Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Lurking Around the Corner

In just a few weeks I will be the big 3-0. It's hard for me to believe. I thought I would be more upset about it but I look at my life and everything I've been blessed with and the things I have accomplished and I feel okay that I am reaching this milestone. Plus I don't feel 30.

I have decided that I need to do a few things to ensure that I don't look 30. Or at least don't look older than 30. Here's my list:

1. I need to start working out again. I used to be psycho about working out. I got up at 4:45am and did my Firm videos or I hit the gym in the morning and did a video at night. I even went through a period where I cut all sugar and processed food and even Diet Coke out of my diet. When I got pregnant I slacked off of the working out. I was too tired and developed sciatica early in my pregnancy which made it hard to walk much less work out. It disappeared by my 3rd trimester but by then I was too huge(and clumsy) to workout. I gained a ton of weight. I told myself the minute she came out I was starting the videos again.

Well the metabolism gods must have been on my side because a week after I had the baby I had already lost 35 lbs. I lost the rest of the weight (yes there was more!) fairly quickly and the last stubborn pounds evaporated when my husband (then boyfriend) and I joined Gold's Gym for a few months.

Now I am as skinny as I was before I became pregnant which makes it hard for me to be motivated to work out. I know that for my health I need too but I tell myself I get plenty of exercise running after Bella (and carrying her - she weighs a ton!). Regardless, I know I feel my best when I am lifting weights so it's time to dust off the Firm videos. If you have never tried the videos you should! They really do deliver amazing results. They are not for the lazy though. They will give you a serious workout!

2. I need to start a skin regimen. I have been so bad about taking care of my skin. I always tanned, I smoked for years, and I always (used to) go to bed with my makeup on. My problem is that I know nothing about beauty products. Fortunately for me I have a friend that is a beauty expert. Mei Lynn suggested that I read the Skin Type Solution book. You take a quiz to see what type of skin you have (In 4 different areas) and then there is a list of recommended products for that exact skin type. For example, I am a DRPW or Dry, Resistant, Pigmented, Wrinkled. I ordered the products I need this week and can't wait to see the difference!

3. I need a natural glow. My mom always said that tan fat is better than white fat. I couldn't agree more. I wouldn't dream of actually tanning, especially since I read the book mentioned above. So I bought some Oil of Olay Touch of Sun to test out. My sister in law uses it and her tan looks great. I have used the Jergens one before and I liked it but it smells awful!

I know the self tan seems silly but it's an easy self improvement. And I will see immediate results with this one.

So there you go. My "I'm getting older" to do list. I will keep you posted on the results.

Oh and I haven't forgotten about my "Earrings that Flatter your Face" tips. More to come soon!

Posted in Getting Personal_

Monday, May 29, 2006

Catching Up

After my fun day at the beach I went full speed ahead into a crazy weekend. My brother in law graduated from San Jose State this weekend so my mother in law stayed with us for the weekend. It was a fun weekend but all the cleaning beforehand and the party we made food for was exhausting. The party was a blast but I am not an extremely social person (tend to be a little shy) and that much talking and hugging/kissing (Big Italian family) wears me out.

Yesterday Bella and I were alone all day so we spent the day blowing bubbles, shopping and playing at the park. I spent the evening laying like a zombie on the couch which I never do so I must have been really tired! Today we hit the sales with my mom (I'm a shopaholic what can I say?).

I didn't even get around to designing with my brand new beads that I received on Friday:


I am such a sucker for window beads (the pink and purple beads). My customers love them too. In fact, many of the first necklaces I sold were made of window beads. I think what makes them popular is the gorgeous colors and the fact that you don't see them in alot of jewelry. I use the amber/brown and turquoise/brown ones a lot but I thought I would branch out with a few new colors.

The big chunky caramel colored ones are also just amazing in person. They have a gorgeous amount of depth and shine to them. They kinda remind me of candy (most beads do). I think it's about time for some super chunky necklaces.

I also got a few new pendants to play with:



The black pendants are definitely going in the Bold and Brassy section. They are really striking in person. Definitely not for the timid jewelry wearer. They will definitely get you some attention.

I am waiting for a few other new things and then I will start designing the new pieces. I can't wait to see what I come up with!

Hope you had a relaxing and fun weekend!

Posted in Business Babble_

Thursday, May 25, 2006

A Break from the Ordinary



On Tuesday, my good friend Jen called and asked what I was doing Wednesday. I quickly brought up my to do list in my head: Laundry, Grocery Shopping, Cleaning, Work... and said "Nothing at all!" She said she was free as well and that my daughter and I should come spend the day with her in Santa Cruz.
She said the weather had been gorgeous and she was sure it would be a great day for the beach. We made a date.

