Aug. 29th: I drew a name for the winner of the hollow bead. It goes to Beth S. Thank you again for the input. I still haven't made my final decision. Some of you are saying that the black outline needs to stay on the pink background dots. Everyone agrees that removing it from the circles was a good move. I guess in the grand scheme of life, it is no big deal and I'm getting bogged down in the details but sometimes the details can be fun!
I listed a few new sale jewels over at Etsy. You can find the link on the boutique page. AND.... I just posted some KILLER small bead sets on my boutique page. I was really wanting to keep the larger set. I LOVE that big hole disc bead with the transparent aqua. It is to die for. Just string it and maybe the hollows on a silver chain and you have a killer necklace. Same with the other set.
Aug. 28th 2nd posting: YEA! Thank you so much for all of your input. I can't tell you how helpful all of your suggestions were. The brown ring with the pink ground was the most popular. But a few people raised the idea of taking away the black outlines to soften it up. Awesome idea!!! I removed a lot of the black lines. Do you think I should remove the black lines off of the small pink dots in the center? It seems like it helps add contrast.
So I think I'm going to use the brown with pink background but without most of the black outlines.
If this is a bad move and it doesn't look that good, let me know and stop me from making a mistake. HA! I'm trying out a new printing company and am anxious to see the results. The cost is inexpensive compared to others so I'm really keeping my fingers crossed. I'll keep you updated!
I will do the drawing tonight or tomorrow. If you still want you name in the hat... I'm still open to taking suggestions. When I post the winner on line then you will know the voting is closed.
Aug. 28th: I need your opinion. Just email me your answer and I'll pick a name out of the hat and send off a juicy transparent dark brown big hollow bead with purple raised dots. It would look cute just strung on a silver chain or with tiny seed beads. My email is back and working again with no issues. I've got a few busy days ahead so I probably won't confirm each entry.
Oh... would you like to know what opinion I need from you? I'm in the process of designing some new stickers. Something that I can get printed way cheaper than my current ones so I can slap them all over the place!! ha! I know the last time I went throught this a lot of people commented they liked my old stuff. Yes, I will still use them but cost is always an issue and it will be nice to have inexpensive alternatives.
Plus.... If I get better at this graphic design stuff... I'll try to set up some prefab sticker designs for sale where your name, web address, or whatever will get plugged in and then you too can have fun cool new stickers!! Let me know if this would be of interest also.
So the design is basically the same on both of these. It is just the background that I need help on. The size is going to be a perfect square. It is too expensive to get round stickers printed up so a square it is. My hubby likes simple and clean and I know he would opt for the white background. I like that too but I also like the whimsical feel of the pink background. I can't decide. I need your help to pick which one. Do you think you can do that for me? Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I made the photos kind of too large. Sorry about that.
With this big photo, I see that I need to fix the transparency on some of my background dots. Just ignore the color difference in those. It will be fixed if chosen.
I got a suggestion to make the brown background white. So what do you think? This a better choice?
Aug. 26th: Sorry for the slow postings. I've just been taking some time off behind the scenes to kind of regroup and get organized. Kind of catching my breath since getting way caught up on orders again. I feel like there isn't anything overly exciting to post about. (Well I am working on some new projects but they need to get further along before I share. You know that first impression thing).
Oh... I did clean up my news page a tad. Did you notice?
The weather has been beautiful and the kids seem to have an activity almost every evening. So life is still normal busy.
I think I'm getting low on my goodies to list on Etsy. There are a few more bead stuff and maybe some jewels. I need to take some inventory. I'll try to get some more items posted tonight or tomorrow night.
Aug. 22: Okay... I think email is back up and going again. We switched servers around and are no longer dealing with the one we were using. All should be swell again!
I'll try to start posting some goodies on etsy again tonight. I've put the link to etsy on my boutique page. Just follow the "Sale" logo and it will take you to the discounted goodies!
Aug. 21st: Ugh....my email server is down again. This is just getting out of control. So if you need to get in touch with me before it gets fixed (no clue how long it will be down) then just email me at email@example.com
I'm getting a better handle on lampwork and jewelry orders now. Whew! I can breathe again. So I'm moving the start time down to around 7-10 days before I start on new orders. This can change as orders come in so keep that in mind. I always try to post here on the news page the time frame so you can plan accordingly.
