Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tuesday quickie

Had a routine visit to the eye dr. this morning, (i got a new pair of glasses coming, they are so cute they make me stupid!) got my pupils dilated and am dealing with a banger of a migraine - before i go off to never never land, just wanted to remind you -

it is last day of the quarter, if you are a home based business, it is time to tally up all those wonderful sales and get your taxes ready! You have till the end of July- dont' forget!!!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Marketing Monday

A few days ago I shared some offline marketing tips by Shelly Hill. She says you should try to do at least two a week. I was looking thru them earlier and I may jump in hip deep and try -

#42. Get some canvas tote bags printed up with your business information on them. Pass them out to a few lady friends and ask them to use them when they are out and about in the community attending events or running errands.

Everyone has become waste conscience, not wanting to use disposable bags, paper or plastic and are moving to re usable totes. It got me thinking. I don't throw away any odds and ends, because there may be a use for them down the road. I love re purposed jewelry. Breathing new life into old pieces. With that in mind I will be looking online at the likes of cafepress and zazzle and see if i can get a good price on some small totes, and start the whisper campaign :)

EDIT - This tote thing is redonkulously expensive!! I need to do some rethinking.......

I announced my monthly contest giveaway on my facebook page for July this weekend. I am offering this as the prize.

I was sluffing around this weekend, with a ho-hum kinda attitude, and thought I would make some new pieces to lift my spirits. Being that the garnet was already out, I made earrings and necklace to compliment the July's braclete give away.

I made the necklace a convertible style necklace - you can hook it at the top or the bottom of the chain link, giving it to distinct looks. I packed it full of garnet, citrine, carnelian and vintage crystals. I had no rhyme or reason behind how I attached the stones. Some had sterling beads added to them, some did not.

What are you doing to market you business?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

July Giveaway!

Each month I do a contest giveaway of one of my creations for my facebook fans. This month I decided I would extend it to my blog readers.

To be entered in the drawing all you have to do is become a fan of my facebook page, and comment on the status update with the July question. (the link ---------->)

Don't have facebook? No worries, leave your answer as a comment on this blog to be entered.

The winner will be drawn on July 1, 2009.

This month I am giving away a very simple but elegant garnet bracelet. It measures about 8" and can be adjusted back about one inch.

Here is the question.

July was named after which historic figure?

Good Luck!!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Playin' A Game

All the cool kids are doing it!

I saw this on face book - I think it will be a lot of fun (am participating there too) to modify it a bit and play it here too! It is a handmade gift promise. No requirements on what it is, as long as it is hand made by me. It would be fun to be able to try a different craft, to experiment outside the comfort zone and see what new addictions are out there!

Here's how it works!

The first five people to leave a comment on this post will get something made by me. There are some restrictions and limitations so please read carefully:

1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make. Whatcha get is whatcha get.

2. What I create will be just for you, with love.

3. It'll be done this year in 2009.

4. I will not give any clue what it's going be.

5. You must make the same commitment and post this on your blog and share the love! If you do comment to this post, I will verify that you have indeed reposted this to your blog before you qualify for the random goodies, crafted just for you, with love from me!

There ya have it kids!!! Who wants to play!?!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

More craft business - how to's, tips and hints

Free Craft Fair is a fantastic site for craft business owners. The site is full of so much information on how to start, build and maintain a craft based business.

I stumbled on this doing a directory search. I applied and they accepted my link in their directory. I will do the same from my site back to them. While poking around their site and seeing what they offer, I ran across some great tips on how to market 'offline'. I am taking her challenge of doing two a week. Will keep you posted on the progress.

To see the original post by Shelly Hill - Click Here or read on. (I don't know if this is a big blogging no-no to repost someone elses blog, but I see it all the time. My intent is to credit the author, and link back to them, the information is too good not to share)

#1. Make up advertising filler packs and pass them out every where you go, every event that you attend and swap them with other women home business owners.

#2. When you travel and stay in hotels, leave your catalog, business card, business coupon behind in your room, lobbies and other places that people congregate. I like to leave my business card with my hotel housekeeping (maid) tip.

#3. Print out flyers with your business name and contact information along with any specials you are running. Leave these flyers in public places where others can see them. Public Places: Grocery store message boards, community center message boards, employee lounges, etc.

#4. Contact local area bridal stores, bridal supply stores, caterers, tux rental centers, dj’s, photographers, etc. if your company/business offers a bridal registry. See if you can leave them your business cards!

#5. Daycare Centers: You can get a lot of business from the parents who use daycare centers so contact them about leaving your business cards or flyers.

