Is The End In Sight?

I want to start this post by stating that I have been good to my body this week. I started this week thinking I would not have time to go to Jazzercise and would only have time to come home and work on stuff for the fair this weekend. However, I've gone to Jazzercise both Monday night and tonight. Guess what - I didn't have time to do that and get ready for the fair.


Here is it, 11PM on Tuesday night (way past my bedtime) and I'm blogging about not having time to do what needs to get done. Yes, it's so bad that I'm blogging about it. I have manage to price my earrings and bracelets. While doing so, I found two bracelets that need new clasps as I wasn't happy with the ones on them. I put those aside to work on tomorrow night. I didn't even come close to pricing my necklaces OR finishing the ones I started the night before last.

I have one night left until set up day for the fair. I do believe tomorrow night will be a take out pizza night and if the Sweet Boy even thinks about tempting me with some Sopranos on DVD, I will show my ugly side.

End of story.


Up To Something

Judging by the pictures of my purchases today, I'll be up to my ears in jewelry making tonight. I knew I would be since I took a break from my craft show prep to go to a plant sale at the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, Farmers Market, and Springfest today. I then went out for some groceries which takes a me a bit longer with my reusable bags (not sure what the meltdown is with some baggers when you hand them the environmentally friendly bags).

It's just one more week until the show... actually, less than a week. It starts on Friday and will go through Sunday. If you are in the NWArkansas area come see Punkinhead and myself at our booth at the Spanker Creek Fair May 2-4.


Wipes Me Out

I had set a goal for my self this past weekend to photograph all of my earrings that had less than stellar photographs. This should have been easy. I was planning on sitting down next to my window and photographing them, one by one, until all were up to par. Little did I know what a lofty goal that was.

I managed to get a sizable amount done. At least enough to update my store between now and the show next weekend. However, I did not even come close to getting them all photographed. Hopefully all the ones I didn't take pictures of will sell at the show and I won't have to worry with them. All was not lost, I really like the new pictures and have posted a few of my favorites here. You can find all of these in my shop.

The Sweet Boy bombarded me with quite the question when I got home tonight (no - not that question). His best friend has been in town for the past week. He lives about 5 hours away and has another summer left before being finished with college. While he was here, he mentioned briefly considering moving back to NWArkansas. I suppose that idea stuck.

I was asked if I would consider looking at a larger house that perhaps he could live in too. This is quite the question. As irritated as I get with our house here (the leak coming from nowhere, the ants this time of year, the drafts, no central heat or air, a bathroom with no vent or no form of heat, etc etc etc) I do love this place (It's old, has character, has the best dirt for my herb garden EVER, has an arch way between the living and dining rooms, hardwood floors, etc etc etc). Sigh - I'm going to have to think on this one. As long as I have my crafting area, a good kitchen, and a garden spot, I suppose I'm good with the idea. I'll be doing a lot of thinking over the next month.

Boosting the Etsy Economy

I recently stumbled upon a new online payment program called Revolution Money Exchange, or RME for short. It is similar to PayPal except a lot of the fees are non-existent. It is currently in its Beta stage and they are offering a $25 sign up bonus. This is $25 that can be used to shop on Etsy without coming out of your pocket. I've used some already and it is legit.

They are also offering $10 for each referral you send their way that signs up. This is where I get excited. I'd love to refer everyone I know, but don't want to offer up their emails to the site without permission. If you would like to have $25 to spend and potentially a new way to accept money without as many as the fees of other applications, leave me a note on here or email me at knittinghands@yahoo.com and I'll send a referral your way.

You'll be my bestest buddy if you do!


Goodies Waiting for Me

You know, there really is not anything better than opening up a mailbox and finding a package. I had a couple of packages of goodies in my box yesterday (but I can't reveal their contents just yet) and a package of goodies today.

I have fallen in love with antiqued brass. It really couldn't look bad on any skin tone. It's not silver, it's not copper, it's not gold, but it's a good mix of all three. The new infatuation has led to a few impulse buys. Antiqued brass opens up an entirely new realm of possibilities with my jewelry making. I can't do bracelets from it, yet, as I cannot find spools of the wire. However, earrings are quite possible and what lovely earrings I have come up with. I don't want to show them off until after the craft fair the first weekend of May, but they are lovely indeed.

The items pictured above were purchased from ProdigalProgeny on Etsy. I just ordered them the other day and here they are, in my hot little hand (literally). I can't wait to make them into earrings, beautiful, dangly, attention grabbing earrings. If they don't sell out at the craft show (which I really hope they do), I'll have some to list in my Etsy shop starting May 4 along with my new necklaces.

All I have to say is that it is going to be really hard not to spend my "economic stimulus" of $600 on antiqued brass findings.


My Brother is Cooler Than Ice Cream

check this out -

Why my brother is so cool

Those banners are his illustrations all over Philadelphia. Yeah, he's cool.

You're Not in Kansas Anymore

*insert Wizard of Oz tornado scene music here*

My cute little Monopoly house beads have come in - compliments of Origami Central. I officially heart Etsy Alchemy because of these. I posted what I needed and instantly had someone bid on it. No need to wait and wait on another bid when the first one was just what I needed.

