Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Big Bead Sale at Jewelweaver

Jewelweaver is having a big year end clearance sale on everything. I've been a customer there for several years and their prices are very good, as is their quality. Read the descriptions - they're accurate so it's important to note if there are any flaws so you aren't disappointed.

Here's the sale details:
"We are offering a 7.5% discount on all orders over $50, and an additional 7.5% discount on top of the discount you would normally receive for all orders $100 and above. For example, if you place a $350 order, your discount would normally be 15%. For the duration of this sale, your discount for that same purchase would be 22.5%. Check the discount schedule on our home page for further details about how our system works."

I need more beads like I need a hole in my head...but I'm still going to browse. :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Not Always as They Appear

A few folks have given me wonderful compliments about my photos...which I appreciate a ton. I never quite believe them though... =) I'm very hard on myself and being a perfectionist means that I'm never quite happy with things.

I think my photos are a gazillion times better than they were when I first started making jewelry though. And I think I manage to get some decent shots. I've learned a lot. Like, you don't have to have a "pretty" set up to get good photographs. And using the macro setting is vital.
I use a photo tent that I bought at least three years ago now (time flies) for around $300 (could've been more...I have a horrible memory) and it has paid for itself several times over. They have kits that start at less than $200...and of course there are lots of people out there who spend just a few bucks and make their own. I tried that but never could get the right effect that I wanted.
So, this funky set up in my kitchen....

Can yield this more attractive photo (not a perfect photo, I grant you, but better than many photos I see out there and 1,000 times better than the pictures I used to try to take outside)...

Pictures are the only way you can sell online and a good photo can be the difference between a sale and nothing. I rarely buy anything online if the seller doesn't have good photos that are detailed and show every angle as if I were able to handle the item myself in person.

My photos certainly aren't perfect and I've had a couple of complaints about not being able to tell the size of the item, but I try hard to make sure the photos represent as much detail for each piece as possible.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Mama's Little Helper's not easy to make jewelry with an infant, but I'm managing to find a way. He doesn't nap during the day and really doesn't like being left alone without being held. *sigh* I'm trying to train him to like the Baby Bjorn facing outward so he can see things. We're having mixed results. But on Saturday and Sunday I managed to get him to give me about an hour before the screaming started.

Here we are taking photographs. Boy is it hard to keep a camera still while juggling an infant on your front! Most of the shots came out okay though.

I've been posting a lot of new work and reposting some older pieces in my Etsy shop. And there are other items listed in my 1000 Markets shop. Items should still arrive in time for Christmas if orders are shipped by this Wednesday.

Glass bead and fringed necklace.

Fine silver and sterling earrings.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

CPSIA Is a Nightmare

Government is such an intrusive force in our Reagan said, "Government is not the solution to our problems. Government IS the problem." That is never more true than these days we live in.

And if affects parts of our lives I never would have imagined...the CPSIA is the insane anti-lead / chemical law that, as usual, was passed with good intentions but has horrible ramifications.

If you aren't yet aware of this law and how it impacts small businesses, including stay at home mom's making children's clothes, consignment shops, even libraries and used book stores, you should really do even just a small amount of research. It doesn't take long to see what a horrible law this is.

There has been a stay on the required testing portion of the law, but there are some in government trying to end it and push forward to implement this ill designed law.

To read about some of the consequences of discontinuing the stay, head over to this blog posting by someone who has been keeping up to date on this issue.

We may be small individuals in comparison to large corporations, but if we come together we can make a difference!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Back in Gear

It has been a while...I went back to work this week and it's been quite an adjustment. Thankfully hubby is at home this whole month to watch the boy. :) It's a lot easier not having to drop him off at daycare yet.

I've also been on a roll listing new items (and relisting some older items) in my Etsy shop. I have a few orders and it's a lot of fun getting gifts ready for people to give.

Here are a couple of newly listed designs.

A tiny version of my fine silver Cherry Tree pendant necklace. I love this miniature style.

I made a fine silver version of this and it's sold (I can make more but just haven't yet). This is made with Bronze clay, which I won't be using anytime in the near future because I don't have a kiln can't be hand fired. But I have two of these small sea shell pendants that I made this summer. This is one that I made into a necklace with 14k gold filled chain.

I just love the color of these freshwater pearls. This is a simple, but I think elegant, pair of earrings.

