Thursday, September 30, 2010

Royal Metals -

Mama went shopping! Not only did I get that great assortment of wire from Just Wire I also found Royal Metals and got these great copper items!! I have a passion about trying to shop 'local' or to support small business owners. ArtFire is the perfect place to put you in touch with handmade artists, and small business owners.

100 Pure Copper Crimp Tubes Beads 2x2mm GC-106
4mm Pure Copper Round Spacer Bead 100 pcs. GC-101
100 pcs 4mm Pure Copper Daisy Spacers GC-140

Her prices are comparible to any online suppliers but the one thing that sets her apart is her communication and she gives a free gift!

She threw in copper wire guards and these nifty anti-tarnish strips!!
I had never heard of such a thing, she says they will work up to two years!!! How cool is that! Now I have to find me a whole mess of these to use when I pack my jewelry.

Have you ever used the anti tarnish strips? Do they work for you?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Shade of Gray - ArtFire collection

Wednesdays have fast become my day of making ArtFire collections.

Today is a rainy, gray day and I made a wish list of gray things that make me happy!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Just Wire from Art Fire and Ring Tutorial

Just Wire is the place to go kids for copper on

I just got a bundle pack of 7, 8 oz spools of copper, ranging from 12 - 24 ga.
3 1/2 lbs of copper - for only 48.99!!!! Do know you know how stupid cheap that is!?!? These work out to $7 each - and twice the weight of what you would get from any online supplier. Why are you not shopping at Just Wire!??!!?

I had to play with some of my wire, and got a new camera so I thought I would show you a new ring. I made these rings this weekend at the market. As fast as I could make them I was selling them. It worked for me in two ways. Customers would see me working in my booth and come in to see what I was doing. I would show them the rings, and ask them what size they wore. While I was talking to them, I would make a ring in their size and have them try it on. Instant sell. They were amazed they could watch someone do that, and how easy it was.

Also, as you know, when you have a booth, you have other jewelry artists come thru and scope you out. They may be sizing you up as competition or they may be looking for new inspiration, or they my be new the craft and trying to see just how things are done. You know them when they are in your booth, they have a way about them that is not browsing, but studying. I always ask them, do you make jewelry? Some are put off by it and run thinking they have been busted. Others answer. When they do, I ask them what is their speciality? There is no reason to get upset at being 'shopped'. I take it as a compliment. I always give them my card and tell them, that the designs they are looking at are listed on my site, and they can use them as templates if they are needing inspiration. You would be surprised at the looks I get. It's a big world, we could use more jewelry :)

There was a girl fiddling with my wire wrapped rings. She was studying them hard and pointing out differnt things to her husband. I asked her if she made jewelry, she said she was a beginner and wanting to learn to wire wrap. I drug her over to my table and showed her just how easy it was to wire wrap a ring. She was thrilled and bought the ring. I also told her about ArtFire, ArtBeads, Rings-Things and gave her my card and told her if she had any questions gimme a shout.

What you give will come back to you.

Here is the ring that was the big seller this weekend - it literally took 5 minutes to make.
I am going to show you how easy it is to make these. Some of the pictures are blurry but you should be able to get the jest of the idea. James surprised me with a new camera and I am still working out the kinks.

Here is what you will need. 14 ga. wire, heavy nippers, round nose pliers, flat nosed pliers, anvil, hammer, ring mandrel

Cut about 25 inches of wire. Find the middle of the wire and place it a size larger than what you need on the mandrel guide. (if you dont' have a ring madral, you can use a sharpie, dowel, CD spool - anything that is cylindrical and fits your finger!)

Push the wire away from you forcing it around the mandrel, wrap it under the mandrel and back up facing you.

Somewhat blurry - sorry bout that. Take the left wire and push it to your right, and the right and push it to the left. Take the wire and wrap the right one down, and push the left one up to make a twist in the middle.

Remove the wrap from the mandrel and tap the wire tails with your hammer to flatten them and strengthen them. Dont' go crazy and make them too flat - they will be hard to bend. Dont' think you have to have a hammer and anvil to do this. If you have a house hold hammer, and any hard flat surface, like a patio, that will work. Tap it on your driveway, or the bricks on your porch. That will give the copper some awesome texture and character.

