Monday, February 23, 2009

Coastal Excursion

I'm back from my weekend at the beach and I'm already missing the sound of the ocean lulling me to sleep. It was a beautiful weekend in Lincoln City, the temperature on Saturday was 50 degrees and there wasn't a breeze at all. It actually didn't start raining until we left...and it just happened to start while we were walking the beach again. We looked like drowned rats but we didn't care a bit! We had all sorts of things planned to do but ended up just spending our time relaxing and combing the beach for little treasures.

This was the view from our room.

This was just down the beach from us.

Some of the little treasures that I gathered. My favorite is the sea glass!

These large rocks were smack dab in the middle of the beach.

A cute little squirrel that came to see if we had any goodies.

The Corvid in me was so happy to be visited by this lovely crow!

This was taken in the town of Wheeler during our trip home coming back on Hwy. 101. I loved the way the mist engulfed the scenic mountains.

This was on the hillside of Manzanita at dusk.

A herd of elk grazing between Cannon Beach and Seaside. The highway was busy but I had to take a picture!

It was really hard coming back to "reality" after having such a great weekend of complete and utter carefree goodness! I thought that this would be our last trip before my friend moves but we enjoyed it so much we decided to start planning another....I can't wait!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Quick Post Before Bed

It's been a few days since I posted anything so I thought I would before I head to bed.

Let's see, February has been a fabulous month so far especially for sales. Over all it's been amazing really, it took me 1 year to reach 100 sales (Sept. 2008), and just 5 1/2 months to make an additional 166 sales. It's been a crazy fun ride that's taught me that organization is a must!! I'm not even a top seller on Etsy...I have no idea how the top sellers do it. I often wonder if they have another job outside of Etsy...a family...and really just how they balance it all.

Aside from my business, the boys are doing great. They just received their acceptance letters to Pacific University....yes it's the expensive private college that I've mentioned before. It's funny because while my kids were filling out applications to various college's they said, "Mom, if I'm going to be $100,000 in debt from my college education I'd rather it be from a college that I want to go to!" I have to admit that I agree, though I hope they don't end up that far in debt! This weekend they attended Pace Setters at the's a scholarship competition. The least they will receive is $4000 and the most is a full ride....I have my fingers crossed! They really like the school so far after the various visits and they've had a chance to spend some time with the baseball coaches...they're really looking forward to being part of their team. As their mom, I'm afraid of the debt, I'm excited for their new adventure with this next step in life and I really hope that they get all that they want and more!

This weekend is my best friends birthday so we're going for an all girls weekend with lots of fun and frolicking on the beach....I can't wait!! I think we're going to do some wine tasting, and we're going to attempt blowing our own glass balls....there's so much to do. I think most of all we're going to relax and enjoy the time together before she moves away :( We won't talk about that always brings tears to my eyes to even think about it!

Well I'm off to bed...the morning comes to fast anymore and I am in dire need of some beauty sleep! I'll post pictures of our trip to the beach when I get back.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What Tarot Card Are You?

You are The Star

Hope, expectation, Bright promises.

The Star is one of the great cards of faith, dreams realised

The Star is a card that looks to the future. It does not predict any immediate or powerful change, but it does predict hope and healing. This card suggests clarity of vision, spiritual insight. And, most importantly, that unexpected help will be coming, with water to quench your thirst, with a guiding light to the future. They might say you're a dreamer, but you're not the only one.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

I love these...I saw it on Gypsy Trader Import's Blog and had to see what my card was. It's interesting because at a closer look of my card the Dragon is holding a water vessel, and I'm an it's very fitting :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

It's Been A Few Days....

Since my last post. Jeez, I almost sound like I'm in a confessional LOL!

Things have been crazy with the Valentine's rush, I've even received sales on Artfire and ShopHandmade. Very cool if you ask me! The Love Me Knot ring is my biggest seller right now.

