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New Jewelry Line: The Black Tie Event Collection is Here

  • Apr 9 2015

First of all, thank you for your patience.

Second of all... it's here!!!! It's finally here! The latest jewelry line from Megan's Beaded Designs is up and available for your exploring and shopping pleasure.

And it couldn't have come at a better time either.

I don't know about you: but my upcoming weekends from now until mid-summer are chock-FULL of semi and full-formal occasions. We're talking weddings, graduations, retirement celebrations, anniversary extravaganzas, and so on.

At most of these events I know I can trust my little black dress to carry me through, but I'll be wanting some accessories that stand out a bit more than a simple chain necklace (*yawn* talk about BOR-ing!)

That's where The Black Tie Event Collection comes in.

Formal Event Jewelry

The necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and rings in this new artisan jewelry collection are meant to be pair perfectly with the suits around you, while still standing out in their originality enough to have you confidently setting yourself apart. Each piece is mainly black (of course), with speckles of twinkles crystals and frosted glass droplets for a whisper of elegance that is sure to be remembered.

I hope you love the pieces in this new jewelry collection. They've been a long time coming, and I'm so excited to share them with you.

Cocktail Party Jewelry

Shop the entire collection here.

Emerald City Comic Con 2015

  • Apr 7 2015

It's hard to realize how many fellow geeks there are out there... until you visit a comic book convention. Once again, the hubby, our friends, and I dressed in head-to-toe cosplay and hit up a fantastic weekend in Seattle for the Emerald City Comic Con of 2015. The crowds, the energy, and the love for all things geek-a-licious is hard to deny or not enjoy even though you are sandwiched between a crowd of storm troopers, dragon slayers, and anime-sidekicks.

Tangled and Groucho Cosplay
(Me as Repunzel from the Disney movie, Tangled, and the hubby as the comic icon Groucho Marx.)

It's always fun and awesome when one's own cosplay brings so much joy to on-lookers. I couldn't get past any child (especially the little girls) under 10 without a picture, the blow of a kiss, or at least a small, shy wave. It's not always easy being a princess. ;-)

On the other hand, the hubby was surprised to find so many people declaring that he was the first Groucho cosplay they had ever seen, and patiently listed to every gentleman over 50 tell his favorite scenes or bit of trivia based on his character. The hubby of course, wiggled his eyebrows in response and delight.

Emerald City Comic Con Droids
(Robotic controlled droids. These aren't the droids you're looking for.)

Wizard of oz Cosplay
(I love it when a group of friends all dress up as a theme. Here, obviously, you can see the group from the Wizard of Oz.)

Jack and Sally Cosplay
(Jack & Sally. Awww....!)

Want more pics? Check out last year's Emerald City Comic Con blog post here.

Ode to Jughead

  • Mar 25 2015

Growing up, I read, collected, and adored Archie comics.

I would excitedly read each new issue and then read them again to my younger siblings for “story time.”

Archie was a two-timer, but also a sweet-heart. Veronica had the best fashion-sense, and Cheryl the best hair. I liked Betty because she was a writer, but didn’t much care for her push-over personality (seriously, why would a hot blonde like her want to settle for being the second choice!?!?)

But of all the characters, my all-time favorite was Jughead.

I’m being serious here.

This was a dude that didn’t get caught up in the romance-driven love triangles the rest of his group of friends were always entangled in (because that ooey-gooy love stuff is ewwww!) ;-)

I love peeps who prefer to live drama-free. Especially when they can manage to do it IN HIGH SCHOOL.

But best of all, this dude could EAT.

Jughead Comic Book Cover
(Image courtesy Archie Comic Publications, Inc.)

We’re talking dozens upon dozens of hamburgers, cake slices, hot dogs, and malts--all in one sitting. And all without gaining an ounce.

My hero….*sigh*

Anyway, I’d love to know… did you read comics when you were a kid? Who was your favorite comic book character? Do you still read comics, or, *ahem*, graphic novels? If so, got any good recommendations? Hit me up on twitter and let’s discuss!

Yearning for an Ireland Vacation

  • Mar 16 2015

If you're considering going to Ireland, for a vacation, for a business trip, [insert whatever possible excuse you can muster here], allow me to urge you to go through with it. Ireland is a beautiful country, with an emotional history, and is a fun adventure to explore.

Ireland Vacation

Here are some highlights from my journey through Ireland last summer:

Kilkenny
I stayed in this adorable town, Kilkenny. It may be small, but it is bursting with artisans, shops, delicious eating, entertainment, and more! Plus, it's small size makes it super easy to walk from one end of town to another in very little time!

Kilkenny Castle
Did I mention there's a beautiful castle in Kilkenny? Well, there is! And it's also a tourist attraction you get to go in and explore!

Church in ireland>
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Plus--as if castles weren't stunning enough--Ireland is also full of some of the most gorgeous churches ever built. These are also free to explore for tourists during non-mass hours.

