Friday, April 30, 2010

I Feel Sick

I just received my first, and I'm sure not last, customer complaint. Funny it was on one of my vintage handbags I had for sale and not any of my new items. I guess they expected it to be in excellent or new condition. Hard to find a 60's vintage purse in new condition especially a red patent one. I even described the condition as good for it's age....I would have carried it. But no this customer wanted to throw it in the trash as it wasn't good for anything else. I guess I'm a little miffed and offended, but I do have to realize that you can't please everybody. So, if she does send me the purse back, which I did offer to refund her purchase price...I'll have it up for sale again in my Artfire studio if you are interested. Please note though that this purse is a vintage 1960's red patent clutch in only good condition.

I'm sure tomorrow will be a better day.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Creative Blogger - Precious Willow

It's time again for a featured blogger and this week it is Phersmay from Precious Willow. This creative blogger friend is a Canadian Jewelry Maker. I love to look at other peoples jewelry and their creativity.  Phersmay is no exception. Her designs are unique, up to date and beautiful to look at. She also has a special in her Etsy shop until May 31st where she will give you a $25.00 gift certificate with each order. What a deal. I think everybody should take her up on that one. Here are a couple of examples of some earrings that I find especially beautiful.  

Feel free to visit Phersmay's blog and Etsy shop to find more wonderful items.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

April Tutorial - Leather Necklaces

I didn't know what to call these necklaces, but they are both leather and one has knots. These are great for casual wear with jeans or dress them up a bit.

Necklace #1
Supplies you need for both necklaces:
Leather 1mm (necklace #1 = 38" and #2 = 54")
Beads with a hole large enough for the leather
Other beads to dangle (necklace #2)
Head pins (necklace #2)
Spring ring or Lobster claw clasp
4 - 4" strips of 22 gauge silver wire for both necklaces (I used sterling, but you could use whatever you have on hand)

Instructions for Necklace #1:
  1. Gather your supplies (leather, clasp, wire and beads)
  2. String your beads on the leather
  3. Loop leather, add your clasp and wrap with the wire on one end
  4. Finished clasp end
  5. Loop leather and wrap with the wire the other end
  6. Finished clasp
Necklace #2

Instructions for Necklace #2:

  1. Knot the center of your longest piece of leather (54") and add one bead on each side
  2. Made a wrapped loop crystal
  3. Add crystal to necklace and knot the leather (Continue adding large hole beads or beads that dangle and knotting the leather between each)
  4. When you have the length you desire (mine was 36") finish one side with the clasp as we did in Necklace #1
  5. Finish the other side with just a loop
  6. Finished necklace with dangles and beads
Here are the two necklaces finished.

Here are both of the necklaces doubled up to wear short. I did this with one of mine made the same way with silver and agate beads and received lots of compliments.

Have fun, use different colored leather, lampwork beads, crystals, pearls for whatever outfit you want to match. I wanted a couple that would go with anything so I just used the silver, clear crystal and a small black lampwork bead.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Too Much Wine

I don't know, can you ever have too much wine? I think we tried this weekend. We've been tasting all kinds of wines in the Tri-Cities for Spring Barrel Tasting and now everything tastes the same. I think all we do is eat and drink on these weekends. Good thing we only do this once a year. My brother got a new smoker and cooked tri-tip roasts all day on it tomorrow and today we had some wonderful baby back ribs. OMG, tender and falling off the bones. If you don't like meat you wouldn't do well around my family.

We drove the motor home over (about 5 hours from our house) and parked in front of my brother's house. Just like being at home having your own rig to sleep in. The daughter came with us and promptly the first night here broke her big toe. Needless to say she didn't go out tasting with us yesterday. We did get her out today for a couple of winery tastings.....yes, she is still trying to catch up in her wine tastings back at the house. This picture was taken about 2 minutes ago and I just found out that one of the bottles she opened for dinner is now gone (only her and my brother are drinking wine at this point) and the current bottle only has about 1 glass left in it......humm maybe I should go get it.

