Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"The Leader Of the Pack"

Yep, I'm "The Leader of the Pack"--not a pack of bikers, or rabid dogs, or feral cats, or even wolves--just a pack of jewelry designers and jewelry suppliers. Well, actually it's not really a pack it's a group or to be exact it's a guild on So, I am the leader of the "Artfire Jewelry Design Jewelry Supply Guild".

I inherited this leadership from the original creator who moved on to newer pastures, not greener, just newer. By the way, my actual title is "Guild Master"--are you impressed? Oh shucks, I'm rather dissapointed. Ya know why? Cause I'm actually enjoying the role.

The guild is made up of over 100 members who have studios on, a very friendly "seller and buyer" venue. The members of this guild are a wonderfully diverse and talented group of jewelry designers and jewelry suppliers.

Oh, your still not impressed? Humph I say! Just come by our blog and visit the links to the member's studios--you are gonna be surprised by the talent, creativity, and diversity, as well as the fabulous supplies offered. Here's the link:
Get going after you finish reading this--you won't be disppointed whatsoever!
So, are you curious about why this "leader of the pack", oops I mean Guild Master role
is enjoyable to me? Well, if you're not, no matter--I'm gonna talk about it anyway. After all , I must live up to my reputation.
I love planning different ways to promote the guild and it's studios. I love planning challenges and other activities for the guild members. I love featuring guild studios on our guild blog because I get to see all the fabulous creations, all the wonderful jewelry supplies, and I learn a bit more about the members.

Ok, ok, I have to be honest all is not so fabulous about this role. Reminding or rather "nagging" members, to promote the featured members, promotions, challenges, and other events sucks big time. Don't like this at all. Hey, what in life is without negatives? NADA, that's for sure. But, I must admit even with the negatives of being "The Leader of This Pack," I'm having fun and am enjoying myself. WooHoo--& the beat goes on...

So, that's my story and I'm sticking to it--ttyl

Monday, July 20, 2009


What is it? The on-line dictionary says it's a feeling of dissatisfaction, often accompanied by anxiety or depression, resulting from unfulfilled needs or unresolved problems.

Sounds familiar? It sure does because you are alive and that means you definitely have had lots of experience with it. So you already know that frustration sucks big time! It sure does.

What kind of things frustrate you? Can it be a relationship with a friend, family member, "significant other", boss, teacher, or coach?--I guess the list is really endless. Or someone didn't keep a promise, or wouldn't listen to you, or couldn't understand you, or is always late, or lying to you, or is unreliable? Again the list is endless. Can't complete a task because there's just not enough time, or firgure out the directions to put together a new item that you bought? Can't seem to figure out what's wrong with your car, or dish washer? Can't get a straight answer from your doctor?

All these things and more cause us to feel frustration which will often lead to depression and anxiety, two other feelings that also suck big time.
Do we have to feel this way? Believe it or not, you don't have to feel this way. Ah, you think I'm crazy to say this (well, I am a bit but not about this subject).
Quite often it is our reactions to these things that cause us the frustration and you can learn to react differently. Yes, you really can. Each of us has within ourselves
the ability to deal with just about any situation in a more mature and positive way. Oh yes, this is true.

Of course there are times when we will not be able to deal with a situation but, you can learn to deal with frustrating feelings a lot of the time.

Here's some very basic things that you can do to help you deal with your frustrating feelings:
1. Talk to someone you trust and vent it all out. You have to do something with all those negative feelings. This can help you get rid of them so that you don't over react to something that is not as important. If a supportive person is not around then writing in a journal about your negative feelings can really help to get them out of you.
2. Exercising--go for a walk, ride a bike, do some stretching, get moving--your bodies endomorphins will start flowing and calm you down.
3. Scream in a pillow or in the shower, or punch the pillow---great ways to get rid of that negative energy.
4. Try to gain some of your control back--many times our frustration develops from not being able to control a situation--well, you need to do some "self-talk" and accept the situation for what it is. You can try to collaborate with someone who can help you get what it is that you need. If you can focus on what you can control, and not on what you can't it will often help relieve strong feelings of frustration.
5. Think about your options once you calm yourself down. Brainstorm some ways that you can think of that you can do to resolve the situation. Sometimes you can do this with someone else, sometimes you can just make a list of these options.
The more options that you can think of for dealing with a negative situation, the less frustrated you will feel. Once you feel that you have a complete list, then try to evaluate all of the choices and choose the best ones.

Hey, this really works--but, the key is you have to practice this for it to work. There are going to be many times in your life when you are going to feel frustration. There's no way to get around this. But listen, you really can learn to use your frustration to come up with another plan that will help you to feel better.