Put the ring back on the mandrel and take the right wire and push it around til it is laying flat again' the left wire. Put your thumb on the middle spiral to help guide it and continue to wrap both of the wires around the sprial.

Is blurry again - sorry - but you can see the big rosette looking spiral that is taking shape.

You can gauge how large you want your spiral to be. When you get close to the ends of the wire, make sure you leave enuff to anchor it to the ring. Bend the wire down and around the round nosed pliers to create a 'hook' on the ring base. Clip the wire and then use your flat nosed pliers to mash it around the ring base.

And here she is!!

As a variation on the ring, you can anchor the ring on each side. Just anchor one end and wrap the other wire around to the other side of the ring and anchor it on the other side.

Also you can use a smaller gauge wire, and ad a bead. It is a fun, artistic look.

This is the same base design. When you make your first twist, that is when you add a bead. Bring both the wires around to one side as you did with the spiral ring and wrap around and around. Leave enough wire to wrap down the sides of the ring.

Easy peasy pumpkin cheesy!!!

Happy wrapping!!!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Christmas for Chamberlin

Ok kids,

Sometimes there are things that are just so close to my heart I have to get involved.
This makes me cry - there are two schools of thought on this guy - he was so far gone, just put him down, put him out of his misery, or see the light in this little guys eyes like Guilford county animal shelter did and say, he is worth saving. I am so touched by this, by his heart and his will to live and his need to love even after he has been so neglected. Go Chamberlin!

From now til Christmas, 15% of all my sales will go to Chamberlin. He needs more surgery's, more PT, more love, and more support. Along with the donation to Chamberlin, I am also offering a free pair of earrings with every order.

Do a little something for yourself, and do a lot for Chamberlin.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Embassy Suites Give Away! Are you an Uber Fan!?!?!?

Tell us why you are an Embassy Suites fan and win a 10,000 giveaway!!

Find out more here!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Health Insurance for Artists!!!! You Go ArtFire!!!!!!!!!

Taken from

Health Insurance for Artists - ArtFire Members get Discounted CHA Membership

We are very excited today to welcome our newest Common Good Partner, the Craft Hobby Association (CHA)!

CHA offers a multitude of benefits to their members including, industry research, discount programs, trade show and networking opportunities and one of the most exciting perks - the ability to buy into association group health, dental and vision insurance. Please note - for our global sellers, some perks may be US only as the insurance companies may only work here in the US.

A full list of benefits and perks is here.

As a part of this partnership ArtFire members (Basic and Pro) can become a CHA member for a 20% discount on the annual rates. This discount is for new members only.

We will be issuing a press release (see below) tomorrow, but wanted to make sure our members saw it first.

You can find the link to the CHA member sign up page at the bottom of the press release and in your MyArtFire panel under quick links. Just look for "» ArtFire members now receive CHA discounts!"

Thank you for being a part of the ArtFire community. Partners with CHA to Provide Their Joint-Members Health Insurance

The Craft & Hobby Association joins forces with, the Fastest Growing Online Handmade Venue

Tucson, Az. – has partnered with the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) to strengthen the craft and hobby industry by extending CHA membership and health benefits to thousands of artisans and crafters through a special ArtFire/CHA partnership and member discount program.

CHA and ArtFire are now offering their joint-members the chance to enroll in a variety of insurance programs. ArtFire members can now receive a 20%discount on the first year of membership with the Craft & Hobby Association and participate in significant member benefits including health, life, dental and vision insurance, as well as access to the industry’s leading trade shows,networking events, discount programs and industry market research.

CHA compares member’s current insurance policies with the options available through the CHA Member Health Insurance and provides a comparison to offer better coverage at lower cost. Premiums can never be increased due to future medical conditions, and CHA’s insurance partner (Association Health Programs) deals with all customer service issues.

“The creative team at ArtFire really get the handmade craft community,” explained Victor Domine, CHA spokesperson. “From their leadership in SEO and SEM, to their social media expertise, to the incredible virtual handcrafted marketplace they created, CHA is very excited about working with the ArtFire team and creating new synergies that will impact the craft and hobby industry.”

