Thursday, March 24, 2011

Clawing My Way Back from Oblivion!

At this point, since I haven't blogged in three weeks or so, you are probably thinking one of the following things:

1)  "Remember that girl who used to blog about jewelry or something... where did she go?"
2)  "Sweet Sincerity who?"
3)  "Is Bethany dead?"

Well, I am glad to say, in the immortal words of Mark Twain, that "the reports of my death are greatly exaggerated." In fact, I am very much alive as I type these words. :)  However, I do think a little bit of explanation is in order.  Long story short, I got my all four of my wisdom teeth out at the beginning of the month, and although my cheeks took only a matter of a week/week and a half to return to their normal size and color (as seen in the picture), I'm still dealing with the pain and complications of this surgery.  And everyone told me it was going to be a breeze!  HA!  I have to say that I am THRILLED to be able to be back to work, but it's always hard for me to find the proper amount of motivation after spending weeks on the couch, eating fudgcicles, napping, and watching a Bones marathon on Netflix.  Has anyone else noticed the AMAZING JEWELRY on that show?  If you can look past all the scientific jargon and freaky skeletons, you will notice that EVERY EPISODE has gorgeous pieces!

Probably those most anxiously awaiting my return to the blogosphere are those wonderful owners of Etsy shops who I promised to feature here on my blog!  I promised my dear friend and customer Pixieval that I would do a review of her amazing WOOLEN DRYER BALLS here on this blog.   Unfortunately, this had to be delayed because of my recovery time, and the fact that my husband (like I knew he would) grabbed the dryer balls and started using them all on his own before I had the chance to review them myself!  LOL!  Since we bought a house, he has been ALL ABOUT saving energy.  He's even got it figured out which lights in the house use the most electricity, so he'll turn those off and use the lower wattage ones if he can help it!  So this morning, I was strapped for time-Mateo needed some work pants dried that he had washed the night before, and he had about an hour before he had to leave the house to go to work.  Normally this would have been a little stressful, because for some strange reason our dryer takes a whole hour to dry ( and sometimes longer when hubby's thick work pants need to be dried).  I find this length of time to be a tad excessive because the dryer we used to use only took 30 minutes.  Of course it also had the nasty habit of burning some of our cloths, so the upgrade was definitely worth it!  ANYWAY, I thought this morning would be a perfect opportunity for me to try out these amazing dryer balls I've heard so much about.

Using dryer balls instead of chemically treated dryer sheets is healthier for you as well as the environment because you are able to avoid the risks of chemical residues left on clothing and released into the air. The dryer balls are non toxic and hypoallergenic, a definite advantage for people and babies with sensitive skin.
When placed in the dryer among the wet laundry the dryer balls help to lift and separate the clothes reducing static and drying time as well as leaving the clothes soft and fluffy. Technically the dryer balls work by improving the circulation of heat and air through the wet items."

Wood Tile Pendant by Bgifford
BOY DO THEY EVER do everything they claim!!!!  1 hour worth of heavy duty drying time turned into about 35 minutes.  I don't have to do exact math to realize that these dryer balls could cut down almost  50% of the electricity costs that come from our dryer (which will of course please my man).  I'm most excited cutting down the dryer time, because that means that I can get more done in less time!  I pretty much hate doing laundry for some strange reason, even though it is a relatively easy household chore.  I mean's not like here in Maine we have to go wash our clothes in the Penobscot River and scrub them clean with sand or anything...  In a nutshell, I am totally SOLD on these dryer balls.  If you want some too, visit Pixieval's Etsy Shop

The other wonderful shop that I have the pleasure of talking about is ElegantKnitting.  I am in awe of the skill it takes to do this type of work, as I have absolutely no idea how to knit, crochet, or anything similar...The beautiful wraps, shawls, and cowls you can find in this online shop are elegant and classy, not to mention they all look ridiculously cozy.  You can buy something beautiful for every season in this shop (especially if you live in a climate similar to New England's where we wear sweaters all year round-LOL).  My favorite at the moment is the white HONESTY Vintage Inspired Stole pictured above.  Check out a few more of ElegantKnitting's gorgeous designs!

ANYWAY...Now I'd like to discuss something very commitment phobia!  My wonderful metalsmithing teacher suggested that I commit to using more quality metals in my designs, thus being able to have a higher profit margin and appealing to a wider variety of customers.  Funny, although I have already started working with pricey 14K gold and sterling silver, I'm so gun-shy when it comes to committing to all high end metals.  It's not like you can run down to Home Depot or Jo Ann Fabrics and rustle up some 24K gold sheet metal or anything...  Regardless of the inconvenience, I'm committing to making jewelry with high quality metals. I've already listed some things with gold, gold fill, and sterling silver. The earrings above were a  custom order made from solid 14K gold with faceted garnets, and I'm really excited about how they turned out! I hope that the rest of my high quality jewelry turns out just as well!  

