Monday, December 21, 2009

2 Days of Travel Hell!

I usually enjoy the whole airport/travel experience (even the lines and waiting) just because it means I'm going somewhere cool -- sort of part of the experience -- but this trip was above and beyond and by the end I was really eyeing the first class passengers with envy ;)

The trip is normally about 6 - 8 hours including layovers! We were transferring in Paris Charles de Gaule with a short wait and then straight into Lisbon Portugal.

That was the plan anyway -- We finally made into Portugal 2 days after leaving Washington DC!

Here's what went down:

There was a big storm in Paris that delayed our flight out of DC by 4 hours (and our airport shuttle was already on the way when we found out so we couldn't postpone it and we had to spend an extra 4 hours in the airport.

Then we found out that because of the delay we were going to miss our connection in Paris by about 15 minutes! Ugh.

There was not another flight out of Paris Charles de Gaule anytime soon, so they scheduled us a flight from the other airport in Paris (Orly) -- a one hour bus ride away -- on a different airline -- and we had about 4 hours between arriving in Charles de Gaule and departing in Orly (to go through customs, catch the bus, travel through traffic, check back in with luggage and board!!)

--We did notice when we first arrived into Charles de Gaulle that our original connection had been delayed also, but only by 30 minutes, not enough time for us to stand in [a very long] line and have our tickets changed back! Bummer, onto to Orly anyway.--

Well, the bus to Orly was late because of some security issue and, of course, by the time we got to Orly we had missed the rescheduled flight also!!!! sighhhh....... Plus it was REALLY cold in Paris and we were NOT dressed for it!

So, after many long lines, lots of waiting, and trying to keep a 9 year old from losing his mind, we managed to get another flight scheduled for the following day. That meant another bus trip to a hotel, a quick overnight stay, and back to the airport first thing in the morning. (luckily Air France paid for the hotel and dinner and breakfast!)

So, we arrived in the morning for the flight, sat in line for an hour, did the whole security thing again and FINALLY got on the plane to Portugal! Whew!!!

Arrival! Yay!! I was never so glad to be rid of airports!

Anyway, I'm excited for Christmas and an awesome New Year's party. Hope all your's are fantastic!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Out for the Holidays!

I'm in Portugal for 2 weeks! Taking a little vacation after the holiday rush!

My shops are on vacation mode until I return, but I'll be checking my email, so if anyone needs to chat or ask a question I'll be able to answer fairly quickly!

Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season!

Monday, December 14, 2009

The DC Rollergirls 2nd Annual Craft Fair & Holiday Bash!

What an incredible time!

This show, at McFadden's on a Saturday night in downtown DC, was incredible. So much fun!

It was a little dark, so seeing crafts was difficult, but I still managed to have a pretty good show for the 3 hours we were there! There were tons of people coming by, although it was super-packed in the bar and I think if they'd have made a least a couple announcements about us being in the back, we'd have been even busier! As it was, there were plenty of shoppers looking for Christmas gifts, and jewelry is always a good Christmas gift :D

My husband was able to come with me, which was great because not only did he help with loading/unloading, but I felt much safer leaving at midnight with him there. But best of all, it allowed me to have a couple of beers! Yay!! He's such a good designated driver ;-)

Anyway, this was my last show for the year. I'm in Portugal for 2 weeks over Christmas and New Year's and am very glad for the short hiatus. Being an indie jeweler at Christmas-time is exhausting! LoL!!

Best to everyone and Happy Holidays!


p.s. I'll try to post a least of couple of times while I'm away, but we'll be traveling around so much, I'm not sure how many posts I can squeeze in :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Super-Cool Craft Show! DC RollerGirls Holiday Bash!!

I just wanted to share an event that I'm doing next weekend. --especially for those of you who are local to the DC area!

The DC Rollergirls 2nd Annual Craft Fair & Holiday Bash!

It's in downtown DC at a bar, McFadden's, sponsored by the DC Roller Girls!

It's from 8pm to 11pm and I think it'll be a blast just because of what it is...
...a craft fair a bar in DC ...with the DC Roller Girls! How Cool is That?

Here's a link:

I'm planning on having at least one beer while I'm hawking my wares to the DC crowd!!! LoL.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A LOT of Fun! Did you get a chance to Pop in?

Yay! The virtual trunk show was sooo much fun. Somehow quite nerve-wracking, but super fun. I made a couple of sales in the hour of the show, so I feel pretty good!