I made this pendant ages ago, but this summer decided to add some color. Then it sat for another few months before I finally added it to a chain to complete the necklace. :)

If you're looking for something my custom alphabet bracelets...let me know right away. I'm not making a lot of "made to order" items. Most of the items I'm listing are already made. I've got just a little bit going on in my life right now so the simpler this selling season is, the better. =)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

New Priorities

Wow...I still can't believe that I'm a mom. Life has changed in ways that I only vaguely expected.

Feel free to visit my other blog to read about the new baby...Marshal Lawrence...born on September 26 - a week and a day early.

I decided not to shut down my Etsy shop at all. It's not like sales have been flying in, so I figured the odds of having any sales were slim.

Lo and behold...I had two sales in my first two weeks home with the baby. I was not ready. Thankfully my family has been incredible in helping out. Mom has stayed the night twice to let me get a full night's sleep and my aunt even drove over an hour just to help out for a few hours. So I did manage to get both orders out.

In less than a month I'll be doing my one and only craft show. I really need to step it up and start getting ready for it. I don't need to make any jewelry, thankfully. But I do need to organize and price things.

We're slowly getting into a sort of routine. The last four nights he seems to have figured out that night time is when we sleep. Though it's not super consistent. His fussiness is getting a bit better - he was super gassy the first two weeks.

And my mental health has gotten better. I knew it would be difficult for me and I was right. I hardly left the bedroom for the first two weeks. And I barely ate (I'm back down to my pre-pregnancy weight already). It was pretty stressful, but again between family and my doctors I made it through.

I have ideas for making jewelry ... now I just need to find time and energy to make it. :) Although I've been wasting lots of time on Facebook games. They are addicting!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Counting Down

It's getting closer and closer to "D" day. :) The doctors have scheduled me to be induced on September 27.

I'm also working at home last day "at" work is tomorrow...and then I'll be in my virtual office until labor time.

My exhaustion level is crazy high. Hubby and I went out to breakfast and then grocery shopping today and even though it's only around 5 p.m. I feel like I could go to bed for the rest of the night.

I did make some new jewelry last weekend and even got photos taken...edited, now that's another story. Here are some basic, barely edited photos...basically just cropped.

I really love the pendants and got them from the Pacific Northwest bead festival this summer from Lillypilly Designs. I've got several more in different colors but of course have no energy to actually use them right now.

I also made a cute pair of earrings with some smaller pendants but forgot to photograph them. I figure the necklaces will each be around $50-$65...the pendants themselves are not cheap, even wholesale (sadly, I didn't buy enough to get wholesale prices). It's probably not high enough of a price for the whole necklace since I'm using freshwater pearls and real gemstones with them. But I mostly just want to get them sold so someone can enjoy them. I really love how they a ll turned out.

They're made with real shells and I have no idea what process they use to create the designs. If I get these listed in my Etsy or 1000 Markets shop it will be a minor miracle.

I'm sure blogging will be as light, or lighter, than it has been lately. Once the little guy is here I'll be sure to post photos...but it might just be on my other blog Amid Clutter. I'll try to link to it here too. :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

So Little Time

Time is running out very quickly... I have less than 5 weeks before I'm due and somehow I have this feeling that I won't even make it that long before he demands to be let out. :)

I have all these ideas for creating new jewelry pieces and yet no time to create them. The baby room is not done - everything is sort of piled up in the middle of the room. We haven't even gotten some of the things we need to have (like a crib mattress and a bassinet).

I did find a few spare moments - last week - to play with the new enamel I'd ordered over a month ago. SO much fun!!! I do want to know why the larger pieces bubbled when I did the second side though (the counter enamel was fine). Any ideas?

As I was pouring the enamel from the ziplock baggies into their new solid canister containers I read the warning label on the Orient Red color...yeah...after I'd already poured it in. It said not to use if you're pregnant because it might harm the fetus. Lovely.

Thankfully I was practicing a small level of safety - wearing a mask and an apron. Hopefully that was enough. I've already had enough issues this pregnancy without causing more on my own. :) And I will not be actually using the Orient Red in anything until after the baby arrives. I'll stick to the "safe" colors (and I will still wear a mask because breathing in ground glass is not my idea of fun).