Keep Calm and Blog on Typewriter Pinback Button by AliceFlynn
Everything considered, things have actually been pretty good this month for Sweet Sincerity Jewelry.  I've made over 70 sales now, this is my 40th blog post, and some of my jewelry is currently being auctioned off for a local school!  ALSO, Somehow, I managed to claw my way back from post-oral surgery oblivion and sell/make a few things in MY ETSY SHOP.  Thank the goodness!  So, barring any other unforeseen malady, accidental dismemberment, or mental breakdown of any sort,  I promise I will not wait another three weeks to blog...  :)

And finally, here are a few treasury collections for your viewing pleasure :)  My sister made them...they are her very first treasuries that she put together!  What do you think?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sweet Sincerity Jewlery is Getting Better All the Time!

Just the Way I Like it Earrings, Lady Lilac Earrings, Simply in Love Necklace
There are a lot of exciting changes going on at Sweet Sincerity Jewelry this week.  The first (and most exciting in my opinion) is the fact that my sister, Alexandria has joined the Sweet Sincerity design team.  She just started modeling my jewelry, which was an amazing help (as I've said before, it's nice not to have to try to take ridiculous pictures of myself in front of my shower curtain).  In addition to offering up her modeling talents, now she has started making jewelry for Sweet Sincerity too!  How exciting is that?!  Yesterday, I listed her FIRST set of earrings in My Etsy Shop and they sold within HOURS!  I am so proud of her!  I love having another contributor to Sweet Sincerity.  My sister and I have different tastes, but that's a good thing because I think it is important to cater to a variety of styles.  She's helping me get more ideas and different perspectives!  Not to mention that it is much easier to build up an inventory when two people are making things!

In other news, I am in the process of redoing all of my product photos!  By a total fluke, I decided to use my husbands new ottoman as a place to take pictures of my sisters jewelry the other day.  These pictures turned out to be PHENOMENAL!  I can't believe it-my husband just bought this nice black ottoman, placed it by one of the large windows in our house, and now I have the perfect place to take pictures of my jewelry in natural light with my new wonderful camera! :)  Oh, life is good!  Look at the difference of my old and new photos!  Now my jewelry can look as great online as it does in person!

Wool Dryer Balls by Pixieval

In exciting BLOGGING news, two other Etsy sellers have asked me to write a review of their products on this blog!  I am so honored that they would want ME to review their products!  I do so love to blog, as well as promote great products for other people, so this will be a lot of fun!  Oh, and did I mention that they are going to give me their products for FREE?  That is a pretty SWEET deal,  if I do say so myself!  Look for my reviews in coming blog posts, maybe you will find a great product here that you could use too!  I am excited about trying the product in the picture to the left, they are woolen dryer balls that decrease the drying time of your laundry, thus saving you time and money!  Mateo is going to love that!!!!

14K Gold Casting Grain from
I am also making more progress on my Million Dollar Earrings.  I finally broke down and ordered the solid 14K gold I need to make them!!!  AAAAH! I am nervous and excited to start using it, GOLD IS SO EXPENSIVE!  It will be a big leap forward in my jewelry making skills if I can get a handle of how to use gold.   I can't wait for my order to arrive so I can FINALLY finish my earrings.  Of course, like a genius, I forgot to order gold solder with my order.  BRILLIANT...I know.  So, even if I do get my gold today, I won't be able to finish my earrings right away.  However, I will be able to have the design almost done, because there is only a small section that I will need to solder on them.  Oh well, the saga of the Million Dollar Earrings continues...

Speaking of expensive gold, I've gotten quite a few custom orders from friends and family lately.  One of those orders is for a pair of 14K gold chandelier earrings with garnets!  Don't those sound gorgeous! Other custom orders that I have in the works are:  a sterling silver and turquoise bib necklace, a turquoise and black onyx necklace, a custom jewelry box, several pairs of custom earrings, and a few more that I am sure I am forgetting about!  I'll have to go check my handy dandy list...  I really like doing custom orders, I've done quite a lot in the past.  I find it really fulfilling to give people exactly what they want, with a little Sweet Sincerity twist of course!  Feel free to request a custom item! :)

Items that are going to be AUCTIONED OFF!
Another exciting event is that some Sweet Sincerity Jewelry is going to part of an auction as part of a fund-raiser for a local school here in Bangor, Maine !  I can't wait to drop off the items I've donated!  And I really can't wait to see how much my items are auctioned off for!  I was so excited when someone contacted me from the school, this is my first auction that I've ever been a part of!  I wonder if I can attend and watch the bidding!?!  That would be CRAZY fun!

Lastly for today, here are a few more GORGEOUS Treasury Collections that I had the privilege of being picked to be a part of this week.  ENJOY!!!! :)

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