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.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Creative Features - Chainmaille by MBOI

I know I've said it before and I'll say it again...people who do chainmaille amaze me! It's one of those processes that I know I could do if I tried but it is something that overwhelms me and sometimes confuses me.

So I'll just leave it to the experts like Andrew of Chainmaille by MBOI.

By far my favorite piece is this incredible Sterling Silver Byzantine chain cubed necklace. My fingers hurt just looking at those cubes!

Visit Andrew's site to see more of his stunning jewelry and check out his blog too!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Busy Bee

Boy did I get a lot done this weekend. I made at least 25 pieces of jewelry (when I get on a roll I just keep going) and took over 600 photos! And I still managed to do a load of laundry, do the dishes, and get groceries.

It's one of my least favorite parts of making and selling jewelry - photographing and editing. Blech. I only got 7 of the pieces' photos fully edited and ready to post. I've got hours more work to do.

One thing that was fun is an order I placed on Friday morning came Saturday. Woot! I had an idea which involved some Swarovski crystals of larger stature but I didn't have enough and had to reorder. I love when packages arrive quickly.

Here is one of my new Swarovski crystal pieces...I just love this style of bead and think I might get a few more in other colors.

I finished up this pair that I'd started during the week. Every day I drive home and in the middle of the freeway there's a large grassy area where purple, yellow, and orange flowers are blooming. It is GORGEOUS and I always wish I could stop alongside the road and take photos. Instead I made these earrings...peridot, lemon quartz, amethyst, and citrine.

And this pair I'd been working on for several weeks. They were not easy. I had an idea but getting it to work properly was quite a challenge...more so than I expected.

I used pale pink Amethyst (the larger drops) with a pretty purple Amethyst, gorgeous Tanzanite, and a pop of reddish purple garnet. The hoops are hand formed fine silver.

I should have a lot more pieces to share in the coming week...if I manage to edit the rest of the photos.

Friday, May 15, 2009

It's A...


Hubby says we're sending it back. He really wanted a girl. He'll get over it. :) We're already arguing over names. heh

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Just 5 Hours Left to Enter

I'm taking off the link from my main website ... entries end at 12 midnight for the Happily Handmade Giveaway. So for the next 5 hours you can enter through my blog ... tomorrow morning I'll take the link down (and if you've entered after midnight I'll be deleting your entry...sorry...have to be fair to the rules).



Not So Precious

I love diamonds. Perhaps I've been conditioned by society (and by society I mean jewelry stores and De Beers) since a young age, or maybe it's because diamond is my birth stone, but I've always loved the look of a beautiful sparkling diamond. Regardless of cut, size, quality, shape...I think all diamonds have a unique beauty.

My original wedding / engagement ring (which was stolen a couple of years ago) was imperfect but I loved it so much...I knew where the "imperfections" were...they were a couple of black specks and I could see them if I focused very carefully and turned the ring at the right angle. It made the stone unique to me.

But diamonds are truly one of those commodities that is tightly controlled and their prices are radically inflated by tight control of supply.

I did not realize that Russia had such a large hold on supply. It appears that the Russian company (90% owned by the government), Alrosa, has surpassed DeBeers as the largest producer of diamond rough.

As a result, Russia has become the arbiter of global diamond prices. Its decisions on production and sales will determine the value of diamonds on rings and in jewelry stores for years to come, in one of the most surprising consequences of this recession.

Diamonds are not particularly rare and therefore in order to create rarity, they are stockpiled and kept out of the market. They are really nothing more than a pretty (and very hard) piece of rock (carbon actually) and are found all over the world.

Until last year, De Beers produced about 40 percent of the global rough stone supply, and Alrosa 25 percent. But De Beers, which is prohibited under its European Union antitrust agreement from stockpiling, closed mines in response to the glut in rough stones. Russia is loath to do that, as authorities in Moscow, gravely concerned about potential unrest by disgruntled unemployed workers, try to keep workers on the payroll.

So De Beers has closed down mines because they already have too much rough. And yet the price of diamonds is still quite high in comparison to other common stones. It's all a game of illusion.

“We have to tell people that diamonds are valuable,” he said. “We are trying to maintain the price, just as De Beers did, as all diamond producing countries do. But what we are doing is selling an illusion,” meaning a product with no utility and a price that depends on the continued sense of scarcity where there is none.

There are quite a few stones that are actually truly more rare, and therefore more expensive, than diamonds. But somehow diamonds capture our attention most when it comes to the perception of "precious".