#6. A lot of churches and religous groups hold spring and fall festivals, so make sure you contact them about getting a booth space at one of their events. Booth spaces are usually very economical with these types of groups.

#7. Join your local Chamber of Commerce! They always hold local business events in your area. This is a great way to network and to make new business contacts.

#8. College Campuses: College Students are always looking to spend money and they are usually on the hunt for a business opportunity to help pay for their school expenses so you can target them for sales and for recruiting into your business opportunity. Most schools have a student center, so that is where you would want to leave your business cards and flyers.

#9. Contact your local area Welcome Wagon or Welcome to the Neighborhood group. See if you can add your business info to their Welcome to the Neighborhood bags.

#10. Contact your local area hospitals and see if you can add your business info to their New Mommy Diaper Bags. A lot of hospitals give out free bags filled with goodies to all the new moms who have babies at their facilities!

#11. Contact your local medical offices, particularly the Obstetrics & Gynecology Offices and the Pediatrician Offices. A lot of those offices also give freebies to expecting or new moms. See if you can add your information their freebie packages.

#12. Donate a prize or a gift certificate to your local radio station for their numerous prize giveaways and contests. This gets you free business exposure. Often times, they will also list you as a prize sponsor on their website too.

#13. Donate a prize to your local area Bingo Halls! They are always looking for prize donations.

#14. Call your local Chamber of Commerce to find out when there will be local job fairs in your area and get a booth at one or at the very least attend one so you can make some new contacts in your local area.

#15. Call your local area colleges and trade schools to find out when their next local area job/employment fair will be. A great way to market your home business opportunity to others who might be interested.

#16. Contact local area car dealerships. I make up small packets of business information, my business card, my coupon and a small freebie. Ask them if you can drop off 100 packs to them to hand out to others who come in for those FREE test drives.

#17. Contact your local area gyms and fitness centers. A lot of times you can get a table and market your business for an economical fee of $25.00.

#18. Network with others in your community who have home businesses. They are usually in the know on local business events that are upcoming in your community.

#19. Contact companies in your local area to see if you can come in and set up a display in their employee lounges or cafeterias for an employee shopping break. This works best if you offer an exclusive discount or deal to their employees.

#20. Does your local area TV Cable Company have a local information channel? If so, contact them to see if you can advertise on their information channel.

#21. Contact local small companies and shops to see if you can offer an exclusive discount to their employees. Companies like to offer perks to their employees such as shopping discounts from various local businesses.

#22. Small home town newspapers! I don’t get a great response to the big city newspaper ads but I do get a great response if I place ads in small home town newspapers!

#23. Get a low cost outdoor banner ad printed up to market your business during outside community events such as: sporting events, music concerts and so forth.

#24. Take your business on the road during the nice weather seasons. Contact your local area parks and recreation centers to see what kind of events are coming up and inquire about getting a table or booth at their outdoor events.

#25. Community coupon clipper packs and coupon packs. If your community has them, call them up and find out how you can advertise in them.

#26. Contact local area businesses such as: salons, banks, massage parlors etc. See if you can come in and set up a display. Offer a contest and prize with your display. Use the entry forms to gather contact information for possible new contact leads.

#27. Contact local area pizza shops, diners, deli’s and coffee shops. Most of these types of businesses have paper placemats where you can buy ad space and have your business ad placed on them. People do READ these ads!

#28. Contact local area bars, restaurants and clubs to see if you can buy some advertising on their paper beverage coasters.

#29. Local Television Newstations are always holding on-air contests and website contests for their viewers. Contact them to see if you can donate a prize to get some free business exposure for your business.

#30. Attend local area Holiday Shopping Events. Customers who are ready spend some holiday money and looking to purchase holiday gifts attend these events. Get a booth or table space and market your business to them.

#31. Hold a local community block party at your home or at your local community center. Families are always looking for something to do on the weekends!

#32. Get your business listed in your local yellow pages phone book. Way too often home business people over look this valuable advertising tool. These days a lot of phone books have coupon sections too, so make sure you inquire about adding your coupon to that section.

#33. You can take this phone book idea one step further by finding out who prints up those vinyl phone book covers that are covered with local business advertising in your area and find out how much it would cost for you to add your business ad to that phone book cover.

#34. Get your business information printed up on pencils and hand them out for FREE to local colleges and adult technical schools.

#35. Get a vehicle banner made for your automobile. I recommend the vinyl clings so that you can easily remove them when it comes time to wash your vehicle.

#36. If your city has a travel guide that tourists request, make sure you place a business ad in that travel guide. This is a great way to get your business information into the hands of non-local customers.

#37. Local City Maps! These days you can find all kinds of small business advertising printed on the sides and backs of those city maps! You can get really good economically priced ads placed onto those maps.