I live far enough away from Santa Cruz to be considered a "tourist" by the Santa Cruz locals but close enough that there is no excuse that my daughter has only been to the ocean a handful of times. The last time we went she was still crawling and we didn't get near the water. So I happily packed our bags and we headed off to Santa Cruz..ignoring the piles of laundry and un vacuumed floors.

Jen and I have been friends as long as I can remember and we always have a great time together. I always feel re-charged after we have hung out. I have been feeling a little overwhelmed and stressed out lately so it was time for a day of fun.

We shopped in downtown Santa Cruz for a few hours and then headed to Natural Bridges beach. The weather was perfect. Not so hot that you have nightmares of skin cancer but not so cold that you spend the whole time huddled in blankets.

Jen and I laughed at ourselves because we spent much of our teenage years scoffing at sunscreen over an spf of 4 while we basked in the sun for hours on end. Now we both use tons of sunscreen (over 30spf of course) and fearfully analyze any new freckle or weird mole.



My daughter had so much fun in the water. I usually steer clear of the water because it's too cold for me (I have become such a wuss in my old age) but I toughed it out for Bella. Once your feet and ankles get numb it's not so bad anyway.

I realized that I really need to have more days like this. Even though it was an event packed day I came home in a great mood ready to tackle the housework. I got so much done tonight! Hopefully as the weather continues to get warmer we can at least get to the beach every other week. I don't think Bella will mind!



Posted in Getting Personal_

Monday, May 22, 2006

A Good Man!

When my sister read my love letter post she said she also had a "My Sharma Stole the Show" story to tell. I love all these stories! Keep them coming!

Here's her story:

I was giving the boy I've been seeing a test to see how observant he is (he's pretty into details). I was asking him what I was wearing on our first date. He remembered I had some sweater on with some funky little sewed on flowers, but he thought it was black (it was light blue). He said all he remembered was a cool white necklace (the white mosaic, one of my favs). A testimony to show that even though guys may not remember what you wear, the jewelry stands out (especially if it's a Sharma).


Do you have a "My Sharma Stole the Show" story to tell? Email it to me! I'd love to hear it!

Posted in My Sharma Stole the Show_

New Jewelry!

I added a few new jewelry pieces this morning. Inspired by my "Colors" post, I tried to incorporate some colors that I don't usually use(and some I always use). It was challenging but I like the end result!









Posted in Jewelry Previews_

You Want Me to Stay Where??!!

I was copying and deleteing the pictures from our camera last tonight and came across pictures that I just had to share.

For our honeymoon, we had my friend who is a travel agent book us a trip to Maui. When we were discussing hotel options we agreed that we wouldn't stay at the fanciest hotel because we would rather spend our money on doing things and enjoying the island. So my friend said there was this hotel right in Lahaina that had recently remodeled but was a decent deal. She sent pictures of what the rooms looked like and I thought they looked fabulous. We said great.

The first night of our honeymoon we arrived at the hotel around 11:30pm. The hotel looked a little run down but there were obvious signs of construction like a big overhaul was in the works. Afterall, I had seen the remodeled rooms so I knew that even if the exterior was a little rough the inside was like a tropical heaven.

We wearily dragged our bags down the corriders and mysteriously left the quiet, newer looking halls and entered a shadier area where the residents peered out their windows at us. Hmm. We opened the door to our room and I entered my worst nightmare. It was the shabbiest little room I had ever seen. It made the Motel 6 look like a luxury hotel. I am not kidding. I started freaking out. I told my husband I could not stay there. He was trying to convince me that it wasn't that bad. He headed for the bathroom and I heard a "You're not going to like this very much". He was referring to this:



How nasty is that bath tub? The towels were like the threadbare towels that you give to your husband to use in the garage for rags. The kind you would NEVER put out for company. The couch was threadbare and there were super thin parts in the chinzy carpet.

I sat on the bed (after I pulled back the quilt - I know they don't wash those) and cried. Then I remembered that I had seen those remodeled pictures. "Wait! They put us in the wrong room! We have a remodeled room!" I called the front desk and told the guy. He assured me that we were in the right room and that if I wanted to talk to the manager in the morning I could.

Stay in this dump? All night? How could I sleep knowing that there were most likely bed bugs crawling all over me? And look at the ceiling!!







Somehow I fell asleep. The minute I woke up I called my friend. Of course she fixed everything. I was so happy at that moment that I had decided to book things through her. Not only did we get a remodeled room but we also got a 1 bedroom room instead of a studio. It had a full kitchen instead of a kitchenette and had a living room with an additional tv to the flat screen in the bedroom.