For some reason though, I felt quite nervous, which is hilarious because I do craft shows all the time where I hawk my wares for 8 hours straight and I don't get nervous. Maybe it's because it was the first time I'd done a virtual show and had no idea what to expect? or maybe that so many things can go wrong and you have no control since it's virtual? Who knows! LoL. I'll have a better idea next February, 'cause we're doing another one for Valentine's Day!!! That should be a good show :D

Stay tuned for details!

Here's one item that sold! A fave of mine :D

Monday, November 30, 2009

Cyber Monday Holiday Trunk Show!

So Kids! It's Cyber Monday! THE day to do your online holiday shopping!!

Some of the members of the Etsy team EART are planning a very special Holiday Trunk Show in the virtual labs of Etsy! How cool is that? It's tonight, Monday 11/30 at 7pm EST.

We'll be in the "SKY" room: Open Door to Enter :D

There are 9 shops participating in the Trunk Show and I know most (if not all) are giving special Trunk Show promotions. So if you're looking for some unique gifts, here's your chance to get some great deals!

Here's who'll be there:


Hope to see you there!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday through Cyber Monday Sale!

Yay! Great Deals and FREE shipping in my Etsy shop!!
Here are the details:

~~~ • EtsyHolidaySale • ~~~
I'm offering a discount on all matching set items. 5% off both pieces when you buy the matching set. No Promo code needed, complete checkout and payment and I will promptly refund the discounted amount.