I'm taking this Friday off and will have a 4 day weekend...I'm hoping that I'll get lots of things done including some jewelry and photos.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

SSP Fundraiser Results

I'm so excited to announce that I raised $69.95 during the Etsy sale fund raiser for Saving Shelter Pets. YAY!!! I'm going to round up. *grin*

So $70 is on its way to SSP to help rescue animals from high kill shelters. I love this organization and hope you'll check out what they do and support their efforts.

Cross posting at my other two blogs.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Just Two More Days!

The SSP Fundraiser is still going strong and there are just two more days left. I've sold a few items on Etsy, but I also sold some items to my mom and one of her coworkers and I'm counting those sales toward the fundraiser as well. I'll add up how much I've raised on Thursday.

If you're needing a gift in the near future (or even the far future) please consider shopping one of the participating vendors who will then donate 20% of their sales to SSP.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

An Oldie Finally Posted

I made these earrings at least 1 - 1/2 years ago...maybe longer. It was when I'd first started playing with fine silver and fusing, and I was a lot more brave and willing to experiment. I'm not really sure if I'll make another pair like these (I have a few more that I made with different designs, but the same concept...also not listed yet).

While lampwork artists use fire to create their beads, after the beads are finished more fire can crack them, and even discolor them. So fusing wire with the lampwork in the design can be a challenge. Somehow I managed to not crack too many beads in my quest for this design.

Remember that all purchases help support Saving Shelter Pets, now through August 26, with 20% of the purchase price being donated by participating Etsy shops.

This fundraiser has inspired me to pull out some of my older work that never quite made it into my shop and get it listed. I just need to find the time to edit all the photos I've been taking.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Let the Fundraising Begin!

The Saving Shelter Pets Etsy fundraiser began yesterday and I'm so excited to be part of it. I've already made one sale and am thankful to be able to contribute.

I'm also eying some of the items for sale from a few of the participating vendors.

If you are a planner like me and have upcoming birthday gifts you need to buy, please consider purchasing from the fundraiser participants. 20% of your purchase will be donated to SSP to help them save shelter pets from certain death.

Here are a few of my favorite items from participating vendors.

Gorgeous "The Mojito Maxi Dress" by Rali.

TTV Carousel photo print by Gothicrow.
And I can't decide on one of the pieces from Sherry Dole - all are so bright, colorful, and fun.

I'm trying to plan ahead for Christmas gifts and birthdays. :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Exciting Fundraiser Coming Soon!

I'm super excited to be participating in a Handmade fund raiser for Saving Shelter Pets. It starts this Sunday and will go through August 26.

20% of all purchases made from participating Etsy shops will be donated to SSP to help with their ongoing pet rescue and other program efforts. I just love this organization.

If you want to get a reminder on Sunday morning, I'm sending out a newsletter with the relevant links and details. Sign up for my newsletter here (I don't send out very many newsletters ... less than 12 a year I'd say).

Do it for Timber. :)

And for all those adoptable pets out there who need and deserve a loving, safe, abuse free home.

Monday, August 10, 2009

I Heart Elephants

I've been leaning heavily toward elephant related items for our soon to be born baby boy (does 8 weeks count as soon?).

One of my coworker's just alerted me to her mother's Etsy shop, which she just started a few days ago, and I'm gaga over this adorable little stuffed elephant and matching onesie. I want!

Her shop is Chrissy Creates...head over and check out her other cute items. I'm sure she's going to do really well.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Crafting for a Cause

Even though I don't have a lot of new items to post, I am going to participate in a fund raiser for Saving Shelter Pets this August. Etsy sellers are being recruited to volunteer part of their proceeds to donate to SSP.

If you have an Etsy shop would you be willing to participate in this fundraiser? If so...
  1. Respond to this Post in the Etsy forums.
  2. E-mail info (at) savingshelterpets (dot) com (making the appropriate e-mail adjustments).
This is one of my favorite pet can see the good work they do and the tangible results they get saving lives of adoptable pets. I especially get choked up when I see the results of their Puppy Promises program.

Please spread the word for recruiting other Etsy crafters for this great cause. Thanks!!!

"Won't You Help Other Pups like Me?"
Timber Wolf, adopted September 2008

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Some New Old Things

This last weekend I sat down and forced myself to take some photographs. Not all of the work is brand new - some is actually quite old but that I never quite liked enough to photoraph. Is that weird?

