Saturday, December 27, 2008

Half Off Sale Extended to New Year's

I just wanted to take a moment to tell you all that since I have received such a great response to my half off sale this month I am going to continue offering everything on my shop at 50% off until New Year's Day. Details of the sale can be found in my shop announcement on etsy, Next month I will be having awesome sales in my tutorial shop to start off 2009.

I have received several wonderful thank you notes from my customers who have taken advantage of this sale. I wanted to give everyone a Christmas present this year because things have been so bad in 2008. I couldn't afford to give it all away for free, so half off is the best I can do. I'm so glad that so many of you appreciate it. Thank you all for being such wonderful customers.

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday this year. I wish everyone a spectacular New Year too!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I Say it Should be an Official Olympic Sport!

I try to stay away from political topics on my blog. But this time, I just couldn't resist.

We all know about the "Shoe Incident" already, right? Well, it's all over the news, internet, newspapers, and everything else, so if you don't already know about it, you need to crawl out of the hole you've been living in.

Anyway, did you see how quickly the guy took off his shoes, and how accurate his aim was? With that in mind, I think they should seriously consider making shoe throwing an official Olympic sport.

And it shouldn't end right there. I also think G.W.B should be made available to each country, on a rotating basis, as the official Practice Dummy!

Friday, December 12, 2008

A New Shop, an Experiment and a Sale

Things have been so crazy lately I keep forgetting to post here on my blog. What is it about the holidays that does this to people? We take the one time of year that should be about relaxing and enjoying time with our families and turn it into a hurricane of obligations. We overextend ourselves to the point that we can't see any end in sight. Then add the media hype and all the TV holiday specials, the retail feeding frenzy, and who only knows what else, it's a miracle that anyone really wants to celebrate the holidays once they actually get here!

Oh well, I guess all we can do is sit back, take a deep breath, and try to remember what it was like to be a kid. Do you remember what that was like? When none of this other stuff bothered you? When the decorations went up in the stores in October and you walked through the isles in complete wonderment, anticipating the joys of Christmas morning. Not even caring that Halloween was just around the corner.

I think that is going to be my goal next year. To experience the holidays in all the glory possible when seen through a child's eyes.

As for this year, well, let's just see what happens.

Now, on to other subjects...

I've opened a new shop on I don't have much in it yet because I am just getting a feel for the site and how it works. So far it seems like a pretty decent venue. Before I signed up I looked around the site and saw that they claim to be doing a lot of advertising in magazines and other places. If they really are doing as much as they say, then it should turn out to be a pretty good place to do business. Of course, I still have to do my own advertising, but that is true regardless of any site you sell on.

This part will be of interest more to other sellers then my customers, so skip this if you aren't looking for a place to sell what you are making.

Right now you can get their "Verified" membership for only $7 a month (it's usually $20). Also, if you refer 10 other members to the site who sign up as verified members, you get your shop for free, for life. They do also have a basic membership, but this offer only applies to people who sign up as verified members. Also, the referral offer is only good until December 31.

I do wish I had found out about the site before now, so I could give an accurate review, but I just signed up the other day. If you want to go try it out for yourself, here is the link that will automatically put me in as the referrer (hey, if I can get the shop for free, why not, right?).

Ok, my little Artfire advertisement is over. Next....

I've never been a big fan of Tigereye, but lately I've seen a lot of red colored tigereye. I read that it turns red once it's been heated. Silly old me decided to try and turn it red in the oven. Last time I ran the self cleaning cycle on my oven I put a piece of tigereye a friend had given me in there and let it run for 3 hours. I didn't think the oven would get hot enough to change the color, but it did. It turned it from the normal golden brown tones typical of tigereye to a deep bloody brownish red. It looks kinda cool.

And, last but not least... a sale.

Well, more like a reminder of a sale. I'm still running my 50% theme of the week sale in my etsy shop. I'll be putting different items for sale each week until New Year's. This week is Pendants. Next week, well, I haven't made up my mind yet. Any suggestions?

Here's a link to my Etsy shop so you can go check it out.

Have fun, and in case I don't get around to posting here again for a while, I hope you all have a great holiday!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

My Christmas Present to Me (a little bit early)

I love to use hand-cut stones in my jewelry designs. They add a much more personal touch to the finished piece, and ensure that it is truly one of a kind. Unfortunately, I don't have the skills required to cut the stones myself. Even if I did have the skills, I'm not quite certain I would trust someone as clumsy as myself around that kind of equipment. Which means that I don't get to use them that often. Once in a while, though, I have to treat myself to some of the beautiful cabs created by other artists.

I recently bought five gorgeous stones from another Etsy seller, GemCutter. I began watching his shop last spring after running across a Red Plume Agate cabochon in the supplies section on Etsy. I really wanted that cab, but for some reason kept putting off purchasing it. Then, before I knew it, it was gone. When Micheal re-opened his Etsy shop after the summer showing season was over I began watching again as all the gorgeous stones I wanted flew out of his shop before I had a chance to buy them.

Then I saw a piece of Laguna Agate I just had to have. Instead of waiting and debating with myself over whether I really needed it or not, I jumped on it. When it came in the mail I was so excited! The color of the stone was so much better than it was in the pictures. The shape was perfect. It even had a little bit of exposed Druzy crystals in the center, giving that spot an unexpected sheen.

Click on image to see more pictures of this necklace.

I wrapped this one with a simple netted bezel, so as not to cover too much of the stones personality. Then I combined it with Rose Quartz and Plum Aventurine to accent the colors in the stone. This necklace turned out so beautifully I decided I had to buy more cabs from Micheal.

My next purchase was Yellow Crazy Lace Agate. I've seen so many crazy lace agate beads that were dyed to add color to parts of the stone. Most of them leave something to be desired. So when I saw this one, with it's beautifully natural (yes, natural, not dyed) shades of yellow and cream, I knew exactly what to do with it.

Click on image to see more pictures of this necklace.

I set this one in a simple coiled basket weave bezel and hung it on a strand of Aragonite and tiny silver beads, with a handmade toggle clasp to match the bezel. It turned out so beautiful I'm almost hoping it doesn't sell. (I want it!)

I still have three more stones from GemCutter's shop. A wonderful purple Mexican Lace Agate, a gorgeous Mozarkite cab, and a stunning Porcelain Jasper teardrop shaped cab. I can't wait to get to work on those. I hope they turn out as well as the other two did. *s*