About Me

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I am a people person. I love to chat with people and learn all about them. Furthermore, I love to find out how things work and I love to put people and things in touch to make them work thus why I like teaching and designing. But most of all, I am a family person.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Long Time No See

Hey all,

Sorry I haven't blogged in quite a while. Been creating for the holiday season and tending to family activities and work. My youngest daughter had a drama competition this weekend. While she was there I cleverly snuck in a trip to our local Harvest Fest. I had heard it wasn't very good last year. I think I went the year before that and was disappointed at the lack of creativity. I know I was disappointed at this year's church craft show. So I vacillated between going or not and much to my surprise this year the Harvest Fest was pretty good. I found one lady who makes these sun hats out of honeycomb paper. She calls them yaya hats. Very unique. Check out www.yayahats.com. Then I found a photographer who takes black and white photos of architecture and things in nature that look like alphabet letters and spells out words with the pictures. For instance , the letter "R" may be a picture of the side of a bench whose metal handle and leg resemble the shape of an "R". An "S" might be a picture of an "s" hook, etc. Very cool. Check out Jasen Williams' work at Victory Illustrated Co. on Facebook. I was also happy to see lots of people buying handmade items. Sold two items myself from my shop this week, too.

Kudos to my daughter and her friend. They did great on their skit at the competition. I was very proud of them plus I got to go back and watch some of their piers perform. They were all so very talented. Crafts and a show.... I had to run around a lot to get her to her competition but it was a very relaxing weekend because I really enjoyed reveling in all the creativity out there.

Will type again soon I hope. More new stuff should be going up in my shop this week. Meanwhile check out Etsy Black Friday on Facebook. Lots of great artists to buy from for the holiday season including me : ). Let me know what you think of these links.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Etsy's Black Friday Extravaganza

Hey all,

Been a busy week. College fair for my big one and my little one was in a play and did great. Kudos to her. Just a post and run and I will try to type more this weekend. I am participating in Etsy's Black Friday Extravaganza. Stop by and check out all the wonderful artists on Thanksgiving weekend. Lots of sales. You may find something great for a holiday gift.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Featuring a Fellow Crafter

Wow. Two posts in one day. Yay. Just wanted to tell you about a fellow crafter. She is a customer of mine. We made some awesome earrings together the other day and she wound up telling me about how she is making greeting cards. Please stop by and visit her Etsy shop. She has cards for all occasions.


Tiny Treasures

Ah, finally a moment to type. Been scouring the area for tiny finds for jewelry, the holidays, and some birthdays. Have always loved October because it starts the craft show season where I am. Unfortunately the church craft shows just haven't been what they used to be. It seems many of the crafters can't compete with the low cost of things made elsewhere and then sold for less at places like CVS or Walmart. That makes me sad because I used to love to see the originality and clever ideas people would bring to these shows. One year the hot item was a bird feeder for your front yard that was a cat with a feather hanging out of its mouth. You had to see it. It was adorable. It was selling like hot cakes. Ah well, I digress....I did go to an antique show with my mom and found little trinkets. Found some lovely skeleton keys and buttons that look like milk glass. Also found an interesting thing called a "Lenticular". People would advertise their business on it many years ago. Maybe I can do something funky with it. When you tilt it , it makes things look like they're moving. It is the little dancing guy in my picture here. Also bought these great buddha heads from a local shop. Oh my goodness, they are incredible. Each one is like a little tiny work of art. They are made by buddhist monks and signed on the back. Don't know what I will make with them but I got six. They are just so unique. Be on the lookout for something made with them and the big holed pearl you see here. Do you do that? Do you buy something because it speaks to you? It is just so unique that you have to have it even if you don't know what you will create with it. You figure you will figure that out later. Well enjoy your day and comment back. I love the chat.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Winging It

Arranged for my mom and friends to watch my kids and dog and my hubby and I got a much needed break this weekend . We drove to Tampa to see U2 on tour. We had no tickets and no hotel room but we didn't care. If we didn't score tickets I might be disappointed but at least we'd have gotten away and had some time together. If we didn't get a hotel we, or at least I, figured we'd just head south and find something. Well we had a nice ride over and when we got there we did find some general admissions tickets on the floor. Wandered around and tried to trade up.