I made this PMC (fine silver) with 22k gold sun pendant ... I don't know ... early last year or maybe even before that. I think it was last year though. For some reason I just never felt motivated to photograh or offer it for sale. I honestly don't know why ... because now I think it's pretty cool looking. Maybe I was in my uber perfectionist stage and didn't like the more rustic "imperfect" look ... now I like it.

Then there's this really cute dragonfly pendant that I made earlier this year. I made another with blue and purple and sold it already. So why didn't I list this one? No idea. I do want to make a couple more with other colors eventually.
Then there's these freshwater pearl Keishi earrings. I totally love these pearls and the earrings are very different - not at all your standard pearl earrings. I have no idea how to describe the color...orangish tan? I've had them made for months - maybe even a year. And I even photographed them once before but never listed them.

Do you ever make things and then put them away? I have a bunch of jewelry that I've made over the last few years that has never been shown the light of day. It's not bad's not necessarily my style anymore but it's still good jewelry.
I guess I need to sit down and force myself to take more photos of these older pieces. It's just way more fun to create new jewelry. =)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Why Am I Banned?

I got banned from Twitter over a month ago. It is beyond frustrating...I have submitted three different tickets asking why and so far NO response. The first two tickets were closed...with no response explaining to me why my account was suspended.

What do I have to do to get back on Twitter and why was I suspended in the first place?

Has anyone else had a problem with being suspended?

I thought maybe it was because my previous website had gotten hacked and I had my site listed in my Twitter account. But the website is fixed and no longer hacked.

Was it because I disagreed with someone? Or someone complained because I offended them somehow? If so that is beyond lame.

Anyway...I'm just frustrated because I really like using Twitter and following people. And now I've been without it for over a month. :(

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I Want a New Computer

Well, I could probably make a case for needing a new one.

We got hubby a new one for his 40th birthday. It's pretty neat but it runs with Vista - pure evil and random freeziness.

Right now I use an ancient (can such a term be applied to technology?) laptop that has been knocked over and dropped so many times that the plastic pieces around the edges have literally broken off. Not to mention its double duty as a TV tray. It's a very sad looking machine, but it loyally chugs on (knock on wood) and does my bidding.

For now.

I'm constantly worried that it is going to just up and die. I have everything on that laptop...and yes I know I should invest in some sort of backup but I just haven't done it yet. Mostly I want to save all my photos (literally thousands of them) and files relating to my jewelry.

I've been looking at the ads lately and it looks like we're closer to getting Windows 7. They promote it as an Upgrade, which is funny since Vista was supposed to be the 'best' thing since sliced bread. But I don't want to buy a machine with Vista installed and have to go back later for the upgrade. So I wait.

Then the question I want a new super laptop (must play video games) or should I go with a desktop. With two monitors. Yes, two monitors. If I have to work from home more than once a week when the baby comes I have to have the same set up I have at work. Two monitors is divine. SO much easier to work it's not even funny. Having only one feels pathetic to me now.

I hate change though...I know how to use my laptop and get around on it. I'm used to it. It's comfortable. Until it dies. I'm nervous about picking out a new computer. What if I get the wrong kind? What if it's a lemon? What if my files don't transfer over?

It's those kind of fears that help make the Geek Squad of Best Buy money. :) Because I WILL pay to have them fix up a new system and transfer stuff from my old one. So I need to consider those costs in additon to the cost of a machine.

I need to sell a lot more jewelry. =)

Monday, July 20, 2009


I've been having major issues with my website getting hacked this year. It's so frustrating, but even more so since I have no clue how to deal with something like that.

My wonderful web designer has just been too busy to really get a fix on it so I went elsewhere.

HUGE thank yous go out to Liz from Zola Bola Studios for taking my website design and shrinking it down to the basics. Which is exactly what I wanted and needed. No more gallery or pages of products...those seemed to be the most vulnerable and hacked.

It's a new simple and clean design ... and she even made a VIDEO tutorial for me - showing how to edit my pages. Above and beyond my expectations.

So now people should be able to visit my site with no scary warnings or big red pages popping up saying that the site is dangerous. Maybe this will help get me back on account has been suspended for a few weeks now and I'm just hoping it had to do with the website link.

