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And my adventure into wholesale begins...

I'll begin with a little back story... about this time last year I decided to do my first wholesale trade show. It was a last minute decision but by the end of the experience I had gained a wonderful mentor, lots of potential leads and a wealth of experience...I even made enough cash and carry sales to cover my show expenses and make a small profit. All in all, it was a success in my book. Of course, it's been a long year since that show...but I always believe everything happens when it's supposed to and how it's meant to be...So now here we are in February, just after losing my day job, I received a call inviting me back to that wholesale trade show. This time I had even less time to prepare (just 2 weeks) but so much more knowledge and over the last year, I had made some changes, done some things to move toward this goal. Turns out this time was even better! While the show was a bit slow this time, I did manage to put my networking skills to use and came away with tons of connections, a lead for another trade show done bi-annually and my first wholesale order!
My jewelry is now available in Skamania Lodge gift shop...below is an excerpt from their website...
"Welcome to Skamania Lodge...
Skamania Lodge, a magnificent Washington State 
mountain resort nestled on 175 wooded acres, is located in the 
spectacular Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. 
The rustic yet elegant, grand mountain Lodge is located 
just 45 miles east of Portland, Oregon, on the Washington side of the Columbia River."
I love the variety of items selected for the first order...a selection of Petite Tulip Earrings in spring colors, several pairs of earrings from our Mini Gypsy Collection, Ephemera Pendant necklaces and a beautiful variety of one of a kind Earrings.
A gorgeous selection of one of a kind necklaces...including my design published in the April, 2013 Bead Trends...and the special request to create coordinating earrings and a bracelet so these could be sold as sets.
and last, but certainly not least, a specially created selection of ribbon wrap bracelets! I love the way these turn out...a few were selected from my stock on hand but the majority were created just for this order and I think they turned out beautifully. 
Now onto a few design challenges, blog hops, shop updates and putting together my marketing plan...busy, busy, busy!

Deep Waters Challenge...Mystery Component Revealed!

So exciting that Andrew Thornton has decided to do his design challenge kits again! I was a bit sad that I missed the Radiant Orchid Challenge but I have managed to grab a deep waters kit and it is gorgeous!
As always Andrew provided lots of goodies for design inspiration. I've been very busy finalizing my first wholesale order, which I will blog about soon, but I wanted to get this quick post up for the reveal of the mystery component. A gorgeous polymer clay seahorse pendant! I have so many ideas now I just need to get to work designing.
Please join me on April 24 for the design reveal and blog hop to see what everyone else created with their kits!

A bit about my swap partner and soup has arrived!

and by soup I mean BEAD soup...the very best kind! I am pleased to be participating in the 8th Annual Bead Soup Blog Party, hosted by the lovely Lori Anderson...visit her blog here for more information on this annual event. This is my second time participating and I just can't say enough about what a wonderful party it is! Lori is quite ill at this time, but with the help of a wonderful, supportive husband and son, as well as several wonderful ladies in the bead community, she has managed to bring 400+ jewelry designers together and partner us, so we can swap beady goodness and create beautiful designs. THANK YOU Lori and as always...love, light and healing to you. THANK YOU Rick and Lisa...I know your help to Lori and the community was invaluable when bringing together the final lists and answering questions in Lori down time. Now onto the beady goodness and my lovely partner...
Kashmira Patel, of Sadafulee...Always in Bloom is my partner for this blog party. I hope you will click on her name and a take a visit to her blog. It talks about how she got into jewelry making and her connections with Project Why in New Dehli...an organization helping area slum kids. Kashmira and I were already facebook and bead group friends so this is a nice opportunity to get to know more about her. As we were preparing and exchanging soups, she was also preparing for the annual Bead Cruise...of course I'm jealous! So it will be very exciting to see all the lovely photos and hear about the fun...she also took the soup I sent her so at least it got to travel along! But enough on that...back to what I received...the packaging was simple and lovely, and included to separate soups.
First a gorgeous spring assortment which includes a focal from Barbara Bechtel, painted wood beads from Hope Smitherman, seaglass, african tube beads, silver findings and natural stones...Kashmira notes she isn't sure what they are...I believe they are unakite but I haven't had a chance to pull out my gemstone reference sampler yet to check for sure. I definitely see several inspiring designs here...so much gorgeous color!
Second a beautiful earthy assortment which includes a special butterfly pendant, Kashmira notes it was difficult to part with...hopefully I do it justice...it is gorgeous! Coordinating green beads...which I have something similar, might be a type of stone or marble, have to check...black lava bead, brown/gold stone beads and rudrasksha beads...which are seeds used in prayer strands in India. I have seen them before but never worked with them in anything so really looking forward to seeing how the designs come together...which of course many swirling with this soup as well!I am so inspired by all the delightful goodies I received...I've fondled them, searched through my stash to see what else I might want to add, and even just looked over them for hours pondering the possibilities! Below is a picture of what I sent to Kashimira...
I hope she is enjoying her goodies as much as I am mine...please come back May 3 to see what I make and hop around to see all the fantastic designs! Until then...

