On December 27th I had to say goodbye to my very best and most faithful friend—my little dog Pepper. She had been a part of my life since she was just 18 months old and for more than 15 years she had given me so much love and joy.

2012 had been a hard year for Pepper. I hadn't had the heart to say it before—it only made me sadder each time I thought of telling anyone and it made it all so much more real, and the end seem so inevitable—for most of the year she had been battling cancer. It was a very hard and tearful time for both of us. But in spite of all the hardships she endured, she always managed to bring a smile to my face. Looking at her you would have never known she was sick—she continued to run and play, she always kept that same sparkle in her eye, and we did our very best to enjoy each and every day to it's very fullest.

In the end, it wasn't the cancer that took my little girl from me. And for that I am actually very thankful. It was heart failure. At 16 1/2 years old, her little body was just wearing out and as much as she loved life and would have kept on trying to live, I knew she only had a short while and it had suddenly become so difficult for her. I didn't want her to be unhappy and in pain. For nearly three days she hadn't been able to sleep a full night because she was breathing so hard. Her body was getting weaker, and she was so tired. She deserved so much better. For the past 15 years she had depended on me to make all the right decisions for her, and I had always known that part of that very special responsibility included one day making the ultimate decision for her. And so I had to say goodbye. It was finally time and we both knew it. I had let her go. It was the kindest thing I could do.

My heart is broken now and so empty feeling.

I've decided I need to take a studio break. I'm not sure for how long. Right now everything is so much harder without her at my side—she was my studio companion—always there to greet me in the morning, to follow me around as I took beads to and from the freezer and oven, to remind me when I needed to get out and get some fresh air, she was there to entertain me with her snoring when I forgot to turn on the music, she was there to listen to all my dreams and ideas—good or bad, she was always there to give me that sweet smile and a wet kiss whenever I was down… she was just there for anything and everything.

My shop will still be open with my remaining stock and I'll be shipping those orders. And for those of you who have already worked out some made-to-order purchases with me, don't worry, I'm still working on them, and they'll be completed on time. But new beads and restocking my shop, I'm going to put off for a while.

But before I go I just want to also say thank you to each and everyone of you that purchased beads and jewelry from my shop this year. Without your help, I would never have been able to give Pepper the care she needed. I can't even begin to tell you how much that has meant to me. Thank you SO very, very much.

Right now I just need some time to dry my tears.

Thank you all so much.

The Winners!

Are you ready to find out who won? I sure am! Here we go…

Colors in the Woods goes to… Skye!

Blue Roses and a Bluebird goes to… Claire!

Racing Ponies goes to… Renetha!

And finally, Red Roses goes to… Leigh Thow!

Thank you all so much for entering and also for sharing my giveaway and sale!

You can be sure I'll have more for you in the new year! :-)

* * *

And don't forget about my whole shop sale—everything listed is 15% of with code MERRY15, through December 31st.

* * *

Wishing you and your loved ones a joyful Christmas and a most wonderful New Year!

One last giveaway!

I really didn't think I should end the year without giving a few presents… after all Christmas is just a few days away. :-)


It's giveaway time!!

Here's what's up for grabs:
"Color in the Woods"

"Blue Roses and a Bluebird"

"Racing Ponies"

"Red Roses"

The rules: 
To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment. And you get extra points by leaving additional comments for doing one or all of these:

  1. Becoming a follower of Tree Wings Studio blog
2. Sharing my giveaway AND my year-end 15% off sale on your blog, facebook, or twitter

Be sure to leave ONE comment for EACH thing you do.

And don't forget to leave a way for me to contact you if you win.

International bead lovers are welcome to enter too. :-)

(Feel free to use any of the photos posted here when sharing.)

*VERY IMPORTANT: these beads will NOT arrive in time for Christmas*

* This giveaway is now closed. Thanks so much for entering! *
Winners will be announced on the 22nd.

Year End Sale!!

Hi all! I'm taking the next couple weeks off from bead making… and in order to keep you from getting too bored while I'm away, I'm running a year end sale! Everything in my shop is ready to ship, so right now there's no wait for me to make your beads… but that also means when they're gone, they're gone until I turn the bead making machine (me!) back on again on January 1st—so beads will be restocked by mid to late January.

Use code MERRY15 for 15% off your entire purchase!

Go here to start shopping.

So… now I'm off to spend some time with family, bake some pies and cookies (you probably thought I could only bake beads, I bet! Well, you are wrong! ;-), and play with my little girl, Pepper.

"Are you done with the beads NOW?"

She is the cutest little sleepy critter bead, isn't she?!

I won't be totally gone… I'll peek in now and then, and of course I'll be busy in the shipping department!

Merry Christmas wishes to you all!

Rudolph is back!

And he's ready to add some Christmas cheer to your new jewelry creations!

Go here to get him before he's gone again. And don't forget my 15% off sale (thru Monday) with Art Jewelry Elements blog is going on now. Go here to get the coupon code and see all the other shops that are participating… and start saving! :-)

And if you're looking for inspiration for your next creations, check out my latest post at Art Jewelry Elements—I've created some wintery color palettes and paired them up with beads from our member's shops.

Here's a sneak peek:

See more here!

Fun happenings at Art Jewelry Elements

Over at Art Jewelry Elements blog we have a holiday party going on!! Fun blog posts and a big sale in all our member's shops… what better time to stock up your favorite artisan beads, or get a new piece of handmade jewelry!

All my beads and jewelry are 15% off with our group coupon! Go here to get the coupon code and to see all the other shops participating is this fantastic sale!!

