Friday, December 26, 2008

This week, it's all about ME and YOU!

...Sorry Lula...not just you!

Being an "After Christmas Special", as my dad always called me, I have always loved the week from Christmas through New Years day. It always seemed to be "all about me" and what kid wouldn't love that?

My poor Jeff doesn't get much of a break since we got married on New Years Day either! For me the holidays seem to fly from, my favorite, Thanksgiving to Christmas but it's the week following that I love. As a kid I always felt so special since school was always closed during the week of my Birthday. True, I never had a Birthday party at school nor could I ever have a pool party growing up on Long Island but it has always seemed like a week long celebration. When I was in high school my dad would always take me to Manhattan on the Wednesday of that week to buy a new piece of camera equipment and we always had Carvel ice-cream cake to celebrate too! Now our anniversary gets to end the week of celebration, you can't get any better.

Well, it seems only fitting that as I get older (finally?) I learn to share this week of celebration with all of you!

In the spirit of ALL of this weeks holidays, in both shops; Herding Cats and Silver Lining there will be no charge for shipping.

I have added some newer items to the Silver Lining shop that were completed before the holidays but I was way too crazed to photograph and post:

Golden Plume, Noreea, Willow Creek Hike

I hope each and everyone of you will continue to enjoy your "Holiday Season".

I know I will!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

My Thanksgiving!

Okay, I admit it: the holidays have gotten the best of me this year. We finally got around to sending out our Christmas cards and decorating our poor naked tree that has been in the "Gallery" space of our house for 4 days. But folks I am here to announce that:

Today is my Thanksgiving!
(Yes, I realize for all of you it's Christmas eve...)

It's days like today that I am so thankful for. Two days ago my in-laws, Wilf and Marion, came to spend the holidays with us from the cold of Toronto. Welcome to 80 degrees, I am so glad you are here!
I realize that it is because of the increased success of my websites and local sales that I have been a bit crazed this year. It still amazes me that people will go to my Etsy web sites and purchase the items that I make. For this I am VERY THANKFUL! I began this little venture on a whim and as I tell folks, this has turned into my retirement project. I am heading into this with my eyes and heart wide open. I pile all of myself into each and every piece, whether a simple pair of beaded earrings or a carefully selected and set stone. The excitement I see in some peoples eyes when they find the right piece is worth every ounce of me I put into these pieces.
Each day I open my websites and read the "Feedback", each one is a gift given right back to me, to everyone that has left me feedback, I am so thankful!

To my husband who has never pushed back one bit in this adventure. He has gotten up some Sunday mornings with only 3 hours sleep from an overnight job to help me setup at the Farmers Market. He has willingly gone to gem shows with me and watched me spend hundreds of dollars only to hear me say "I need to go to the bead store, I forgot something" the very next day! He initiated getting My Studio started and watches me dart across the front lawn to get more stones out of the mailbox never once complaining. (He does wish I would iron more often though!) For him I am eternally thankful! I love you Jeff.
For my parents in the lower portion of the state who, I think, always look at me in amazement wondering if I'll ever grow up. They have instilled in me the persistence and ethics that I use in all my actions each and every day. Thank you for everything you have done for me, I love you.

To the families in California and Canada that have treated me as one of their own from the first day I was introduced to this large extended family. Being a first generation child I do not have any extended family in this country. The size and amount of love in both the extended Boyce and Uristoe families will never cease to amaze me. To all of you thank you and I love each and everyone of you!
To my friends who seem to have the same question as my parents I say: Since we never had kids we never had to be the grown ups! I have always seemed to move around quite a bit and have scattered friends far and wide but you all know how I feel about you. We can pick up the phone or drop an e-mail anytime, after many months or years, and regroup in just minutes. To all of you I am forever thankful, you have all helped me be who I am, I love you too, really.

I wish you all the best of the holidays; friends, family and loyal patrons. May you all be surrounded by love and warmth and a wish for 2009 to bring us all a touch of prosperity and lots of laughter!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Me? Panic? Ha!

...maybe a little.

