Sunday, December 27, 2009

Reflecting on 2009

Are we really entering into the last week of 2009??? I cannot believe how fast this year has gone by....seems like it should only be the beginning of summer.

As I reflect on 2009, I realize how much I've learned and grown. I am proud to say that I've made 6 sales on Etsy. Now, I know that doesn't sound like many, but when I take a step back and look at the big picture, those 6 sales are a lot! The reason I say that, is that I work a full time job outside the home (often 50 + hour weeks), am a bit shy (can be hard for me to promote my shop to people I meet/know), and there are a crazy number of jewelry sellers on Etsy. I've heard many people complain that they've only had 20-some sale one month, that the jewelry market is saturated. I agree, there are a lot of jewelry sellers, but I way I look at is - hey, out of all the other sellers the buyer can choose, and all the items for sale, those 6 people found me....they loved a piece that I made, and they just had to have it. Now, I'm not sure about you, but that makes me feel DARN GOOD!!!! So I will take my 6 sales and will be proud!!!

During 2009 I started my blog (and will do a better job at posting in 2010), created a twitter account, learned about shipping and sales, and other promotional tools that I can expand on in 2010.

I am very excited for 2010 - I will be starting a new job at the end of January, and am just excited to see what the year has in store for me. One of my goals is to become more organized. I hope to be able to establish more of routine (my new job should be more 40 -45 hour weeks) and to plan my weeks better. I think if I can plan better, then everything else will fall into place.

So here's a nod to 2009 and a big smile to 2010.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

New Toy.....

I'm so excited, my new toy was just delivered yesterday!!!! I bought a Cricut Create machine, and so far, I love it!!! I'm having a lot of fun with it. One of the main reasons I bought it was to create stencils for glass etching, but I haven't tried cutting the vinyl yet. I've been playing around with cutting different thicknesses of paper, and learning the machine. I'm really excited to see what I'll be able to create. I can already see myself making cards for my nieces and nephews instead of buying them. The more I'm on Etsy and Artfire, the more I really am looking to give handmade items. It seems to give me a different feeling.....a good feeling. Not that I'll only give handmade gifts, but I will definitely try to buy less.

So anyways, I'm off to go play with my new toy.....have a great night!!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Rose Etched Vase

Just a quick post......I did a new glass etching today....a beautiful rose design on a vase. The vase is approximately 9 inches tall.
Also, I'm really excited- I just purchased a Cricut Create machine and 3 cartridges. Hopefully it will ship quickly!!! I'm really excited about making stencils for glass etching and being able to customize more pieces.

Here are pictures of my newest etching. Enjoy!!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Spring is here - Butterfly Bud Vase

The beautiful weather inspired me to create a spring etching!! Growing up in Michigan, I've always loved spring and fall - spring for when everything comes back to life, with beautiful, bright, bold colors - and fall for when the leaves change to gorgeous shades of yellow, orange and red.

My newest glass etching is a single butterfly, fluttering above 2 flowers surrounded by tall leaves. I etched a 5 inch tall bud vase, which is just in time to fill with fresh spring flowers!!!

Check out my Etsy store for the new listing!!

Votive Etchings

Well, I've been playing around with glass etching...made an awesome mirror for my niece, which I unfortunately could not get good pictures of (light kept reflecting in the mirror at angles), and have practiced on a few bud vases. I was really excited about how one bud vase turned out, until I saw that on one of the flowers, the etching cream made its way under the stencil and goofed up a couple petals. I was so bummed!!! But I was able to create these matching votive holders. These votive holders will be my first glass etching listing and I'm really excited about that!!!

I think the glass etching will be a nice addition to my existing stores. I'm still debating if I will have one store for glass etching and one store for jewelry. I guess only time will tell.

Make sure to check back for new items!!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Glass Etching

After I finished my post last night regarding Artfire and having 2 shops, I started thinking about what I would possibly branch out into. I thought back to various crafts I did while in 4-H and I remembered a glass etching project. I've thought about doing that again from time to time, so it seems fitting that I would look into that.