My next goal is to clean up some of the pages on my site ... especially the press page and the policies page. But one thing at a time. I'm just thankful that it's hacker free. :)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Exhaustion Ensues

Holy cow what a few days I've had.

Starting Thursday I've been huddled in classrooms at the Puget Sound Bead Festival. ROCKS.

Four classes down, one to go. And so far I'm thrilled with two of the four.

The first was a Bronze Clay class. My pieces turned out really neat and I like them, but working with the substance itself is not going to be for me. I gave the rest of the clay I got in class to another student. It is a ridiculously messy substance. And VERY finicky. I am looking forward to taking photos of the pieces I did make...they'll be the only ones I make for a long time. At least until I get a kiln.

The class did give me lots of new ideas for use with PMC, which I haven't played with in awhile so it was definitely worth it.

That was Thursday's class. An all day affair.

Friday started out miserably. I had to take Timber to daycare, which took some time since I needed someone to help me get him inside (he can pull me down and that would be bad). By the time I got to Tacoma I had about 10 minutes to get to class. Which would have been plenty if ... A) I could have found any parking and B) I didn't have to waddle like a fat duck.

I finally found an open parking space and waddled down about 6 flights of stairs, WITH my suitcase full of supplies, to get to my classroom. I was near tears.

Walked into class and it had already started, of course. So I was pissed off to begin with and then the class just wasn't holding my attention. It was a class on how to polish / grind metal using a Flex Shaft (or Dremmel) ... I don't think it's something I'll do a ton of for awhile. Besides that I don't have a Flex Shaft...though I do want one.

The second class of the day ROCKED. It was enameling with a torch and I'm SO excited to buy enamel and get started making new pieces.

Today's class far my most exciting. It was Tube Setting. One of the most technical classes I've taken in a long time.But there are SO many options and ways to use this technique. I just need to get a Flex Shaft. And clean my work space least organize it better.

Tomorrow's class sounds like a fun one...probably a bit more of a 'project' class for me. It's called "Stack Rings" and I'm sure I'll learn new things. But I do know how to make a basic level. So hopefully I'll catch on quickly.

Thank goodness I took Monday off to recover. I'm already exhausted. I've done more walking in the last three days than the last three months. :) My legs are killing me. Surprisingly my back isn't in too much least not the sharp stabbing pain I had been having before I started taking water aerobics. It must be helping.

I look forward to finding time to take photos of the results of my classes. The piece I almost finished today is probably going to be my mom's birthday present. :) It's going to ROCK. If I do say so myself.

Oh yeah...I did manage to find an hour to browse through some of the vendors. Nothing spectacularly different but I did snag some incredible Czech glass beads. I my normal purchase. But they're really different and gorgeous beads. Some of them are more expensive than gemstones.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Small Update

It's been a very crazy few weeks. I haven't gotten a lot done jewelry wise.

First I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Then a tumor on my placenta. Don't worry... it's not as bad as we first thought.

I'm a little tired and stressed.

The good news is that my mother in law's last bone marrow biopsy showed no cancer cells! They aren't calling it remission yet, but it's looking good. She's still tired and has a few other issues but we're very hopeful.

I'm basically just updating my Etsy shop by renewing expired listings. Kind of lame, I know. And I have a couple of new pieces to post but haven't found time or energy.

And I have classes all day, 9 to 5, starting Thursday going through Sunday.

I sort of doubt that blogging will take a high priority in the coming months. They're going to be monitoring me pretty closely and I may even have to be induced. :( Which I don't want so I'm trying to be as careful as possible.

So I thank all of you who keep visiting! And those who have checked in and offered your thoughts and prayers. They are all welcome and I am grateful!!! =)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Raising Awareness

I finally put together one of the pieces of jewelry that I want to sell to raise funds for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society and even had a little time to get it photographed. After we saw my MIL at the hospital for Father's Day of course. Yesterday was day 6 of chemo chemicals being pumped into her and today is day 7. Now the even more difficult part comes. They said around day 14 she'll really start to feel like crud and may develop a fever. We just keep praying that her body works hard to fight the cancer.

Anyway, here is the first piece I have listed in my Etsy shop. It is a simple sterling silver ribbon pendant with Swarovski crystals in Orange/Peach, which are the colors of Leukemia (well, Orange is for sure and I just like the peach color).

