Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Flikr and Advertising

Though I haven't added any new pics to Flikr I've been pretty fortunate to have some of my pieces included in 3rd party advertising. You'll have to bare with me on these photos as the whole "screen capture" thing is still fairly new to me.

My first free advertising adventure came from a request from Citibank. It was for a flyer that went out to their international agencies, and share holders. In both of the pictures, my jewelry is in the upper left hand corner. All of their employees that I conversed with by phone and email were professional, helpful and extremely nice.
Today I had a request from a writer on Now Public to add a picture of earrings (sorry they've been sold) for a story about an 850 Pound Emerald

The story's pretty interesting and granted I'm one of many photos within the story but you won't find me complaining :)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Back to this...

I'm back to making my handmade boxes for orders that are going out this next week. I ordered my kraft boxes back on the 15th and haven't heard hide nor hair of them since. I tried contacting Nile Corp today to no avail, so I sent them an email in hopes that I hear from them soon! It's frustrating when you think you've ordered your supplies in time to find that for some reason or another things get all snafu'd and don't go the way you had planned...such is life :)

Don't get me wrong...I love making these boxes because of that little extra touch of handmade. BUT, there's definitely something to be said when you've found a way of packaging your handmade goodies that represents both you and your business. It took me awhile to do just that, and I found it in all aspects including the design, natural colors and textures.

Who would've thought that I would be so concerned about packaging when I started this business? Let me tell you though, the packaging is like meeting someone for the first time....it's all about making a good first impression. At least that's the way I look at it. Many would probably argue that they bought the product not the packaging....true....but just imagine how you would feel if you just spent your hard earned money on a spendy piece of jewelry only to have it come in an envelope wrapped in paper. That tells me that the seller doesn't care enough about their items to either protect it or present it well. Think of it (packaging) as just another way of marketing your business. You never know who may end up with it...word of mouth can be very lucrative :)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Winter Damage

Here's a few pictures of what I came home to late last night :( The roof over my deck caved in from the weight of the snow...nice. It looks like it took the gutters from the back of the house with it, so I'll be spending the day on the phone with the insurance company. So here goes my first homeowners claim in the 10 years that I've lived here...wish me luck!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Wishing Everyone A.....

A Milestone Reached!

I reached and exceeded 200 sales the next day after my previous post! What a fabulous feeling coming in to the Holidays reaching a much unexpected goal. I couldn't be happier!!

The mail is running slower than usual, unfortunately. I'm tracking all of my packages in hopes that they reach their destinations in time for Christmas. Even priority mail is taking about 5 days when it states that it'll be delivered in 2-3 days. I mail everything first class (unless a customer requests priority) with delivery confirmation. Normally it only takes 3 days tops to get there... so it has me a bit concerned.

If I notice that they haven't reached their destinations in time, I'm going to contact my customers. I have my fingers crossed that they'll make it though.

I'm off to finish up some Christmas gifts! For those of you living in the Northwest...drive safe if you're out in this weather doing some last minute shopping!

Friday, December 19, 2008


Really there aren't a lot of words to describe it. You're probably wondering what I'm talking about right? Well I'm talking about my sales on Etsy. The day before my 1 year Etsy anniversary on September 1st, I reached 100 sales. I was so ecstatic because I had reached my goal. So I set up the same goal for 2009 to reach 200 sales. Low and behold, I'm 1 sale away from that goal just 3 months into my 2nd year *Happy Dance!!*

So I'm now thinking of what I will give as a gift for this milestone....I may give an initial pendant (pictured in my previous post), along with tea, and a 15% coupon for future purchases. I'll have to put more thought into it though as it takes 2 days to create the pendants.

I'm just so very thankful...it has been a crazy busy month so far, but I wouldn't want it any other way! So I'm sending a big shout out to my fabulous customers....You all have been so wonderful, I couldn't be more blessed, thank you so much!!

Have a Merry Christmas!

If you would like to receive a nice celebratory 200th sale gift, visit my store at http://shijewels.etsy.com

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Busy Creating

Here's what I've been creating lately as gifts for the girls at work and for the women in my family for Christmas. The pearls are larger than what I wanted them to be...it gives the pendant more of a peekaboo effect with the initial stamping. I had a great time oxidizing them then using steel wool to give them a slight patina.

