a valuable asset to the company. I mean, my school orders were sometimes close to $10,000. And I thought I was a good part of the merch team. And maybe those things were true, but it doesn't help now.

I was let go because the two positions I didn't even want in the first place but took in order to move up in the company were no longer available. And the one I originally wanted... the inventory supervisor position, is still there. And the person who ultimately became the childrens expert no longer has those hours as the position doesn't really exist anymore but she can still be a bookseller.

It sucks. It hurts. I loved all the people I worked with. I had so many good memories. I met my love there... grew... became independent... learned to pick myself up when I fell. That was my home. And I feel like I was kicked out...

I don't want to be sad anymore. I will try to make this the last time I mention this in my life. I will probably fail, but hopefully it will get easier with time.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Copper and Pearls

I started this necklace earlier this week. I finished the filigree embellished piece (embellished with fire polished glass beads in two pretty purples) on Sunday with hopes to work on it my next day off... Having been laid off yesterday, I suppose yesterday was my next day off. Hahaha. But, I was pre-occupied.

I saw a necklace similar to this in a catalog but instead of the filigree piece embellished with fire polished glass beads, it was a silver flower with (what I assumed were) diamonds. I think the copper gives it an older feel. Also, I'm assuming the pearls in the catalog were real. These are just glass Crystazzi pearls. But they sure are pretty.

I also made some earrings. But the copper is shiny. What's your opinion... does shiny mix with dark? I happen to like it, but will others?

Below is an alternate view of the necklace (without the flower) and a close up of the filigree piece. Hopefully, I will take some time and do some art before I jump back into "reality." I was always complaining how I didn't have enough time to do what I love... sooo... I'm going to try it for a while. Yay!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Adventures with Rod: A Big Adventure

[[WARNING: This post MAY depress you. At the end, anyway...]]
Today started off TERRIBLY, but, it was not wasted. I will let you know at the end why it was so terrible, but first, today's adventure.

Our first stop was Beads Beads, in Orange, CA. They had LOVELY Czech glass beads in a wide variety and at pretty good prices. I picked up some beads I'm wanting to use on this month's Art Bead Scene challenge.

Our next stop was right across the street. Bookman's Used Books is what I call and EPIC used book store. Its HUGE. This is just one of the many rows you can get lost in at Bookman's. You also strain your neck pretty badly trying to look at all the wonderful books!

Lunch was spent in Irvine at the Spectrum. Once again, at Carm's Coneys, I enjoyed a bratwurst and potatoes and coleslaw. Very yummy indeed.

Oh yeah, and washed it down with white iced tea.

Our last stop was at San Clemente Art Supply. Rod wanted to pick up some ink. I was pitching a fit and wanted to go to Westminster but it was too far away and it was already getting late. What is so special about where we live is how beautiful everything is. It was a very beautiful day.

Today's adventure was supposed to be tomorrow's. We were both laid off today. I spent most of the day crying and Rod was wonderful and kept me grounded. I'm angry that my "position has been eliminated." And hurt that I have to leave. I didn't even get the option of stepping down and becoming a bookseller again. It feels as though my world blew up. Even though I hated my job because of the mean customers, I loved the work I got to do. I loved the books. I loved my co-workers and friends. And I needed the money. And still do. Its very depressing and, though I know I will eventually stop being sad and will eventually find another job, right now I can't see it.

But Rod and I are in this together. I have him. He says whatever happens, we have each other. And that's really what I need, I think. Just knowing he and I will still be ok. And thus begins our big adventure...

Hopefully the next blog will be happier! Hahaha.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Romance in Brass- Bracelet

Here is the one productive thing I did yesterday on my day off (well, that's not true, but I didn't finish the second project...)- A bracelet to match the Romance in Brass necklace and earring set.

Not a terribly complicated design, but I think its very pretty. The pink and brass combination makes me want to giggle. And I love the little rose bead by the dragonfly. Why? Because it's double sided (if spheres even have sides...). If it twists, there is a rose on the opposite side as well. Very cool.

That big pink bead is a little plain but I love the bubble gum color. And how shiny it is. Ooohh... shiny. Lol.

More peach seed beads and a dragonfly to tie into the necklace.

I hope to have time to finish the other project this week sometime. It features glass pearls and purple fire-polished beads. Yummy.