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.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Well....after much thought I've made the leap to list on ShopHandmade.com . I've only listed one pendant there so far but should be listing more as I get more familiar with the site and more products made. The pendant that I have listed there is a pendant that I also sell on Etsy, but I have 5 of them already made, so all is okay if I sell either one of them. It's a pretty cool site, and not to take away from Etsy but I really like that it focuses on an Eco-friendly environment. So check it out and stop by My Store there too!
I did a screen shot of the front page and my pendant was featured on it (though I think they do that for all new listings), I thought it was pretty cool that it was on the front page, unlike Etsy. Really in order to get on the front page on Etsy you have to be featured in a treasury that catches the eye one of the Etsy admins.
I'll keep you posted on how it works out.....Ohh I forgot to mention that it costs .25 cents to list or you can get a sponsor and it's free, 5 free photos and...this is the big one....you can decide how much you want to pay ShopHandmade when your item sells...and that fee is anywhere from 0-100% of your sale cost. All I can say for that is WOW! No, I didn't choose 0% I chose 1%. You're probably asking why give them anything if you don't have to?? Well, because they are donation based, so to keep running they need donations so there's my answer plus I really like what they stand for and how they advertise...1% is nothing!

Saturday, September 27, 2008


I made another ring today, this one is a size 8 and I'll be listing it in my shop tomorrow. I thought about doing custom sizes, but I haven't perfected soldering, so whatever size I make will be what I list. I'm almost there though so I should be offering stackable and custom sizing in the near future.
For these rings I've used 16g half round sterling silver wire, just slightly hammering it for texture and then I do something a little extra that gives it a brushed satin finish. They're so comfortable to wear, I've worn my thumbring every day!

Friday, September 26, 2008

A Shout Out!

I had purchased a custom stamp with my logo. Unbeknownst to me I had to change the picture of this logo to black and white line art with no grey...wth?? I'm no artist, and I know just enough about my photo program to get by. Well after hours of messing around with my image and finding myself nearly bald from pulling out my hair, I sent what I had come up with back to the seller. But of course it was not at all what she needed...uuuggghhh. She said, think "coloring book" and it needs to be really large...aye! So at my wits end, I had no idea what I was going to do. I was about to give up and ask for a refund when a light bulb went off! Duh...on my street team there is a very talented graphics designer, Chris Strohm!!! I sent a convo to Chris, pretty much begging and pleading, and hoping he would understand what I needed....he did indeed, and was more than happy to help....YAY!! *Happy Dance* He was very patient with me with all the changes that I asked for, and created exactly what I needed.

If you need any graphic design help, or if you have an Etsy store and need a banner and an avatar that truly represents your shop, I definitely recommend working with Chris. You can find him on Etsy, just look for his shop Avatarman . While you're at it, check out his Digital Fine Art and Photos shop, ideasign and his Custom and Semi-Custom Temporary Tattoos shop at ideasigntattoos . He's very easy to talk to and an absolute pleasure to work with.

Chris, if you read this, thanks again, you turned a very frustrating experience into an enjoyable one, I couldn't have done it without you! I can't wait to get my custom logo stamp and show off what you've done for me!

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Good Start!

Today was a lot of fun promoting and seeing all the wonderful and unique items offered by my fellow Etsy Street Team members. You can take a look at all they're offering by doing a search on Etsy for the tag TSAE . You'll find everything from original artwork, pottery, photographs, jewelry to knitted items and oh so much more. It's never too early to start purchasing Christmas gifts!

I sold my Carnelian Goddess Adorned Necklace pictured below. I've also made two necklaces to list tomorrow in wonderful Autumn/Fall colors. I love this time of year!

Support some very talented artisans and buy handmade....shop the EAST street teams Spirited Autumn Event Sale!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

My items for the event!