Halloween/Day of the Dead Blog Hop Reveal Time!

When our lovely hostess, Diana suggested a Halloween/Day of the Dead Blog Hop theme I jumped right in...I love Halloween and I've been 'collecting' some wonderful goodies over the last year, perfect for this theme. If you stopped by for my last post in July...what a blogging slacker...you saw I am quite the 'collector'...so here we go!First up...I recently purchased images from Ella of Calico Collage from her new Day of the Dead collection...I hadn't gotten around to using them yet so now was the perfect time.
These pictures where taken during my process of creating the tiles...some ended up in my creations, some went into my supply shop, a couple were purchased for pendants and a few were 'gifted' to a couple of special ladies who inspire me...you know who you are! :)
 
 
I love how this bracelet turned out...so colorful...perfectly representing the bright Day of the Dead themes. Also, my first work with steel wire...LOVE IT! The ceramic beads are from Gaea, another artist's talents I lovingly collect! :) 
Earrings using a pair of my matchstick tiles, with etched lilac beads from Havana Beads.
I am torn between this necklace and the bracelet above being my favorite...I love the bright, sunrise colors against the copper filigree. The mini lampwork beads are from artbylisi. I managed to find her when she did a special assorted listing, my first purchase but definitely not my last!
I originally planned 3 Halloween pieces also but ran out of time...I did at least manage the necklace above a fun take on the classic purple and orange colors associated with Halloween. The wonderful jack 'o lantern link is from Gaea, orange polka dot lampwork from Pink Beach and mini purple lampwork from artbylisi.Thanks again to our hostess, Diana! Thanks to all the ladies who inspire me with their art and art beads...without you I could not do what I do!

Bead Hoarders Reveal Time!

 
Several weeks ago I signed up to participate in Lori Anderson's Bead Hoarders Blog Hop. At the time I signed up I didn't realize I would be at an all day show on reveal day...needless to say I'll be hopping late this evening or Sunday while I sit around in my pjs recouping from the show! For those who don't know this hop is about using beads from our own stash to create...whether you hoard, stash, or save for "just the right design" the idea is use those fabulous goodies! Previously I have shared pictures of my ever growing bead addiction...some artisan goodies I just can't resist and I won't even bother to try! Participating this hop has been wonderful. I created lots of new designs...perfect timing for my show...and after I return from the show I will be having shop update which is long over due!
 
I have tons of fabulous images from Calico Collage, and a bit of serendipity revealed how perfect the matchstick (half domino) size works for bookmarks. From past designs I knew the images would be beautiful with Gaea's beads, Firelily boro beads, and Spirited Earth beads. Similar wood tiles are available in my supply shop, Asbury Avenue Designs.
 
 
 
 The matchstick tiles are also a great size for long, lightweight earrings! Again, I've combined the images with Gaea and Firelily beads. The tiles are also beautiful wrapped in filigree as seen in the last pair. The earrings on the right are my first attempts at using Ranger patinas from Vintaj to color the brass chandelier drops. They are fun and easy to use...I have many ideas for future designs with colored metals. The gorgeous glass headpins are from Havana Beads.
 