These were a bit hit.
They are wine cozies I made and posted about HERE. I made them for everyone in our party about 12 plus made about 11 extra. After the first two wineries yesterday all my extras were gone (sold for $10.00 each) and my mother (little salesperson that she is) started passing out my business cards and telling them I'll make more and put them up for sale. So, now I guess I have to make more LOL. They were perfect for walking around to the wineries and having your hands free.

As you can see most of us have our wine glasses in the cozies around our neck. I'm kind of surprised at the comments we received from people yesterday....okay they were drunk happy people but they all seemed to like the little cozies. I do think you need the right atmosphere to be wearing one otherwise you may just look like a geek.

I hope everyone has had a good weekend. We will be headed back home tomorrow morning, hopefully it will be good weather.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Jewelry or Make Up?

Today I had to get up and around to take hubby to the eye doctor. He needed to get his eyes dilated and didn't want to drive home afterward. So at 7 something I am rolling out of bed, fixing coffee, feeding the dogs and letting them out and then decided it was still too early and went back to bed. An hour later, I finally drag my butt up. Hubby was already up and thanked me for starting coffee LOL. So as I am drinking my coffee on the sofa I figure I have an hour before we have to leave...wrong, hubby informs me I have 45 minutes. Okay, that is doable, so I sit and check e-mail and get engrossed in reading and surfing. Next thing I know I have 15 minutes left. I throw some clothes on, fix my hair and put on all my jewelry. Now tell me why did I have to put on necklaces, earrings and bracelets on to run to the doctors office? (Notice those were plural) I didn't put any make up on, it was just to the doctor's office. I do find though that anytime I leave the house I have to have my jewelry on....most times no make up.

So how about you, do you leave the house without make up or jewelry on?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Something Old is New Again

The long awaited laundry room is finished. Well, almost...just a little bit more trim work but it is usable and has a lot more storage. New cabinets and a new pantry. Yea. I think the contractor we hired to do the work did a great job at a reasonable price. I think next I may have him build me some cabinets for my craft room that desperately needs storage.

So we have a new vinyl floor, new cabinets, new dry wall and new ceiling light. The room actually seems bigger. Here is the before shot.
There was just open shelves before and not that many of them. I should have remembered to get a shot before he tore those out.

Note the wood slat walls....that's right no insulation. This room also had wood floors. See that ceiling light? All gone and I now have a bright shiny new one with nickel trim.

So, I am now back in the laundry business.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Featured Artist - Sudey Babes

I've always loved dolls and bears and thought why not feature a artist that makes Teddy Bears. So here is Sudey Babes. She has the most amazing bears. I think this one is my favorite and her name is Darla.

Sudey Bears has an ArtFire Studio where they sell adoptable bears and a web site where you can find a little bit more information about Sudey and her bears. All her bears are of a collectible bear quality and feature either jointed or floppy arms and legs. Either way they are absolutely wonderful. Here is another bear from her Artfire Studio called Faerie Bearie.

Now we have Kelly Kins a bear after my own heart. Love the jewelry.  LOL.

So, wander on over to Sudey's web site, ArtFire Studio or blog and check out all the wonderful bears.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Creative Blogger - Julie Chats

Come meet Julie. Julie has two children and was recently chosen as a Featured Writer on the Oregon Women's report. She also teaches scrapbooking classes and does promotions, marketing work and writes a blog for her local scrapbooking store Whimzee's Scrapbook Studio. In this blog post of hers, she shows off her most recent mini album. Here is a pic. It is an album from Punky Spouts.

I love all kinds of scrapbook paper and card stock along with the embellishments, but never find the time to get it all together with my jewelry, bag making, painting, etc. So, I do appreciate the creativity that goes along with putting one of the albums together.

I invite you to check out Julie's blog and join her on her scrapbooking adventures.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Ahh, This is the Life

This was the official kickoff of our camping season. Since the beach property most likely was still wet and soggy we decided to go to one of the RV Parks we belong to for an extended weekend. Nice and relaxing. Me with my morning coffee, one dog on my lap in the recliner and the other dog on the dash watching the world go by.