~~~ • EtsyFreeShipping • ~~~
I'm offering Free Worldwide shipping NOW through 11/30. You MUST use code THANKSFREESHIP in notes to seller to receive free shipping. I will promptly refund your shipping charges after you complete checkout and payment.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

~~~• Happy Thanksgiving •~~~

Everyone have a wonderful, happy, tasty, loving, & safe Thanksgiving Day!


Monday, November 23, 2009

Good Monday! How was your weekend?

I had a fantastic show on Saturday!

It was fun, in a great artsy venue, a nice crowd, lots of awesome vendors, and good Holiday sales.

I had made up some new items so that I would have plenty of selection and what didn't sell at the show, I'm listing on Etsy in the next couple of days, so be sure and come check the new stuff out. There are some great sets that I made up in all price ranges that are perfect for gifts!!

Hope everyone had a GREAT weekend and has a FANTASTIC Thanksgiving week!!!

Happy Holidays...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

FREE Give-Away Scavenger Hunt - 13 Prizes!! Come Play!

Don't forget to play the EART team's scavenger hunt! Ends Friday!!

There are 13 shops participating. That means that there are 13 prizes to be given out! That's pretty good odds for you!!

Here's how to play:

Visit the participating etsy shops (scroll down to my previous post for the list of shops) and search their items for this photo: You can start in my shop: AWEshop

When you find it, send the shop owner an etsy convo letting them know you found it. You can search and enter in each participating shop. You can only win once (we want to share the love as much as possible), but the more shops you enter, the more chances you have to be a winner! Each shop owner will randomly draw one winner at the end of the hunt.

That's all you have to do. The scavenger hunt runs from Friday, 11/13, 2009, to midnight EST on Friday, 11/20/09. Check the EART website on Monday, 11/23/09 to see the winners. Enjoy the hunt!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Happy Monday Everyone! Good News & Bad News :D

I had a great weekend doing two shows in Virginia! Exhausting, but gratifying!!

Good News: I sold lots of my forged jewelry!!
Bad News: I have to lock myself in my studio to restock for next Saturdays BIG show!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

AWEshop Featured on!!!

How cool is it that Liz, editor of WickedlyChic has featured my shop in her new bi-weekly column in!

Read it here: Wickedly Chic Presents Jewelry


Check out the ring that she featured and check out and for lots of good reading!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Win Prizes! EART Team Scavenger Hunt! -Starts Today!!

The Eclectic Artisans Team has a new team shop. Check it out! To celebrate our new shop and the beginning of the holiday season, we're having a scavenger hunt, and everyone is invited to participate!

Here's how to play:

Visit the participating etsy shops (scroll down for the list of shops) and search their items for this photo:

When you find it, send the shop owner an etsy convo letting them know you found it. You can search and enter in each participating shop. You can only win once (we want to share the love as much as possible), but the more shops you enter, the more chances you have to be a winner! Each shop owner will randomly draw one winner at the end of the hunt.

That's all you have to do. The scavenger hunt runs from Friday, 11/13, 2009, to midnight EST on Friday, 11/20/09. Check the EART website on Monday, 11/23/09 to see the winners. Enjoy the hunt!

(Please note: EART members are not eligible to win prizes.)

Here's a list of participating EART shops and their fabulous prizes:

Prize: Pair of Lego Earrings & Lego Ring in your choice of color:
Red, Orange, Black, Green, Blue

Prize: Set of four photographic art note cards with envelopes, your choice of images.

Prize: set of four handmade christmas cards

Prize: Platinum Freshwater Pearl Drop Earrings

Prize: set of six handmade embossed christmas cards

Prize: Hammered Copper Adjustable Spiral Ring

Purple Sparkle Crafts
Prize: Sugar Pink Marshmallow Cupcake Candle

Prize: Choice of 2 Bookmarks

Prize: Peacock and Brown Felt Pendant

Prize: Animal print no slip hair clip trio

Prize: $25 gift certificate

Hair Bows Wonderworld
Prize: red velour rose pin-on corsage/buttonhole

Prize: sparrow earrings from MichellesCharmWorld

Questions? Convo divadea on etsy. Thanks for playing!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

OMG, this a busy time of the year!

I'm prepping for 3 holiday shows in a row, this Friday night, this Saturday, and next Saturday, and I'm running around like crazy.

So much to do and I want to get some more jewelry made just to be sure that I have enough stock, I feel like a one-man factory LoL.

off to work...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Friday, November 6, 2009

Kid's These Days... LoL...

I just had to share this story!

To make a long story short, my son, who is 9, is and always has been a very early riser (much earlier than me or my husband) and has learned to keep himself busy while we "night people" finish our sleep.

He knows that he's not allowed to do certain things, such as play computer games, and he's usually very good about it.

Well this morning when I woke up I walked into the other room and saw him sitting on the computer. Still groggy, my first thought was --oh, great, off to a good start this morning-- but I casually walked over and said "You know your not allowed on the computer in the mornings"...

Then he said --and here's where it gets surreal-- "Well, I was just putting together this Keynote presentation. Wanna see it?"

"huh?" --remember, I'm still groggy... maybe I misunderstood...

Then he said "Come look, I went through the basic tutorial and decided to explore the other features on my own"


Low and Behold, he had made an entire Keynote slideshow presentation about the fun things in life, like the playground (exercise, friends, etc) and more.

