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Living Graciously, Artfully, Frugally.

Consciously taking notice of the gifts each day places in our path.

“I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.” R. W. Emerson

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Blogging?

I am so out of time lately, no visiting, no commenting. So sorry. I will catch up.
I have parties to get ready for. 
Also an open house next week.
The Spring Summer catalog is retiring, so buy one get two half price is the deal for July.
Lot's of people want to get in on the last chance to buy some of these pieces.
I get to play with  all these pretty things and make a little money too.
I am a lucky girl.
A busy one too.
The Fall/Winter catalog debuts in August. Plus I get to visit my girls Jodie and Sandy and attend Chantal's Event, Tidbits and Tassels 2.
I have rejoined an art group, the Greater Cincinnati Decorative Artists, after a 15 year hiatus, and I volunteered to run for secretary.
I am also taking watercolor classes and actually making some art in the studio too.
Surrounded by pretty things, lovely and talented friends, an opportunity for success...how did I get so lucky?
I am blessed and full of gratitude.
I will get back to this blog world in a week or two with something to show for my absence and a refreshed outlook. I have been peeking in at all of you to see what's up in your live's as well.
What a wonderful world this is!

Have a weekend full of wishes come true, P.
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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Misty Morning

Enjoy the tranquility of a garden wreathed in fog.
Have gratitude for nature's stillness.
Revel in tranquility.
Have a joyous heart because of God's bounty.
Give thanks for the abundance that surrounds us.
His beauty is contained in all things.
Contentment to you all, my friends.

Have a placid summer Sunday, P.
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Friday, July 9, 2010

Steampunk Charms


I promise I will start my Green Weekend Linky Party next Friday. I want to get it right! However I had to share the amazing box of Steampunk Charms I recieved in a swap! OMG, FAB_U_LOUS, GORGEOUS...well, you get the picture. The above photo is the charm created by my dearest creative buddy, Silver Bella roomie and soon to be travel buddy to Louisiana and Texas, Sandy at Sew Revived. As always she has incorporated sewing items in her design in a creative way. The sweetest, no?

Next up is the charming swap hostess, Christine at A Work in Progress . She also included a length of chain with a sweet embellishment to get us started on creating something beautiful with all these goodies.

Truly the hostess with the mostest!


Next is a beautifully moody piece by Angie at Hopemore Studio. 
I have admired her work for a long time.
She is right across the river from me yet we haven't met in person. I really must remedy that.


This wonderfully detailed piece is from Messy Missy, new to me but I am a follower now. I love how swaps introduce you to like minded people. The bits and pieces used in this charm are amazing


This next little lovely has a beachy feel from Material Gal Molly another blog I will be following from now on.

This sweet concoction of materials was created by Patina Marie.
I can't wait to put these pieces together!


This charm also has a key theme and beautiful art encased in resin, from Sue at Katsui. She has an etsy shop too!

This cutie is from Karen, who doesn't have a blog. What a darling little trinket!


An imaginative piece from Anna. I love how the pieces are combined to form a flower!


Next up is Melanie's creation. I adore the wire work and tiny nut as a charm.


This stunning piece from Cinnibonbon just makes me smile from ear to ear! Do you not just love that hand?


This absolutely adorable piece was created by Carol at Sugar Hill Studio. Charming right?


These are some of the ones I sent along. I am going to work on putting all of these fantastic charms together. Are you jealous?


Have a fantastic Friday, P.
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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The White Party and Some Thoughts

I am sharing some photos of the amazing White Party held at Pier Wisconsin as a celebration for all the Lia Sophia consultants etc. who attended Conference this year. We were given the celebrity treatment by the company and the Kiam family. Delicious food catered by the Bartolotti's who own the Lake Park Bistro, waiters with delicious appetizers and sweets, jugglers, a red carpet with backdrops for photo ops, a piece of jewelry in a white leather pouch embossed with the logo, (the third piece we received, woohoo) an aquarium, a kareoke lounge, fireworks over Lake Michigan, a projection screen on the pier showing the new line of jewelry, a sea of white, all reserved for us! (all 4000 attendees!)
The photos below are a few of the many I had taken that evening and Wednesday morning when we left the delightful city of Milwaukee. I won't narrate each photo because I wanted to talk about something else today.