You are really capable of doing this. It takes practice like anything else that's worth learning in life.

Dedicated to Susan B., a very special person and friend.

Enough said--ttyl :o)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Wild and Wonderful Ride

So, after 2 exciting days as the Artfire Crazy Train Rider I am so elated by the number of "peeps" who participated in my ACTR promotions. To me the increased number of views were simply fabulous--but, the amount of participation by all you wonderful "peeps" is what is most endearing to me.
A special warm and meaningful thanks to all you "peeps" out there who helped me enjoy my ride tremendously.
For sure, this is a terrific way to encourage comaradarie in our Artfire Community and of course it gives us a lot more exposure as a studio.
I am so sorry that my journey on this train has ended. Oh Shucks!
But, it was a wild and wonderful experience.
Special thanks to "Picard" for this fabulous "brainstorm" that now has a life of it's own.
And know that I will be on the pc promoting a little bit more because of this elating 2 day ride.
Now, "that's my story and I'm sticking to it".
ttyl, :o)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

I'm So Excited and I Just Can't Hide It...

I am the Artfire Crazy Train Rider for Today and Tomorrow--WooHoo

I am so excited by this--I have already increased my traffic today by over 300 and had a sale!

Is that cool or not--I'd say it is!!!

A special thanks to all the fabulous artfire "denizens" who are promoting my studio--this is definitely fun, fun, fun...

ttyl, margo :o)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

My 5 1/2 Year Evolution From Stringer to Wrapper

Vintage Style
Wire Wrapped

Beaded Design

Beaded Chain, layered,
filigree wrapped.

No, I'm not going to talk to you about becoming a Hip Hop artist-- that's not what I mean by Wrapper. What I'm going to talk about is my evolution from being a bead stringer to a wire wrapper. Be patient and I'll tell all.

Most of the time when you begin the art of jewelry making you learn about putting beads on string or wire. Yea, I know that doesn't sound too hard. Well, you're right it really isn't--but the "art" of it is how you design the beads, how you combine the colors, the shapes, the sizes--that's one of the secrets to being a good stringer. But of course that's not all--that's the simplest part of it--the more difficult part which you really have to practice is the crimping of the ends so the beads don't fall off and you can put your clasp on properly. Are you asking yourself what the heck is crimping? Well, a crimp is a little metal tube or tiny metal bead ( 1x1mm,2x2mm and so on...)that you place at the end of your beading wire to attach the clasp and close that side of your bracelet, necklace,or anklet up. There's a special tool called a crimping tool to squeeze the crimp together. Actually this is fairly easy--but now you have to attach the other side of your clasp. Aha! Here's the difficult part that most beaders agonize over in the beginning. It's difficult because you have to close up your crimp so that your piece of jewelry is taut and not loose with the beads moving up and back. It may not seem like a difficult thing but it truly is, believe me. Just ask any one who is a jewelry maker. There's a lot of practicing getting it just right.

Well, it took a little time and frustration but I did learn the secret of good crimping and had fun thinking up different designs for my beaded (strung) creations. But, alas I was in need of some more challenging techniques. So, now I began doing some basic wire wrapping. Making loops so that I could make beaded chains and making bails for pendants. But, of course after a bit I again needed something a tad more challenging. It was about this time that I began to admire "vintage" style jewelry which included using filigrees, setting stones, wrapping stones in filigrees, using lots of bead caps, and layering. I was like a kid in a candy store with all these new things to learn. I really love a challenge--it motivates me so! So many different types of filigrees and stones and ways to layer for a more detailed look. I am still so into making "vintage" style jewelry. I guess it fulfills that romantic side of me which is usually hidden deep down inside. I so get a "kick" out of hearing people tell me that my jewelry pieces are romantic.

So now I have conquered the techniques of stringing, simple wire wrapping, stone setting, filigree wrapping, and layering. Yes, once again I felt the need to learn something new and I found it after seeing a number of wire wrapped creations. I found that I wanted to learn some of the techniques. There is so much personal creativity in wire wrapping. You can design your own links, your own clasps, you can wrap pendants, stones and beads. The ideas are endless. I am still at the beginning stages of this fabulous technique but I am having so much fun with it.

I already know that after I conquer the many wire wrapping techniques that I would like to start learning the techniques of chainmaille--the jewelry technique of "weaving" with jump rings of different sizes and colors. This too lends itself to a lot of creativity.

But that's not all, I'd love to make my own pendants and beads using polymer clay. This is definitely a never ending journey for me. Here I am 5 1/2 years down this jewelry road and finding it still an exciting craft and still lovin' it. Yep, I've come a long way and you know I still have a long way to go. WooHoo!!!

Enough said for now--ttyl, :o)