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Friday, October 16, 2009

Really cool shirt/dress tutorial I saw today

I subscribe to a lot of different blogs. One of them Totally Tutorials always has multiple postings a day. These range from face painting to jewelry to sewing, knitting and a whole lot more.

Today one of the tutorials was How to Make a Drawstring Halter Top/Dress

Now, I do sew enough to hem a pair of pants, fix a hole in a shirt, re-attach a button but that's about it. I'd like to get to the point where I can make my own pouches for my jewelry packaging. I know what to do/how to do it, even have the fabric, thread and ribbon for them. I just need a sewing machine. Technically I have one, it's one of those hand held deals that I think would work. I just need to find the time to try it out

This tutorial I could do with my hand-held thing or I could hand sew the 2 seams. I really want to try it out as soon as I can. I just need to either A. find a suitable shirt that I could use at home that I don't mind not being a t-shirt anymore or b. head out to target or walmart and buy one.

I think I'll maybe try this one out early next week.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

How is it that this month is already half over?

When I looked at my watch this morning (it has the day on it) and saw that it was already October 15th I couldn't believe it.

I've got so much to do before November hits I can't believe it!

I've got jewelry to make up for my sorority's Founder's Day Chinese Auction. I've got 60 samples to make up for the November Spotted Box. I've got things that I've made that need to be photographed and listed.

Not to mention everything that I have to do for my HOA (I'm on the board and also on the Architectural Control Committee), my day job and my home life.

Where has this month been going?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Had a really productive evening last night

As the title of the blog post states I did in fact have a truly productive evening last night. I was able to finish a few projects that have been around for longer than I care to remember.

My first project was to paint the plastic ceiling medallion for our dining room so it actually looks like a piece of wood and not the cheap piece of plastic it really was. Not so hard but glad that I got it done anyway.

We've bought a new chandelier for the dining room. My husband took the old POS builder grade one down like a month ago and was gonna hang the new one but decided that he'd rather not mess with it and call an electrician to put a new mounting box up there (the plastic one bothers him) and hang the thing because he doesn't want it to come crashing down on the brand new Stickley dining table that we've ordered. The table is rather expensive so I can't say that I blame him.

Personally I'd like the whole thing done because we're currently without lights in the dining room because the only light source there is from afore mentioned chandelier that's been taken down so there's just a hole in the ceiling with a few taped wires hanging out. At least he remembered to call the electrician this week.

I'm getting really sick of having to figure out what bottle of wine I want to drink with a flashlight after the sun has gone down. Of course the wine rack is in the DARKEST corner of the room....

Anyway, the next thing that I got done. I FINALLY finished the cork board that I've been working on for much much longer than I care to think about. When I first bought the board from Wine Enthusiast I started filling it up with all the corks that I've collected over the past 3-4 years. I started collecting them when we were still living in New Jersey and I bought the board about 8 months ago (told you it's been around for longer than I care to remember). So that's what? About 4 years worth of corks. Yea, I still didn't have enough, I was about 3-4 rows short. So as we drank bottles at home, at friends house's, out I'd collect the corks.

Now for the past 4-5 months the board has been mostly finished. I just needed to cut the corks for the spaces that couldn't fit a whole one. I FINALLY for around to that last night.

I wound up using a craft saw that I've had since I've been in college that I used to use for cutting bass wood for models in architecture school. It worked better than I imagine an x-acto knife would have for any other cutting implement would have. The only downside, cork dust. That's now done and I have to figure out where to hang the damn thing. I've got some ideas that I just need to convince the husband to go along with.

My last project of the evening was making myself a beading loom. It was a fairly simple process that I was able to do with an old cardboard box, duct tape (what can't you use it for?), some glue and toothpicks. Here's a few links where I got the info on how to do it. - I took the duct tape and toothpick part of it from this one. - I got the cardboard part from this one.

Instead of screws I used little eye loops for picture hanging. Works just as well IMO. I promise to take a picture and post it tonight or tomorrow.

I wanted a loom but the sizes that I saw in stores were too small (for bracelets only) or online were way too expensive. Total cost to me was almost nothing as the box was from something that was shipped to us and we'd recycle it anyway, duct tape that we've had around for a while and the toothpicks which were also bought a few years ago.

I started using it last night with the elastic thread that I found at Hobby Lobby on Monday night. Really super easy so far. Best part about the box is that I can keep my seed beads in it and if they fall out of the little baggie no big mess because they are contained in the box.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Featured Artist - Charlene Anderson

This is the last of many interviews that I have left to post on my blog. I know that I've gotten some new followers in the past week so if any of you would like to be featured just contact me and I'll be happy to email you with the questions!

Here's Charlene of Purveyor of All Things Creative, she's got a great mix of totes, jewelry supplies, beads, and fiber arts supplies.

- What’s your name and where are you from?

Charlene Anderson, born in Hollywood, CA, lived in Hawaii 20 plus years, now in beautiful Jackson Hole, Wyoming

-What is your shop name and what does it mean to you?

Purveyor of All Things Creative. I chose it as I have several creative fields I word in and wanted a name that meant creativity to everyone.

- What websites do you sell on how did you decide on which ones?

eBay, Amazon and just starting on Etsy and a few smaller ones that are getting set up as I type

- How long have you been crafting?

As long as I can remember but seriously started at about age 15, which would be 36 years. Ugh. I'm 16 in my mind.

-Tell me any interesting things about you that you would like to share.

I have travelled to over 100 counties, am a tech geek, was a world class athlete in several sports and am married to a great English guy 17 years my junior who is an incredible photographer.

-What do you sell in your shop?

Art and craft tools, supplies, equipment, books, DVDs and more all related to arts and crafts. I also sell my own work.

- Tell us about your crafting space.

I have two rooms upstairs that are devoted to my business. One is the office and one the studio. But I am like Mark Twain and Vera Wang, however and like to work sitting on my lovely bed with my work around me and my Vizsla dog Arazi next to me.

-Do you belong to any guilds, teams or other indie craft organizations?

Handweavers Guild of America. I was their National President for several years in the 90's.

-Where do you find inspiration?

Everywhere. Photos, travel (a big one) walks, brainstorming, talking with husband, in the shower, everywhere!

-Tell me a bit about your creative process

Usually I let an idea run around around in my mind for a bit before working on it. I'll take notes and talk it over with my husband, who can help work out kinks in my process.

- Where have you learned to do what you do?

Trial and error

-What is your favorite item in your shop right now?

The new Wubber Pliers.

-Why is it your favorite?

Easy on the hands, easy on the wire, easy to work with, very cool.

- What is your favorite part of your craft?

Thinking up new ideas

- What is your least favorite part?

Photographing finished work

-How did you get started with your craft?

One thing lead to another, and it seems I am interested in a lot of things!

-If you sell on more than one site which is your favorite and why?

eBay as I have been doing it for 9 years and know it well.

-What makes your shop unique?

I carry items that are hard to find, I have fabulous customer service, great prices and ship very quickly.

-What advice do you have for other independent crafters just starting out?

It's hard work and be prepared for it. I've been doing this since 1981 and it is still hard work.

-Where else can we find you on the web? , , , ,

Thanks again for letting me interview you Charlene!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Trying to find the right damned thread

So in my last post I was talking about trying to find the right kind of elastic thread for the headbands that I want to make. This is proving to be quite a task. Nothing that I've found as yet has been thin enough for the beads that I want to use. I've checked Walmart, Michaels, bead shops. I need to get my behind to Hobby Lobby because I think they have what I need.

And craft stores... Is it really so hard to have a SEWING section? And WTH did Walmart do with there's? It was there BEFORE they did the stinking re-model. I can't find a freaking thing in the store anymore.