Strangely enough...when we were walking around the complex a few days later we saw that the whole wing where they stuck us the first night was gutted. Ya right we were supposed to stay there! I think they overbooked the first night and didn't know what to do when we showed up.

Fortunately, the rest of the trip was uneventful and at least we have a funny honeymoon story to tell! It sure wasn't funny then though.

Posted in Getting Personal_

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Aw!! A Love Letter

I got this email from a customer a few days ago and just had to share. I thought it was so sweet of her to send it...


"Yesterday, I was at a drive through and the man, at the window, leaned into my car to look at my necklace. He said it was beautiful! Thanks for making such pretty things for us to wear and get complemented on."

Posted in My Sharma Stole the Show_

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Colors


In my entire collection of jewelry, there is not one piece that I would not be happy to wear. I sincerely love every piece that I create. The problem that I come across sometimes is that I tend to use colors that I love best or look best in. If you use the shop by color feature on my site you will notice that the greens and browns have the most pieces of jewelry. What can I say? I love earthy colors.

I try really hard to branch out but whenever I get more beads I notice that they are in the same color family. I guess I am just not drawn to other colors like I am greens, blues and browns. I know for sure that I have few (oops none) yellow pieces because yellow looks horrible on me. I have a lot of yellow in my skin tone. I think I subconsciously stay away from it because I have trained myself to "not even go there".

For me, it's not really a color trend thing. Sure I watch the trends. I don't usually subject myself to them though. Especially in my jewelry. The focus of my collection is on being an individual and having a unique piece of jewelry not looking like everyone else.

So I need your help. What colors would you like to see more of at Sharma Designs? If there is a specific shade please leave it in the comments of the poll (also anonymous if you wish). Ie..you vote for blue but specify "Periwinkle blue" in the comments.

What Color Would You Like to See More of?
Red
Orange
Yellow
Pink
Grey
White
Green
Blue
Black
Purple
Brown

Studio Friday - Contrast



I had a great Studio Friday planned. I took the picture and the stupid flash kept going off and well...it was just not working for me.

As I looked at my pictures, I found the perfect contrast candidates. My black and white jewelry that I had to re-shoot this week. I like to photograph my pictures with a white background, but the white in these beads just makes them really hard to see so grey it is.

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

My Other Blogs


I try to keep this blog fresh and interesting. Some weeks I am on the ball and have a new post up every night and sometimes there are days in between. It's hard sometimes to come up with a post everyday. I also have 2 other blogs that I post to.

One is my daughter's blog. Because my relatives are all so far away I used to send out "Bella a Day pictures". It got to be too much pressure to make sure I had a few good pictures to send everyday and it morphed into "Bella a Week". It was fun but as her personality was developing I wanted to let everyone "get to know her" so I started a blog for her. "She" posts nightly and let me tell you..when there is not a fresh post I hear it! I find myself looking for funny anecdotes to blog about all day. I hope someday she will be able to read it and enjoy it. My husband and I joked last night that when she is old enough to read it she will probably be saying "You guys used Blogger? That is so 2000s!" Ha ha.

My other blog is a blog I started with my friend Mei-Lynn of the Hella Good fame. It's called Rare Bird Finds. It started as a cool finds kind of shopping blog. I've had a great time with that because I am such a shopper by nature. I love finding the uncommon little treasures. Recently we have added a poll and some funny stories asking "What Would You Choose?" It's a lot of fun to write for. I would love to hear what you guys think about it.

So when this blog hasn't been updated you should check the others. Chances are..one of them has been!

Ps You can get your very own "I'm blogging this" tee right here for $17.99

Posted in Business Babble_

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Earrings to Flatter your Face Shape - Part 1 Round Face

We all love the little tricks that help us look our best right? Well, I have been researching what style of earrings look best with what face shape and I want to share my findings with you.

Face Shape: Round

Styles that flatter the face: To make your face appear longer try some long and narrow earrings. Earrings with a square or oblong shape also work well.

Not the best choice: Very small or stud earrings

Examples of good choices for a round face:

Wood Oval Earrings


Olive Jade Butterfly Earrings
Posted in Jewelry Tips_

Monday, May 15, 2006

New Necklaces!




I designed a few new necklaces this weekend that I love so much I just had to make myself my own as a Mother's Day present (I am wearing it in the picture in the post below). The pictures make it a little hard to see the delicate circle chain but the seen worn pictures are much clearer. Update: I changed the background and now they are much easier to see!



Have an opinion on the new necklaces?
Love them!
Cute but not for me
What were you thinking?


