Thursday, July 23, 2009


This weekend, I was unexpectedly at Otakon.

I was asked to help out a friend with her Artist Alley table, and wound up sharing the space to put some of my own things out at as well.

The image on the left is her work. Animeg draws fan-art, or portraits, or other things which she then puts on .....

Buttons! .. or badge-pins, or however you want to say it. She also does keychains, and has a kickass webcomic. (She's not on Etsy, since much of her stuff is fan-art, and probably isn't sellable on Etsy, but for more information, go to Black As White and That's So Cute! Buttons)

We both didn't do too badly with sales, and I was shocked to sell some of the things I did... Many of my 'stock' items went, as did several things which I had to take down from Etsy on Monday, at least until I recreate them. I also wound up doing several custom orders, which I might recreate to put up on Etsy.

The most important thing I think I did though was .. my card is out there now. I am really hoping this boosts things, though in the past week I have only had one or two new visitors, including a couple of other Etsyers who were at the con, like ICtheMoon. It was awesome getting to meet at least one other Etsyer :D

My hopes are starting to run low, as I am STILL jobless in this horrible economy, and I have about two weeks to get a job AND find a place to live... which is really taking its toll on me.

I am hoping that SOMETHING good happens.. and soon, before I go mad... not like I'm not already, but right now it's a good kind, I'm not wanting the bad kind, thanks.

So now I go off to do some errands that I don't really want to go do, but meh, they need to be done!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Ruby Red - KittyKatKards, Origami Cards for Life's Occaions

Another find I made when asking for red things was KittyKatKards.

Blank cards are something I always had trouble finding - at least, blank cards that spoke without words before I added my message. The cards in this shop each have a personality all their own.

When most of us think "Origami", we think of little cranes, or perhaps little jumping frogs. The fact is, a little bit of paper can make almost anything, if you fold it right, and KittyKat's work says this very clearly.
For instance, this card for any occasion (the first Ruby Red thing that caught my eye), features no cranes, no frogs, not even stars... but Kimonos.
Mini Origami Kimono Card
While not strictly Ruby Red, these cards made me smile, and considering what they are, might just find their way into my inventory when I make some sales. Little cards, tiny enough to be gift tags, large enough to speak your mind (so long as you're not TOO long winded).
And fitting for a last photo feature is this lovely Origami Thank You Card (crane). Classic, simple, and beautiful.

It took me quite a while to find favorites through the shop, as I was distracted by so many intricate designs. Dresses, swimsuits, and the little trolls KittyKat makes are so adorable that I had to pause to look at each one!
As I said earlier, each card has its own personality. Each design is unique, even the ones created to be similar. I'm not a big card buyer, but the ones here gave me a few ideas, specifically because they have such personality. They speak much more than words, they say"I care about you" simply with the card itself, the little intricacies, the care given into its creation, and in the selection of the card for the occasion.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Ruby Red - Heidi's Handmade Bath and Body Shoppe

I decided I want to do a feature.

... I had no idea how to do this at first, since I had no idea what to write about. Then I looked at the date. Well, it's July. In my world of Jewelry Craft, this means "Ruby". .. So I sent a call out for ... red things.
It took a bit to decide on a few to play with. I chose three, the first of which will be today's feature for me.

Bath and Body Shoppe
So I went poking around on HeidisHandmades, and found a few things that did match the Ruby Red... and lots of things that didn't match the Ruby Red, but made me drool a bit anyway.

Since I asked for red though...

Here we have "Black Raspberry Soap". This one caught my eye at once as it is the perfect "Ruby" color. It also doesn't hurt that I love black raspberry flavored and scented things.
Another that caught my eye is the one listed just below it on her shop, "Asian Plum - Chinese Dragon Soap", which is also a lovely Ruby Red color.