I'll try to post more about the oxidation technique later...super easy and I'm sure for those of you that read the how to's it's not going to be anything new, but I created a little trick that I'd like to share with you in a later post.

This will probably be my last post until after the holidays so I wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas and a Safe and Happy New Year!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Holiday Rush

I will probably only be posting a couple of times a week until after the Holiday Season. It's been crazy busy around here between my day job, Etsy, Christmas parties, shopping, making gifts and cooking a lot of goodies. I haven't even had time to post anything new on Shophandmade.com, but hopefully after Christmas I'll be able to focus a bit more on my shop there.

EAST, the Etsy Street team that I'm a member of, all signed up on Elfster to do a Secret Santa Gift Exchange. I had never heard of this site, but it's the bomb! Once you've signed up, send the link to a group of friends, family or coworkers so they can sign up. Fill in your wishlist and all the other requirements like spending limit etc. Then it automatically matches people up. Everything is anonymous, so you can ask all the questions you want of the person that you drew and they don't have a clue who their Secret Santa is. We're doing all handmade items, and set a date where all of us will join in a chatroom and open our presents. Of course there may be some of us that might peek a little early....oohhh nooo...not me :) No really any packages that I get that I'm not expecting my son is going to hide from me until it's time to open them! Yes, I was one of those kids that shook the package with my name on it, and sometimes even tried to unwrap the gift to get a peek. I was such a bad girl! It should be fun, and it's definitely a site I'm going to recommend to others including my day job.

Well I'm off to get the last of my weekend purchases packaged and ready to be shipped out tomorrow. This last month on Etsy has been phenomenal for me! Love...love....love it!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Sales...Sales...and More Sales

These are just a few of the items submitted by my fellow team members for EAST's 2nd Annual Winter Wonderland Event Special.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Holidays, Sales and Shopping

I hope everyone survived Thanksgiving. Though I enjoyed spending all of that time with family, after 3 turkey dinners, I'm thankful it's over!

I was not one of the brave ones who shopped during the wee hours on Black Friday, but I heard that it was pretty crowded....I'll leave that day of shopping for the die hards! I don't shop the day after Christmas either. Don't get me wrong, I love shopping, but I don't like the large crowds, plus with my back I can't stand in lines for hours either.

The Etsy Street Team that I'm on is having our 2nd Annual Winter Wonderland Event Sale. With each of our members offering discounts in one way or another in their shops. So if you have any last minute holiday shopping to do then be sure to search on Etsy for items with the WWEE tag.

I'm offering a free pair of earrings plus 10% off all of my items with the WWEE tag and an additional 10% off all items in my Sale Section for a total of 25% off.

Here are just a few of my items that are included in EAST's 2nd Annual Winter Wonderland Event:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I do this every night while lying in bed. This is
is also something that I do when I’m feeling
extremely stressed or when I just need to
reconnect because everything is out of balance.

If at all possible find a quiet place, it doesn’t
matter where, just someplace where you
can quiet your mind. You can do this sitting or
standing, whichever you feel comfortable with.

Close your eyes and take 3 deep breaths, in through
the nose, out through the mouth. Visualize that your
feet are roots reaching into the depths of the earth.
Now visualize a warm, loving and glowing golden light
shining from the heavens, entering at your
Crown Chakra (the top of your head).

Notice how the warmth of the light relaxes your
muscles as it washes away and releases
the stress. See the cleansing light running
throughout your arms, down your torso, through
your legs, and out of the soles of your feet,
into the earth.

Know that the light that is leaving you and
entering the earth, carries the stress and chaos
that has been weighing you down, leaving you feeling
renewed, balanced and at peace.

Open your eyes, or keep them closed, but just stay
there for a moment and allow yourself to enjoy this
new found feeling of balance.

