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Winding Down 2017 and Looking Forward to 2018

It’s been a busy year at Miss Poppy’s Boutique. I haven’t had such a busy year since I opened in 2013, so it’s true that perseverance pays off.

Two of my biggest sellers this year were my handcrafted metal bookmarks and rosaries. There are some left, and since I’m running a 30% off sale (with free shipping) until December 31st, now is a good time to pick up Grab Bag and Christmas gifts. My offer applies to everything, except my tutorials (patterns), which are $4 and under.

My most popular tutorial remains Noelle Christmas Ornament Cover. It’s a steady seller during the year, but from October through February, it sells like gangbusters.

Lately, I’ve been devoting much of my free time working at Poppy and Gene’s Beadery, helping with taking new photographs of beads and supplies and writing fleshed-out product descriptions. A lot of research is involved, from bead hole sizes, how certain beads are manufactured, giving ideas on how to use the beads (particularly in bead weaving), and the like.

What is in store for 2018? Well, I’m working on new tutorials, using some of the new Czech glass beads on the market. I’ll be teaching. And I’m going to make it a point to keep up this blog, at least on a weekly schedule. I’ve been lax in writing this blog, mostly because of the busyness of a long-distance move. No excuses now!

Thank you for a great 2017, and I look forward to 2018 with you.

Happy Beading!

~Susan

©Miss Poppy’s Boutique

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A New Medium

To say I’ve been busy is an understatement, particularly over the past two months or so. I enjoy being busy, and it pays to stay organized. Yes, it does.

Last year, I purchased many pounds of locally made (Pensacola, Florida) glass beads. The artist considered them “seconds,” but I considered them a bonanza of hundreds of perfect and unique pieces of art.

At the time I purchased them, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them. But it took a lot of sorting and selecting for this piece of art I had in mind. In fact, it took months of putting this bead in that pile and that bead in this pile.

Once I had the beads culled, it was time to count them out, for the art work I designed called for a specific number of beads. That done, it was – finally – time to create my piece.

Carefully aligning each bead in group, I capped and wire wrapped each one, paying specific attention to how each bead looked against its neighbor.

Months of work led to my final piece: A wall rosary. It’s substantial and hefty, and a little more than three feet long.

I am now in my studio creating another one, and will be offering it for sale when it’s completed. Of course, as with much of my art, this will be a one-of-a-kind work.

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“Splendors of God’s World” Wall Rosary, (c)Susan Marie Molloy Designs

 
©Susan Marie Molloy Designs and Miss Poppy’s Boutique and all works within.

Heartfelt Art Show

You never know how an artist will touch the lives of others.

Sure, an artist might create art with someone particular in mind.  The artist might do it, with the hopes that someone will like the creation enough to buy it.  And then the artist might create the work for the love of art and not give a second thought as to the who or why.

My latest passion, as it were, is designing and creating rosaries.  For years, I wanted to learn how to make them but was intimidated by wire wrapping.  The closest I ever came to making devotional prayer beads was sacrifice beads.  In fact, when I was teaching at my parish school, one of the art classes I taught in conjunction with religious education was showing my students how to make a string of sacrifice beads with cord, pony beads, and a religious medal.  (My inspiration came from one of my favorite saints, Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, who used such beads to count off her sacrifices and good deeds.)

Here's a sample of sacrifice beads I taught my students how to make.

Here’s a sample of sacrifice beads I taught my students how to make.

Then, after all these years, something dawned on me.  My confidence with wire wrapping came, I had a lot of beautiful and unique beads, and why not?

I created a couple of rosaries and showed them to my friends.  Before I knew it, I was taking custom orders.  This portion of my studio and shop was taking off, and it still is going like gang busters.

This past weekend, I was in an art show held at The Sacred Heart Cathedral in Pensacola, Florida.  I was happy to sell some of my beaded/sewn jewelry and wire key chains.  What I didn’t expect – but was thrilled nonetheless – was the popularity and selling strength of my rosaries and chaplets.

What touched me greatly were two sales in particular.  One became a gift for a little girl who is making her First Holy Communion this spring.  Her aunt told me, “You can never have enough rosaries, and this one will be her first.”

A young married couple with a several-months-old baby girl bought a rosary for their baby for her christening, which is being celebrated today at the Cathedral.  They were happy to find just what they wanted to present to her.

I felt happy, and frankly, sentimental about those particular sales.  I have every rosary I ever received – from my first plastic glow-in-the-dark one to a real silver one Handsome bought for me in Mexico.  I can only hope that the two little girls who will receive the ones I made will treasure them and remember for what occasion they received them. And I hope they will use them.

And you never know how a buyer will touch the life of an artist.

©Designs by Susan Marie Molloy for Miss Poppy’s Boutique