Welcome to my blog! It's something new I'm trying. Here you will not only be able to follow my journey as a jewelry artist, but interact with me on a variety of life-related topics.

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Monday, June 30, 2014

The Emory Collection...

My new collection is an homage to my great, great, grandfather, Emory. The story behind it is meant to inspire the person wearing each piece.  I hope you will take the time to read the story...

(Use a QR scanner from the app store on your smartphone to scan the pic below and it will take you directly to the story. If you do not have a smartphone,  you can read it on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JewelrybyLaLa .)

Friday, June 6, 2014

2014 Show Schedule
(subject to additions)

June 27-28
Petticoats on the Prairie                                                                    
Decatur Civic Center, Decatur, TX

September 20
Junk Jamboree                                                                                     
Round Rock, Texas

October 17-18
Petticoats on the Prairie                                                                     
Mallett Event Center and Arena Levelland, Texas

November 7-8
Rusted Gingham Barn Sale                                                                 
JB Wells Show Barn, Gonzales, Texas
December 6
Vintage in Verdi                                                                                  
Verdi Community Center, Verdi, Texas

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Customer is Always Right...

(ForewordThis blog is about stretching myself and sometimes baring my soul. In that vein, I have been working on this post since the end of May. I vacillated between making it a seemingly light-hearted list of do's and don'ts for patrons or putting it all out there at the risk of be called "whiney". I'm letting you know right now, I decided to "put it all out there".  There is a chance I won't make any new friends with this post; while my intent is never to alienate, I'm at peace with it if it happens because this post is straight from my heart.)

I've heard this saying many times (the customer is always right); I've even uttered it while working in a retail setting.  However, I've come to understand that this phrase is not necessarily true.

While preparing to do shows, I read many, many articles about vendor etiquette...be kind, don't chew gum, don't eat or drink in front of customers, don't steal ideas for products from other vendors, and so on.  Tonight, I'm going to offer some suggestions for patrons... 

It never ceases to amaze me the number of times I greet a customer walking into my booth and they absolutely ignore me...no smile, no nod, no greeting, not even a grunt. Now I realize we all have less than stellar days or sometimes get lost in our thoughts, but, Friends, when you walk into a booth and the vendor acknowledges you, at the very least smile at them. Saying "Hi" or "Hello" is even better. Most likely, the vendor has spent a significant amount of time to create a pleasant shopping experience for you, so please be kind to them. You never know when your smile will make someone's day!

Next, it's necessary for shoppers to understand that a vendor doesn't just decide to go to a show one day and then set up the next. There are weeks, even months that go into preparing for a show. Much blood, sweat, and tears (both figuratively and literally) are spent to create items to present to the world. Vendors put their heart and soul into their work; it is purposeful.  If something is out for you to see, the artist meant it to be that way.  Now I understand that we are all different and have different tastes; other artists understand that, too.  Some items may not be to your liking or taste...that's not a problem. Every artist cannot cater to every person.  The problem arises when a patron decides that they know how the artist should or could have done something to a piece and says so. "Well, you know, you should have...." or "If it were me, I would have...." or "I don't like that (blank) there." While there is nothing inherently wrong about having those opinions, everyone is entitled to have them, it is not exactly good taste to actually say those things to a vendor.  Remember, their art is purposeful; if they have put it out for you to see, there is a reason it is that way. Your job as a patron is to appreciate it for what it is, whether or not it is your taste.  There are cases where you might actually be interested in something, but would like it tweaked a bit so it suits you a tad more closely.  Some artists will be open to working with you, BUT it is all about the way you present your thoughts.  An appropriate way may be to say, "You know, I really like these; however, would it be possible for you to make me a pair without this (specific color/component/etc) in it?" Maybe then add a reason (if appropriate) like "(blank) doesn't look great with my skin tone" or "I think I'm too short to wear earrings this long."  NOT, "I don't like this thing here. Can you make this piece without this thing?" This may seem like quibbling over semantics, but, remember, the artist has put a little piece of their heart and soul into this piece, (even a small piece) and they have presented it as is for a reason.  Your wording can be the difference between a vendor willingly taking a custom order from you with a happy heart or gritting their teeth at an insult and dealing with you just to make the sale. Of which scenario would you rather be a part?