Of course, I went looking for more, and found many more red things, and much MUCH more that wasn't red, but I had to look at anyway. I was pleased to see a classic, "Cherry Blossom Soap" - since well.. for me, if I don't have something Cherry Blossom scented in my bathroom, there's something wrong!
But now I digress.

I went poking around further, and one thing that I noticed was the ingredient list. Vegetable based oils, shea butter, water, moisturizer from berries (!!), it was like looking at the list of ingredients for something I'd eat. ... though I don't think eating soap is a good idea, no matter how many times mothers would wash children's mouths out with soap.

.... Then again, knowing what soap is made of these days, I would fear for killing children that way.

Though soap isn't the only thing at this lovely shop. Lotions, bubble baths, scrubs, body butter, even massage oil is on the list!

I admit to spending a very long time poking around the shop. Then again, when it comes to soap and such, I tend to love poking around anyway. The hours I've spent in Bath & Body Works at the mall is amazing. .... Though I think, now that I've discovered the world of soap makers on Etsy, that will change.

Looking at my "Favorite Things" panel on the right, I'm sure you'll recognize several of Heidi's soaps now listed there.

And this might just start a new trend. Perhaps I'll do a soap feature next week!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Staying Positive

Trying to stay positive in a recession, when odds are against you is not an easy thing. My creativity has been dampened, and so I haven't really come up with many new ideas. I made a few stock items in the hopes that something would strike my fancy and I'd be able to take off with it.. and I came up with a pair of earrings that are mostly silver leaves with an emerald teardrop crystal at the bottom. I'm not sure if I like them or not, but I might just let others decide.

Money's getting very tight, and I'm running low on supplies which doesn't help me either.

But, they say it's darkest just before the dawn, and that dark clouds have silver linings.

In the meantime, I'm pondering doing a feature for a favorite Etsy artist or three. I know reading that kind of thing inspires me, so I can only imagine what it would be like to actually write about someone else's work.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Something to sober us up...

Two Red Line Metro Trains Crash

Listening to the radio now, several stations closed, and there are two confirmed deaths.

I'm usually on that line, and while I don't typically travel that far down, I sometimes do. Having been planning to move near that area, that could have been me.

One of my friends, who does take that line, and around the time of the crash, we did confirm is fine and was not involved.

This is the second derailment, in two months, but the first collision since the one in 2005, which in comparison, was very minor.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Weird findings....

I found a treasure that really was unexpected. According to research I've done on the internet, and with the help of some folks on an antique forum, I discovered that I would up with a 1920 era Democratic Donkey Pin.

I'm debating on whether I should sell it or not, as it has been appraised, and I'm not sure it'd be worth as much as suggested. ... If so.. what should I sell it for? Where? I don't want to go to FeeBay, but I really don't know of another place I could actually auction it, since I'm not sure I want to just sell it straight for what said appraisor said it should be sold for...
In the meantime I panic about how I'm going to pay some of my bills, until I get my relief check in July. I'm highly displeased with my former employer, now that I've found that they've been lying about things that I've done, and the terms on which I left employment with them. Temp/Contractor companies are so untrustworthy, it's ridiculous.
I seriously doubt I will ever trust another one.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Gatherings, Listings and a Treasury too!

Been a little while.

I had a little gathering of friends on this Saturday past. It felt good to actually host something again. I've missed cooking for others, and really missed being a hostess. I never would have thought that at all, but.. I really felt in my element on Saturday.

I called the little gathering a while back to ask if they'd model my things for me. So two good friends wandered to my place, and they and my roommate modeled much of my jewelry.

Nine new items photographed in a couple of hours' time. I still have lots of earrings to photograph, but I don't use human models for those, typically.

So I just posted the Green gradient bracelet, Red gradient bracelet and the Ocean blue bracelet I blogged about some time ago.

Still frustrated about the lack of real job, though I have applied and applied, and applied and applied s'more. I had an interview last Wednesday, and still waiting to hear about that. In the meantime, I've just been making jewelry.. and making jewelry. Trying to keep my spirits up and hoping for that new sale. Now that I have one under my belt, even if it's from a friend, I feel a little more confident that perhaps someone else will like my work too.

