Friday, November 19, 2010

Baby Bird Hand Beaded Ornaments


My Etsy shop is back up! I'm so happy to be back online. I just listed my newest items today, these cute little bird ornaments! They are just in time for the holidays but really I would hang them up all year 'round.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Current Project


My Etsy shop has been in vacation mode since I put all of my work into gallery shows this past month. The show in Fremont is now over and whatever pieces I have left from that will be back in my studio this week. Also, I am pleased to say that my Butterfly Wall Hanging which was displayed in the Ojai Museum show, sold! As soon as I know what I have I will be opening my Etsy shop again. To replace the Butterfly I have been working on this Peacock Feather tray. I am very excited with the progress and can't wait to list it. I'm so happy to have been a part of such wonderful gallery shows, but I miss my Etsy shop and can't wait to get back up and running.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Olive Hyde Art Show




The Etsy Meets Olive Show was really wonderful. I am so happy and proud to have been a part of such a diverse and beautiful collection of work. I have never been to Fremont, and I am so happy I went. What a lovely little community full of art and culture!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Etsy Meets Olive Exhibition

A full collection of my work will shown at the Olive Hyde Art Gallery this weekend!

Exhibition Dates: October 15 - November 15, 2010
Reception: Friday, October 15 , 7-9 pm

From the Olive Hyde Art Guild Website:
Etsy is an online artist community (etsy.com), where artists are able to have an "online shop". They pay very minimal fees to have an Etsy page, and it’s primarily very original artwork, art supplies and vintage craft. In Etsy Meets Olive, join us in a modern, old school approach to showcase artists!

Olive Hyde Art Gallery
123 Washington Blvd.
Fremont, CA 94539

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Ojai Celebrates Art III Exhibit

My Butterfly Wall Hanging will be a part of this local show!

October 07, 2010 - December 31, 2010 Recurring weekly on Sunday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Museum hours are 1-4 pm Thursdays and Fridays, 10 am-4 pm Saturdays, and noon - 4 pm on Sunday.
130 W. Ojai Ave., Ojai

The Ojai Valley Museum kicks off its "Ojai Celebrates Art III" exhibit on Ojai Day, October 16th. Museum admission will be free on Ojai Day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

There will be a special reception on Ojai Day from 4 to 5 p.m. to present cash awards to First, Second and Third Place award winners. Khaled Al-Awar, owner of Ojai's Primavera Gallery and Tim Schiffer, Director of Ventura Art Museum will be the judges for this years exhibit. Artwork displayed will be for sale with 30% of the purchase price donated to the museum.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Dragonfly Bowl & Garden Bowl





The final two pieces of my collection are finished! These two bowls will be included in "Etsy Meets Olive" show at the Olive Hyde Gallery in Fremont Ca. next month.
Both bowls were sculpted out of Paperclay, painted, then covered in size 11 seed beads, rhinestones, and charms. As always each bead is glued in place one at a time with tweezers. Both bowls also feature my new signature "M" initial charm which is handmade by me using silver clay.

The Dragonfly Bowl measures about 3 3/4 inches in diameter and 1 1/4 inch tall.

The Garden Bowl measures about 3 inches in diameter and 3/4 of an inch tall.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ignoring My Family for my Art



Geri Kitty is the most put out by the lack of attention:

Geri: "Hey mom you can pet me now"
Me: "I'm working, I can't."
Geri: "I don't think you understand...I am giving you permission to pet me now"
Me: "Can I pet you later?"
Geri: "I'm going to go pee in your shoe"
Me: "Wait...What? "
Geri: "Oh...er...I said toodaloo!"

~2 hours later~
Me: "ok Ger I can pet you now"
Geri: " Um, no thanks. My fur is going in the right direction now, if you pet me you will undo 2 hours of hard work. I would rather you didn't touch me."
Me: "But I'm done working so I can pet you now! "
Geri: "If you pet me I will scratch the flesh off your arm. I will come find you later when I am ready...say 'round 1am? Now go away before I cut you."

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Lotus Flower Dish





I started to design this dish in May but had a few projects that needed to be wrapped up before I began the beading process. I've really worked hard the last few weeks to get this piece finished in time for a show at the Olive Hyde Art Gallery in Fremont California next month. It is completely covered in size 11/0 seed beads (the smallest bead I work with). The dish measures 8 inches x 8inches square and about 1 1/4 inches tall.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Custom Order: Elephant Dish




I had so much fun making this custom order. I really like being challenged to create something that may be out of my comfort zone, or something that I may not have thought of making before. I wasn't sure if I could bring out the detail in the elephant with beads, but I am very happy with the way it came out, and my customer is very happy too!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Upcoming Gallery Shows

Just an FYI for those of you who may notice pieces disappearing from my Etsy shop. I have been asked to participate in a couple of gallery shows. The pieces going to the shows will be inactive on Etsy while they are for sale in another venue. If they end up selling, well then they are gone for good, but if not I will reactivate them after the shows are over. When I have more event details from the galleries I will post them! I am super excited to showcase my work and give people a chance to see my one of a kind pieces in person.