U2 has to be my all time most favorite band. I like much of what they stand for; helping people in need, peaceful resolutions, etc. Got into the stadium at about 5. The set was awesome. A huge spiderlike/spaceship looking thing with a 360 degree screen. The tech crew was hoisted up into the leg of the set and suspended in mid air to run the spot lights. The stadium was packed.

Some people do not enjoy being in big crowds like this but it has always energized me and amazed me at the same time. My faith in humanity is always reaffirmed when I see sooo many people together working and gelling and getting along. Being short I discovered that a great place to stand is on the platform that covers the electrical wires. I gain at least an inch. We found a great pretty unobstructed spot and hung there. They always give an interactive concert. They always get close to the crowd, this time walking all around the inner and outer stage and across a bridge that moved. At one point the band asked the whole stadium to take out their cell phones and it was just a sea of cell phone lights shining all around while they sang. So beautiful and magical. It reminds me of when people do "the wave" at football games. Thousands of people working altogether. Don't think anyone got hurt. Why can't the rest of the world respect each other and do the same?

The concert finished and we could not find a hotel in Tampa but I didn't care or panic. We headed south and did find one. Winging it was not bad at all. A tiny adventure. Time away from my routine life. My mom, the kids, and the dog all survived fine. So I am now re-energized with new songs to play in the studio as my muse.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Need Reviews

Well thank goodness for the weekend. It was a busy week. Started off with bead night with my other bead night babes on Monday. Posting some pics of some of me and my creative babes. We had a great time brainstorming about what works and doesn't work for our jewelry designs and in business in general. I needed to bounce ideas about color and placement off of them. Do you do that with friends?

Then worked at my store. Met another interesting customer. Discovered that her grandfather manufactured one of the name brand vacuum cleaners many of us use today. She was so cool. Her family is now involved in preserving a local national park and she had lots of wonderful information for my daughter who is interested in marine bio.

Got in a little bit of exercise. Not enough though. Took the dog for a long walk and then biked 4 miles. The dog was happy for the walk.

At the end of the week I actually worked and finished the bracelet I'm posting. Check it out here. Leave comments and tell me what you think. I was going for a bohemian, buddhist look. Do you think I achieved it? This one is the prototype and soon I will make another to put up in the shop for sale. Let me know if you want to order one.

Ended the week so far with a nap today because I was run down and fighting off a cold. But all and all a pretty productive week.

Lastly, please do your part for breast cancer awareness this month. My best friend's sister and my walking buddy just had a mastectomy yesterday and I have too many family and friends who have had it.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Dancing to the Music in my Head

Right now my eldest daughter is laughing at me. She thinks I'm nuts because I'm chair dancing but there is no music on. I was typing and thinking about how I'm going to get my ipod and put it on so I have music to create by. Lady GaGa's song, Paparazzi , is stuck in my head.

But I don't care. I'm so happy. Yay, finally a day where I don't have to be anywhere for anyone and guess what? I actually worked in my studio last night while watching SNL. The first good thing yesterday was that my husband and I actually got out to bike ride on our tandem bike for one hour. Some much needed exercise after all the cupcakes we've been eating over the last two weeks. (Too many birthdays)

Another good thing was that it was the new season of SNL and the whole family wanted to see it so we had some nice family time. Always makes me happy. It was just an OK episode but U2 was on and they were awesome. Love U2 and I was with my family and I was designing. So I actually got some of the bracelet I'm working on done. Tomorrow night is our bead night. Maybe I will get more done. Hope to post pics of something soon. So I must go turn on music and create.

Comment and tell me what you listen to while you create? What is your muse?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

What a Surprise- Yay for modern technology!!!

