Monday, January 31, 2011

THE IN LAWS ARE COMING, THE IN LAWS ARE COMING!!!

So, last Wednesday was a mad scramble to turn my upside down, inside out workshop into a comfortable and beautiful spare bedroom for my REALLY TIDY in-laws.  NO PRESSURE, right!?  Actually, though I did work my TUSH off cleaning, decorating, and generally making things cute, I wasn't really stressed at all.  I did have to WARN my cute little in-laws ahead of time though, that even though I vacuumed the floor, they would inevitably find beads EVERYWHERE in the house!!!  I even made sure to give them a little cup to put the renegade beads and wire clippings into when they would no doubt step on one!  LOL.  The push to clean and cute-ify the house was really a good thing, because it finally made me hang up a few pictures on the walls and start making our beautiful house look more like a home.  We've been living since October, and I still haven't managed to decorate much at all! All my creative efforts have been focused on one thing-MY ETSY SHOP!!! Being as how I can only focus on one thing at a time, decorating the house is one of those things I just kinda forgot about up until this week!  Bad Bethany!

So here are my cute little French in-laws!  Apparently my father-in-law hates having his picture taken.  Not that that fact stopped me from TORTURING him with shot after shot of me trying to get a good picture of him!  LOL  If he knew how to use my camera, I know he would've erased the ones that I managed to take-he was holding my camera hostage at one point. :)  He's such a SCOUNDREL!  My mother-in-law is just so wonderful, she loves my jewelry too and wears a lot of it!  Such a great support! :)  Merci beaucoup, Jeannette, ma belle-mère favorite!

So, here's some really bad news,  I may have lost my very first order in the mail!!!! YIKES!  I just started getting delivery confirmation on all my packages, JUST AFTER I sent the article in question out!  ARG!!!  Isn't that just how things go.  It's been 2 weeks since I sent out a package (from Maine to Texas) and it definitely should have been there by now.  Thankfully, the buyer is a really nice, really reasonable person, who wants my bracelet more than she wants a refund.  I'll end up making a new one and shipping it to her (with DELIVERY CONFIRMATION this time) if she doesn't get it in a few days.  In the meantime, I filed a claim with USPS...Apparently there is HUGE WAREHOUSE where all the lost and forgotten mail goes when it can't be delivered to it's rightful home!  So, may be my little item is there!  We'll see how that turns out... :)  Regardless, I am trying to use this unfortunate experience to practice my customer service skills.  I'll let you know if I get any ranting, raving, truly terrible emails from unpleasant, unsatisfied customers...But really, who in the world would want to read about that anyway???

Brooches from blacheb and IChewJello respectively
Now, I will counter balance the unfortunate news, with some good juicy news!  I am happy to introduce 2 new vintage brooches that I have added to my collection!!! How funny is it that I used "new" and "vintage" together to describe my recent finds?  New-to-me that is, of course.  I can't wait to get started on my new line of necklaces with brooch pendants!  I should really get started on making those soon before I have too many brooches to handle! :)  I do SO like to shop..I'll tell you more about the great shops I got these from tomorrow!!!

In other news (I can't believe I didn't start this article with this point)  I MADE 50 SALES last week!!!  How great is that?  I can't believe how fast things are moving for my cute little business.  My yearly goal of 100 sales seem SUPER do-able, seeing as how I am halfway there and it is ONLY JANUARY!  So exciting!  I can't believe I am successfully enjoying a job that I totally love!!!  It's been truly fantastic.  Thank you everyone out there in cyberland who have supported my micro business, it's been a real pleasure to make beautiful things for you to enjoy!

Finally, check out the hilarious new addition to my office/workshop!
Brain Fog Dart Board... for generally wasting time :)

AND finally, finally...Look at this gorgeous treasury I was included in.  I am so honored to be put in such beautiful collections!  I can't believe that people would pick my items to place along side some of the other incredible art out there!!!  It makes me so happy and proud! :)



Stay tuned... tomorrow I am going to blog more about my fantastic metalsmithing class that I had today!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Keep Calm and BLOG ON!!!!!!

KEEP CALM AND BLOG ON,
LAPTOP 8x10 Print
-(RASPBERRY ROUGE Color featured)
Customizable Colors
  Welcome to my 30th post...  Do you have serious expectations?  Well, don't! LOL!  Let me start out by saying it is ridiculously ironic that in my last post I went on and on about how I finally decided on the appropriate amount of blogging, and that I would LIMIT myself to ONLY blogging three times a week, and last week I only blogged once!  WHAT A LOSER!  LOL!  Good intentions, bad follow through...story of my life!  I still love my little blog and will find the time to give it the attention it deserves!  I SO NEED this poster in my workshop, it's from the KeepCalmShop on Etsy.  It's a good reminder to keep moving forward.