I wonder if this will ever change.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Some new work

I've been so tired lately that it's been tough to get up motivation to make jewelry, take photos, or post any new work. These pieces are actually a couple of weeks old. *sigh*

My mom was wearing an older design that I created a few years ago and it inspired me to create another similar styled necklace. Plus I wanted to make something with lots of green since it's been so beautiful and bright here in my area of Washington. So "Spring Green" is the result.

These peacock freshwater pearls in a neat teardrop shape have been calling my name for awhile and I finally pulled them out of my stash and did something with them. It's a simple design but I think it's very elegant and timeless.

I experimented with some semi-matching earrings.

They were a lot more difficult to create than they appear...mostly because I was hand forming the wire and working hard to get the lengths and shapes to match up.

I'm working on a new pair of earrings that I am really excited about - combining pale pink Amethyst, deep royal purple Amethyst, and some deep purple red garnet together with fine silver and sterling chain. I can't wait to get them finished and share them here. I hope they turn out the way I'm envisioning.

Hopefully next week I'll be able to share those. And a fun, and bright, Turquoise, Coral, and Freshwater pearl sterling chain necklace.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Creative Features - Liv'n Good Jewelry

Jill of Liv'n Good Jewelry has the same problem that I do...making jewelry is a heck of a lot more fun than trying to sell it. She makes chain maille style jewelry, something that I have no patience for but a lot of appreciation for.

I like her Monday Motivation on her blog today too.

Friday, May 8, 2009

A Gorgeous Bloggy Giveaway

I really want to win this amazingly beautiful Afghan from Kim's Country Garden blog contest. Gimme!!!

Even if I don't win, I may ask her to create an afghan for us when we find out the sex of our upcoming little nugget. :)

You too can enter to win this gorgeous afghan. Head on over to Kim's blog and read her entry rules. They're very easy.

And then head over to her brand new Etsy shop. My favorite afghan is the Four Square Granny Patch.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I've Been Tagged!

I think memes like this are fun. :) Though I do hate tagging people...I feel like I'm either leaving someone off or annoying those I tag. So if you'd like to be tagged consider it done. I won't list anyone in particular but you can play along if you feel like it.

Sand & Sea Designs tagged me for this one. Every category is answered with 8 answers.

8 Things I'm Looking Forward To:

1. Getting this baby out of me
2. Finally walking Timber and Trooper together without being pulled over
3. Finding out the sex of this baby
4. The weekend
5. My little cousins wedding
6. Getting a new couch (a sectional actually)
7. My next jewelry sale :)
8. Final word on where I stand with my job at work

8 Things I did Yesterday:

1. Worked from home
2. Went to the bank
3. Used a coupon for lunch at Arbys (YUMMY!)
4. Worked on a coral and turquoise's almost done
5. Posted a couple new items in my Etsy shop.
6. Watched Harry Potter Movie #4 twice (don't make was on in the background while I worked)
7. Took out the garbage (hubby was busy playing video games)
8. Finished my third book in two weeks. I'm on a roll!

8 Things I Wish I Could Do

1. Earn a living making jewelry
2. Walk my dogs every day
3. Have more time in my day to make jewelry
4. Eat more vegetables and fruits
5. Get a new laptop or desktop computer with two monitors
6. Finish the scrapbook I wanted to make from my Maui vacation two years ago
7. Build a log cabin
8. Have enough property and a tricked out barn to rescue multiple dogs

8 Things That or Shows I have Watched

Only 8? I'm a TV addict
1. House
2. Scrubs
3. Bones
4. Survivor
5. America's Next Top Model
6. King of Queens reruns
7. Everybody Loves Raymond reruns
8. Lie to Me

Play along if you like!

Sunday, May 3, 2009


It can come from all sorts of places. I find a lot of inspiration when people make custom requests on Etsy using Alchemy. Sometimes I bid and sometimes I don't, but just reading through the requests can bring on inspiration.

The latest one that caught my eye was a request for a necklace and earrings set to match a really lovely dress...if I had a slimmer body I'd totally wear it. :)

The request was for a chain style necklace with beads that would match the dress...purple and brown. When I made my bid I also suggested that ivory be added for a little pop.

So I took some photos of some beads I thought would work, along with some chain options. We went back and forth a couple of times to knock out the particulars and then I created a set, including a matching bracelet. I like how it turned out so much that I made myself a set with different colors.

The chain and wire is all sterling silver, which I antiqued and I love the way it came out...not too dark, almost a coppery color.

I didn't make myself a bracelet but I like how hers turned out. It's adjustable in length with a larger sterling silver lobster clasp.

It's fun to work with someone to create a new design and I can totally picture her wearing this set with her new dress.