  
 I love the way these earrings turned out! Everything just really came together in creating these beauties. The first pair has charms from Tesori Trovati and boro beads from Firelily. Erin offers 3-6-9-12 month samplers and I was most fortunate to "subscribe" for almost a year in 3 and 6 month increments. These charms were from one the samplers making them an extra special treat because she only creates so many of each month. The top right earrings are Firelily beads...are you seeing a pattern here...lol! They are paired with long rectangles from Menagerie Studio, finished off with a few sparkly crystal dangles. The last pair has copper charms from Kristi Bowman Design. These I have held onto waiting for "just the right beads" and I think these boros from Firelily turned out to be perfect! The purple in the beads really picks up the purple in the copper.
 
 
 Thanks to a custom request I even got creative with some filigree, Czech firepolish, Lucite flowers and colored glass pearls. I have a huge variety of colors and sizes in the flowers and filigree so keep an eye out during the shop update for some new collections made from these!
 
 
Last but not least, I did manage to create several necklaces too! Some of these were projects started that didn't work out in the first go around so I set them aside...some were in the planning stages but never progressed past planning. I am very pleased how they all came together, sometimes creating is all about timing! These designs range from extra long to choker style and share some of my favorite artists. Menagerie Studio, Firelily, Tesori Trovati, Spirited Earth, Bo Hulley Beads, Gaea and images from Calico Collage.
 
I would like to thank Lori for hosting this hop...it has been wonderful for my creative flow! I'd also like to ask you all to send a little extra love, good thoughts, prayers, whatever Lori's way...she's had a lot of health struggles over the last few months and I know our support and caring helps her so much. Also, a big THANK YOU to all the wonderful artists who do what they do that helps inspire me to do what I do...I appreciate each of your friendships, creativity and inspiration so much!

Ears To You!

I'm more than a little late on this post...but things have been so hectic! Anyone who visited during the 3rd reveal of the 7th Bead Soup Blog hop will know about my plans to donate several pieces to a couple of wonderful organizations...I am still working on the bracelet donation but several weeks ago I did send off 10 pairs of earrings to Ears to You.
6 pairs were from my bead soup and the other 4 were from my stock of earrings. I plan to send more later this year, maybe around the holidays for an extra special pick me up for these special ladies. I hope you will visit their website and consider donating to this wonderful organization.

Sneak Peak Collaboration with Calico Collage!

About a week ago my lovely friend, Ella from Calico Collage offered me the opportunity to have a sneak peak of a new collage sheet she was preparing. I was even more honored when she asked if I'd like to make a few items before it was listed in her shop. This sheet is extra special since it features artwork from Ella's personal creations. Now that I've had a few days to create with it, she will be listing it in her shop sometime this week.
The images are fantastic! The tiles above will be listed in my supply shop, Asbury Avenue Designs. I only have a limited selection of these beautiful images so if you see something you like grab it before someone else does!
 
 
 I also made a few pendants to use in my own designs. I loved this image, so reminiscent of my inner flower child. I kept the design simple with Lucite flowers clustered into dangles and Vintaj brass chain.
I like the striking colors in this image...hot pink meets rocker chick! I really love how well the ribbon colors matched the image and again wanted to keep overall style simple so the image remains the center of attention. Hand dyed silk ribbon and wire wraps seemed perfect. I finished it all off with one of my handmade clasps. The wire used for the wraps and clasp are from Fallen Angel Brass, it's a beautiful darkened, almost black brass again perfect with this image.
 
