Monday, February 27, 2012

Busy Weekend

 I had a busy weekend with the camera.  Here are a few new items (and a couple of old) going into the store on Etsy
Skies over Jupiter


Rustic Berries

Rustic Teal

Teal Swirls

Red Daisy Dangles

Blue Daisy Dangles

Hot Spring - Lanyard

Art For Nature... Etsy Treasury

Well, I just had to add one more post today (to make up for nothing at all last week!).  This time, I made up a treasury over on Etsy that has more to do with gardening than jewelry but, as I say in my list, even Nature loves art!

Glass insulator Tea Light
with Wire Garden Holder

Mini Patio Mix Kit For Miniature Gardens,
Fairy or Gnome Gardens, Create Paths
or Patios That Won't Wash Away

Cute, huh?  Go here to see the whole treasury! :)


Moss Amethyst
 I read an article by the Silver Bear on the JETs blog called "Fakes, Frauds & Rip-Offs" about the various "gems" out there that are really just quartz with fancy names (well... he said "trash" but I still like most of the quartz available, they're gorgeous)  Still and all, Silver Bear had some great points to keep those of us who do use these stones, but don't know the difference between semi-precious and quartz, from being taken in by outrageous pricing (he's a gemologist... he knows things).
I think I'd add something to his dissertation, however: remember the names of the stones you sell!  We who use these stones in necklaces and bracelets need to be able to let our potential customers know what we've used in a design. Maybe we don't need to go into the detailed explanation Silver Bear did but we still need to let them know "Hey, this is quartz versus actual amethyst" or vice versa.  To that end, those of you we buy from need to be sure you correctly label the stones you sell.
As an example, there's a lady in my town who owns a bead and yarn store. It's like walking into Aladdin's Cave she has such wonderful things! BUT!  Some of her stones aren't labelled.  I asked about one I was interested in, it had a great color and pattern but no name label.  Chances are, according to Silver Bear's post, it was some form of quartz.  Regardless, her reply was "Oh, I don't know.  I buy stones I like and don't always get the name."  Uhm, sorry, but that's bad business in my book.  If I don't know what a stone is, I'm not buying it since I can't tell potential customers what they're getting (leaving it at "quartz" is lazy in my book, I'd want to know what kind of quartz before I bought from someone).  So, that day, she lost a potential sale on that particular stone.  She actually has lost a lot more in the sales department from me.  She really hikes the price of her wares and I think it's because she needs to read Silver Bear's article.  Not every stone with a fancy name and huge price tag is worth the money.
It's like buying a car, folks. Do your own research.  Don't buy just because you HAVE to have it (and might never find it again! gasp!) or it's pretty or unusual and the high price must indicate it's quality.  There are always variations on that particular stone out there.  Learn about the stone before you buy.  You'll save yourself, and any future customers, a bundle of money.  Not to mention that, if you have a savvy customer who researches before buying and they know that particular stone isn't worth the $50.00 price tag slapped on it...?  You lose out on 1) them wanting to buy anything else from you... if you overcharge for what they know is worth only $20.00 what else have you over priced? 2) you lose out on the money you paid for an over priced stone to begin with.  And, 3) you lose out on word-of-mouth.  It works for bad as well as good.  Do you want people to tell others "Oh, buy from so-and-so on Etsy (or wherever)! They have great products and great service!" or do you want them to say "Well, they have a great looking product but the prices for the items they sell? Yeah... well, it's up to you but I wouldn't pay that much for simple quartz." 
Educate yourself before the fact.  Don't lose customers because they knew what you didn't.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Chinook's What Would You Do Wednesday Challenge

Mellisa's Challenge.... Accepted!

NValentine Studio

Mellisa over at Chinook Jewelry loves throwing out these Wednesday challenges and, I must admit, they make me think. 

I decided this should be a bracelet charm (I have no way of knowing how big/small this is, so I'm just guessing, here).  My first choice of accent would be these beads I found on Etsy.

My next choice are these sweet little lampwork beads. Veeerrry nice!

from bykeiara shop

 Because I don't want the focal to be overwhelmed, I'm keeping this simple... no chain, no spacers and an antiqued copper toggle clasp from Lima Beads (you'll have to click the link to see it... they won't let me link the picture up but it's perfect, trust me!)

