Friday, October 22, 2010

"'s time to slow it down."

Do you remember that from high school dances? You'd be dancing to some crazy, fast song with a group of your friends and then all of a sudden the DJ would say "'s time to slow it down..." and the lamest slow song would come on. The atmosphere in the room changed as everyone either scurried off the floor to avoid the embarrassment of not having someone to dance with or, if you were one of the lucky ones, you'd start scanning the crowd for your date. Okay--that's totally random, but that's what this post is all about!'s time to slow it down here in the Armstrong household and in Karena Bella studio. Since I started feeling less nauseous and more motivated at around 5 months I decided that I'd get as much done as possible both at work and in the studio up until the baby comes. Here we are at 31 weeks and my body just can't keep up. We've learned that I just can't handle the stress of "getting as much done as possible" anymore. So I've cut back (per doctor's suggestion). I notified the galleries that what they have is it until early spring. I've notified people at church that I'm cutting back on my responsibilities there. And well, work is work. But it's so part time that it shouldn't be much of a problem. However, we did decide that I will be done December 16th. I will then be a stay-at-home-mom and run my jewelry business on the side. We're going to take it one day at a time and just go from there. I've got to say it feels good to eliminate stress. But now I don't quite know what to do with myself. I suppose rest and enjoy these last couple months of pre-parenthood freedom.

Here's a recent family photo taken by my sister while visiting her in the Chicago area. I'll try really hard not to mention that I look like crap! Oops. We were going to be in the car all day so I didn't do much with myself. But as always, my husband and dog are adorable : )

Battle of the Bumps! I think I win this one. (I love my baby bump by the way : )

Well anyway. I suppose that's it for now. I have some new work to take pictures of...hopefully that'll happen soon. And I also hope that I'll find the motivation to play around in the studio. As much as I was looking forward to my Holiday line for the galleries, it's such a relief not having that deadline looming over head. I do plan to still work...just for fun (which is the best ever!). Catch ya later!

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Loot

The gem show came and went. I've got to say that there have been better shows--not that there wasn't some gorgeous stuff! There is always that. However, being low on funds, being 7 months pregnant, tired, and bumping in to everything (people...tables...displays...people--it's always jam packed) I was hard pressed to find the energy and excitement I usually have at the show. I wouldn't have survived it if it had not been for my incredible husband who carried my heavy bag and waited in long check-out lines so I could continue to shop. He's the best!

This show I had to focus on the necessary items that aren't much fun to buy but you have to have (findings, chain, etc). I did score on some beautiful crazy lace agate cabs (pictured above), a strand of rough diamonds, and a few other fun finds.

Diamonds!!! Not your typical faceted and polished diamonds--but diamonds nonetheless. For Christmas Mike bought me 5 sets of these tiny rough diamond beads and I love them. I made myself a little something special with them but wished I had more to make stuff to sell. I found a great deal on an entire 17.5" strand in lovely silvery tones. In the middle of the diamonds is a sapphire, green zircon, and amethyst--my husbands, the baby's, and my birthstones. This was my special purchase. I am going to make a stacking mother's ring with them!

I love, love, love these silver "drop" beads. I bought some at the last show and use them all the time. They are heavy, organically shaped, and add the perfect rustic touch to my designs. I just had to get some more.

The "necessary and not so fun to buy" stuff. This is always the most expensive stuff too. Some chain, crimp ends, attach rings, and head pins. As I was putting all of this away I realized I already had 600 of the same head pins (a few years supply for me) in my silver supply stash and could have saved nearly $20 on a length of chain by buying it online. I felt really stupid. I usually have a list of what-I-don't-need-at-the-gem-show and do research beforehand to see what the things I do need are going for online. I didn't do that this time. I'll blame it on my "baby brain".

And last, but not least, a couple strands of frosted glass beads. I admit I settled for these. I wanted ancient Roman glass but it's REALLY expensive. This was the best I could find that was similar. I kinda wish I'd have not bought them. I have no idea what to do with these??? Oh well, they were cheap.

Well, that's all folks. You'd never believe it if I told you how much all of this cost. It sure doesn't look like much. The next show will be more fun. I'm starting to save for it now and I won't be pregnant (but I'll have to find a sitter!). Later--