This next suggestion is similar to the previous one as it has to do with respecting the artist's work. At almost every show, I witness patrons snapping pictures of items they see in various booths. It is frustrating for a vendor to sit and watch a patron whip out their camera/phone/ipad and snap photos of particular work. Please do NOT photograph an artist's work without asking for permission. The work that is presented to you is the intellectual property of the artist and is NOT there for you to photograph, duplicate, and/or sell. Please be respectful of the time, effort, heart, and soul that artists put into their work.

This last thought is closely related to the previous two...hmmm...interesting how they all intertwine and seem to come back to respecting other people. There is a phrase that may at first seem utterly innocuous; however, with a second look, I hope you will understand that it is NOT innocent; but, instead,  frustrating, if not offensive to artists. If I had a nickel for every time I've heard it, I could take the rest of the year off (Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration, but you get my drift.) "What phrase?" you ask. The phrase, "Oh, I could make this!" Yes, I understand that many times this phrase is said innocently to your friend as you're perusing a booth, and is most times not accompanied by follow-through. However, I am asking you to shift your thinking and really try to understand the ramifications of this phrase. A vendor spends time researching, designing, and creating this art that is often cavalierly dismissed by this phrase. A part of their heart and soul is put into this work. Often, there is a story behind it which creates an indelible memory in their mind. When a patron says, "Oh, I could make this!", it is as if all that heart, soul, and time doesn't count. It says to the vendor that you are fine stealing all of that from them.  Maybe stealing seems like a harsh word, but I assert that it really isn't. When you duplicate something you have seen somewhere (without permission), it is theft. It is the same as walking into a department store, picking up a piece of merchandise, and walking out without paying. When you utter the phrase in question, it gives the appearance that you are okay with theft...are you? Is it okay to take an idea developed and created by another and duplicate it for your personal gain? I maintain that it is not. Pause for a moment and think about how those words might make an artist feel. The next time you're walking through a booth in a craft fair or art show, please think about what you say and do.

I'll end on that note...pretty sure I've given you enough to think about. Please remember that it all comes down to respect

Until next time...



Fall 2013 Show Schedule

Here is my show schedule for the Fall...find the one nearest you and come say HI!

September 28       American Sewing Guild Sew Chic Fashion Show   Hess Club, Houston

October 5    9-6    Junk Hippy Roadshow   Oklahoma State Fairgrounds, Oklahoma City, OK

October 18-19      Petticoats on the Prairie  Mitchell County Fairgrounds, Colorado City, TX

November 1-2      Rusted Gingham Barn Sale   JB Wells Show Barn, 
Gonzales, TX

November 16       Junk Hippy Roadshow    Waco, TX

Hope to see you there!

Until next time...


Sunday, April 21, 2013


Fear is a powerful emotion. It can keep one from attaining one's goals or dreams and even obliterate relationships. Unfortunately, as an artist, I am well acquainted with fear...it frequently rears its ugly head and mocks me. As a Believer in Christ, I am told NOT to fear, but to trust God. Obviously, I'm not very good at it, but I am working on it each and every day. 

"About what on earth do you have to be afraid?", you might ask, "You are living your dream each day by being able to do what you love and were created to do." Well...to name a few...failure, not being good enough, people not liking or appreciating my work, my jewelry not selling, having my work stolen (as in, replicated) by others, and success ( yes, success---not a typo).

Failure is always looming over my head. I quit a fairly decent paying career to chase this dream...what if I don't succeed? What if I'm always "just on the verge" of making it? Or what if I never even get to the verge? What if the money dries up and I can't afford to chase this dream anymore? Failure is a significant specter; one that I must beat down daily. I remind myself that "All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28 KJV) I believe creating jewelry is a purpose from God, so I must believe that it will work out according to His plan.

As an artist, I go through peaks and valleys. Sometimes the ideas just pour from my mind; sometimes..."I got nothin'". Even when the ideas come, that old 
phantom, fear, sometimes appears and tells me that those ideas stink. Or maybe that others will think they stink and that I might as well give up because I'm not good enough anyway. Granted, sometimes, my ideas do stink and some are always better than others. However, that's to be expected, and I would do well to remember that. At times like these, it's hard to not feel discouraged. However, I just remind myself to look up and know that it will all work out in the end.

