Oceanic Beads: Glass, pearl and lampwork jewelry

Sunday, 21 July 2013

The Shaky Isles are at it again...

Early this evening, a large Earthquake, 6.5, hit Wellington, our Capital city, at about 5:10pm. There's damage, of course, including to our parliament buildings, and power is out in places, but no deaths or injuries have been reported as yet. It's been brewing for a few days, actually, with small tremors increasing in intensity. About 2 and a half years ago, the city of Christchurch copped a really bad one...185 people were killed, and the central city was made completely uninhabitable. Much of what didn't collapse in the earthquake had to be demolished. As far as I can make out -I don't live in that part of the country, nor near Wellington, thankfully- much of central Christchurch is still in the process of being cleared and rebuilt.

 Anyhow, up here in the upper North Island this are presently as per usual (and lets hope they stay that way!). I have listed a few items this week, and retaken necklace photos on the necklace form I bought. (Clicking on any of the photos will take you to the item listing):

And lastly, don't forget, there are only 3 days left of our 10% off  sale at Oceanic Beads . Sale ends on the 24th July, so get in quick!

Saturday, 13 July 2013

.com for Oceanic Beads; and Product photography

You can now just type in www.oceanicbeads.com to reach the Oceanic Beads etsy store. The domain was only a few dollars for a year so I thought I should grab it to protect my business name and branding. Plus it's easier for customers to remember than the long etsy shop url, and now, should I ever get to the point where I need to expand beyond etsy, I already have my own domain. The next time I reorder my business cards I'll just update the info to the .com, and domain email. I currently just have a 401 redirect set up, which means that if you click on the link above, or type it into your browser, it'll take you straight to my etsy store.

I've been trying to get better photos of my bracelets, actually on a model (which is me...did you know that you CAN take clear photos of your own wrist? No neither did I, but they turned out nicely)

Turquoise Bracelet

Lime Green Millefiore Flower Bracelet

One of my biggest product photography bugbears has been good photographs of necklaces. Just can't get good pictures when they're laid flat because they need to hang right. They really do need to be on a prop, so I've ordered a necklace stand like this one.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

A short video showcasing some of Oceanic Beads' best.

Here is a short video showcasing some of Oceanic Bead's best offerings. Feel free to share!

Beads beautiful Beads

My Paua Abalone beads arrived! Also, I visited my family this weekend(fri/sat for me) and a little craft store in their town is closing and is selling all their beads off at what must be below cost, so I went a bit mad...

From top left: Dark blue lampwork beads with white flowers, turquoise blue striped lampwork beads, purpley glass beads(the colour of this one isn't displaying correctly in this photo), drilled shell pieces. Middle row: mother of pearl stars and hearts, mother of pearl assorted shapes. String of paua abalone beads at front.

And of course the first thing I did when I got home was play with my new supplies:

I teamed my new paua beads with pink dyed dragon's vein agate to make this pretty little pair of earrings. They can be found listed in my etsy Shop.

My little workshop/shop assistant Random Cat is much much better and is currently sleeping on the chair at my worktable. She was thinking about hopping up among my beads and tools, but thought better of it,..just as well...or she'd have had a rude and swift removal before she knew what was happening!

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Christmas in July SALE on NOW, Oldtime earworm, and Kittycat's tale of woe.

I'm currently 'earworming' Lili Marlene, as sung by Marlene Dietrich, during WW2(the song is much older, and originally a german poem, from WW1, set to music in 1938, thank you Wikipedia). It's so haunting, and Marlene Dietrich's rich deep voice makes it even more so.

Onto more cheerful subjects, our Christmas in July Sale is on NOW. From the 1st to the 24th July, ALL items at Oceanic Beads are 10% off, no exceptions. Don't forget to check out our Facebook page and Twitter to keep up with new listings.