I attempted to make the other components of the bracelet this evening and failed miserably. Instead I made a few necklaces and pendants. At least I got some productive work done. Other than that, I'm not really feeling to crafty at the moment. I'm a bit under the weather and think a bubble bath and hot tea is in order.

Until next time...


The Great Unveiling

This weekend I sat down in my little creative corner of my loft and ended up with a new line of jewelry soon to be for sale in my Etsy shop. I'm finding it hard not to photograph and get up there immediately. I really want to unveil these guys at the Spanker Creek Farm Craft Fair May 2 - 4 but I'm finding it hard to be patient.

I feel very good about these items and have visions of the flying out of my shop but I know patience and restraint can sometimes be good and after all, good things come to those who wait. Right?

I've always been a fan of necklaces but had not ventured into that area before. I'm not quite sure why, they are a blast to make. You can really showcase some amazing stones and beads with necklaces that you can't do with earrings or bracelets due to their weight. Also, earrings get lost under your hair, bracelets under your sleeve, but necklace stay front and center all day long. They get the most exposure so why not use the best beads? I'm having a lot of fun using my nicer beads and searching out new ones to use.

I can't wait to show you all of them come May 5 when I plan to get some of them listed. In the mean time, you'll have to be satisfied with the one I show you above.


Spring Cleaning

After many months of contemplation, I have finally added a "destash/sale" section to my shop. I've got way too many beads and will begin to list them in my Etsy shop in hopes that someone out there will give them a good home. Many of these beads are so close to "vintage" it hurts. However, I will follow the rules and not list them as such (but I might let everyone know that they just reached their 14th birthday).

As days and weeks go on, I might start listing other fun crafty supplies, but for today, beads.

Happy Sunday.


Garage Sales and Yarn

I woke up earlier than usual this morning in hopes of hitting up some garage sales in search of display items for the craft show and/or jewelry supplies. Well, my sweet decided he wanted to get up with me to have breakfast. We haven't had breakfast on a Saturday morning together in ages - I wasn't expecting this! Even though I did not get the earlier start on the sales, breakfast with my sweetness was worth it. Chocolate Malt-O-Meal - yummm.

Even with the later start, I did find some awesome things. An iron stand of sorts for my new necklaces, a smaller stand for bracelets, and earring display racks! I found a sale run by a lady who use to do craft shows and had things to get rid of. Aside from the display pieces, I got some clear plastic fishbowl like things (I'm sure I'll use them for something) and a heavy wooden sign that will eventually turn into my craft fair sign. I saw many other cool items out today, but I was sticking to what I needed.

I then went to sign up as an owner at Ozark Natural Foods, bought two pepper plants, went grocery shopping and came home. It's only 5:00 PM and I'm exhausted.

I think I'll spend the rest of the evening making jewelry and spinning more yarn. I've post a couple of pictures of my first two attempts at plying some yarn. The next batch with be bright orange and eggplant.


New Fun Things

I came home after busy day at work today and a mediocre Chinese dinner to find a package from KnittyDirtyGirl (my new fave Etsy shop) in the mail today. I had worked out a trade with her a couple of weeks ago and got some made to order yarn in "Robins Egg". I can't get over how beautiful it is. I picked out the blue/brown combination as I don't have much of that in my stash. It's not colors I gravitate towards regularly, but I'm so glad I picked it this time. I cannot wait to make something cozy for my neck or hands next fall. She sent along some other crafters business cards for some shopping later tonight. She also included a couple of pinback buttons. One with her shop logo and one with a picture of some beautiful handspun yarn. Those are going right on my craft show apron.

The other new fun thing was a necklace I made. I had plans to do a knit pendant and purchased some copper chain and findings to complete the necklace with. Instead I used some super chunky beads which were listed as black turquoise, but I'm not so sure. They are pretty, none the less. The necklace came out better than I hoped. I'm quite pleased with it and plan on making a few more if the comments on the one below are good. The necklace was just one product of my quest for a variety of craft show items. Can't make a fortune on bracelets and earrings alone.


Twistin' the Night Away

Those of us in Arkansas are very familiar with some very bad weather. While I've been safe here in my little haven in the Ozarks, towns nearby have not been so lucky. We've seen our share (and then some) of rain and tornadoes and it's not even mid-April. My heart and thoughts go out to those affected by the storms.

As scary and powerful as they are, extreme storms are one of my favorite things to read about or watch. I'm in awe of the power of nature and am completely fascinated by what it can do. Of course, I never want someone to be hurt or burdened by the storms, but I can't help being interested in them. With all of the weather I've been watching about and reading about this year, I thought I'd try my hand at taking the power of a spring storm and recreating it with beads and wire.

You've heard of art yarn... right? Yarn that has things spun into it. Some just use sparkles or sequins, some wool artists go as far as adding flowers, beads, and Barbie heads into it (yes, I've seen Barbie heads in yarn). I think this will be an art bracelet. I have the idea in my head and now I just need to find the supplies. Scratch supplies, I need to find one supply.