In other news, I finished a pair of earrings for my friend Anne. I've sold a pair of them before and I own a pair. Here's the pair that I sold but they are pretty much the same.

They are simple but kinda fun at the same time. I've got these beads in a few colors (pink and blue. I need to make up a few more pairs and get them listed.

I've also got a few artist interviews that I need to post still. Maybe I'll do that tomorrow.

Friday, October 9, 2009

What I'm trying to work on

When I was in Hilton Head a couple of weeks ago I saw these really cool stretch beaded headbands in the same shop that I bought this really cool necklace (I'll take a photo of the necklace post if over the weekend). I thought that it would be really cool to make a few up and try to sell them.

The main body of the headband was just seed beads. It looks like it would be really time intensive to weave by hand so I might need to go out and purchase a beading loom to speed the process up a bit. That and I need to get thin enough elastic thread. I really need to get out to the craft store and see if the sewing section has what I need because my local Walmart, which is usually pretty good about sewing supply inventory, is lacking right now. They are in the middle of a re-model and not only did they move EVERYTHING around in the damn store they don't have all of the inventory out because they are moving it all.

Oh, and in other news I started to build a web page yesterday. Still a work in progress but here it is It's a free service right now and depending I may upgrade to a pay site. I could also have a mini store on the site. Right now as a free member I can list 5 products. If I upgrade then one day I can have my store totally on my own website. We'll see how that goes for the time being. I'm still trying to figure out everything that I want to put up on the site. So if you have any suggestions just shoot me an email!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Totally unrelated to jewelry but I'm pretty proud of myself

I just finished this today.

Should have been done a LONG time ago but I promised my friends, Ken & Stacy, that I'd draw them up a pavilion for there pool deck that they want to put in next year. I drew up the plan in CAD then imported into SketchUp (3D Modeling software) then built the model.

Fairly certain that it will actually stand up the way that I drew it. King Post trusses with a purlin roof system (so you get the overhangs without a huge truss). The pavilion is 16'x16' the spans are about 7' which the trusses should be able to carry. They are only holding the roof up. Seems a bit of overkill but not too sure.
Whaddya think?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

What am I going to do with myself?

Yesterday morning I had what I pray is my last Architecture Liscesing Exam (ARE).

I've been taking these stinking tests since December of 2007. When I started out there were 9 divisions, 3 technical sections, 3 non-technical sections and 3 graphical sections. I flew threw all of them except the 2 structural divisions (general structures and lateral forces).

On round 2 with the structures exams I managed to pass general structures but once again bombed on lateral forces. Doesn't sound too bad does it? Well I got news for you, each time you fail an exam you have to wait 6 months before you can re-take it. Oh and also after I failed lateral forces for the second time they had closed the transition window to a new format.

What did this mean for me? Not only did I pass general structures but because of the new format (7 divisions instead of 9 and they mixed a bunch of crap up) and the associated graphical vignette but I get to take 1 exam and re-do the vignette that I already passed.

Well, took the test yesterday and I feel pretty good about it. I'll get the results in about 4-6 weeks (yes you read that right). NCARB is horribly slow with score reporting even though the exam is administered by computer and also computer scored. If you want some interesting reading check out the ARE forum general topics section and do a search for NCARB. It's rather amusing to see some of the posts.

But now that I'm not studying I have ALL of this free time on my hands. I really need to get my house back in order first off. Also I've been neglecting the jewelry business a bit and need to get back on the train with that one. Maybe I'll go out to the movies or dinner with the girls sometime while the hubby is in Charlotte?

Any suggestions?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Getting to try a little something different

At my day job (as an architect) I've done a bunch of fun things with some of the other people in the office. We've done cookie swaps, a competition called CANstruction (google it for more info), various community service projects, heart walks, etc. It's always been great fun and I enjoy doing things like that.

The group that I've done the cookie swap with is going to do a handmade card swap. It's got a Thanksgiving/Holidays theme. I've never really made a handmade card in my life. Not counting the colored ones that you do in school. I have no idea where to start. I have to make 8 identical cards. I've been searching all over artfire for handmade cards with holiday/thanksgiving themes.

I think that I have some good ideas but I'm not really sure. I just need to make a trip to the craft store and start buying some stuff and run with it from there.

Monday, September 28, 2009

I wish that I was this good with wireworking

Check out Sharon's wire work, amazing isn't it? I hope to be this good at it one of these days.

I may just have to try and find a way to make myself a pair of these.....
Click on the post title to go to her website.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

What I learned on my summer vacation

Remember when you had this assignment during the first week of school right after summer vacation? Yea, me too. I got back from our little mini vacation on Hilton Head Island a few hours ago and this blog post started forming itself in my head when I was somewhere on I-16.

The trip took me about 4.5 hours so I had a lot of time to think being that I was on I-16 for about 100 some odd miles and I had a few highways to go before I made my way home.

Some of this applies to the business but most of this does not so enjoy anyway.

1. There are morons on the highway. No matter what highway, what state the highway is full of morons. Why people can properly merge with a right on ramp but not a left one amazes me. Why does everyone need to slow down to look at what's happening? Why does the one idiot on the highway always end up in front of me when I'm in the left lane going 80 and they decide that they own the highway so they will go 2 miles above the posted minimum speed limit (40mph in case you are wondering) And don't get me started on sympathy breakers, just because someone in the other lane is breaking does not mean that YOU have to break as well.

2. I never realized that elevators in South Carolina were under the office of Elevators and Amusement Rides. This oddly makes sense (free fall at six flags anyone?).

3. If I'm going to wear my bathing suit that has the gold rings on it I get some fairly interesting tan lines. Yes I now have a perfect circle of tanned skin on each hip bone.

4. If I'm going to hang out at the pool all day it would be a good idea to be in either full sun or full shade. My right side is more tanned than my left. It's a nice gradient right in the middle of my stomach.

5. Always, always, always bring my jewelry business cards with me wherever I go. At the entrance to the lighthouse in Harbor Town I was complimented on the bracelet that I was wearing and of course I had the cards but they were in my other purse conveniently in the hotel room all the way across the damn island.

6. No matter how fast you want to go it will take you FOREVER to go anywhere on the island. Mainly because the highest posted speed limit is 35mph. Also because anything worth going is no where near your hotel.

7. Cell phone reception is crappy at best on the island. Except for at the top of the afore mentioned lighthouse. Can someone please put a cell tower on the damn island? Is that really too much to ask?

8. If you spend a whole day at the pool and are eating and drinking at the pool your are not walking off the pool deck without spending at least $100. It's too easy to raise the flag on your lounge chair.

9. If your cover up is black remember the black flip flops, or at least the pink ones. The brown ones are ok but I look like an idiot when I where them together.

10. I like to shop. No matter what store I go into I'm going to find something that I want to buy. My husband is just going to have to get used to it.

11. Dive bars have the best food, period.

I think that's it for now. If I can remember anything else I'll post a follow up. Happy Reading!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Some random thoughts

So in a few hours I'll be pointed towards the coast on my way to Hilton Head. I finished everything that I set out to do yesterday so that was a bonus. I'll have to post some pics of the weekend when I get back.

Yesterday my sorority sister, Brandy, called me up. She received my package for the auction. She really loved everything that I put in. That really made me smile. The best compliment that she gave me is that nothing looks like a craft project. Apparently some of the other sisters were inspired to make some stuff. I do work hard to make a quality product and I'm constantly trying to improve upon my skills. I'm just worried that Brandy and her mom will hijack my jewelry before it gets to the auction!