I can make the pendant with any color crystal that I have available so it doesn't *have* to be orange, but the proceeds for any color pendant will still go to LLS.

When I find some more time I'll be making the matching bracelet, like the one my MIL is wearing.

Does anyone have any thoughts about the price I put the pendant necklace??? I made it $27...which means $13.50 of every sale will go to LLS. But is $27 too much? It's a very simple and delicate piece, and doesn't take me very long to make. So I'm struggling with that.

I still need to cover the Etsy and Paypal fees, as well as packaging, time, and material costs. But I don't want to price it too high goal isn't a big profit on these. The bracelets will probably cost around $40, but there's more work and more material that goes into them.

Oh, and I'll be selling just the pendant without a chain as well, and I think I will price that at $20. So $10 will go to LLS.

I appreciate any thoughts.

Please let me know what you think. I'm hoping that I can raise at least $250 this year and hopefully more.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Bit of a Hiatus

I apologize for not updating this blog. I haven't updated my Pet blog either. :(

My MIL was diagnosed with AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia) on Friday and then I was on vacation with my mom for a couple of days. We are back and it's all about my MIL right now. She went into the hospital on Monday and started her first seven days of chemo Tuesday. It's a very aggressive type and they wanted her to go in on Friday but she refused.

I am finishing current orders and am re-listing things on Etsy as they expire, but doubt I'll have time or energy to take photos of new work.

I WILL be making special jewelry that I will make myself photograph and list - this jewelry will be orange (or some shade of orange) with a sterling ribbon and 50% of the proceeds of each piece will go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. My MIL is already wearing her bracelet.

So my next update will probably be photos and links to those pieces.

Things are not easy right now. I'm sort of unsure what to do or say or how to help my hubby and his sister cope. I'm just trying to stay out of the way but at the same time be as helpful as I can. I've ordered a special head scarf for her (her hair will fall out around the 17th day of treatment apparently) and trying desperately to find a custom hospital gown (it's surprisingly hard to find a larger sized, pretty, and open shouldered one).

I've put in an Alchemy bid on Etsy so please forward to folks who you think may be able to help (it's a RUSH request).

Thanks for your understanding!

P.S. I will probably provide updates on my other more 'personal' blog - Amid Clutter. Please ignore any political posts (unless you agree with me *grin*) and comment and leave prayers on my personal posts there. We want all thoughts and prayers at this time of stress, anxiety, and fright.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Someday When I Grow Up...

I want to enter the Saul Bell Design Award contest put on by Rio Grande.

I'm not sure that I'll ever have anything "good" enough to really compete...some of the past winners and entries are just completely amazing to me and make my jaw drop.

First Place Winner in the Beads Category.
Jonathan Rutledge,
Jonathan Lee Rutledge, Evanston, Illinois

Grand Prize Winner 2009
Gold/Platinum - Geoffrey Giles, Geoffrey Giles Jewelry, Asheville, North Carolina

Second Place—PMC®
Gail Crosman Moore, Orange, Massachusetts

I can't believe that's the SECOND place winner for PMC!!! I just shake my head in awe.

So maybe someday...but it won't be for 2010. If you're interested though they're starting to take entries. Entries are due by September 18, 2009. There are seven categories...

  • Gold/Platinum
  • Silver/Argentium Silver
  • Hollowware
  • Beads
  • Metal Clay
  • Enamel
  • Emerging Artist

The grand prize is a $10,000 gift card to Rio Grande! Holy Cow! But that's not why I want to submit something someday...I think just submitting something will mean that my confidence and skill have risen. Today neither are high enough for me to go through with it. :)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Creative Feature - S&T Creations

It's time once again to feature another artist.

This week's designer are Saundra and Terri with S&T Creations, who have incredibly bold and vividly colored jewelry designs.

Together, this team creates one of a kind pieces using semi precious gemstones.

Check out more of these lady's bodacious creations in their Etsy shop and visit their blog.

Friday, June 5, 2009

What is Going On?

I'm not sure why, but I have been swamped with Spam e-mails lately. And I don't get it. What have I done differently? Who did I give my creations e-mail address to? It's crazy. I'm getting 25-40 a day and sometimes more. Only 7-10 of them make it to my actual inbox, but those that go into my Spam folder make it impossible for me to review all the messages to see if any actual e-mails have gotten stuck.