Kate's Artisan Jewelry

And I'd round it all off with this pair of earrings from Kate's Artisan Jewelry on Etsy:

Okay... it's your turn.  What would YOU do?

Design Team Member.... Maybe?

Diana over at Suburban Girl Studios is looking for folks to be part of her design team, working with the gorgeous ceramics she creates. I'm hoping my name will pop out of the hat when she draws because (as I mentioned in a comment on her site) ceramic scares me a little.  I know it's stronger than it looks, but I'm always afraid I'll break it!
Love this color!
Anyway, here's a pic of her first offering for her team to design around.  Aren't they gorgeous?  Plus, I don't work with this color so it would be stretching my skills and I'm all for that!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Remaking A Card

Michelle Mach over at Beads And Books asked us to repurpose a card she had created for Valentine. I didn't get it done in time to enter her drawing (congratulations Cat!) but I was able to get it to her in time to be part of her show.  The other ladies did lovely jobs so jump on over to Michelle's post for today to see their work. Here's mine:

Michelle embossed the leaves, I colored them in
then added the dragonflies free hand... yes, it's
been a while since I've drawn (snrk)

Monday, February 13, 2012


Well, I recently bought a gorgeous focal from Sharleen at Shaterra Clay Studio on Etsy.  She does some really lovely work and the colors are very rich and vibrant.  The focal I bought was a dragonfly in teal and green and the word "Dream" stamped just under it.  I love it! I'm going to be adding it to my shop under the Perfect Imperfections listing (my Spina Bifida Awareness line).  You'll notice all the beads, except one, echo the colors in the focal.  That one bead, a dyed agate, is yellow for Spina Bifida and has it's own "imperfection" running through it.  A teal colored swirl.  I have plans to add a pair of earrings and possibly a bracelet.  If so, it'll be what's called a parure set. That is, a set of three items for decoration, more specifically jewelry.

Anyway, here are a few shots from my iPhone.  Enjoy.

...and dream big, my dears!
Close up of the focal. Beautiful colors!

Close up of beads used.
There are teeny, tiny faceted round crystals
accenting both ends of both types of beads.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Personal Challenge Completed

Back near the beginning of January I made myself a personal challenge and offered a gift of a piece of hand made jewelry to whomever made a comment on that post (see here).  Only two ladies made any comment, Therese and Debb.

Well, this week I mailed off their gifts and Therese (for sure) received hers today.  Debb should be getting hers by Monday or Tuesday at the latest, but I hope sooner. 

Anyway, since Therese has received hers, and I'm sure Debb's is almost there, I'm going to go ahead and post shots of what each woman was sent.  Therese received a necklace (she told me yellow was not a color she liked and I was OH, so tempted to include it, but I restrained myself) and Debb was sent a bracelet.  Debb's was fun because she likes red, pink & blue and I just went wild making the bracelet. (I do hope she likes it!)

Therese's necklace
Necklace is reversable
wire-wrapped dyed agate

Debb's bracelet
Had so much fun making this
with all these beads.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Pics After A Delay

Oh, my gracious!  I had no idea how hard it would be to re-take all the pics of the things I had in my Etsy store as well as get new pics of all the things I'd made to add to the store! Then, on top of that, I got sick last weekend and wasn't even able to take the pics until Monday night.  At which point I learned about photo editing.
I love my new camera and my new table top studio, but I do NOT want to get either of them out again any time soon (which is a really ridiculous thing to say since I'm not going to stop creating!)
Anyway, here's a few previews of what's going to be in the shop by this weekend! (I hope! I plan!!)
Enjoy :)

I went SO nuts on the earrings! You don't even know! This isn't a 1/4 of what I have to put in the store (phew!) and I plan to have it all done over the weekend? Stay tuned, folks, and see if she escapes from Ward B! (hahahahaaa)

Monday, February 6, 2012


Wow, it's going around. I wanted to update my Etsy store over the weekend but it didn't happen. One of the cute li'l toddlers coughed all over me at church Wdnesday night, it incubated thru Friday and I've been down ever since. And I see some of my fellow blogger artists are down, too. Here's hoping we all get well soon and the rest of you stay healthy (*cough!*)