Tuesday, October 30, 2012

How to Make Earrings and an Earring Display for Craft Shows



I had a major show last weekend and another one in a few weeks.  My earring display holds about 120 earrings.  It's made using shutter doors for a closet, something clever my husband made.  If you choose to make one yourself, a few tips:


1)  Put four eye screws in the top of the doors.  This allows you to zip tie the shutters to your tent frame.  (See them in the photo above?  They also help hold any decoration you choose to use.)


2)  Nail plywood to the back of the display.  If you do outdoor shows, this will help keep wind from knocking your earring cards off.  


3)  Mark your prices and descriptions at the TOP of your cards.  This way, if you get a LOT of wind (and I've been through some crazy weather), you can tuck the bottoms of the cards into the slats of the display, but your information is still shown.



 
4)  Use a corner-rounder to round the corners of your earring cards.  It keeps them from getting beat up and bent and it looks pretty.


I make my own earring cards to fit exactly on this display, so if you make one of these displays, email me and I'll give you my process.




As for MAKING the earrings, I try to streamline the process as much as possible.  First, I have a tackle box that only holds pairs of beads for earrings.  It's such a pleasure to sit down and see all those colors and styles in one place!  Things like accent beads and spacers and wire are still in their normal places, but it makes it MUCH easier to get started when the main beads have their own home.


I get all the wiring done and then they end up in the pile above.  I don't put them on the earring cards until the end.  If I make-make-make, I get on a roll and can get my speed going.  I sometimes even wait to put all the ear wires on at the end, all at the same time, depending on what wires I'm using.  Stopping to put each pair on a card and then starting the creation process over again makes me stutter and stop and I don't get nearly as much done.


I hope this was helpful and informative! If you have a favorite tip or trick for making jewelry, please leave a comment!  We'd all love to know!



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Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack.  Visit her shops by clicking here.  She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party®   and author of the book Bead Soup.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Happy 12 Years

I'll write more later, because 12 years deserves a longer post, but I wanted to post some of my favorite photos of me and the hubby.  I can honestly say that we GET each other.  And we now have a new tradition that I love -- we write each other new vows/a love letter for our anniversary present.  It was all I wanted, and it fit perfectly.








and if you want to read more from a previous set of posts, 
and then



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Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack.  Visit her shops by clicking here.  She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party®   and author of the book Bead Soup.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Memoirs, and Pie

As I've been researching and getting my ducks in a row getting ready to write a memoir, I've been devouring more than my fair share of life-is-all-f'd-up-but-I-come-out-of-it-OK memoirs.  I've read so many books about people whose lives are worse than mine ever was, but made it out in one piece.  I've also read so many memoirs where I found myself shaking my head saying, "EXACTLY!".  And then I realize how messed up the situation is and it makes me all sorts of sad.




The sadness, the nuttiness, the drama, it's all made me who I am, and I'm not even finished yet!  I try to remind myself that things are there, things drop in your lap, for a REASON, but sometimes I just wish that big pile of crazy landed in the middle of the road and got run over by a car instead of inserted itself so seamlessly into my life.


Long-time readers know that I deflect my sadness with the mention of pie.  I have no idea why.  I do remember my grandmother making tiny pudding pies for me and my sister and then bringing them out on a tray to the garden and that's a memory that's a snapshot I wish I physically owned.  But pie is also a FUN thing.  As Jim Gaffigan says, "Candles on a cake, someone's having a birthday.  Candles on a pie, someone's drinking in the kitchen."  I mean think about it -- pie-eating contests!   That first piece that never comes out right so you have to dig back into the plate for just. a little. more.  And there's the entire a la mode and whipped cream quotient.






So I was thrilled to discover a memoir AND a blog I haven't read.  The book is called "Making Piece: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Pie".  Beth Howard also writes a lovely blog called (aptly) www.theworldneedsmorepie.com.  I already want to be this gal's best friend.  Anyone who can write about pie and pain is a friend of mine, and I'm looking forward to reading her book and blog.


Another author, unfortunately recently departed, loved pie, and that's Norah Ephron.  I absolutely adore her -- her wit and writing is just exactly what I wish I could have.  When someone interviewed her about what she would miss and what she wouldn't miss when she died, she put "Pie" on the list of things she'd miss.  What a woman, someone I think we probably could all relate to.


As I sit here clearing off my desk so I can start what feels like a new LIFE, I keep the thought of pie in my mind instead of the gut-wrenching soul-searching writing memoirs out of necessity entails.  Pie is a pretty darned good cure-all for things, even if I don't EAT it often (I do fight the fluffy) but dream of it.


So when you're deep in the depths of it with that Box of Crazy that just landed on your lap, shut your eyes, and quietly recite the names of pies.  It's hard not to relax after that.