These items are part of The Spirited Autumn Event! For this event I will be offering a ♥FREE♥ pair of Mini Ball Stud Sterling Silver earrings for each item purchased with the TSAE tag. Also I will refund any shipping charges for purchases over $30 during this event!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Upcoming Event

I'm getting ready for The Spirited Autumn Event, listed above. I will be offering a free pair of mini ball stud earrings for each item purchased with the TSAE tag. I will also have this information within the listings that I have set up for this event.

I'm off to make those stud earrings. Ohh and on a side note, I've made 3 rings so far...woohoo!! One I wear, and the other two I will have for sale in my shop soon....after I'm done getting ready for The Spirited Autumn Event....for more details on this event read the caption above.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Got A Lot Accomplished!

So I took today off of work to take care of a few things. First was purchasing a Main Showcase on Etsy, they always become available while I'm at work and I didn't want to miss out on it. I'm hoping it'll get me some more exposure!

Second was soldering and just getting comfortable working with my torch. I made my own pickling solution using white vinegar and sea salt...it works wonderfully...love it! I also used self pickling flux..I'm not sure if others use this type, but it worked fine for me. I made 2 rings. After the 1st one was done pickling, I filed down the excess solder and it looked great...then I hammered it for texture...uggghhh! It broke my solder right off :( So I'm going to resolder it now that I've already hammered it, all I'll have to do is file down the excess solder. I'll pull the 2nd one out of the pickle tonight, file it down, and wear it tomorrow and I can't wait!

I also tried my hand using Epoxy today. Of course with the help of a great Etsian, Ed from Stonesinmotion . I tell you, I don't know what I would do without his sage advice, he's such a wealth of information and really just an all in all great guy! On a side note, I've purchased some Rainbow Obsidian cabochons from him, and I can't wait to get them!! Okay so back to the Epoxy, it's tricky stuff and has to be mixed just right or it won't set at all. A coworker had a cabochon that I purchased a flat back sterling silver setting for so I needed an adhesive that wouldn't damage the stone. Well so far, so good...and it looks like I'll be able to give my coworker a new pendant tomorrow.

The other was for another coworker. She had a 14kt gold solitaire ring with a faceted Smoky Quartz, that she wanted switched out with a CZ. So I purchased a really nice quality 3/4ct. CZ and some tools to work with the prongs on the ring. I was really nervous because I didn't want to break one of the prongs off or damage them beyond repair...but phew it worked out well too!

The last thing I did was set some 8mm (2ct)colored CZ's in sterling silver pendants with notched prongs...oooo...I really love the way they look and will take pics of those tomorrow.

So I really did get a lot accomplished today and I can't wait to share some pictures of everything with you tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I didn't post anything yesterday so I wanted to add something today. I took tomorrow off and I'm going to be trying my hand at soldering some sterling silver rings. I have my fingers crossed that everything will go well. I've been watching soldering videos on Youtube like crazy, and of course I've read all of my books, and have even looked up all I can on the internet to read. Overdoing it??...nah ;) I'm just nervous and I don't really care to waste too much silver. I'm sure that my first few rings will be mine to keep because they won't be the prettiest, but what girl turns down jewelry??

Well that's all I have for now, I'm off for coffee night with the girls! Woohoo :)

I'll post pics of my creations tomorrow!

Monday, September 15, 2008


I love the Etsy Treasury ! To me it's one of the highest forms of flattery when someone chooses one of your items to feature. My Sage bracelet is in the lower right hand corner. I have yet to really figure out how to use it, so I don't even try, but some of the treasuries that people put together are so stunning.

If you happen to be lucky enough to be included in one, you're not normally notified because it's considered spam. BUT, I don't mind being notified at all. I think this is probably the first treasury that I've posted here on my blog, though I've saved them all on my computer. This one was put together by Greenfingers a wonderful seller who creates the most beautiful knitted Goddesses around, and she's an EAST (Earthpath Artisans Street Team) teammate.

