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Angel's Accessories
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Date:2007-03-21 14:12

Looks like it's time for another big change here on the blog. Jamaila and I are working on a brand new blog, The Anapurna Girls, which will have lots of great new content and will be updated more than my sporadic posts here.

Please go ahead and add this new blog's feed (located here) to your blogroll, or you can add the Anapurna Girls LJ feed to your Livejournal friends list.

The new blog will take the place of this blog and will feature posts from each of us as we explore, create and sell. Look for posts from me on inspiration, creative work, and the real-life exaltations and frustrations of an artist; look for posts from Jamaila as she explores the sales and business side of an art-driven business partnership. Also, there will be fun photos! Definitely photos. First photos up will be of the new studio, and then some new jewelry.

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Date:2007-03-09 12:44
Subject:the color red

I've had a serious craving for red lately. Fire truck red, brick red, strong red-in-the-rainbow red.

It's probably a reaction to all the gray and brown and white I'm seeing: winter in the city is grim. In the countryside you see more shades of color in the winter.

Nonetheless, all I want lately is RED RED RED. Check out these hot peppers; this wall; this strawberry; this city; this flower; this sign. (I used the Flickr Photo Selectr to find these photos.)

Do you ever crave color?

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Date:2007-03-05 13:09
Subject: Johncon 2007 Show Report

Our first joint show went rather well. It lasted for three days, from Friday afternoon through Sunday noon.

The downside to this particular show was that it was very small and perhaps 30 people total passed through the dealer's room over the weekend (most came through several times, of course).

We shared the room with a man selling D&D books and board games and a very nice lady selling SCA garb and chain maille whose site I'll link to once I dig up her business card. None of us sold very much; Jamaila and I made a total of $94 over the three days.

There were some upsides to the show, though. J. got some experience with setting up a booth and we both got to see how potential customers reacted to our setup and wares. Lesson learned: make more jewelry for men! I need to get to work on that. We may not have made much money, but we had fun.

And now, pictures!

Show Booth, Jewelry, Bags and Mirror

Jewelry Tags

Show Booth, displays

To see the rest of the photos, along with descriptions for each picture, please visit our photo gallery for this show.

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Date:2007-02-15 13:32
Subject:back, once again

It's been a long couple of months. I couldn't say much about it before, but I just spent a year in a job that was making me miserable, with a magical vanishing boss, nasty co-workers and a job that didn't have anything to do with what I was hired for. The stress was taking up so much of my mental energy that I didn't have anything left to devote to creativity.

I started with a new company this week, and the difference has been like night and day. The people here are nice, I already have meaningful work to do and I'm ecstatic at the improvement in my work environment. I should have more mental energy for creative work now, so watch this space.

Also, we have our first show scheduled! We'll be at Johncon on March 2-4. If you're in the DC or Baltimore area, come check it out! It should be lots of fun.

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Date:2007-01-17 10:55
Subject:blah blah blah

Yeah, I know, I keep making excuses. I haven't written a darn thing lately and I apologize. My job has me under some intense stress right now. I'm looking for a new one and have a couple of good leads but right now I'm pretty tense. Hopefully I'll get some new entries up soon.

I have almost managed to get the studio into usable shape, at least. Many years of being cramped into too-small spaces meant that when I finally got everything onto shelves, things were still so scrambled they weren't organized or easily accessible. I've spent my spare minutes over the last month organizing things so that I can find them.

Oh, hey, I do have that to share. It's something, at least. Studio photos! You can click on any photo to see a larger one.

Our Apartment: Studio Window

The window in the studio looks out on the rest of the building, which is a sort of squared-off U shape. I'm thrilled to finally have a good source of natural light in my work area.

The windowsill currently holds my little unglazed porcelain collection. I'm still working on good lighting for this room - right now that lamp is a major source of light.

Our Apartment: Studio Table

Disclaimer: Yes, this room is still a disaster area. I'm working on it. :P

This is my main work area. Somewhere underneath all that junk is a couple of things I'm working on.