Photo taken by Amanda Coburn
Now I am going to STOP waxing philosophical over my own ineptitude, and move on to more entertaining endeavors! :)  I am quite pleased to relate that I am quickly making my way toward 50 sales!  It really looks like unless I come down with a life threatening disease or get hit by a car that leaves me unable to use at least one of my fingers to hunt and peck at my keyboard, my yearly goal of reaching 100 sales is extremely reachable...  Just a few months ago, I never would have thought that was a reasonable possibility.  I am incredibly grateful that things seem to be working out well!  I absolutely love this job, and I hope to continue, improve, learn, and create!

In other news, I had my SECOND Metalsmithing Class, and it was just as AWESOME as my first class.   I finished my linked bracelet, started a pair of earrings, and even began working on a bezel set ring!!!  My teacher even told me that in future classes she could teach me how to use PMC and make dichrioc glass!  I've hit the jackpot with this instructor for sure!  I have even used some of the techniques I learned in my first class to improve on some of my metal designs.  An example of that is how I was finally taught the correct way to use a metal file, which greatly shortened the time it took me to file the edges on some of my hammered aluminum pieces.  Did you know that a metal file has teeth that are pointed in one direction and that continuously rubbing metal against a file in the wrong direction does nothing but bring one closer to the edge of insanity?  LOL....Yeah, me neither! :) 

So, as my loving jewelry fiend mother has informed me, I need to get to work on some new designs, because my inventory is getting low.  SHE IS SO RIGHT!  I have under 50 items listed in my shop currently which is CRAZY.  I think my highest was 65 items listed, but I really am feeling the pressure to get to work and complete some new designs.  Especially because I have so many beads stocked up that I could easily triple my inventory if I could get off my sorry tail and get to work.  Here are a few designs that I have started, but have yet to finish and list...  Check them out and tell me what you think! :)

So the highlight of last week was spending some quality time with my family and close friends.  My family has decided that we really need to spend more time with people who REALLY matter, that is each other!  I don't know if I've mentioned the fact that my dad and I are practically twins...but its freaky sometimes!  We have the same lame, dry humor.  We unintentionally order the same things at restaurants.  We are many times the only ones who understand exactly what the other one is talking about!  It can be pretty freaky sometimes, but we get a kick out of it...  Also, Matt and I got to babysit our niece Kahlyn again, which was so precious.
 
Night Life Cuff on Its Way to Denmark!
Also, I am excited to announce that I sent out my first international order to DENMARK of all places! How cool is that!  I am super excited and just a little freaked out.  I don't know why, it's just something new and exciting, that I haven't yet conquered.  In just a few months I'll probably be like, "Denmark?  That's so close!  Now South Africa, that would be CRAZY!"  Oh no!  I think I've lied-I've already had my first international order, I've sent a couple of things to CANADA... SO I guess this is my first transcontinental order...  I guess I just forget that Canada is a different country! :) LOL!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

TOO HOT TO HANDLE!!!! I Survived Metalsmithing Class Without Third Degree Burns!

So, yesterday was an AMAZINGLY WONDERFUL DAY!  I was able to spend some quality time with my adorable parents, HOORAY! Strangely enough, a substantial amount of this bonding time was spent shopping for toilet fixtures for their upcoming bathroom remodel! FUNNY! LOL!  I also got to go to my first METALSMITHING CLASS!!!!!  If you've read this blog before, you know how ridiculously excited I have been at the prospect of attending this class!  The experience did not disappoint-it was so great!  And, I am happy to report that I didn't hurt myself in ANY WAY, although I did knock a few things over and accidentally sit on the space heater at one point!:)  Because of this total inherent lack of grace, the huge torch that I had to use scared the junk out of me.  Not to worry, my instructor, who herself had been scalded by hot implements in the past, had good accident prevention tips that were extremely helpful!  Look at this ridiculous picture of me! I don't even have the goggles on right-the strap is in my eye!!!

So, here are the projects I worked on, and a few of the tools that I managed to use without harming myself.  In my VERY FIRST class I completed some amazing copper earrings, with handmade ear wires no less.  Check out some of the pictures I took while I was there...  The long curly cue earrings are made of hammered copper strips!  I learned something SO AMAZING about copper-when it is heated up by a torch, it gets a rainbow-like fire patina on it!  It's absolutely gorgeous!  You can see a little of that sheen in this picture of them, especially on the inside of the curls.  My instructor also helped me learn about a bunch of cool new tools and techniques, all of which I would love to share with you, if I could remember their names, or if I had any remote idea how to spell them if I did!  I can't wait to learn some more!  I'm really excited to make my way through the class and get to the part where I can make a ring.  My mom is already putting in orders for rings that she wants me to make for her!!! :)  Isn't that hilarious!  She a RING NUT just like me. :) Also, I started, but have yet to finish, this amazing copper link bracelet that is made from soldered copper rings.  The design is so cool!  I can't wait to finish it tomorrow!  Oh yeah, didn't I mention...I'm going back ALREADY!!!!  YIPPEE!  Not that I'm excited or anything... :)

