Tuesday, June 10, 2014

What I learned from 500+ Blogs

*****Looking for my Bead Soup Piece? =) Click here!****

A few weeks ago, I posted about being part of Bead Soup Blog Party (This party has taken a hiatus)  where I exchanged beads with my partner, Lisa Johnson of http://spudandmrsbutters.blogspot.com and made some pieces with what she sent me.  As part of the "party", I made a commitment to myself that I wanted to go to each blog to see what was made and I DID IT!  I commented on most (probably 400+) and tried to make personal comments vs something generic like 'nice piece'.  After visiting all those blogs (including folks from 30+ countries), I started to notice some things and wanted to share with the class...

- Sometimes it's hard to comment on things that you just don't get or like (that's ok and part of the fun) 

- MANY tried something new - either a technique, a color palate or style 

- LOTS of pieces featured asymmetry 

- LOTS of pieces featured cording of some nature (i.e., linen cotton, leather, rat tail, etc...) 

- I was exposed to all SORTS of new ideas and techniques

- I found myself downloading ALOT of pieces in my "inspiration" folder - I wish more had put a watermark on their photos so I know whose pieces I'm looking at again

- The average comments per post was about 35 

 - Of those who participated, many are collecting pieces for next years soup already 

- There weren't as many seed bead pieces as I expected 

- I LOVE seeing the international pieces 

- I feel like i have to use ! for everything! 

- It's interesting to see how folks overcame their challenge

- It's interesting to see what folks considered a challenge and/or thought their partner would be challenged with

- Photo backgrounds can make or break how a piece looks =)

- If the person is an active blogger, it was REALLY helpful to have a link near the top directly to their pieces so I didn't have to scroll through everything to find it

- I was surprised at how many hadn't posted something (especially since we had an extra week). It made me sad that they didn't post and that there were many who would have given their eye teeth to be able to participate. More than that, that Lori worked so hard to pair people up and it was like her work didn't matter. =(  That hurt my heart.  And I know things come up, life happens...but post *something* - I stubbed my toe, my order was lost, my dog ate my piece...just something.

- Of those who posted nearly every.single.one. mentioned how much they appreciated how much work Lori Anderson, and her AWESOME support team, did!  

- CAPTCHA blows when you're commenting on 400+ blogs

- The creativity of the people in this group is ASTOUNDING

I've been honored to be a part of this group of EXTRAORDINARILY TALENTED jewelry designers.  They have encouraged me, challenged me and made me a better designer.  If you're a designer - JOIN.THIS.GROUP.  You'll be amazed at what you'll learn!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Challenges and Teams - Oh MY!

**** BSBP 8: Here's My Bead Soup Piece! =) ****

After taking some time off of blogging, for my Bead Soup to be accessible, it's time to get back at it!  And I've got some more exciting news to share!!

First - I've been busy as a beaver signing myself up for some new challenges including Octoberfest, Choosy Chicks Choose Chicklets and still working on my MOJO challenges. =)

Second - Some INCREDIBLY EXCITING news!  I have been invited to join the design team for ZNetShows!  I have purchased from them for a long time at various shows and am THRILLED to be a new member of their team! =)  

Third - I had a few more pieces picked up with another magazine - so when I get publishing dates, I'll let y'all know!  

Forth - Speaking of publishing - I'll have a pair of beautiful earrings in the Fall 2014 edition of Jewelry Stringing Magazine!  

Personally - this has been a trying last month.  My body has been struggling more than it had been - i found out why.... a device that I had implanted 7 years ago has stopped working.  I'm praying that Medicare will cover this surgery as I'm desperate to get, at least a bit, of my life back.  

I'm also working to get my belongings back to me, as they have been in a storage unit in DC for 2 years.  I'm desperate to get my things back to me, including my car.  It's EXPENSIVE and I've been struggling to save the money I need to get my things HOME.  I've been "destashing" alot of my jewelry supplies which has helped to get me started on my journey towards getting everything back.  I'm *DESPERATE* to get my bed here.  I have a hospital style bed that I need, especially in light of new news that I've got some spine issues that may require shots and eventually surgery.  This has been a long, rough road but at the end of the day, I'm thankful that I can sell some things and that God has provided for me in ways I never dreamed.  

If you feel led to make a donation (nothing is too small) you can donate here at my GoFundMe page or check out my destash page to peruse a whole lotta unclaimed beads and bits!

Looking forward to an awesome next few months and seeing what's next in Linda Land! =)

I'll be returning to my "Whys It Gotta Be So Expensive....." series in my next post