All the fuss about white backgrounds...

...and the time spent, and the adjusting, and the re-shooting--bleh! I had to do some quick shots tonight because I finished some custom pieces for a friend (wanna see 'em all? Go to the Simply Wired Custom Jewelry Fan Page on Facebook, or my Flickr page), and by using a solid background and a prop, I cut my time by AT LEAST HALF. Shoot, adjust, crop, save. No levels, no brightness, no layers. I love it!

The camera? A Canon Powershot A720IS that does just fine with the "Auto" setting, especially when a color background is involved. I think my photos are going to take on a new style, IMMEDIATELY.


Fall Happenings

Wow. It's been way too long since I posted on here. Since July! Really??!! Well, there's been so much going on it's been difficult. Shortly after my last post, vacations started. And work happened. Work that involved (and still involves) many business trips, so things don't get done in the shop. That makes me sad, but I don't want to push myself too much, for fear I get myself overworked and into a mode of illness again like last year. Not fun!

I've been working on a few things, but on the down-low. Much of it is created solely for the purpose of matching something that I wear, and won't be sold. I have a number of ideas swimming around in my head, but I have to get them on to paper, on to wire, into a photograph, and then into Etsy. Sometimes, that's a big chore--especially when what you'd like to do is come up with a whole new photography strategy! But that will have to wait and I need to be patient.

One of my biggest endeavors is some more elaborate wrapping strategies, which obviously take time and practice. So I'm saving my postings for those items, and maybe some in-progress works will be posted here. We shall see. Another endeavor of mine is to USE IN STOCK MATERIALS. I have so much STUFF laying around I just need to start being creative with it. So in the future, you might see chunky necklaces or beaded chains with standard links. So many beautiful beads are available, but I certainly do not need to keep them all here beside me. I need to share them with some of my favorite people and make them available to Simply Wired Custom Jewelry shoppers.

Finally, on another note -- I'm going to be in Bead Trends again (November issue), where Beneath the Moon will be featured. Soon, I'll have a couple of them for sale at my site.

Until then, stay tuned. I have lots of work to do!


Rest in Peace, Dearest Shammer Cat 8/19/04-7/25/09

It took me a while to write this, as it does not come with a happy story. Nope, it comes with a tragedy, one that sickens me to my bones and makes me question so many things.

My cat, Shammer, was shot to death Saturday night by someone who lives near me. And when I say near me, I mean within the 1 mile of road that I live on. I didn't find out until 1 a.m. Sunday morning, as my husband witnessed the worst of it. Shammer was shot, made it home to our yard, and died there. My husband discovered him at approximately 7:30 p.m., which means IT WAS STILL DAYLIGHT OUT WHEN SOMEONE SHOT HIM, which also means that HIS COLLAR WAS CLEARLY VISIBLE IN THE DAYLIGHT, which then in turns means that someone performed this heinous act knowing full well that this particular cat WAS OWNED AND LOVE BY SOMEONE. That final part hurts the most. And enrages me at the same time.

Shammer was a young cat; he was only on this earth for about five years. He was a favorite because I never had a black cat, and I always wanted one. He was a fierce hunter, but became somewhat lazy after Ernest died (which also makes me question if this recent incident is tied to the "unknown cause of injuries" to Ernest last year, almost a year to the date). His favorite place to hang out was on top of the couch; however, if you covered yourself with a blanket he liked to lay on top of it with you, purr, meow in your face, and nudge you for kisses. Many mornings he liked to show off his hunting skill by leaving remnants of the mice he caught on our porch--kinda gross, but he was proud. He liked to chase Gus's and Betza's tails as they wagged, and his own tail was a bit crooked, as he accidentally got his caught in a door when he was a young and playful kitten. He taught Dexter how to be tough and how to growl, and he taught us what it's like to raise a kitten. We'd never had one before him.

Like his brother Ernest, Shammer made it home to tell us something was wrong, but this time, we were too late. At least we know what happened, and that he didn't reach his end alone in the woods. My husband was there with him, and my husband had to bury him. Now, he'll rest with our other pets who have passed on...and we will remember everything he gave us. Rest in peace, Dear Shammer. May you find an endless field of catnip, warm garden dirt to lay upon and scratch your back, and may you and Ernest cuddle up and take daytime naps on a bed with an over-fluffy comforter. You are missed, and one day, we will find out who did this.



Thinking of Photos and Strategies

I need to do a major overhaul on my shop. Soon. But these things take time. A "photo shoot" on one item alone could take almost an hour...so I don't think I'll be having an immediate turnaround. I have big ideas and elements that I'd like to incorporate, but they're labor intensive.

I love how Bead Trends sets up a background for their photo...I need to study their techniques. Of course, I also need new things to photograph, which will also be my focus moving forward. Made to order items are going to be kept to a minimum, as I don't have enough time to be creative and fill orders and maintain sanity with my day job! So, something's gotta give. Once I feel like I have enough new items in stock, I may go back to some made to order pieces, but for right now I need to put that on hold.

Another reason for the push for more "on hand" items--a craft booth. Next July (2010), I'm thinking of having one at a local show...which will also incorporate some beautiful stuff from my sister in law (and if I'm lucky, some things from my husband, too! I promise to post some pics of his latest creation soon).

Anyway, that's all for tonight, dear readers. I also need to go and think about an ad for Simply Wired Custom Jewelry's Facebook page and figure out how to get some fans, as I have no desire to spam my poor friends. Once I do some more research, I'll probably launch the ad sometime in September. The gathering of 100 fans also enables me to get a normal looking URL address, which would be quite nice. :oD


Last November, Bead Trends Magazine - In the Mist...