One of my items even got into a Treasury!!

I got an email from Etsy that ozzana listed my Shades of Violet Bookmark in her new Treasury! I am squeeful and very thankful for this.

Now that I've put out a bunch of disjointed thoughts.. I'm going to go see about making some dinner.

Monday, June 8, 2009

First Sale!

One of my dearest friends requested a custom bookmark from me.
ashwolf's new bookmark!

The original that I posted up on my shop can be found here:
Swarovski Crystal Bookmark - Shades of Violet

I am hoping that this starts a kick.

In other news, I've had the urge to make dream catchers again... though I put my hoops away, and need to find them again. I also have quite a few supplies to replace, as it looks as though my semi-precious stone stock is very low. I also think I'll be trying to wire-wrap some of my feathers to see if they will behave better than some of my old ones that took ages to fuss with to make sure the beads held the feathers in place.. since.. well.. I don't use any glue.

I will post pictures as soon as I have some of the 'catchers, as I right now need new batteries for my camera.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Ahh, weekend...

... usually my time to sit down and work on my jewelry extensively.

I have been working on job hunting and cleaning the apartment (mostly my room), going through things to throw away so when we move in a couple of months, I don't have as much to move. So much that I have held onto for so many years that I don't even spare a thought to.

I discovered that I had clothing that I actually forgot that I ever had. Most of it too small for me, much of it too large. Three trash bags full so far, ready to go to be recycled (to goodwill or a recycling place, I have not decided).

Old high school notebooks, some of the information something I might want to save, mostly junk. I have to go through those, pull out what I want to save so I can type it up and put it on disk instead of have it be bits of paper to cart around.

Junk. Just.. general junk, built up over the years, so much of which is stuff I thought I could repair, or reuse, or whatever.

It will take another week or two before I think I've pruned enough to call it a start.. but if I can prune down even 10 boxes worth of junk that doesn't need to be packed ever again, I'll be happy.

It's amazing how much can accumulate over years. It makes me wonder a bit about the mind of the packrat.

I did, however, find a box of 'treasures'. I did find that in those boxes, there WERE things I could use in my jewelry... though most of what I found was gold... and I work in silver. I'm not sure how to handle that just now.

For now, I go continue with my cleaning; I have a raid in World of Warcraft this evening, so I want to make sure everything's done before then.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Gray and dreary...

It's supposed to rain most of the day today, and it is also supposed to storm.


I've been doing a lot of job applying, and have been noticing that more and more places that are hiring right now are just out of my reach. I know the the economy is bad, but, there are limits. Some of the places I'm seeing that I would love to work would be a 2 hour or more commute for me. Considering I am limited to public transportation right now...
Well, suffice to say there is only so long I can stand to sit on a bus. 2+hours each way isn't really feasable.

Trying to stay positive on days like this, when the day is gray, when I have been applying and applying and applying and hearing so little back is really difficult.

Even working on my jewelry, or knitting isn't helping at all. Usually creating something helps me cheer up.

I'm still hoping, though, that I get some bites, whether it be on Etsy, or potential employers.

Perhaps I'll post again later. Writing this has cheered me up a little.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Color Gradients

In my narrowmindedness, up until now, I have only been making solid colors in my work.

A week or so ago, when I was looking at the bookmark I'd made, I realized that.. Duh, I can make bracelets in gradients! With matching earrings even! So I began. I now have a beautiful ocean bracelet that I haven't yet photographed (I'm totally keeping the prototype and its matching earrings!), a green one, and a red one. I've done both green and red in bookmarks too!

I'm thinking of doing one in purple next. I don't have much in the way of yellow or orange, but I can also do some rainbows. .. Hm.. this has some distinct possibilites.