Well this week my big baby turns 17. Can't believe how time has flown by. She's always wanted a surprise party and this year seemed to be as good a year as any to do it because she has a really nice group of steady friends that I thought I could enlist for help. I sure was right. Thank goodness for Facebook. Although not all her friends are on my facebook page I was able to contact them through her facebook page because I am friends with her. I could enter their page through her page and message them. I truly feel lucky that she thinks I'm cool enough to be in her friend list. Not every teen does. And her friends didn't find me totally pesky and we managed to pull off the surprise. Surprises are never easy. There were a few set backs. The movie we planned for her and her boyfriend to see of course was one of the few that didn't have a 5:00 showing. The next movie of choice was more of a chick flick and she didn't want to see that now because she wanted to see that with her girlfriends. Plan B was some time at Starbucks and then a movie at a friend's house. That worked out well in the end but her boyfriend told her I already knew I was picking him up and she couldn't understand how I knew to give him a lift because we don't usually talk on the phone, etc. Had to tell her he popped up on AIM while I was working on the computer. She finally bought that excuse. Did some research about surprise parties online which reminded me to hide the guest's cars. Shipped the dog off to my good friend Jane's house. Even he was happy. He got a play date with his lady friends out of the deal. Bought some poppers of confetti. Thank goodness for cell phones, too. Her boyfriend and friend were then able to text me that they were on their way. When they walked her to the door and we heard the key turn we shot off the poppers. She was sooo surprised. Had a Rock Band station and Dance Dance Revolution station. Also had an area with the computer where they could do photo booth. It was called Replace the Face. They were supposed to take a picture of their most surprised face to replace a surprise face in the photo frame I had out. Instead they had fun just fooling around with the different affects photo booth had. Wasn't quick enough to get her surprised look in print but did get some video footage of it... albeit dark. Had sushi, fortune cookies (they seemed to continue the theme of surprise), chips and salsa, and pizza. A very eclectic menu but it was a multi cultural crowd. The kids swam, opened presents and then we had cupcakes for cake. Needless to say I am pooped and I did not get any beading done. Please enjoy some pics. It will be a while before I plan another surprise party. I told my little one I need to come up for air. Anyway, she can't know where or when I will strike again. ( She wants a surprise party, too, now) or it won't be a surprise.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

And the Conversation Went Something Like This....

This is the week from h-ll. At drop off yesterday morning I told my youngest daughter to please find out how late she had to stay for drama club the next day because I had to take my computer in to the Apple Store. Oh, flashback to last week when she handed me a paper with her class schedule and I asked her why I needed this paper and she said ,"I guess it's just for you to know my schedule." Now fast forward to the afternoon pickup at which point after asking for more money for one of the many beginning of the year school items or events, she says, "Oh yeah, it's open house tomorrow at 6:30. Remember? I told you that." Picture me turning red, steam coming out of my ears, clenching the steering wheel so tight that you'd have to pry my hands off. Good thing or I would have strangled the child. ( Just kidding. She's really a good kid. ) But didn't she hear me in the morning , and the night before , and the night before that , telling her how I was juggling so many things and that I needed to figure out how I was going to pick her up from drama because I had scheduled an appointment to fix my computer? Would I be able to get back to pick her up on time? I think she heard me but the clencher was that she tried to pass it off that I was so wrapped up in my own stuff that I didn't hear her tell me about open house. Soooo not true. She forgets that I am the master juggler. I remember a distinct conversation about the schedule and no mention of open house. I also remember a distinct conversation about the computer appointment and drama being at the same time and no mention of the open house. So I know she forgot to tell me about open house. Well it all worked out. Just can't wait for the week, the month, to end. A little too busy and overwhelming for my taste. Still I have lots of creative ideas racing around in my head and no time to put them into action. I just hope I can remember them for later. I want to post new items here and get your opinions. That's my goal. Hope all's well with everyone. Did you ever have one of these days? If so, comment, and tell us about it. Would love to hear it.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Yup, me and the hubby went to see Bruce Springsteen tonight for the hubby's birthday. Saw him about a year and a half ago but the sound wasn't so great. This time around it was pretty good. We were on the floor and although we had to stand for almost three hours we had a good time. Bruce sang straight through and even brought a young boy up on the stage at one point to sing with him. The boy seemed to be in all his glory. How cool would that be to go back to school the next day and say you got to sing on stage with Bruce Springsteen even if your fellow 12 year old friends said, " Bruce who?" lol All I know is that I listened to Bruce Springsteen , The Rising, everyday at the gym after 911. He helped me get through the anger and frustration of that time. Well tired as usual but geared up for a busy busy week. Tackling the second birthday this weekend. My oldest turns 17. Still determined to design sometime soon.

