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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.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Looking to Feature Artisans

I have been toying with the idea of having a weekly artisan feature on my blog. I'm in the process of making up the questions. So I'm putting it out there. Who wants to be featured? It doesn't matter where you sell. Send me a message through here or Artfire and I will send you the questions. I'm JewerlybyDesiree on artfire.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I won the Artfire Treasure Hunt!

So, most if not all of my fellow Artfire sellers know about the treasure hunt that Moonstone put together. For those who don't there the gist of it was that there was a list of 35 questions that needed to be answered. The answers could be found by browsing through the participating artisan studios, there were 18 participating studios. You filled out the form and submitted it. The winner got $50 to spend in any of the participating studios. It was free to participate.

I happened to get the highest score, I got a 34. Technically I didn't get a question wrong, I got partial credit on 2 questions. There were 14 participants, including myself. The scores ranged from a 28 to 33 not including my 34.

I really had a great time trying to find the answers for all of the questions. There were only 2 questions that I had a tough time with. I'm thinking about being a participating studio next time.

Here's the items that I bought from 3 extremely talented artisans.
From Pirate Pixie
From Catinalife
From Roseange

Artfire has been a really wonderful community to belong to. It doesn't matter if you are verified or not, we are all on an even playing field. The Admin are great and are always in the forums and around to answer all of our questions. They also practically live on twitter. I'm not quite sure if some of them sleep. I do know that the pres, John does have dinner with the wife and kids as often as he can. Good for you John!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

How to Make a Multi-Strand Seed bead Necklace with only one length of Thread

I always seem to struggle with bead tips. Whenever I try it never seems to work out. Wire can be used but I really like the flexibility of thread or Fireline. There are numerous tutorials out there but none of them really clicked with me so I decided to try something different and see if it worked and it did.

First a little background on this one. I have my cousin’s wedding coming up in early March. Technically I’m the matron of honor but since they are having a civil ceremony I’m a witness. And that lead me to need to buy a new dress. I found the fabulous long dress that’s kind of black on one side and kind of red on the other and the colors merge in the center of the dress. Well now I need some jewelry to go with it. The idea for this set that I made came to me when I was in a team meeting at work.

Here’s what you need
- beading needle of your choice
- Scissors
- 6 tubes of seed beads (I used 6/0 but you could use whatever size you want), pick whatever colors you want. I used foil lined red, a silvery metallic, matte red, matte black and metallic silver
- 2 bead cones, whatever style you choose, mine are plain silver
- 2 – 10mm round beads (you could use a different size or even bicones or round ovals)
- 2 – eye pins (mine are about 2.5”)
- Clasp of your choosing
- 2 jump rings
- Fireline (or beading thread of your choice) I used 6lb test crystal

Start with about 3 ½ yards of fireline. Thread your needle then, leaving about a 6-8” tail tie a surgeon’s knot around the loop on the eye pin.

Thread the 10mm round bead snugging it up against the eye pin.

Thread on the seed beads. You can mix the colors or have separate colors in each strand.

Once you have gotten about to the length that you want your necklace to be (you will be adding anywhere from 1” to 2” with the cones and clasp so keep that in mind) thread on the other 10mm round bead tight to the strand of seed beads. Tie it off with another surgeon’s knot through the eye in the other pin making sure that there’s no slack between the strand of beads, 10mm bead or the eye pin. The cones hide the yucky part of the eye pin with all of your threads and knots so you can be a bit messy.

Run your needle back through the round bead and all the way through it.

String on another length of seed beads at about the same length as before and back up through the other round bead. Tie another surgeons knot making sure that there’s no slack in your strand.

Repeat this until you have as many strands as you want.

To finish the thread tie off another surgeon’s knot on each end and trim your thread. You can also add a dab of glue to each end where all of the knots meet.

To add the clasp string one of the bead cones over the eye pin tight to the round bead.

You can add a small bead to this end or leave it plain like I did. Finish off the pin with a wrapped loop. Repeat for the other end of the piece.

Attach a jump ring on each of the wrapped loops you made and add your clasp and voila! You have your multi strand necklace!

Here’s some pictures of my finished necklace and bracelet for my cousin’s wedding.

You can also see this article on Artdaily on Artfire here:

Monday, February 16, 2009

I won a Lemonade Award

My wonderful friend LibertyDoll nominated me for a Lemonade Award. I hope LibertyDoll doesn't mind I stole her version of the rules from her blog.... the rules are quite simple.

1.Put the logo on your blog or post

2.Nominate at least 5 - 10 blogs that show great Gratitude and/or Attitude.

3.Be sure to list and link your nominees within your post.

4.Let them know they have received this award by leaving a comment on their blog.

5.Nominate your favorites and link to your post.

This wonderful honor is now given to the following bloggers: GemsbyJeri, JStoneCreations, PicardCreative, DJStoreRoom, and DesignsbyLaurie . All these talented ladies have inspired me in one way or another. I enjoy following their blogs and seeing what they are up to.

Monday, February 9, 2009

One of my fellow Artfire Artisans is having a giveaway

There's this really great chainmaille artisan on Artfire that is having a giveaway for her 3-year etsy anniversary. Red Panda has amazing things in her shop.

You have many ways to enter.
1. One Entry. Comment on this blog post with a link to your favorite item from my etsy shop.2. One Entry. Write a blog post about this contest and comment with a perma link.3. One Entry. Tweet about this contest. Link to the exact tweet in the comment, not just your twitter account. You can do this one once per day!4. Three Entries. Each item you purchase from any of my shops will get you three entries into the contest. Make sure you comment with a link to the item you bought so you get your entries!

Here's the link to the contest.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I had my first sale in my Shop Handmade Store!

So, everyone remember the Bead Unique ad screw up? Well the editor that is my contact over there is doing everything that she can to make it up to me.

Currently I'm on the front page with my store being the 1 that they feature from time to time.

See it here

Well, I haven't really been all that pleased with my shop over there because I really do like artfire better but I'm keeping the store open for the exposure. I get this email a bit ago Notification of Payment Received. I look at my sold products on on AF site, not there.... Ok, so I check my SH site. Well look at that, I've sold 2 pairs of earrings. Woo Hoo! I go to paypal to double check to make sure that the payment is actually there, it is, good.

Maybe this BU mag screw up will be a good thing for me in the end.

Here's some pics of the earrings that I sold.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Got some bad news today...

So, some of you know that I am trying to pass my architecture tests to become licensed. I took what I was hoping were my last two in mid January. Well, I got my results back. Out of my 2 re-takes I passed one of the two. Not thinking it's all that bad are you? Well it is and here's why. If you fail a section of the ARE then you have to wait 6 months before re-taking that section. As if that wasn't bad enough they are transitioning the format of the exam so it's currently 9 sections and they are making it 7 sections. And the test that I just passed is combined with the one that I didn't so I get to re-do the whole damn thing again in July. This really does not sit well with me. That and the fact that I'm quite upset about the whole thing.

Today has not been a good day.