About an hour later and a run to Michaels, I was playing with etching vases. I found re-usable stencils (which makes it SO much easier!) and bought letters and a florial design. Next weekend we are having my oldest niece's birthday party, so I think I might etch her name into a mirror.

This morning I did some more etching and am really enjoying it. I have a lot of ideas coming to mind, so I'm sure I'll be experimenting soon!!

Now I won't be moving away from making jewelry, the glass etching will be in addition to. Although I really am considering having each in a different store.

Check back later....I will make sure to post pictures of my newest projects!!

Until next time.....get inspired, be creative....

Saturday, April 4, 2009


I opened an Artfire store in January, but really haven't done a lot in there yet. I was able to get a $7/month membership and thought I would give it about 3 months. I was looking at my store, my slim store with only 3 items listed, and was debating if I should close up shop. But as I thought about it, I really haven't given the store a chance. I spend so much time on Etsy, that maybe I should give more time to Artfire. Unfortunately, I only have so many items to list and Etsy does not allow you to sell the same item on other sites. So, do I split my items between 2 shops, or do I "put all my eggs in one basket"? Although, if I branch out from jewelry it would work out that one shop could be jewelry and the other shop could be whatever I branch out into.

I've decided to give it more time......more of my time and a more time to really establish my shop.

Check out both my shops....

Until next time.....get inspired, be creative......

Friday, April 3, 2009

Bulking up my Store....

Well, I've been working to bulk up my inventory and had it up to 28 items....only to have a sale come through. Hey, I'll take it!!!! It was my 3rd sale online....and I get so excited every time! I will be working to increase my inventory even more. I just placed an order for supplies, going to play around with earring posts. Can't wait!!!

Here are a couple of my newer items.....

I offer free USPS Priority Shipping to the US and discounted International shipping. Check out my other items....

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Newest to my collection

So I know it's been a few weeks since I posted...but I'm happy to say that I've had a very productive weekend. This will be a short post, but here are the newest items listed today. I have a couple more items that I made but have not listed yet.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wire Wrapped Drop

I'm excited about a new necklace I listed first piece using wire wrapping. The copper wire wrapped drop hangs approximately 1 inch and the necklace contains trios of Lavender and Olive Czech Round beads. Each trio is separated by Amethyst Czech Round beads. I love how unique the drop is!

Check out my Etsy store for more details!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Michigan Trolls.....Go Team!!!

Well, our Etsy Michigan Team is coming together....we are officially a team now!! YAY!!! Michigan's Trolls of Etsy

Tonight in our chat we decided on a team tag:
Michigan Trolls

For those who shop on Etsy...first of all, a big, big THANK YOU!!!! We really appreciate your support of Handmade! Second, be sure to look for our team tag in the item tags to know that you supported Michigan Handmade.

Valentine's Day is just around the corner...there are GREAT gifts in the shops, make sure you snatch them up before someone else does!!!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Love this new necklace!

So last night I got an itch to use my new Bronze Swarovski Curved Pearls. I put a spin on a design that I had just used for a set that I created for a co-worker. I am so happy with how it turned out!! Normally I tear a necklace a part about 5 times before I have a design that I'm happy with, however last night I got it pretty much on the first attempt! That rarely happens!

The necklace is approximately 18 inches long, with a drop that hangs approximately 3/4 inch. It is finished with a lobster claw clasp.

Check out my new necklace at my Etsy store:


While reading the forums in Etsy, I've noticed a lot of people talking about Artfire. Like Etsy, Artfire is a venue to buy/sell handmade, vintage and supplies, however, it is still in the beta phase. Artfire offers 2 types of seller accounts - basic (free, with limited services), and verified ($7.00/month, with more services available). The $7.00/month is only for the first 5000 verified accounts though, after that, it will be $20.00/month. Unlike Etsy, Artfire does not charge a listing fee, or take a fee for each sale. Etsy charges $0.20/listing and 3.5% of each sale.

So, I thought, what do I have to lose....I'll try it for 3 months, and at worst, I'll be out $21.00.

Check it out if you like....