This meditation can be as quick or as slow as you
make of it, it’s really up to you. If visualizing
doesn’t come easy to you, don’t get discouraged,
keep working at it…it will work.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Handmade Gifts for Christmas

I have a lot of people to buy for so these last few years I've been making gifts for my family, friends and co-workers. I always make some type of jewelry gift for all of the women, but for the men...well they don't really do jewelry (at least not the ones in my little circle) so they tend to get bought gifts. Though I am making polar fleece throw blankets for my boys...they've been wanting them for awhile now after I made one for one of their girlfriends. It's really easy, just buy the polar fleece fabric in whatever length you want them in. Buy 2, one can have a pattern and the other can be a solid color. Pin the fabric together right side facing out. Cut strips along the outside edge of the entire blanket, 2" wide by 4" in length, and tie each set of 2 strips (front and back together) in a double knot. Voila...super easy! If I didn't explain myself well, just post a comment and I'll help you out.

This year for the women, I'm making hand stamped Initial Pendants with Pearls and Birthstones. I just purchased my stamps and sterling silver tags and can't wait to get started on them. In a sense it's a 2for1 deal, I bought the items to make for gifts BUT I'll be able to use them for my jewelry business. I'm looking forward to start listing some of these pendants in my store.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Stones for Stress and Balance

These are just a few stones that I have listed in my shop that can assist you during times of stress. I often use them as a worry stone, rubbing between my fingers helping me focus on what really matters. For some friends, I've strung them on a looped cord, so it can slide over a finger for ease of use without having to worry about dropping or losing it.

Again, remember this is a short list of stones that I have found beneficial to myself.

Green Onyx is strength giving. It centers your energy
and aligning it with a higher power, accessing
higher guidance.

Smoky Quartz is one of the most efficient grounding
and anchoring stones. This stone is a superb antidote to
stress. It relieves fear, lifts depression and brings
emotional calmness.

Fluorite is highly protective, especially on a psychic
level. This stone also cleanses and stabilizes the Aura.
Used in healing Fluorite draws off negative energies
and stress of all kinds.

Carnelian calms anger and banishes emotional negativity,
replacing it with a love of life. It also helps in
bringing clearer thoughts.

Chalcedony symbolizes calmness and composure.
For the Tibetans it is the stone of purity and concentration.
It brings the mind, body, emotions and spirit into harmony.

Aventurine is not only a stone of prosperity, but Green
Aventurine is a comforter, heart healer,
and general harmonizer, protecting the heart.

Jasper is known as the "supreme nurturer." It sustains
and supports during times of stress,
and brings tranquility and wholeness.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Calming Foods, Herbs and Teas

This has been a busy week to say the least. I've been rushing here and there and have had the final set of interviews for my upcoming arbitration, so it's been a little stressed. I've also been approached by girls at work who are experiencing a high amount of stress in their lives too. Plus with the economy the way it is, and so many losing jobs...stress is almost expected, so I wanted to share some foods, herbs and teas that can help calm the stressful nerves that most of us have.

This is just a list of items that have helped me. If you have any to add to the list let me know, I'd appreciate any further information.

Whole-wheat pasta topped with tomato sauce
Rice cakes
Sweet Potatoes
Chamomile Tea and Herb
Peppermint Tea and Herb
Chai Tea
Green Tea
Lavender Herb

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Maiden, Mother and Crone

I love these images and depictions of the Triple Goddess. A representation of the Maiden, Mother, and Crone. The Triple Goddess is also seen as the waxing, full, and waning moon. It is also associated with feminine energy, mystery and psychic abilities.
The Maiden represents enchantment, inception, expansion, the female principle, the promise of new beginnings, youth, excitement and carefree.

The Mother represents ripeness, fertility, fulfillment, stability, and power. When represented she's often seen with a swollen belly filled with life.

The Crone represents wisdom, repose, and compassion.
Some Maiden Goddesses are Persephone, Brighid, Nimue, among others.
The Mother Goddesses in mythology are Demeter, Aa, Ambika, Ceres, Astarte and Lakshmi.
The Crone can be seen as Hecate, Hel, Maman Brigitte, Oya, Sedna, Skuld, and others.
I've only listed a few here as there are many depending on which Pantheon you follow.
The feminine aspect in whatever form is beautiful and can represent many things to different people. She is the balance to the masculine, the moon to the sun. To me she represents femininity, beauty and the divine of being a Woman.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Stackable Rings

I was messing around today and purely by accident made some new rings. I've named them Rustic Lil Dollops. They're made fusing 18g sterling silver wire, slightly hammering them for texture, then I do a little something extra to create a brushed satin finish. These rings are so cute and dainty with that little bit of rustic charm found in the slight imperfections.

