KR Designs 11 - Beadwoven Jewelry Blog

This blog is for my comments about making beadwoven jewelry, my inspirations, frustrations, and love of color.

The banner is Lilacs in Springtime, a free form peyote bracelet.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Role of Music

I have been working on applications for Art Fairs, and put a picture of my booth on facebook. I purchased the tent in September 2010 and used it for one fair before winter set in, so it needs work. I have used shadow box frames to pin my jewelry for display which has a magnetic closure on the front, which created some interest in where they were available. They are available at Hobby Lobby.

Hobby Lobby is a great story/role model for on line entrepreneurs such as Etsy sellers. It was started in the family's living area with a small amount of money, quite a while ago as the founder is now a great grandfather. It is a family business, actually several family businesses, because the product in the stores (over 400 Hobby Lobby stores in 39 states) is made by their own companies. Gives them great control over the quality of the product which is in my opinion, good value. You can also order on line. They are based in Oklahoma and have used some of the best sales promotion features of JoAnn and Walmart, etc. Whole categories of items are on sale at 30 - 50% off frequently, and there is always a 40% off one item with the coupon available in the store. Big difference is that the stores are closed on Sundays as it is a Christian business.

When I visited my local store yesterday to purchase a couple more shadow box frames at 50% off, I noticed the upbeat music which repeated itself fairly often, but it didn't bother me. I had a discussion with my hair stylist earlier about the importance of music in the shop. In Hobby Lobby I realized that the music was familiar but not the usual arrangement. When I found the words to the song were in my head, that I knew the "song", I realized that the music was praising God, because the song was "How Great Thou Art". If you are unfamiliar with it, the song has strong emotional connections. We hear so much noise in the world, this was so pleasant, reaching back to my childhood upbringing, that it was in my head the rest of the day. I even woke up "hearing" it. Of course, I bought more than I might have and spent extra time just looking. I have a couple ideas using items I saw in their store. Just from music that was soothing to me, so I could relax in the store. A positive shopping experience.

As an artist/designer, I use music as I work. I will be paying more attention to what I play both while I work and at Art Fairs. To learn more about Hobby Lobby, follow the link:
Please share in the comments section the music you like to listen to as you work.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year, New Lifestyle Changes

I've taken time away for the holiday and to review my business since its inception and my life over the last decade. I decided that I've exhausted myself trying to do things that just are not working, and I've lost some of the things that I used to love. This is not stress or depression, but burn out where I am no longer motivated to act because it seems hopeless and I'm helpless. Part of the "cure" is self care.

I found myself with a gift card to Borders Books store as a result of a return of a gift book. I knew my local store was sadly depleted of jewelry making books, but didn't realize they also had a poor selection of art and art history books I've used for creative inspiration. I've been criticizing myself for not doing marketing and found a book called The Designer's Guide to Marketing and Pricing....hardly a holiday gift but more about that another time. So I searched my former favorite topic areas and found Fried Why You Burn Out and How to Revive by Joan Borysenko, Ph.D. and knew this was a great book for me. I had collected quite a few of her books because they seemed to resonate with me and Fried described my feelings very well. You can find out more about her work at or

So today, as part of my self care, I decided I would finally make the chocolate mousse from Raw Food Made Easy for 1 or 2 People by Jennifer Cornbleet. I searched for recipes (mainly desserts because that is what I miss the most...Christmas in my childhood home equals COOKIES) that cater to my food sensitivities and allergies, but did not make any during the holidays because I put my own needs last. Before you write me off as a chocoholic beadweaver wanting a super sugar high, let me tell you it uses avocados, dates, agave syrup and raw cacao powder NOT butter, cream and eggs! It whips up in my Cuisinart quicker than I can clean up the work bowl.

CHOCOLATE MOUSSE: Soak 1/4 cup pitted medjool dates (yummy) in water for 10 to 30 minutes to soften. Drain and place in a food processor fitted with the S blade along with 1/4 cup pure maple syrup or agave nectar and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (optional) and process until smooth. Add 3/4 cup mashed avocados (1 1/2 avocados) and 1/4 cup plus 2T unsweetened cocoa and process until creamy, scrapping the sides of the bowl occassionally. Add 1/4 cup water and process briefly. Store in a sealed container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator or 2 weeks in the freezer. Serve chilled or at room temperature ( thaw frozen about 15 minutes before serving) Yields 1 cup, 2 servings...I made a double batch and put one in the freezer!

Please check out Jennifer Cornbleet at or her book on your favorite site or at your library. She has good recipes for all meals of the day designed for 1 or 2 servings made healthy with raw cooking! She talks about tools you use so it's great for novice "cooks".