For the past few weeks I've been loading all the holiday art sales I can into my already jam packed schedule. Lately weekends have begun with a Friday night somewhere (mainly Eustis)...then Saturday somewhere else...then a Farmers Market on Sunday. Last week was a real treat, I got to participate in the Maitland Farmers Market with other artists from the Maitland Art Center, What a great group of people!
Oh, and add a Tuesday night in there too.(Thanks Frankie & Zyll.)

It is now officially 2 weekends from Christmas and we have not done a thing in our own household. Hopefully this will not be the case still by Sunday evening.

The ESTY sales have picked up well and it's not like I didn't see it coming but last night I sold out of my "Hip to be..." earrings! I did not really track how popular these little cuties have become. They have been selling in the Salon and at the shows but low and behold I sold the last pair in das shoppe yesterday!

SO what did I do today?
I raced through work,
left early,
stopped at the post-office
(to ship some tiny little shiny gifts to some of Santa's elves, shhhh!)

...then raced home to get cracking on more "Hip to's..."

This time there are going to be copper AND sterling...

I am very excited to see how these go over. This weekend I have a bakers dozen of these little beauties! They will be traveling with me to the Cottage Industries Handmade for the Holidays event on Saturday and my favorite Farmers Market in Clermont.

I am hoping that I will have some energy left Sunday afternoon to photograph whatever I have left and get them posted for the last shopping week before Christmas.

Me? Panic? Na!

But please, wish me luck!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Thanks Everyone!

To everyone that participated in RED FRIDAY, thanks from the bottom of my heart!
Everyone; sellers and all you happy shoppers alike!
I would also like to take a quick second (although I am at work and probably should not be doing this) to introduce a new friend to all of you. Please take a second or two to visit KaerieFaerie52. I met Kerey and her husband Kerry at the Eustis First Friday back in May.
Kerey is a Fabric Artist currently making Art Dolls, (Faeries to be exact) and creating costumes for the Bay Street Players at the Historic State Theater in Eustis! She has been selling her Faeries in some art shops in Eustis with great success. I turned her on to ETSY a little over a month ago and she now has some wonderful pieces in her shop! Got a special someone who loves to collect or if you are looking for an unusual gift, this is the place to go!
Oh and she has a great new blog that shows her Faeries hanging out in the trees...which is where they are supposed to be since they are Tree Faeries!'s time for me to go back to work...then get home and get all those packages sent...Special thanks to the "Dunn Family" up there in Waterloo, you will be getting your package soon!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Now for the details...

RED FRIDAY sale details for both Herding Cats and Silver Lining shops are FREE SHIPPING as well as an ADDITIONAL 5% OFF!

Here's how it works, at exactly 12 midnight, last night, little elves were hard at work in both shops fixing the shipping so today only shipping is free, ANYWHERE! This morning I've added the additional 5% off. Once PayPal has confirmed payment a 5% credit will be sent right back to you! See? Now you can shop more!

Here is a sneak peek at just one of the new items you'll find in the shops shortly...I've got goodies for both today!

My list of things to do today grows longer and I become more frantic...and just to add to the excitement today..I might be breaking up Turf Wars today...Roger has been spotted in Houdini's favorite sleeping place!

Wish me luck with this!

Monday, December 1, 2008

It's all in the numbers!

On Friday, December 5th, I am participating with a group of other artists in what is being billed as RED FRIDAY. Please stop by to see all the other ETSY artists and their pre-holiday deals. I have yet to decide what I will be doing for my special deals in both the Silver Lining and Herding Cats shops for this sale but it will be something special...promise!
This is going to be tricky for me because not only did I sell many of my necklaces at this past Friday's Light up Eustis but on the 5th I will also be at First Friday in Eustis again. Wish me luck on this one!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Never as planned

I am going to look to this holiday season as a lesson learned ("Yet another?" I ask myself!)

It is now the day after Thanksgiving and I find myself without enough items in my Silver Lining shop and nothing really new in Herding Cats either. I have been trying to get new silver items made and spend some time at my neglected beading bench but 5 days off from the FTG (full time gig) don't seem to be working out the way I would like them too.

I got 2 new pieces done in the days just before my folks showed up for Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday by the way...)
and I now find myself torn between sitting in the livingroom visiting or hiding in The Studio creating... (So here I am posting a blog instead?) What to do, what to do...I've got to find a way to get back to work...or have I missed the holidays already?