#38. Contact local area hotels, motels and bed and breakfast inns in your local area. Ask them if you can leave your business information with them for their guests to peruse when they are in the lobby.

#39. Get your business information printed up onto balloons. Give these ballons to local sporting events, charity events etc. A great way to get more business exposure.

#40. Find a few home business owners in your local community and team up with them! You can all sponsor a local boys/girls sports team, a parade float or other things in your community! This makes it very economical for those who are in small business to get business exposure and to participate in your local community events.

#41. Get T-shirts printed up with your business information printed on them. Hand them out to your friends and family members and ask them to wear them when they are out in the community running their errands.

#42. Get some canvas tote bags printed up with your business information on them. Pass them out to a few lady friends and ask them to use them when they are out and about in the community attending events or running errands.

#43. Get a license plate made up for the front of your car with your business information on it.

#44. Wear a business name tag every time you go out in the community. People do read them and do notice them!

#45. Local Area Magazines! Does your city publish their own local area magazine? If so, contact them about placing some advertising in their magazine.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tuesday quickie

Am working 9 - 6 this week and at first i thought it would be a joy. To get to work early, and then to be home with my husband and cook some supper and have some alone time.....

Not happening........

My sanity seems to come from that fact that i work an oppisite shift than my husband. I work 12 - 9. It is awesome. I typically get up around 5:30/6 and start my day.

Cleaning, laundry, walking the dogs, make breakfast, make lunch, workin in the yard, running errands, working out, making jewelry, I have all morning to get done what I need to get done, including most times cooking supper and putting it up in the ice box for when James gets home.

Working 9 - 6 is a different matter. I get up at the same time, but I feel rushed. I only have 2 hours. My energy is all out of whack, and I am rushing round, here and there, and the dags are picking up on it, and they are out of control. I have cleaned up more after them in the last two days than I have in the last 4 months.

This morning I had a couple idea's rolling around in my head, and i really wanted to sit down and get some work done. Newd would have none of it. He was in the trash, in the cat box, barking at the cats, barking at the window, whining at the door, running up and down the stairs....this is not my dog. Between chasing him down, picking up shreded toilet paper, pulling shreded toilet paper out of his mouth, hiding the cat in the bed room, taking the dogs out for a ruff and tumble, I managed to do this.....

Ever wonder what else to do with jump rings? Why not let them be part of the focal of a design instead of the foundation.

These puppies took about 4 minutes to make, including the picture taking - these are a great last minute fashion accent.

Here is what I used

Rings & Things 37-136-7 Jump Ring, Medium, Copper
Rings & Things 46-702-11 Wire, Colourcraft, 22g,15yd,Copper
Art Beads BBA-EAR03 Antique Brass-Plated Plain Earwire
10 mm Malachite beads

Cut two pieces of copper wire, about 2" in lenght and crimp the ends to make head pins.

Slide on the malachite bead and 3 of the jump rings.

Make your wire wrapped loop down towards the bottom of your chain nosed pliers so that the loop is bigger than the jump rings - pesky physics......

Attach the ear wires, and use your coffee cup as a quick back drop - and Viola!!!!

I also played around with an old stick of ram from a thousand years ago, don't know whether to make it a pin or a necklace.

But this is a different story and another cup of coffee so...

I will say one good thing bout workin 9 - 6, I get to ride :)

Ain't nutthun like screamin down the interstate on a stolen Harley, in tie dyed overalls and mis matched chucks listening to Zeplins, Black dog - no sir, ain't nutthun like it :)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Summer colors

Normally I do this once a month. I like to show the colors of the season to help give an idea of what colors you will see while you are out and about during the season and to also let you co ordinate your next bead purchase to the ensemble you may be wearing.

So what did I find from Fashion Trendsetter for Summer 2009?




We see a lot of pinks, blues and browns. Fun way to mix up some color and textures. Some ruff, earthy toned crinkle satin and the smooth blue hues of lapis, think forest by a lake. Or how about a sandy colored cotton top with a necklace made of yellow poly clay shaped into daisies. How awesome is that.

My biggest problem is I have all the idea, and never enuff time to make it all!!!

Would love to hear your ideas!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wednesday quickie - R&T June Challenge part 2

Man I am running behind today. Woke up this morning to a destroyed couch, and the carpet and the pad beneath were pulled off of the landing, and my dogs were quietly slumbering outside my bedroom door as if nothing had happened.


James and Kel had cleaned last nite, while I was at work, in anticipation of our daughters arrival, only to have it all destroyed, and I did a do-over this morning.


