Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Check Out My New Clutch Bag for Sale

I’ve been playing around with a ton of new ideas and products lately. My mind is full of things that I want to get done and just feel like I don’t have the time. I woke up at 3 a.m. because I couldn’t sleep and felt like I was wasting time instead of beading! I have several bracelets I need to finish before Christmas and that deadline will be here before I know it! One of the new things I have made and am so excited about is a little clutch purse. It could also be used as a make-up bag or whatever you want to carry inside. Here is the one that I just listed for sale in my shops ~~

It is so pretty is person and measures about 4 3/4" x 6 3/4" when closed. I'm having a hard time not keeping it for myself! Okay, now that I’ve had my coffee and procrastinated long enough I need to get back to my beading.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Sale

I can’t believe it is that time of year already, but it’s time to start your Christmas shopping if you haven’t already! I am having a sale in my ArtFire shop through the Thanksgiving weekend. I have marked everything down 10%! I am busy making some more Christmas items including some adorable mini stockings that are the perfect size for gift cards. You can even have them customized with a name. Those should be listed in my studio soon and here’s a sneak peek at one that is almost finished ~

I am frequently adding new items as I make them so check back often! I also have a bonus for my blog followers when you shop in my studio! I have listed a coupon on the right to use in my ArtFire shop. Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Still Sewing

I cannot believe how much time I have been spending at the sewing machine. I’m surprised because I have spent about 15 years saying that I hate sewing! Now, I can’t seem to get enough. I have beautiful fabrics, but I’m having a hard time deciding what to do with them. I want to create stuff that people will want to buy. I know that I need practice and that beautiful craftsmanship doesn’t happen right away (well, in my mind that’s how I like to think). I designed a very basic piece, not even sure what to call it, that is made using simple rectangles. I figured the best way to get started was to try to sew a straight line! :) I tried putting together something in the cute 1930’s fabrics that are popular right now and we saw all over the International Quilt Festival in Houston. Here are a couple of the almost 40 fabrics that I used ~~

Hopefully it will turn into something cute that I can post a picture of, but keep in mind I’m still in practice mode and this might be a little over my experience level!

Last year once I learned the peyote stitch in beading, I created one of my all time favorite bracelets. It took me forever to make and I still just love it. A friend of mine asked me to make one for her so I did last Christmas. Well, she wears it all the time and gets so many compliments. She just bought 2 more from me to give as Christmas presents this year! Yay! I love making this bracelet, but crazy as it sounds my first thought was that the bracelets would cut into my sewing time! Here’s a little sneak peek at the bracelet~~

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New Direction of Ideas

I just got home from Houston where I attended the International Quilt Market and Festival. My head is just spinning with ideas! I even got up this morning about 5 because I could picture a quilt idea in my head and I just had to get to my computer and start designing. I know I’ve said forever that I hate sewing, but I’m starting to view it in a different exciting way. I don’t see myself sitting down and spending months on one quilt, but I do have in mind some smaller quicker projects. My mom was great and sat down with me in front of a sewing machine and went over what each of the presser feet do and showed me all the wonderful things I can do with my Bernina. While she was at dinner with some friends one evening, I made this block from some of her fabric scraps using the paper piecing method ~

Mom made sure that I came home with just about every notion made under the sun so I can continue exploring. We’ll see what I come up with now that I know how to use my “crafting machine” for other purposes.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Yum, What is that Smell?

That smell is Uplifting, Refreshing, Fabulously Fresh and Just Divine. Seriously. Those are just a few of the creative names that Jenn of Jennuinecandles gave her 100% Palm Wax candles. The candles come in a variety of shapes and sizes. This is one of my favorite containers she has listed ~

Take a browse around her ArtFire studio and maybe you’ll find a new Annual Tree-Dition ;)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

October is here

It is Breast Cancer Awareness month, or as my dear friend calls it “The Month of Breasts”. For some of us survivors, it is all year round though. I know that I am aware every day when I wake up until I fall asleep at night. Please remember to do your self-exams and get your mammograms as suggested by your doctor. Early detection can be a lifesaver.