Oh, Really cool giveaway on one of my favorite blogs. Win a super cute teapot and a tin of tea on Anne's blog Tea Journal

Facebook - it's amazing the people that you can connect to, with, again on that site. You can create fan pages for your business and update your customers. I have a fan page along with my Artfire kiosk on both my profile page and my business pages. If you want to become a fan click here

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A million things to do.....

So it's Wednesday right? Yup, I checked. I've got about a million things to do today to get ready for our trip to Hilton Head tomorrow.

I still haven't started on my samples for the October spotted box yet.... Gotta get on this because I need to get them ready to ship by October 1st. Nice job huh? Did I mention that my commitment is for 60 samples? Yes I am a genius.

I did manage to mail my order from my Artfire studio this morning. So that's one more thing in the done column. See my post from yesterday if you want to see what I sold, I put up a pic.

So today when I get home from work I have to pack, load the car, get the hubby's weekend suitcase and attend a HOA meeting for our landscape proposal.

I'm on my HOA's board of directors and usually All I have to do is go to 1 meeting a month and answer a few emails a month. Right now however, we have already had a meeting with the landscape company last Monday. I had to take the day off work because the meeting was at 10am and I work in midtown. Next time please schedule a meeting during non-business hours, I work full time in Atlanta thank you very much! I'm the only one on the board out of the 5 of us that works full time. The 2 men are retired, one woman is a stay at home mom with 2 little ones and the other woman works 3 days a week. They have a tendency to forget that I do work full time. I'm also the only one on the board with any kind of architecture/construction background, lovely...

This meeting tonight is yet another meeting with the landscaper but for the life of me I can't figure out why. But I'm a glutton for punishment and am going to the meeting. As if I don't already have enough to do tonight.

I just can't forget the extra pair of black socks that the hubby needs me to bring because he couldn't count on Sunday.

Oh, and it's supposed to be crappy this weekend, wonderful. Anyone want to make me 60 jewelry samples and pack for me? Oh I forgot about my last architecture licensing exam that's on October 5th. Finding time to study for that has not been easy but I'm making due.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Really Really Strange Monday....

So yesterday was an experience. Not sure how many of you have seen the news about what's happening in Atlanta but we've had some flooding issues. Long story short we got over 9" of rainfall overnight.

Getting to my job in midtown Atlanta was a bit tricky yesterday morning. I live about 35 miles from the office and I take I-85 to get here. There's the perimeter (I-285) that goes all around Atlanta. Well if you wanted to get from 85 or 285 or the other way around your were just plain S.O.L. because the ramps flooded. What this meant for me? It took me over 2 HOURS to get to work yesterday. Luckily we live at the top of a hill so our house is fine.

When I finally get to work yesterday I notice that my shoe is making a weird noise and I'm also wobbling. My heel of my shoes broke. Just wonderful, on the bright side I had a pair of flip flops in the car that haven't made there way back into the house since Labor Day and we have a shoe guy in the building so Doc is my savior. $11 to fix the busted heel and put new tips on the spikes. Not bad IMO.

Today is working out to be a lot better so far. Driving to work was normal today. The sun actually came out (I almost forgot what it looked like). And the crowning glory, I sold something on Artfire today. Just a pair of earrings but a cute pair none the less. Here's a pic in case your are wondering what the earrings look like:

Simple little pretty Swarovski dangles, black diamond with round silver spacer beads and a surgical steel earwire.

Now I just get to drive home, buy beer, and start to pack for my trip to Hilton Head for a long weekend.

Please don't rain while we're there!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Fundraiser for a really good cause

A few months back a good friend and sorority sister of mine, Emily, was hospitalized because she came down with the swine flu pneumonia and other complications. After over 2 months in the hospital the infection left her system and she's now been in rehab for a while.

My sorority wanted to do something to help her and her family out with her medical bills and other associated costs.

We're doing a dinner and silent auction for her on October 10th in conjunction with her EMS Rescue Squad. Our part is the auction with all the proceeds going to Emily.

I mailed about 17 different things for them to auction off. It's all stuff that I've had laying around for a while and haven't gotten around to listing yet. It's a nice mix of sterling, gemstone, glass. I have sets, bracelets, earrings, the works. In the short run I'm hoping I get some sales.

I really do wish that I could be there but everyone is in New Jersey and it would be very difficult for me to be there when we will be heading up there for Thanksgiving to spend it with my family.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

What a great day to stay in and craft!

It seems like it's been raining for days now..... Not continually but for the better part of the day most days. With all this rain who wants to go outside at all?

I'm thinking about getting a jump on the pendant for Anne. She picked out a green glass that really looks like periodot. She's also getting it made with gold wire. I probably should re-string that necklace for my co-worker. My one co-worker, Peggy, will give me necklaces and earrings and stuff that have broken for me to fix. I don't mind doing the fixing but I don't want it to become to big of a part of the business.

I think that I'm going to get started on that pendant.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Found a really cool tutorial in my email this morning

So I open up my laptop this morning and I've got a couple of emails from Christine sends out a newsletter semi-regularly and there was this really cool earring wire tutorial on it. Very simple and pretty easy to do. I've made earring wires that are similar to these in the past. I'll have to play around with it. Instead of 20 gauge wire you could also use eye pins if you can get the right length and gauge.

Now I just have to make my pasta salad for the party tonight.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Happy Friday!

So it's Friday (Yay!). I'm excited about the weekend for a few reasons.

The first? My friends Ana & Monty had there baby girl a little over 2 weeks ago and tomorrow is the Welcoming Shower for them. Hopefully it won't rain but we'll make the best of it.

I just have to remember to bring the glass pieces for Anne to look at for the wirewrapped pendant necklace that she wants me to make her. I have 2 that I've made for myself and about 5-7 more that I have done but never had gotten around to listing yet. (I really need to get on that)

By the way Anne has a really great blog that you should check out. She talks about her dogs, her cat and living with MS.

I'm quite frankly surprised about how many people have really liked the pendant that I wear most often. It's a rectangle of mosaic glass that I've wirewrapped with copper wire. The glass is an amber color. I have it strung on a simple black leather cord. Simple and really fun to make. I never know how it's going to come out until I'm finished because the design has a tendency to take on a mind of it's own. I'll have to snap a pic of it and throw it up here when I get a chance.

And I have to remember to go to the store tomorrow morning and buy the ingredients that I need for the pasta salad that I'm bringing.

Oh, and football. The NY Giants are playing the Dallas Cowboys Sunday night. It should be a really great game. I hope that my G-men wipe the field with the Cowboys. I just have to stay up late enough to catch most of the game.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Interesting form of inspiration

So last night I went out with a few girlfriends to see the movie Julie and Julia. Really great movie by the way. It's really funny because we've been trying to get together to go see it for like a month at least. Most of you I'm sure have heard about it but the basic premise is that this girl, Julie Powell, decides to actually do something with her life and cook all of Julia Child's recipes from her cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, in a years time. She sets up a blog about it and posts frequently about it.

Well, I'm getting away from myself, let me get back on track. Watching this movie last night made me want to do 2 things. The first was to make that damn beef stew that she burns in the movie (I conveniently have a dutch oven that's brand new to use) and the second is to really get back to my blogging.

So here's the deal, I'm going to attempt to post to my blog 4-5 times a week on various crafting related topics and occasionally throw in some stuff about the rest of my life. Now I'm not doing this to get some kind of recognition I'm doing it to get myself back into good habits about keeping up with my jewelry business.