Friday, September 11, 2009

After Hours

Well here I am up late blogging after hours. The reason I decided to call my blog After Hours is because I am a night owl who stays up crafting into the wee hours of the night. Husband hates this. I have discovered many of my customers do the same. There is a whole underworld of late night crafters. Are you one of them? Comment and tell me why. I enjoy it because it is usually nice and quiet and my creative juices can flow freely. Moreover, I need to chill out after running around with the kids all day. Why do you enjoy it?

I also call this blog After Hours because I bead and create on my day off. I go exploring with my best friend, Jane. Today we decided to check out a new knit shop. She wanted to get back into knitting and make holiday gifts. So off we went and found this lovely shop that seems like something you'd find up north. Not only did it have lovely yarn but it was decorated like a country inn and so welcoming and cozy that you just wanted to stay there all day chatting and sharing crafting tips. Although I don't really knit well at all it felt so relaxing there. It was decorated with little bird houses, and lovely flowers and pots. The funny thing is that outside it was 90 degrees and sticky but while my friend was looking around I did find three different people there that I know but don't see often to chat with. Some were knitters but beaders, too. We got to catching up on kids, jobs and family. It seems crafters crossover into many different hobbies. I live in a big city but in this little crafting part of the world it suddenly was just a little town. So it was a good afternoon.

P.S. Furthermore went to the local screen/door shop where I was told to talk to Ed. Talked to this big cuddly teddy bear type guy, Ed, who just gave me rubber tubing at no charge. What a sweetheart. So it was an even better afternoon. Can't wait to "create After Hours".

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Overwhelmed - Just need Kudos

Well my internet has been down for a day and a half so no blogging just when I was being diligent. Now I am trying to get back on track. Even went to Panera's just to try to sneak some blog time.

Life just seems so crazy right now. I have two birthdays in my family this month and my head just hurts from reliving 11th grade with my eldest child. First you have the SAT to think about, then the school ring(should you order it or not?) If you order it, will you have to offer up your house just to pay for the ring with the going rate of silver and gold nowadays? And who knew there is a whole ceremony that goes with the ring now! Ugh. Then there is driving. My eldest just got her permit. My husband tried to take her to practice at the local community college and got kicked out of their parking lot. Budget cuts at school so no driver's ed class. So it seems it's off to the zoo parking lot recommended by a customer of mine and a friend of hers.

My youngest also has a chance to take the SAT. She is only in 7th grade but it is through a program called Duke Tips. Sounds like a super opportunity so I am picking people's brains to know what it is all about.

So many big decisions all at once while I am trying to grow my design business that my head just hurts. I was so proud of getting this blog up and running but sometimes it seems like the people closest to me don't share my excitement for it. They resent the time it takes away from them. That makes me sad because I want so bad to be successful and feel proud. Do you ever just feel like you don't get the Kudos you need from those closest to you? Send me Kudos now if you share my feelings.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Healthy Dinner Ideas

Anyone with quick, healthy dinner ideas feel free to post here . I need some this week so I can get down to business and do some designing/crafting. Please leave comments.

Monday, September 7, 2009

I Learn Something New Everyday

Wow, two posts in one day!!! How could I not post about this for my fellow bloggers who might want to know about it..... I don't think I mentioned that not only am I a jewelry designer but I also teach. Today I taught a wonderful lady how to knot. She was from Detroit. I admired a ring she was wearing. (Darn, I should have taken a picture of it. I will get better about this for future blogging). Her ring looked like some sort of Jasper stone set in silver. She told me it was called Fordite. It was made from paint chips from the Ford car factory. She later sent me this info:

Hi Wendy -
Thank you again for teaching me how to make knotted jewelry - I truly enjoyed your instructions and will more than likely be calling to schedule the basic wire wrapping class. Here is the information on my ring - "Fordite (or "Detroit Agate") was taken in its raw form from the spray booth at the Ford River Rouge plant in the late 1970's and early 1980's. Chunks of layered automotive paint were painstakingly scraped from the conveyor, then cut and polished into gems. Patterns emerge from the Fordite depending on the angle of the cut or depth of the polishing. Since technology has replaced the spray booth, Fordite is becoming increasingly rare and valuable." - James Blanchard, Traverse City, Michigan.
Thanks again and will be scheduling the class soon.