Posted in Jewelry Previews_

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day!





Today was my second Mother's Day. My husband brought me my favorite breakfast..a grande nonfat caramel machiatto and a maple scone. A good man. My daughter ratted me out by making a beeline for the tell tale scone bag and pointing excitedly. My husband said "oh Bella how do you know what's in that bag? Maybe because you share one with mommy every morning?" Never!!

We had a late lunch at Cheesecake factory with my mom and dad which ,as always, was delicious. Then my husband let me take a nap (a rare treat) and he cleaned the kitchen. It was a great day. One of my mother's day presents is that I get to go get my hair done which I am obviously in desperate need of!

Happy Mother's Day to all my favorite moms! I hope you all were treated like queens for the day!

Posted in Getting Personal_

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Studio Friday - Robots


No no the robot is not my daughter. She definitely does not have an "Off" button. My trusty robot is my laptop. I love my laptop because it makes it easy for me to do business tasks anywhere in the house. My favorite spot is in front of the tv watching a little reality tv or Law and Order.

I also love my robot because it is filled with wonderful memories in the form of digital photos. Pregnancy, Baby, Family, Friends and of course my jewelry. I can take a walk down memory lane with the click of the mouse.

I currently am a little miffed at my robot for 2 reasons:

1) See the black thingy sticking out of the usb port? Well, that is what allows my wireless mouse to work. Apparently my daughter has been playing with it because it is very sick. It clicks on and off with that annoying little "dunuh" sound about 10 times an hour. It is very aggravating when you have a ton of pictures to edit. I need a new mouse desperately.

2) The screen is so bright that I have a hard time telling what my photos really look like. I have tried the dimmer switch but it just doesn't help. At least I get some exercise. I edit a photo then run up the stairs yelling "I'm not done with the computer yet!*" and check out the photos on our PC.

Nonetheless this little guy is my trusty friend. I would not be able to run my business without it. And just look at the good example I am setting for my daughter....



*My husband also has a little bit of a computer addiction. He is a forum junkie. He swears it is my fault because I spend so much time making jewelry. hmmpph.

Much Needed Change

Today I got the "Blog" bug and started trying to tweak my blog design a bit. Unfortunately, I think I had made one too many changes. Things were just not coming out right. I also had noticed lately that my blog titles and posts were disappearing. So annoying. I decided I should start from scratch.

I think I might have mentioned it before but when I get an idea I like to run with it/obsess about it/not eat or sleep until it's done. The problem was that I was at work when the bug bit me and being the very responsible office manager that I am..I knew that I should not even attempt to start a thing until I was home and had Bella safely tucked in bed for the night. It was very very hard for me to resist but somehow I managed. You better believe that the minute I kissed the munch goodnight I was on my computer (laundry schmaundry).

So, here's the new and improved blog. It's a little cleaner and yet still colorful. One negative aspect is that I lost all my comments. But hey..how can you comment if you can't see the post anyway right?

I found a fun little blog goodie today as well. If you look at the "See Worn" post you will notice a little poll. Who doesn't love to give their opinion right? And its even anonymous for you shy readers. So let's try a new one okay?

What do you think of the new look?
Change is Good!
Keep Trying – Needs more work
It Looks Different?
(My husband's answer is c. Grr! Men!)


Posted in Website News_

But What Does it Look Like On?

When I first started Sharma Designs all of my necklaces were modelled by me. The pictures were just my neck and the necklace. It worked because people could see how the necklaces looked on a person.

I soon gave in to the "prettiness" factor, however, and changed the pictures to a white background (and then retook them a zillion times). I love the way the pictures look now but a few people have said that it would help to see the necklaces on someone to get an idea of the dimentions.

Well..you ask and I listen. I have taken a few "See Worn" pictures. I chose a few necklaces that might be hard to picture on. Yes it is me in the pictures. Yes my neck looks a little funky. It's not easy to get a good picture of your own neck.

I wear most of my necklaces at 15 inches to give you an idea of fit. Too bad taking pictures on my neck might not be the best idea. Now I want all of them for myself! Muahahaha!

Here are a few of the pictures. There will be more over the coming days. If there is ever a necklace you would like to see on before buying please just act. It's no problem.

Horn Stick and Mother of Pearl Handmade Necklace



Aqua Quartz and Abalone Handmade Necklace

Horn and Brown Shell Handmade Necklace

Are the "See Worn" pictures helpful?
Yes
No
Posted in Website News_

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Pictures are Done...Almost


I had high hopes for a weekend of taking and editing photos but my daughter is cutting 4 teeth right now and she was, shall we say, a little needy this weekend. I slowly plugged along and tonight I finished putting up all the new necklace and bracelet pictures. The earring pictures are edited just not up yet. That's on the agenda for tomorrow night.