Each ring is made to order in any size ranging from 1 to 16. Currently they are being sold individually, in a pair and in a set of three. I will probably list them in larger sets in the near future. I'm going to make myself a set of 4 or 5 tonight to see how they wear...can't wait!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Trans Siberian Orchestra

Let me just start off by saying...WOW! This concert...light show...whatever you want to call it absolutely blew me away! We drove up to Seattle today to watch their afternoon showing, it was worth the drive and the traffic to see them. Don't let the "Orchestra" part of the name scare you away....it's definitely a rock concert!

The first half of the show is more of a Christmas story...though it's not even Thanksgiving yet it was still phenomenal. Now the second half was best of all with the light show, flames, pyrotechnics...everything was amazing!

The performers...musicians, vocalists...they were not only very talented at their specific jobs...but every single one of them were, I swear, out of a romance novel....the men were handsome and gorgeous and the women were stunning and beautiful!!!

If TSO comes to your city or one near you...do yourself a favor and check them out...you won't be sorry. My 17 year old, rap and hip hop loving boys said it rocked. Just so you know it was the only concert that I've ever been to that had people of all walks of life, genre and age attend....I was in awe at the gathering.

Only one of the pictures posted here are from me. The others are ones that I found on the web. The gentlemen with the guitar is Angus...his guitar riffs got everyone to their feet.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Green Car Care

Some helpful hints for the upcoming winter. For Frost Free Fluid, mix 3 parts vinegar to 1 part water and coat your car window with this. The combination of vinegar and water will keep your windshields and other windows ice and frost free.

Also rubbing a moistened small cloth bag of salt on your car's windshield will keep snow and ice from collecting.

Ohh here's another hint for those of you who have bought used cars with some unwanted and hard to remove bumper stickers. Soak a cloth in vinegar and lay it on the bumper sticker, allowing it to soak for a few minutes. The bumper sticker should peel right off. I also use this on walls that my kids decided to use as a collage for their sticker collection...works great!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

FAFSA, Scholarships and Grants Oh My!

Well being a parent of seniors is not easy, especially when it comes to preparing them for college! So I decided today that I wanted to share some of the resources that I use or have used to help finance my boys' college education.

Definitely sign your child up at www.fastweb.com . It's an unlimited resource for scholarships that your child can and may qualify for. My boys have applied for over a dozen scholarships each...so far.

Another is www.getcollegefunds.com . Another great site with unlimited resources and information on various scholarships and grants. Now granted this site is for Oregon, but each state has a similar site.

Yourself and your child will have to fill out a FAFSA form. You'll find this at www.fafsa.ed.gov . This will let the prospective college and yourself know what additional financial aid or grants that you may qualify for.

If you're a parent of multiples sign up for a local Mothers of Twins group...or something similar in your area. I had no idea these type of clubs existed! Not only do they offer support for mom's but they also offer scholarships for multiples. That would've been good to know!

Some other great facts that I found out, was that they're are schools, mostly in the eastern states, that offer a 2 for 1 deal or a really nice discounts for twins or multiples entering college. Also a lot of colleges offer automatic scholarships. A lot of these depends on what the students average GPA was in high school and their SAT scores, but hey, every little bit helps!

As I do more searching for resources I'll post them here in case any of you are interested.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

My Weekend

I just love the changing leaves in the Fall. They are so glorious and rich with vibrant colors.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Samhain, or Halloween! We had a great time, we ghost hunted a friends house and sat around in the dark telling our own stories and experiences with the paranormal...so much fun! We didn't get a lot of trick or treaters but that just left more candy for us to munch on as we listened to each other tell our tales.