Now it's time for you to meet my wonderful teacher, Amanda Coburn.  She is a wonderful, full-time jewelry designer, and she offers metalsmithing classes as well.  She is a really good teacher, laid back, experienced, knowledgeable, and overall JUST PLAIN NICE!  She is also a co-owner of a new store in Bangor, Maine Jewelry and Art.  In fact, her business was just featured in the Bangor Daily News.  It's a great write-up, and you can see some of Amanda's jewelry featured in the article.  I highly recommend this teacher, so if you want to learn metalsmithing one-on-one, call Amanda!  Also be sure to check out her jewelry in her ArtFire shop.  She is oh, so talented! :)

I'm very happy to say that my mom is definitely a fan of my jewelry.  Yesterday, she came over the house, check book in hand, and went on a shopping spree in my Etsy shop.  I would have given her anything she wanted, but she insisted on supporting my business!  So cute! :) She really likes matching sets of jewelry, so she bought two sets that are in colors she wears a lot, and another necklace.  With her 3 purchase and another purchase this morning, I've hit OVER 40 sales now!!!  It's amazing.  I hope I can keep up the momentum and reach 100 this year.  It seems more and more like a reachable goal.  What's really funny is that she is the first person I actually know who has bought any of my jewelry!  That's kind of cool, right?  Here is a picture of my ridiculously cute parents, after mom's little Sweet Sincerity shopping spree!  While they were over I managed to get a confession out of them that they had indeed (as I suspected) "stuffed the ballot box" on the Internet poll I conducted concerning which of my past hair colors the majority of my readers preferred.  My dad voted 4 times IN ONE SITTING to throw the vote in favor of BLOND!!!!  Do I know my parents or what!? LOL :)

In almost completely unrelated news, last night, I was trying to tell some Etsy sellers about my ridiculously awesome handmade work desk in my workshop.  I told them all about the pullout section that houses my laptop, all the storage, the deep drawers, the large desktop workspace, and even the pencil sharpener that is attached to it!  I just couldn't adequately describe it's awesomeness, but apparently some people found this dizzying half-description intriguing, and they asked if I had any pictures of my work desk they could see!  I couldn't believe that I hadn't talked about it on my blog yet, so I quickly just took a picture and posted it on my facebook page!!!  Then I resolved to write about my WORK DESK LOVE in an upcoming post.  When we first got the desk, I am ashamed to admit I was not that excited about it.  Let's just say that I really didn't think it was the most beautiful piece of furniture I've ever seen, and it took up a lot of space in my small workshop.  That's because I am the kind of impractical person who values aesthetics more than functionality, and would still wear stiletto sandals in the middle of the winter to show off my pedicure, if my husband would let me.  Apparently, he thinks I'm cuter with all 10 of my toes, completely un-frostbitten...go figure. :)  Anyway, as the months rolled by, and I got my desk set up the way that I wanted it, I fell ABSOLUTELY IN LOVE with it!  It's just SO FUNCTIONAL, and now an integral part of Sweet Sincerity Jewelry!

And in other news, here is a collection of some more ridiculously cute pictures of my niece that I have been collecting over the past weeks!!!!  My whole family is absolutely in love with her. Doesn't she make the most adorably ridiculous faces you've every seen?  OK, I am definitely A LOT biased... :)  For you who are not as enamored with all things baby as I am, feel free to skip to the next paragraph and try not to roll your eyes too much or scoff too loudly at my baby obsession!   :)

Finally,  I leave you with a few AMAZING Etsy Treasuries that I have had the privilege to be a part of!  I have to say there are some people out there with AMAZING taste, and I'm not just saying that because they chose to include some of MY ITEMS!  I feel honored to be chosen along side some of MY PERSONAL FAVORITE Etsy sellers.








All of these collections are ABSOLUTELY STUNNING!!!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Must Blog, MUST BLOG NOW!!!!


I Love You Blogs and Coffee Print (ESPRESSO) (8X10)

by jenniferramos on Etsy

I'll admit it...I've been a bit of a blogging slacker the last two days.  I haven't blogged a single word!!!!  I'm still trying to figure out what the right amount of blogging for me is, per week.  Say, if I managed to actually blog everyday, would people be so annoyed hearing about my simple, little, mundane life ALL THE TIME that they would want to repeatedly bang their heads against the wall just to fend off the boredom?  On the other hand, I certainly would like to keep my blog fresh and current so Sweet Sincerity Jewelry can continue to grow-PLUS blogging is free advertising!  Which you gotta love! :)  I sure do!  It's these dichotomies that keep me up at night.  :)  Still not sure what my blogging future will hold, besides getting this fantastic poster from jenniferramos' shop on Etsy.   For now, I think, unless I suddenly become a blogging goddess with insanely fast typing skills and an endless amount of interesting things to blabber on about, I will probably aim to blog three times a week.   Any thoughts?  Please, feel free to leave a comment and tell me when you're sick of hearing from me every other day. :)