What could be easier than blogging? (please don't answer that, it was a rhetorical question)

So stay tuned fellow followers, strap in, hang on it's going to be a fun ride...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

It was time for a change

I've been playing around with getting my hair cut for some time now. I finally decided to do it last week. I normally have shoulder-length hair. I've been told for at least 15 years that I'd look great with an angle cut. I've been putting it off for a while (like I said, at least 15 years). Last week I finally decided to just do it. I checked with the hubby to see if he'd be ok with it because he likes long hair. We found him a picture of exactly what it would look like and he said to go for it. So I decided to share with my fellow bloggers the final result. Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Life gets in the way...

When you have a full time job and a 'part time' job that's really more of a hobby the life that pays the bills often gets in the way. I've taken a hiatus from the blogging and handmade worlds recently because there just hasn't been enough time to devote to my 'part time' job.

Has anything really suffered? No, but it's disappointing to myself that I cannot devote the time that I really want to my jewelry business. I have done another sample box at the Spotted Box again that went out in August. I wanted to do June but due to a death in my sister-in-law's family things got a bit de-railed. I'll have some $10 gift certificates in next month's box. It's a special anniversary box, TSB's 2nd so that should be fun. I'd like to do another Spotted box in October, I'll have to get working on a Halloween theme.

I really need to update my artfire studio as well. I have several items to list and others waiting to have photos taken.

I've had a few sales during my break which have been really great. One was for a set of wine charms that was purchased off my artfire shop and that lead to 2 more sets for similar charms. I've also had a custom order from a good friend of mine (thanks Stacy) for a really beautiful necklace that we designed together. It started off as chain then went to beads and finished in a eagle charm. She's a high school teacher and the school colors are green and white and the mascot is an eagle. It came our very nicely. I may use that same premise for a line for my online shop. I've also had a few sales in the form of jewelry repair. Mostly re-stringing necklaces that have broken. That's fine and I don't mind doing that kind of thing so I'll probably only do it for friends and family.

The last thing that I have been up to has been presented to me last night. My sister-in-laws birthday is coming up in a few weeks and she wants me to make her something. She gave me some good ideas and showed me her current collection of jewelry so I can get an idea of what she likes. She'd like an anklet or a necklace. She doesn't read my blog but I'm thinking that I'm going to make her one of each. I really do like to do custom orders. It's so much fun to create something for someone that no one else has and they like to help me design the piece as well.

Anyway, my current project at work is wrapping up this week and I'll be headed back into the office again starting on Monday. I'm really quite excited about it. What it means for me is that I'll have a nice normal schedule again and my days will be somewhat predictable again.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Check it out - I'm the Featured Artist on The Spotted Box Blog!

So I'm a participant in The Spotted Box. What it is for those of you who don't know is a sample box of handmade/organic/eco-friendly products from various handmade sellers. The box goes on sale the 15th of every month. There's a huge variety of samples in it. You can check out my blog post here to see what came in my box this month. Each box is different, no 2 are a like which is part of the fun because you know who is participating but you won't know who will be in your box until it arrives and you open it.

Anyway, they do weekly artist features and this week I'm up! To read all about me (yes I'm shamelessly promoting myself) check it out here.

If you would like to be part of the box in an upcoming month go to for more info and be sure to tell Tory that I (Jewelry by Desiree) referred you.
The best part is that if you give 60 or more samples you get a free box of your own (totally worth it in my opinion).

Monday, April 20, 2009

Featured Artist - Ninja Jenn

- What is your shop name and what does it mean to you?

Ninja Jenn - it's something my friends have always called me (LOL). I can get myself into some funny situations, as I am totally clumsy and eccentric (which is a dangerous combo!), but somehow I always manage to "save myself" just in time. One day a friend called me a "Ninja of Chaos" and the Ninja part has just stuck...

- What websites do you sell on how did you decide on which ones?

and Made it Myself
I started out on Etsy, but I was looking for something a little more welcoming and fun... thank God I found artfire! I just recently started selling on the other two... mostly just to try a few new venues out. My heart definitely lies with Artfire, though.

- How long have you been crafting?

Essentially all my life...but i've only been selling for about 10 years

- Tell me any interesting things about you that you would like to share.

I am totally quirky. I keep really strange hours. I love people. I used to run a bar. I used to be a real estate broker. I love music. I'm a car dancing fool. I laugh ALL the time. My family is SO very important to me. I've gone to the same church my entire life and I still love it there (even though i've tried all the major religions... and some minor ones... over the last 30 years LOL).

- What do you sell in your shop?

Mostly jewelry. I use recycled materials whenever I can. I love using resin on everything. I am about to list a few new things, though, like magnets and trinket boxes.

- Tell us about your crafting space.

Well, technically I have a "studio" set up in my home... but it's a constant work in progress LOL. The reality is that I craft all over the house... and all over my friends' houses... and all over my mom's house... well... you get the picture... LOL

- Do you belong to any guilds, teams or other indie craft organizations?

I just got accepted to my first guild ever - the Fairweather Friends Guild on Artfire

- Where do you find inspiration?

Everywhere. I love to roam through craft stores and thrift stores trying to find things I can breathe new life into... and I simply ADORE the hardware store... I can think of a million and one uses for all the stuff in Home Depot! LOL

- Tell me a bit about your creative process

Mostly it's a crafting free-for-all LOL... I grab a ton of stuff, drink a lot of coffee, and just go to town... there's really no rhyme or reason to it! I just let the creativity flow and hope for the best!

- Where have you learned to do what you do?

Mostly I am self-taught. I've always been that kid that took everything apart just to put it back together... and that has run over into my creative life. I love to buy mass-marketed things, rip them to pieces to find out how they were put together, and try to make one my way... hopefully better as well! I constantly read everything I can about crafting, arts, music... so a lot of what I read spills into my creating too.

- What is your favorite item in your shop right now?

I love everything in my shop, but currently I am in liking my domino pendants a whole lot...

- Why is it your favorite?

A friend found me these wonderful vintage pressman dominos at an estate sale, and it took me forever to decide what to do with them... Now that I have found a use for them, I love them far more than I thought I would!

- What is your favorite part of your craft?

I love taking something that someone else didn't want and breathing new life into it... it makes me feel good to know that I am keeping things "in the cycle" and doing my part to help our environment

- What is your least favorite part?

Paperwork... I am NEVER caught up on organizing my purchase receipts... I don't think it will EVER happen tbh LOL

- How did you get started with your craft?

My family is a crafty family in general... we are always making stuff in one way or another... whether it's sewing, cooking, painting, whatever. It’s just in my blood I guess...

- If you sell on more than one site which is your favorite and why?

Artfire... BY FAR! I LOVE the community there, and the listing process is hands down the easiest I have found

- What makes your shop unique?

NINJAS! lol... seriously though... I like to think I’m what makes it unique... I try to give the best service and product to each of my customers, and I always try to make each buyers experience unique in and of itself...

- What advice do you have for other independent crafters just starting out?

Do what you love! Don’t worry who else is doing what, or what they are selling or not selling... just pour your heart into your art and the rest will fall into place!

- Where else can we find you on the web?

Facebook, MySpace, just about anywhere... I am an internet kinda gal! ;0)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

April's Spotted Box

This has been the second box that I have been a part of. This month’s box was great. Only my second box but I’m so happy with it. So many great samples I can’t wait to use them this time. Here’s what came in my box this time around.