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Mid-week I discovered that I did not have to work the "Full Time Gig" on Sunday and quickly called to see if I could slip into my beloved Farmers Market. I thought it would be the responsible thing to do, being the holidays and all... but behold there was no room! For a short time I contemplated looking for another place to set up my tent on a chilly sunny Sunday morning, then I suddenly felt a strange sense of relief. I had most of Saturday to myself in The Studio then Saturday evening was spent in The Office Gallery in downtown Orlando displaying pieces from both Silver Lining and Herding Cats collections. It was a great evening amongst some old and new friends. I got home and unloaded by 11pm and waltzed right back into the studio knowing that I no-where to rush too in the morning! (Jeff was please also since he did not have to wake up at 7am to help me after working till 2am at his FTG.) We got up early, Jeff had to be at work by 9am, I ran some errands and picked up a small breakfast souffle.
What a treat the boys and I sat outside, in the sunshine enjoying breakfast.

Roger in his usual place. He's a crazy Bengal who loves water...

...Houdini, our "Tree Cat". He can, has and will spend all day sleeping in that plant pot!

Once breakfast was done I headed in to the computer for some much needed ETSY updating. I was signed up as a Showcase Artist today so some minor maintenance was needed. About a half hour later I headed into the studio and the fun began. I finished Christina's creation today. This is the first piece I have made that had more than 10 solder joints...not an easy task but it's done, finally! It's hard to tell by this is a beautiful purple Drusy and a small Amethyst.
I photographed some pieces that I have completed in the past 2 days...

Picasso Collection


...and expended many calories shuttling between The Studio and the computer keeping my Showcase updated at least every other hour.

The end result is 2 (maybe 3) items sold today!

Now that may not be a big deal for some of those longtime, big producers at Etsy but considering I missed a day at the Market AND I got to spend the day making stuff I am very excited.

Oh and by the way, you might not see this on in the shop since I am thinking about keeping it, I love the colors!

Have a great week, see ya'll soon!

Monday, November 10, 2008

An Ernest Effort

(Take 2...I just lost the whole ^&*%$ thing...)

In an attempt to keep my promises I fear I might be doing this blog a great injustice. As I sit at this computer the beading bench behind me in the office is a complete disaster:

Another great Beloved Beading Bench in disarray. Time was not too long ago I could not go more than 3 days without sitting here.

Now I'm not going to lead anyone astray, this mess was not created in one day. No it's been this way for a while, partially a result of an afternoon frantically trying to get two pieces ready for this past weekends 2 events. May I introduce:

Bahama Sands

I wrote a short bit ago that I will no longer be selling pendants, they will all be incorporated into necklaces. (This lovely little gem has been posted on the Silver Lining Shop this evening.) I just love the colors of the Laguna Agate beside the Peruvian Opal and Citrine.

Most importantly this means that my beloved Beading Bench will not be neglected much longer. Once I begin producing more of these beauties I will be spending more time with all of those gorgeous gems patiently waiting for me to come back!

I also spent some of the weekend finishing a ring featuring my first piece of Druzy:

Moon Dust

A wonderful wide hammered band with touches of 14 caret gold, accent the colors in the center of this huge collection of little sparkles!

Have a wonderful, peaceful evening!

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Tribe in my kitchen

It may come as a surprise to some that know me that there were a few things about living in the Desert Southwest that I did appreciate, mainly the art. It seemed to be the only place with such a culture of art that I connected with. The colors that we painted in that house reflected the mountains that could be seen outside our kitchen window. And although our little backyard was totally surrounded by brick we did the best we could by adding texture and the colors of the surrounding desert.

Considering we only lived in Nevada for 4 years (and worked our butts off constantly) we collected more art in that area then any other place we have visited or lived. The piece of Rock Art that hung in that kitchen (now in this kitchen) reflected the colors we have latched onto. The funny thing is the color of the sun in this piece exactly matched the color paint I had purchased for the kitchen just days before. We found this piece the day the moving truck dropped off our belongings from South Florida, so, as you can see the connection to the art happened almost instantly, unlike my taking the lifestyle into my heart, that never really happened...although I tried I promise.
<--Us at the Grand Canyon
The little tribe that lives in my kitchen will be with me for a long time. They remind me of family, union and tradition, which is scarce in my little family. (More on that later some other time.)