We also had a retirement party for my boss....which was a blast! We did kind of a roast and I don't think we've ever laughed so hard at all the great stories. Many of us had skits and I even got up there too....without going into too much detail let's just say there was a sheep (blow up), kilt and well you can probably guess what went on from there! He's from Montana...so I'm always giving him a hard time about sheep...it was perfect!

Today was spent just relaxing and spending time with my folks and mostly relaying the stories about my weekend. I just love my parents, they're a blast to be around and always so loving!

Well I'm off to do household chores that I put off til the last moment *sigh*.....but it was worth it!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

All Hallows Eve Sale!

(¸.·´ (¸.·` SALE..SALE..SALE!! All Hallows Eve Sale Now through Sunday the 2nd! 15% off Selected Items! See my Sales Section:


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Green Cleaning Your Pets

I use these two methods on my Great Danes and thought I would share them with you!

Flea Spray for Dogs (Cats tend to find citrus offensive...just like a cat huh?)

Slice up two lemons and pour almost boiling water over them. Let them soak overnight. Strain the liquid and pour into a spray bottle. Spritz your dog liberally and massage the solution into their coats. This will not only make your dog smell great but the Citrus oil kills and repels fleas. You can also use this solution to spray their bedding.

(Granted the fleas aren't bad during this time of year but it's a great solution to use next year!)

Wet Dog Smell??

Sprinkle your dog with baking soda and brush out the fur. It's quick easy and works great!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

ShopHandmade Email

I just got an email from them...and I just had to share an excerpt of it with you! This is just another reason why I love their site :)

We did it! ShopHandmade crossed its first major milestone by listing 5,000 items for sale in our first month after opening! We chose to celebrate the event by planting 5,000 trees – one for each product listed. As they take root and flourish, we hope that this early success will echo forever in their leaves and branches.

Fusing vs. Soldering

So I saw this really great book on fusing silver. I was in a hurry, didn't have a chance to purchase it, but flipped through it really quick. I was pretty excited at the thought not having to solder, plus it showed you can hammer the piece after fusing. I have not had successful attempts at hammering after soldering, the piece just splits apart.

Today I decided to try it without having the book on hand. Well let's just say it kind of failed. First I tried fusing a ring that was made of low dome sterling silver. Nada! Then I tried a ring using 20g dead soft sterling silver...again nothing. Then with some scrap silver I tried a very thin piece, which I believe was 24 or 26 gauge. Well it kind of worked, part of the silver fused together, but not like it showed in the book.

Then I went online to see what I could find on the subject of fusing. It looks like the recommended silver to use is fine silver and not sterling. With fine silver the melting point is higher than sterling so that kind of confused me, but maybe it's the extra alloys that are in sterling that doesn't quite allow a fusing to happen.

Needless to say I'm going to purchase the book and see what I'm doing wrong or missing. So if any of you out there have ever tried fusing or have any tips or hints, can you send them my way? I would be greatly appreciative of it!

I was really hoping to have some fun pieces to list tomorrow...but that's not the case. As you can tell I'm one of those people that thinks I should be successful at least within the first few attempts....grrr....but I'm not going to give up. I'll post more information after a few more attempts. Back to the torch.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Easy Schmeasy

As promised I said that I would let you know how the transaction went with my sales on ShopHandmade. The title above describes it perfectly. It was simple and easy to say the least. You can view your invoice and it posts the sellers address plus the address they want the item shipped to. I do like that portion particularly because I can't tell you how often (on Etsy) the buyers address differs from their address on PayPal. At first I didn't think that I would be able to relist a sold item but I found that it's also quite simple.

1. Go to My Account
2. Click on Inventory (on the left sidebar)
3. Edit the item you want to relist
4. Change the quantity from 0 to 1 (or however many)
5. Save and Continue

Voila...you're done!

I actually relisted a pair of earrings at the same time as posting this.

I still have the majority of my inventory on Etsy and will probably keep it that way, but I'm slowly building my inventory on ShopHandmade as well.

If anyone has any questions about this site just shoot me a message. I'll be happy to answer what I can. Just remember that I'm still new to ShopHandmade so if it's a more technical question you can always contact them...they're very friendly and extremely quick to reply.