So I am off to google Fordite and Mr. Blanchard who made the ring to see what else there is to know about it. Sue, if you're reading my blog, thanks for the lovely afternoon. : )

Ms. Fix It

Forgot to mention how proud my daughter and I were of ourselves yesterday. As I told you, we went to tutoring. Before we got out of the car, the strap on her dress popped. It was held together with one of those little plastic rings they use all the time today on skinny strap clothes. Well it was mom to the rescue. When you're a mom you have to be creative. Not to mention resourceful. I took the key ring off one of my keys and slipped it through the loops on the back of her dress. It wasn't attractive but it worked. Then when we were leaving the bookstore, a cut I had on my finger started to bleed again. We didn't have a bandaid but my daughter offered up her napkin and I had a rubber band in the car so we made a makeshift bandaid. What a fine pair we were. But my daughter was impressed with our ingenuity and we had a good chuckle over it. It's sometimes the same with dinner. I am always impressed with how well I juggle being a wife, mother and working, and making something out of nothing for dinner. It's all in the creativity. Sometimes I have forgotten defrost something for dinner but I'm able to put together a mean omelette with veggies inside and then cut up some apple for fruit and fiber and call it healthy. Voila!! Anyway, I realize that I like to fix and build things. That's why I like to craft. When you see the end result and it works you feel so very proud of yourself.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Went walking with the dog this morning. He's had that look on his face of longing to get out and I can relate since it rained all day yesterday. I was one big bag of nerves just from not knowing what to do with myself and not getting much done and being frustrated with starting the blog but not sitting myself down to make jewelry. He also kept following me back and forth from room to room while I was getting ready to walk (now I know where they get that expression "quit dogging me" from). So I knew he needed to get out. We went on a long 4 miler. Felt good to get out and enjoy the peace and quiet. Had my headphones on and my music playing but it is so peaceful seeing the man in the park reading his newspaper at the picnic table with his bike nearby or the cyclists zipping by in their team cycle outfits, etc. Next I gave the dog a bath and got ready to take my daughter to tutoring.

Imagine... today I took my eldest daughter to the bookstore where she gets tutored and while I was wandering around in the arts and craft book section I looked up only to find a book on blogging for the craft person. (Blogging for Bliss by Tara Frey) I couldn't believe it. It was like it was meant to be...kizmet... so I bought it. Hopefully you will see this blog improve alot over time with the help of some of the suggestions in the book.

Sometimes I think I'm crazy for doing this. Who else ever feels this way? Is it just another thing to add to my plate and care for when I already have ten million things? But then I get excited about meeting new people and sharing my jewelry and I think it might be an interesting journey like in the movie Julie and Julia. I just have to be really good about posting quickly and regularly. I find that I spend alot of time on the computer and not enough time in my "studio" crafting. Anyone else have that problem? Seems the computer sucks you in for hours. Well off to get stuff done. But before I go check out this little lovely from my online shop and post a comment or two about some of the questions I posed in today's post.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Well here goes. It is the Labor Day weekend and I decided to make this my first attempt at blogging. It is a rainy day in my part of the world so I guess inside blogging is the perfect place to be. I am excited about creating a following of friends and customers from all over the world with the same interests in art and jewelry design that I have. I am new to blogging so I'm sure my first entries will be very rudimentary and funny. Not quite sure how people find my blog besides a link to it from my online shop so if you stumble upon the blog first please become a follower and let me know a little about yourself and how you got here. HOW DO PEOPLE GET THEIR BLOG OUT THERE ANYWAY?? Do tell me. Then visit my shop at burgnewel.etsy.com.

I am also nervous about being able to keep up with the posts. Am hoping to add to the blog at least once a week when I'm not working, running kids around and creating. Feel free to offer any advice on jewelry, family, blogging, life in general.

First question I have for the people out there is ....How many of you are late night crafters?

Copyright 2009 by Wendy Ross - Burgnewel Designs
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