I use my hotmail account for most things, and personal things, but don't really get that much Spam mail...maybe 10 a day. You'd think that account would get a lot more since I use it when I sign up for contests and that sort of thing.

The mail I've been getting has subject headers that look like real messages, which is annoying. It makes it harder to determine real messages from spam. For the most part, if I don't recognize a name and the subject isn't specific, I mark as spam and delete.

Have you gotten a lot of Spam mail lately?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - WILMA

Not sure if my link widget will work since Mr Linky is having issues, but I'll try.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Communication Matters!

This post definitely deserves the exclamation mark. As sad and teary eyed as I was on Friday, I'm equally happy and relieved today.

Open and honest communication really does matter in business, and I think even more online.

I sent a message to the person who left me negative feedback on Etsy and heard back from them yesterday. My message offered to allow her to return (for full refund) the item, exchange it, or I'd replace it. Unfortunately she does not have the time to deal with a return, which I completely understand.

However she agreed that she should have contacted me about her displeasure before leaving feedback and she used the "kiss and makeup" feature on Etsy. I'm SOOOOO relieved and thankful. Truly and humbly thankful.

She has EVERY right to leave negative feedback as she was not satisfied with her purchase. I am thankful though that she saw how much I wanted to make the situation right and rescinded her negative feedback. I also left her positive feedback, with my thanks.

Every situation has two sides...and thankfully we were able to amicably resolve the issue. And I have told her that if she finds some time in the future I will take the earrings back for refund, exchange, or replacement even up to a few months from now (well past my 7 day policy).

I believe feedback is an incredibly important part of shopping online. It's one of my disappointments with 1000 Markets, that they have no manner for customers or artisans to leave feedback. I understand their reasons, but to me feedback is an incredibly important part of knowing who you are buying from.

I'm glad that my feedback is once again negative free - and trust me, I've also learned that every single item I send out has to meet my normally stringent standards. Pregnancy is NO excuse for sloppiness!

Got the Blues

And no, I'm not still depressed about my first negative feedback on Etsy (the person did reply and agreed that she should have contacted me that's something).

For some reason I've been making almost all Blue jewelry. Not just blue, but for the most part bold and chunky. Though I have created a few more delicate pieces.

The local bead store was having a sale on a stone that I'd never heard of called Magnesite. It is a naturally occurring white stone but is most commonly dyed to resemble Jade and Turquoise. The turquoise colored Magnesite they had was incredible and too beautiful to resist. Plus it was a great deal.

Didn't I say bold and chunky? :) I absolutely love the way these two pieces came out. Hubby thinks they are hideous but I think they are fun and would totally wear them on a special occasion....or to work.

A slightly more delicate piece...I had the two rectangular lapis beads left over from other projects and incorporated them into this lapis and freshwater pearl necklace. The sterling chain is a bit different - not quite rectangular, but not quite oval.

I know I need to expand my color horizon but for now it's about the blues. :)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Creative Features - The Yellow Flower

Holy Cow!

If you've never seen or worn intricately woven seed beads you are truly missing out. It's almost like wearing a smooth fabric with an exotic and incredible texture.

I think that too many seed bead artisans undervalue their work so it's great too see an artist like Amber Leilani price her designs according to all the hard work that I know goes into each piece.

Each one of those little tiny beads is hand woven using the thinnest and tiniest of needles. I know because I have dabbled in Peyote is not my forte.

I love Amber's use of color and design in her woven work.

People who can create such lovely pieces always intrigue me. Amber is definitely one of those artisans.

Check out all her incredible work in her Etsy shop and be sure to say hi on her very interesting blog.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Very Depressing

I'm crying. Sure it may be the hormones, but it's probably the situation.

I got my first negative feedback on Etsy. :( I've been on Etsy for nearly four years now and have never had ONE single negative or even a neutral feedback. Ever.

Why? Because I work with my customers. And I work very hard to make sure my customers are happy with their purchases. If there's a problem I want to make it right. That's one of the reasons why I take returns, even though I really don't like taking returns on jewelry that is sometimes one of a kind.

This person did not contact me at all in any way to tell me that she was not satisfied with her purchase. I can't fix something if I don't know about it.