The Picturesque View Out Our Front Door
Okay, so regardless of the obvious lack of blogging that has taken place over the last couple of days, a lot has really gone on!  Wednesday, here in Maine, we had a crazy blizzard which kept Mateo and I all bundled up and snuggled in the house all day and all night.  That is except for the part that evening when I had the brilliant idea to test out my BRAND NEW CAMERA'S night mode feature!  Oh my word-it was so exciting!!!!  So, there I was, with the front door open to the street, at like 10pm, with my tripod all set up, on my knees, taking pictures in the blizzard.  Needless to say, I really hope my neighbors were not looking out their collective windows at that moment, I must have looked like complete and utter psycho.  BUT IT WAS SO WORTH IT!  The pictures I took, not only made me fall deeper into NEW CAMERA LOVE, but beautifully captured the spectacular storm!  You can actually see individual snowflakes in this picture!  AMAZING.   If you haven't noticed already, I am easily excited and simply amused by unimportant and unimpressive things by others standards, a quality that I take great pride in.  Other people find either it endearing or annoying. :)  Feel free to stop if you the later....the rest of this blog will just be more of the same ridiculous enthusiasm. :)

Hawaiian Jewel Reversible Necklace
Delicate Elegance Citrine and Blue Chalcedony Earrings (SOLD!)
Queen of Sheba Turquoise and Blue Zirconia Earrings
 In other news, I FINALLY got a few new things listed in my shop-Yippee!  I listed two new pairs of earrings and a new necklace.  Recognize the necklace?  It's the one I posted in it's incomplete stage in another post, as an optimistic impetus to get me off my rear to complete it!  I think my plan worked-I outwitted my own inner procrastinator! Either that or I just got sick of looking at the beautiful pile of unstrung beads laying on my work bench, taking up valuable workspace...It's hard to tell. :)  That leads me to my next REALLY EXCITING event that happened yesterday! I had my fastest sale EVER!  I listed a new pair of earrings (the citrine and blue chalcedony ones above)  and within minutes they were sold! :)  It's really exciting because they are a delicate, soft style, and I only have a few pieces like that in my shop.  I wasn't sure how they would do!  Just goes to show, you never can tell-you just have to put your ideas out there and see what happens!

Well, I hate to say it, but I think at this juncture I need some sort of Beadaholics Anonymous for recovering bead buying junkies.  My local big box craft store had an amazing sale today, and hubby and I brought home a ridiculous amount of beads to add to my already plentiful collection!  Well, I guess you know what I'll be doing for the next 3 months!  Beading my heart out!!!!  Which I enjoy, until my figures fall off... but up until that happens, it will be a pretty good time. :)  I also purchased some beads from a fellow jewelry seller iloveyouthankyou.  She's destashing a lot of quality beads because she is a metal smith by trade, and she plans in the future to only do metal jewelry.  So...she gave me an AMAZING deal on these beads!  YAY! I need to keep repeating to myself, "WORK MORE, BUY LESS! WORK MORE, BUY LESS!"

Oooh, here's something exciting (speaking of shopping)-I am in the process of gathering a collection of vintage brooches from various Etsy vintage sellers to use as pendants in an new, upcoming line of necklaces!  How cool is that? I can't wait to get started.  Here are a few of the ones I have in my possession or have ordered thus far...  I can just see they are going to make fantastic pendants.  They will give me a certain style to work with, a sort of focal point for the necklace to start from.  Stay tuned!  I'll be sure to let you know when they are completed!

(2) Vintage Oval Porcelain Combination Brooch and Pendant from naturepoet
(1)  Black Crystal Brooch Pin from IsabelsVintage

As I do periodically, I am leaving you a few pieces of my artwork to look at.  I'm still not sure if I want to start a whole new Etsy shop for art and photography, or if I want to list a few pieces in my Sweet Sincerity shop.  It's a hard decision, and I am not known for my decisiveness, that's for sure.  I don't really want to mess with the ALL JEWELRY focus of my current shop, but I don't think I have time right now to start up a second one!  I have so many more ideas too, if only there were more hours in the day and enough coffee to caffeinate me so I never needed to sleep! :)  I dream of starting a clothing line, a shoe line, and a shop selling men's jewelry too!  Well, for now, here's some Art.  Back in reality, that's all I've got for you today.  LOL!  Enjoy.

Finally, I just joined a Etsy team called Pay It Forward, with the idea being that every time you are featured in a treasury, you create a treasury to feature the person who featured you!  It's a way for artists to promote each other and to repay the kindness and hard work of those who selflessly make treasuries that don't include their own items.  I think it's pretty lovely.  However, I only just figured out how it works, so let me apologize to the many people who already featured my jewelry in their treasury and have not yet received one back! :)  I will be getting on that ASAP! :)  Here's one of my favorite treasuries that my Mamma Mia Yellow Sundrop Pendant Necklace was featured in.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

MORE OF EVERYTHING! Really...Everything!


MORE BABY...Today I had the great privilege of babysitting my 1 month old niece!  Her mommy had to go to the dentist, and I, since I work from home, was the perfect candidate to watch baby Kahlyn Rose.  That is pretty much all I did while she was at the house...Watch!  She slept almost the whole time!  She did wake up when I changed her diaper though.  That girl does not like getting undressed, I think she gets too cold!  At least her parents can rest easy knowing she won't grow up to be a nudist. :)  Can you believe the face she is making in this picture!?  So hilarious...  Doesn't it look like she's sticking out her tongue at me?  LOL!