If you get a chance check out my shop there at http://shijewels.shophandmade.com . From there you can browse all that's listed within the site itself!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sales on ShopHandmade.com

I received my first 2 sales on ShopHandmade.com! I just wanted to post this really quick for those of you who have been inquiring about the site. I will post more later on how the process works!

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Good Day

Today turned out to be a pretty good day! After a couple of weeks with slow sales, I woke up to a sale this morning followed by 5 more...wow! What a way to start the day :) Even my day job was good, plus the weather was beautiful...sunshining with that crisp cold air. Then I had lunch with an old friend...she's a coworker from my previous job, and though we live in the same town we don't often get to spend time together.

After having lunch with my friend I realized that I really need to take the time and meet up with some of my old girlfriends whether it be over coffee, drinks or whatever. It was a breath of fresh air to break from the norm. Just reminiscing, talking about our kids and about our problems over a couple of Margaritas made all of life's problems seem to dissipate. It was lovely...and definitely a lot of fun!

I feel renewed, re-energized and look forward to what the rest of the week may hold. Who knew that these little happenings could make a world of difference?!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

New Items

Here are some new pieces that I was able to list today. I think I'll work on some Goddess Adorned pendants tomorrow. Hopefully I'll be able to get some items listed before my meeting tomorrow night :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Staying Positive and Being Thankful

At a time where the economy is low, and where money seems to being going out more than it's coming in...it can be difficult to see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. For me, I'm being inundated with not only household bills, but upcoming graduation and college tuition costs. I need to line up my boys' Senior photos, plus order their cap and gowns and just those few things are right around $1000 for both of them. For college, I'm looking at close to $75,000 a year combined. And though the thought of all of those expenses can get me spiraling down into a nasty depression I still look at all of the things that I'm thankful to have. Like, the roof over my head, the cars that we drive, the job that I have, my pets, and so many other things, that I really have no right feeling down when there are plenty of others around the world don't even have that.

I was actually just talking to my mom about this...and telling her how thankful I am that I have my home...and how thankful I am that they have enough bedrooms in their house just in case I one day need to live there again! We both had a good laugh at that one, but all joking aside, I do have other resources if things were to go severely sour.

So how does one keep from getting so depressed when their being flooded with everyday bills, etc.? I had someone tell me once, "Why worry what you can't control? You're doing the best that you can and that's all that you can do...so don't sweat the small stuff...be happy in knowing that you are doing the best that you can."

You're probably thinking "easier said than done"! Believe me that's the same thing I was thinking when that friend of mine told me that little tidbit, but if you think about it, it's completely true. Plus I'm a firm believer in "Your thoughts attract" and I've put the latter to the test and it's definitely made me a believer! When I'm completely stressed out about money, it never fails that all of a sudden I get more unexpected bills or expenses...and it just keeps going and going...a vicious cycle so to speak. BUT, the second I say screw it...things will work out (the trick is to really believe it), everything does work out....don't ask me how, they just do.

This is where the verse from the song Tubthumping comes in....

"I get knocked down, but I get up again....never gonna keep me down"

I swear it's my new motto!

Don't get me wrong...from time to time I do wallow in the crap that overwhelms me (my pocketbook) but what I mentioned above helps me put things back into perspective! Walk away from the T.V. when all they're talking about is the down slide of our economy...it'll just depress you more. Instead, spend some time thinking about the things you do have, give yourself a break and stop beating yourself up. At the end of the day, if you can say that you've done the best that you can....then really that's all that you can do! Be happy with it...you'll get through it, we all will!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Surviving Homecoming

It was the boys last Homecoming Dance...and though hectic we survived :) It was an Asian themed dance and I wish I had pictures of the coronation from the Homecoming football game, I wasn't able to attend because we were working on the archway for the dance. We made the archway out of bamboo, then after a bunch of failed attempts to create a peak at the top we decided to leave it flat and added paper latterns using candles that were battery operated to illuminate them.