I was reading a post from Emom, who is ever thoughtful, about authenticity, and realized that I have been having a problem reconciling this new business with my true arts and crafts personality. I have been struggling with this from the beginning, especially when friends and family would say "Why do you want to do those parties, just sell your work to make money" or "No one wants to have those parties and nobody will show up." A few authentic realities in my life right now are that without an income for the past year around Frippery farmhouse, I need to make some money, now, and I truly do love the jewelry and have fun sharing it. I would love to have a business based on selling repurposed junk, paintings, and handmade pieces but the reality is the time involved sometimes takes away much of the profit. It is my dream but not my reality at the moment.


I am learning to deal with the negativity and am finding it easier to make those phone calls and book those parties. What I have realized is that there are also people out there who love the jewelry and can't wait for the new catalog to book another party. Fashionistas who recognize the quality and reasonable price. There are women too, looking for a lifeline to extra income because things are getting desperate in there own lives as I was when this opportunity was extended to me. This is how I am helping to get us through some difficult times. People say why not find a job at a department or clothing store. I have to ask, will I be selling a product that can be returned for the same piece or same amount of credit 5 years or longer down the road if something happens to it? Can I meet the family that owns the business in person and see the dedication they have to making their employees happy? (Sometimes yes, I know)


Can I make over $30.00 an hour working part time? Can I be rewarded for my efforts with bonuses in cash and jewelry every month? Will they send me and my husband on all expenses paid vacations to places like Cancun or Puerto Rico every year for meeting my goals? Could I leave my job for a family emergency for weeks or months and come back in the same position at the same pay? Can I invest a very small amount of money (Less than $150.00) and own my own business, set my own hours and make of it whatever I want? Find me that retail position and I will sign up. This is my source of income and I shouldn't have to apologize for it because I am still an artist and craftswoman as well. I may have had to put that part of me on hold for a bit while I attend to making an income but that doesn't mean I have given up that part of myself.


Direct sales may not be the answer for everyone but this company has helped us to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I can still live my art dreams but I have also found another dream and at the moment this is the one I have to concentrate on persuing. (Insert little known fact: Only 6% of women in the U.S.A. make over $100,000 a year and over 80% of those are in direct sales!) I don't expect to reach quite that high since I still need to take time to create but if this dream can fund all my others then I will take a shot at it.


I haven't been visiting and commenting on all my favorite blogs lately and I am sorry. I have just been caught up in life. I do want to concentrate a bit on my Green Weekends links and get busy in the studio as well. This won't be a blog about selling, I just wanted to work some things out for myself and sometimes bouncing it off you, my friends, helps me get perspective.


I am still here, still me, the authentic me, but out of necessity I have found a somewhat new path that also needs my attention. I am hoping to combine the two paths to make a life that is happy and fulfilling. Isn't that what everyone wants?




I almost neglected to mention one of the best parts of this new business, the women I have met! I have connected with so many kind, funny, successful and supportive women all pursuing the same goal, happiness. They may each want different things from their businesses but I haven't met a single one in this company who isn't willing to lend a hand to the rest, in advice, in mentoring, in listening or just in comraderie. Plus they all look fabulous in their jewelry, tee hee!



Now that I have bored you to tears with all of this, I will be back to posting more about art and decorating and junk and crafts but I may throw a little bit of jewelry in here and there, so humor me.
Blog hopping is on my schedule for these sweltering afternoons too. It is to hot to even swim!
Thanks for being there in Blogland, it helps to put these thoughts out into the universe and see what comes back.

Have a Wednesday of wishes come true, P.
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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Lia Sophia MORE Conference, I Am Energized!