I was stunned! When did 9 year olds get this smart?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I'm Late, I'm Late...

EART Blog Ring - Getting Prepped for the Holidays.

Well, honeslty, I'm not a good "preparer-aheader" :) --I'm scrambling now trying to make some extra pieces to last through my several holiday craft shows, and the "hopefully" holiday rush of online sales.

I don't actually make holiday specific items, so I don't need to prepare there, I just need to have enough stock so that I'm not a complete mess all winter! LOL.

Anyway, that said... back to work ; )

Check out how the rest of the team preps for the holiday season by reading their posts, starting here: Michelle's Charm World Blog

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Two New Treasuries for Your Enjoyment!

Thank you Michelle's Charm World and Inspiration Recycled for including my jewelry in your treasuries! They are both beautiful!!!


Clear Skies

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Thank You DivaDea for Including Me in Your Treasury!

Super fun treasury by DivaDea of the EART Etsy team! My Swirls of Copper ring is the middle on the top row!

Monday, November 2, 2009

What do Spirals Mean to You?

I love spirals and I notice that a lot of other people do to!

What is it about them? the fluidity? the simplicity? their eternal feeling?

What do you think?

I've feature two of my jewelry pieces today that are all about spirals. I'm offering a FREE pair of simple spiral earrings when you purchase either one of the featured items. Put FREESPIRAL in notes to seller on Etsy!

Super Spirals - Handforged Sterling Silver Wire Ring

Bayong Wood and Sterling Spirals Earrings

Friday, October 30, 2009

Sooo good it's scary! Halloween BOGO Sale!

I'm in the Etsy Weekend Deals! Wooo-Hooo!!! It's Buy-One-Get-One Weekend!

I'm offering BOGO on all earrings in my -- Earring Section --

Come take a look! Earrings make great stocking stuffers! ...and you can get two items off of your list at once!! ;D

Happy Halloween!!!

Yummy Halloween Treat Recipes!!!

Wooo-Hooo. Halloween is tomorrow!!!!! Are you ready? I'm not, but I'm excited anyway :D

I've found some really cool recipes for some scarily cute treats.

Check out some pics and get the links on Handmade Unique. (sorry I didn't put them up here too -- lots to do today...)

In brief:
Rice Treat Mummy Heads
Stained Glass Cookies
Oreo Spider Cookies
Classic Iced Pumpkin Cookies
Pumpkin Pie Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Is it possible to be active online and still get some creating done? --EART Blog Ring Post

This week's EART Team blog ring post is about what our how we find time to create while being an active EART team member, keeping up our shop, and actually having an off-line life!

Well, I have to say that I do struggle with this.

I've recently started giving myself until noon to get all my online things done. I then get off of the computer and create (I work from home - I honestly don't know how people with 9-5s manage everything!).

I do still find myself sometimes surfing and dawdling too much and sometimes not getting big things done online that I'd like to do (such as looking up craft information, reading industry articles, checking out other blogs that I can be involved with, etc) Things that might ultimately help me and my craft but aren't imperative. But, you have to make choices and sometimes I choose to spend more time online and do some of them and sometimes I choose to get off of the computer and create!

Mostly, I wish that there were about 30 hours in a day and I only had to sleep about 4 hours. Then I could spend the equivalent of an entire day with my son and husband, an entire day creating, and still have plenty of time to be online (oh, and eat and shower and stuff ;)!

Read about how other Team members' manage by reading everyone's blog ring post starting here: Michelle's Charm World blog

~ciao for now

Thursday, October 22, 2009

EART Blog Ring Post : What's My Favorite Item in My Shop?

This week's EART Team blog ring post is about what our favorite item in our shop is.

wow... It actually changes so often, but I'd say – right now – my favorite items are my etched rings.

Etching on copper is done (one of several ways, really) by drawing a design onto the metal with a permanent marker that acts as a resist and then dipping the piece into an acid etching liquid. After it's etched to the desired depth, it's taken out and finished in whatever way is required for the piece being made. I do rings, bracelets, earrings, and pendants like this.

It's awesome because it's like illustration and jewelry design at the same time!

Here's a couple of examples:

Etched wide band ring

Etched Pendant
Etched Cuff Bracelet

Read what other Team members' favorite items are by reading everyone's blog ring post starting here: Michelle's Charm World blog

~ciao for now

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What to do, what to do...

So, I have several shows coming up for the holidays, which is fine, they are normal 1 day shows. A couple are juried (which means you have to be selected to participate) and a couple are not. Besides the ramping up and making sure I make enough jewelry to show, they are no big deal...

Now, I just received some information from a 5 day show in Pennsylvania that I'm sort of thinking of attending! But 5 days...

It is a huge holiday show with some 35,000 shoppers coming from all over! It would be awesome to participate, but I'm not really sure if I'm ready for it. This is my first year doing shows and I've only done small ones so far. They've been great, but nothing really scary.

...But a 5 day show? How do you prepare for that? How much stock do you need to bring? It's a bit of a drive away, so I'd probably need to stay in a hotel, so that means being away from home for 6ish days!

...But it would be great, tons of exposure, lots of sales, meeting lots of other crafters. hmmm...