Not a lot going on here. Just trying to get the routine of school and all the kids activities down. It is always an adjustment when school starts back. Keegan loved his gymnastics class. It has been a while since I've seen him so passionate about something other than computer games! So I was thilled to death. He wants to take more classes! But they really only offer things that he qualifies for on Tuesday's or Thursdays. So I will probably sign him up for a tumbling class on the same night and that will give him a good hefty dose of fun exercise. Can't complain about that!
Aug. 19th: Grrrrrrr.... I'm having one of those technology break downs. Sometimes I think I know a lot about electronics, computers, gadgets etc. Then something happens to make me realize I don't have a clue. Grrrrrr... we just switched in our phones for Blackberrys. So there is a big learning curve there trying to figure everything out. We are working on some website designs and I was going crazy last night because I couldn't figure out the shopping cart software on my own, then I downloaded some new kids cartoons off of itunes for my touch for when I need to keep the kids entertained and they had a new software upgrade for the touch that looked pretty good. So I opted to download it. Well, that was a mistake. It freaked out my touch and it is all froze and I ran out of time to figure out what to do because the restore button won't work. Get this... I'm on our desktop computer and I want to reboot the computer to maybe see if that will fix my ipod since the software upgrade download but for the life of me, I can't even figure out where the shut down button is! Can you believe that?
Thankfully I have a husband that is a complete computer guru but I hate running to him every second when I want something done. He is busy or at work and can't tell me what to do over the phone and I just throw my hands up in frustration.
He got a big dose of it tonight as he walked in the door from work. I had 2 min. before I had to leave to take Keegan to his gymnastics class (yes, that's a new one!) and I ranted at him nice and loud. Poor guy! I just want to know it all and be able to do it all without having hubby bail me out. He admited that it was pretty sad when I'm calling him on the phone asking how to reboot his computer! And here I can do all sorts of html on my website but I can't turn off his computer!
So after watching the Olympics, Keegan, my 10 year old, wants to do gymnastics. I thought maybe it would pass but after a few days of asking, I finally gave in. So as luck would have it, the new session was starting and he only had to wait about 5 days to start. So I'm sitting in the lobby while he is doing his thing. The place is packed! but they have a beginner boys session and as you can imagaine, there are only about 4 boys in the class and Keegan looks to be the oldest. I'll be interested to see what he thinks of class. As he is like me and wants to be good right off the bat and has no patience. but in his case.... he thinks he is already good from the get go! ha! I'm sure he is having a ball.
Just a quick update on the kits, I haven't forgotten all my new projects. I just had to shut my mind down and set everything aside because I was starting to get way too much on my plate. For the interchangable cuff rings, I'm waiting for a tool to come back in stock. UGH!! I'm not sure how long it will take. They didn't have a firm date. I'm guessing a few weeks. But that is okay as I have lots of other ones to work on in the mean time. There are big things going on behind the scenes (well at least for me but in the grand scheme of things, it isn't life altering. ha!) But I have to get more tech savvy if I'm going to be able to figure out what I'm doing!
Aug. 13th: Well, it happened.... school started today. I'm really sad. The boys weren't thrilled with going either! And now I start the busy routine of doing my big circle of driving to and from school and preschool. I gotta leave in a few min. to pick up Caiden. I just got back from the Bread Co. meeting a few other mothers for a celebration breakfast. I'm be anxious to hear how the first day went for the big boys.
We are not spontaneous people. It's hard to be with 3 kids but Friday morning around 10 am hubby calls from work and asks if we all want to go to Chicago until Monday. Kind of a last big bang of summer break. So by 3 pm that afternoon we were in the car. I must say it was the most fantastic weekend. We had a ball. The kids hadn't been to downtown Chicago so it was a big treat. We did all the tourist stuff and my good friend Joan and her kids drove into the city and met us on Sunday afternoon to play.