Back from Milwaukee. Hope you all had a wonderful weekend. We got home Wednesday night from the Lia Sophia MORE Conference and I haven't stopped since. So yesterday hubs and I had a laid back day by the pool and then watched a movie and just chilled.

I am going to take you along on my Milwaukee trip. We had such a great time and the new jewelry is To-Die-For!

My manager Pam hauled 3 of us along in her SUV and we laughed the entire 7 hours (we stopped for lunch and a little shopping). Here are Pam and I in the US Cellular Arena for the opening morning. Isn't she cute?


One of the girls at conference described Pam as a one woman party and that is so completely spot on!
These 3 days were packed with fun and gifts and general sisterhood. Lia Sophia is the largest direct sales fashion jewelry company in the world and they treat their consultants like gold. We arrived on Sunday afternoon, checked into the Hilton and rushed to the Lia Sophia lounge to see the new fall line which will be available in August.


They had three rooms set up identically so we could view the jewelry at our leisure. It was usually quite crowded and everyone was ooohing and aaaahing. The next morning we went to the US Cellular Arena for the opening. The company provided entertainment as well as awards and sooo much info on empowering women to succeed.

 
We were entertained by DJ Ravi Drums and Maske Electric String Trio.
The event was set up like an arena concert. Really over the top.


The music was loud and the energy was high.


We had a great morning. No pictures at lunch but it was delicious!


The Kiam family was present for all festivities. This company was started by Victor Kiam,  entrepreneur and probably most noted for his Remington Razor fame. After his wife bought him an electric shaver he purchased the business. If you are of a certain age you will remember that he appeared in all of his commercials. His famous line was "I loved it so much, I bought the company". He and his wife Ellen also began a direct sales jewelry company to help women, especially young mothers, get out of the house and earn some extra money while still caring for their children. It grew from there, and when he passed away in 2001 his son Tory and his family took over the running of the direct sales jewelry company. They changed the name for Tory and Elena's two daughters Lia and Sophia. The business has grown immensely and they now have Lia Sophia lounges at all of the big film festivals, Cannnes, Sundance, as well as the Academy Awards parties and other events of that type. It has helped increase the recognition of the name so that women can better grow their own jewelry business.
This company does change lives. They are also the largest single contributor to the Dress for Success charity and promote women's ability to become self sufficient in that way as well.


After the morning at the arena and classes in the afternoon we were off to dinner. Laura, Pam and Julie were my roomies. Pam and Julie are with Lia Sophia and Laura came along for the get away. (She has 4 kids) She just might become a Lia Sophia gal too!


Fabulous French restaurant recommended by our cabbie, Bartolottas Lake Park Bistro. The food was scrumptious and because we were from the Lia Sophia Conference they took 20% off of our entire bill!


Speaking of fabulous, Clinton Kelly was the keynote speaker at the Arena on Tuesday. He was so entertaining and I am definitely going through my closet here at home and purging now that I have a better grip on WHAT NOT TO WEAR!


We enjoyed every moment he was on stage.


I think this was my favorite piece in the new line while I was there...but now I have about a hundred favorites! I don't know how I am going to choose what to order for my samples!
On Tuesday night we were treated to an amazing White Party at Pier Wisconsin. The entire place was shut down just for Lia Sophia's private party (all 4000 of us!). Total Red Carpet treatment. I will share those photos tomorrow.
I didn't get a picture but the banners in the downtown area were all changed to Lia Sophia and a giant necklace was hung on the side of the bridge crossing the river too.
One more thing. Summer sale time! All the jewelry in the Spring Summer catalog is buy one get two at 1/2 price, no limit! If you like to do early Christmas shopping, need jewelry for an event or wedding or just want to update your look you can view the catalog at my website, here. Just hit the Our Jewelry tab. About half of the regular catalog will be retired after July and all of the Kiam collection will retire to make way for the new pieces. Last chance for some of this jewelry and as always, every piece has a lifetime warranty.
I will be back tomorrow with more photos and fun.

Have a tantalizig Tuesday, P.
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