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I've been Tagged!!!

I've been tagged by Sassy Glass Designs

This is my first time getting tagged....and I'm excited!! Thanks Sassy Glass Designs!!!

Ok, 7 random things about me.....

1. I grew up in the thumb of Michigan (yes, the thumb)
2. When I was younger, I was involved in 4-H (Head, Heart, Hands, Health)
3. One of my favorite channels is HGTV
4. I have a gym membership that I don't use....
5. I love quotes
6. I'm a perfectionist
7. I've been crocheting since I was about 7 years old.

Here are the rules.....

  • Link to the person who tagged you

  • Post the rules in your blog

  • Write 7 random things about yourself

  • Tag 7 people at the end of your post and link to them

  • Let each person know they've been tagged

I'm tagging....


Four Dog Day

Alternative Livings

My Two Seasons Designs

Athenas Olive Tree

Shimmer Me Blue Designs

Nun of a Kind

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Inspiration.....comes at the strangest times.......

In my last post I mentioned needing inspiration in order to be creative. Today I was thinking about that again and how inspiration comes at the strangest times. One example of this comes to mind while I was going through a box of my stuff from high school.

In my English class we had to write a poem and if it was published in the local paper, then we received extra credit. A couple days later I was laying in bed and around 1:00am all these ideas just hit me - I couldn't write fast enough! By no means am I a poet, nor would I ever be able to write another one. My poem did get published and I did get extra credit , but I think the feeling after finishing it was so much better.

Anyways, here is my poem. Like I said, I was in high school, and by no means a poet - so be easy on me!!

I Am

Last night I dreamt that I was as free as an eagle,
Soaring high above the land, where I had no cares.
I would fly away from my life, my problems;
Leaving it all behind without a second thought.

Last night I dreamt that I was as fast as a cheetah.
Stretching my long, lean legs out, nothing could catch me.
I would run like the wind, racing against all expectations.
I could outrun my greatest fears, reaching tranquility.

Last night I dreamt that I was as mighty as an elephant,
Trampling over all my failures, crushing them into nothing,
Leaving them all behind me.

But when I awoke this morning, I was me.
Not as free as an eagle,
As fast as a cheetah,
Nor as mighty as an elephant.
No matter what,
I cannot escape my life,
My problems and my expectations,
Nor my fears and failures.

Although, I can spread my wings,
Soaring to new heights,
Running toward my fears,
And crushing my failures,
Leaving them all behind me.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Two hours of creative loafing........

I was going through my quote books and stumbled upon this quote....

"Many times we will get more ideas and better ideas in two hours of creative loafing than in eight hours at a desk" - Wilfred Peterson

How true this is!!!! I have noticed that when I want to be creative, almost forcing myself be creative....I run into a huge wall and can't think of anything! For me, I really do have to be inspired in order to get creative. Sometimes I will see something and my mind will just take off with other ways it can be designed.

One thing I struggle with is combining colors. Needless to say, in college I majored in Accounting.....
But anyways, I found a color wheel and plan to start using that for ideas of colors to combine. I will be doing A LOT of experimenting coming up soon!!!

Check back to see what concoctions I come up with!!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Hmmmm A Look at My Inventory

Ok, I've listed 3 new bracelets today and I took a good look at my Etsy's pretty much all bracelets! I think I'm going to hold off on listing some other bracelets that I have and work on making more necklaces. I'm not sure why I've created more bracelets than necklaces.....guess its quicker to the end product????? I'm also going to play around with more colors....use a color wheel for ideas of colors to pair together.

Hopefully tomorrow I will have new necklaces to list. Until then......

2 New Bracelets

I listed 2 new bracelets in my Etsy store. The first is the same as the pewter and Swarovski pearl bracelet already listed, but is made with Fancy Jasper beads. I love the different colors in the fancy jasper, it allows the bracelet to be worn with almost any outfit.

The second bracelet is made with Swarovski Light Colorado Topaz links and sterling silver spiral tubes. I love how the spiral tubes give this simple, yet stunning bracelet a bit of a "twist".