I've encountered a few major snafu's though. This last weekend I had 9 rings to make, get packaged and ready to be shipped out on Monday. Well my torch had been acting a bit funny, leaking as if the trigger was stuck in the "on" position. Then the flame was all wacky, it'd be bushy one second, huge, small and everything in between other than the flame that I needed it to be. I ended up destroying a lot of rings because it'd get a major flame on as the silver started to flow and just melt the crap out of everything....uuuugggghhhh! Then I kept having hot flashes, which for those of you who have experienced them know that you go from calm to raging in nothing flat! Ruining perfectly good rings during a hot flash did not make for a pretty site. All in all what should've taken me 5 minutes took nearly 6 hours, but I got it done!

Now I've got a new torch, it's Benzomatic propane torch...I believe it's a plumbers torch, I had a friend of mine who's an electrician pick it up for me. It was a bit scary to work with at first especially compared to my Ronson mini torch, but it works pretty darned good! I used it for the first time today, made a couple of fine silver bangle bracelets and filled some more ring orders.

I've now made myself both a round and an oval bangle bracelet and I have to say that I really like the ovals much better. I'm not sure if it's because of the fit or what...but I think I'll be making myself some more of these :) I'll take pics of them tomorrow or the day after to share!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Then in Now.....Photographing Jewelry

This was inspired by a question from a fellow Etsy seller beadinbythesea who asked if I take my photos using a light box or natural light. Though I've discussed this with her personally I thought I'd share it with the rest of you too.

When I first started selling jewelry I had no idea how to photograph jewelry or anything about the camera I was using. Macro?...what's that? A pasta? Laugh all you want but that's exactly what I said!

Below are the photos that show the progression that I made not only with the lighting but with backgrounds too. I originally started photographing on black velvet, but couldn't find any of those photos...must have destroyed them, the lint was so embarrassing! I obviously learned what Macro was after that!

At first I just used the flash of my camera...eek, blinding!

Then I read a tip to use a piece of paper towel or toilet paper to diffuse the that...much better I can take off my sunglasses now.

Then I got a wonderful light box....oh what did I ever do without it!?! But on occasion I still had problems with the photo's not representing the colors of the stones correctly, but that's what my photo program is for right?

Oooo....but then I discovered natural light...and I haven't looked at my light box since!
There's also a trick to using natural light, at least in my experience...don't take photos in direct might as well have your flash on because when the sun hits the's blinding! I now take all of my pictures in my home at the sliding glass doors (which faces northwest). I generally wait until about 3's when the sun hits the backside of my house perfectly. I honestly don't think I will ever go back to using my light box....sad because it wasn't cheap, but you just can't beat natural lighting!

The camera I use is Samsung S630, it's just a hand held point and shoot, small, and very easy to use. It has a nice Macro setting and ASR (stabilizer), works great for what I need it to do. The reviews weren't so good on this camera because of how fast it goes through batteries, but I just bought rechargeable one's (I get about 2 months of use before having to recharge) and I've never had the problems stated in the reviews.

Many sites say that you need a DSLR to take a decent photo, if you have the money by all means purchase one....but a point and shoot will work just fine if you're on a limited budget.

If you have any questions or suggestions post a comment!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Rings and Ritual

Here's another fine silver ring! I really struggled with a name to call them. I've made one for my friend, so a Friendship Knot. I've made 2 for my son to give to his girlfriend as both Forget Me Knot and Love Me Knot rings. So as of right now in light of Valentine's Day they are called Love Me Knot rings, but the title may change as I don't want them to be perceived as just a holiday gift.

Imbolc is upon us, and I haven't decided how I will celebrate this Sabbat. I had planned on making some candles (in honor of Brighid) but I'm finding that my time is very limited to do so between my day job, and my personal business. I think I'll make some bread with seeds to symbolize growth, it'll have to be in my breadmaker as my time is restricted but the intent is the same and I have plenty of cheese to enjoy with the bread :) I may plant some little seedlings to represent my hopes and dreams for the coming summer months. Hmm...I think I've just decided on how I will celebrate Imbolc....Yay!

Ohh and another celebration........Mercury is direct......FINALLY!! *Happy Dance*