Do people expect too much from handmade? Nothing will be perfect ... and some of the PMC pieces I make are specifically NOT perfect ... they're supposed to be a little more rustic. And I'm not some faceless store - I can easily be reached and I'm obsessive about checking my Etsy messages.

Hubby is now mad ... not at me but mad because I'm upset. He hates it when I cry.

At least the person left a reason. I sent her a message and asked that she allow me to either replace them, take them back, or exchange them for something different and whether she would withdraw her feedback. Thankfully Etsy allows a "kiss and makeup" feature.

I hope she will reply. I'm just sick. I know it's all part of business but the whole situation has upset me a lot.

My Unofficial Registry

I'm excited to start registering for baby boy but I wish more of my family would purchase from Etsy or 1000 Markets.

I really really really want some police oriented onesies and shirts and things. I saw one that said "My Daddy Can Arrest Your Daddy" and I loved that but it looked cheap and like it used an iron on (plus the shop had gotten some really bad feedback). I don't want iron ons. I want to be able to save them and either use them for a second baby (if I ever decide to go through this hell again) or pass them down.

I also want one that has the Washington State Patrol logo and says "Future Trooper". I may have to resort to Alchemy on Etsy but I'd rather avoid it.

Here are some of the fun onesies I found and would put on a registry. mom would HATE this, but my grandpa would love it. Don't worry, they have the 'alternative' too. :) By Giggle Room.

Isn't this funny!?! Hubby is a big fan of 80s hair bands...ACDC counts as one right? I was pretty young back then. Made by Fun 2 Wear.

Punk rocker one day, Jr Executive the next. :) I do plan to groom the future geek generation you know. Made by Allie Craft.

I love elephants and this design is so adorable. Made by Tadpoles and Tutus.

If you've had good luck with any designers who can make custom pieces please let me know (please don't solicit me though...unless you really and truly can do EXACTLY what I'm looking for...I will delete spam). I don't want cheapy or iron on. I think the Trooper badge logo may be easiest done with an embroidery machine (those things rock).

I'll be adding things to my unofficial registry as I find them. Hopefully someone in my family will brave the online world. :)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Revisiting Craft Shows

I used to have another blog for my jewelry...except that I stopped updating it and forget the address and my log on details. =) So I started this one to replace it. I eventually did remember my log in details but kept this blog as my main jewelry blog.

There were some helpful posts on my old blog, at least I think so, and I'm continually referring back to them. So here are a few that I think were particularly decent.

I hope some of these older write ups are helpful. I think it's probably time for me to write some new ones, but there are probably others who have more expertise...especially since I haven't done a craft show in over a year.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

How Transparent Are You?

I really enjoy's turned me on to some interesting articles. One of which I discovered last night called "To Hell with Transparency" by The Fluent Self that I found fascinating.

The premise is that most 'professionals' (whoever they are) suggest opening up as a business person and sharing your personal story. It makes people feel like you are more human and approachable.

But not everyone is comfortable doing that. Some people are shy and quiet, or just very private about their lives.

I'm not one of those people. :) I'm sure anyone who has read this blog for any length of time knows that I'm pretty much an open book. In fact, I felt I was too open for my jewelry blog so I started a new blog where I could spew my personal life and opinions.

I think you can share TOO much, and I think I tend to do that sometimes. I'm just an open book and I don't keep a lot of secrets or private thoughts. Even my facial expressions betray my thoughts - my mom always said I could never play poker.

But I think it IS important to let people get to know you as a person, and not just as a business person. It can't be all about *insert your subject of expertise here* all the time. Although, the article does make an excellent point:

"Transparency, vulnerability and authenticity are only useful when they aren’t forced and when they come from the heart."

Don't try to force sincerity, because it never works. If you truly aren't comfortable sharing something then don't do it.

I just don't have that discomfort ... ever. =)

So what do you want to know? *grin*

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Creative Features - The Blue Cat

I love cats. And dogs. I'm sure that's no surprise.

So any artwork that revolves around animals captures my attention right away.

Carol, of The Blue Cat, has beautiful and whimsical work that is bright and bold - definitely eye catching. And her subjects are of course near and dear to my heart.

I've got my eye on a couple of her prints for the baby's room.

How cute would this be in a baby boy's room?!?

You can learn more about Carol by visiting her Blog and also check out her Etsy shop or her shop on 1000 Markets.