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.