But... now I'm really behind on my work schedule so this is a honker down week to get my act together. I probably won't be listing any Etsy stuff till maybe the end of the week. I have so many distractions and I just need to get focused on getting my bead orders made.
I still have some grand plans for new projects and I can't wait to share all of that scoop. We are working behind the scenes. I've got hubby on the job so that will help speed things up.
So that you don't come away empty handed and no eye candy today.... I'll share a photo of another sample for a kit I'm working on. Very yummy!
Aug. 8th: HEADS UP..... last minute kind of thing but the Glass Beadle office will be CLOSED UNTIL MONDAY night Aug. 11. I probably won't be answering emails. But I will try to check them and keep an eye out for urgent matters. Ta Ta for now:-)
Aug. 7: So we had a fish fry tonight at my parents house! Did I tell you that they took the big boys on a two day fishing trip? Keegan has really been wanting to go fishing. My dad is a big fly fisherman so off they went to a place that they knew the boys would catch fish at a trout lodge. I'm not so sure if that is a good thing though! You have to pay by the pound for the fish you catch. Guess how much! It was something like $4.09 a pound. Is that not crazy!? Dad spent $130 on fish.
But as they say, they paid for the experience. When eating dinner, the boys chose not to have dessert so they could take that money and catch another fish. I had to laugh as we watched the video of them tonight. Dad.... claimed when he was helping one of the boys get the fish out of the water that "oops.... it got away...." I think it was accidently on purpose! I asked Dad that and he just giggled. Can't say I blame him. I think a lot of fish would have gotten away on my watch! Then I hear my mom while doing the video camera asking every time they caught a fish how much money that was gonna cost PaPa!
So we had some yummy fresh fish tonight. Connor LOVED it. I haven't seen him eat so much in a long time. I'm talking scarfed the whole thing down and went for thirds! What great memories for the boys.
Aug. 6: I'm in that slow down and "breathe" mode. Way too much on my plate and I'm really trying to get a handle on getting caught up on orders. The kids start school next week so after a week of getting into a routine, I hope things will run on a more expected schedule. Although... I'm really not looking forward to having school start as I hate the morning freenzy and all that extra time of not driving the kids all over town in the morning finds lots of extra time for me to work while the kids are in that morning fog and not moving around yet.
I gotta just stop my mind from working. It is going in 1,000 directions. We took a hour and went to the pool last night and even hubby was saying... stop thinking and just breathe deeply teasing me! But... there are so many fun things in the works and I want to do them all right this instant!
I still have loads to learn but was thinking it would be fun to offer predesigned graphics for stickers and hang tags for sale where I just plug in your name and tag line. What do you think? I'm totally digging the idea.
Oh yea... And I'm still trying to add a few sale things every night to the etsy store. So scroll down to Aug. 4th post to see current photos of what is available there. I have more of the buttons with silver shanks to post, some jewelry, disc beads that will work great with the cuff ring kits that are coming etc.
Aug. 4th: Cuff Ring kits burst with LOVE......How could it not with a photo of your cutie pie. These are to die for! (I will also have earring kits with these too.) That's a pic of my little Caiden when he was 2. oh so sweet. I just love looking at it. I guess I should wear 3 rings for all my boys though. That might be too much. I could wear my other boys on my ears! The rings are interchangable so I can just swap heart photos around. Gotta love that! I promise we are getting closer to the kit being ready. I'm just waiting on tools to arrive.
Okay.... I'm just BURSTING with ideas for all new kits using wire. I just can't wait to share them all! I ordered LOADS of tools today. Good things are in the works! I'll slowly start posting photos of samples of new kits that are coming. We are going to have so much fun! I need about 4 mini me's to pull off all that I want to do though.
So thanks to all that have bought some of my sale goodies. I just added some new items. I will try to add a few things every night. Remember, these are all sale/discounted items. I won't be replicating them at the listed prices. Just click on the photo to go to my Etsy store. Check out will be the same process as my website with Paypal.
Aug. 3: We survived the birthday party and it was a great time. I think all the boys had a ball and that Keegan felt very special. Can't ask for more than that. I'm really sad though as it hit me last night, this is the last full week of summer break. They start school the following Wed. on the 13th! Isn't that terrible to be starting so soon? Every year it gets one day sooner. That just isn't right!