The Winning Number!

So just how many critters are in this mound???


And the winner is Despina! Yay!
Please contact me at rspayne.art@gmail.com with your favorite critter and your mailing address.

Thank you all for playing along! This was so much fun—I'll have to do it again on the next Painting Day (and with MORE winners)!

Here are all 77 little critters in full color and sleeping so peacefully:

Stay tuned for the next guessing game!
Happy Thursday!

Take a guess… and win a sleepy critter bead!

It's Sleepy Critter Painting Day and today my worktable looks like this:

How many sleepy critters do you think are in this mound?

Enter your guess in the comments below and whoever's guess is the closet to the actual number will win a sleepy critter bead of their choice!!

* This giveaway is now closed. Thank you all for entering!*

I'll announce the winner(s) on Thursday. Happy guessing!

(Be sure to leave your contact info and which sleepy critter is your favorite along with your guess.)

A Sneak Peek…

I expect by now you all are starting to wonder what new things I'm working on… after all I did clear out a bunch of old stuff not too long ago. Well, sometimes new designs take a while to perfect and the current rate at which sleepy critters are flying out of the shop keeps me more than a little busy… but I promise things ARE coming along!

So, for today I wanted to share something new and in progress with you: these are a collaboration with my sister and shop photographer, Bethanne. Lucky me—all my 6 siblings are artistically talented, so if ever I don't have enough ideas to keep me busy (never!), they're always there to supply me with a few extras!

Bethanne loves to paint tiny things—yes I like tiny things too, but her tiny things are even smaller than mine. Check them out:

Yep, ponies (I really have a pony problem!). I shaped the pony beads and let Bethanne work her paint magic on them. Pretty neat, if I do say so myself!

So what do you all think? These are still in the prototype stage, but very soon we expect they'll make their debut in the shop. We'd love to hear any thoughts or suggestions you have!

* * *

And speaking of new beads… you can see a behind-the-scenes of these new beads I created yesterday on the AJE blog.

Have a happy weekend!!

A Tent-less and Windy Festival

As promised, here's my post on my latest craftshow adventures:

All year… actually I guess it was shortly after the last craftshow of 2011, I decided I wasn't going to do any shows in 2012… and I didn't. I made beads. And really only made jewelry for challenges, gifts, and my own enjoyment. And I continued to make beads. And more beads. You all never stopped buying!

All the application reminder letters just sat on my desk. I figured maybe in a couple years, I'd pick up craftshows again. It really felt great not to have that added stress.

And then September came along and I decided on a whim to count up my jewelry and go to the Mountain Magic festival on October 6th. It's a non-juried festival, but I've always done very well there. Even better than at some of the juried festivals I've been to. The one hard thing about it, is that the weather is very unpredictable in October—some years it's warm and sunny, and other years it's freezing cold and cloudy! But one thing that's a guarantee, is the wind—it's always windy. Last year after almost losing the tent in more than one strong gale and having to take it down just a few hours after setup, I decided to not even bother with it this year.

Another thing I didn't do were table skirts. Yes, exposed table legs are among the ugliest things at a craftshow, but when the wind catches the tableclothes and brings them up over the table, pulling all the nicely arranged jewelry into one tangled heap, they just had to go too.

And so my setup was very, very toned down:

For my table coverings, I used a stretchy fabric and tied knots at each corner and stretched them over each table and tucked the knots under. Fitted tablecloths on a shoestring—easy peasy!

My two "models" are simply wire hangers wearing nice colored tops and scarfs. They really caught a lot of attention and we had to keep resupplying them with new necklaces throughout the day.

Here's another shot of them. I bent the hanger back and hung them over a wooden frame, which was taped down to the table. I taped everything that could possibly be caught by the wind!

The day had started out on the chilly side, but sunny. Later in the day clouds rolled in and threatened to shower us with rain. They thankfully left without dropping more than just a few raindrops! But the wind had picked up and never left. So eventually, all these earring cards had to be taped down.

And my sign caused a near disaster when (yes, I had it weighted at the back) toppled over and hit one of the vases. I turned just in time and caught it before it crashed onto the pavement. I had to put away all the vases by midday—the wind was just too strong and I was afraid they'd blow off the table.

The wind continued to get stronger and stronger. And the sun came back out and ROASTED us! Yep, we forgot the sunscreen… actually I didn't even think of it, since we usually have a tent and being roasted is not a problem. By the end of the day, my mom, two sisters, and I were vivid red.

So, you're probably asking was it worth it? The cold? The wind? The heat? The sunburn? And oh, yeah, the splitting headache? Yes! Of course I'll make improvements for next time. And also by the time next year comes around I'll probably have mostly forgotten about the uncomfortable parts!

I just love getting out and setting up "shop", meeting customers and other artists, and seeing my creations find new homes.

I actually got to bring some of my critters too. Most of the time I have none to bring since you all keep them flying out of the shop! (I'm not complaining! lol) But I squeezed in a few this time and everyone LOVED them. Here's one of the owl necklaces I made (please excuse the photo quality and arrangement!). He was too cute not to share!

And the very best moment of the whole festival—my favorite clay picture got it's forever home! It was one of those sales, where you know the match between customer and your art was just meant to be! I couldn't be happier about it!

"Country Sunrise"

And so, there you have it—my tent-less and very windy festival. Will I do craftshows next year? No idea yet! Ask me in September! ;-)

And another note of interest: I'm now part of the Art Jewelry Elements blog! Today I published my first post. Come on by for a visit and to see what it's all about!

AJE Blog Button Image 150x150

Thanks for stopping by today!