Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sweet Sincerity Jewlery on THE RED CARPET!!!!

                      
It seems TO GOOD TO BE TRUE, but it's ISN'T!  Sweet Sincerity Jewelry was worn ON THE RED CARPET at the GRAMMYS this year!  I just received a wonderful email from one of my customers and fellow Etsy sellers, FlirtySanchezProject.  She emailed me the Youtube link above, in which she is ON THE RED CARPET at the GRAMMYS, WEARING my Downtown Glam earrings.  This is what her email said "At about 57 seconds into this video I come into the picture (on the red carpet in the back by the big security guys, black suit, long red hair with white flowers in it).  I'm wearing your earrings about a foot away from Lady Gaga in her egg. Thought you'd like to know! :)"  I am so glad that she emailed me this HUGE NEWS!   I was so excited when I got this that I shared it on My Business Facebook Page and also my personal page, and got a ton of excited responses from friends and fans!  If you pause the video at about 1:01 there is a great shot of the earrings reflecting the light, next to the bald man in the striped tie, at the left end of Lady Gaga's egg carrier.  Just look for my  large, circular, hammered aluminum Downtown Glam earrings!  This clip has absolutely MADE MY DAY, WEEK, and possibly YEAR! :)

Check in Daily (Monday through Friday) to see What's New and ON SALE!

In other NEW and EXCITING NEWS, my new genius idea for motivating myself to fill my shop with new items,  keeping up the momentum and excitement of Sweet Sincerity Jewelry, is my GRAND ITEM OF THE DAY IDEA.  Okay, it's not REALLY that grand nor genius, but this goal has helped me make and list many more NEW items in MY ETSY SHOP this week!  Basically the idea is that ONE NEW ITEM per day is listed and MARKED DOWN 25% for the next 24 hours ONLY! It's a good deal for everyone!!!  I love excitement...and discounts...and making stuff...selling stuff...It's a WIN-WIN I think! :) Check out what I posted just this week!

On Tuesday this week, I got to go to my wonderful METAL-SMITHING class again.  This class was especially fun because I got to share my metalsmithing time with another local Bangor jewelry designer, of  Dorkarama Jewelry.  Be sure to check out his amazing jewelry!  He has a beautiful Artfire shop! That day I continued working on my ambitious Design Challenge Earrings.  Now that I have decided to use 14K solid gold wire as part of my design, instead of other metal like brass or gold fill wire, I've decided to call these my "MILLION DOLLAR"  earrings.  In the end, they are going to be a combination of gorgeous Citrine stones, brilliant oxidized sterling silver embellishments, and luxurious, textured 14K gold.  I still need to get on ordering the gold for the earrings, but I am so nervous!  Gold is REALLY expensive.  I've just got to MAN-UP (or WOMAN-UP in this case) and BUY IT!!!

Miraculously, I have been able to accomplish all of this NOT SO HARD WORK while babysitting my niece a lot this week, which I absolutely LOVE!  I'm more than a little baby crazy for my adorable niece, as I am sure you can tell...I even think that Baby Kahlyn is cute when she pukes on me!  It's pretty ridiculous..  Here are some more adorable baby pictures-my favorites are of my hubby, Uncle Mateo taking care of the baby...He's a really good uncle!  He thinks she is the cutest baby EVER!!!  Apparently she actually looks a lot like me when I was a baby, POOR KID!
Love Equation by 4four on Etsy

ANYWAY, after considering some suggestions from my legitimately SMARTYPANTS father, and coming up some of my own new BUSINESS tactics, I think I have finally figured out a new BUSINESS FORMULA FOR SUCCESS for Sweet Sincerity Jewelry:

(2 BLOG POSTS WEEK x 5 SUBJECTS PER POST)
+ 1 NEW ITEM LISTED PER DAY (with a large array of price ranges)
+ Lots of Social Networking on FACEBOOK and Etsy
-------------------------------------------
= MORE SUCCESS?!? 