So do you remember me saying that I have a lot of jewelry and even a handful of lampwork beads, silver bezels etc that I want to sell at discounted prices? I still have lots to post but I did get photos taken of a few items. I went and posted them at Etsy.
This just seemed faster and easier than doing all the html on my boutique page. So here are a few of the items I posted late last night. There is lots more to come so keep checking back. The shopping cart with Etsy is done through paypal and will be just about identical to my website shopping cart. This is all new to me also as I started an etsy account but never had much to list there. I listed a few items on Etsy and my boutique page at the same time and then it would sell on my website and I would have to go and delete my etsy listing. So this will be a fun new adventure. Click on the photos of items that interest you and it will take you to my Etsy store.
Aug. 1: Well, it's almost midnight and I'm just taking this time to work on my site a bit while waiting for the kids at our sleep over to fall asleep. They are all in bed and I just sit here wondering why talking about poop is such a boy facination! It has been a fun and crazy night. Keegan's birthday party has been a wonderful success. It was kind of crazy with 15 kids in the house. But the Mad Science gal did a great job and held their attention for a full hour. Then we just tried to have pizza and cake outside. I think Keegan will have wonderful memories of his 10 year old birthday party. He has 4 boys that stayed to spend the night. Right now they are still kind of talking, laughing, and telling each other to be quiet. I'm guessing in the next 10 min they will be all settled down for good.
So in the mean time I worked on the getting my new Spiked Punch kit ready on the supply page. Go check out the details.
July 29th: Well, we have reached a milestone in the Donlen home. My oldest child is 10 years old today! Wow! Then I wonder how did I grow 10 years older so fast! ha!
So today is just a family fun day and then Friday evening is the big party. We are having Mad Science come to the house with 14 kids here. (Yikes! What was I thinking?) Then 5 of the boys from the party are doing a sleep over. I guess I will be very tired Saturday morning.
So today we are going to the movies with my parents and then we'll just hang out until hubby gets home from work to do cake and presents. Which drives the kids mad having to wait all day. I started a tradition that my other kiddos get a gift when it is their brother's birthday. So Connor and Caiden are worse than Keegan on waiting to open their gift!
Then the other tradition is they go to bed and I do major decorating all over the house with signs, posters, crepe paper. I even hang crepe paper in strips from each of the kids doorways. So about 10:30 last night I realize that I have no crepe paper. Keegan would be devestated with no crepe paper as it covers the house! He wanted to make sure when he went to bed last night that I would be decorating. So off to Walgreens. Ugh.... it's closed. Then to the grocery store, no crepe paper there! Then off to the 24 hour Walgreens. I didn't see any there. Okay... now what do I do? Hmmmmm.... So I grabbed lots of ribbon and lots of candy and decided I would hang candy from the ribbon on their doors and then make a maze where they have to follow some ribbon starting from each bedroom down the stairs all over the walls to find a chocolate treat. I was up till 1 a.m. doing all of this! But the boys had a ball and there was no mention that the decorations were substandard!
Oh.... did I mention that my brilliant husband says the crepe paper is usually in the paper plates isle at Walgreens. Ugh!! I didn't look there. Why wouldn't it be with the birthday card stuff!!?
Jully 28th: So did you guys get your Beading Daily email newsletter today? Pretty exciting! I joined up with the editor, Michelle Mach, of Beading Daily and we came up with a free video on how to make your own fine silver head pins using a small butane torch. The only bummer part is the video quality. It is hosted on YouTube and since it is over 7 min. long, YouTube really did some major compressing on the video which made the video quality kind of fuzzy. UGH! Once you get to the meat of the video that acutally shows the demo of making the head pins, the video quality gets much better. Don't let this distract you though because there is some great information there on using the small butane torches.
Plus you get to see goofy me in action!
This is the same torch that I use to make the stamped silver rings in the bracelet on the cover of Step By Step Wire Summer Preview issue 2008. Which along with reading that article and then watching how to operate the butane torch.. you are one step closer to making your own silver rings too! So click on
Beading Daily to view the video.