It was a beautiful day yesterday and so far today has been pretty good. Only now at dinner time has it decided to rain a bit.

Here I am enjoying my wine by the coach.  Hubby really does want to travel in it next winter, so I have a little time to organize all my crafting supplies and items I have listed for sale. Where ever we go I hope it is warm and not raining since I'll probably be making jewelry and sewing outside. There isn't a lot of room inside to spread out especially with 2 dogs getting into everything.

Okay, we are back home tomorrow and I'll be back to the grind....oh until we leave again on Friday for our Spring Barrel Tasting weekend. I think I'll have just enough time to do laundry before having to organize and pack again.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

New Handbag Line

I decided that since I love making handbags or should I say all kinds of bags and wanted to keep making them, I have to start selling them. So, I started my new bag line. Currently I have them only listed on my ArtFire Dana’s Jewelry Design studio but may branch out into my 1000 Markets shop also. I have a handbag style (plastic handles), hipster bag that is worn cross body and my pocket bags which are great for traveling or when you just want to carry a few items such as cell phone and a small wallet. The hipster bag will hold about the same as the handbag which is a wallet, cell phone, reading or sunglasses and various other small items. If you like a big bag, these are not the bag for you. Then of course I have my jewelry pouches and drawstring bags which are great for hiding or carrying other things such as sewing kits, jewelry, first aid items, etc.

I’ve thought about setting up a separate shop just for my bags but am not sure. I think if I market them right they will be fine mixed in with the jewelry, gem trees, gem tree supplies, kits and book. Humm, seems like a lot of different things in one shop but so far it’s working.

I’d be curious about what you think, a Bags by Dana shop or leave them as is. Here are a few that I have listed for sale.

The pictures are a little fuzzy as I sized them down to load them on ArtFire. If you want to view this studio, here is the link.

I hope you are having a good weekend. Oh and for other unique gifts, check out ArtFire

Friday, April 09, 2010

What to Call These?

I'm still trying to get things ready for our upcoming trip to the Tri-Cities for the Spring Barrel Tasting. This has become a large family event each Spring and we usually do it up right. We decorate wine glasses with stickers, paint, crystals and our names for fun, but this year I decided to do something a little different. I made wine glass cozies....or whatever you want to call them. We usually walk from winery to winery in a couple of areas and I thought these might be fun to hang around our necks. We certainly won't lose them this way. So, what do we call them? I did a search and found some insulated wine glass koozie's but they didn't have the neck strap. There is also something called a wine glass necklace....not nearly as cute for almost $25.00 for 2 of them. So, I think I'll call them a wine glass cozy necklace. I'll let you know how they go over at our event. I may even make a few extra in case I have the opportunity to sell a few to some of the wine partakers.

Here is one with the wine glass model.

This one is my favorite so far.

So, if you were at a party, would you wear one of these?

Have a good weekend.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Creativity, Where to Find It..

I hear this all the time "Your so creative." So, what is creativity? Wikipedia says that Creativity is the mental process involving the discovery of new ideas or concepts, fueled by the process of either conscious or unconscious insight. There is also no way to measure how much creativity someone has. So you may have just as much creative thoughts as I do, but in a different way. In life, there is creativity. Business, engineering, teaching, science, music, art and cooking these are all creative endeavors as well as designers.

So what becomes our inspiration for creative thinking? I take mine from my environment or those around me. Nature inspires me quite a bit as well as people watching. I think it is also having a degree of self confidence and knowing that it is okay to think outside the box and dream of new possibilities. Who cares what people think. Some ideas may be good and some may not, but you won't know until you try.