Of course, here I am, on Saturday morning, doing my first blog post of the week!  Goals are guidelines really, right?!  LOL.  Before, when I was feeling more than an ounce of motivation, I managed to keep up this less than fatiguing blogging schedule just fine.  So now, throwing in the ITEM OF THE DAY plan has thrown me just a bit, but I hope to regain momentum and keep up this schedule.  You know us creative types...not always the organizeD kind! LOL!!! :)  Nevertheless, I still like having a plan! :)

Finally... check out some wonderful new treasury collections that my jewelry has had the honor of being part of!





Saturday, February 19, 2011

DAD.......THE UNTAPPED RESOURCE!!!!

I feel REALLY REALLY silly right now...Why?  Because, I have been working my tush off, strategically trying to improve my jewelry making business in anyway possible for the past  I DON'T KNOW HOW LONG, and ALL THIS TIME, I forgot something really, really important--my very own father has a MASTERS DEGREE in Business.  Perhaps I'd forgotten this little essential tidbit because over the years the family joke has been that Dad is a treasure trove of fascinatingly useless information.  Let's just say he would DOMINATE if he ever appeared on Jeopardy!  However, I am GRATEFUL that I somehow miraculously remembered this incredibly useful factoid, and asked for his EXPERT business advice!  Over lunch (which he will now be able to deduct from his taxes as a consulting business expense-LOL) he discussed several business tactics that I could employ to help me achieve my long term business goals. I was amazed at the real world application of all his pearls of wisdom (or "pearly wisdom" as my husband says, ha ha ha).  He even agreed to do an analysis of my business and offer suggestions on how to grow my net profit! What can I say....I LOVE THAT MAN!!!!

Possible options from uberprints.com
 As it turns out, my sister AND my husband are BOTH planning on coming with me to help set up my booth and sell my jewelry at THE BIG THAW my very first craft fair in Portland, Maine on Saturday, April 16th.  I'm trying to envision how we are all going to fit in the 8x8 space allotted for Sweet Sincerity Jewelry!  I am sure we will work it out once I come up with the design for my display!  Ridiculously enough, what am I most anxious about my first craft show?  Always the fashionista, I am currently fixated on WHAT TO WEAR!  I've actually even googled articles about what to wear to a craft fair!  I was thinking of making up custom shirts for my sister and I that have my Sweet Sincerity logo on them, perhaps wearing a button down collared shirt underneath, business pants and heels for more business like attire, and of course plenty of FABULOUS JEWELRY.  I also have a pretty nutty idea for my husband.  I was picturing cute little Mateo all dressed up in a three piece suit catering to the women that shop my booth, offering to help them try things on and basically being my Sweet Sincerity MAN SERVANT! Seriously...he's adorable and sweet-What woman wouldn't want to buy jewelry from him? Now, of course, I have not yet talked to him about how he feels about my crazy idea ...that might throw a wrench in my otherwise flawless business plan! :) LOL!

In other really exciting news, my metalsmithing teacher, Amanda Coburn, just started up a new ETSY SHOP in addition to her Artfire shop!  She's already sold one ring on Etsy and she just started up her shop a couple of days ago!!!  Please, check out her gorgeous selection of rings and pendant necklaces in her Etsy shop.  I chose a few pictures of pieces she currently has listed there to show off her amazing talent!

So, apparently, the word is getting out among my family and friends about Sweet Sincerity.  Because of this, I have had the privilege and opportunity to adorn my friends with my jewelry!  I have to say it feels SO GREAT to see my family and friends wearing Sweet Sincerity Jewelry.  It just makes me proud that I could help make them happy and look great! Check out a picture of my friend and adopted little sister Michaela, with a pair of my Tropical Vacation earrings on!  Today, she helped me edit photos, name my Driftwood Pearls Bracelet and Earrings Set, and use extra coupons at one of my favorite craft stores!  My friend Kaela also came over today and shopped my dining room table where I had all my jewelry laid out, ready for her to look over!  I DEFINITELY need a better display so people can come over and "shop my house!"  Right now my table-top display has the "could you pass the salt with the Swarovski crystals?" kinda feel to it...  Not ideal!