I finally got my MissBerly’s Designs studio up and running on ArtFire. MissBerly’s Designs are all of my pink ribbon creations and all this month I have my items on ArtFire marked down 10%! I have hundreds of items to list so new ones are being added all the time. Come over and take a look!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Great Greeting Cards

Are you looking for a nice card for someone special? If so, then I’d like to introduce you to A Special Touch on ArtFire. This studio is full of fun, unique and creative handmade cards for just about any occasion. She is even willing to custom make something for you if you don’t see what you like or want one of her designs for a different event. Here are a couple of my favorites...

Check out her studio and enjoy!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I have been staying with my parents in Houston for a few weeks now while I have some extensive dental work done. I met them at their store yesterday afternoon and hung out for a while letting a storm pass over. We were all in separate cars and headed home about 6. I passed 4 different accidents on the way home and what is usually a 15-minute drive took about 50 minutes. Once I turned onto the main road in the neighborhood there was no power and all the stoplights were out. That’s not very fun in rush hour traffic especially in a neighborhood of about 70,000 people and there are only 3 ways to get in and out of the development! Our subdivision looked like a disaster area and all the neighbors were in their yards picking up debris and looking around at the mess. I turned onto our street and I was greeted with this in the driveway...

It was awful! My Dad just paid to have all their trees trimmed about 3 months ago and unfortunately all the branches in the yard came from neighbors that don’t have their trees trimmed. That company was ringing our doorbell this morning at 7 am once they saw lights on and knew someone was awake! Well, they came back with their crew about 9 and ended up sitting in their trucks for a couple hours because it was raining. They are now working and as I’m writing this I’m listening to the sounds of chainsaws and men walking on the roof. Good thing we weren’t home or else we’d probably have 3 pretty messed up vehicles in the driveway!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I've Been Featured!

I am so flattered. One of my listings in my ArtFire studio has been selected as “Item of the Day” on Handmade News! They chose the machine embroidered lace angel that I made. You can read the full article here . Make sure you vote and give the article a thumbs up!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Featured Artist Today - Grand Prairie Woodworks

I wanted to share with you the talents of a fellow ArtFire seller. Meet Grand Prairie Woodworks whose studio features cutting boards, kitchen utensils, clocks, lighting and other home decor by a master builder of Mission furniture. My fiance does woodworking as well so I can appreciate the time, precision and talent that goes into these pieces. Here are a couple pictures from his studio ~

Make sure to visit his ArtFire studio and start your Christmas shopping today!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Beading Again!

I have been so busy enjoying my new crafting machine that I haven’t had a chance to get in any beading. I was having withdrawals so I whipped up this quick and fun spiral bracelet. I used red and white seed beads and added black drop beads for a little twist.

I just listed the bracelet on Etsy and ArtFire so hopefully someone will enjoy it soon!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Name That Delica Number

Color inspiration shows up when you least expect.

My parents gave us an invaluable gift for Christmas this past year. We went on a family vacation to Florida in July! This was the first vacation for all 8 of us to enjoy spending together for a week. It was my parents, my fiancĂ© and I, my sister and her husband, and my niece and nephew ages 7 and 13. My Mom is in love with an amazing resort in Ft. Meyers and has been there 5 times over the past several years. She had been wanting to share the wonder with all of the family so we finally got to go and experience it for ourselves. If you’re interested in a vacation spot, check out Pink Shell Beach Resort & Spa
. We are all now checking the web cam on a daily basis daydreaming of going back!

On our second day it stormed for a couple hours. Our room overlooked the ocean and had floor to ceiling windows. We watched this storm roll in over the horizon and it was a spectacular range of blues and greens! Funny thing, my Mom and I at one point both looked at each other and said, “What are those Delica numbers?!?”. The colors of the storm over the ocean were just amazing and we both imagined a rich project using those colors. I took many photos as a reminder of the brilliant color combination although it was much prettier in person. Amazing how our minds are always working toward that next favorite project! :)

After the storm, we were treated to this beautiful sunset from our balcony......