In addition to its partnership with the CHA, ArtFire’s Common Good program promotes handmade artisan goods and provides discounts for ArtFire members. Special deals and offers from partners such as Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores, Delphi Glass and Lion Brand Yarn are part of ArtFire’s ongoing efforts to support independent artisans.

“The Craft & Hobby Association is a strong advocate for creative entrepreneurs,” said John Jacobs, CEO of, These kinds of partnerships with organizations that truly care about and seek to assist artisans and crafters are critical to our mission of supporting our member artisans and sharing the beauty of art and crafts in our society.”

Click here for more details about CHA membership and the special ArtFire discount

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Custom pieces and organizing - I'd rather be fishing :)

I have been working on getting my work room organized, *whew* what a struggle. I went out and bought some shelves and storage tubs to at least get all of the stacks of stuff off the floor, chairs, the end table next to my couch, counter tops, microwave get the picture. I have been in this push to get my studio straightened up because I have gotten several custom orders lately and I have no space to work, much less know if I have the inventory to make the order. Now as fate should have it, I have recently been approached by to do product reviews for them. This is SO exciting because I will have a chance to review products that I can use in my studio and share with you!!! How cool is that!

Working with customers on custom pieces is one of my favorite things. It is fun to allow the customer to be part of the designing process. It gives them a sense of pride as they wear their new jewelry that they are the designer of :)

I recently sold this bracelet

She wanted a necklace to go with this, so I made a quick order to Rings & Things for these items to match the bracelet:
29-555-16-905 Bead, Shell Pearl, Round, 16mm (Blue Mix)
40-099-24-7 Chain, Footage, Oval Curb, 10.5mm (Antiqued Copper Plated)
28-000-007-443Bead, Glass, Faceted Rondelle, 10mm (Electric Blue)

I worked up these two designs to give her a choice

This one could use more dangles.

This one could use more layers - it needs to be busier.

Which one do you like? Do you have any suggestions? Which one do you think she will choose?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bead Trends is taking submissions for March 2011!!!!

Bead Trends is a series of beautiful idea books. They feature a great variety of incredible jewelry and bead creations.

Bead Trends (March 2011) Call

Bead Trends is currently looking for designs with the following themes for our March 2011 issue:

  • Quick & Easy
  • Fashion Favorites - Features designs from a variety of styles and mediums that can be a personal favorite or necessary staple in any wardrobe.
  • Birthstone - Aquamarine, Bloodstone
  • Anything Goes - The beaded possibilities are endless and not just limited to jewelry. What about pillows, table runners, picture frames, lamps, clothing, candle collars, wine glass charms, and home decor?! This category can contain jewelry and a whole lot more!
  • Bracelets & Rings
  • Handmade Beads - PMC, Polymer, Lampwork, Paper & More! Beautiful designs made from those one of a kind handmade beads!
  • Inspired By...- Designs that were inspired by something you love including nature, family, memories, art and more. We want to see your inspirational pieces and hear their stories.
  • Color Challenge: Blue/Green, Earth tones, Ivory, & Yellow!
  • Fabric, Fiber & Ribbon - We love the artistic element and texture that fabrics, fiber, and ribbon add to designs. Lace, leather, string, hemp, and felt are only a few of the possibilities!

If you would like to submit your work to this publication, please e-mail a photograph, the name or title of your piece, and contact information to:

If submitting multiple pieces, please send a separate e-mail and photograph for each design.

Deadline for the March 2011 issue is 11:59 p.m. MDT, September 25th, 2010. All ideas should be your original work and not previously published.

We will review all submissions, and if selected, we will contact you by October 1st with additional information. All pieces will need to be shipped to us directly for photography and arrive in our office by October 13th. Your creation will be returned to you insured, after the issue has been printed.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

New Fun From Art Beads!

Got my blogger packet from Art Beads!!!!

The 'Colors of Fall' is the theme for this go round in the blogging program.

I used the Pantone color palette as a guide for making choices from all the wonderful Art Beads products. Using this guide helped me step out of my fall comfort zone of warm greens and burgundies (that I seem to gravitate to all year) and brighten up my choices for fall.

I wanted to tie in copper with all of these colors to keep it warm. I am going to have to force myself to work these into other projects, because I could use these beads all in one sitting on one necklace!!!