Leigh is coming home tonite for a long weekend and will be welcomed by a pack of happy dappy dawgs, and a dirty house! Oh the glories of going home.

I am not as prepared as I wanted to be with a piece, so I am just going to show you what I made as my second installment of the Rings & Things June Challenge.

I wanted to use the Mirage bead as a focal. I am really thrilled with these beads. I have one concern, and that is the finish. The gloss is brilliant, and I hope it can withstand being a focal, and not dull or scratch. Time will tell.

I was looking at the pattern on the bead, and in an abstract way, reminded me of a garden fence. Thinking gardens, wisteria was the first thing that popped into my mind. I love wisteria. Love it. So, I went with it.


Wisteria under Summer Sky

And I am taking it for a test drive today. I will be wearing it to pick up my daughter from the airport after work. I am sure by the time we get to the truck she will have taken it off of me and will be wearing it :)

I'll try not to be too MIA over the weekend.

Later Kids!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Beaded Bauble - FINALLY

Lisa at A Bead A Day did a great blog on using a beaded bauble for a cell phone lariat for her Rings & Things blogger partner challenge. She also showed how the beaded bauble works with tear drop beads that were featured as the bead that day. Lisa, bless her, was even so kind as to send me the directions on how to make one.

I appreciate the effort from Lisa to email me the directions, but I think I am more of a hands on type of learner. I have beat my head against my worktable repeatedly trying to make heads or tails of it. Today I found this.


Hope this sheds some light on the mystery of the beaded bauble for you too!!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

On the newstands!

The June issue of Bead Trends is on the stands, and chocked full of spectacular pictures, great artwork, splendid instructions, and tons of inspiration!

Junes issue has three of my pieces, and each month through November will have at least one of my pieces represented! In case you can't get out to get a copy, I'll share mine with you here!

The Cover

Scatter Wishes - Rose quartz, faceted citrine, Czech and swarovski crystals

Strolling thru the Infiorata - Murano glass pendant, random gemstone, lampwork, glass and seed beads. My dad sent me this Murano glass pendant for Christmast, and told me to do something grand with it :)

Jo's Jewelry - Bronzite, porcelain, dyed howlite, 'raspberry quartz' glass. My daughter has a way of downplaying her clothes and wearing jewelry as the fashion statement. Her clothes are more or less the catalyst for her jewelry, purses, and scarves. I made this in a screaming, bold tribute to her.

That is my 15 minutes of fame in June!!! Till tomorrow kids!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Rings & Things June Challenge

This month Rings & Things gave us creative reign over our choices.
Hardest challenge to date.

Your mission is, if you choose to accept it, spend $50.00 and make something glorious.

Sounds easy enuff, right? *sigh*

Do you know how many products they have? A Gazillion! I know for a fact, cuz I counted them all.

This task put in front of me, I began to search, and look, and whine, and wish. There was too much too look at, too much to take in. So I had to take a second route in my purchase decision. First in my head, I had to create what I wanted, and then work from there. Which is what I did, and you can see the thought process in my previous post.

Here is a quick referece to what I got

Mirage Daisy Ray Bead

Dyed Coral 4 x 7 Tube Bead (Green and shiney and ooooohhh sooooo purty!!!)

Copper, Double Spiral Bead

Dyed Coral 4mm Round Bead

Magnesite, 15x20mm Nugget Bead

Magnesite, 13x18 Puffed Rectangle Bead

After it was all sed and dun, Here is what I came up with -

I have some left over, we'll see what happens tomorrow -

Same Bat Time! Same Bat Channel!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Look what I got!

I put in my order to Rings & Things on Wed - Bill is awesome!!! - and I got my order yesterday!!! 2 days!!!! That is stoopid fast, I can't believe it!

I am thrilled with the items I received. Just awesome. I am so in love with the Mirage Beads. They are sooo much fun. I have the idea in my head what I am going to do for this piece, lets just hope that my fingers can translate it!

Le me show you what I got! (naturally the tootsie roll is gone, they sent me 2!!!!. I am smacking on one of them rightnow, so if I am hard to understand, I am sorry, I am typing with my mouth full)

Mirage Daisy Ray Bead

Dyed Coral 4 x 7 Tube Bead (Green and shiney and ooooohhh sooooo purty!!!)

Copper, Double Spiral Bead

Dyed Coral 4mm Round Bead

Magnesite, 15x20mm Nugget Bead

Magnesite, 13x18 Puffed Rectangle Bead

Sterling Silver French Hooks

What a haul!!!!

Now the method behind the madness. Why did I choose these beads.

Dyed Magnesite has a turquoise look to it, so for the casual shopper, the turquoise color is what they are looking for, but the underlying purpose to magnesite is the properties it has.