Let's try a little experiment. Take the color blue for example. What do you think of when you think of blue? I think of blueberries....humm I must be hungry. Okay, what can I do with blueberries that is different. How about pancakes? Not too creative, so how about a drink made with blueberries. Something using frozen blueberries, rum and pineapple juice. May require a little mixology, but it sounds different. My husband would say "Where is the recipe?" or "Oh, no not another one of your made up concoctions". But you know what, sometimes those made up concoctions are really good. I haven't lost anything but a few ingredients in trying.

Not convinced, okay let's go outside and pick up a leaf. What does this leaf remind you of? What could you do with this leaf? How about making your own wrapping paper. Take some brown paper that you would get to mail packages with, some paint, a brush and just go to town. Paint the leaf and press it on the paper. You could do this with all kinds of leaves. What would you do with the leaf?

Try a few things in the next couple of days. Even if you are the creative sort, sometimes we need a kick start to get the juices flowing again. Yesterday, mine was another blogger who created tissue holders. Now the idea of tissue holders isn't original, but I did have to figure out how to make them as I didn't have a pattern. That is creativity and we all have it.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Keeping Busy

It seems that I'm always making something new or trying new things....I guess that keeps life interesting. So, here are my most recent projects. My blogger friend Melanie from yesterday's post got my creative juices flowing and I made me some tissue holders as well as an eye glass case and with my scraps a scrap wrapped bangle. It looks really cute with jeans.
As I'm working away in my craft room the laundry room next door is getting overhauled. We had some dry rot and it needed to be gutted and refinished, so there is all kinds of noise in my house these days. Here is the before as it is being torn apart. I'll post a finished picture when it is completed and I have my washer and dryer back....may have to just wear dirty clothes for a while.
I hope everyone is having a good week. It is rainy here so it is a good time to be indoors keeping busy.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Featured Blogger

I started a new Blog Ring with Creative Bloggers so I'll be featuring a new blogger each week for a while. This week's Featured blogger is Melanie aka Bags by Melanie....a girl after my own heart. I checked out her Etsy shop and she has some really cute items especially these tissue holders. Yes, I am still getting over the darn Spring cold so these looked very inviting and needed at this time. I may have to try to make me one...or not. LOL Maybe I'll just buy one from Melanie. Check out her Etsy shop and her blog for more great items.

BTW all you Entrecard droppers, Melanie is also a member so drop your card on her and say hi.

Monday, April 05, 2010

The Look for Less

I received the new Lucky Magazine in the mail yesterday and just picked it up today to thumb through it. My first thought as I looked at the cover was that the necklace set the model is wearing was simple with a rustic elegance about it and thought I could make that. As a jewelry designer, I think I can make most anything....well almost anything but this one has to be simple. Looks like a little leather and some beads right? So, I keep looking through the magazine and I find the designer and price...WOW 18kt gold on leather, yes leather for $3,650. No way would I ever pay that kind of price for leather and some beads that I could string on myself.

Off to the craft room in search of leather and gold beads I go and yes we have a winner! My version is on 1mm rust colored leather and is extra long. I even made one a little shorter in a chocolate brown leather to coordinate with it. My cost....pennies on the dollar. Now mine aren't 18 kt gold but they are gold vermeil beads and real leather. I would hope that you get real leather for that $3 thousand dollar price tag.

Well, now I have a couple of new necklaces.....anybody want a designer look?

Friday, April 02, 2010

Special Order Complete

I have been so disorganized lately and this past week I did nothing. Well nothing isn't a good word as I've actually been sick with the Spring cold. It just kind of jumped up on me without warning. Funny how that happens. So, anyway, I haven't felt like getting in my craft room or even blogging.....really sad for me. This down time did allow me to finish a special order for 9 gem trees that I needed to get out the door this week. Mind you I'm still coughing and hacking up crap but I can still twist wire with the best of them without even looking. That is the one good thing about this hobby. They just kind of build themselves. Here is a picture of my finished creations before they were crammed into a box and shipped. I always worry about how they will look when they arrive.

So that's why you haven't heard from me in over a week. Wow, that's a long time and I wasn't even on vacation. Now that I'm on the road to recovery, I'll be back soon.


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