...what to do... what to do...

If anyone has any advice, I'm all ears! :D

Monday, October 12, 2009

When your Computer goes Kaput!

I've woken up to bad days before, actually plenty of times. But never so bad as when you sit down with your yummy cup of joe and discover that your computer is dead...

just dead...

no warning, no reason, no sense. It just doesn't turn on. SIGH!!!!!

The one redeeming fact is that I had actually backed up just 2 days before (after putting it off for a month) OMG... that would have been disastrous and would've taken me much longer to recover - mentally and work-wise!

Well, after my husband, who's a REAL computer guy, took it apart and couldn't fix it (of course, it's just out of the 3 year extended warranty) I resigned myself to the fact that I'm going to be $2000 in the hole... I LOVE Macs but they are expensive! (but, btw, way worth the extra $1200 over a PC, no question, no doubts, no regrets!)

Ok, on with life and work (on my son's tiny, old, hand-me-down Mac until my new faster, stronger, better Mac arrives ;)

ciao for now...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

EART Blog Ring Post: My Next Big Purchase!

This week's EART Team blog ring post is about what our next big purchase for our business is going to be.

hmmm... that's a tough one. There are several things that I really need and wish I could get. The two topmost are:

1. a GOOD soldering system (instead of my dinky creme brulee style torch :)
2. a REAL jeweler's bench (the kind made for jewelers so you can hook on clamps, flexshaft drills, catch metal filings and cuttings, store hammers and files, etc.) mmm...

I did finally just get a good flexshaft drill, my dremel just wasn't cutting it (literally :) anymore!

Basically most of my profit from sales at this stage go back into buying better equipment, it really does make a difference in the ease and to a point quality of your work (it's much harder to obtain excellent quality with inferior tools).

Now, I just have to decide which item I need/want most! ...and have a good Christmas selling season!

...anyone wanna buy some beautiful, excellently made jewelry for holiday gifts and help support my craft ;)

Read what other Team members' goals are by reading everyone's blog ring post starting here: the EART blog

~ciao for now

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I FINALLY have my Newsletter put together! Yay!! Come get on the List!

Finally, I've finished formatting my newsletter that I've been meaning to put together for months and months! I have tons of jewelry info that I've gathered and have ready to fill the pages monthly. Things like Materials 101, Gemstones FYI, How I Make It, exclusive promos and more!

I'm super excited to finally have it out there, hope it goes over well! It's always a challenge keeping something interesting w/o overloading people! We'll see how the sign-ups go (and the unsubscribes! LOL)

I invite you to sign up and check it out! and let me know what you think ;D

A.W.E. Newsletter Sign-Up Form


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Beautiful Treasury with Silver and Reds

Take a look at this great treasury that emmarts was kind enough to feature my new Sterling Riveted Rings in!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Take a look at these Unique Chess sets!

I found a bunch of very unique chess sets on Etsy that you have to see!

Check them out here on my Handmade Unique blog. Definitely worth the extra click ;D


Thursday, September 17, 2009

My first craft show ever went Fantastically good!


I am thrilled with the process and outcome of my first craft show ever.

It was the Takoma Park Folk Fest and it was amazing. The show is very well put together and organized. There are a ton of super nice people and volunteers around to help and chat. And it is a very popular show, tons of people. The show itself is only minimally crafters, it's all about community and folk events like Thai Dancing demos and such, great music all day, community programs, lots of food, and more. My son had a great day roaming around.

I also had a great day. Sales were beyond what I expected and everyone was genuinely interested in the crafters and their wares. The crafters themselves were great, too. Lots of variety and all of them top notch with amazing handmade things to sell like gorgeous sculpture, great handbags, pottery, and much more.

If you live in the DC area and didn't get to go this year, definitely try for next! It's worth it!! I'll definitely be there again.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

EART Blog Ring Post: My Shop Goals for the Fall

This week's EART Team blog ring post is about our goals for our Etsy shop for the upcoming season!

Beside's the obvious goal of getting more sales, I think I'm going to try to spend more time in the community area. Posting to the forums, commenting on Storque articles (Etsy's Blog area), and generally just putting myself out there and getting involved with Etsy.

For my business in general, I have a few juried craft shows coming up that I'm working on and I'm going to look into trying to get some of my forged jewelry into some brick and mortar's around the country!

I'm supposing those two things will keep me hopping through Christmas! I just can't forget to gear up for the Holiday season's sales in the meantime! Hopefully it's a good year!!

Read what other Team members' goals are by reading everyone's blog ring post starting here: the EART blog

~ciao for now

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Did you know it's 09-09-09 - Time for a SALE!!!!

Cool! In honor of this unique date I'm holding a sale in my shop.

9 items are only $9. Find 'em and you've got yourself a great deal!!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Happy Labor Day Everyone!

Wow, fall is coming quickly and I am excited! --Can't wait to start pulling out the Halloween stuff!!!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Blog Ring Post: What We Struggle With Most as Small Business Owners

