Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Birthday to me :) New Pendant

Today is my birthday, and I sat down this morning before work and made something for me. I have had this pendant bead for nearly a year and wasn't quite sure what to do with it. I was told it was carnelian, or sardonyx, but I think it is porcelain. Just from the looks of the holes.

It didn't take any time at all. I love the swirls, I was going for an abstract goddess look, if you know what I mean.

Then I made these earrings to go with it.

It is rare I make something with the intention of keeping it. I did something for me for a change, and it feels good!!!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Look at these give aways I found!!!

Win a Cat Pendant from Knife Wife! Help her decide which cat shape to make (Ends Oct 31, 2010)

Win a hand made necklace from Night Sky Jewelry on Our Thrifty Ideas Become One blog (Ends Oct 31, 2010)

Win a $50 GC from Jewelry Recycled by Alex Keller from MouseVox's blog (Ends Nov. 1, 2010)

Win a pretty pink hand made bracelet from Spiffing Jewelry! (Ends Oct 30, 2010) She reminds everyone she is giving away a piece of jewelry a week til Christmas!!!

Win a hand crafted enameled pendant from Made In Vermont Etsy Street Team ! (Ends Oct 31, 2010)

Win a pair of earrings from Shades of Her at Audrey's Give Aways!! (Ends Nov 19, 2010)

Win Glencara Claddah Rings & Irish Jewelry!! (Ends Nov 11, 2010)

Good Luck Kids!!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Find Santa and Win from ArtFire!!!

Loads of fun this holiday season hunting for Santa at ArtFire!!! Browse the wonderful stops at ArtFire and look for the missing Santa's!!!

ArtFire Wed. Collection - Let's Play Dress Up!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Picture Jasper Focal Pendant from Rings & Things!

Let me just say - I love this focal pendant. !!! * I love picture jasper!!!

It was so easy to put these pieces together, it nearly made itself. The shape, colors and pattern of the pendant work with just about anything. I stood out in the yard this morning with my dogs, sloppin around in the wet leaves and carried this pendant around with me. The neighboor has a burning bush in their yard, quite similar to this -

A lot of the inspiration of the necklace came from this.

It was fun to put all of the different components together to make an organized random mix of beads, textures and colors. The eclectic look makes the necklace as versatile as it is unique.

This is one I will most likely keep for myself :)

Thanks Rings & Things for such a great pendant to work with!

*FTC compliance disclosure: the '*' items mentioned in this post credited to Rings & Things were provided as a promotional gift as part of the Blog Partner Program. These items are for review or design purposes. Find out more about the Rings & Things Blog Partner Program

Monday, October 25, 2010

Some Rings & Things Fun!

Last Tuesday I got the greatest package from Rings & Things. My name had been drawn for the blogger challenge and I had received a big OH mess o' pendants.

Saturday I got a great idea for a focal for a bracelet and set to work. I wanted it to be big and clunky and funky. I started with the leather first. The leather and wood beads were not enuff to counter balance the focal.

Hrm - what can I add..... Using seed beads to make a connector or 'bale' for the beaded wrist band added some fun color and texture to the focal.

I made a wire wrapped loop connecting the toggle, and added the faceted Picasso glass bead for some flare, and attached the beaded strands to the other side of the wire wrapped loop.

21-340-29-011 - Donut, Gemstone, Square, 50mm (Green Aventurine) * - Rings & Things
(FPS-PI-OTU8) Fire-Polished Bead 8mm Opaque Turqoise Picasso beads * - Art Beads
29-555-10-901 - Bead, Shell Pearl, Round, 10mm (Brown Mix) - Rings & Things
43-148-03 - Bead Cap, Copper, Filigree, 11mm (Antiqued Copper) - Rings & Things
Czech fire polished glass beads - pink mix - Art Beads (They are out of this but you may find something you like better)
49-954-05-AC - Bead, Cast, Flower, 5mm (Antiqued Copper Plated) - Rings & Things
26-823 - Bead, Copper Plated, Triangle Heishi (Copper Plated) - Rings & Things
26-814-13 - Bead, Copper, Bicone, 3mm (Copper) - Rings & Things
39-190-14-8 - Clasp, Toggle, Cast, 15mm (Copper Plated) - Rings & Things
47-400-SP - Wire, Copper, 18g, Round, 50' (Solid Copper) - Rings & Things
Repurposed - Mookite chips, carnelian barrels and rhodonite heishi beads.