2 by 2 Boutique - $5 gift certificate
Clear Hills Honey Company – Lip Balm samples (one of my favs)
Coffeybean Boutique – Clean Beans (can’t wait to try these out)
Country Soaps by Marlene – Rosemary Gardeners Soap (can’t wait to shower with it)
Creative Thought – Quotes (I'll have to find a cute way to use these, maybe as an extra in my jewelry orders)
Crochet Frog – fun hair band (I’ll have to try this one out soon)
Custom Candy Creations & Memories by Olenka – Cute little basket with some candy in it (and man are these little wintergreen candies good!)
Elizabear Crayon Designs – Little green duck crayon (can’t wait to give it to my nephew)
Fluffinfixings – Upcycled Baggie (I’ll have to use this in my jewelry packaging)
Glittersniffer – Mineral Makeup sample, eye shadow (can’t wait to use it)
Goose Hill Designs – Gingerbread Man Crayon (another to go to my nephew)
Glory by Herbals – Lavender Sachet (gonna put this in my pj drawer)
Kinder Klothes – wipe (no kids yet but it will still get used!)
Lil’ Bit Sassy – Mini Envelope (these I love, might need to buy more!)
The Melting Pot Candle Co. – Cotton Candy tart (now I need a tart burner!)
Monkey Tree Creations – Sleepy Sleepy Tea (I love tea, so excited about this one)
My Whimsie – Cotton Face Scrubbie (love it, perfect size too)
Naturally Adorable – Bamboo cloth (way cool)
Pony Pretties –Pony (meant for kids but I like it so I’ll probably use it myself)
Seventeen Stone - $10 gift certificate and a lollypop
ShopBub – Pretty gift tags (The next thing that I wrap is getting these on it)
Social Butterflies – Hair Clip (this one will have to go to my friend’s little girl)
Stitch ‘N Love – Hair clippies (also will go to Skylar)
Sudzy Baby – Goats Milk Lotion & Healing Hemp Balm (love this one)
Tiffany’s Trinkets – Cell Phone charm (I’ll probably use this as a zipper pull)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Looking for more artists to Feature

Hey there all of my followers (old and new).

I'm running out of interviews to put up on my blog. Anyone interested in being featured on my blog here please contact me through blogger or through artfire. Just go to my artfire page at and hit the contact button and let me know that you would like to be featured!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Featured Artist - Twilights Fancy

- What’s your name and where are you from?

I'm just north of Hollywood and I go by a few different names. Lisa when I'm on camera as an extra in movies and television, Rina Slayter when I'm making purses or sewing costumes, Ashleigh Raine when I'm writing romance novels and Twyla when I'm making Twilight's Fancy necklaces. I also happily answer to "Hey you!"

-What is your shop name and what does it mean to you?
My shop's name is Twilight's Fancy. It has a couple different meanings. In college when I was a theatrical lighting designer, I earned the nickname Twilight through my use of color. My work is creating what I fancy. Thus, Twilight's Fancy. However, there's an equally important genesis. In the romance novels I write with my best friend (as Ashleigh Raine), there's a character named Twyla, a corruption of twilight, and she makes necklaces that are fancy. Again, Twilight's Fancy.
- What websites do you sell on how did you decide on which ones?

My shop at Artfire is . That's where I post my necklaces. I also have a shop at Etsy where I post my purses and various other bits I make or would like to pass on to a good home. I didn't think I'd really dive in as much as I have, so I never imagined I'd end up with two shops, but that's how it went. And so it shall go forward! I list something new every day. It's a challenge, but one I happily accept.

- How long have you been crafting?

Do pipe cleaner candy canes count? If so, since I was about three or four! In other words, I've been around various crafts all my life. My mom used to sew and arrange flowers and my grandma was a seamstress and knitted a lot. I don't do the same things they did, but by being around them watching, I learned that if I wanted something bad enough, I should just make it. Following that logic, in junior high, I got very heavily into jewelry making and recycling old broken necklaces. Since then, not much has changed!

-Tell me any interesting things about you that you would like to share.

I'm a strange bird. No, really. My friends say I'm weird, but they love me that way. I've been in more than one hundred movies and television shows. I write romance novels with my best friend. I never learned how to ride a bicycle, but I drive and work on my classic cars. I'm a paranormal investigator for the TAPS West Coast Home Team. While I don't get to investigate with Jason and Grant from Ghost Hunters, I'm on their team and they're really awesome guys. In high school, I was a band geek (flute, piccolo, xylophone, saxophone). In college, I was a stagehand (props, carpentry, lighting, sound). On Fridays, I usually don one of my wacky, tacky, ugly vintage outfits and boldly wear it while running errands. Yes, it takes a lot of nerve to wear a plaid burlap pantsuit like it's just another outfit!

-What do you sell in your shop?

For the most part, I sell my handmade glass beaded Twilight's Fancy necklaces in my shop. I also sell handmade purses and ribbon choker necklaces with beads.

- Tell us about your crafting space.

I love my craft room. I really do. When I first met my husband, he'd just bought the house. The previous owner's wife used to sew, so the room already had a cutting table and a long counter for sewing machines. (Don't tell hubby, but that sewing room was one of the reasons I married him!) We've added shelves over the years in order to hold all of my supplies: beads, fabric, tools, antique doll parts (doll restoration is one of my many hobbies.)
-Do you belong to any guilds, teams or other indie craft organizations?

I'm just getting started in organizations. I've joined a few on ArtFire, but not yet on Etsy. Give me some time. I'll definitely get involved one way or another!-Where do you find inspiration?I dunno where I find inspiration. It kinda finds me. Usually, it has something to do with color. I'll be organizing my beads and a certain color will just stand out and I'll have to make a necklace out of it. Also, since one of the characters I write in the Talisman Bay series makes necklaces, too, I like to pretend I'm her and live in her world as she works. Twyla's a firecracker and I can only dream of having her guts!

-Tell me a bit about your creative process

First I either choose a color or the color chooses me. Then, I may or may not choose a second color. From there, I look through my bead inventory and pull out all the beads that seem appropriate. I begin laying them out and see what happens. Usually, I'll have a full necklace designed in about a half hour. From there, I have to build it. That can take anywhere from a half hour to three hours depending on how the necklace is constructed and how cooperative my beads are that day.

- Where have you learned to do what you do?

In high school, I tried to take a jewelry making class, but on the second day, I brought in a few of my pieces and the teacher told me there wasn't anything to learn from his class. He is an awesome teacher and even told me to transfer out that day, but keep working, keep creating, keep building. I most definitely did. Part of me wishes I'd taken the class, the other part of me is glad I didn't because I went off to experiment on my own to find out what works for me.

-What is your favorite item in your shop right now?

Sure, I love my purses and ribbon choker necklaces, but my Twilight's Fancy necklaces are truly my heart. They've been with me the longest and I'm at my happiest when I'm designing and building them. My favorite item right now is my most difficult to make, but good golly it looks awesome. It's a necklace I've titled "Good Omen". It's much harder to do than my signature Twilight's Fancy necklaces. I never make the same necklace twice and while I'll continue this design, I don't make them very often. In fact, I've only made two from this design. The first one was a prototype for myself and then I made Good Omen. It has dangles as well as a second strand, but since I don't string the beads, it's difficult to balance the correct lengths using beads on eye pins. Each link is done by hand and it takes a long time and requires a lot more precision than a regular Twilight's Fancy necklace.

-Why is it your favorite?

- What is your favorite part of your craft?

My favorite part of making necklaces is seeing people's eyes light up when they smile at my work. Making Twilight's Fancy necklaces brings me joy. Seeing my necklaces bring joy to others is why I make them in the first place.

- What is your least favorite part?

My least favorite part is the big dent I get in the end of my left thumbnail from securing beads on the eye pins. It's the best tool I take with me everywhere, but it's not exactly the prettiest.

-How did you get started with your craft?