Here's the green gradient one that I managed to get before the camera's batteries died.
The fade is Chrysolite on the teardrop, then jet, Emerald, Peridot, Chrysolite, the large ones are Emerald, with Chrysolite and Peridot between them.

And here's the red one, again, just before the camera batteries died. The fade is Jet (teardrop/first two little ones), Garnet, Siam, Light Siam, then large Garnet ones, with Siam/Light Siam between them.

As soon as I can get better photos, I will be listing these.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Some background....

A little history.

I started crafting jewelry when I was about 15. I bought an anklet, made of little seed-type beads, for $15. Mom said it was ridiculous that it was so expensive. I shrugged, and put it on. A couple days later, I wore it for the first time. It was a little loose, and rested just on the ankle bone, the perfect accent to the sundress I was wearing.
An hour later, it broke. No warning, no stretching, it didn't get caught.. it just.. came loose from the clasp and the beads scattered.
The string that had been used for it was flimsy thread, and the knots weren't strong.
... $15 for something that I wore for an hour, that was maybe actually worth $2.

Mom took me to the local craft shop. I picked up beads, tiger-wire, beading thread, and new clasps. I made the anklet again, one in wire, one in thread. I still wear them both.

So I started making them, since it was something very relaxing to do. I made braclets, necklace chains, rings, anklets, and even earrings. I gave things away as gifts, or had people pay me for the materials to make them - particularly my peace-sign beaded wire earrings.

By the time I was 18 I had a stockpile of stuff.. so I took it to a local craft fair... and didn't sell much. One item, for $2.50, over a long 10-hour day.

I started making loom-crafted items, beadweaving patterns became my new thing. Though next craft fair wasn't very successful either, even for the items I'd added semi-precious bad chips to.

And then.. I discovered eye pins. I learned to make links out of them with beads on them.

Semiprecious stone link bracelets, anklets, and Y-necklaces started to spring up. The fair I took these to I had to leave early - I'd sold all that I brought with me!

And then.. I discovered crystal. I started making a few things with it. By this time, I was making a few things here and there, and took it all to AnimeUSA 2205, an anime convention in Virginia. ... All the crystal items sold, but very few of the semi-precious stone works did.

So I made quite a bit of the crystal work and the next time I went to a convention with all crystal, I made quite a few sales. Every other convetion I've been to, I've done decently well at.

Since then, I've also discovered more than just the sterling silver plated eye and head pins I'd been using. I now use sterling silver wire in a lot of my creations.. making two lines - costume work, and sterling silver work. Obviously, I charge more for the sterling silver.

The other thing that I strive for is quality. I'm not going to charge $15 for something that's going to fall apart in an hour made with flimsy materials. My work is built to last, even with some abuse. I know that there are some things that even my work can't last against.. snags, being cut by something, something crushing the crystals... There are some things that will destroy any kind of jewelry. But it's not going to fall apart during any kind of normal, or even a little rough, wear.

And somewhere along the line, I realized that I really wanted to do this for more than just conventions. I had a short stint on Ebay, but .. trying to sell there was hopeless. I'm not selling my work for $0.01 with free shipping. That won't cover my materials, nor will it cover the ridiculous fees Ebay charges.

A friend of mine told me about Etsy. And I'm still hoping for my first sale there. :)

One day, I hope to not have to work full time... but only have a part time job to supplement my jewelry craft.

Decided to start...

.... a blog for the Jewelry Crafter in me.

I have a LiveJournal, and I've had some other blogs in the past, but ... this one will be for the Jewelry Crafter. Or something.

I recently lost my job, and am having some trouble getting a new one... so I'm working on my jewelry full time. I'm working on my photography, and am hoping to get a few bites to help supplement what I have left.

I have always hoped to make jewelry my full time job, but.. now's really not the time to have thrown me in.

Lots of hoping that I get a new job soon. This market sucks horribly.

In the meantime, creativity and my jewelry crafting will keep my spirits up.