My newest brilliant idea and business goal is to post ONE NEW ITEM PER DAY in my Etsy shop.  That will take consistency and persistence...neither which are my most dominant qualities! :) I also came up with the idea to have a promotion on MY NEW ITEM OF THE DAY.  You will get a 25% discount on the ITEM OF THE DAY if you buy it within the first 24 hours that it's listed!  I thought that would be a fun way to promote my a new item, create some excitement about the shop on a daily basis, and possible get some more sales!  Today's Newest Listing is.....my Driftwood Pearls Necklace and Earrings Set!  Use Coupon Code BIGSPENDER at check out for 25% off your purchase until tomorrow at 12:00pm.

And finally, check out my lovely sister's modeling debut in this treasury, wearing my favorite Forever Filigree Necklace

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

It Was the Best of Classes, It Was the Worst of Classes...

It's been a couple days since my AMAZING metalsmithing class on Monday, so by now I can happily block most of the traumatic mishaps that were a result of my utter gracelessness OUT of my fading memory...However, just to give you a good laugh, let me share of some of the RIDICULOUS things I did during class this week... I messed up my bezel settings and had to start over AT LEAST three times, I manage to sit on the space heater again (i really have no idea how that happens...), I spilled over 5 years worth of TINY, TINY soldering clippings onto the floor (and subsequently tried to pick them all up WITHOUT MUCH SUCCESS-sorry Amanda), and managed to somehow accidentally solder a bezel setting to my pick!!!  Yeah... sometimes everything just goes so well...other times, NOT SO MUCH!!!  Of course, everything worked out for the best-I had LOADS of fun AND I somehow miraculously avoided permanent physical harm while around flames and sharp pointy objects!

It's amazing how different the glass looks after being in the kiln
So even though i could hardly get out of my own way on Monday, I learned SO MUCH and had a great time doing it. We covered dichroic glass making (FUN!!!), AND I got a great start on some CITRINE earrings that are a part of a DESIGN CHALLENGE given to me by my instructor.  I am sure at this juncture, if you have been following my blog at all, you feel:

A) UBER jealous of my amazing METALSMITHING class
B) Really, REALLY sick of hearing about my METALSMITHING class
C) AMAZED at my level of unbridled ENTHUSIASM about my METALSMITHING class

Now, for more unbridled enthusiasm, (I've been told I am an
"excitable girl"-hope that's a good thing!?) let me tell you about the AMAZING new set of earrings for the DESIGN CHALLENGE I'm working on!  I am going to use 14K gold, Citrine cabochons, sterling silver bezel settings, hammered gold swirls, and MORE!!! The challenge is, I must:
  • Use all three of the different types of soldering techniques I've learned in class (chip soldering, pick soldering, and sweat soldering- are you proud I remembered Amanda?)
  • Include an element that has some sort of motion
  • Use two different types of metal in the design
  • AND include an element with texture
Yeah, my instructor doesn't mess around!!! LOL  It is such a great challenge, and I was excited to come up with something that would fulfill all those requirements.  I have to say, the design I came up with is pretty SWEET...it surprised even me.  You can see the rough sketch of the design I came up with, along with a few elements that I have started making already.  DID I MENTION EACH EARRING HAS TWO BEZEL SET CITRINE?  Gasp.  I'm going to use 14K gold for the first time in my design.  NERVOUS!  My instructor said that my design is very AMBITIOUS...Yeah, that's pretty much how I roll. LOL!

See More Pictures and Designs on My Facebook Business Page
 I just think I have to say at this point, that I am SO DONE with being sick this winter!  Apparently, I have become a petri dish for every weird and ridiculous flu/cold various that has EVER been know to mankind in the past few months  However, on the upside, I was able to stay in this weekend and get A LOT of new designs ready to be listed!  Oh, and NO WORRIES, I clean and sanitize all my pieces before I send them out for others to wear...you won't catch the plague from me if you buy something!!! I'm excited because I came up with some exciting designs that I really like.  My sister is coming over today to model them so I can get them up and listed in my Etsy shop.  HOOORAY!  Whatchya think?

 Paper flower stickers by Shanna Tice, vendor at The BIG THAW.
So, I had a bunch of other things that I wanted to talk about in this blog post (to shake it up a bit and NOT talk about METALSMITHING THE WHOLE TIME), like the fact that I need to be getting ready for my first EVER craft fair in APRIL in PORTLAND, Maine!  It's called THE BIG THAW.  I am trying to come up with ideas for what to wear, how to display my jewelry, and what to make that would sell well at a craft fair.  I've come up with some pretty ridiculous ideas, so stay tuned for my next blog post!!!  It's sure to inspire some funny mental images and loads of giggles.