Monday, August 16, 2010

My Mosaic Bowl (Something Just For Me)


Since I began selling on Etsy, my creative focus has been all on my bead work and getting my shop stocked with a variety of items to sell. My mom came to visit for a few days and watched my little boy, so I could get some bead work done, shoot the pictures, and list the items in my shop. The up side: I went out to the studio, worked straight through and got so much done! The down side: I felt burnt out in the end. So I took a step back and decided to make something just for me! I glazed and fired a bowl that has been sitting in my studio for ages. It felt really liberating to work on something without "sales" in mind. I used glass mosaic tiles and millefiori. It was fun, relaxing, and reminded me of why I love to create in the first place. So here it is my mosaic bowl, something made by me...just for me!

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Voices In My Head

I have two voices in my head right now, and they are becoming very argumentative and annoying.
The first voice reminds me of a yoga instructor. The kind of gal who meditates, eats soy products and carries crystals around in her pockets. She keeps telling me to create from my soul without a plan. Her favorite lines: “Create and the universe will take care of the rest, you don’t need a plan. To create with a market in mind will kill your spark. Do what you love and people will respond to it. Now is your time to create freely. If you look at it like a chore, you will burn out, so breathe and relax. It will all work out. ” She takes the anxiety right out of my Etsy experience.
The other voice is swimming in sarcasm. She is a know-it-all chic who rolls her eyes at the first voice and always has a snarky response. Her favorite lines: “You are a unemployed housewife, the money you spend on your little craft is no longer yours. Your free time does not exist. If you don’t start selling stuff, you are going to have to pack it up and quit wasting everyone's time. Make things that will sell! You must have a plan, you must find your target customer, you must focus your vision and stop being such a spaz. It is not about having fun, it is about making money.” Wow, reality check. She is smart but a bit bossy! Now this feels like work, yuck! She injects anxiety as soon as I sign into my Etsy shop.

Now how do I get these girls to get long ? Because of them, I did not step foot in my studio this weekend. They sucked the energy right out of me.
So, how do I continue to do what I love, create freely, leave my work open to evolution and change...while at the same time taking my hobby more seriously since at the very least it needs to pay for itself!

*sigh*
This is the million dollar question for so many artists and crafters out there. I hope my Etsy folks will share their stories!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Beaded Eyeglass Chains


I have been making beaded eyeglass chains and selling them around town for a while now. There was a serious lack of good quality, nice looking eyeglass chains in my little town so I decided to fill that little niche. My orders are small and pretty far apart so keeping up with it has never been an issue. Just when I started to wonder how am I going to make money and what do I do with all of my beads...I get a huge order! A few late nights in the studio and the order is done and on it's way to Morro Bay California!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I May Never Be An Etsy Success

So I have joined the SAHM club. (Stay at home mom) Which caused the people around me to say: "Oh how nice, will you be working more on your little Etsy thingie"?
Leaving the patronizing tone aside for now, I thought "yes I probably will have more time to work on my little Etsy thingie" So I went out to my studio, put on my business hat, and took a look around.

~Oy Vey! Not good!~
I have a terrible business model/plan/structure. Whatever you want to call it, it is not good!

1. Materials: I obsessively buy beads and materials like a crazy hoarder. I have bits and pieces squirreled away in jars and tins with no idea how much they cost.

2. Hours Spent: My work takes forever! I never keep track of hours spent on a piece. I know my Butterfly Wall Hanging took me 3 months, but I have no idea how many hours it took me. So how do I price things to make up for my time spent?

3. Inventory: Because it takes me forever to make each piece, how on earth am I going to keep a steady flow of inventory. I see many people suggesting re-listing new items constantly will help with sales....not gonna happen unless I work 24-7!

OK...business hat what do I do?
*start selling off my excess beads, start a supply shop, catalog and keep track of all supply spending, no more fun shopping sprees.
NO MORE HOARDING!
*keep a log of my hours spent on each piece, like a time clock... like a JOB!
*find more time in my packed day... wake up early, go to bed late, stop eating and showering.

Now I am getting stressed, How the heck am I going to make this work? With so many successful Etsy stories...how do they do it? Again.. Oy Vey!
Then I remembered a quote from the chick-flick of all chick-flicks: Hope Floats (feel free to make fun of the fact that I have this memorized)
"You find something you love and you twist it and torture it and try to make money at it. And at the end, you can't find a trace of what you started out loving."
Sweet relief! What on Earth am I doing to myself??
Reality check...This may have to remain just a hobby for me, it may never be a booming business, and that is OK. So my friends and family will continue to refer to it as my "little Etsy thingie". So what! Comparing myself to the many successful Etsy shops out there is totally unrealistic. The nature of my product will not make me a rich woman anytime soon. This is such a diverse community, what works for one person may not work for me. The creativity and talent that flows through this place is staggering! I can see why there are so many success stories, but not everything is possible... even with hard work. To those of you who can make money doing what you love...my hat is off to you! To those of you who are stressed out, worrying about quitting, and disappointed by slow sales, don't forget what you started out loving.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