This week's EART Team blog ring post is very topical for me, because what I'm struggling with most currently is TIME... as in; not enough of it, juggling priorities, and snagging some quality family time.

Running a business takes a lot of time. It seems sometimes that there is so much "stuff" to do for my business to function that I have a hard time finding the time to actually create, which is sad because that's the reason you start a handmade business in the first place - to create!

I'm constantly trying new systems from lists, to notes, to agendas, to staying up too late at night to try to get everything done. Some things work better than others but the thing that usually helps the most is to "get off the computer!" Computers seem to suck up time, hours pass in mere minutes and nights get incredibly short while your on it... which is why this post is fairly short today - I'm getting OFF the computer and creating! ;D

Have a great day everyone, see you tomorrow!!

Take a look at what other Team members struggle with by reading everyone's blog ring post starting here: the EART blog

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Wow, I always forget how hectic mornings are during the school year!

I've been super busy with so many things lately and now that school's started and the mornings and afternoons are busy with school stuff, I'm finding it hard to get anything done. Which is why I've been a little absent from here.

I do have to say, though, that I'm excited for fall (it's actually feeling cool outside - for a few days anyway, likely to get hot again). I love the smell in the air, the changing trees, and Halloween! I LOVE Halloween!!

Well, hope everyone is have a great start of the school year (and if you don't have kids, a great end of summer ;)

I'm still -diligently- posting new items to Handmade Unique. Remember to take a look at all the cool stuff!


Monday, August 24, 2009

I've been included in a Gorgeous Treasury by IndigoOrchid!

I love the color combination in this treasury! Unexpected!! The bottom right earrings are mine.

Stop by and comment! Persimmons & Plums Treasury

Friday, August 21, 2009

Have You Seen My Petting Zoo? I *heart* Turtles, Fish, and Frogs!

I just adore the cute little widgets by abowman. Little animals you can interact with!

Try it: Scroll down the blog, they're on the sidebar
•Feed them all by clicking in their "cage"
•Pick up the turtles and move 'em around. If you spin them and let go, they'll continue to spin.
•The little fish will follow your cursor around hoping to be fed.

Soooo cute!

I'm kind of bummed because they don't fit in my sidebar well. I think because I have a 3rd party blog format it's messing with the code. -oh well, doesn't distract from the cuteness of the widgets.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hey! I was featured in the Etsy Top 10!

I was excited to see yesterday that my hammered copper earrings were featured as an Etsy Top 10 by Timothy Adams! How cool is that!

These are the earrings featured:

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thinking Outside of the FileBox -or- The Art of Organizing Your Art


This is a difficult subject for artists, because most artists I know just aren't organized. It's a left brain/right brain thing, I think. But it's also sort of a yin/yang thing - for your mind to be able to create it needs to be free of the restraints of clutter and the tedium of constantly searching for supplies! I personally haven't found it to be a zen sort of thing though, I really have to work at it!!

I have actually been accused of being super organized, which cracks me up because I'm far from it. I'm just smart enough to know that if I don't keep myself disciplined in organizing my life, my life would be hardly livable, swimming through a sea of papers, art supplies, tools, office supplies, etc, etc. etc. I really do struggle with it- I just don't let anyone see that side.

In my struggle, I've found some things out about myself. One thing is that I Have To See It. If it disappears completely from my site, stored away under a bed or something, I will completely forget that I have it. I know this, it's happened before! Another thing I've found out is that I'm lazy! and this laziness is key to my organization. Being lazy allows me to create the very easiest way to organize something, easy to take it out and easy to put it away again. Laziness is the secret to invention -did you know that? :D

My favorite easy organization secret is plastic drawer units. I have lots of them. I have them on wheels, I have large ones and small ones and tiny ones, and I have them all over; in my studio, on my worktable, in my storage closet, in my bathroom... really, everywhere. They are easy to transport, easy to access, easy to label, they stack and they keep out dust (and cats). ;D

Another favorite is my Wall of Beads. I don't work with huge amounts of beads, so it's easy for me to keep them all in little baggies and pin them to a large cork board above my worktable. This is sort of the epitome of my way of storage. Visible (so I don't forget I have them), easy to access (because I'm lazy), and pretty (because I'm an artist and I don't like ugly).

So there you have it. My favorite storage systems and a lengthy commentary I'm not sure you were ready for. LOL. But it's not often I get to go on in length about something as ordinary as storage!

To read more Creative Organization solutions, go to the EART team blog and start from the beginning of our ring of bloggers posting this week.

Not the best photo... but in it you can see 3 drawer units and my beads on my cork board.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I'm Honored to be in Another Treasury - Memories of Oludeniz by CellChic

Take a look at this gorgeous treasury put together by CellChic on Etsy featuring my new Hawaiian Gems hoop earrings!

Thank you CellChic!

Monday, August 10, 2009

New Handmade Unique Blog - Follow and Be Inspired Everyday!