Speaking of our EAST team, we're going to be holding a special starting on September 23rd, 2008. It's The Spirited Autumn Event (TSAE), and each seller from our team will be offering a discount in one way or another for this special. So when your on Etsy, do a search using TSAE and you'll find some wonderful little treasure's based around the Fall season, Halloween, and items with metaphysical/healing/green properties. I'll be sure to make another announcement the closer we get to it, but if you do a search now you'll find that some of our team members have already started listing items.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Cabochons...Ohh so pretty!

This is 500cts of beautiful cabochons that my dad picked up for me at an estate sale! I can identify all but 5 of them. One of them is the triangle one in the lower left hand corner, I believe its a jasper of some sort. Another is an oval black cab in towards the upper middle, it's a little silverish in color, I was thinking a pyrite but again, I'm not quite sure. Two more are matching rounds on either side of the oval one I was just talking about. When you flip them over they have cool fossils in them, I'll have to take pics of them at a later date. The others consist of Moonstone, Chalcedony, Agate, Onyx, Tourmalinated Quartz, Rhodonite, blue Aventurine, Rhodochrosite, Moss Agate, and Lapis. I can't wait to actually start working with these!

Friday, September 12, 2008

I Forgot...

I completely forgot to post pictures of my pendant when I finished it! Refer back to my June 1st post to see pictures of the process that I used to make this pendant.

I did end up using faceted Labradorite and Smoky Quartz rondelles as accents. I wanted to keep the wire wrapping around the Koroit Opal matrix very minimal as I didn't want to take away from the stone itself. I love this pendant, its my favorite, most worn and most lost piece of jewelry that I own! When I say most lost...well I've found it in the garbage, hidden behind my jewelry box, under my computer..among other places. No it didn't fall off...I just tend to lay it down wherever and it's never in the same place twice :) Yes I've learned my lesson as I don't want it to end up in the garbage and actually losing it for good!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sunset and Storms

I just wanted to share this view of the sunset from my back deck. Though I'm not happy that the previous owners of the house below us removed the majority of the old growth to build their home, it did give us a wonderful view of the Lewis and Clark Bridge that spans the Columbia River. I've always loved the lights of Longview at night.

Below are some pictures that I took of the lightening storm from a month ago. The larger bolt of lightening was taken right off of my back deck...it was soooo close. Needless to say I went into the house after that one! It really was the coolest lightening and thunderstorm that I've ever seen, it consumed the sky above. I think out of the few hours that it went on, I only saw 3 strikes to the ground or from the ground...however that works.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Nothing new today

I spent my whole day at a seminar for my day job, so I didn't get to post anything new in my store nor retake photos :( It feels like a day wasted...at least as far as my jewelry is concerned.

The seminar though was very helpful, and the diversity of knowledge among the attendees was immense...so not a total loss for the day. I did get lost on my way there this morning...I do not know my way around Portland, Oregon at all...and this little street was quite hidden. I even called my boss so she could look up MapQuest to see what it said...and she couldn't make heads or tales of it and she's from Portland! I had programmed the address into my Magellan, but she ( I say she because of her voice) was having me exit in an area that I was familiar with and knew to be wrong...dang her!! That's not the first time Ms. Magellan has steered me wrong. One time when I took the boys to Eastern Washington for baseball I was looking for a Chevron...so I followed her directions and where she took me was a mini mall with no gas stations....nice! She's a sneaky thing...and I just don't think I can trust her too much ;)

Well it's only 7pm, but I'm off to bed...I'm just wiped....hmmm...must be getting old LOL

Monday, September 8, 2008

New and Updated Listings

I'm still retaking photos and I think I have about 2 more pages of listings to redo....eeek!! Here are two pairs of earrings that I've had listed and have recently retaken the photos for. The top photo is an earthy mix of faceted Smoky Quartz and button pearls. The bottom photo are Grace earrings with rectangular Labradorite gemstones.