New Hair Cut


I felt the need for an update! My last profile picture was taken months ago. So new hair cut and new profile pic of me working in my crazy mess of a studio.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My Best Work


Little Evan Boy. Hands down...my best work ever!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Why I Am


I just finished a little photo essay on flickr. I got my hands on some old pictures and had a little blast from the past!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/meredithdada/sets/72157624391041931/

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Baby Blue Bird of Happiness


This tiny beaded blue bird of happiness is so cute, you can't help but smile when you see him. He is made to perch and looks darling sitting on the edge of a book shelf, candle holder, or whatever decorative item you feel needs a little extra sparkle. This little bird is completely covered in size 11/0 glass seed beads. Each bead was glued in place by hand with tweezers.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Summer Time


My mosaic work put to practical use! Home brew on tap this summer!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Momma and Baby Bird




Just finished up my Momma and Baby Bird project. I gave them a copper wire nest to live in. I am so happy with the way they turned out. I had to take a picture of the Momma and Baby bird in front of Mommy and Baby Evan!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Dinky Baby Bird



Just finished this little guy. I need to give my eyes a rest! Thank goodness for my contact lens implants or my eyes would be in bad shape right now.
.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Product Photography



I am working on my product photography today, thankfully I have a helpful model.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Back in the Studio


I took a little break but now I am back in the studio and I finished another little bird!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Studio


I've been hard at work in my little studio these days. I am so inspired by all of the beautiful flowers I see on my neighborhood walks with my son. I decided to take my camera along and snap some shots to use in my work. I love spring!

Jake's Grave Stone



The day after our beloved dog Jake died, I broke up his ceramic dog dish with a plan to use it in a mosaic tribute to him. I couldn't bring myself to do it for a long time, it just broke my heart to think about it. Now, with time, I was able to finish it for him. We miss you little buddy.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Jeweled Bee Bowl


I finished a couple of the bowls!!

This one-of-a-kind dish was sculpted by hand out of paper clay then completely covered in tiny glass seed beads. Each was glued in place one at a time with tweezers. This beautiful bowl is accented with glass rhinestones, and a tiny jeweled bumble bee charm in the center.

The Jeweled Bee Bowl measures
3 inches in diameter (7 1/2 cm)
3/4 of an inch tall (2 cm)

For Sale on www.meredithdada.etsy.com

Swallow Bird Jeweled Bowl


I finished a couple of the bowls!!

This one-of-a-kind jeweled bowl was sculpted by hand out of paper clay, then completely covered in size 11, glass, seed beads. Each bead was glued in place one at a time with tweezers. This lovely dish is accented with glass rhinestones, glass flower beads, and a pewter Swallow bird in the center.

The Swallow Bird Jeweled Bowl measures
4 inches in diameter (9 1/2 cm)
1 1/4 inches tall (3cm)

For Sale on www.meredithdada.etsy.com

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Butterfly Wall Hanging


This one-of a kind butterfly wall hanging will add sparkle and drama to any room. It is covered in black, blue, purple and pink glass seed beads. Each bead is glued in place one at a time with tweezers. The butterfly's wings are accented with glass rhinestones, shell beads, and fire polished glass beads. The butterfly's copper antennae add a touch of whimsy to the piece.

The Butterfly Wall Hanging measures
15 inches wide
13 1/4 inches tall
3/4 of an inch thick

For sale on www.meredithdada.etsy.com

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

Jeweled Tray


This Jeweled Tray adds a romantic sparkle to any room. It makes a lovely jewelry tray or base for votive candles. It is also glamorous enough to stand alone on any table or as a decorative wall hanging. It measures 11 1/2 inches long x 7 1/2 inches wide and 1 inch tall. I found the wood composite, tray and gave it a new charming life. I used size 11/0 and 8/0 glass, seed beads in the design. Each bead is glued in place by hand with tweezers. It is accented with glass rhinestones, shell beads, pewter accent jewels and a pewter medallion in the center. The tray is painted with an antiqued silver and sealed with a shine. I also added soft, felt rounds to the bottom for added protection.
For sale on www.meredithdada.etsy.com
SOLD

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Square Dish


My new work is finally finished. I now have my Etsy site up and running! I am so proud of the work I have done, and I can't wait to finish the next batch.
For sale on:
www.meredithdada.etsy.com

My Studio Helper: Geronimo Kitty


I have been so busy lately that I had to hire a new assistant. His name is Geronimo Kitty.
I am starting to rethink my decision...he is a bit lazy!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Love Bird












My Love Bird! He measures 3 inches long and about 1 and 1/2 inches tall. I used size 11/0 seed beads. It took me about 6 hours to complete him and I just love the little guy!
For sale on www.meredithdada.etsy.com SOLD