I never realized how much I would learn about photography from listing jewelry!! I have played around with my digital camera and keep finding better ways to take pictures. It's amazing!

I will be listing more items throughout the weekend, so check back often!

Plans for today

Well, over the last week I've been spending a lot of time in the forums on Etsy, twitter, and here in the blogs, so I think today I will focus on creating new items. I wasn't sure how many items to keep in my store at one time, but after reading different posts, I need to bulk up my listings. I currently have 12 items in my store and by the end of the weekend, hopefully I'll have 20-25 listed. Does anyone else seem to get writer's block though when it comes time to write a description? I try to make each description different, well besides the materials used, but regarding the adjectives. I just don't want to sound repetitive "Stunning....Beautiful.....Classy.....Eye Catching....".

It looks like it will be snowing all day today, which makes it a perfect day to stay in! I should also spend time playing with our puppy - he's been a bit bored lately. Poor guy will rest his chin on the couch cushion next to me, saying with his eyes "Won't you play with me?"

Check my store often for new listings this weekend!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Newest Bracelets to my Collection

Last night I added 2 new bracelets to my store.

The first is a delicious creamy combination. I love how the powder rose and the cream pearls compliment each other and are set off by the 4mm Swarovski bicone beads. It would be stunning for a wedding or to dress up a casual outfit.

The second bracelet, to me, has a vintage feel. I love how the powder rose pearls float within the pewter bead frames. I have also made this bracelet with fancy jasper beads. It is one of my favorite bracelets!

Both bracelets can be found at my Etsy store and would make great Valentine's Day Gifts!

"Don't wait to be discovered" - Gil Atkinson

I absolutely love quotes. I find a lot of inspiration and motivation in them, and often look to them when I need a boost. My quote today is "Don't wait to be discovered" by Gil Atkinson, and I think that is so true. Often we just think people will come to us, and for some people that does happen, but not for everyone.

I opened my Etsy store in September and took a couple months setting it up. I began listing items just before Christmas, and for whatever reason, I thought "If you list it, they will buy"....right. I fell into the trap of thinking that just by listing items people will just flock to my store and buy everything! Or maybe that's what I hoped would happen. I didn't do anything to really put myself out there and promote my store.

After about 10 days, I started poking around the Etsy website and checked out the forums. I read a thread regarding how long it took to get your first sale. It was very eye opening. Some people had sales within the hour, others took months for their first sale. It was comforting to know I wasn't the only person to not get a sale right away. In the forums is where I heard about twitter and blogspot, and signed up for both right away.
I have since noticed an increase in the traffic to my store, and found out some other great tips.

It is really hard to just put yourself out there and really promote yourself. It does get easier, but it takes work. Our success is in our own hands, and I think we forget that. We need to keep trying, exploring, and promoting ourselves. I think of it as being in a maze, with more than one way to get to the exit. Our goal is at the exit. While going through the maze, we may reach a dead end, and in that case, we have to back track and find a different path. That's ok! What's important to remember is to never give up, keep moving. We don't always know if the path we select will take us where we want to go, but enjoy the journey and take away everything you can from it. It may take us to anther path that will get us where we want to go.

So, put yourself out there and "Don't wait to be discovered"......

Monday, January 5, 2009

Blue & Orange Necklace

I just finished listing my new necklace. The alternating sections of cobalt and sapphire Czech beads and light sapphire and indian red Swarovski beads, are really set off by the alternating oval and rounds silver plated links. This necklace is simply stunning!

Check out my store:

New Necklace

I made a new necklace last night, however my camera was not aware of my plans and needed to be charged. So tonight I will be taking new pictures and listing a few new items in my Etsy store. Check back tonight for the first ever pictures of my new creation!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

First Blog.....

So this is my first ever blog.......

I've been spending a lot of time working on my Etsy store
It has been interesting, very exciting, and very very SCARY!! I really had to step outside my comfort zone to start my store and just put myself out there. I'm learning a lot about promoting myself and gaining more confidence each day.

So I'm going to end my first post here, otherwise I will have a novel of me rambling on.....