I'm also still working on my Goddess Adornment line, trying to add at least 4 new pieces a week. They are alot of fun to work with, trying to figure out what gems will fit in her spiral womb and changing up the colors a bit. The first Gaia pendant is adorned with an aqua Apatite onion briolette, an Iris Pearl, two aqua Apatite nuggets, and a tiny sterling silver bead. The other Gaia is done with varying shades of purple. I used a faceted Amethyst briolette, faceted Iolite, Rhodolite Garnet and Amethyst rondelles and 4 tiny sterling silver beads.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Self Promoting, Sales and Discounts

With any small business you have a lot of self promoting to do to get your name out there. I don't sell on any other online venues besides Etsy, so this is especially important for me. I from time to time list on Craigslist but you have to be careful that you don't include your store link or they will remove your listing. Flikr has been especially helpful for me, it's more of a portfolio for my work a lot like TalentDataBase. I've just started listing again on YouCraft.org which is similar to Craigslist but your website can be listed and it's solely crafted items. Of course my blog is also used to advertise. I also use some social networking sites like MySpace, Tribe.net, Facebook and more recently Linkreferral. This is just a few...I've joined others but I'm not really all that active on them. With working a day job, I really have a small space of time to do my self promoting so I have to pick the ones that will get my shop seen the most.

I'd say the most important self promotion that you can do is customer service. I can't emphasize this enough! How you treat your customers can definitely make or break you. If you as a seller and business owner are pleasant to deal with and go above and beyond to make sure your customers are happy, they will Remember, Return and Refer...I like to call this the 3 R's (these are the three things that I always keep in mind). Remember that they are contributing to the success of your business so be thankful, be courteous, be polite and make sure that they know how appreciative you are that they chose "You" to purchase from.

Now on to "Sales and Discounts". A lot of Etsians have SNS's (Saturday Night Specials/Sales), I haven't done one of these yet but may try one soon. I offer discounts during special events and free shipping during the holidays. I will be making Gift Certificates for the upcoming holiday season as well. I also put items on sale within my store...but these are normally items that are out of season. Another thing I do from time to time is include a little something extra with purchases. This can be something as simple as tea, cocoa, earrings, magnet...just use your imagination. I probably wouldn't use candy, the biggest complaint is people want to know how old it is, where it came from, etc., so be mindful of the customer here. Ways you can advertise your sale is to post them on all of your social networking sites (make sure it's not considered spam), in your stores front page, and in the Etsy forum. I don't suggest sending emails to customers who have not signed up to receive them. If you want to send these out I would suggest that with each sale asking your customer if they would like to receive promotional emails from you. Please don't assume that they will, you may lose some customers this way. Everyone likes a sale, but some don't want it shoved down their throats either, so again be mindful of how your customers may feel.

These are all just the way I do things, avenues that I use to promote and advertise. These may not guarantee a sale for you or myself, but they are definitely ways to get your name out there. If you try these, or currently use any of the online places listed above to promote I'd be interested in hearing your stories, successful or not, feel free to share!

Saturday, September 6, 2008


The boys started fall baseball today so we had to get up at Odarkhundred *yawns* I ended up taking a brief nap while they practiced. Do you ever notice that while your trying to sleep, or do something important the phone never stops ringing?? Holy Crow my cell phone was ringing off the hook this morning!

I did get alot of stuff done though today, I made a few more Goddess Adorned pendants, paid bills, balanced my checkbook, relisted a couple of things, and ordered some new supplies. I'm trying to decided if I want to sell the Goddess Adorned pendants with a sterling silver chain, ribbon or some other type of cording. If I decide on the sterling silver chain then the cost will have to go up...there in lies my indecisiveness...I want to keep these pendants affordable. If I list them with ribbons, I can add sterling silver clasps and really keep the cost pretty close to what it is now. I like the idea of them listed with ribbon because I can match it to the gems on the pendant....we'll see. Maybe I'll ask for some opinions in the Etsy forum...hmm..may have to do that.