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I Hate Sewing

As long as I can remember, my Mom has sewn. She made clothes for my sister when we were little and then I was lucky enough to wear those clothes once I grew into them. My sister and I wore the same outfit in our kindergarten picture and she is 7 years older than me! She is probably going to kill me for posting this picture, but I can’t resist. Here we are about 30 years ago wearing matching denim jumpers my Mom made for us. I’m the chubby one on the right!

Mom even had her own pattern company in the late ‘80s. The whole family would work on copying the pattern, folding the pages and stuffing them into bags for selling. I even got paid 5 cents per pattern that I got ready! My mom got interested in quilting and now my parents own 3 amazing stores in Houston. Shameless plug – visit them online at www.itsastitchonline.com for all your quilting wants and needs.

I have never liked to sew. I go through little spurts where I get really excited about sewing up a project and then about 20 minutes into it I remember that I hate sewing. Although, I have just discovered the joy of machine embroidery! Since I don’t sew, I call my sewing machine “my crafting machine”. :) Check back soon for photos of what I have been making on my crafting machine.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Back to School

So how in the world did that happen? One day I’m staring at the calendar wondering why time is passing by so slow and how it feels like we’ll never be in Florida for vacation. Then here we are with school starting already. I don’t have any children so I don’t have to worry about the school supply list or the back to school clothes or trying to get on a new early schedule for school. However, I do have to drive through THREE school zones to get from the house out of our neighborhood. There is only one road that leads out of the neighborhood. Ugh! It’s time to schedule all my appointments, errands, shopping, etc. around the school zones!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Summer Vacations

I am finally back to work after an extended vacation. It’s been hard to get back into the groove of the everyday grind. I went to the huge Bead & Button show in Milwaukee with my mom and then I hung out with my family in Houston for a few weeks. It was a nice time off to get some beading done and enjoy quality time with my family. I’ll be posting soon about the wonderful classes we took at Bead & Button and also pictures of the items I’ve been making recently.

Now that things have settled down again it’s time to get ready for another vacation! Ken and I are heading to Houston in 1 week and then my entire family is flying to Florida for a week! I haven’t been to Florida in about 15 years. I can’t wait to just sit on the beach and do nothing!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Featured on Beaders Showcase!

I received an exciting email yesterday. One of my photos was chosen for “This Week’s Showcase” on Beader’s Showcase! There are over 10,260 photos on the site and my Silicone Valley Bra photo was chosen to be one of the 9 featured this week! It was chosen based on the ratings from other members. I’m proud that others enjoy the bra as much as I do and I’m already coming up with fantastic ideas for next year.

Friday, May 15, 2009

My First Herringbone

The first beading stitch I learned using a needle and thread was the herringbone stitch. I followed the directions in a kit sold by Tapestry Beads and I loved it immediately! I never finished that bracelet from the kit because I got so excited about the possibilities of patterns that I moved on to make my own design. I made my first bracelet a couple years ago in which I used colored pencils and blank herringbone graph paper to design the pattern. I actually wore the bracelet today which made me think back to how excited I was to take an idea from my head and see it come to life. Here are some pictures of my Coral Over & Under (yep, I know it’s a catchy title)

I ended up making the same design in pastels for a Spring Fever bracelet and converted the pattern to peyote for the bracelet I made to donate to the Graphic II event.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Art Fire

I’ve recently opened a new shop on Art Fire. Art Fire is a fairly new, started in 2008, handmade venue online that really focuses on the seller and the handmade community. It is growing and changing with feedback from the artists that use the site. The founder was a seller on another large online venue and knows first hand what is important in a site to a seller of handmade goods. The people in the forums have been so nice and welcoming. There is a ton of good info and help coming in from all the other sellers. One thing that I have liked so far is the eagerness and willingness of everyone to help promote each other’s shops. I think I’ve found a new home for selling my items!