(From "Love is in the earth, a kaleidoscope of crystals" - by Melody)

Magnesite provides for the fruition of unrecognized thoughts and ideas. It can assist in visualization and imagery, and in promoting dynamic, revolutionary ideas.

Coral facilitates intuition, imagination and visualization.

Copper is said to be the bestower of good, bringing benefit to the user.

I am thinking of adding amethyst also.

Amethyst allows flexibility in decision making - so I don't over think the piece.

I am making this piece as part of the blogger challenge therefore, I need it to be a representation of me as a designer. I am using this as a study in bringing my thoughts, my imagination to the surface as a tangible item. We'll see how it goes :)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Who's that knockin at my door??


I was so excited when I got home from work last nite to have a surprise from Rings & Things on the kitchen counter.

What can it be!?!!

Russ Troll!

So cute and so detailed. I was amazed. The pictures on the site do not do them justice.

When I left this morning, he was standing next to my faerie house waiting for my muse to come out. He was muttering something about pizza.......

Off to put more products up on my site. Happy Friday!!!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Rings & Things Blogger Challenge - gold tone serpentine necklace

After yesterdays frustration with trying to incorporate the design and the chain, this morning, I did the right thing. I allowed the chain to do it's job and I attached a pendant to it.

What I used from Rings & Things - Item 40-148-4 Chain, 18", Serpentine (Gold Plated)
Part of the necklace extender from the re purposed necklace
Random plastic, wood, lamp work and crystals
Decorative gold tone head pins

Working with gold is not my for-tay. I just don't have a lot of gold to play with. I dug thru some of my re purposed items and found a gold necklace with a lot of fun beads attached - de construct. Dug some more and found a few head pins I had purchased for a special order. The more I dug, the more I found, the more ideas I got.

I like the clunky-ness of it. As it moves, it is always changing it appearence. Can't quite explain it. It is very light, but has enuff weight to stay centered on your chest. I love how it has a 'click' 'click' noise when I play with it.

I had a lot of fun this morning. I was taking pictures, when James came downstairs for his breakfast. "OooOOoo00ooH! that is purtee!" he says - "Looks like christmas and antiques".

hrm - got me thinking. I am going to submit this for the December issue of Bead Trends. December=Christmas=Perfect!!!

"December issue of Bead Trends!?" I hear you say - Yes! and you should too!! Click Here!

Here is the final product.

Little closer

And I am taking it for a test drive today - Already got one compliment on it this morning while running errands!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Gettin round to it - Rings & Things Challenge - Silver tone necklace

Here is it June and I am still mulling over Rings & Things May blogger challenge. The satin cord and the gold and silver tone chain are giving me a run for my money. I didn't want to just hang a pendant from the chain. I was determined to try and incorporate the chain into the design.

This type of chain (Chain, 18", Serpentine (Silver Plated)) doesn't co operate easily. The mechanics of the chain offer a firm, less flexible design, that is perfect for pendants. Why did I not take this into consideration when I set out to tackle this project.

I am stubborn sometimes.

I took some random spring colors (I have noticed I have been on an orange kick lately - but it stands to reason, orange is the color of creativity!) of 10/1 seed beads and threaded them onto my beading wire. I attached the beading wire to the chain by looping it around the chain and pulling it up real close and crimping it. Then I wrapped it around the chain using several different 'tighnesses' of the loops to give it a more cascading look. I attached it the same way at the other end. I created simple charms and wire wrapped them to some of the bigger loops, and then finally added a millefiori bead as a focal.


This is the toughest challenge to date! Thanks Dave and Rings and Things for pushing me this month!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Where the beads are!

It is already June 9th, where did the time go!!

Fathers day is coming and I know a lot of people are looking for that last minute gift. Why not make him a necklace? Fun styles guys may wear are easy peasy - like a pendant on leather, or a simple wrapped pendant. Try something fun with chips, or smaller stones.

Sedona stones has some great donuts for a quick simple style.

Your dad a motorcycle enthusiast? If he is like the ones we ride with, theme his gift with a skull bead

Rings & Things has what you need for that great turquoise necklace for dad

Throw in some coral

Mebbe some sterling

What dad wouldn't love it!

Art Beads has some hot pendant ideas that would be great for dad!
You don't need to add to this - this is awesome just by itself.

Really does it get much easier!

What are your Fathers Day ideas?

tuesday quickie

Newd Ogg - a.k.a. Chance is now three weeks out off his surgery.

Check this out!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Pause for the cause

Corporate is in town this week, and I doubt I get much done other than training. I'll catch up as quick as I can.

Miss ya already!!!!