Tomorrow I'm spending the day with my parents just relaxing and possibly having a BBQ, depending on the weather. I love my parents...I am truly blessed to have these two loving people in my life. I couldn't have asked for better parents. Sure we've had our ups and downs...mostly when I was an unruly teenager though. It's funny, when I was a teen I always wished that my friends parents were mine....now...looking back, I have no idea why I wanted that. Maybe it took me being a parent to see how absolutely wonderful and truly special they really are. I think it made me appreciate everything they did for me. And between you, me and the fencepost (as my brother Jarrett would say) they really did know what they were talking about...ssshhhh...don't tell them I said that though :)

Well I'm off to bed...maybe tonight I can get my dog to sleep on the other side of the bed instead of on me :) .....wish me luck!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Creativity, Copying or ??

In my Aug. 26th post I said that I would touch more on this subject. Just to remind you...I'll post an excerpt from it:

I very rarely if at all look at other jewelry shops on Etsy, nor do I keep up with what page my pieces show up on. There are a couple of reasons for that. The main reason is that I don't ever want to be accused of copying another sellers design (I'll touch on this further in my next post).
Copying is often a hot topic in the Etsy fora. I don't normally take part in those conversations because they're often heated. I tend to chat in my Street teams posts and some other "help" topics but that's about it. I'm not going to delve too deep in this topic because I want to point out some things that I've learned that may help others.

In a venue like Etsy where it is flooded with jewelry sellers, it's absolutely essential to stay creative. There is literally over 614,000 pieces of jewelry listed right now. That being said, you are bound to run across items that are similar if not exactly alike. Are they copying each other? Did they all learn that design from the same magazine or book? Without actually knowing that seller personally there is no telling how they came up with that design. Ohh I'm sure there is some out right copying going on, but if it's not a design that you solely created and protected, be it copyright, trademark or patent...then why worry so much about it? Instead take this opportunity to revamp your work...to change it up a bit....to give it a little extra pizazz...to make it your own and damnit be proud of it! Revel in that bit of creativity that you claim as your own!

I have 3 pieces that I've copyrighted...two of these I currently sell and another well...I'm not sure why I haven't listed it yet...I think it's waiting for a little pizazz of it's own :) I'm also working on a patent and a trademark. Yes...this can be expensive...Patent being the most and trademarking next. To copyright an item is $45....sell a few pieces of jewelry and there you have your fee. If your work is that important to you, take the time to protect it. Otherwise you really have no ground to stand on if someone takes it from you. I'm not trying to make light of someone copying anothers hard work....it hurts when this happens...and I don't mean the business necessarily, but the creator of the item that was copied. When you are a sole proprietor of a business that your building with your own two hands, anything taken without asking is damaging in one form or another....it feels like it's a personal attack and until it happens to you, you'll never understand it. So please....if you've created something unique...not found anywhere else...protect it!!

Okay I said more on that subject than what I had originally meant to....sorry. Now what I want to talk about is how to stay creative. Here's a list of ways that I do it....now I can't guarantee it'll work for you, but why not try it...it can't hurt :) Grab your journal or drawing pad and lets take a walk!

  • Nature: What better place to get inspiration?? Look at the way the ivy wraps around the tree...visualize....now see the wire wrap around the stone the way the ivy does the tree. You can do this with just about anything, the shapes of the leaves, the flower petals, insects, even ocean life!
  • People: Look at the colors that everyone is wearing, the patterns in their clothing, where they work (industrial, clerical, etc.)...if something catches your eye, jot it down.
  • Buildings: Architecture...the lines, straight, concave...ohh so many shapes you can imitate with wire.
  • Dreams: This one's a big one for me...pay attention to what's in them, write your dreams down in a journal. You never know what will come out of them. A dream is where Gaia came from!
  • Just sit...Really! Just sit down with your wire, some stones, your tools and just mess around. Don't think too much about what you're creating, just do it, it's amazing the pieces that you'll create when you just allow it to happen.

Like I said, these aren't steadfast ways to get creative but these are the things that I often do. The only other advice I can give is if you really want to learn how to make an item that someone else is selling, then ask them. Get their permission and out of respect (if you list the item) mention where you got the inspiration!