MORE SALES...Also, today I met my goal of 30 sales!!!!  If I continue like this, I will be able to get my yearly goal of 100 sales in no time.  I also sent out my first big box order today.  Normally, I send out small orders in medium or large sized bubble mailers, but this order REQUIRED a box!  That's pretty exciting, right!?  And look how I figured out how to pixelate the addresses on my outgoing packages using a photo editor!  LOL!  I feel so ingenious!  It really doesn't take much for me to feel that way.  :)  Sheepish Grin...


MORE GREAT FEEDBACK...I got some more great feedback today on some of my favorite earrings I've made to-date.  I'm laughing at myself now, because almost every time I make something new, it becomes my new favorite.  I ALWAYS promise myself that I am going to make a replica of the item for myself to keep because I love the style so much, and then I NEVER DO!  Silly me. :)  Here's the great feedback I got:

"ABSOLUTELY STUNNING EARRINGS! I LOVE them soooo much! The wooden box is gorgeous too, so pretty and perfect for the jewelry. Thank you so MUCH I LOVE everything- what a fabulous designer you are!"
Photos Taken from http://kippyssomature.blogspot.com/
MORE BLOG FEATURES...In other ego affirming news, one of my customers, who is also a wonderful Etsy seller, kippyssomature, featured me on her blog!  Check it out! I absolutely love the pictures she took of my items!  She really liked the jewelry box I included in her order and the way I packaged the earrings she purchased.  Please visit her blog and leave a comment if you can!

MORE DISPLAYS...That reminds me, look at my new earring displays in kippy's pictures!  They are re-purposed mini picture frames!  Cute right?  They are actually left over frames from our wedding in '06!  We put place setting cards in them!  In our recent move, Mateo uncovered them and thought maybe I would want to use them for something.  At the time I had nothing particular in mind, but just a couple of weeks ago, I came up with the idea to use them to display earrings!  I think these displays emphasize the point that my jewelry is "wearable art!" :)


MORE ITEMS...I only have a couple of orders to complete and ship out tomorrow.  That means I will be listing more items in my shop!  Hooray!  I don't even know if I will make it to the post office tomorrow because we are supposed to have SEVERE WINTER WEATHER!  I sure hope it's not as bad as the weather man is predicting... I have important things planned for tomorrow that include GETTING OUT OF THE HOUSE!!!  Check out my latest creation that I plan on listing in my Etsy shop tomorrow.  I finally bit the bullet and created a new piece tonight.   These GORGEOUS earrings are composed of luscious blue zirconia, smooth turquoise stone beads, antique brass filigree metal findings, brass wire work, and 14K gold plated ear wires.  I LOVE these earrings.  They are a little exotic, a lot glamorous, and fantasticly creative.  The closeup that my new camera took of these beauties thrills me!  I can't believe my closeup picture turned out so good, even without natural lighting!  Yay!  Happy New Camera Dance!

FINALLY, MORE SKILLS...NEWS FLASH!!!  Monday I am taking a metalsmithing class in Orono!  I can't tell you how excited I am!  I plan on documenting the class, my project, and my lovely instructor for this blog.  I love learning NEW SKILLS-especially really cool ones that involve TORCHES and METAL! :)  Trust me, I'll let you know all about it later! :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Amazing Feedback Makes My Day! :) and other unrelated news...

As I send more and more jewelry out into the world, I've had the wonderful opportunity to hear back from those people who now own and love it.   It's so exciting to get this special feedback, and some people are really saying such wonderful things about my work!  Here is some recent feedback I just read today that ABSOLUTELY made my day...


Precious Blossom Necklace
 ~"Beautiful - just beautiful!! And the incredibly delicate and lovely, hand embellished, ooak [one of a kind] jewelry box it arrived in, and is kept in!! WONDERFUL@!!! The blossom necklace is so beautiful! SweetSincerity's designs and artistry have just the right flair combined with sweet elegance, and timeless style~ Her wire work is extraordinary, in addition to every single detail of the craftsmanship and work she applies to her jewelry and even her jewelry boxes and packaging. A++++ This is a gift for my daughter and I URGE customers to definitely shop with SweetSincerity first for a gift for yourself, or any other woman, young or older - you will be thankful that you did. Prices are MORE than reasonable for the incredible work and design, and the high quality materials used. Wonderful!!"


Flowering Goldstone Earrings

~"My highest recommendation to this seller - not only are her designs and artistry superior and lovely, her packaging is such that it sets her far above the rest (including moi !!) These earrings I knew would be lovely, but in hand, and wearing them, they are simply beautiful, elegant, cheerful and ooak. Just lovely - with a touch of sparkle from the beautiful goldstone, to the HAND wire work with the beautiful blossom and leaves A++++ ANYONE would appreciate and be thrilled with a gift from Sweet Sincerity, so shop here first for yourself or someone else... please check here first - you will be thankful you did."