This was sooo much fun, I see more in my near future :)

*FTC compliance disclosure: the '*' items mentioned in this post credited to Rings & Things were provided as a promotional gift as part of the Blog Partner Program. These items are for review or design purposes. Find out more about the Rings & Things Blog Partner Program

*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.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Rings & Things Blogger Challenge - Pendant

Getting packages in the mail an be so fun, and when they are from Rings & Things it is like Christmas!!

This post from Tuesday shows you all of the AMAZING pendants that showed up in the mail! Rings & Things draws 10 names each month, and these winners receive a packet of goodies to review! How awesome is that!

This is the first of seven design that will come from this months goodie package!

21-341-33-092 - Pendant, Gemstone, Faceted Trapezoid, 50x43mm (Dumortierite), wire wrapped with copper and accented with Swarovski crystals and rhodonite heishi cut beads.
It is a fun free form wrap, full of expression and just a little bit of attitude :)

What makes this such a great combination, not only is it a great color scheme, but did you know,
Dumortierite enhances organizational abilities, self-discipline and orderliness. Rhodonite decreases anxiety while increasing attention to detail. How cool is that!!!

If you haven't done so already RUN to Rings & Things and sign up. Your name could be drawn next month!!! This is way to much fun!!!

*FTC compliance disclosure: the '*' items mentioned in this post credited to Rings & Things were provided as a promotional gift as part of the Blog Partner Program. These items are for review or design purposes. Find out more about the Rings & Things Blog Partner Program

Thursday, October 21, 2010

ArtBeads Colors of Fall Design Partner Challenge!

ArtBeads did a great design partner challenge this go around using the 2010 Fall color pallet as the guide. Choose components that co ordinate with the color pallet as your challenge. Great colors for fall this year:

Fall is a beautiful time of year, especially in the south. Coming out of those long hot dog days of summer into the clear crisp fall days is such a treat. Fall lasts longer here, mixing with the final hues of summer, the colors are amazing. As the summer fades, you still see scants of green hanging from tree branches heading into their winter slumber.

You ever smell grapes in the fall - right after a frost?? OMG - the best smell in the world. The leaves turn brown and the little vine "curly Q's" come peaking out, and there are just a couple little green grapes left. That was the inspiration for these earrings. Using the Fire-Polished Bead 8mm Opaque Turqoise Picasso beads (FPS-PI-OTU8) to represent the grapes, and hung them from copper curls - they look like little grapes don't they?? :)

Then you have all of those wonderful fall colors, warm and bright. Picasso glass from Art Beads, (white and turquoise) along with mookite make fun clusters at the bottom of this necklace.

This is a fun, almost beachy style necklace. Leather thong with copper coils to hold it together in a faux bolo style. The grouping of beads hanging from the ends look like groups of leaves hanging low on branches. There is a hint of sparkle from the Swarovski crystals, like that sparkle of dew in the mornings.

It has a fun and off center style.

Have you seen the colors on fire during the autumn sunset? Love the horizon during the fall. The sun is most spectacular during the fall.

There are more great designs to come using great supplies from Art Beads!!

Stay tuned!

*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, October 20, 2010

ArtFire Wed. Collection - Pumpkins!!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I Just Lost My Mind!!!!! - Rings & Things Blogger Challenge

Went to the mail box last nite and found a package from Rings & Things!!!! I couldn't wait to get into it and see what goodies came. Boy was I surprised! I ripped into it, curious about the weight of the package. This one was really heavy, what could it be!!???

Oh My (Censored) God!!!!

Do you see this?? Do you see all of these glorious pendants?!!? I lost it! This is better than Christmas!