I really think the new pictures do the jewelry more justice. If anything looks off please let me know.

Posted in Website News_

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Matching Earrings



You may have noticed that a lot of my necklaces say "This necklace comes with matching earrings". So you may wonder what the matching earrings look like. They are usually simple with one to three of the same beads used in the necklace. They compliment the necklace perfectly without competing with it.

Why do I do it? Because I know that people like to have a jewelry set. Who has time in the morning to dig through their jewelry box and try on a ton of possible matches to their necklace? Heck I don't have time to do my hair most days (Its always clean just not dried and straightened like I would prefer).

So there you go. I'm glad to do my part to help your day just a tiny bit easier.

Posted in Business Babble_

Saturday, May 06, 2006

I Just Don't Get it....

I hate roaches. In fact, I hate them so much that I had the exterminator come and spray the minute I saw ONE roach in our bathtub. We never saw another one but I just couldn't bear the thought of one being anywhere near my daughter.

When he came out he told us that it was probably because it had been so wet and that we definitely didn't have an infestation. My husband looked happy for a minute..until the words "So lets do the bi-monthly service plan" came out of my mouth. He wasn't very happy but I just would rather be safe than sorry when it comes to the creepy things.

Why am I so traumatized? Well the building where I work part time had a roach problem for awhile. I was so anxious everyday when I turned on the light in my office...curling my toes to make sure no roaches got near them and slowly rounding the corner to my desk. It was awful. I was a psycho that month..sweeping the room with my eyes every 5 seconds and scanning the floor every 3 seconds. I felt like I was in my own private hell.

So you can imagine my horror when I saw this...



What are these people thinking? These are live Giant Madagascar hissing cockroaches that have been "prettied up" with swarovski crystals and made into brooches. They climb all over the wearer. How gross is that? You can definitely put that on the list of top 100 things I don't want for Mother's Day!

Posted in Business Babble_

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Studio Friday



Truth be told, you can't usually hear anything in my studio besides whatever audio cd I am currently listening to. Gone are the days when I had time to curl up on the couch with a good book. So I try to multitask when I work and I listen to a good book and bead at the same time.

In between the chapters you can hear my beads. They make a wonderful "tinkly chink" noise as they bump into each other. The clinking beads are definitely my favorite studio sound. They also make a much more interesting picture.

Posted in Studio Friday_

Yours, Mine, and Ours

One of the perks of marriage is that all your husband's toys are now your toys. Ha ha ha. It is especially great when you have a husband who spent his bachelor years buying himself top of the line digital cameras. While I was very excited about MY new camera I have also been a little intimidated. The manual is the size of a encyclopedia and does not include a "For Dummies" translation.

So I busted out my sad doe eyes and put on my well practiced pouty lip and asked my husband to help me figure out the camera. He is a good sport and has come to understand, if not love, my obsessive nature when it comes to my website pictures. He patiently sat with me and shot and re-shot pictures late into the night.

I am thrilled with the result. Only a few new pictures are up so far but you better believe the perfect picture demon will keep me up for hours tonight and the rest of the weekend shooting the rest. Thank god for triple grande nonfat caramel macchiattos and afternoon coffee fixes.

Here are a few before and after photos:

Before:



After:



Before:



After:



Before:




After:



Before:



After:



Posted in Business Babble_

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

You Get What You Pay For

Everyone knows that exposure to lead can be dangerous. It can cause brain damage, kidney damage, hearings loss and impaired growth in children and teenagers. Did you know that the costume jewelry that you have bought at Burlington Coat Factory, Claire’s Boutique, Express, Macy’s, Mervyn’s, Nordstrom, Ross, and Target could expose you to dangerous levels of lead?

These stores are part of a lawsuit that requires them to meet new standards for lead free and low lead jewelry.

Scary stuff. So while you may think you are getting a deal by buying jewelry from these stores you may be getting more than you bargained for.

If you would like to read the whole article click here

Posted in Business Babble_

Monday, May 01, 2006

Win These Earrings!



Want a chance to win these earrings? Check out the May contest at Grechen's Closet. Grechen's Closet is an amazing shoppping site with lots of links to every online boutique imaginable and reviews of clothing by Grechen herself. Check it out!

Posted in Website News_

New Jewelry

Lots of new pieces of jewelry have been added to the site. The update is mostly earrings but there are also a few fun necklaces! Check out the site for all the new jewelry!













Posted in Jewelry Previews_