I'm so happy I'm blushing!!! :)  I really love making jewelry, and I am so glad that people appreciate the unique style that I bring to the table.
My New Camera is Ready for It's Close-up :)
Here's some other exciting news, I GOT A NEW CAMERA!!!!!!  FOR FREE!!!! Okay, no, not really...It's free in the sense that I don't have to fork out any actual money in order to own my blessed new piece of modern technology.  My husband however is going pay in sweat.  :) A friend has traded us my WONDERFUL new camera as partial payment for some carpentry work that Mateo is going to do for him (If you live in Maine and need a carpenter call JDS HOMES, #207-949-0364)  Really, how perfect is that?  I've really been needing a new camera for a while, the camera I was using for all my Etsy pictures was state of the art technology-10 years ago when my husband bought it!  I am so thrilled to re-do some of my old pictures and take new ones as well!  Thank you hubby!  YOU ARE THE MAN! :)  Is it bad that I am farming out my beloved hubby for electronics?  Yeah... Probably.

Lately, I've been so busy filling orders, I haven't even had time to list any new designs!  My favorite sight to see lately is a bunch of envelopes, filled, addressed, with my logo on them, ready to go to the Post Office.  Aaaahhh, every time I see that, I can let out a sigh of relief at a job well done.  Plus it's really exciting to know that my jewelry is being shipped all across the US!  I can't wait for my first international order!  I will be really nervously excited to ship internationally.  I used my new pretty logo stickers for the packages in this photo-the ones I made myself!  I think they look really good! I calculated it, and each sticker costs a whopping 2 cents for me to make at home!  Now that's thrifty cheap! :)
It really HAS been too long since I was able to list a new design.  I've been re-listing a few items that have sold if I have the materials (or desire) to make again.  Most of my designs, though, are OOAK, one of a kind.  I enjoy sending someone a special piece of jewelry that no one else in the world has! :)  The picture to the left is something I am currently working on. It's made out of these amazing, midnight blue flowers, frost green leaves, and indigo fire polished Czech glass beads.  I figure if I post my shamefully incomplete project for other people to see,  perhaps I will feel some sort of responsibility or guilt to finally complete and list it!!! :) LOL

So...I went shopping today to get some necessities so that I could fill a few orders.  I'm sure you can figure what happened to my resolve not to buy a lot of materials.  Yeah, that's right-my resolve went right out the window when I stepped up to the glass case at my favorite bead shop and saw THE GEMSTONE TRAY!  Check out these delicious gemstones and other beads that I picked up on my mini shopping adventure.  Among other things, I purchased Rose Quartz, Chalcedony, Citrine, and Labradorite! Yum.  I took these pictures with my NEW CAMERA and it did a pretty good job! Yippee! :) 

BEADS                      &                   GEMS
Kiss Me Lovely Hair Clip

Finally, LOOK WHAT I GOT IN THE MAIL TODAY!!!!!!  It's a totally amazing hair clip from LillyLusCollection shop on Etsy.  This shop, "provides a creative, modern, and yet vintage way to wear hair pieces." I was really drawn to this hair piece in particular because, with the feathers and the netting, it reminds me of a vintage veiled fascinator headpiece/pillbox that can actually be incorporated into day to day wear.  It was also very affordable.  I have in in my hair right now as I type!  It looks outstanding!  Even my husband likes it, so that tells you something!  Check this shop out, you will not be disappointed!  I WILL be buying again from this great designer.


Friday, January 7, 2011

Sales Keep Coming! 24 and counting!

It feels like that items have been just flying out of my shop in large quantities lately, which is not something I mind at at all!  It's been an exciting adjustment going from a few jewelry sales in a week, to a few sales almost everyday!  I've tried to slow myself down with promoting today, so that I can have a chance to catch up on filling some orders.  The very best part of this increased output is hearing back from people who have received my jewelry and absolutely love it!  It makes me proud of my little creations, all out on their own in the world, making someone happy! :)
So, my hubby is still home sick, and he bummed around with me doing errands today.  I can't wait till my poor Mateo gets better.  This cold/flu is holding on forever! :(
He works so hard all the time, I wish he could just enjoy his vacation time without the constant feeling of icky. Life is so cruel...  He hasn't been out in public much since he got sick, so he's had no reason (or the energy for that matter) to shave.  He's starting to get a pretty thick beard...See! :) hehehehehe!  LOL.  Man, I love photo editors!  SO MUCH FUN!  I think I am finally getting the hang of editing and adding pictures to my blog (yippee!) which was a previous chore that left me holding back curse words and questioning my own intelligence. :)  Maybe Blogger, the host site, was just messing with me and testing my blogging resolve. 