Well I'm extremely tired, and I'm sorry if I've rambled on a bit....I sure hope this post makes sense :) I'll probably find myself making adjustments to it tomorrow after I've had some much needed sleep.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What a day....

First I forgot to set me alarm...grrr.....but I got out of my house at a decent time *phew*...got to the top of the Lewis and Clark bridge (pictured) and what do you know...traffic is at a complete standstill :( So I called into work just to let them know that I'd be late...not a real big deal. Then I got to work, there were a pile of papers....obituaries and sympathy cards...so many people passed away this weekend, it was so sad. I work in a very small office and these people aren't just a number or someone that you see from time to time...we know everything about each one of them including their families and sometimes extended families. When they hurt we hurt, when they're happy we're happy for them...and to lose one of them is heartbreaking...but to lose 4 in one weekend...it was devastating.

One older gentleman...he was eccentric, he had no family...we were his family, he wasn't homeless or penniless...but he ate breakfast and lunch with us everyday, he didn't have a car...so we took him to all of his appointments...unless it was nice enough for him to walk (which he did a lot...even if he wasn't suppose to...man he could be stubborn), he remembered what we all liked to eat and brought us our favorites, where we lived and grew up and he'd always let us know what was happening in those areas of the world. He had a sharp mind, and a kind heart.....we loved him and I can't express just how much he will be missed.

It was a tough day indeed, we went through a lot of kleenex and the empty space where he used to sit will now have a live tree and a plaque with a picture in memory of our dear friend...we think he'd like that.

Tomorrow is a new day, the pain will still be there, but as always life has to go on...but we will never forget this man who touched all of our lives so deeply.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Back to work...

Well today was my last day of vacation :( Not that we went on vacation...well we did spend the day in Astoria and Seaside, but we didn't really take an actual vacation. I used the time to get my kids ready for school, take some down time for myself and start on my Fall cleaning. I did enjoy myself and hate to see it end...hehe...who doesn't huh?

I sent off the package for my 100th sale today!! I included a pair of Grace earrings adorned with Labradorite gemstones, 2 packages (1 to share...or just keep for herself) of Passion flavored Tazo Tea (my favorite!), and a 20% off coupon for future purchases. I hope she enjoys her extra goodies.

Speaking of Tazo...I love their tea! Passion of course is my favorite because of all the herbs in it, Hibiscus flowers, orange peel, cinnamon, licorice, rose hips, lemon grass and red poppy just to name a few....it really is a nummy combination. My favorite way to drink it is iced...it has a very cool, fruity, and perky taste and it's caffeine free. Be sure to check out their site, it's like going on an archaeological dig, and if you click on the "Social Responsibility" tab you'll see everything that they do for the economies and countries that grow and harvest their tea. It's interesting so be sure to check it out. Before you leave get your tea leaves read!

Monday, September 1, 2008

New Listings...

I just wanted to share my 2 newest listings with you. I decided to reintroduce Gaia today in my new Goddess Adorned line. She's the same Goddess just with a little more pizazz!

This Goddess Adorned was inspired by the earthy toned organza ribbon pictured with this pendant. A faceted wire wrapped blue Labradorite Spectrolite briolette drops from Gaia the Mother Goddess © 2008 SHI. Her spiral womb is adorned with a peacock pearl, faceted smoky quartz and labradorite rondelles.

This pendant has a faceted wire wrapped Garnet briolette that drops from Gaia the Mother Goddess © 2008 SHI. Her spiral womb is adorned with a faceted Rhodolite Garnet rondelle, a smooth Garnet rondelle and a Lepidolite in Quartz point.

Gaia connects us to the universal source of mothering and nurturing, leading us to a feeling of profound peace and balance.

I plan on doing a few more of these with more fall colors in the near future. This design will allow me to show the changing of the seasons. I'm excited to get started on more designs.