I'm officially inviting everyone to follow my new blog called Handmade Unique.

My Inspiration for Handmade Unique:

Since joining the ranks of online indie artisans a few months ago, I've encountered so many absolutely creative people making fantastically unique items.

After quite a while seeing all these creations and having only my husband to share them with, I decided to make this blog as a way to show the world.

I hope you find everything as wonderful & unique as I do.

I list new finds daily, so follow me and be inspired everyday!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Friday Favorite: The Lovely Art of Barbarix

I love the earthy, gritty feel of the artwork by Barbarix. Something about the colors & style in her pieces just really appeal to me and I love to look at them. Hope you do to.

Visit her Etsy store to see more.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

In constant search of motivation!

I'm joining in on blog ring with my team members from The Eclectic Artisans Team today and writing about what motivates me.

It's a difficult subject. Different things motivate me at different times. I actually think I'm motivated most by switching things up, I'm not a person for routine (which is a struggle having a child because children need routine! lol) so when I'm in a funk I try to find an outlet to let my distracted mind wander.

Right now it's crochet. I'm actually loving crocheting because it's as close to meditating as I've been able to get. I think it's the counting and the stillness of it. I can't allow my mind wander to a million different places because I have to keep count and I'm very still except for my hands -in fact I usually unravel most of my skein at once so that I'm not distracted by having to stop and unroll more. LOL.

I might stick with crocheting for awhile, but I will probably have to try something else at some point to allow my jewelry making creative juices to keep flowing freely.

So anyway, I guess my motivation is change.

Take a look at everyone else's motivation posts -starting here- and maybe you'll get motivated yourself!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

I've been featured in a beautiful Etsy Treasury by Ripperarts! -Urban Life-

Take a look at the gorgeous colors and textures in this treasury called Urban Life! To me, "Urban" is all about texture, muted, earthy colors, & edgy design!

My necklace is in the top row, 3rd column. It's in good company :D

Michael and Talina of RipperArts make gorgeous wooden and crochet items. Check out their shop!

Treasury is up until midnight Sunday night. Stop by and leave a comment!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday Favorite - Tax Relief!!!

I've just discovered AccountingSpot on Etsy. What a relief!!!

With the very unhappy thought of trying to organize my profit, loss, and tax information constantly sitting in the back of my head, finding the very useful, inclusive, and affordable forms by AccountingSpot lifted my spirits immeasurably!

Holly, the owner, is super knoweldgeable and helpful. She recommended to me the form No.74 -- Detailed Profit Tracker, Income Statement, Profit and Loss (Month, Qtr, Year - Reporting) -- it is exactly what I needed and more. I was at first daunted by the scope of the form, but after taking a deep breath and actually reading the very good directions she gives it was a piece of cake to get started.

And I love that it's is organized to coincide with the Schedule C tax form.

Anyway, if you've been meaning to get your tax info together but have been putting it off, go check out AccountingSpot! She has a great Invoice Form creator and Inventory Tracker, too!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

New Favorite Quote!

"Don't spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door."
-Coco Chanel

Monday, July 27, 2009

Down to the last days of my Christmas in July Sale!

Just wanted to post a note to say that these are the last few days of my Christmas in July sale:

20% off of my Beaded Jewelry! -- if it's got a bead on it, it's on sale!

Put XMAS20 in seller's notes. I'll refund you the discount amount. (or if you'd prefer, I can send you a revised invoice, just convo me)

A few examples:

Happy Summer!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Finally posting some new jewelry designs!

Whew! I haven't posted anything new in a while because I've been working on some new designs and techniques! I'm very excited about them and my journey towards finding my own unique look or style.

It's really hard to find an area that totally fits who I am. I love doing a lot of different things and will always continues to do so, but I'm also a believer in "jack of all trades, master of none" and feel like people/buyers have more faith in you as a designer if you are a master of one or a group of similar styles. Now those can change and evolve over time, and should, but bouncing around all over the place constantly is just destracting and shows no commitment in your vision!

Anyway, here's some pics of what I'm doing currently on my journey!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

GREAT Half-Price Restaurant Deal from Washington City Paper!

I just found an incredible program offered by Washington City Paper. 1/2 price restaurant gift cards! Is that cool or what.

They call it: Let's Split It!

They feature different restaurants in DC, this time Agraria Farmers & Fishers on the Waterfront. You just purchase the deal online for $25 and the City Paper sends you a gift card for $50. Who doesn't spend $25 easily at cheap restaurants, so this is an awesome chance to try great restaurants that would normally be out of price range.

I've got mine already and will probably be going to Agraria in the next few days! Can't wait, I love the waterfront. The best time is late afternoon; not too hot, plenty of people for a great atmosphere, beautiful sunset, and then strolling around after dark. It doesn't get much better!

I'll give an update of the restaurant once I've gone.

