Saturday, April 21, 2012

My Love of Mud - Marla's Mud

I LOVE to look at beads and components.  I could spend hours just looking through my favorite shops on Etsy.  My husband doesn't get that, nor do my kids.  Its a compulsion and a near obsession.  Buying comes in a close second lately, in terms of my obsessiveness.  But to be good, this month I've limited myself in what I buy and how much I buy (i.e. NOTHING), and anyway, I find myself focusing on just a few shops lately that I adore.  I want to tell you about one of those shops today - Marla's Mud.

A big part of it is Marla herself.  I have never met Marla in person, I only know her through Facebook, but I can tell that if we lived in the same town or even within easy driving distance, we'd be fast friends.  I love her sense of humor and her spark. She's kind and funny and generous and supportive.  She has a wacky sense of humor, but you can tell there's also a serious dedication to her. She cares about her craft, and that shows through in her pieces.   It makes her work as beautiful as it is, and that makes her pendants so easy for me to work with.

Her pieces are earthy, organic, with gorgeous texture and some soft subtle colors, other strong rich colors.  I could gaze at her pieces all day, but I also love to hold them, feel their weight and texture and marvel at their beauty in person.  I broke my vow to not spend this month - I can't blame it all on Marla because I bought some pendants from a couple of my other favorite shops - and splurged on three LOVELY pendants from her shop that I got in the mail just two days ago.  I already finished one necklace that I'm keeping (the daisy to the left) and I've set out beads with the dragonfly to work on next.  I bought three of her lovely goddesses last month and have already used them all.

I have to be honest - I struggled a bit with the first one of the goddesses I worked with (the necklace sold right away!), but with the other two, the designs just came to me, like it did with the daisy. I'm keeping the goddess in the picture here, she was the second I worked with and my favorite, the pale green color is so peaceful and lovely.

I bought several of her lovely lovely heart pendants before Valentine's,  I remember when I first got these hearts, I IMMEDIATELY started to work with them, pairing them up with beads and having a literal creating storm.  I used them all up within a week!  The necklaces that are still in my Etsy shop are pictured below.  I can't do that with every piece I buy.  I really struggle with many of the pendants I buy, but not with Marla's.  I connect with her pieces, they speak to me, which maybe that sounds odd or silly, but I think some people might get that.

 In fact, I think I hear the dragonfly talking to me right now...I better go listen to what he has to say...

Thank you Marla for your amazing pendants!  I will definitely be back again and again for more!

Check out her shop at

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Bead Swap - Finally Posting!

I have been seriously remiss in posting pictures from the Bead Swap I took part in recently.  So here they are finally!  To the right are two lovely focal pieces from Black Mud, I've already started using the green one but I've hidden what I'm doing!  Below are the stones and ceramic beads. And at the very bottom of this post are the gorgeous pearls she sent, the lucite and the brass components.  I was seriously spoiled by Lauren Potts!

I've had the beads for well over three weeks, and I've used some already, even sold a pair of earrings that included some of the lucite flowers.  And I'm just today getting around to taking pictures.   Shame on me!  I also forgot to take a picture of the beads I sent, and I didn't make a list, just sent sticky notes attached to the bags.  Yeesh - I guess its obvious this is my first bead swap!  But hopefully it won't be my last!  I thoroughly enjoyed the process, although it did stress me out a bit - will I send enough?  what if I send too much? will she like what I send? - and I fretted over the fact that it took me so long to send out my beads, especially after I got my swap from Lauren.  BUT, enough words, here's the beads, let them speak for themselves!  Also, a big thanks to Lori Anderson for setting up the swap and to Lauren Potts for being a patient partner and for the lovely lovelies she sent me!

Friday, April 6, 2012

To Destash or Not to Destash?

I was going through my own jewelry box the other day, looking for something for my older daughter to wear to school, and I realized that I have a LOT of jewelry.   A LOT of lovely pendants with lovely stones.  A LOT of pieces that I invested a LOT of time and a LOT of money in.  A LOT of jewelry that I don't wear anymore.  I started to go through it all, an noticed that I clearly went through a "long" necklace phase, and I'm not there anymore, and not sure I'll wear those necklaces EVER again.  I found one of my favorite pendants that I've had for years,  it was in its second necklace (picture above), and I couldn't stand the sight of it!  Does that happen to anyone else?   I promptly took it apart and "repurposed" it (see after below).  I definitely like the new piece more - purple is more my color than fuschia, and I love brass and bronze so much more than silver these days.  I decided I might end up doing the same thing with the other pendants I just can't bear to part with.  But I thinking there's some pendants in there I could part with, so maybe I need to do a destash sale.  These necklaces are so different from my current "style," I have to wonder if any one will buy them.  But then I think maybe some folks might like this "old" style better, and will buy them.  I guess the only way to find out is to pull some of these pieces out of my jewelry box, take new pictures outdoors, and put 'em up on Etsy, see what happens.  Sounds like a lovely thing to do on a lazy Saturday morning.  Stay tuned!

 <-- Out with the old and in with the new -->