Our Apartment: The Studio

Two bookshelves hold my non-fic, scholarly books, jewelry books and the overflow from downstairs. Plus a lot of unsorted junk right now. See that suitacase? Been living out of it quite a bit lately. (Yes, I know it's a weird color. No, I never have problems finding it on the carousel!)

The filing cabinet is used for filing, obviously, plus miscellaneous supply storage. The low table in freaky green was a salvage and is holding my photography props and, of course, miscellaneous junk.

Our Apartment: The Studio

The two bookshelves again, the photo-supply table, trash can and back in the corner is my light box. I'm thinking about painting the walls of this room a grayish lavendar.

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Date:2006-12-29 09:31
Subject:not quite there yet

After traveling four weeks out of the last five, I'm very ready to settle down and get some jewelry made. Not happening yet, though. My folks are coming up to visit for New Year's. I might get some things done next weekend.

I did get some progress made over Christmas, though. I packed several wire-chain projects and made two necklaces, one of carnelian and moonstone and one of shell. I should have brought something to work with me today to work on: the only other guy in the office today is in the next department over wearing headphones and reading the newspaper.

I swear I'll have new photos up soon.

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Date:2006-12-19 22:21
Subject:Gearing up for some precious days off

I'm sitting in the airport in Roanoke, VA. I'm finishing up my last business trip for a bit, at least until after the New Year, and I've earned a couple of days off. I have tons of ideas for pretty shiny things to make, so I can't wait to have a bit of time off.

I'm planning a bracelet made with red tiger's eye and sterling and a few other goodies. I'm a little annoyed with myself for not making any Christmas ornaments or anything this year - every year in July I say I'm going to make pretty ornaments and then never do. I didn't exactly have a lot of time this year, though, what with the move and then all this traveling. Maybe I should start in January and then I'll have them done in time for next Christmas!

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Date:2006-12-12 08:41
Subject:Busy busy busy

This is insane. I was on business travel the last week in November. I'm leaving today for more and won't be back until late Thursday evening. I'm leaving again next Monday and am coming home Wednesday evening, then will be heading out for NC on Friday to visit relatives for Christmas. That makes four weeks out of five that I'm out of town. On that schedule I can't possibly get anything done in the studio. I did manage to finish a badge lanyard for a co-worker and if I can I'll take photos of it before I give it to her at the company Christmas party this Friday. We'll see if I remember to do it between staggering off the plane after 9 pm Thursday night and heading into work on Friday morning.

So don't expect much out of me this month. It'll be all I can do to get presents wrapped before Christmas.

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Date:2006-12-09 20:05
Subject:How to Create Beautiful Beaded Flowers

If you've ever wanted to try making French beaded flowers, this is the place to start. The site covers basic techniques, information on materials and even where to buy books with more flower patterns.

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Date:2006-12-07 10:05
Subject:January Birthstone: Garnet

I know I seem like I'm getting ahead of myself here, but I'd like to start showcasing gemstones and birthstones are a good way to start. Since we're already in December, it makes sense to move on to January.

Garnet is one of the most recognizable gemstones out there, with its deep red, almost black color (although some varieties, like the one shown in the photo, are orange or even green). It's a very self-contained sort of gem; you often have to look carefully to see the color within it.

From a jewelry perspective, garnet is a foil for many other gemstones. I like to pair it with pearls and peridot; Jamaila pairs hers with labradorite. Its deep color provides a sensual background for other stones.

Since garnet is a reasonably common stone, its history is even more interesting than some of the spectacularly rare gemstones. For example, this page claims that "in India during a rebellion on the Kashmir territory, tribal soldiers fired at the British army with garnet bullets. The effect of this type of ammunition was thought to be more fatal and more efficient for battle."

Garnet has also been used in jewelry for thousands of years, of course. This American Mineralogist article describes a fascinating search for the
origins of garnet used in early French royal trappings. Be sure to check out the diagram that shows how Early Middle Ages jewelry consisted of thin layers of gemstone, foil and paste surrounded by precious metals.

From a metaphysical standpoint, garnet is believed to draw earth energy into and move energy throughout the body. It purifies and cleanses, and stimulates life force and fertility.

Do you know anyone who has a January birthday? The Aliana Everlasting necklace is a beautiful, understated piece with garnet, freshwater pearls and sterling silver.