I got started making jewelry because I had no money, but I had a bunch of old broken necklaces. I made the best of what was around me and still do. In college, I was a seat filler for some rather large televised awards shows (I even tripped and face-planted in a celebrity's lap once! I was so embarrassed.). Anyhow, I didn't have the money for a gown and jewels, so I made my outfits from $1/yard fabric and recycled old broken necklaces. Also, a friend of mine bet me that I couldn't make something out of the frayed and broken clutch cable from his car. Yes, the prototype Twilight's Fancy necklace was made with a broken car part even though no one would ever guess. That necklace inspired the one I made while I was a seat filler. That necklace inspired me to write Twyla as a necklace designer in the Talisman Bay series by Ashleigh Raine. All that just because I didn't have the money for what I wanted, so I just made it myself.
-If you sell on more than one site which is your favorite and why?

I'm not real sure why I like ArtFire more than Etsy, but I do. I think it might have something to do with how user-friendly it is, but I find myself surfing ArtFire more often than Etsy even though there's more traffic at Etsy. I figure that if ArtFire keeps going the way it is, it'll catch up to Etsy traffic-wise. We just gotta get the word out. It's still sort of a secret, but I think it's catching on. More people are hearing about it.

-What makes your shop unique?

My shop is unique in that my necklaces are the real thing from the Talisman Bay series novels. I list a new one every day and I never make the same necklace twice. Sure, they follow a similar design, but that's what makes a Twilight's Fancy necklace, a Twilight's Fancy necklace. All of my purses and ribbon choker necklaces are unique as well. I never make the same thing twice.

-What advice do you have for other independent crafters just starting out?

Don't give up. Laugh a lot...even when the cards are stacked against you. If you stay true to what you love, what you love will stay true to you.

-Where else can we find you on the web?

My website is where you can find out all sorts of crazy stuff about me. I'm into a lot of different things and I try to blog about them all.
and at on facebook.
My twitterfeed is at

Monday, March 30, 2009

Featured Artist - Bijoux Designs For You

-What’s your name and where are you from?

My name is April and together with my mother Glenda we are Bijoux Designs For You. We hail from just outside of Toronto, Ontario Canada.

-What is your shop name and what does it mean to you?

Our shop name is Bijoux Designs For You. We wanted something a little fancy but a little everyday! Bijoux is French for jewelry so we thought it gave our shop a bit of exoticism while staying true to our desire to reach the everyday woman.

- What websites do you sell on how did you decide on which ones?

We sell on both Etsy and Artfire. We sold on Etsy first after specifically looking for an online venue for handmade items and we thought it was a good start for our first virtual shop. It wasn’t until this past November that we joined Artfire after looking into several other markets. We decided on Artfire because of the flat monthly fee and really enjoy the community there.

- How long have you been crafting?

I have been crafting my entire life. The “fever” was instilled in me by my mother who is multi-talented. For as long as I can remember she has sewn and done folkart and that is where my own crafting journey began. About 4 years ago I took her to a jewelry making class for her birthday and we were both instantly hooked!

-Tell me any interesting things about you that you would like to share.

I am the mommy to a beautiful almost 7 month old baby boy! In my pre-mommy life I used to be involved in the local theatrical community. I have had my Oscar speech ready since I was a little girl! I have an English degree and met my wonderful hubby while working at a newspaper as proofreader (office romance!)

-What do you sell in your shop?

We sell affordable and fun jewelry and gift items for women who still want to be stylish but are on a budget.

- Tell us about your crafting space.

My craft space is a disaster! I try to keep it organized but it just never seems to work out that way. Some how I know where everything is though. My mother on the other hand, has a whole room for her studio. She has everything labeled and hanging on pegboards and in containers…I’m so jealous!

-Do you belong to any guilds, teams or other indie craft organizations?

On Artfire we belong to the Artfire Jewelry Design and Jewelry Supply Guild, The Canadian Guild and the Crafty Moms Guild. We currently don’t belong to any Etsy teams but there are a few that we have looked into.

-Where do you find inspiration?

Sometimes inspiration comes from making a piece for myself to match an outfit, sometimes it’s a great bead or charm, sometimes you just wake up at 3am with an ah-hah moment!

-Tell me a bit about your creative process.

My mom likes to lay everything out first and then put a piece together. I am more of a build as I go type.- Where have you learned to do what you do? My mother taught me to sew and paint. As mentioned above we took a class a few years ago and have just learned from there.

-What is your favorite item in your shop right now?

The pink and white MOM bookmark

-Why is it your favorite?

I love to read and remember going to book fairs as a kid and searching for the perfect bookmark. Being a new mommy I am also addicted to anything that announces it to the world (as if I don’t do that enough). Plus its pink!
You can find it in our Artfire studio
and our Etsy shop

- What is your favorite part of your craft?

Seeing an idea go from concept to completion and then having a customer get as excited about a piece as I am!

- What is your least favorite part?

Sometimes I feel like I spend SOOOOO much time promoting and not enough time creating.

-If you sell on more than one site which is your favorite and why?

I enjoy certain aspects of both selling venues. I think that you have to find what works best for your own shop but a supportive community is definitely a necessity for us.

-What makes your shop unique?

Our bookmarks and microwave mitts are extremely popular and we have scoured many suppliers to find great charms and materials at a good cost so that we can bring them to you at a very reasonable price. It’s nice even on the tightest budget to be able to treat yourself to something special.

-What advice do you have for other independent crafters just starting out?

Be prepared for A LOT of work, not just the work of creating. Learning to take good pictures, write good descriptions and the sheer amount of promotion involved can be overwhelming. I think that many people are under the illusion that if they just make and list items the business will start pouring in. While that may be true for some, for most it is a long journey (one that we are having a blast with!)

-Where else can we find you on the web?

You can also find us at,
you can tweet with us at
and find our blog at

Monday, March 23, 2009

Featured Artist - Rue Kream of Peaches & Kream

- What’s your name and where are you from?

My name is Rue Kream, and I live in Massachusetts.

-What is your shop name and what does it mean to you?

My shop name is Peaches & Kream. When we moved to our current house nine years ago we were excited to find we had inherited an old peach tree. It yielded a huge amount of fruit, so I gave myself a crash course in canning. My sister made ‘Peaches & Kream’ labels for my canning jars, playing off my last name. So for me my shop name is all wrapped up in the taste of sunshine and the connection of family.

- What websites do you sell on how did you decide on which ones?

I sell on etsy. I’ve shopped on etsy for a long time, so I was familiar with the site and felt comfortable setting up shop there.

- How long have you been crafting?

About ten years. Up until then I had believed I wasn’t a creative person. I was happy to find out I was wrong.

-Tell me any interesting things about you that you would like to share.

My kids don’t go to school, and I’ve written and published a book about unschooling (

-What do you sell in your shop?

I make sterling jewelry, often incorporating everyday and vintage components, and I also make needle-felted items.

- Tell us about your crafting space.

We’re in the middle of creating a family studio. I love designing functional and beautiful spaces, so I’m really enjoying myself. It’s going to have a big built in shelving unit – about 11 feet wide – and enough work space that the four of us can each have a spot to ourselves while still being together.

-Do you belong to any guilds, teams or other indie craft organizations?

Not yet.

-Where do you find inspiration?

Everywhere. I love color and balance and texture and strive to really look at the world around me.

-Tell me a bit about your creative process

I have a million ideas banging into each other in my head all the time. Most often I write them down, which helps quiet things down in there. About half the time I sit down to create I have a specific idea I want to work on. The other half of the time I just get out a bunch of supplies and pick them up and move them around and let my hands lead instead of my head.

- Where have you learned to do what you do?