I have been finding the southwest sliding itself into my jewelry since I've begun my deviation away from wedding jewelry.

Just recently I purchased my first piece of Wildhorse Jasper with many thanks to Jim at Jimsgemscabochons. My first thought was "this looks just like a map of the desert." I showed it to Jeff and he though it looked just like the map of Central Nevada. (Growing up on Long Island and living in Florida the landscape of the desert is still amazing to me.) I immediately had a plan for this stone, I just had to find the right person for this concept. I wanted to give the stone a large background and continue the line right off the stone on to the silver. It's a bit of a stretch but that's what came first and I'm learning to go with those first ideas. Here's what came if it:

Now for the connection to that little tribe in my kitchen (bet you were wondering where the heck this was going, eh?)
Meet Floyd...

Now Lois, you don't need to keep this name but Floyd lived in our community in Kissimmee where we lived before Nevada. (Follow me here.) Floyd was our self proclaimed Pool Monitor. He would walk around the community pool asking people for their pool keys as evidence that we all belonged there. We would often see Floyd walking home from the pool, pool-noodle in hand. Everyplace we have lived has had a Floyd, and although there is no disrespect meant to this Tribal Leader in the Making, he reminds me of Floyd and his noodle patrolling the pool deck.

Okay so I'm done...Lois, Floyd is in the mail.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

An Observation

Okay, follow me on this:
I made this pendant between Friday night and Saturday afternoon.
Now I recognize that I am still very new at this whole Silver Smithing thing and my finished products are far from perfect. (With every new piece I learn at least two important "rules", this one taught me more like 4 do's and don'ts.) I also realize that we are our own worst critics.

When I was done with this pendant I was not thrilled with it. It appeared to me to just be another pendant and definitely not as good as others that have been doing this for longer than...5 months.

I wanted these stones to really stand out so I strung them with some beautiful Black Onyx, Citrine and Sterling Silver. I was very proud to get some wonderful compliments on it in the first 30 minutes at the market today. But no more than an hour into my day it sold!

So in the next few weeks keep an eye out on the Silver Lining site (and here...promise!) since I will be conducting a little experiment with my set stones. From now on I will create necklaces utilizing my pieces, I will not be selling just pendants.

Stay Tuned (with fingers crossed, please!)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Studio Updates


How the heck did this happen?

(I said I was going to do my darnedest to

try to update my blog at least once every two days...HA,


The past two weeks have flown by, not unexpectedly. At my full time gig this is the last busy blast before the holidays when we come crashing to a halt. Now that that is all behind me I can get back to The Studio...and running...I hope.

A while ago I promised photos of The Studio, the painting is still not done but here it is, in all it's glory!
We just had a short visit from Jeff's aunt & uncle so a heap of stuff was unloaded from the guestroom into The Studio. The other wall has a window and a space for my photo-cube.
Those photos will come in time, promise.

The projects have been piling up in my head but I did have an aw-inspiring breakthrough last week. I was struggling with a piece for more than 4 days (This takes us back to the problem of only working in The Studio for short periods of time.) then suddenly it took a sharp right turn and ta-da...
My hubby looked at it and said "a suggestion of a leaf", hence the name...Suggestion. The good news / bad news it went on Etsy and sold within 3 days. It's breaking my heart that its all packed up but it's going to a good friend in South Florida who said when I visit I can wear it, thanks Lois!!!

There were two gem shows locally in the same number of weekends. You would be so proud, the fist show I said I was ONLY going to buy cabochons and that is EXACTLY what I did. Oh did I score big! One booth kept me occupied for about an hour (sorry Linda) and another I went back to 3 times! Here is the end result from one set...

This beauty went to Totally Unique Salon . They have a showcase of my pieces. The second similar ring will go on ETSY Sunday night ...if it does not sell at the market tomorrow!

The second show was today and I was not as disciplined as last weekend but my intentions were good. I was able to utilize two stones from last weekends show that I set this morning and some gorgeous beads from today to create this...

This beautiful necklace will also be posted on Silver Lining tomorrow night if it does not sell Sunday.