Anyway, if you're interested go their website here. I think they might offer the same deal in the dead tree version!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Toothbrushing Soap - Statement from Live Laugh Love Soap!

Some extra info from Elle of Live Laugh Love Soap. Very interesting!!!

"Toothbrushing Soap is not just ordinary cold process soap, which can contain any number of food grade and inedible oils. Toothbrushing Soap is manufactured with a base of food grade Olive Oil and Sesame Seed oil, which are paramount in pulling toxins and cleansing tooth decaying bacteria from enamel, gums and tongue.

Tea tree oil is often added to the mixture to aid in teeth whitening and killing bacteria. The defining ingredient that separates Toothbrushing Soap from your every day handmade cold process soap is Arm & Hammer Baking Soda. Baking Soda scrubs and cleanses thoroughly, massaging your gums and removing bad odors that contribute to bad breath and gingivitis. Lemon essential oil is added to liven the taste buds, as well as continue to fight against infection and work as an antiseptic (extremely important in oral hygiene)."


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Toothbrushing Bar Soap - What an Amazing Idea!

I ran across this listing on Etsy and was immediately enamoured with the idea. I hate toothpaste tubes!

Come to find out it's actually much better for your teeth and gums to use natural soap (I guess you can use any natural, handmade soap w/o fragrance oils -only natural essential oils). But this soap by livelaughlovesoap is specifically made for toothbrushing.

My first thought was, is this sanitary? But, yes, just like with your toothbrush, any bacteria die once the soap surface dries, but Elle from Live Laugh Love Soap tells me that you can sanitize it with a uv light if you're so inclined.

Anyway, I'm doing away with my artificial ingredient filled, messy, annoying tube immediately!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Favorites - Inspired by the Beach!

I thought I'd add a theme to my Friday Favorite's. Today I used the search term BEACH on Etsy, just because I'm aching to go to the beach :D

First off is a gorgeous sea shell encrusted treasure box by SandisShellscapes. On our vacations in Pismo Beach, CA when I was young, I would spend hours in the shell shops drooling over, fondling, and begging to buy every type of shell there was! It's such fond memories for me and this box brings them all back. [sigh...]

Visit SandisShellscapes to see all her goodies!

My second favorite is Itsy Bitsy Bikini by SewFragrant. I can imagine this swinging from my review mirror in the summer, keeping my car fresh smelling and my spirits up. Hmmm... or maybe on the fridge door as a good smelling reminder to stop snacking -LOL! I also love that song, reminds me of growing up in California!

Take a look at SewFrangrant for lots of good smelling goodies!

TGIF, Deb.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New Men's Ring Design - Riveting... in copper.

So, I listed a new men's ring design that I'm actually very proud of. It came out so good. I just love working with mixed metals - copper and silver being my favs and combined with texture and an aged patina, it doesn't get much better! I love the urban, industrial, almost steampunk look to it.

Anyway, it's already listed in an Etsy treasury! How cool is that! Now I just need to get some orders. LOL.

Yay! Got letters from two juried shows yesterday... Accepted!!!

I've entered into several juried shows for the fall/winter season and after one disappointment a couple of weeks ago (not accepted, but an alternate) I received two letters yesterday with good news. I was accepted into both. Yay!!! I don't know if I could've taken two rejections in one day :D

Anyway, the shows are:
Takoma Park Folk Fest in September 2009
McLean Jewelry Showcase in February 2010

I still need word on a couple more, fingers crossed.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

AWEshop Featured in Online Magazine: Viva la Moda!

I'm soooo excited! One of my pieces has been featured in an online magazine. Is that cool, or what!

The magazine is actually great. All about the indie market and it has some really great articles and features. Definitely worth a look.

My necklace, Urban Feminine, is on page 41 in the Indie Zodiac section.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday Favorite

I'm trying to get back into doing a feature of fellow Etsians so I decided to try and commit myself to it by making a new feature listing every Friday called... yep, Friday Favorite. I'm always hearting Etsy sellers that I come across and so I have a large collection of great items to choose from. My first Friday Favorite is:

Olive and turquoise shoulder bag with matching coin purse. -by MsRin

This is pretty close to what I would call my perfect purse. Not too small, not too big. Lots of pockets on the inside and an all important pocket on the outside for my phone. A strap long enough to cross over, and super cute! -this one also comes with a matching coin purse!

Be sure to take a look around MsRin's shop. She only has a few bags up right now because she's fairly new to Etsy, but they are all great!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Find Your Finger Size : AWE Ring Sizer pdf download

Hi, I've put together a pdf file to download and print to help find you ring size.

Click to download the Ring Sizer.

Download it, use it, pass it around, just don't call it your own ;D

It's basic ring size finder tools with my own, hopefully helpful, instructions. I'd love feedback from anyone who tries it. Is it understandable? Easy to follow? Accurate (well, as accurate as a paper sizer can be :)

*image is not to complete or to scale. To use, download here.

Wood & Copper! My jewelry display at the Weekend Boutique trunk show.

Display views from the Weekend Boutique! I love designing my display almost as much as I love designing jewelry! What do you think? Do you...