Please check out my Art Fire studio frequently for new items and also shop around the rest of Art Fire to buy handmade!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

We decided to take advantage of this overcast day to do some much-needed work around the house. So Ken is finishing the lofts in my studio and I’m posting to my blog, obviously not getting much work done :)

The big Graphic III event was one of the most wonderful nights this year! We sold out and packed the venue with about 500 guests. Click here to see a brief video about the evening and you can see me up on the stage with the auctioneer. There were 19 models/breast cancer survivors that walked the runway in gorgeous art bras. Six of those bras were auctioned off live immediately following the runway show. I wore my creation Silicone Valley in the runway show and it was auctioned off live for $600! Here I am right before walking down the runway in my art bra.

The night was a huge success and we raised over 40% more than last year! We weren’t sure what was going to happen due to the economy. I made a beautiful herringbone bracelet for the silent auction. I used metallic pink Delicas and hematite drops to add some depth. Here is the bracelet.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Calendar Photo Shoot

What a beautiful afternoon! I can hear the wild turkeys gobbling across the lake.

I had my first photo shoot today for the 2010 Art Bra Calendar. I wore a bra called Glamour Eyes that had funky beaded eyes with zebra print. This great salon called Avenue Five Institute took care of our hair & make-up in the morning before the photo shoot at the Umlauf Sculpture Gardens. The salon team was awesome and I think they had a good time making me look “fierce”! Here are a couple pictures of me getting made up and with the salon team –

The shoot today was with 3 other breast cancer survivors wearing black & white bras and our wonderful photographer Rocky.

I’m still finishing up my auction item. I’ll have to turn it in on Monday morning so it will be done this weekend. I was inspired by all the hematite I used in my art bra so I am making a beautiful herringbone bracelet with metallic pink Delicas and hematite drops. I’ll show photos once I finish.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Silicone Valley

Yay! It’s the first day of spring! The weather is amazing. It’s about 5:45 on Friday afternoon and I’m enjoying a little down time in the sun after such a crazy week.

I haven’t been able to post in a while because I’ve had a needle, FireLine, and some random shaped/sized hematite colored bead in my hand! So, Ken was right this time and I didn’t finish my art bra in by the March 16th deadline. I knew it was going to be close, but I thought without sleep or food for a couple days that I could have it finished. Reality set in and I decided that food and sleep were sort of a necessity. I did finish the bra Wednesday night though! Yay, Silicone Valley is complete! Well, I do have one or two minor adjustments to make over the weekend, but if the event was tomorrow and the bra entered “as is” then I would be extremely proud!

Here are a couple pictures of my masterpiece ~~

I love to see everyone’s surprised look that I made something like this!

Okay, now off to my next project. I have to come up with a piece for our auction by April 1st. I’ll have to come up with something quick & easy that looks like it’s worth a million bucks!

Monday, March 9, 2009

It’s official. I am now in panic mode over this art bra. I have exactly one week to complete “Silicone Valley” and have it be the most beautiful piece of art I have ever created. I can’t believe how much I have procrastinated over this project! Oh well, I did it to myself. Ken doesn’t think that I’ll have it done in time and he might just be right for once :) Here are a couple pictures of what it looks like so far and I am off to bead as fast as my fingers will let me!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

2009 Young Survivor's Conference

I just had a wonderful weekend! I attended the 9th Annual Young Survivor’s Conference in Dallas, TX. I flew up to Dallas on Friday with a survivor friend and then we met up with a couple other survivor friends. There were about 800 women there that have been diagnosed with breast cancer under the age of 40. We attended workshops, networking opportunities and got in some shopping! It was amazing to see all these strong women and was quite an emotional trip as well. Here is a picture of the girls (I'm on the far left) ~~

I finally started working on my art bra. Yep, I only have two weeks to complete the whole thing. Uh oh! It looks great in my head, and I just hope it turns out and that I’m able to finish in time! I’ll post some pictures once I have more sewn on since right now it just looks like a bra!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Last Wednesday, we went to the UT women’s basketball game against Oklahoma State. The game was a special pink themed night for breast cancer awareness. I was actually able to go down on the court with other survivor friends to cheer on the team while they came on to the court! It ended up being a close game and unfortunately UT lost, but it was still a fun night.