Much love to you all.



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Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack.  Visit her shops by clicking here.  She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party®   and author of the book Bead Soup.






Thursday, October 25, 2012

One Step at a Time



So!  I have been sitting here in front of this screen for twenty minutes trying to write what is on my mind but I keep getting side-tracked.  I am pretty transparent here on my blog but if you could truly see what's going on in my head and my life lately, you'd probably offer me a stiff drink and a Xanax.


The craft show went wonderfully, which was important to me on various levels.  I also got to have dinner with friends Friday night -- also very important to me on various levels.  I managed to keep my energy going until I got home Sunday night and then I crashed ... but I decided it was OK to crash.


Things just never want to settle down, though.


Yesterday, Rick's dad had a massive heart attack.  As I write this, he's still in CCU but awake and responsive, but there's a long road ahead of him. 


Beads and just about everything else pale in comparison to what's been going on with the friends and family I love.  Honestly, right now I feel like packing up everything on my bead table and taking it to Goodwill.  Behind the scenes, I've been trying to repair a lot of things with myself, and I feel like for every step forward I take, I'm taking two backwards.  Not sure how much more I can manage.  I used to think I was so strong and lately all I want to do is hide under the covers.


Not entirely sure what I'm rambling about here other than to say this has been such a rough year, especially the past few months, and right now I'm handling all the insanity the only way I know how -- by writing about it.



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Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack.  Visit her shops by clicking here.  She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party®   and author of the book Bead Soup.



Thursday, October 18, 2012

Setting Up for a Craft Show -- or, Duct Tape Can't Fix EVERYTHING



I consider myself a fairly seasoned craft show exhibitor.  I sell my jewelry at juried craft shows which last two to three days and make the majority of my money during these shows.  I used to do about twenty shows a year, covering territory from Virginia to Connecticut, both indoors and outdoors, and boy do I have some stories to tell!  


Like the time we broke down the booth and packed it into the van during a massive thunder and lightning storm (with a 3-year old Zack placidly watching a movie on the van's DVD player... best. money. spent. EVER.)  Or the time a woman loudly proclaimed my very very very simple pale pink gemstone necklace was "TACKY, y'all!".  The irony?  She was wearing Daisy Duke cut-off shorts, a belly-baring tank top, and a straw hat with a vivid assortment of dangly roach clips.  Oh, and she was at least 60 years old.  I have to admit to laughing out loud when she said that.  




But now I only manage two to four shows a year, and this year I had to cancel my two spring appearances, so it's been a full YEAR since I've unpacked all the gear and set out to occupy a 10x10 square foot piece of real estate.  When you a) haven't done things for a while, and b) fail to go over the checklist you normally peruse every time you prepare for a show, golly-gee-whiz mistakes and a whole big box of WTH tends to show up.


Take today.  Rick unpacks the heavy-duty dolley to cart things in and ....


... the wheel falls off and goes rolling merrily down the parking lot.


This is when it's awesome to have a GPS to show where the nearest hardware store is!  Before we go to a show, we always make sure we know where there's a Lowes, a Walmart or Target, (and, of course, a Starbucks).  Know where to go when things you thought you packed decided to take their own road trip.   I've had to race out at 9pm to buy everything from wood shims to socks.  You just never know what you're going to forget.




But then there are things that happen just from sheer stupidity.  


I have a check list, specific to each show I do, and I always check it.  Always.  But not this time.  Why not?  I have no clue.  But neither Rick nor I checked it so there are some things missing in my booth.  Business cards, for instance.  I have about, oh, 30.  Yeah, stupid.  Unlike my normal two-tins-of-two-types of business cards shown above, I have... thirty.  So I'm glad my box stickers have my web site on them!  Do you have stickers on your boxes?  Make sure you put your web site on them!!!  Ditto for your invoices. I forgot those, too, but luckily found some stashed in my chair's side pocket.  Holy cow, what a nightmare if I forgot those.  So add knowing where the nearest Staples is to your list!


Finally, allow for your own comfort.  I have a tackle box I carry with an inhaler, antibacterial stuff, lip balm, mints, all that sort of thing, and I'm good about replacing stuff as soon as I run out.  But when I last did a show, I had short hair.  Now, it's long.



What does a girl with long hair need when she gets hot?  A hair tie or rubber band.  I had -- duct tape.  And that was NOT going to work, although I did look at it long and hard.  


Duct tape can't quite fix EVERYTHING.  


What works?  A zip tie!  I kid you not.  So lesson learned -- pack for contingencies.  Hair ties, band aids, water bottle, safety pins.  Things like that should go in a kit that never leaves your tackle box.  (Just remember to take the tackle box WITH you).




