I took a brief break from my tote this evening to make this bohemian necklace (indeed, the brand of the pendant was actually"Royal Boheme"; I think it's a division of Blue Moon Beads) for myself. I'd bought the stuff weeks ago but hadn't gotten around to doing anything with it. I'm mostly happy with the result. Really, I should be making jewelry to sell as evidenced by my somewhat depleted tables at this Sunday's Renault Winery Grape Stomping Festival. But I don't really want to begin making jewelry to sell in earnest until I'm able to buy my materials in bulk, online. It makes such a difference. Just today at lunch I went to A. C. Moore to buy some beads, etc. for a necklace I'm making for my grandmother's birthday. Although the store was packed with tempting goodies, I kept thinking, now, you shouldn't buy too much here. I'm forever trying to dream up ways to be more cost-effective in terms of running The Tote Trove, but it's a challenge, especially because I pride myself on keeping my prices reasonable.
After dinner, I devoted myself to my tote. I decided to outline everything in blue so that I could fill in the water. Normally, I would do this part last, but sometimes having the blue background intact helps me decide which colors to paint the remaining fish, coral, etc. I'm glad I added the aquamarine strip down the middle because doing so allows me to play with darker contrast colors for the fish (like the purple jellyfish).
I did pick up some colorful wooden beads at A. C. Moore today. I plan to intersperse them with some homemade magazine beads, which I've yet to make. I whipped up a batch more than a year ago and was really pleased with the way they turned out. I'll string them on black satin ribbon, knotting the ribbon on either side of each bead. I'll make one necklace for myself, then a few to post in my shop and bring to fairs. How can you get more cost effective (not to mention unique) than beads made out of old Cosmo issues?
I'm so glad that we decided to extend this Challenge. I won't lie; it's really tough sometimes. But I look forward to planning my Make each day and seeing how much I can cram in. Sometimes I'll tell people about what I'm doing, and they'll just give me this blank stare. Of course, these are usually the same people who look at me in surprise when I explain that you have to pay to vend at craft shows. Part of the reason I like doing this is knowing there are like-minded artists out there who understand the intrinsic value of creating something out of nothing and testing your limits.
Okay, enough intensity.