Time to go get ready for tomorrows big day at the Clermont Farmers Market, it's our One Year Anniversary!

Please come visit!


Sunday, October 5, 2008

The anxiety of Separation

It's not as awful as it sounds...

It has to do with my ETSY shop, nothing more...but nothing less either!

If you will please take notice on the right side of my page I now have two ETSY shops, this my friends was a decision that has pained me for days. I did not know if I had the time to manage two shops but at this sales pace, why not? I'd have to do it sometime, it only makes sense...right?

I was concerned with moving all of the Silver Lining items to their own location without enough items to really make it worth while. So I've been slaving away in The Studio as well as running over to the Art Center to sneak in a Saturday class. What a luxury, there were only three other students! It's such a different place in the daylight. The hot weather here in central Florida has finally broken and we were able to work with the door open.

Jim was in rare form greeting any visitor with, "Wanna make a ring?" By the time I had left 6 visitors had come though and 3 (all under the age of 8) had made rings to the delight of their parents!

Next was a sprint through the 32nd Annual Maitland Art Festival, this is never fair! Racing through such wonderful work on such a lovely day in a serene setting. Oh well ,I didn't spend a penny, until my next stop. (It seems I blew up an important part of my Studio on Friday night..oops.)

So, the shop needs a bit more paint and then pictures will show up, for now you'll just have to look at some of my latest pieces...

Do you like?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Another Tuesday night with Jim

I have my Silver Smithing class with Jim on Tuesday nights.
The week can never go fast enough for me.

There is no way I can tell you about the vibe of the Maitland Art Center, it's full of great people doing amazing stuff, students and teachers alike.

Tonight was repair class for me. It's my opportunity to take all the pieces that I make at home and have Jim critique them...then tell me how to make them perfect.
He starts each sentence with with
"Well, if I were doing this...",
he's priceless!

If it were not so late I would post before and after shots for you.
Maybe tomorrow...friends, for now it's time for sleep.
The hubby is back so no more staying up till 2 creating!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Lessons Learned

A few things I've learned this early on in my new adventure into Silver:
  1. Nothing goes fast in this process, except time.
  2. There are no shortcuts.
  3. If you don't like it, it's not done...yet.
  4. I need to work for more than just 2 hours at a time.
  5. Pushing myself means not settling for good enough. (Thanks Jillian.)

As with most ETSY folks I have heard over and over again the struggle with having what I refer to as "that full-time gig", and working on your art. I've heard how people say they need to get their

"creative juices flowing".

I never bought into it...until now.

I run to the mailbox filled with anticipation of the arriving stones. I have become obsessed with setting cabochons (a stone that has been cut to have a flat back). Once I open the package fondle them for a while and proudly do a show and tell with Jeff, I sit and look at them...for hours, sometimes days. You see just like today, I will only have about 2 hours to work and my brain seems to seize up.

So I'm looking for help here...

How do YOU cope?

When you have got a TON of stuff to do and only a few short moments to produce (cause that's what it feels like). It's up there, I know it site is full of it and when I have a whole day ahead of me, stand back, I'm on a mission. But give me 2 hours and I'm sludge.



Sunday, September 28, 2008

I've been a-wonder'n

"...what possess folks to blog?"

(I'm a newbie here so please be patient with me on this.)

I've been home alone here for three days now trying to spend every non-employment, waking hour in my new Studio. (Yes the room is so named, please note the uppercase "S".) It's not working so well, not the Studio mind you, the spending the hours in there I was hoping for.

Maybe I should start at the beginning...

We've been in this new house for almost 2 years now and we've been walking past this 4th room filled with...I'm not too sure. I asked the hubby about tearing out the carpet and making it a Studio and he said "sure" then went back to reading his magazine.

Did he really hear me?

Three months later I have The Studio.

Now it's not completely finished but you know it's good enough to push out stuff like this in just a couple of hours...

So back to "Why Blog?"
Call it inspiration, maybe.

This whole Silver Smithing is new to me, The Studio is about a week old. I find myself wanting to document my progress as well as share what I am learning.

My life is hardly worth documenting but there are there folks out there interested in what I have to say or do? I guess I will find out...

See ya'll soon!