Chris was a Prince on prom court again, and I think for the first time it kind of bugged Brandon that he wasn't. As a parent of twins it's really hard to be excited for one and really bummed for the other. I know that there will be many times in their lives that one will achieve or receive something that the other can't or won't be able to get, but it still doesn't stop my heart from hurting. I guess that's just part of being a mom huh?
Well that pretty much was my weekend in a nutshell! I can remember the days of no responsibility, being able to come and go when I choose, and partying until the sun came up...those were the days. Though I reminisce fondly about those days...I wouldn't change a thing. Plus I don't think I could party til the sun comes up anymore....my body just can't take that kind of abuse anymore!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

All of My Eggs in One Basket

Lately it's been really slow on Etsy, and I've even done some tests with my listings to see if it would make a difference. Nada! So it's really got me thinking about having all of my eggs in one basket. I've started to list more on ShopHandmade (the picture above is a pair that I just listed their last night). I've had views there, but no sales yet. I figure I'll probably be listing about 2 items a day or every other day there to fill up my store. They're still in their Beta testing period, so I know that it will probably be awhile before things start taking off there, but it's exciting to think that my shop is part of an innovative online venue.

I often wonder how some of the older (sellers who've been there for years) artisan jewelers are doing? Are they selling as often as they used to? If not, do they think it's because the jewelry side of it is so flooded? Or, do they think it's because of the economy? I personally feel that people are afraid to part with their money right now...and believe me I completely understand! I no longer purchase items that aren't necessary....or aren't needed. I'm fortunate though because "jewelry" is my second job, I can hold out until the economy improves, but I really feel for those that depend on this for a source of income.

I'm not giving up on Etsy, I love that site, it's been very good to me, but right now I just want to test the waters with other venues. Really you have nothing to lose listing on Shophandmade because it's completely free.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New Packaging

Yay...I finally got my new gift boxes!! It was a really tough choice personally to change from handmade gift boxes to these kraft boxes because I loved that little extra personal touch. BUT...economically speaking this was a much better way to go. The handmade gift boxes cost $2 each to make not including ribbon, organza bag, plastic storage baggy, tags, etc. These boxes work out to be .17 cents per box again not including the extras but it works out to be more financially feasible. Plus...these can be sent in a bubble mailer first class. With my previous handmade boxes I shipped Priority Mail, but then again this is something that I can consistantly do during the year that won't hurt the bottom line.

For the holidays though, I will be doing a shipping special that will consist of free Priority Mail shipping. I will also be doing SNS's (Saturday Night Sales/Specials) for discounts during this time as well. Once I've got the details I will post it here!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New Earrings and Charms

I made a bunch of different sizes of Organic Sterling Silver Hoops
plus some Hoop Charms to adorn them with. I also made myself a pair of the medium size one's and also some various charms for myself...love it! I even made an itty bitty pair to wear in my second piercing and I just left those plain today. The girls at work loved them and I have a feeling I'll need to start making a lot more.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The End

Well the end of Fall baseball anyways...and the last season my boys will be playing this league because this time next year they'll be in college. Hard to imagine...and I'm still adjusting to the thought of all the running around from game to game will be over. Who knows what their baseball fate will hold when it comes to college. The norm is that they will red shirt until their Junior year. Though they are aware of this, I hope it doesn't deflate their dreams of pursuing their love of this sport.

As far as I'm concerned I will be happy with whatever they choose to do with their lives. My only hope is that they end up working at a job that they love. Not many people are fortunate enough to do that...many of us work because we have to and are just thankful that we have the jobs that we do. With the economy the way it is...a lot of us don't have the luxury of choice when it comes to supporting ourselves or our families. I've got my fingers crossed that my children will have that luxury to choose to do what they love.

Friday, October 10, 2008


Yay...I got them today and quickly pulled out my tags and ink and started stamping away. I love my new logo and I can't wait to Trademark it. Hopefully next month :)

Chris from Avatarman did all of the hard work by turning the image into black and white line art. Chris is also the proud owner of two other shops Ideasign and Ideasigntattoos. He did a great job and I don't know what I would've done without him! Terbearco is the Etsy shop who makes these great stamps. Definitely check out all of their shops!