Now for the sexy red baby doll image... Something about this image just says create with me! I had some boro beads from Firelily that matched the shades of red and the holes were big enough to go over the bronze chain. Originally I wanted to do a wire wrap or coil around the chain to hold the bead in place but that proved to be too much of a challenge...in the end I decided on a trio of red stone dangles to create a "stopper" so the bead will slide up the chain but stop at the bead cluster. I think it works :)
And the beautiful fan lady...this was actually the first piece I finished. I think this one is a favorite for several reasons...most of all because I'm not really a pink person but I love the way all these shades of pink came together to show off this gorgeous image. I also don't make a lot of symmetrical designs, so this one was out of my design comfort in several ways. I used a hand dyed silk ribbon called "sweet tart", along with ceramic beads from Gaea and some pink enamel flowered bead caps I've been hoarding from Sue Beads. The chain, filigree and wire are darkened brass from Fallen Angel Brass.
Last but not least...these are the creations I am still working on. I am thinking to branch out on my wire working skills but feel I still have a ways to go...

Gaea Ceramic Bead and Art Studio Blog: New @ Lima Beads Giveaway!!!

Gaea Ceramic Bead and Art Studio Blog: New @ Lima Beads Giveaway!!!: Spring is here and summer is on its way! With the change of season comes new colors and styles. I have to say, being involved with Lima Bead...I would so love to win these goodies!

Bead Soup Reveal Time!

I received a ton of beautiful beads from my partner, Inge. Click here if you want to check out my original post showing all the beady goodness! Now let's get started...there's lots to reveal!
 
 
I love this flower bead...the copper wire and bookmark are gorgeous accents to bring out the rich pinks and oranges from the lampwork beads. I took this bookmark to a recent wholesale show as an example of my available work and it was a big hit!
 
 
I am completely in love with the way this necklace came together. The 4 bumpy beads are wonderful but they seemed to be "odd men out" since the rest of my soup was shades of blue and pink...then I discovered how fabulous they looked with this white rabbit ephemera pendant. This image is one of my favorites. Similar tiles are available for purchase in my supply shop, Asbury Avenue Designs.
 
Here is one of many focals included in my soup. I love the 60's retro feel of this necklace! I've worn it a couple of times and received many compliments on the fantastic colors and simple style.
I must confess...when I first saw all of the wonderful blue beads 7000 Bracelets of Hope came to mind. If you've followed my previous posts you know I have contributed twice now to this wonderful organization and I currently have designs in the works for a future donation. So how great is it that my partner sent me blue beads! This bracelet is one of my first attempts at liver of sulfur and a handmade clasp...I love how it turned out! This bracelet will be donated to 7000 Bracelets...check back later to see all the designs.
Another organization I have been wanting to contribute to is Ears to You...so how great to have a few small beads in my soup to make a selection of earrings!
A collage of several items from my soup. The bracelets will go to 7000 Bracelets. The silver chain necklace includes another great focal and rose quartz from my soup. The copper and purple dragonfly has a lampwork bead from my soup...a bit hard to see the detail but it has lovely purple and pink flowers on it.
Another great pair of beads for earrings, I just added some salmon pink Czech glass for dangles. These will also be donated to Ears to You.
I wanted to make the clasp and focal bead center stage on this design so I kept it simple with chain and created a tassel with crystals and Czech glass. The clasp, focal and pink crystals are from my soup.
One last pair of earrings! I know you'll be shocked but yes they are going to Ears to You along with the rest! Thanks for sticking with me through the very long post. I feel like a accomplished a lot and I still have a TON of beady goodness left! Thank you to Inge for being such a generous soup partner!Many, many thanks to Lori for hosting all this fun! Be sure to visit Lori's blog for a complete list of participants. Enjoy the hop!

Crazy, Crazy, Crazy!!!

I had really intended to post a bit sooner but to say life has been hectic would be an understatement! I am in the middle of preparations for my first Wholesale show...exciting, scary and of course very last minute! I am also working on creations for the 7th Bead Soup Blog Hop...my reveal is April 13 and I will have LOTS of creations to reveal. I am also working on donation projects for 7000 Bracelets of Hope and Ears to You...details coming on these soon...I've had some wonderful beads donated for the 7000 Bracelets so I'll be featuring those artists in upcoming blog posts along with lots of pictures. And a huge thank you to all my new visitors and followers. I am so pleased to have you join me along this crazy journey! Be back soon with lots of pictures and fun creations to share!~Kari