21-341-34-034 - Pendant, Gemstone, Faceted Trillion, 45x50mm (Picture Jasper) *
21-340-29-034 - Donut, Gemstone, Square, 50mm (Picture Jasper) *
21-341-35-034 - Donut, Gemstone, Faceted Octagon, 50mm (Picture Jasper) *
21-341-33-034 - Pendant, Gemstone, Faceted Trapezoid, 50x43mm (Picture Jasper) *
21-340-32-189 - Donut, Gemstone, Square, 40mm (Silver Mist Jasper) *
21-341-33-092 - Pendant, Gemstone, Faceted Trapezoid, 50x43mm (Dumortierite) *
21-340-32-032 - Donut, Gemstone, Square, 40mm (Snowflake Obsidian) *
21-340-29-011 - Donut, Gemstone, Square, 50mm (Green Aventurine) *

I am a pendant fah-reek!! I love them. These are exceptional. The size and shapes are so fun. They are going to work great into any design.

Ok, and picture jasper - PICTURE JASPER!! How did you know it was one of my favorites? Did you know picture jasper helps create harmony, proportion, creative visualization, positive things in business pursuits. It brings and shows hidden messages from the past as well as hidden thoughts, fears, and hopes. These qualities make it useful as an emotional/psychological healing stone.

Do you see the silver mist jasper? I have been eyeballing it for sometime on Rings & Things site. I know I go on and on about different stones and that one is my favorite - I do love them all - but jasper has a special place in my heart.

Look at that Dumortierite! Dumortierite is used in the manufacture of high grade porcelain. It is sometimes mistaken for sodalite and has been used as imitation lapis lazuli. I can see where it would get confusing! Dumortierite enhances organizational abilities, self-discipline and orderliness. This enhancement is believed to be due to the effect it can have of balancing the throat chakra and enhancing communication between lower chakras/physical energy and the higher chakras/mental/spiritual energy. It highly reduces difficulties of scattered mind and disorganization. It has been used to help recovery from addiction and alcoholism. In addition, it encourages one to see and accept reality, and react to it in an intelligent manner in one's own behalf.

Snowflake obsidian, it absolutely stunning. The 'snowflakes' on this pendant are perfect, and so many! Snowflake obsidian has the property of bringing things to the surface. The things brought to the surface could be positive or negative, love, anger, secrets; but with snowflake obsidian, these things are brought to the surface more gently that they might be otherwise. Snowflake obsidian can provide balance during times of change. It aids in seeing patterns in life and recreating them in a more beneficial way. It is a stone of serenity and purity, and can shield against negativity.

And not to be over looked but that HUGE color enhanced aventurine. It is a monster!!! Aventurine is said to benefit one in all areas of creativity, and imagination, as well as intellect and mental clarity. Lore says that it enhances prosperity and brings career success. It is a gentle stone energetically that gives a sense of calm and balance and enhances happiness. It also helps one to see alternatives and potentials in all situations, giving a positive outlook, courage and inner strength. It is also said to bring luck, especially in games of chance. Green aventurine is also a mystical stone of prosperity. Aventurine bring friendship to one's life. It is also a stone of protection energies.

If you don't have an idea of how big 50mm is ......

Perfect ending to a not so perfect day!!
Thanks Rings & Things!

*FTC compliance disclosure: the '*' items mentioned in this post credited to Rings & Things were provided as a promotional gift as part of the Blog Partner Program. These items are for review or design purposes. Find out more about the Rings & Things Blog Partner Program

Monday, October 18, 2010

Something I have been thinking about

Do you need to dress like an 'artist' to be taken as an artist?

I read up on, review other booths, research who sells well, and try to model my booth after that. There is a lot to it, the placement of items, the colors, the decorations and so forth that set up a feel for a booth and brings customers in. I try to stay ahead of the curve with my booth display to the best of my means, considering I am at an outside market.

I am getting more comfortable with my booth, now what about me. Is it just as important that I am dressed the part? And what is the part anyway? I love tie dye, and wear it often. Am I portraying the right image as an artist? Should I be more conservative and wear a button down and pants? I don't want to sell my soul to sell my pieces, but at the same time there is a lot to the selling formula.

If I look like a business person, will I look like I am selling product that I bought from a wholesaler? Here is the reason I ask this - I have tried different outfits just to see customer responses. When I dress more conservatively, I get asked quite often "Did you make this?" "Do you sell for other people?"