...this November, Bead Trends Magazine - Beneath the Moon. I'm excited! They do such lovely work with their photos, and the magazine is just thick and beautiful and inspiring.

Last year, In the Mist and Warmth were featured...and as for this year's, well, I have to keep the photos a secret until release. I've been meaning to take photographs of the magazine pics for a while, but kept forgetting. My apologies, dear readers.


Water Follows Water 4

A custom order, finally complete! This one has been a long, long time in progress. I knew how to make the coils, but wasn't sure how to wrap the focal piece. Then, once I had that figured out, I had to set aside hours upon hours to coil, coil, coil and bend, bend, bend. Finally finished as of today. I hope my friend likes it (I'm lucky she's patient with me)!


Learning Facebook - Become a Simply Wired Custom Jewelry Fan!

I got a new ad up on the blog and everything.

<--Check it out, over there, right below my Etsy Mini.

Wanna become a fan? I think you can go there by going directly to the Simply Wired Custom Jewelry page. I'm sure you have to be a FB user in order to get to the page. Regardless, let me know if it works...


Best Yard Ornament, Ever

I love, love, LOVE this one. I need to find a new home in my yard, though, as I don't have the fountain working yet. I'm hoping to find a solar piece for it; however, until then, I'll do the standard set up. He's about three feet tall and oh-so-cute...a definite tribute to my puppies!


Camping Trip 1 2009: Our Green Monster Tent

Dig this tent. Dig it more because I put it up all by my lonesome as a storm was rolling in. Don't worry, I'm quick and everything stayed dry!

We went to the Clarion River a few weeks ago...needless to say, my mini-vacation was too short. For a few more pics of that fantastic weekend, see my Flickr page.

In about a month, I hope to fill the site with pictures from Maine, as that is going to be our big trip this year. I'm excited, as we haven't done an extended road trip since 2000!


True Blood...mmm Tasty

It's coming...soooooon. And the encore of Season 1 begins June 4! Eeeeeep!


Wild Azaleas Bow Out

Oh, flowers. I love them and I can't get enough. This year's spring planting did not happen yet (next weekend!), but our wild azaleas (sometimes referred to as pinxter-flowers and officially named Rhododendron periclymenoides) showed up right on time. Their exit will mark my responsibility to add more color and beauty to the yard, and I will do so with a smile on my face and dirt beneath my fingernails.

This particular photo was taken today, about an hour or so ago, and you can see their posture beginning to fail them, their edges slightly withered and brown. Today's rain knocked many of them off of the bush, leaving a scattering of petals along the dirt and the grass. Until next year, my pretties!


Pink Lemonade

How 'bout this lovely moth? It's the rosy maple moth, (Dryocampa rubicunda), as I just found out today. I think it's a female, because the antennae seem not-so-bushy.

Aren't the colors just great? They do remind me of pink lemonade...and summer. Below are some items that represent these beautiful colors, all available at Etsy!

This is one of the pieces by elleabelle. I love how she uses bright, bold colors of chalcedony in her designs. The photos pop, and her jewelry is sassy! These earrings are summery and juicy--perfect for the season.

Oh, AliciaBock, your photos make my heart swoon. She captures the "natural" of everything, and the final product is nothing short of beautiful. Pink Sugar reminds me of warm days filled with the sweet smell of flowers.

theferriswheels has been a personal favorite of mine since back in December. I have one of her masks, and also bought one as a gift for a friend! While I was sick, I had a severe sinus infection. If you happen to get one...take one of these, heat it up, and lay it on your eyes. Such calming, comforting relief.


You Should be Dancing Necklace

I've waited a long, long time to post this one! But I'm glad I finally did. You know where to get it!


Oh, So Long

Dear readers, I apologize. Dear blog, I apologize. Dear onlookers, I apologize. It's been oh so long since my last post. I do have my reasons, however. Holidays combined with an illness, plus continued illness that has only recently let up (in April, actually). I don't need to get into details and I don't need to spell it all out here, but let's just say it was quite exhausting and made me not have the time or energy to do anything outside of work and sleep. No worries though, it is NOT serious.

Spring is upon us; everything is beginning its own renewal. And so am I. New starts, new approaches, new ideas. I finally opened the shop back up today after a long hiatus, and it felt good to keep on checking in with Etsy to see how many views I've accumulated. A couple of changes you'll see--more of a focus on the "wire" of "Simply Wired Custom Jewelry." I'm trying to do some branding and I need it to focus on my strengths. New products will be coming; I have a ton of things photographed, but now I have to edit them and it takes a little bit of effort. Some of the others I'll probably have to re-shoot. I'm considering new backgrounds and new textures, so this will take some time. I'm also going to stop the "made to order" offering on most of my pieces...the reason is because my day job is very demanding, and I just don't have time to keep up. This will be a good thing, though...forcing me to "create" rather than "fill." We shall see what comes along.

Moving along, I promise to keep you updated on things in general, and share cool stuff and point you in all different kinds of fun directions. For one, I urge you to check out Wordle; that site is responsible for that lovely little graphic I have sitting up there ^.

Secondly, if you're a music fan like I am, and you haven't checked out Pandora yet, I urge you to do so. Right now, my favorite channel that I created is Gillian Welch, which provides me with a nice mixture of her, The Be Good Tanyas, The Waifs, and The Weepies.

I'll be back soon, I promise.