I'm still missing some things.  We have no idea where my butterflies (to clip on the curtains) or the flowers (to put in blank spots on the table) or the sign for my book went.  But all in all, the booth looks great and will look even better if it fills with people this weekend!


So if you don't have a checklist for show preparation, my strong suggestion is MAKE one, and oh yeah, be sure to, you know, CHECK it.  When things go wrong, just take a deep breath before you run screaming down the street waving your hands in the air.  Chances are there's a solution nearby, whether it's the closest Home Depot or the next-door neighbor at the show.  As long as you remembered to bring your jewelry, you're fine.


(Wait.  Did I remember to pack the jewelry?  Aw man.....)




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Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack.  Visit her shops by clicking here.  She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party®   and author of the book Bead Soup.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Bead Soup Blog Party -- Save the Date!

Save the date for the blog hop of the year!



To learn more about the party, click here.

Share the news!
Grab the button for your blog!



1.  Right click on the above photo to save it to your computer.

2.  Choose the Photo Gadget and upload the photo.

3.  Add the link www.BeadSoupBlogParty.com to the space for HTML.  



You may need to click the "Shrink To Fit" box -- 
experiment with it as your blog borders may be different than mine.


And of course, email me if you need help!


 See you next year!



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Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack.  Visit her shops by clicking here.  She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party®   and author of the book Bead Soup.

Friday, October 12, 2012

A New Page



I keep saying I'm going to do it, but I'm really going to do it.  If the past few weeks have taught me nothing else, it's that life is short and there's no time like the present.  So I started writing my memoirs today.


This beautiful journal was a gift from Cindy at ArtBliss and it begged for immediate words on the page.  I also got another journal from my friend Anne and I took that as a sign.  Time to write! 


(Edited: OMG.  Do you see the word "PIE" on my coffee cup?  That HAS to be a good omen!)


The weather is turning towards the absolute best fall temperatures, and I sat outside my favorite coffee shop in the sunlight, stopping often just to BREATHE.  Have you ever just concentrated on a long, deep breath, one that completely fills your lungs with life?  I did a lot of that.  (Thankfully, I knew enough not to hyperventilate!)


Of course, there's always a wrinkle, and I'm entering the busiest time of year for business, so time to really dig into things will be stolen between tagging jewelry and doing shows, but STARTING .... starting feels good.


What will you start today?


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Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack.  Visit her shops by clicking here.  She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party®   and author of the book Bead Soup.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Saying Goodbye to a Friend



There are people who come into your life and touch you in ways you can't even begin to describe properly -- they're that important and meaningful to you.   Just such people are Barry and Allegra.


I was taken under Allegra's wing when I joined a Yahoo bead group years ago, and after lots of emails and chats, met her and her husband at a Bead and Button show.  It was like we'd known each other forever.  Sadly, Barry had just been diagnosed with not one but two cancers.  You never would have known it to hang out with him that week, and he blazed past doctor's dire predictions. 


Then came more horrible news -- not only did Barry have two cancers, but now Allegra was fighting cancer, too.  This is about the time I had a long talk with the sky and asked WHY do things like this HAPPEN?  


Through all this, they've been stoic and strong.  We still emailed and called, and I remember quite fondly Barry and I conniving on how to get Allegra's favorite and very hard to find tequila (legally) across state lines for her birthday.  Giggling like school kids were we -- Allegra is very hard to buy for and we knocked her socks off with that one.  


It was easy to forget Barry was sick.  He sounded robust on the phone, would write up Allegra's blog posts and emails when she was too sick to do it, and he had just been doing so WELL.  Allegra's health kept scaring us and I've asked for prayers for her before, but she always rallied and Barry was always her rock.


This weekend, that changed.  He had taken a sudden turn for the worse, and we were told to expect the imminent. 


Monday, at age 59, Barry passed.  And I don't know what to do.  


I don't know what to do for Allegra, who is still battling a vicious cancer.  I don't know what to say, how to help.  We live all the way across the country from each other.  I love her, I loved Barry (still do) and I am angry and saddened by this loss.  They are like parents to me, in a way -- friends, mentors, no-nonsense sounding boards.  


I write this to memorialize a beloved person gone way too soon, and to express absolute love for a friend way too far from me.  A lot of people come into my life, but I've been touched by this family in a majorly endearing and important way. 


Please think of Allegra right now.  I believe that whether or not you know someone, if you beam good thoughts and prayers their way, they'll light upon their shoulders and comfort them.  You don't have to know someone to have compassion or to care.


Much love to you all.




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Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack.  Visit her shops by clicking here.  She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party®   and author of the book Bead Soup.


Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Kind Over Matter -- my guest post

One of my goals this year was to get some freelance writing opportunities.  I managed this one with KindOverMatter.com, one of my favorite inspirational blogs.  On the 4th, I was their guest blogger and wrote a post called "Be Good to Yourself and Your Business Will Bloom"




I'd be honored if you'd travel there and leave a comment.  Explore her blog -- it's amazing!  I was particularly taken with the October 5th post about sizism. 


Be good to yourselves, even if no one else is! 




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Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack.  Visit her shops by clicking here.  She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party®   and author of the book Bead Soup.



Monday, October 08, 2012

WINNERS of the Bead Soup Blog Book Tour

photo by Brandi Hussey

 
First, thank you to coming to the week-long party and helping me and my contributors celebrate!  I truly appreciate it!  If you found a blog you liked, why not click their "Follow" button?  :-)


If you left a comment on any of the blog posts this week, please take a look at their posts today to see if you won!


My winners are as follows:

Day One:  Free PDF Tutorial from the book

  Jami at the Handmade Gift Shop

addendum!  Jami won a book from Jeannie Duckic, so will
have the tutorial in her book,
so I drew another name ---

Sweet Girl Design


Day Two:  Fiber Bead Soup Kit



Day Three:  autographed Bead Soup book



Day Four:  PDF Tutorials not in the book



Day Five:   Pearl, gemstone, and sari silk soup


Day Six:  Fuchsia and Teal Bead Soup



Day Seven:  SECRET Bead Soup




and the Grand Prize Winner is....




All prize winners pulled by my son, Zack.


Congratulations to you all!

If you still would like to buy an autographed coy of my book,
I have a few left that can be purchased





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Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack.  Visit her shops by clicking here.  She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party®   and author of the book Bead Soup.


Saturday, October 06, 2012

LAST DAY of the Bead Soup Blog Book Tour with me, Sharon Palac, Heather Powers, and Erin Prais-Hintz

Below is the line up of book contributors and what they'll be giving away. You can still enter on all the other days by scrolling down the blog!


From me, 

a SECRET SOUP!

 

From Sharon Palac

copper components like the ones she used
in the book!




From Heather Powers,

 a $30 gift certificate to her shop








From Erin Prais-Hintz,

a Bead Soup with one of her 
Sari series pendants!



Want to win any of these?

Leave a comment on the blog of the person whose goodie you wish to win
as each blogger is picking their winners from THEIR blogs.

For every blog you comment on, your  name goes in the bowl for the Grand Prize!



which now includes an awesome beaded bead by Malin de Koning!




All contributors will announce their winners on 
THEIR OWN BLOG
between this evening and tomorrow.





I am out of town until Monday

so will announce the Grand Prize Winner
when I get back 
(woops, sorry,  couldn't be helped).




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Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack.  Visit her shops by clicking here.  She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party®   and author of the book Bead Soup.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Bead Soup Blog Book Tour Day Six: Win from me, Shannon LeVart, Melissa Meman, and Stefanie Teufel


Below is the line up of book contributors and what they'll be giving away. You can still enter on all the other days by scrolling down the blog!


From me

a bead soup in fuchsia and teal



From Shannon LeVart
http://missficklemediacom.blogspot.com/


flower beads like the ones on the cover of the book!




From Melissa Meman

handmade metal components




From Stefanie Teufel

a bead soup!





Want to win any of these?

Leave a comment on the blog of the person whose goodie you wish to win
as each blogger is picking their winners from THEIR blogs.

For every blog you comment on, your  name goes in the bowl for the Grand Prize!



which now includes an awesome beaded bead by Malin de Koning!



All winners will be announced between the 8th and the 9th.
Come back tomorrow for the next group of contributors!




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Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack.  Visit her shops by clicking here.  She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party®   and author of the book Bead Soup.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Bead Soup Blog Book Tour Day Five -- win from me, Libby Leuchtman, Barbara Lewis, Brandi Hussey, and Cindy Wimmer

Below is the line up of book contributors and what they'll be giving away. You can still enter on all the other days by scrolling down the blog!


From me, 
a pearl, gemstone, and sari silk bead soup!



From Libby Leuchtman, 

http://libbyleu.blogspot.com/

a lampwork pendant similar to the one in the book!



From Barbara Lewis, 

one of her Just Sayin' pendants and two charms!



From Brandi Hussey, 

a gem and pearl bead soup
containing some of the beads from her tutorial!




and from Cindy Wimmer,

a set of handmade clasps!



Want to win any of these?

Leave a comment on the blog of the person whose goodie you wish to win
as each blogger is picking their winners from THEIR blogs.

For every blog you comment on, your  name goes in the bowl for the Grand Prize!



which now includes an awesome beaded bead by Malin de Koning!



All winners will be announced between the 8th and the 9th.
Come back tomorrow for the next group of contributors!


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Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack.  Visit her shops by clicking here.  She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party®   and author of the book Bead Soup.