I Can Admit

when I'm not good at something. Last night I went to a craft night that a local group of ladies have put together. The project of the evening was to make a collage. I just had to show up with scissors and a glue stick. What could be so hard about collaging?

Well, obviously, everything. I couldn't come up with an idea, I couldn't find colors I wanted to use, my glue stick wasn't very good, etc etc etc. I felt like I was working on a kindergarten project and the outcome looks like it too.

The rest of the group had LOVELY items at the end of the night and I had this:

Oh well, I'll stick to what I know and what I know is that I'm an earring making fool. I have so many earrings to post once I get good pictures of them. If (and that is a big if) we have a snow day tomorrow, I'll work on getting some pictures even if the light isn't perfect. I'm running out of my last batch of earrings to post and I want to get these up in my shop. I came home from a very frustrating day at work today and sat down and made 4 pairs of earrings. They are silver versions of the copper ones I blogged about the other night.

One of these days I'll get them up in my shop.


There Are Other Choices

The world does not revolve around silver earrings alone. My shop consists of many bracelets in both silver tones and coppers. However, due to lack of supplies in any other type of metal, my earrings, except one pair, have been all in silver tones. I first made some in copper a few weeks ago. I posted them in my shop as they had a matching bracelet that needed a companion in the shop. The views were good and someone even expressed interest in them, but they are still there. Seeing as how they didn't fly off of the shelf, I wasn't eager to make a bunch more in copper.

However, with the introduction of my new earring line last week, I thought some in copper might be in order. I went to work today on a few pair and I like the results. They are stunning and I have more options with them due to using wire instead of headpins for the body of the earring. I think I might try and find some good silver tone wire and try the same with that. I really like this style.

I will continue to post these in my Etsy shop, but all of these earrings have me looking forward to my next craft show. I have only had bracelets and scarves at the shows in the past. While those did well, I think if I had my earrings with me, I'd sell even more. People seem to be in the mood to buy earrings at those shows (as was evident at my first show this past September - my mom sold earring after earring after earring).

These three pairs are the only thing I crafted this weekend. It is a bit less than I had planned on doing, but better than nothing. My sweet will be off at a concert tomorrow night, so I'll have some time to myself to get more earrings and a couple of bracelets finished. I just need one more day in the week!


Making Sense Of It All

It is very easy to go on mini shopping sprees across the internet once you have built up a sizable amount in your PayPal account. Perhaps you have sold a few items in your online shop or you transferred money over from your bank account to make yourself feel better about the balance PayPal (I'm not one to judge), either way, you'll soon be out to spend it on yourself.

I've found myself wanting to do this lately. I poke around on eBay every now and then, but most of my time is spent browsing on Etsy. I have quite an extensive list of favorite items and favorite shops and I find that quite a chunk of my free time on Friday or Saturday nights is spent looking for that one thing to buy, that one, perfect little thing. Needless to say, I'm left tired, confused, and without that perfect purchase.

Well no more. I've decided to focus my "reward" purchases (those spent when I've sold a few things, sell a few - buy one, it makes sense) on my penguin collection. I started my penguin collection a few years before it was super popular to have a penguin. I had purchased a small toy at Baby Gap that was a fleece penguin with a red and green hat on. When you squeezed it, it made some kind of quazi-penguin noise. It was cute, and so it began. I collected penguins.

The collection has grown since with small glass penguins, Christmas cards, and TONS of ornaments. This Christmas, I received a felted penguin from my sister for Christmas. It came from PensiveRabbit and was absolutely gorgeous (I don't have a picture of it yet). It sits on my crafting desk and I absolutely love it. I want more handmade/painted penguins. The collection is going to take on new life and eventually take over a wall. I've started to pick out my favorite penguins on Etsy and I have showcased a few for your viewing pleasure.

Sure, I'll still purchase the occasional pendant or earrings online, but I'm going to do my best to focus on penguins.

Until next time...


Meet Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscope is my brand spankin' new line of earrings featured in my Etsy shop. Most will be under $10.00 (unless the supplies don't allow it) and all are dangly, colorful, and fun. These will be my most colorful earrings yet and I hope they do well.

I'll be filling up my shop this evening and tomorrow with the new line - so please, go on over and take a look.

Now back to that scarf.


The Unveiling

I read somewhere in the Etsy Storque that a good way to start the new year out in your shop is with a new line. I've been thinking about that ever since. Many questions have come from that. How can I incorporate my style into something new? Am I still new enough on Etsy that perhaps I need to stick to what I do? Should I do something completely different or not? Well, last night I bought some Scrabble tiles on Ebay as those seem to be an inexpensive supply that can be used any number of ways. But that's done on Etsy... a lot. I don't know if that is the route I want to go for my shop. I'll certainly take some pendants made from Scrabble tiles to the craft shows next year - I haven't seen them there yet. However, Scrabble tiles are not the direction I want to go with my new idea.