I'll be using the smaller stamp (used for the pictures above) for my earring cards and stamps. The larger stamp will be used for my kraft gift boxes. Those were just shipped to me yesterday so hopefully I'll receive them early next week. I'm using green ink and have purchased burgundy ribbon to tie off the packages....I'm so excited. I'll be sure to take pictures when I've received everything!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Kids and College

I think my boys have found a college that they want to attend. It's Pacific University...a private college. The picture above is of Marsh Hall...one of the residence halls ( I believe). It's only an hour away so I think that I can live with that :) It's a scary thought what this house will be like when they leave...even though they say they'll be home every weekend. We're going to make an appointment to visit the campus and talk with the baseball coach. With it being private...the campus is smaller and the student/professor ratio is much more conducive to learning. I've heard nothing but positive things about this school so I am excited to see what they have to offer.

The boys have finally come up with a back up plan to baseball. Chris will be majoring in Sports Therapy and minoring in History. Brandon wants to be a Speech Pathologist, and I'm not sure what courses are needed for that.

All of this is new to me, I didn't attend college, my parents didn't have the money and I really didn't know what I wanted to do with my life. I didn't take college courses until I was an adult, and those were very specific. I took courses through Gemological Institute of America and some health classes through PSU. So really nothing close to the extent of schooling the boys will receive...and I didn't have the drive that they do. I'm so very proud of them and I hope that they enjoy campus life....and the experience of college. I also hope my pocketbook will survive it...eek!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


After being sick since Friday I've finally got enough energy to make a couple of new earrings. I still have a cough but that's a lot better than the fever, stuffy head and all discombobulated (that's probably not how you spell it, but it sure describes how I felt) feeling!

I won't be anywhere near a computer tomorrow til late evening because my attorney and another gentleman who's putting a media presentation together for me will have me busy doing interviews and getting all of my photos ready for my upcoming arbitration in December. I can't wait to have all of this behind me. Though the back pain may always be there, at least all of the other baggage that comes from a hit and run accident will be over with. All I have to say is after 4 years I'm ready to move on to another phase in my life.

Monday, October 6, 2008


TODAY is the LAST day for The Spirited Autumn Event! So take advantage of the great discounts and special offers that the members of Etsy's Earthpath Artisans Street Team are offering in their shops.

Here's a link you can follow that will take you directly to the items that are listed: TSAE .

OR...just go to Etsy and type in TSAE in the search field.

Don't miss out on this sale!!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Last Chance!

(¸.·´ (¸.·` This is the last weekend for The Spirited Autumn Event! Monday, October 6th is the final day to take advantage of the great discounts and special offers that the members of Etsy's Earthpath Artisans Street Team are offering in their shops. The event focuses on Fall Themed and Magical items, just in time for Halloween! Search Etsy using the
TSAE tag to find participating items.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Another Autumn Necklace

Here's my newest listing I've named it MABON . The focal piece is the large Amber in a Sterling Silver leaf motif setting. Then I accented it with large Carnelian rondelles. I just love the Amber pendant!
I'm getting ready to make some more Goddess Adornment pendants and will list a few on both Etsy and ShopHandmade.com . Unfortunately I still haven't had the chance to list more items on ShopHandmade, but hopefully this weekend I'll have more items over there.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Top Sellers

While browsing the internet for "Shijewels", I found that I was listed as a top seller on YouCraft.org . The earrings they feature just sold last weekend, so I need to update my listings there, but I thought it was kind of cool. I don't know what constitutes "Top Sellers" there, but I'm okay with that :)

If you're ever bored sometime type in your name in search engines to see what comes up. That's how I've found that I've been featured on someone else's blog. I also found some group talking about my Meditation/Prayer beads, it's really interesting to see what others have to say about you and your products. I do this probably once every 2 to 3 months and I do the searches under MSN, Google and Yahoo.

Monday, September 29, 2008

My Oops Ring

This is my "oops" ring! It's listed in my shop now and I really hope there's someone out there who can enjoy it. Here's what happened, I recently purchased a book that showed how to make this wire wrapped ring, so I was excited to jump at the chance to make it. Well...I didn't pay attention to the size, I was just happily creating the ring. So the size is my oops, it's a size 11 and too large for my fingers...so sad because I love this design and the beautiful green Jade cabochon that I purchased for it.