Also, I wanted to share with you a really cool shop that I ran across on Etsy, brownidgurl85.  She makes"bib or collar necklaces, chokers, brooches, or other creation" from "many different textures and materials."PLUS, she does custom work!  Her creations are really pretty, and VERY affordable!  If you love a good deal as much as I do, check out her shop!  You can find her on Facebook too, or even read her BLOG!  Here is a little sample of the beautiful things she creates and sells...Pretty, right!?


Finally, as it is my custom, here are a few BEAUTIFUL treasury collections that my work has had the privilege of being part of!  CIAO FOR NOW! :)





Thursday, February 10, 2011

THE RESULTS ARE IN...My Sister is Gorgeous!

I voted pin by NinaGibsonDesigns



The results of my latest blog poll are in!  The poll question, which so many of you already know who voted, was "What kind of jewelry do you wear most?"  The reason why I asked this question is because I am looking to bulk up my inventory with things that people want to BUY, OF COURSE!!!!  And the winner is.......drum roll please.... EARRINGS!!!!  36% off all of you FANTASTIC people out there who voted chose earrings as the piece of jewelry that you wear most!!!  I have to say that earrings would be my choice too!  Thanks for your participation in this poll, I love feedback!  Now, look for more earrings in my shop, because I will definitely be making and listing more of them!  To be fair, the votes were all across the board, Necklaces came in second with 31% of the vote (which is great because I make a ridiculous amount of necklaces), Rings were thirds with 22% of the vote, Bracelets were fourth with 9% of the vote, and "Other" came in last with 0% of the vote...  I was hoping that the majority of voters would not say that they wore their nipple rings the most, but you never know...  I put the "OTHER" option there just in case! :)

So, the biggest change to Sweet Sincerity Jewelry is that I no longer have to take goofy pictures of myself making ridiculous faces in my bathroom.  I have, by some miracle, been able to convince an actual PERSON to model my jewelry for me!  It's pretty stinking exciting!  Better yet, it's my very own GORGEOUS sister!!!  Alexandria Leigh.  It's hard to believe that she just had a baby 2 months ago...she looks GREAT.  But if I have to hear one more time how FAT she thinks she is right now...I might have to hurt her! LOL  I was definitely the size she is now in high school, and I was NOT PREGNANT!!!!  So, feel free to check out my new pictures with her in them, ooooh and aaaaah were appropriate, and leave kind comments about how skinny she looks! LOL

 Did I mention that I love comments on my blog posts?  I think that is an important subject that merits discussion.   I LOVE COMMENTS!  So, I guess that's really all there is to say.  It's not really a discussion so much as it is a statement.  It's so nice to hear that people actually ENJOY reading this blog, because for a while I was pretty sure my mother was the only one who thought it was truly inspired!  LOL  As of late, I've also been really trying to respond to every comment left to make my blog more interactive.  So, just as a little reminder, I added a few HUGE BLINKING SIGN!!!!  You know, just in case you forgot how I feel about comments... :)

So, I spent most of my working time today tweaking my Sweet Sincerity Facebook page...  I have been informed that I am, in fact, a Facebook Retard.  Anyone who is offended by that term, I am so sorry, I am simply relaying the consensus of my peers.  So today, I spent WAY TOO MUCH TIME revamping my personal profile, my business page, and adding a Facebook like button to this blog too!  Please feel free to offer helpful suggestions, like my page, friend me on Facebook, or mock me for my complete and utter lack of Internet savvy. :)  I will accept any and all of the aforementioned options.  I ask my sister for help ALL THE TIME, because she Facebooks like a ROCKSTAR! :)
Sweet Sincerity