I saw down tonight to make some earrings and bracelets. I churned out the same old stuff - lovely stuff - but the same. After finishing another "I Love Olive - Hand Knit Bracelet", I thought I should make some earrings in sterling silver to match. But I didn't have the supplies to do my usual earrings in sterling. So I got creative and my new line was born. I made one pair in sterling and the rest with the regular stuff. I love them and cannot wait to get pictures of them taken and get them loaded up on my shop. I really think these will appeal to a different crowd than my current designs. Hopefully I'm not too far off with that statement.

Needless to say, all of this creating did not allow me time to work on a scarf I'm making for the Sweet Boy. I promised him I'd have it finished by the time he returned home from a trip on Monday evening. I've got to get to work on that.
I'll leave you with a teaser of my new line until I get them posted into my shop.


Naughty United States Postal Service

Hey USPS - I appreciate you bringing me all sorts of goodies in the mail today, but I didn't appreciate the bent package. Guess what, "Do Not Bend" on a package from Australia means "Do Not Bend" here in the US too - they speak English... capishe? I will be heading up there tomorrow and complaining.

However, I received the most wonderful (don't I always say that) items in the mail box today and the bending only messed with the print a bit. I can flatten it out in a frame. Thankfully the seller sent it over packaged quite well and my postal carrier was too lazy to leave it at my door and tried his darnedest to get it to fit in the box.

One was a trade from an amazing artist in Australia. Her name is Ali J and I'm so excited about what she sent. I got a print, necklace, and button. I'll be going back there for Christmas next year. I know some people that would LOVE what she makes.

My second treat in the mail was a much anticipated package from Hobbledehoy. I watched her hand dyed roving fly out of her shop in the days leading up to Christmas, but didn't buy any as I didn't yet have a way to spin it into beautiful yarn. With the receipt of my drop spindle for Christmas, I now have reason to spend money in her shop like it's going out of style. I purchased Drunken Sailor and Chocolat from her shop and she sent a bonus batch of roving as a treat. I can't wait to spin these up.

My third treat was a pendant I purchased on a whim the other night. I had favorited it a few days before and felt the need to move some fundage out of Paypal and into someone's shop. Deciduous Soul was my lucky seller. I purchased a lovely pendant from her shop and will have to wear something brown tomorrow because I cannot wait to wear this to work and get many, many compliments on it.


Etsy One Million Challenge

Our street team, AREtsy, is putting out a Etsy Wide challenge to pool ONE MILLION pictures of their art work and items for sale. The Flickr Group can be found by clicking HERE.

You don't have to be in AREtsy or in any street team to participate - but this is a great way to help promote both your shop and the shops of your fellow team members if you are in a street team.

Lets see how fast we can get 1 million photos pooled!



After a weeks worth of trying new ways to do my Etsy shop photos, I think I've found some I'm satisfied with. One of the rocks I dug up when working on my front flower bed last spring works quite well as a background to my bracelets and my earrings. Some items didn't take as well in this setting, but I hope to have time to play with that this weekend.

Next photo task - take all new photos of all of my current shop items. Ugh.

As I said in my Moo Card posting, I was on my way to purchase a full set of Moos to use as my business cards. Well, I didn't do that right away. I sat on the idea for a couple of days. Tonight I got to work on Photoshop to work on my own business card design, but after an hour, decided that $19.99 was worth it to just buy them and be done with it. I did manage to churn out a new banner on Photoshop instead. It wasn't a wasted hour.

This has been a bit of a crazy week for me. Work has been running me ragged since Monday (it's just a busy week up there), I've been busy each night at home, and tomorrow I have a Leadership function to attend and those are always exhausting. Needless to say, jewelry making came to an abrupt halt on Monday night. I'm hoping to get back at it Friday evening. I still have quite a few items to post for the remainder of the week, but want to have some ready for next week. Do any other Etsians feel that they are either making things or posting things? Is there any down time?!?


My Latest Purchase

I've talked about AREtsy in my blog before. If you have time, you can go back and see many of the wonderful shops that make it up, if you are lazy, then I'll give you a quick description of AREtsy. AREtsy is an Etsy Street Team for the state of Arkansas. That's it, simple, easy, and explanation is over. It's made up of so many great shops that I hardly have need to purchase outside of the group when I need something fun to spin into yarn, or something fun to wear, write on, look at, etc.

My latest Etsy purchase was from a fellowing AREtsian and local NW Arkansas resident, Julie Rose. Her shop is JulieRose and she sells the most lovely wire wrapped rings. I purchased a silver colored beaded ring (because I'm a bit chicken when it comes to colorful rings) but she has so many great colors in her shop, you have to check it out. Her rings are adorned with colorful buttons and beads and can be sized to your specifications. Also, her prices cannot be beat. So go, go now, buy a ring!