I got to see some of my beading friends on Friday. We have a small group that meets on the third Friday of the month at a local library to bead together. I haven’t been able to attend since last fall so it was really nice to see everyone and see all the work they’ve been doing. This group is so full of talent!

I finally decided on my art bra idea. I thought I had a dozen times before, but now I’m about ready to start working on the actual bra. Ken had suggested this idea before and I hated it, but he thought of a clever/cute name and it all makes sense now. The title is “Silicone Valley” and here’s a little hint of the design.....

My friend Theresa and her family brought over a big box of obsolete computers and other components this weekend. Ken and I spent about 3 hours Sunday taking apart everything to get to their inner parts. It’s actually been an interesting project so far. Ever wondered what the inside of your laptop looks like??

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Interesting. I have no idea how that happened. How could it possibly be two weeks since my last posting??? What have I been doing for the past two weeks? It seems that I have been swamped, but no completed projects to show. I had this million-dollar idea that just hasn’t seemed to work out once I tried to make it in beads. It’s beautiful in my mind!

We’ve been busy getting auction items and sponsors for our Graphic III event coming up in April. I of course haven’t started my art bra. I am awful! It’s due March 16th and I obviously still have a lot of work left to complete.

I’ve signed up for the Young Survivors Conference, which will be held in Dallas the last weekend of this month. I’ve got my plane and hotel reservations and I’m ready to go! There will be 5 other of my friends and survivors there as well and I’m sure we’ll meet lots more from all over.

I had an appointment with my oncologist yesterday. I have check ups with him every 6 months to make sure everything still looks good and my cancer hasn’t come back. I got perfect results! Yay! I knew I would, but sometimes there is still this little “what if” that sneaks in to my brain and gets me nervous.

Today is Ken’s birthday so I’m baking him a cake right now. Hopefully I’ll be able to get this project idea figured out today. Oh, and I should probably start my art bra!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Superbowl Sunday

What a beautiful day today! I’m sitting outside writing today’s blog entry and it’s a sunny 75 degrees. There are even people wakeboarding on Lake Austin! It’s also Superbowl Sunday. I’m pretty neutral on today’s game. I haven’t been keeping up with the Pro Football like I usually do. I’m a complete fanatic about UT football though! I think I’d like to see Arizona win today. The only reason is because they are the Cardinals and my mom likes those cute little red birds :)

I came up with a new project idea a couple of days ago. I’ve started beading it probably 10 times already. Once I get a row or two done then I go back to the computer and re-design. I think I should have it completed today though so hopefully I’ll have pictures soon!

Off to get in some beading before the game starts!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

There was ice on the roads here overnight. Mainly on the overpasses, but still not fun out there. Rush hour this morning was a disaster on the roads. I don't know how people deal with ice & snow all the time. It didn’t get down to freezing here at the house thankfully. I made a homemade potato soup last night to keep us warm Yum!

Yay! I got lots of beading done today. I am so close to being done with this one piece that I started over the Thanksgiving holiday. I’m ready for it to be completed so I can move on to the next project. I’ll post pictures once I give it to Mom.

Mom signed us up for our classes for Bead & Button in June. We are both taking a polymer clay class and a metalworking class. We’ll also be attending the Meet the Teachers evening and Lampworking Madness. It is going to be so much fun. Hopefully we’ll still have plenty of time for shopping.