Anyone know where to find Monopoly houses that have been drilled into beads? You'll be my best friend if you do.


Must Focus

I looked at the calendar tonight and realized I have less than one month before my next craft fair. Oy! I think I have enough product but I'm not sure. It might be easy enough to sit down with my jewelry and my computer and make my inventory list and see where there are any holes, but I just haven't done that yet.

Speaking of holes, how will I know what to bring. My shows last fall were mostly scarf sales due to the approaching winter months. However, jewelry is different. Do I need to take two of everything in case something sells twice? Or do I just take one and hope to sell out? If I take two then I'll have a back up for Etsy. However, if I take two and don't sell either, then I'm stuck with two. These aren't easy decisions, folks.

I'll try and distract myself from the stress of that by thinking about gardening. I purchased some potting soil tonight (yes, purchased, from Lowes. All of your organic gardeners can just get over it. I don't use pesticides or chemicals once things are in the ground but I don't have time to play God and make my own soil mixtures either). Had I hurried home from the store I might have had time to get some plants into pots BUT I wasn't feeling well and I took my sweet time looking at plants I don't need. Each year I find myself purchasing a few plants strictly for instant gratification. So what if I want instant color, I have my priorities. The veggies and herbs are grown from seed, so I'm allowed an easy out once in a while.

I recently found myself worrying over how I was going to divide up my gardening time and crafting time. So far I've found that both are working out quite well. The nice days are for being outside in the garden or photographing my jewelry and the rainy days are for crafting. I'm finding that I have plenty of each.

Who knew these two hands could create so much.


Finally Got my Hands Dirty

The picture above was my herb garden last year. Not too shabby for my first "in ground" herb garden. Recreating that this year won't be hard as the oregano and parsley have already come back this year and are ready to be used (funny how quickly things come back to life). The mint is more like a weed so it's already ALL over that part of my yard. All that is left is putting some seeds into the ground. I'm not in a huge hurry with the basil as I still have quite a few pesto cubes left in my freezer (last year I had a bumper crop of basil so I made what seemed like a gallon of basil pesto, put it into an ice cube tray and froze it. Viola - homemade pesto to last all winter).

I purchased some chocolate mint today at the Fayetteville Farmers market thinking that what I had last year was dead. Well, guess what? Last year's chocolate mint was certainly not dead. Oh well, can't have too many herbs - no matter what kind they are.

Other purchases today included some wave petunias (because I'm a sucker for instant color) some kind of daisy with a nameless accent plant to go in a pot with it, and a hosta unlike the rest of my hostas. Those are scheduled to go into the ground/pots tomorrow.

I've decided that I want my front porch to be inviting and have a nice sitting area on it. That will require some plants, some nicer patio furniture, and stuff to set the plants on. I'm on a budget, so it's not going to be easy. However, I do have faith that I can make the front porch look just as nice as my backyard garden area. Wish me luck on that endeavor.

That's it for gardening news. I shall leave you with some pictures of last year's gardening efforts.


Promotional Items Finished? Check.

I worked very hard and was very focused tonight on the goal I gave myself this morning. I was to create a promo item to send off for the goody bags and to make 20 of them.

I did that. If I really wanted to, I could make 20 more, but I think I'll stick to this. Of course, these aren't what I sell in my shop BUT it might entice people to go to my website and since my business cards have photos of my items on them, I think I am giving potential customers a good idea of what I sell.

These are small, wire wrapped pendants with a scrabble tile as the canvas. Scrabble tiles are fairly inexpensive and are easy to work with. These things make them GREAT for promo items, freebies, or low cost items in the Etsy shop or at the craft fair booth. I'm not including a way to hang them around your neck - that would make the cost go up significantly. After all, these are going to be free, so you take what you can.

Let me know what you think.


Marketing and Rain

As I said in a previous post, a fellow AREtsian is handing out some AREtsy street team promo bags at Toad Suck Days. I've been waiting on some new business cards from Zazzle.com to come in before I could put together some promos to send down to her. Well, the new cards are in and I'm quite happy. I was kind of hoping for the same quality I found in the Moo cards, these aren't quite the same. BUT they are very nice and perfect for what I'm doing.

Aside from the promo bags, these will be perfect for craft shows. They are unique, show off my product, and aren't so small (like Moo cards) that they will get lost in pockets and purses. I can't wait to start getting them in people's hands and pointing them to my shop.

I'd like to retract what I said about weather in my last post. I'd rather have some colder days than rain drenched ones. I do understand that rain is quite important to my other passion (gardening) but I'm a bit tired of it right now. It's just rained, rained, rained, and rained this spring. No sprinkling, pitiful rain, but RAIN. Ditches are overflowing, rivers are up, creeks are flowing where I didn't even know creeks existed - let me tell you, it's RAINING this spring. It is doing nice things for my herb garden. The parsley is gorgeous, the oregano stunning, catnip and mint as envasive as ever, and chives are coming up where they didn't come up last year. I can't wait to get the basil and other goodies into the ground.

I'm off to do a bit of swimming in the lake that is now my backyard and then off to make promo items.