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Date:2006-11-26 20:50
Subject:How to Delight Customers

Well, I was delighted, at least. We ate lunch there today and out on the tables sat samples of the storage containers for their gift cards. The containers are little cardboard pizza boxes with slits inside to hold a gift card. They're adorable and it really makes a simple gift card more appealing. I can't find an image of them, unfortunately, but if I do I'll post it.

As I was writing this entry I found another company that goes the extra mile to delight its customers. I'm staying at the Gaylord Opryland hotel for a conference for my day job. The hotel itself is a fantasyland of gardens and trees and glass and, currently, Christmas lights. I didn't pay for one of the really nice rooms with a garden view, so I figured the curtain in my room hid a random outside-the-hotel view. I pulled it back, just in case, and found this:


Which extras delight you most as a customer?

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Date:2006-11-25 08:05
Subject:post-Thanksgiving lounging

Hope everyone in the US had a good Thanksgiving! We spent the time with my parents-in-law lounging around and eating ham and turkey. Good stuff.

I'm going through a pretty stressful period at work right now, so I haven't had a whole lot of energy to make jewelry lately. I should be getting back with it soon; I have a business trip next week but will be home next weekend.

In the meantime, I wanted to talk about this piece:

The centerpiece is a really nice red glass swag-teardrop pendant with gold foil embedded in it. The 'chain' is stiff gold lace ribbon; it holds up the pendant nicely without getting in the way. There's a Swarovski crystal on each end of the lace, as you can see in the bottom left corner of the photo beside the pendant. The neat thing about this piece is that it normally clasps about halfway along the length, leaving the crystal to dangle down your back. If you want a longer necklace in front, you can unhook the clasp and move it further down the lace, then hook it into the lace itself. This is a great warm piece for the upcoming cold weather.

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Date:2006-11-18 18:09
Subject:Scam Alert

Cyndi over at Mazel Tov has the latest on a company called VendorPro who sends flattering emails to artists and tries to sucker them out of a $340 sign-up fee.

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Date:2006-11-15 10:40
Subject:Back in Action!

I finally got the chance to sit down in my new studio and actually makesomething last night. It's very soothing to have an entire room devotedto art: no one's tripping over you and you're not tripping over yoursupplies.

I didn't have a whole lot of time, but I started on a set ofinterchangeable gemstone charms to go with a sterling chain bracelet. Ialso made myself something for once - another of the chain braceletswith two charms: a sterling lotus charm, to remind me to slow down andappreciate the beauty around me, and a faceted garnet bead, which is myhusband's birthstone and makes me think of him.

Photos when I get enough time to do them. I have a big conference andtwo major meetings coming up at work and they're occupying a lot of myattention these days.

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Date:2006-11-11 16:22
Subject:Free Software to Make Bead Patterns


Turn your cat, a flower or the Mona Lisa into a piece of beaded art with Easy Bead Patterns. This free software supports all kinds of pattern-making, including round, loom, brick and peyote weaves. Runs on both Windows and Mac computers.

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Date:2006-11-09 14:54
Subject:Will One of These Kill Your Fledgling Business?

Here's a list of 18 mistakes that kill startups. The list is geared more towards those in tech-related businesses, but the concepts are important for any small business.

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Date:2006-11-03 14:33
Subject:Resources at the GIA

Be sure to check out the Gemological Institute of America's website. Their articles, while sporadic, are pretty interesting, and they offer additional information such as jewelry care tips and a free tutorial on how to buy a gemstone.

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Date:2006-11-02 14:25
Subject:Bags I'd Like to Carry


This set of nifty and effective shopping bags is well worth a look -- and a laugh. These retailers are thinking up new and creative packaging to make their products stand out. What do you do that makes your customers smile?

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Date:2006-10-31 07:59
Subject:Bling Rings


From a recent issue of Real Simple, some incredibly easy-to-make cocktail ring ideas. These aren't my style, but if you like serious bling on the cheap, they're perfect.

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Date:2006-10-30 16:26
Subject:Happy Halloween!

Handbags and the Monsters That Inspired Them

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