Monday, October 12, 2009

Okay, here 'goes...

Well, the site is a mess.

The title bar is the wrong size, the colors are not fine-tuned, things are all higgeldy-piggeldy, and I still don't know how to put anything anywhere. And yet, it is a fitting start for me (it looks a lot like my bead room) as I steer blindly through this journey of being self-employed. As with everything else, I'm sure I'll fix it later.

I guess a little about myself might be appropriate. I grew up in Austin, Texas and studied theatre in high school and college. Upon graduation, I moved blindly to New York to attend the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. A series of odd jobs (seriously!) followed: manager of a new-age gift store, several years as a product demonstrator - I played with toys for a living - and costume character at FAO Schwarz (the toy store from Big), and a table-to-table balloon hat creator for Caroline's comedy club. I also did some touring in national children's theatre musicals and full-body puppet shows. I got burned out with the touring and paying rent for an apartment in which I so rarely lived, so when my dad offered to match my best salary in NYC to come back and day trade stocks with him, I jumped at the chance. I finished a tour and came back to Austin. We were happy little traders for a while, making money hand over fist, back in 2000, when you had only to spit in the direction of a stock and it would go up. Then, the tech bubble burst (remember that bubble? What a poorly-made crappy bubble), and my dad and I found ourselves basically doing the same job, and only one of us really needed to be doing it. I had started working part-time for a local bead store, so it just made sense that I start working full-time there.

In NYC, I had discovered beads. I was blowing out the insides of eggs and gluing seed beads onto them in decorative patterns for tree ornaments. That's about as far as I'd taken the idea until I was strolling through an outdoor craft fair in upstate New York, and stumbled across an amulet bag. I was agog. You can do THAT with BEADS? Where had this been all my life? That was my beady "aha!" moment. When I came back to Austin, I found some books and began the journey. More on that later. Probably.

I worked as the buyer for the local store (and two others in the state) for a couple of years, while slowly building a jewelry business. Working full-time, doing art shows on the weekends, teaching, and still trying to create inventory meant that I wasn't doing anything to my standards, so I recently made a decision. With the support of my wonderful husband, John, I am going to try to make a go of becoming a bead artist (still feels weird). I love to create and design with beads! I also teach, which I enjoy very much, save for this nasty fear of speaking in public, which I am still working on. Funny, I had no apprehension about performing in public, but when it's just "me," my stomach rolls right over like a submissive puppy. Frankly, I'm a much better teacher one-on-one.

So, that's where I am now. I've got my Etsy site up and running. I've got some shows coming up. I'm teaching more vigorously. ...and now I have this blog, where I intend to spew all of my thoughts and feelings about the process. Certainly not every thought and feeling, because who wants to hear that? I'll try not to be overly verbose (all evidence, obviously, to the contrary), but sometimes my string-of-consciousness method of communicating takes over, and I shall I put it? ... ramble. My apologies in advance.

Okay, it begins...


  1. And what a wonderful beginning it is! Thank you for sharing this, Laura. I already have a much better "context" for you now. hehe

  2. You should post lengthy, stream-of-consciousness bead reports. We could compile a family book of our horrible rambling.

    Nice blog!

  3. excellent beginning! i love your designs and love learning in your classes...can't wait for your upcoming classes...

  4. Welcome to blogging! I had no idea (seriously) that you were once a performer of many hats (including the balloon kind). Congrats on taking the giant leap!

  5. What a great introduction to yourself! Welcome to the blogging world :)

  6. Welcome to EBW and also to the wonderful world of blogs! What a delightful beginning!

  7. I totally enjoyed reading this 'ramble', it gives a better picture of you.

  8. Welcome to the blogging world. I just love your pieces with the ammonites. Welcome to EBW too. Great beginning. I'm eager to see what else you share.

  9. Your work is great. Welcome to blogging and EBW.

  10. I have arrived at your blog first, and am anxious to go and see your work on etsy. Welcome to the beadweavers! I really enjoyed getting to know you.

  11. welcome to the blogosphere, etsy, estybeadweavers-- to another stream of consciousness writer! ( i don't even use caps most of the time--as one of my 'team-mates' once told me--" caps are highly over-rated!"
    see- i ramble, too ;>)
    welcome again
    marilyn g