Here's what I got!

CA-2181 - TierraCast Copper Antique Celtic Weave
BC-CL012 - Copper Simple S Clasp *

BC-CL011 - Copper Small Plain S Clasp
BC-CL013 - Copper Rotated S Clasp *

481069 - 4x3mm Imitation TurquoiseHeishi Strand
LTD-1574 - Dusty Purple Shell Rectangle *

FPS-PI-WHT8 - Fire-Polished Bead 8mm White Picasso
FPS-PI-OTU8 - Fire-Polished Bead 8mm Opaque Turquoise
CA-2304 - TierraCast Antique Copper Tree of Life Pendant * (LOVE THIS!)
BCA-CL03 - 12x6.5mm Antique Copper-Plated Trigger Clasp*

*FTC compliance disclosure: the '*' items mentioned in this post credited to Art Beads were provided as a promotional gift as part of the Blogging for Beaders Program. These items are for review or design purposes.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wednesdays Art Fire Collection!

This week I am on a candy kick and decided to see what was candy themed at ArtFire.

Pop on over and see my choices!! It may be yours!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

ArtFire Group Deal - How does a Pro account for $5.95/month sound?

Taken from Art Fire Staff Announcements

We've been keeping a very special promotion tightly under wraps for the last week. Some of you may have been given a few hints or a heads up from the ArtFire Maven team, who we want to thank profusely for helping us ‘focus group’ many parts of this deal and who were on hand when we needed help testing. A big thanks to our Mavens, we couldn’t have pulled this off without you.

ArtFire will be exiting beta very shortly and to celebrate we’re offering, for a limited time only, the chance for up to 50,000 members to lock-in a Pro account for $5.95/month. The initial deal does have a few conditions; mainly that we need a minimum of 20,000 people to opt in at the $5.95 rate before we can give anyone this incredible rate. We want to be very clear, by opting in you are not getting a $5.95/month Pro account right away. Your information is securely stored and will not be charged unless the deal is on. If we don’t meet the minimum threshold, nobody gets a $5.95 account, your credit card isn’t charged, and your existing account and any associated subscriptions will not be affected.

To begin, we are opening the offer to existing ArtFire members only (doesn’t matter if your Pro, or Basic, or if you’ve ever switched between the two, or if you signed up ten minutes ago, everyone can lock in this rate). To take us up on our offer, visit this page. We will have a more "public friendly" page that explains the offer shortly. *edit* Here's a link to the page that explains some of the deal and also encourages members to opt in.

We want to make sure all of our current members have a chance to get this deal before opening the deal up to the general public. If we get to 50,000 opt-ins before the deal goes public, it will never be offered publicly.

I’m sure there will be a mountain of questions about why we’re discounting our rate such as how we can afford the discount, and the reasoning behind the decision. I don’t want to make this a mile long announcement so I’ve laid out reasoning in the first reply to this post below.

Hand Made Lampwork Bead Giveaway by Lampwork Diva herself - Cindy Gimbrone!!!!!

Cindy the Lampwork Diva is celebrating her blogging anniversary with a FANTASTIC giveaway!!

Pop on over to her blog for more details

Can you stand it!!!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Safety Tip: Know where your product is!

Over the past two years I have had items up on etsy, olx, ecrater, craigslist, ebay, artfire, estia, marketplace, and my own web site(i am sure I am missing a few) trying to find the right place to sell my wares.

After working out the kinks here and there - I have settled on my own site and ArtFire. They seem to work best for me. Moving forward I put all of my efforts into these two sites, marketing and social networking.

To my surprise I got an email saying I had a payment. What could it be. I clicked the link and had made a sale from ecrater! I had completely forgot about that site and all the product I had left up there! I immediately pulled all of it down and checked the item that sold. (I was hoping it would be something that I just happened to have left over - no such luck)

Welp, I'm an idiot!

I emailed the buyer and let them know, I am an idiot, and offered them a similar design and a pair of earrings for the same price. If they didn't like it, obviously I would have refunded the money. I didn't want to quit that quickly. I wanted the customer to have something - obviously they wanted it, they bought it right, and I felt if I would have immediately refunded the money, I would have lost a customer forever.