Promote Your Page Too

In other, insanely exciting news, next week in my METALSMITHING CLASS, I maybe leaning how to make dichroic glass like I used in my Purple Perfection Ring!!!  I am so excited!  I love the way dichroic glass looks, as evidence by my use of it in my new designs last week, and I can't wait to learn a new jewelry making technique! AHHHH!  So excited!  Is learning the art of molding jewelry from PMC (precious metal clay) is my future too? Stay tuned and you'll find out when I do!!!  Man, sometimes I love my life.  The three hours I spend each week in metalsmithing class is one of those times.  :)  I guess that means I'm pursuing the right career path! LOL

Finally...here is another wonderful collection that my work has been was featured in.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Business Card Masacre and Other Thrilling Tales

I am quite grieved to relate that I had my first business card related tragedy today!  While folding the laundry (something I have shamefully put off for FAR TOO LONG) I uncovered small shreds of greenish paper in various shapes and sizes... Yes, you guess it, sadly, I indeed left some of my beautiful business cards in my pants pocket, which went through the washer and dryer, and thus came to their untimely end.  Now that I think about it, I guess this really isn't my first business card related tragedy after all...  I can't believe how quickly I have forgotten about one of my very first business learning experiences, let me share some wisdom with you: ALWAYS USE SPELLCHECK before PRINTING OFF 500 BUSINESS CARDS.  Yeah... My first 500 business cards said, "Sweet Sincerity, Creatively SPOHISTICATED Handmade Jewelry."  I was trying to figure out how I could coin a new phrase and pretend like I'm one of those cool people who makes up new slang words, like "chilax" and "gianormous."  I finally just had to accept that, not only could I NEVER get away with that, it's just a ridiculous idea! :) LOL

Now, let me bore you with more talk about the thing I have been unable to stop talking about in the last weeks...MY METALSMITHING CLASS!  Did I mention that I love it?  Probably about a million times, right? LOL.  Today, I was really on my game, unlike last week when I was so woozy from my COLD/FLU thing that I really shouldn't have been near sharp implements.  I actually finished a pair of bezel set dichroic glass post earrings, AND a bezel set dichroic glass ring (as seen in picture above)!  I was so very proud of myself!  The best part is that the earrings have a slight imperfection on them (being my first completed bezel sets and all) so I can happily keep them for myself without the slightest bit of guilt!!!!  HOORAY! :)  LOL  I will be listing the ring however, cuz it's just too cool for school and very beautiful.

Besides metalsmithing class, I have been so busy doing custom orders for family and friends, that I have little time to add anything new items to my shop.  Check out some of these amazing things I've had the privilege  of making for other people!  Some are new designs, and others are slightly tweaked versions of past designs.  I really enjoy being able to do this for my friends and family, but I have a bad habit of trying to give all my pieces away because I feel terrible about charging my love ones money...  Somewhere, my husband is shaking his head with bewildered wonderment... :)

Finally, check out this beautiful collections of items that one of my items was featured in recently.  I love this treasury so much!  I do however feel a little weird that my blue eyes are staring creepily out at me from my own computer screen!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

So much to write about! SO little TIME!!!

I am thrilled to announce today that I won an AWARD for this BLOG!!!!  Really, how exciting is that?  I feel so special! :)  It's really nice to know that someone appreciates the hard work that it takes to publicly rant about my life and business.  :)  I was given this wonderful honor by fellow blogger and Etsian, Heather Everson, of heversonart!  She makes beautiful jewelry and has a lovely blog entitled "A Mom, a Kid, and Art"-cute right!?  Part of the privilege and responsibility of accepting this award is that I, myself, get to bestow this honorific title upon the blogs of 15 other worthy recipients.  I already have a few bloggers in mind that I like and admire.  However, I will be giving my self AMPLE time to ruminate about my choices, so I don't make any rash decisions...LOL

Another part of the process of accepting this award is that now I have to share 7 interesting facts about myself with my blog readers.  Thinking of one interesting thing about myself  is hard enough...let alone 7.  Especially if you have read this blog before, you already know anything and everything semi-interesting but mostly MUNDANE about my little life.  So, I tried REALLY HARD to drudge up some new and obscure factoids about myself for anyone who may be interested! :)

STUFF ABOUT ME 
I mean...7 intriguing tidbits about your FAVORITE, AWARD WINNING blogger
(Yeah, right!)