Driving in Ireland
Driving on the "wrong" side of the road is tricky to get the hang of at first, but totally worth it for taking your car out onto the Irish country side! Breath-taking views and LOTS of green all along your journey!



Ireland
Don't forget to stop and take a rest at the Irish coast line. The sight will be somethign you will never forget.

Viking Towner Waterford Ireland
I also visitied Waterford, a slighter larger city south of Kilkenny. Here you'll find the crystal factory Ireland is much-known for, as well as the above-shown Viking tower, full of history and waiting for you to explore.

Plus, Irish pubs. Need I say more?
Drinking

What Celtic Designs Stand For

  • Mar 10 2015

As with most symbols and legends, the meaning behind different Celtic designs has evolved over the years, but there are some basic, agreed upon meanings that can still apply to the designs today. These meanings remain powerful to us, which is why we are still prone to decorate our homes with them, wear them in our jewelery, along with other personal adornment.

A Few of the common Celtic designs and what they stand for are:

The Infinity Knot

The Infinity Knot is a symbol of never-ending love. This could be romantic love, or the love of a lifetime friendship. You'll often see this design in wedding bands and engagement rings.

Celtic Bracelet Beading Pattern
{Celtic Bracelet Beading Pattern - $3.93}

Celtic Knotwork

Celtic knot work was used for decoration before and after Christian influence in the regions of Scotland, Ireland, and Welsh country. Going beyond their used as borders, knot work designs were used in illustrations to depict humans, animals, and entire story scenes.

Celtic Knot Pendant Beading Pattern
{Celtic Knot Pendant Beading Pattern - $1.99}

The Tree of Life

The tree has long been depicted as an all-giving, all-loving symbol that connects heaven to earth. It's stretching branches represent never-ending life, nourishment, and the inter-connection of all living things.

Tree of Life Earrings
{Tree of Life Earrings - $7.00}

Interested in a custom beaded jewelry piece featuring your favorite Celtic design? Send me a message here and I'll get back to you with a comprehensive quote.

Don't Get Pitched! {Outfit for St. Patrick's Day}

  • Mar 9 2015

St. Patrick's Day is coming, and you'll be needing a little something green to celebrate the Irish holiday, and to keep yourself from getting pinched by the people who are really, really into tradition. (Seriously? I remember being a kid and it was getting tickled, so much less painful.) Anyway, if you don't want to end up looking like The Grinch in head-to-toe green clothing, you can settle for a nice mix of green and black, or green and another color. An effortless way to pull this off is to wear mainly green accessories, a nice accent to whatever other color you were already planning to wear that day anyway.

If you're afraid that wearing mostly green -even if only green jewelry- will make you look Christmas-y in Spring, let me show you an example of a green (and red!) outfit that pulls the look off perfectly, with even the slightest hint of "holiday cheer" that might confuse onlookers:

Luck of the Irish!

Nina Ricci sleeveless top
kirnazabete.com

GUESS black jacket
guess.com

Pencil skirt
cherae.com

Suede boots
paoloshoes.com

Leather tote
etsy.com

Beaded jewelry
etsy.com

Green Collar Necklace
$20 www.MegansBeadedDesigns.com

Green Beaded Ring
$17 www.MegansBeadedDesigns.com

Hoop Earrings
$12 www.MegansBeadedDesigns.com

How to Change Your Luck

  • Mar 2 2015

Whether you were born in a crappy situation, or have had a series of crappy things happen to you lately, it’s easy to conclude that you’re just an unlucky person. Simple as that. ‘Tis your lot in life and all you can do is brace yourself for the next unlucky thing that’s bound to happen, right?

Well… kind of. But not really.

See, the thing about luck is, it can be changed.

And the best way to change you luck is to change your perception of how lucky you are.

I know that sounds really wishy-washy, but hear me out.

Like most peeps on the planet, I was born into a pretty “unlucky” situation. I grew up in a household with a lot of abuse, domestic violence, alcoholism, poverty, no electricity or running water, lack of nutrition and medical care, the whole lot. I lost my mother during my mid-teens and have been on my own since.

I don’t tell you this about myself to make you feel bad for me, or even to make you compare your situation to mine. Because believe me, I know that there is always someone out there who has had it worse.

I’m telling you about my “born into” situation to set the premise for what I’m about to declare next.

I’m pretty damn lucky.

If you need me to brag about ALL the ways in which I consider myself lucky, we could be here all night. So here are just a few: I’m healthy, I have comfortable shelter, I eat pretty damn good, delicious food on a daily basis, I have a closet full of clothes, I have a fabulous education and the access to gain more of it if I need to, I have a hunk of a hubby I adore and who adores me, I have some of the most loyal and amazing friends on the planet, my mama’s good-lookin’ genes were passed onto me, I have talents I get to share with the world, and a job I enjoy. (I really, truly, seriously could go on all night. But I think you get the idea.)