I was thrilled to hear back from the customer saying they would take the substitution and thanked me for my consideration. Even if they would have turned down the substitution, I would have sent the earrings as a 'Sorry I am an idiot' offering.

So tomorrow I will be shipping off a new bracelet with a complimentary pair of earrings and hopefully keep a happy customer!

So don't do like me!

Friday, September 10, 2010

It's Give Away Time!!! - Closed

Yup kids! It is give away time for September!!!

How do you enter? Just visit my site, and let me know what is your favorite piece! It's that easy!!!

What am I giving away?!!?

Copper wrapped pendant - Marble cab decorated with seed beads and smoky quartz.


I bought 16 hanks of Jablonex seed beads, So I am going to share half of it with the winner as well!

Want to be entered ...again? Share it on your blog, FaceBook or Twitter (let me know you did) and get an extra entry for each!! How easy is that!!!

Will be drawing the winner September 17, 2010

Good Luck KIDS!!!!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

List of Give Aways!

Did some internet trolling this afternoon and found a fun group of give aways, and wanted to share them with you!

Nichole Byers bead giveaway

Best Bath Store, Orange Body Bar and Summer Citrus Body Scrup

Vintage Style Sakura Necklace

Jenny Arnott fabric badge giveaway

Paula Ortega La tera earring give away

Glamourpuss giveaway

Bead Happily Ever After - Giveaway Soft Blue Earrings

Etsy Rosary Guild - Bracelette and earrings give away

Beads By Laura - Bead Give Away

Good Luck Kids!!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I'm addicted!!!

I can't stop with the pendants....I cant' I tell you!!!

I get a sense of freedom when I create them. There is no order or structure, they flow and just...happen.

This one is dyed howlite. Howlite is often dyed this turquoise color and sold as turquoise. It is a cheaper alternative, and has a beautiful color. But....did you know, howlite is the stone of calm, patience, and decreases an overly active critical mind. Blue is the color for calm and relaxation to counteract chaos or agitation.

How is this not the perfect combination!

I fell in love with this little piece of tumbled ocean jasper. Ocean Jasper heals the emotions and brings peace of mind. It helps with acceptance of responsibility and increases patience. Now along with that - do you see that little foot print in the middle? I over emphasized the swirls at the top to represent the paths we take, for they are never straight are they :)

Now this little guy - I am in love with. I chose lapis and bronzite and accented it with citrine. This is meant to be a busy little piece and keep your eyes moving.

Lapis brings truthfulness, openness and inner power. It strengthens the mind and body as well as increasing awareness. It can help organize daily life as well as organizing and quieting a busy or restless mind. Lapis also helps build self-confidence.

Bronzite is called the "Stone of Focused Action", and is helpful for bringing certainty and with taking control of our actions. It can also help one to think ahead about things, enhancing the ability to take control of our own lives.

Citrine is known as a "success" stone. Its lore also says that it enhances mental clarity and will power.

Do you see how they all come together with the quieting of a restless mind, bringing certainty and mental clarity? And all the colors work great too!!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My new necklace from Back Pocket Designs

I am a huge fan of Back Pocket Designs, and have been since I wandered in on Davinia's blog, Deez News.

I am crazy about several of her pieces and completely in love with her designs. She goes places with her jewelry that I can only dream about.

I couldn't help myself when she posted this piece:

I had to have it. I popped her a note saying - 'you need to put that up on your ArtFire shop so I can buy it!' And she did. Prior to this little beauty stealing my heart, I had this one pegged -

Oh wait - don't forget this one

Do you see the genius at work here?!?

So you can imagine my excitement when the package finally came!!!! I squealed at the mail box and ripped it open right there. Jumping up and down on the side of the road like a goof.

Inside she had also added her business card and attached......

An awesome pair of earrings. She threw those in as a gift. Aren't they wonderful!!!

Here is the thing kids - your business card and a pair of earrings is some of the most effective marketing/advertising you can do! I don't go anywhere without my little packets made up. You never know when you will met someone who will want your card and you will see how thrilled they are to get a tiny pair of earrings with it. (some people have even tried to pay me for the earrings!)

And here I am - all gussied up in my NEW BACK POCKET DESIGN NECKLACE!!!!!!

I will wear it everyday!!!!!!