ANYWAYS, instead of focusing on promoting today (which I did do a little of, but not a lot), I focused on figuring out how to MAKE MY OWN STICKERS! :)  Cool, right!?!  Most of my stickers and labels that I use to ship and package my jewelry, I have printed by a company and then shipped to me.  These sticky labels look crisp, clean, and professional.  I will continue to use a printing service for my more complex designs, but I was able to figure out a way for me to make my own label logo stickers today!  I got sheets of sticker paper, bought a large, circular paper punch (my favorite NEW TOOL!), and messed around with my computer until I got my logo the right size and clarity!  PRESTO!  I can make my own stickers!  How cool is that!?  Okay, I may be the only person to think that that is cool, but it's going to be very handy when I run out of stickers (which is ALL THE TIME!) and I don't have to worry about paying overnight shipping to get them to my house so I can fill orders.   If I was, say-I don't know-NOT A HUGE PROCRASTINATOR, I would just order ample supplies ahead of time and always have a nice stock of labels.  Being how that's NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN,  I choose rather to be at one with my own dysfunction, and plan for ways that I can cover my bottom in case of the impending emergencies that I inevitably will bring upon myself . 

In other, totally unrelated news, check out this amazing new beauty product that I just discovered (for any men reading this blog, let me apologize in advance for this girlie talk).  I always thought that the only way I could get a nice french pedicure was at a salon ($$$PRICEY$$$) because as hard as I tried, I just did not have a steady hand with nail polish!  But look how cute my toes look after I used this french tip pen!  I did that! No doubt you could even do a better job-It was super easy!  And the set comes with a top coat too.  I'm very happy with this find, because now, on the rare chance this winter that I take off my socks, I wont gasp in horror at the untamed stumps that I used to call my toes.

Now, for further girlie talk (again, guys, I'm really sorry-Okay, who am I kidding, no guys read my pink girlie jewelry blog) you've gotta see the earrings I got a couple of days ago on Etsy, from hbjewelrydesign.  I love them so much.  I've been pretty much wearing them non-stop since I got them.  I immediately got compliments on them from complete strangers when I was out shopping!  They are so beautiful!  They are made from PMC (Precious Metal Clay- if you don't know what that is google it, it's stinkin' amazing) and dichroic glass.  Very unique and shiny!  Just my style!  Her shop is filled with all kinds of similar yummies.
  
Beautiful Yellow Flower Brooch
from nanasarah

Hopefully at some point when things slow down, I will be able to finish and list some of my new designs!  That's really what I enjoy most about having a jewelry business, just sitting down at my big desk that has drawers full of fascinating tools, glistening beads, and shiny metals, and coming up with some crazy, fun, beautiful, show-stopping design.  I've got some great ideas a brewin' in this head of mine that want to see the glorious light of day. :)  Check out what I got in the mail today, from nanasarah on Etsy.  It's a beautiful vintage brooch that I am going to use as a pendant in an upcoming necklace.   I am so excited about it!  I have some more vintage brooches coming in the mail that I am going to use in my future designs too.  Maybe it'll be a line about reinvention-what's old, made new!

Lastly, I leave you with a few more of my art pieces. They are not technically impressive, displaying any enviable skill or mastery over any painstaking technique, they are just bright and happy.   My poor little pieces of art feel so neglected sitting alone in a corner of my workshop, so I decided to give them a little attention and post them.  I really need to start up a second Etsy shop for Art prints!!!!!!  I let you know when I finally bite the bullet, get off my tail, and JUST DO IT! :)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Store Fronts, Bagels, Presents, and Broken Plates (not necessarily in that order)

So this morning in between being sick, useless bumps on a log and running errands, the hubby and I went out for a truly scrumptious brunch. We went downtown to a Bangor Area favorite, Bagel Central.  I got the bright idea that I would put a feature in my blog about going there... Which was hilarious because I went around the store snapping photos and making the staff nervous!  They didn't know what to think of me!  They probably just assumed I was a tourist!  It was so much fun!  The food there is AMAZING-their bagels are to DIE FOR and everything else is JUST AS GOOD! I think it's because they don't use preservatives in their food.  I got an herb bagel with green olive cream cheese, and Mateo custom ordered a big breakfast sandwich on a bagel with eggs, cheese, and other yummy things. My mouth is watering just remembering!  This fantastic breakfast spot has great ambiance too-it has an open, airy, city cafe feel to it, which is hard to find this far north of Portland.  If you are ever in the Bangor, Maine area, it's worth a stop in, your taste buds will thank you :) 

After we finished brunch, Mateo and I took a little walk to go see my necklace displayed in the front window of one of my favorite downtown stores!  We went in, shopped a bit, and chatted with the owner.  I  have just a few items in this shop, but it's the very first shop to carry my jewelry, so I feel special every time I go buy the store front.  I'm going to tell you more about this spectacular shop later, so I won't spill too many details right now...  Look at my cute little necklace tucked away in this window display!  I had to capture it on film as proof that I actually have something in some one's front window!  Find this necklace listed here:

http://www.etsy.com/listing/59386285/garden-party-necklace

Speaking of shopping, look what I bought last night for my month old niece Kahlyn!  Isn't this monkey adorable ?  It's from an Etsy shop called auntyanndesigns.  I thought that was an appropriate shop to buy from because I am Aunty Benny! :)  The monkey matches the colors of the Kahlyn's nursery!  I'm so excited to send it to her.  This adorable sock monkey comes with it's own customized adoption papers, how cute is that...I mean really.  I'm really going to have to try hard not to spoil Kahlyn too much-there are just too many cute baby things to buy!  See the listing in auntyann's Etsy shop here:  http://www.etsy.com/listing/62211997/jungle-safari-sock-monkey-cute-lime