As I mentioned in a previous post, gratitude is the key to happiness.

Coincidentally, deciding that you’re lucky is also the key to becoming lucky.

Because of some weird phenomenon or trick of the universe, when you start noticing how lucky you are: you become luckier.

Mens Irish Bracelet

Beyond that, you may also start to realize the power you have to change some of your own luck. For example, instead of feeling saddled with a job you hate, you may start to realize how lucky you are to live in a time where job hunting can be as easy as a few clicks on the computer. You can change you luck by finding or creating employment that brings you more joy.

Because luck doesn’t just come from anywhere. We create our own luck.

So you want to be a luckier person?

Here are the steps you need to take:

(1)Realize how lucky you already are.

(2)Take action to change your own luck where you can.

And optional step (3) Buy some Irish-themed jewelry, because, a little extra token here and there never hurt anybody. ;-)

Where I Want This Business to be in 5 Years

  • Feb 26 2015

5 years is a long ways away.

It’s hard to think that far in advance, because it’s impossible to predict everything that can happen between then and now.

But having goals and a target to focus on helps me drive my business forward, hopefully, in the direction I want it to go.

In 5 years it will be 2020.

(Holy crapola! That sounds like a date from a science fiction movie!)

Anyway, 2020 will land before we even know it, and here are my hopes for where this jewelry business will be, or at least be headed towards by then:

I will continue to sell handmade jewelry to lovely men and women all over the world--but a lot more than currently. This business will be profitable, and my day will become an option.

My jewelry collections will be in dozens and dozens of fabulous boutiques, globally.

I will have strong partnerships with other businesses, local and international press, and charity organizations making a difference in the lives of women and girls.

This business will provide an opportunity for women coming out of domestic violence situations to become financially independent through employment, or by learning how to run a business of their own.

This business will make a difference in the world and provide financial opportunities for artists and supporting organizations globally.

The jewelry and accessories sold from this business will set trends and transcend trends.

This business will not only be debt-free, but able to provide grant opportunities for other small businesses looking to make a difference and an impact.

This business will be an inspiration.

(Now how’s THAT for setting the bar high!?!)

The Key to Happiness is Gratitude

  • Feb 23 2015

The Key to Happiness is Gratitude

When I get asked, “How can you be so positive and happy all of the time?” I answer, “It’s because I have so much to be positive and happy about.”

Gratitude is the key to happiness.

It’s so simple, but it’s not always easy to put into practice.

It’s easy to focus and get stuck on all of the negative things in our lives.

There’s always something bad happening that we can get mad about, a feeling of lack we want to remove, or a number of bad things that have happened in our past we can dwell on.

But it’s usually a waste of time, especially if it’s something that’s done and over with and there’s nothing we can do to change it.

You can’t change the past; you can only change your perception of the past.

It’s easy to feel like we are particularly unlucky, or, the victims of our situation.

But remember: everybody’s got their own shyte.

I’ve got shyte, you’ve got shyte.

It’s how we react to our shyte that defines who we are.

When you start feeling down, and find yourself only able to see the dark side of your present circumstances, take a moment to ponder everything you have to be grateful for.

Go into detail.

It will have a bigger impact on your consciousness if you don’t simply think “I’m grateful for my health” but instead think of all aspects of your health that you have to be grateful for, such as your ability to use your legs and go for walks with your adorable dog, the ability to breathe and smell the flowers your hubby got you for your last anniversary, and so on.

Take a minute and consider everything you have to be grateful for, because no matter your circumstances, there is something. You’ll feel better when you do this, and even better the more often you put it into practice.

The more you appreciate what you already have, the happier you will be.

Clash of Colors - Spring Edition

  • Feb 19 2015

Before the weather even starts to warm up or the flowers start looming, spring fashion begins sprouting all around. We can't help it. In no way could we allow ourselves to wait any longer before pulling out our bright colors, soft pastels, and brilliantly clashing combinations of closely related hues. For example, as in the outfit styleboard shown below, the unthinkable combination of pink, red, orange, and yellow - paired perfectly with just enough flecks of lime green to hint at summer, while remaining a look to usher in the spring season. When seeking your own #OOTD, why not take out something of your own to welcome a change in the weather?

Clash of Colors - Spring Edition

Clash of Colors - Spring Edition by Megan's Beaded Designs

Matthew Williamson boho chic dress
$1,530 - matthewwilliamson.com

DESTIN floral print scarve
intermixonline.com

Tech accessory
casetify.com

Yves saint laurent lipstick
$40 - johnlewis.com

Essie peach nail polish
fashion.ebay.com

Chrysanthemum jewelry
www.MegansBeadedDesigns.com

Teacup jewelry
www.MegansBeadedDesigns.com