In my crafting update, I've made 4 bracelets and for pairs of earrings this week but the sun has been playing shy and won't come out for photo lighting. I just need to break down and purchase a light box. I hope to have new items in my shop tomorrow night.


Moo Cards

For a few months I've been hearing about some little things (or not so little if you consider their popularity) called Moo Cards. They are cards printed with your pictures or artwork on one side and your contact information on the back. They are smaller than business cards and therefore more interesting (different equals good, right?). While I fell in love with them immediately, I was hesitant to purchase any as I wasn't sure if my pictures would look good on them.

I recently upgraded to Flickr Pro as I had maxed out the amount of free pictures Flickr allowed without the Pro account. Once I had finished upgrading, I was offered something quite exciting - 10 free Moo Cards. Okay, we all know what freebies mean. They mean I'll fall even more in love with the product once I see them with my store name all over them and I'll turn around and spend money on an entire order. I didn't care about that, I just cared about my freebies.

They were shipped on December 19. I waited.

And waited.

They were coming from London, so I continued to wait.

Lucky me, they came in the mail today. I love them... a lot! So now I'm off to order some more because the freebie did its job, I'm sold.



I *heart* custom orders. While selling anything I make is good in my book, custom orders allow me to make things that a customer specifically asked for. I don't have to worry about if someone is going to like it enough to buy it or if it will sell at all. I just have to worry about finishing it on time (which I always do).

I received a phone call before Christmas from someone who had purchased a scarf from me last year. She wanted another one. I pointed her to my Etsy site hopeing for a sale. Nothing came from it. It wasn't a huge loss. However, I received another phone call from her this past week wanting to purchase two custom scarves. While I would have been thrilled to sell one stuff from my Etsy site before Christmas, I was even more thrilled to sell two yet to be made scarves after Christmas.

I set to work on them yesterday and finished them up today. I'm pleased with the results and hope she will be as well. In fact, I like them so much, I might make one for my Etsy site. The colors are nice.


Let The Gardening Games Begin

We'll now take a break from discussions of crafting and turn out attention to something just as tasty.

Today deserves a real post, a post with substance, not just a letter to my Etsy shop. Today (a very cold today I might add) deserves my first gardening post for the year.

Ever since college I have been interested in growing stuff. I had some peppers in pots down in Austin and when I moved to NW Arkansas, I had tomatoes, eggplant, herbs, and peppers in pots. Last year, for the first time, I moved those veggies and herbs into the ground. I think I did pretty well for a first time. My dad helped me build my bed and my sweet boy, mom, and sister cheered me on as I proudly displayed my green thumb.

I didn't wind up with baskets full of veggies, but I did end up with a good crop (and found that my accidental potato growing skills are quite impressive). Gardening season started again for me today. I went over to my forum haunt from last year, www.idigmygarden.com. I found someone trading some seeds and will be getting the following:
Thai pink egg tomato
rainbow chard
purple calabash tomato

I'm super excited about the tomatoes (pictured at right in order of listing), ready to try my hand at some chard, and am hopeful that I can attempt a normal looking fennel. Of course these won't be going into the ground anytime soon, BUT I can line them up on my dining room table and dream of a spectacular garden.

Soon, I tell myself, soon.

A Promise To My Etsy Shop

Dear Etsy Shop,

I promise that I will add more things to you as 2008 progresses, however, the setting of the sun is working against me right now. I will be better prepared as the weekend approaches to do some mass jewelry making and mass photography while I'm home when the sun is up. I just can't bear to take another shoddy photo without sunlight of my lovely earrings and bracelets.

I know that one of my goals was to post more often, but you have to understand, I just can't get home before the sun goes down. It will get better, I promise. You'll see. I'll make it up to by posting many new and lovely items to sell to the masses.

You'll see.

It will be different.


Idyll Hands


The other day I tried my hand at hand spinning yarn on my new drop spindle. I suppose it could have gone worse. What I have resembles yarn... doesn't it? I knew it would take practice and because of that, I'm not disappointed with the fruits of my first attempt. I'm actually quite excited to try it again, but not tonight.

Tonight was reserved for cooking dinner at home, putting away the cooking dinner dishes, and relaxing in front of the tv - ehh - computer. If I had cooked something lovely and excited, I might have been motivated to photograph it and post pictures of it on my Flickr account, but chicken/potato/carrot/and onion roast stirred up with spices and spray butter isn't exciting nor lovely, but it sure is tasty. I suppose cooking at home more than I do is a resolution of sorts for 2008. Since I started this blog as a place to post my crafting, gardening, AND cooking efforts, I should fire up the stove and get to work. Perhaps I'll have pictures by the end of this weekend.

Until then, you shall have to enjoy my pictures of my super bulky in some places and super thin in others yarn.