AND look what I bought today!!!!! THREE SETS OF MOSAIC TILES! You have no idea how excited I am about this find!  For a while I've really wanted to make jewelry boxes with a mosaic tile cover, but I thought to myself, "where on earth would I find brightly colored irregularly shaped tiles?"  Then suddenly, I came across this Etsy shop, judysnow, which specializes in "Quality Hand-Cut Mosaic Tiles."  Her tiles are made from "older and vintage china" plates, cups, etc. Look at what I got!  I even traded her a necklace to get one set! :)  Did you ever imagine that broken plates could be a good thing? :)  I sure didn't...  This shop also carries a beautiful assortment of handmade wooden toys, birdhouses, buttons, and jewelry supplies.  Make sure to give her shop a look!

So, at the end of today, I have 19 total sales.  I can almost taste the 20 sales milestone!  Things have been going great lately with lots of jewelry orders, and I'm hoping to keep up that momentum. The past couple of days I sold a few of my favorite pieces (can you tell I've been seriously playing with a photo editor? LOL)  They are going to great homes, I just know it! :)


Finally, look at this BEAUTIFUL treasury that featured my Winter Ivy Necklace, the theme is "A Snowflake Affair."  It's composed of items that all have a winter wedding theme. It's really one of the most beautiful treasuries I've seen in a while.  ENJOY! :)




Tuesday, January 4, 2011

AMAZING WEEKEND!!!! Great Sales, Great New Shops (And The Not So Great Plague)

So, as the title of this post states, I had an amazing weekend!  Despite being dog sick, I managed to sell a ton of items on Etsy!  I'm on my way to 20 sales!  My goal for 2011 is to get 100 sales, and I certainly got the year off to a fantastic start.  I also hit over 1000 views on my blog in the same weekend!  Seriously, who is reading this???  And the bigger question, why????  :) LOL!!! No really, thanks to everyone who reads my ridiculous nonsense, I really appreciate it. :) It seems that my hard work and determination are slowly paying off.  I also got to be with my hubby all weekend, which is always fun, even if we are both mucus filled sacks of grossness at the moment.
Apparently everyone is sick, look at this adorable picture of my new niece, who's a sicky poo right now!  Just a month old and already sick!  It's a cruel world out there...

Poor Baby Kahlyn
So, yesterday and today I've been catching up,  filling orders (especially making jewelry boxes!!!), renewing old listings, and making and listing new items in My Etsy shop.  Needless to say I've been working like a dog all day, but it was really fun, so I can't complain.  I did something pretty exciting today, I made my first set of post earrings instead of the usual ear wire kind! That was crazy fun because I got to use one of my latest tools, my MINI TORCH!!!!!  It's only the coolest thing EVER!  Matt, my husband is pretty sure that I am going to sear my flesh with it at some point, which isn't entirely unlikely, given that I have given myself third degree burns with only my hot glue gun. :)
Busy, Busy Tuesday

Little LopLand Snowball Rabbit

I also discovered some really cool Etsy shops this weekend.  The first one is called kippyssomature.  She makes "Handmade OOAK (One Of A Kind) Needle Felted Novelties and More."  And boy, are they super cute!  I'm absolutely fascinated by needle felted things, partly because I, myself, have absolutely NO IDEA how it's done, but mostly because the things that people make with this medium are usually ridiculously adorable.  This fiber artist lives in southern California. You can find sweet kitty earrings, pretty jewelry making supplies, unique felted lemurs, and more in this creative, diverse shop!  Most of all I love the felted animals.  They just look so doggone snugly! I mean seriously, how could you say no to such ridiculous cuteness.  Check out her shop!  You'll find it as irresistibly adorable as I do! :)
 
BearHeart Needlefelted Bear with Glass Opal Heart

Sunshine Citrine Nugget Earrings
The other shop that I came across is iloveyouthankyou.  This jewelry designer/creator from Hawaii has a profile that reads, "Welcome to my beautiful Hawaiian treasure chest! I have been a jeweler for more than 10 years, and I love stones! I am sharing some of my treasures with you as well as some of my very own Maui handmade pieces! Mahalo!"  There is carefree spirit evident in all the beachy, airy designs.  Just browsing through the shop makes you feel like you are on a warm, sunny beach (which I think all of us New Englanders need right now, because it's stinkin' freezing here).  In this shop, you will find elegant designs made from interesting textures and colors.  I REALLY LIKE all the stuff in this shop.  Sit back, pretend you have a pina colada in hand, and check out a few things from iloveyouthankyou
  
Hawaiian Ocean Fantasy Necklace

Alrightie, that's all for tonight!  More nearly fascinating escapades will be chronicled tomorrow.  :)


New Jewelry Box Designs

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