My helpful assistant Random cat hasn't been up to her usual supervising, as she's been rather under the weather. I was really really horrible to her the other day and made her go to the vets. She peed on(no, not in, ON) her carrier in the vets office, then while the vet was dispensing her antibiotics, she rolled around on the treatment room floor as if she'd been given catnip...I don't even... Anyway, the good news is the antibiotics are clearing her UTI(TMI?) up. The bad news is that they give her a dodgy belly and she keeps running to the litter box for the 'other' reason now. The other bad news is that all that cost just under $200...so please buy from our shop and donate to 'Random's heath fund'? Please? lol. She's worth every penny.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Memories of Shell-combing in my beach-side childhood

Have been mostly working on the less creative behind-the-scenes stuff this past week. Totally redid all my current shop listing photos... the whole shop looks so many million times better now, much more cohesive and consistent. Also been getting my paperwork and filing sorted out properly, with proper places for everything etc. Too bad I haven't got room in my tiny apartment (just slightly more than a studio) for a dedicated office, it would make everything so much easier. My 'workshop' is my dining table, and my 'office' is the coffee table and couch.

I have some Paua Abalone shell beads on order...from Hong Kong. Despite the fact that Paua are native to New Zealand, Paua shell beads are hard to track down and quite pricey locally. I grew up by the ocean, and when I was quite young...6-7(late 1980's early 90's) maybe, you could walk along the beach and find Paua half shells washed in on the high tideline. You could also find the small variety living on the rocks under the 'hill' that stuck out into the harbour. By the time we moved when I was 13 though, they were becoming rare. Overharvesting, and people taking the immature Paua(there is a size and number limit on what you can take, but it's widely flouted).

Below is a photo of the 'hill' I'm talking about. Mt Paku, in, Tairua, New Zealand, taken from the surf beach side.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Meet the other member of my shop

Today I'm going to introduce you to the other member of my shop. She's my biggest 'help', and my biggest fan. She's always interested in what I'm doing, and always does her best to 'help':

Meet Random. Here she was supervising product photography. After all, someone has to make sure I'm doing it right...

Random likes sleeping, eating, sleeping on me, biting me when I won't feed her extra and sitting on the keyboard, newspaper and the middle of my jewelry worktable. And for some reason, she must always supervise me in the bathroom. She's worse than a toddler! She also has a habit of sitting on my laptop keyboard and making the computer do funny things. And sushi. She always tries to steal sushi, and will come running if you open a tin can (even baked beans), or pour cereal. Food is her one true love.

Friday, 14 June 2013

New listings. Fuchsia Agate, and Lapis Lazuli and Shell Earrings

Had a productive week, with 4 new pieces made, and 2 listed in my shop.

I'm having trouble photographing the other two, a pair of pink mother of pearl and lapis lazuli clip on earrings, and a pair of green glass silver chain earrings, which is proving a pain to position and photograph right.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Turquoise Gemstone Bracelet; Semiprecious Gemstones

I didn't get as much done this week as I planned, but I did manage to list this

I also managed, while trying to glue a bail to a pendant, glue my fingers to each other, to the bail, and to the pendant, but not the bail to the pendant. No photos sorry. bit hard to photograph your own fingers when they've got various objects stuck to them.

I have some Lapis Lazuli beads, and some Fuchsia-colored Dragon's Vein Agate beads on order, along with some more mundane supplies such as earwires and head/eyepins. I love Lapis Lazuli, and I rather fell for the Dragon's Vein Agate. Genuine semi-precious gemstones and minerals are my favorite materials to work with, also freshwater pearls and sterling silver for particularly special pieces. Luckily I prefer semi-precious to precious, so my taste doesn't outrun my budget, lol.

Oceanic Beads

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Golden Tangles, the Work-In-Progress. Polymer Plans; and Metalsmith Dreams.

Gold embroidery floss: Beautiful effects when finished but a right royal pain-in-the-you-know-what to work with. The embroidered pendant Work-In-Progress is to have a gold border to imitate(you guessed it) a gold metal frame. I'm halfway around the perimeter and have already lost count of the times the needle eye has cut through the thread, become entirely unthreaded, or tangled up in itself. Think trying to sew with one strand of christmas tinsel and you're not far off. The concept is always more straightforward than the execution. Always.