If I look like an eccentric artist will I be taken as one? It isn't that I sell more if I dress 'artsy' but I don't hear those questions. I hear more comments - "I love your designs" "These are so unique" and so forth.

These are just questions I roll around in my head - Do you have suggestions? Do you have questions you wonder about in this craft business world?

I would love to know

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Autumn Textures - An ArtFire Collection

Friday, October 8, 2010

Supporting local artists and promoting yourself.

When I pack and order and get it ready, I like to ad that "extra touch" to the order. I wrap the item in a little pouch, add a thank you card with a personal note, ya know.. just the little things.

I was buying hand made note cards from a little store that featured local artists. I like to keep note cards handy for when I take a notion to sit down and scribble out a hello to someone I have had on my mind for a few days. It is a good feeling to promote other artists, isn't that why we have our wares out there? For others to buy? That little store closed *sniff* and I got lazy. I was out buying groceries one day, and found an assorted box of blank note cards and threw them in the cart and was on my merry way.

I needed to get back into that 'Buy Handmade' mode and not take the short cuts, but I didn't know what I wanted. I wanted a note card, but I didn't want anything big. I wanted something cute that set apart the order from any others that customer may have received. Honestly, it isn't that I couldn't have done it myself, I could. But Why? I have so much going on, to take the time to buy all of the supplies to make the cards I want, to take the time to sit down and make the cards I want, I would not have the time to make the jewelry I want. That make sense? How was I going to find what I wanted for cards. How was I going to find that perfect accent to all of my orders? So I took a bit of inspiration from items I had received in the past.

Here is an example:
I won a wonderful crocheted necklace from Be~Jeweled by Jana back in April and blogged about it here. Here is this simple, yet elegant card, a small gift box wrapped in a bow and including a signature sticker. Inside was a cute little printed thank you card and a little bit about the item. Brilliant!! Jana's hand writing is art in itself.

Or how about:
I ordered a pair of earrings from Ahtee's Designs. I had had my eye on them after see them on her blog and just had to have them. I blogged about them here. I loved her little box wrapped with a ribbon and the store logo sticker on the top.

And then there is:
In April I also won a pair of earrings for Pearl and Pebble and blogged about them here. Her packaging was simple, but so beautiful, and her hand writing - Oy, to die for! April was a lucky month for me :)

I stopped in a few local stores that offer a schmattering of products from local artists and didn't really find what I wanted. Then I headed to Isn't that what it really is about? Promoting artists, hand made items, artist community and a sense of belonging? That is where I found Peculiar Parchment. What a fun store!!! Tons of cute little card offerings for all occasions.

I got this great assortment of mini thank you cards. They are about the size of a business card folded in half.

These are the perfect size. Not too small, so I can get a personalized note in there, and not too big where I feel I need to write more to fill up the space.

Have you seen my hand writing? *rolls eyes* I really don't want to write anymore than I have to. I have worked on computers too long, and believe I have lost the gene that allows me to control a pen and push it on a piece of paper. I am really embarrassed to write thank you notes with orders, but at the same time, it is part of me so I should embrace it......right???
This is a sample of my writing.

Can you read it? It is very frustrating to my mother, who had penmanship in school to see my scrawling.

Buying these little accents from other artists is a great way to support their craft and a great way to set you apart. Taking the time to add that personal touch, is a great way to promote yourself and your craft by having the same quality of customer service as the quality of your product.

What are your ideas on packaging and personal notes with your orders? Do you feel it is necessary or is it overkill?

Oh yeah, and Jana's necklace...... goes GREAT with my tie dyed overalls :)

Have a great weekend kids!!!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Copper swirls

This is a little fun and EASY necklace set I came up with as a give away for reaching 200 fans on my FaceBook fan page.

This was crazy easy, but time consuming. The swirls were very easy and hammered to strengthen. I added a bit of a decorative wrap to the pendant and added seed beads for a bit of a distraction.

The chain is hand wound links of 20 ga copper, wrapped in a figure 8 and sloppy wrapped in the middle. I hammered 6 figure 8 links from 14 ga copper to break up the design a bit. I love the sloppy chain. It gives it a real artistic look, and makes it seem a bit more organic!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

ArtFire Wed. Collection - Opal and Pink Tourmaline