NUMBER 1.  I AM DETERMINED to have my motorcycle license BEFORE I die, which may mean that I will be zipping down the road on a Ducati Monster at the age of 91.  It may also mean that that will be THE WAY I DIE, since I am a horrible driver, which is currently the reason why my husband DOES NOT want me to be on the roads driving a bike! :0
NUMBER 2.  My favorite color is COBALT BLUE, which is the color I painted my bedroom as a teenager, before my sister painted over it with MAGENTA PINK (her favorite color).  My poor parents...if only they would've had nice girls who liked pastels they wouldn't still be trying to get those shocking paint colors off the beautiful wood trim in their house!!!
NUMBER 3.  Ever since I was a child, I have ALWAYS wanted to be an artist.  Although I did considering being a ballerina, a news anchor, an architect, a teacher, a construction worker, a receptionist, and a translator, all before comfortably settling into jewelry making.  I still secretly want to be a ballerina...
NUMBER 4.  If our house were to burn down tomorrow with EVERYTHING that we own in it, I would miss our BEAUTIFUL HOUSE, all my pretty SHOES, and our big RED comfy couch...in that order.  Oh, and maybe my giant BEAD STASH too.   :)
NUMBER 5.  My nickname has always been Ben or Benny...I'm still trying to pinpoint WHY on earth that is, and more importantly, WHY I find it endearing when people call me by this strangely masculine name!
NUMBER 6.  I only have ONE dimple.  NO JOKE.  Apparently, they do NOT always come as a set...Bummer on that.
AND FINALLY...NUMBER 7.  For the longest time, I made my parents call me Michelle as a child, after the little girl on Full House.  I also named ALL  my dolls Michelle...EVERY SINGLE ONE!

So,NOW let's talk LESS about me and MORE about someone else!  Check out this great Etsy shop that I discovered lately, BLANCHEB.   I mentioned this shop in my last post, because I bought a gorgeous vintage brooch from here.  The creator of this brand explains how she got her start and inspiration: "Blanche [her dog]  was my love, my muse and fierce spirited fur baby for 12 years. In trying to find a way to pay for mounting vet bills, I discovered my passion for beading. I have always loved jewelry and treasured pieces from my grandma. Now I make things I enjoy and others do too. I like being part of a community that treasures hand-crafted and vintage items."  Isn't that wonderful?  She has a FANTASTIC assortment of vintage items, beautiful handmade jewelry, and photography note cards.  She also has another Etsy shop that sells FABULOUS jewelry making supplies, LittleFishSupplies.  Please check out this wonderful seller's shops!

GOOD NEWS, I finally listed some new items in my Etsy Shop yesterday. I managed to list 2 new things! Yippee!  I would really like to get back up to having at least 50 items for sale in my shop...preferably 65 I think.  My meager inventory definitely could use a pep up.  One cool thing is that one of my new listings, I made in my METALSMITHING class!!!! The folded copper cuff with a fire patina on it is just so cool looking in person.   I started making that piece after I TORCHED my bezel settings that I had been working hard on for making rings/earrings.  I was so bummed out when I melted my cute little bezels!  Those things take a while to fabricate by hand...Yikes!  It was definitely better that I decided to CHANGE what I was working that day instead of trying to go ahead and work on more bezel settings.  I was so loopy from having a cold (AGAIN!) that less intricate work was the only thing I could really manage!

AND... there was such a bad blizzard today in my hometown that it was WHITE OUT conditions at some points during the day!  My parents didn't have to work due to the horrible weather, so all three of us decided to go out for lunch together instead.  NOT THE BRIGHTEST IDEA EVER!  Let's just say that there was a clear reason why there were not many people on the roads today. Going out for a bite to eat in the middle of a blizzard turned out to be quite the little adventure!  We got stuck at least 3 times in the snow, in the middle of a main road, blocking traffic, and once even with a GIANT PLOW TRUCK behind us!  Here is a cute little picture of my parents trying to shovel their way out of my driveway!  And there I was, snuggley and warm inside, taking pictures of them... NAUGHTY!

SOOOO... stay tuned for my list of 15 blogs that deserve the STYLISH BLOGGER AWARD, and please leave comments if you would like to bring a blog to my attention that you might think is worthy of this honor! :)

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