Next, I have grown to realize, that not everyone will like my work; I'm okay with that. In fact, I don't want to make "jewelry for everyone", I want to make jewelry that is true to who I am (see previous blog post), so that when someone sees it, even someone who wouldn't necessarily wear it, they will say, "Oh, that looks like something LaLa would make!" However, from time to time, the thought enters my head that NO ONE will like or appreciate my jewelry. These thoughts are usually concurrent with the previous ones of not being good enough. When these thoughts arise, I tell myself to push through. That what I am doing was destined by God, so someone, somewhere, will appreciate my work. My sweet husband always says, "There is an owner for each piece you make." I thank God for bringing him to me to remind me of that.

Going hand in hand with the previous two fears, is the one that my work won't sell. What if I put my heart and soul into all these pieces and they sit here for the rest of my life without being purchased? What then? Was it all just a huge waste of time? The answer to that is, of course, no. I have been blessed with opportunities to meet and make new friends because of this calling. I have also 
been given opportunities to talk about Christ and what he has done for me. I 
want to be clear to those I meet that any talent I have is straight from God. It is not self-created. Yes, I work hard to hone my skills, but it is entirely by the grace of God that I am able to do so. It has also put me in a position to be there for my family when am needed.  Since I started this journey in June of 2011, there have been several situations where I have needed to help my family. Had I been in my previous job, it would have been much more difficult. I am now free to do whatever I need to do to help them, any time or place. Because of these things, even if I never sold another piece of jewelry, I cannot view what I do as wasted time.

As someone who enjoys creating and implementing inspiration as it is given, there is always a small shadow in the back of my mind that makes me hesitant to share my work. What if someone recreates it and sells it at prices which undercuts what I am doing? That's not easy to deal with because it does happen. I don't know if it has happened to me, but I know artists to whom it has. It is frustrating to sit at a show and watch people pick up a piece into which I've poured hours of time and a part of my heart and discuss with their friend how "This is such a good idea." and they have "everything it takes to make this piece." It is all I can do to squash my ego and just smile instead of stand up and yell, "Don't be a THIEF (yes, thief...theft of intellectual property is still theft) and steal MY idea; get your OWN!" Don't get me wrong, I understand that when an individual is starting out, replicating the work of, or at least similar to, the individuals who teach them or inspire them, is typical. It helps practice technique. I have several pieces I've created in classes that are similar to what the teacher creates; however, I'm not hocking them in my Etsy store and 
passing them off as my design. They are my personal pieces or have been given to friends to enjoy. Continually replicating something identical to someone else and then trying to sell it at a price that is less than the originator, is outright theft. Can two people come up with VERY similar designs having never spoken or even seen one another's work? Absolutely! It happens, and each individual has a right to create and sell their design. There was no theft in such a situation. I'm speaking solely to those who blatantly ignore what is right and duplicate, in its entirety, another's work. That said, I don't want to be one of those people that refuses to teach others what I know or share thoughts because I'm afraid of being "ripped off." In light of that, I am constantly reminding myself that if I truly believe any inspiration I have is Divinely inspired, then I really do not own them, and I have to let them go. Will I eventually be copied? The possibility exists...but if it ever comes to that, maybe it will be because The Lord wants to see if I truly trust Him, or if I want to deal with it on my own. Is my ego more important than my testimony for Him? Again, this is certainly something with which I am in the process of dealing; it isn't something to which I always have the right response. However, I am trying.

Lastly, I'm often afraid of success. No, you didn't misread that...yes, I said 
afraid of success. I suppose that sounds really odd, but it is a real fear. What if this thing actually does take off and grows disproportionately to my abilities, skills, and time? How will I take care of the business end of things? All of this and more has gone through my head at various times. To quell this doubt, I, again, look to Romans 8:28 and find peace that God is in control, and I do not have to worry. He has absolutely provided thus far, and will continue to do so. He has provided me with an extremely supportive network---my husband, parents, siblings, in-laws, my best and oldest (in length of time--not age:-) friend, and a newer friend who pushes me to try new things, keep learning, and keep applying for shows.  Without them, this would not be possible.   

To sum it up, fear can be irrational and paralyzing.  Without the knowledge that God is in control and knowing that I have a wonderful support system, it would swallow me up.  I will continue to press on and do what I love to do.

Until next time...


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Petticoats on the Prairie...

Pics from Whimsy at the Warehouse...

Next show is May 11 in Waco...Funky Junk Roundup http://www.facebook.com/pages/Funky-Junk-Roundup/532224116793854

Until next time.


Monday, April 8, 2013

Advancing With Technology...

I'm working on QR codes for my business...

Like me on Facebook


Find my website


Download the scan app at http://scan.me

Until next time...