I learned to make jewelry by reading on the Internet. There’s so much information available. One site I found helpful in the beginning was I learned needle-felting by just playing with the wool.

-What is your favorite item in your shop right now?

I’d say my Earth and Sky necklace

-Why is it your favorite?
Because it’s the one I’d be most likely to wear myself.

- What is your favorite part of your craft?


- What is your least favorite part?

Poking myself with a barbed needle.

-How did you get started with your craft?

I first became interested in making jewelry when my older daughter got a wire jewelry kit as a present. She asked me to help her figure it out and I was hooked. I became interested in needle-felting when I saw some tapestries on the blog of another unschooling mom. (That artist was Julie Persons, who has a beautiful etsy shop: )

- What makes your shop unique?

Well, we all see the world slightly differently, and hopefully that comes through in my work.

-What advice do you have for other independent crafters just starting out?

I’m new to selling online myself, so I don’t feel qualified to give advice on the selling aspect yet. On the creative aspect, I’d say try new things. Don’t pigeon-hole yourself as ‘a painter’ or ‘a jewelry designer’. You can be lots of things at the same time.

-Where else can we find you on the web?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Featured Artist - The Empty Nest

- What’s your name and where are you from?

My name is Janet Metzger and I am from New York, but live in Warrenton,Va.

-What is your shop name and what does it mean to you?

My shop name is The Empty Nest so named because my two handsome sons are on their own (I miss them, they make me laugh)

- What websites do you sell on how did you decide on which ones?

For now I sell on Etsy at, I found it by accident

- How long have you been crafting?

I have been creating treasures all my life and got serious back in the 80's

-Tell me any interesting things about you that you would like to share.

I am the first girl in a family of eleven. Was born in Tarrytown,NY on Sleepy Hollow Lane ...yup THAT Sleepy Hollow

-What do you sell in your shop?

I sell a very eclectic mix of handsewn, handpainted and handknitted creations

- Tell us about your crafting space.

I work from a home studio that my wonderful husband set up for me. I have a table for painting and sewing, lots of shelves for all my beautiful fabrics. I have a television, DVD player for movies and my indispensable Ipod dock. My husband teases that if I had a litter box and a refrigerator, I would never have to come out.

-Do you belong to any guilds, teams or other indie craft organizations?

Not yet a member of any org. pretty much stay in space and create

-Where do you find inspiration?

My inspiration is my life around me...where I live, my friends, the birds at my many feeders, music...everything

-Tell me a bit about your creative process

Usually a piece of fabric or felted sweater will tell me what it wants done to it by it's feel or texture and color. When I paint it's the pictures in my mind dictate what comes from my brush.

- Where have you learned to do what you do?

Mom taught me to crochet, Google to knit, Nancy Tribolet to paint and myself to needle felt

-What is your favorite item in your shop right now?

My favorite item is my Hostess apron featured in Apronology magazine

- What is your favorite part of your craft?

The doing part and seeing the results

- What is your least favorite part?

Love it all...well maybe the cleanup

-How did you get started with your craft?

It has been so long I no longer remember

-What makes your shop unique?

Unique for my one of a kind offerings and beautiful fabrics and textures

-What advice do you have for other independent crafters just starting out?

My advice is stop thinking about and go for it!

-Where else can we find you on the web?

My blog is
Featured on

Was featured on

Monday, March 9, 2009

Featured Artist - Shiny Things by Orin Drake

- What’s your name and where are you from?
My name's Orin Drake, and I'm originally from Arizona. I've been living in Massachusetts for 10 years now, yet I still don't feel "like a local". Must be the snow.

-What is your shop name and what does it mean to you?

My shop's name is "Shiny Things by Orin Drake", and that... pretty much encompasses everything that I do. Whether it's jewelry, sculpture, painting, or working with fabric, I do rather like to make everything shiny.
- What websites do you sell on how did you decide on which ones?

Currently I'm selling on both Etsy and ArtFire. I started off on Etsy because it was my first real introduction to artists actually selling for themselves online, and I liked the set-up. I gave ArtFire a try because I was looking for the "second generation"; a.k.a. the newer site that had learned from the older site's mistakes, which tend to work out really well. I'm keeping both for the moment just because I've become known for my Etsy site, but... eventually I just may have to move over to ArtFire completely.

- How long have you been crafting?
For as long as I can remember. My mother taught me really simple crochet when I was young, and it just seemed to have sparked something. School was a good excuse to make all kinds of weird fun things, too, so my craftiness was encouraged. After a while it just became the best way to be creative and de-stress, and here I am trying to make a living on it.

-Tell me any interesting things about you that you would like to share.

I am a packrat. I just am. If something looks interesting and is given to me or I can afford it at the time, I will take it and I will keep it, for years, until I find some use for it. This has only served me well. Also, I'm easily able to ignore the complaints of other people for being a packrat.
-What do you sell in your shop?

Right now I'm selling jewelry, mostly. All different kinds of necklaces, a few earrings, bracelets, and my "infamous" dragon bracelets of which I always wind up more proud of than I should. Probably. I've also got some "geeky" items that prove I love video games, some sculpture, and am planning to add more plush items/soft sculpture in the near future.
- Tell us about your crafting space.

My crafting space has somehow spread from one desk to the whole of the boiler room. It's really a lot more comfortable than it sounds, especially now that I'm giving in and totally rearranging it for my needs. There's an old dresser to use for storage space, an old glass-front stereo cabinet in order to display the more fragile things, and some Sterilite things on wheels! I have no idea why those amuse me, but they do. Oh yes, and there's also a desk that I'm working on seeing again, since everything is currently piled on top of it during the rearrange.

-Do you belong to any guilds, teams or other indie craft organizations?

Right now I believe to the Whimsical and Magical Artisans Guild, which looked completely appealing since whimsy really describes the "creative process" to me. I'm also trying to start The Geekery Guild, but apparently few people on ArtFire are willing to admit they're geeks yet. The day will come, I assure you.

-Where do you find inspiration?

Anything and everything. It's a cliche answer, but it's true. I'll just see something--a form, a color, etc.--and it sticks with me and winds up in something. Music is a big inspiration, too.
-Tell me a bit about your creative process

I really don't know what there is to tell. A get hold of materials, find something to do with them, and see it through from start to finish. Some of them tell me stories, some just are as they are. Rarely do I have a clear image of what I want to accomplish first. I just like to let something be itself, weird as that may seem.

- Where have you learned to do what you do?
Mostly? The Internet. Invaluable resource. Then I just built upon basic skills, and hope to continue to do so.

-What is your favorite item in your shop right now?

I have to admit, I still feel a bit of pride every time I walk by Andrew:

-Why is it your favorite?

He's such an accomplishment for me. From making the pattern all myself to sewing the wings by hand (not to mention putting him all together by hand), he just represents so much love and work and devotion to all things dragon and shiny. And I made him a necklace, an "old skill" meeting a new one.

- What is your favorite part of your craft?

The result. *grin* Something to look at and honestly wonder, "I did that?!"

- What is your least favorite part?

Often times, clean-up. Of course it's a necessary part of the process, but that doesn't mean that I can't hate it quietly.

-How did you get started with your craft?

Jewelry sort of came naturally over time because, well, I love shiny objects. So making shiny objects just seemed logical. Crochet came from childhood and the desire to make something awesome out of very simple materials. Plushes/"stuffed animals" are sort of a natural evolution too, since I like dealing with characters.

-If you sell on more than one site which is your favorite and why?