I have a lot of polymer clay that's been in storage for several years that I'm slowly reconditioning for a few ideas I have. I've got the brown done, but it's a slow process and a whole LOT of clay.

 One of the local High Schools in the area has an extensive offering of night classes that they hold every term. I did a small business management night class there a couple of years ago, and am looking wistfully at their beginners metalsmithing classes for next term. It's rather pricey, plus the tools and supplies are also spendy...so I don't know. But I really really want to do it. Really really really. If I don't eat for a month or two maybe I can do it...

Oceanic Beads

Friday, 31 May 2013

Pictures of a design in Progress, and today's new etsy listing: Statement Earrings in green and red.

So yesterday turned out hectic. By the time I got home it was getting too dark to take product photographs. I did get them done today though, and I'll space out listing over a couple of days.
Here's the first, A midwinter Christmas/Christmas in July inspired pair of large silver hoops with green glass beads and a red and gold acrylic center bead:

And here is a picture of a prototype simple wirewrapped ring I'm working on. Quite a long way off 'production' yet, as you can see:

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Musings of a home-based small business owner

After yesterday's complete lack of inspiration I've made up for it tonight. 1 greenstone/pounamu pin and a pair of enormous green, red, and gold beaded hoop earrings. They're definitely real 'statement jewelry! I'll do a batch of photos tomorrow and get them listed, along with some other pieces that are ready for sale.

I'm really chuffed as I pulled a profit for this month. I opened in late January, but then almost immediately had to go on hiatus as my father became very ill and was in hospital for 6 weeks. After that it took awhile to get back into the swing of things. But we're on track now, and heading in the right direction. My dream is that eventually, several years down the track, that this will be my main job, and however distant that may seem, I'm working towards that goal. Goodness knows how many hours I'm working all up at the moment, between my main day job and my budding business. The usual story, isn't it, during the start-up years. Because I enjoy it, it doesn't seem like work, even the behind the scenes 'dogwork'.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Winter Cometh

It's cold here, and I must admit to a lack of inspiration. One of my fingers has split, which makes jewelry making uncomfortable, especially paired with freezing numb hands.

I've been playing around with wirework, and made another pair of earrings to list. I'm working on perfecting a beaded wirework ring design, but it's not quite 'there' yet, and I also plan to make and list some embroidered pendants soon. In the meantime I've been working on my shop SEO.

Right, well I'm off to hibernate, see you all in spring...or tomorrow.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Greenstone/Pounamu/Nephrite Jade

This morning I had a rare Saturday where I was home and had nothing planned, so I popped to one of the city’s Saturday markets. Lots going on. Stalls of all kinds over several streets. I picked up a small bag(about 3/4’s of the size of a pack of cards) of cut greenstone(New Zealand Jade, Pounamu) pieces. Most are various sizes of rectangle, square, with a couple of long thin pieces. They’re undrilled and I’m thinking to wirewrap them into earrings and small pendants. I’ve made one into a very simple pin so far. Pounamu, or nephrite jade, historically has significance to Maori(the first people to colonise New Zealand between 900-1400, and considered to be indigenous). It’s very common for people to wear carved greenstone pendants, as they have special meaning. Different designs also have different meanings.

A couple of links for more information:





Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Brown/Gold/Pink Art Glass Dangle Earrings

Link: Brown/Gold/Pink Art Glass Dangle Earrings

Todays featured listing: These Brown/Gold/Pink Abstract Art Glass Dangle Earrings feature a large Brown/Gold/Pink abstract glass bead. The earwires are goldtone.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Calla Lily Lampwork Bead Making

Link: Calla Lily Lampwork Bead Making

Making a Calla Lily glass lampwork bead. Film created by Judy Minot of WaLa Productions.
This is how the lampwork beads in my Spring Flowers lampwork earrings were made: https://www.etsy.com/listing/151588927/green-yellow-and-pink-spring-lampwork?ref=shop_home_active