Monday, January 26, 2009

On Friday we had an organizational meeting for our upcoming Graphic III event in April benefiting the Breast Cancer Resource Center of Texas. The preparations are coming along great and this is going to turn out to be a fantastic night! We’re in the process of sending out requests for sponsorships, art bras by famous people and cool artsy items for our silent and live auctions. So, if you’re a famous person reading my blog feel free to contact me to donate :)

Saturday I went to the Austin Bead Jamboree. I got to see one of my friends in my beading group that I haven’t seen in months. I also got to visit with on of my favorite Lampworkers, Michelle Waldren. She does beautiful work and you can click here to see her items! Here are a couple beads she made that I bought a several years ago.

Of course the pictures don’t do justice to the brilliant colors and details.

It’s a gross day outside. It’s cold and been spitting outside all day. I wish it would either really rain or quit completely and let the sun come out for a while. I’m off to do more beading and rack my brain for an art bra idea myself!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Today has been a good day. I’ve had a productive day in the studio finally. It was 27 degrees out this morning when I woke up so I ran out to the studio to turn on the heaters. Well, this afternoon it has gotten up to 80 degrees so now the studio is HOT! I’m just happy to be beading again. I had a rocky start though with the wrong colored bead in my project! I had to cut apart this piece I’ve been working on for so long. I just kept thinking of all the time I spent just being thrown away! Oh well, I got it fixed and am now moving forward. I need to finish this project though so I can start on some of the other million in my head!

Mom and I are perusing the class schedule for Bead & Button this year. We’re looking at some classes where we could learn something new that would be hard to learn without taking a class. I can’t wait and it’s going to be so much fun. Mom’s worried though that we won’t have enough time for shopping it we spend too much time in classes! I’m sure we can manage. The first year before we went, she wondered what we were going to do there for 4 days and we ended up running around like crazy the last hour before it closed to finish our shopping! That was a few years ago and we’re getting it down to a science :)
I posted some pictures of our little guy on another forum today and realized that I don’t have any on my blog yet so here you go!

Here’s a picture of Ken too so he doesn’t think I’m playing favorites!

Okay, off to bead!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Like usual, I waited until the last minute to finish something before a deadline. I have sales taxes due tomorrow for 3 businesses. Yay! Oh yeah, Ken wants me to do his for him too. As you can see, I’m making blog entries instead of figuring my taxes :)

I’m hoping to get in some beading time today too. I’m in the middle of a huge project that I just can’t wait to finish. I can’t share much yet because it was supposed to be a Christmas present for my mom, which I just didn’t finish in time. My mom reads this blog so I don’t want to spoil it for her! Hopefully I’ll be able to post pictures in the next week or two. And yes, the pattern will be for sale!

My allergies are still killing me. Okay, I’m off to take more meds and get started on my taxes finally! I think I’ve wasted enough time :)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Calendar Signing

Yay! Wednesday night was a great success. The Pink Ribbon Cowgirls had a signing of our 2009 Art Bra Calendar at Zax Pints & Plates, a local restaurant/bar. We had about 10 models there to autograph the calendars as they were flying out the door! We sold more this night than at any of the other signing events.

Click here to order your own calendar before they’re all gone!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Lately, I’ve been trying to get my studio in order. We live in a rather small place and have 4 different businesses that we run from home. Last year we invested in a 12’ x 20’ portable building.
Here are some pictures of the studio going up ~~

Ken spent the majority of last year finishing out the building with cable, electricity, water, insulation, sheet rock, etc. I love it! It’s not quite 100% finished yet, but usable finally. Of course it now seems so small! I still have tons of stuff that I need to move in there and find places for everything. One of these days I’ll get organized. Yeah, right.

In October, the studio was probably about 85% ready to move in when I was asked to do an interview with our local news station. They wanted to hear from a breast cancer survivor about the ongoing fear of getting cancer again. I agreed to do the interview and found out on Monday that they wanted to come to my house at 9 am Tuesday for the interview! Umm, okay. We ran around like crazy getting the furniture and shelving, etc. to make the studio look like that’s where I’ve been working everyday (and not the sofa). So, the studio was furnished overnight and here it is ~~

I still need to find more efficient storage for things and figure out what works where. I have a corner picked out for my lampworking one of these days!