I am moving a little bit toward ArtFire, I must admit. Sure it's shiny and new, but there are just little features that I appreciate. Being updated when an item gets shipped, for instance, and having separate places for the item descriptions and story behind them. Granted at the time of this writing I haven't gotten a sale through ArtFire yet, but there's plenty of time.

-What makes your shop unique?

The obvious love and celebration of shiny, of course! Well, maybe not so much that--it's a love and celebration of all things shiny and fun with a story to tell and a rather casual attitude toward... everything. Except the shiny. The shiny is serious business.
-What advice do you have for other independent crafters just starting out?

Don't get discouraged! You're going to hear that a lot, but that's because it's true. Some people just plain aren't going to like your stuff, that's just how it goes--but somewhere out there, someone will LOVE it. It's all a matter of time and trying again and again. So long as you enjoy what you're doing, focus on that and the rest will come.

-Where else can we find you on the web?

I'm a little bit of everywhere! But my base is my web site: From there you'll find my omnipresence on the web, from shiny things to writing to music to sheer weird insanity. But in a fun way, of course.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Featured Artist - Linda B

- What's your name and where are you from?
I'm Linda B. from the Chicagoland suburbs.

-What is your shop name and what does it mean to you?
My shop name is
When I signed up for Etsy (same name), I didn't know that would be the name of the shop, but the 1+4+2 = 7, the days of the week that G-d created. So, the number acknowledges G-d and Creation.

- What websites do you sell on how did you decide on which ones?
I sell my handbeaded jewelry creations at , (my Website).And you can find me also at and

- How long have you been crafting?
I've been crafting for about 15 years, but focusing on jewelry and stamping for the past 4.

-Tell me any interesting things about you that you would like to share.
I have a tremor in my hands and head that makes me shake. It's sometimes challenging to finish off a piece off jewelry. But, I love a good challenge.

-What do you sell in your shop?
In my shops, I sell one-of-a-kind handbeaded gemstone and glass jewelry. I've been using sterling silver earwires lately, either fishhooks, which I love, and leverback, which my friend really likes. I have a ton of stamping supplies too, but there's not enough time in the day.

- Tell us about your crafting space.
My crafting spaces are all over our house, I create jewelry in the dining room, paper items and do photography at my drafting table in the bedroom, candle supplies are in the garage and my computer is in the office bedroom.

-Do you belong to any guilds, teams or other indie craft organizations?
I'm in the Jewelry Guild, Self Representing Artist Jewelry Designer, the EtsyBead Team, the EtsyTwitter Team, the EtsyChai team, and I've just been accepted into the Etsy Bloggers Team.

-What is your favorite item in your shop right now?
Right now, my favorite item is my Luck of the Irish Malachite sterling silver earrings

-Why is it your favorite?
I love malachite and green represents healing and the heart chakra. My husband gave me a piece of malachite years ago, and it's a feel good stone.

-Where do you find inspiration?
I'm inspired by gemstone and glass bead colors, different shapes and healing characteristics.

-How did you get started with your craft?
Years ago, I went to a women's group study and we listened to a rabbi talk about Esther and women in the Bible, and made bracelets. Since then, I've been addicted.

- Where have you learned to do what you do?
I'm self-taught and I subscribe to BeadStyle Magazine to create variations of some items that impress me. I enjoy doing custom work, based on the color of a piece of clothing or having the client show me an piece of jewelry to making a matching bracelet or pair of earrings.

- What is your favorite part of your craft?
The favorite part of my craft is creating and having people buy my creations and wear my originals.

- What is your least favorite part?
It's tough to take pictures, and promote because it takes a lot of time. I work full time, you see, and I'd rather be creating!

-What advice do you have for other independent crafters just starting out?
Advice: take excellent pictures of your items, no matter how many times you have to re-shoot them. I'm still learning and got a tripod from my cousin, who's an excellent photographer. Post in the forums and get to know people. Join teams, participate and be kind to other sellers. Chat Rooms are fun, but one can spend too much time in them, so use them wisely.

-What makes your shop unique?
There are so many jewelry designers online, what makes my shop unique is that my creations are from my heart and soul and G-d given talent. I combine gemstones and glass to make my items more affordable. I love working with gemstone or glass pendants and creating around them.

-Where else can we find you on the web?
My blog is
Twitter me at
Web (new)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Have you heard about

There is this new site to promote handmade artists called It is a wonderful community. I found about it through my website on Artfire. You have a blog, clubhouses, spotlights (like etsy treasuries) and forums.

I didn't realize that I was getting much exposure on the site until a Google Alert for my full name popped up for a tutorial that I wrote that I posted. Here's the link to the site that borrowed me I'm not sure how Debra Roby found me on ByHand but I am glad that she did.

If you aren't already on come check us out!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Featured Artisan - Sonja of SIlver River Jewelry

Each week I'll be featuring another artisan as part of a new weekly post.
Here's my interview with Sonja of Silver River Jewelry
What’s your name and where are you from? My name is Sonja and I am from Ohio
What is your shop name and what does it mean to you? My business name is Silver River Jewelry. This name has my dreams of living by water wrapped up in it lol and also, since I use a LOT of metal, a river of silver seemed appropriate.
What websites do you sell on how did you decide on which ones? I have narrowed my websites down to Artfire, 1000Markets, Etsy and my own .com

How long have you been crafting? My entire life, as a child I had such a love affair with crayons and I learned to crochet in 2nd grade.

Tell me any interesting things about you that you would like to share. Hmmm that's a tough one lol. I love to garden and read but don't have time to do much of either, I love being around the water and outdoors.

What do you sell in your shop? Jewelry of course.

Tell us about your crafting space. I have two crafting spaces. My husband bought me a huge 6 foot desk that is in the living room (he says its so he can actually see me on a regular basis lol) which is where I do all of the beading and wire wrapping. I also take up the entire basement wall with my metal smithing and lapidary equipment..

Do you belong to any guilds, teams or other indie craft organizations? Yes several here on artfire and also on etsy.

Where do you find inspiration? anywhere and everywhere. Nature and a lot of times I can just sit down and look at all the beads and usually something will inspire me.

Tell me a bit about your creative process. It all starts in my head. I have soo many ideas running around up there lol! I have been known to sketch stuff out on napkins in a restaurant when an idea hits.

Where have you learned to do what you do? mostly self taught except for 1 metal smithing class and the lapidary clubs instruction on cabbing.

What is your favorite item in your shop right now? My new series of rustic wildflower pendants.

Why is it your favorite? (Please provide a link) I love what the flame does to the copper and its a very earth series that ties in to my love of nature.

What is your favorite part of your craft? I love all of it really but turning the torch on and looking at the raw materials with the endless possibilities, that moment is probably my favorite.

What is your least favorite part? Polishing the finished pieces.

How did you get started with your craft? I bought my daughter a beading kit 3 years ago for her birthday. She decided she really didn't like doing it and I picked it up one night out of shear boredom. I made four pairs of earrings and a necklace that night and that was pretty much it for me lol!

If you sell on more than one site which is your favorite and why? I have two favorites really Artfire and 1000Markets. I really think these two sites are going to be the ones that are hugely successful in the future. I love Artfire for many reasons, the top two being the people I have met and the accessibility and openness of the admin. And its super easy to list and sell. 1000Markets is very different but a lot of the same things apply.

What makes your shop unique? Excellent quality, a wide range of techniques and price points and great customer service.

What advice do you have for other independent crafters just starting out? Learn your camera inside and out if you are going to sell on the web and take really good pictures. Be patient, it WILL most likely take months or even years to become truly successful, and be prepared to work very hard at many other things besides your crafting if you want to make it work.

Where else can we find you on the web? SilverRiverJewelry.Com, also flickr, facebook, and myspace.