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LooLoo's Box Handcrafted Jewelry: Artisan Jewelry, from Sterling to Steampunk

Saturday, November 12, 2011

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

If you could hear me sing, you would be thankful that I am not about to start channeling Julie Andrews.

No, I am talking about my #1 favorite source for the bits and pieces I need to feed my addiction... to making jewelry.  My favorite supplier is B'Sue Boutiques, at www.bsueboutiques.com.  Brenda Sue not only offers the best quality American made and finished brass stampings on the market (and other cool vintage stuff) but she also is a Mentor, an inspiration, a teacher; she and her establishment are class acts all the way.

At the moment I am in love with her wonderful floral components, like this one in Old Rose Ox and this one, in Chocolate Ox.  Why?
Because with those pieces (and a few other bits, of course) I made this set, which found a new home last night.

They look vintage because the dies used to make the stampings are vintage, but it is new brass, made right here in America.  I like that.

She also supplied the centerpiece for this necklace, which I wore last night.
B'Sue Boutiques isn't my only supplier, of course... but it's where I look first for the types of products she carries.

Full disclosure:  Brenda Sue at B'Sue Boutiques is having a contest; you can read about it here. However, that's not why I am blogging about her shop.  It may be why I am doing it today, but I would have anyway.  I did a private event last night, and the majority of what I sold contained components from B'Sue Boutiques.  If I hadn't found Brenda Sue's shop my art would not have branched out in this particular direction, or at least not in quite this way... and I really, really like this direction.  I am blogging about Brenda Sue and B'Sue Boutiques because I am grateful... and because she deserves it.

Thank you, Brenda Sue!

With Gratitude,

Robin Delargy
Looloo's Box

2011 - a Year of Growth through Change

It's been quite a while since I added to my blog here; quite honestly, I've just had too much on my plate.  2011 has been a year of great change; some of it has been really hard, some of it is STILL really hard, and some has been completely wonderful... but still contributes to the pile. It's all been just a bit overwhelming. As the year winds down I find myself in a contemplative frame of mind... when I have time to think, that is.

Without getting into too many specifics, here's my Year of Change in review... and what I've learned in the process.

January 2011

What Happened:  Neal got in a car accident; his car (2008 Honda Fit) was totaled, but he was relatively unscathed, although he did need chiropractic and some physical therapy.

What We Learned:  That the 2010 Honda Fit is even better.  And that dealing with insurance companies sucks, which we actually already knew.

~ * ~

March 2011

What Happened: My best friend and business partner decided to end our relationship, both personal and professional.  Our friendship couldn't withstand that much togetherness; she walked away from our business, leaving me with all the inventory and supplies, as well as all the debt.  Fair enough. This came as an incredible shock to me, and on the emotional side it felt very much like a divorce I didn't see coming.  We have not spoken since.

What I Learned: It turns out I am happiest as a solo; my creativity functions best when it flies free of others.  I just am not cut out to be in a creative partnership.  I also learned that at some point the relationship had stopped being good for me as well; I was (and still am) surprised to find that I don't really miss her.  Whatever she is up to, I do wish her well... but my life is better now.  I hope hers is, too.  I was also pleasantly surprised to find other friends filling the vacuum, our friendships growing. I have not once suffered for want of a good friend.

~ * ~

April 2011

What Happened:  My husband quit his job of 10 years to go to work for a competitor.  The pressure that his former employer was putting on its employees had become untenable, and his health and happiness were crumbling.  He stayed there far longer than he probably should have only because of the pay; changing jobs would be financially hazardous.  Guess what, though?  Money only matters to a point.  With my blessing and encouragement, he changed jobs.

What I (we) Learned: Money isn't everything, which I already knew.  Let's just say that we have traded our good credit rating for less stress, and it is worth it.  His income will improve with time, and we aren't in danger of homelessness or starvation.  We have each other, and that's the main thing.  We will be just fine.

~ * ~


This year I did every art show I could, and have thrown myself whole heartedly into making LooLoo's Box viable. It's been exciting, exhilarating, and wonderful... but also exasperating, exhausting and consuming.  I have learned that I need to balance it with the rest of my life... but I haven't figured out how to do that yet.

~ * ~

October 2011

My only child, the youngest of our three, moved out.  We became 'Empty Nesters'.  It was hard.  However, I now have a dedicated workroom, and am reclaiming our dining room for, well, dining.  It's been a long time.

~ * ~


We have an immediate family member who has been making a lot of unhealthy life choices.  This situation is ongoing.  It was overshadowing everything in our lives, wondering when more ugly drama would seek entry or if/when we would get a painful ultimate phone call.  Attempts to intervene have been unsuccessful.

What I (We) Learned:  This was sucking the sunshine from our lives only because we allowed it to. We have had to come to terms with the fact that we can't help someone who doesn't want it; we can't force change.  However, we can choose to not be around it.  We choose to no longer enable, not even through passivity. We can love the person while rejecting the behavior. We can choose to reclaim our personal power over, and the responsibility for, our own life. We are done overlooking the obvious and wishful thinking; the negativity is no longer welcome.  Leave it at the door or don't come around at all. Our life, our choice. We choose sunshine.

~ * ~

The Holidays. Family obligations. See above. 'Nuff said.

Early Menopause.  Beginning to have hot flashes and other fun physical stuff.  I'll be 49 on 12/1. Sigh...

On top of the rest, our house was broken into TWICE - both times, my ID or my entire purse was taken.

There are several more shows scheduled through the end of the year, which is wholly positive by any measure... but I am tired. I enjoy them, and I learn so much every time, but I am looking forward to being able to focus on my Etsy shop, to put my tent away until Spring.  To relax into the Winter routine, canning turkey (bought when super-Holiday-cheap), making sausage (a cool weather activity), spending quality time with my husband, who is my best friend in the world, and at my workbench, without deadlines.

2011 has been a year of trials, frustration, worry, fear, triumph, learning, stretching... a year of change.  It has also been a year of enormous personal and artistic growth. You know what? It's been worth it. 

Yesterday was 11/11/11.  At 11:11 P.M. I made a wish from the bottom of my heart.  I wished for... serenity.  I'll get there yet.