Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy Holidays

I am offering 40% off on the first three items shown here in my etsy shop. Please contact me through etsy if you are interested. The sale ends on Jan. 5th.

I have been very lax about my posts trying to catch up with holiday orders and frantically knitting a scarf for my husband which I did manage to finish before Christmas. I finally made time to go through my inventory and decide which items I will discount heavily before the end of the year. I am thrilled with my new earrings, seen above, made from Wirebliss' excellent tutorial. I have been wearing them frequently because they seem to compliment so many outfits. I am even keeping a pair for myself ,something I rarely do as a jewelry designer. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and I wish you a great 2009!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Business in a Closet - Part 2

I am really happy with my new set up. I have room to store everything I need and when I am finished working my materials are stored and out of site. This will be the next best solution to having my very own workshop.
Here we see assorted containers and the Grecian head I use in my displays. I have room for everything needed for my shows in this closet too. My tools fit nicely in the blue and white tupperware container.
Most of my materials are stored in labeled drawers.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Business in a Closet -Part 1

I don't think this desk even warrants a comment. It was not a worktable, that's for sure.
What a mess! My tools were kept on the bed in the large Tupperware bin you see on the bed. Behind that is wire of different gauges. My magnifying visor is in the foreground with miscellaneous bills and paper work. This was not an ideal working space to say the least!

This is where I originally stored my bead magazines and references.

Today my youngest son arrived home from a week and a half long cross country trip. He had been living in LA hoping to pursue a career in film and is hoping for some better luck here in NY. What does that have to do with business in a closet you wonder? Until this morning my workshop was my son's bedroom. It was the only room in the house that was warm enough and had room available for my rolling carts of drawers ,wire ,tools, tumbler, and all the paraphernalia I need to design jewelry and run my business. Actually the room never worked well because the desk was too small and I used my son's bed to lay out my pieces. Parts of my jewelry pieces were constantly dropping on the floor, rolling under the bed and disappearing, never to be seen again.
Now everything is stored away neatly in a closet. I moved everything to my dining room , a room we only seem to use for holidays. I will now work on my dining room table and when I am finished working for the day , everything will be put back in order and out of sight. I think it just might work. Of course , I can still dream about having the perfect workshop with built in shelves . a huge worktable and a pegboard to hold different gauge wire. Maybe some day... Stay tuned for my new business in a closet!

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Ultimate Gift Part2

I have finally found the time to write part 2 of this post. Holiday time is just soooo crazy and stressful. I have one more holiday boutique to do this week and perhaps when it's over I can relax a little. In my last post, I mentioned two people who are kind enough to share their wealth of knowledge, give tutorials and business advice to those of us trying to promote our businesses on the Internet.
This evening I would like to mention a lovely lady whose work I featured in this post. I contacted her about featuring her work for my holiday shopping guide and wrote the feature including photos of her beautiful jewelry pieces. I have done this for many artisans and usually, but not always, receive a thank you and a nice comment on my blog. Maureen of Cosmosmoon went one step further. She made a ring just for me, which I now wear everyday . How special to receive a gift from a person I have never met just for writing a feature about her work. This act of kindness made my day wonderful and is what makes the holiday season special.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Ultimate Gift

Choosing gifts for loved ones can be stressful or can give you a great sense of accomplishment and joy as you select a gift to put a smile on someone's face. In my opinion, the greatest gift and one that can only bring deep satisfaction to your life is being what I call a natural helper.
For the past year and a half I started a new endeavor in the jewelry design business. I learned how to set up a shop on Etsy, started my own business, learned how to take decent photos of my pieces and correct them on Photoshop. I have also learned a bit and I do mean the smallest little bit about SEO and how to promote my site on line. All of these skills did not come easily because I am truly computer challenged. I out am not part of the generation of computer mavens.
The Ultimate gift for me was the wealth of information and kind words I have received from people I have never met or spoken to in person. These are people who are willing to share their secrets of success without worrying about giving out information that could potentially bring success to others in competition with them. Two people that stand out in my mind are Contrariwise, another jewelry designer and Timothy Adam Designs ,who does modern metal jewelry furniture and art. Both of these artisans are successful and talented and yet find the time to give incredible tutorials and advice to others like me who are struggling through this process. Their information has been incredibly helpful and valuable. Don't miss their wonderful blogs, Contrariwise Ramblings and Timothy Adam Designs . I thank them both for their gifts. Come back tomorrow for part 2 of this post.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Holiday Boutique -Part 2

Here are the rest of the promised photos from my Holiday Boutique show. Getting a group of artisans together to show and sell their items is a great way to get publicity and new customers. It's also a lot of fun!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

My Holiday Boutique 2008

The past few weeks I have been extremely busy with preparations for two holiday boutiques. The first was held at my friend's home in Pennsylvania and the other was held at my own home. I have always looked for unusual, handmade gifts for my friends and family and find most of my gifts at craft shows or the boutique shows at my friend's home. This year I decided to do one myself and was pleased with the results. Everyone enjoyed the food and had fun shopping in a relaxed atmosphere. The show featured my own jewelry as well as handmade scarves, pottery, an exquisite handmade lamp, hand knit baby booties and more. Stay tuned for more photos tomorrow...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Finding Motivation

Do you sometimes feel that all the effort you put into your work isn't worth the time spent? Do you get into a funk and lose faith in your ability to create or to motivate your students if you are a teacher? Having trouble impressing your colleagues or your boss or even yourself with your work lately? I just viewed this short video and loved the quotes and sent it out to my sons. Thought I would share it here . Take a few minutes to take a look at this and send it off to some friends.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Home for Your Feathered Friends

I found the perfect items for the bird lovers on your holiday list. The etsy shop of carries the most charming birdhouses I have seen. These handmade homes come in many different styles, shapes and colors. The two birdhouses shown here caught my eye because of all the little detail work and great colors. The camper would make a great conversation piece and look adorable in your yard or on your deck. Any bird would be proud to call one of these dellightful creations home! Take a look at all my HOLIDAY SHOPPING GUIDE suggestions and get your shopping done early.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Favorite Things 2008

Debbie Lawrence of Bird on a Wire has just released her lovely holiday catalog. Favorite Things 2008. Inside it you will find 70 pages chock full of great gift ideas. Debbie was kind enough to include my items on pages 42- 44 of this wonderful gift catalog. You will find all kinds of great holiday gifts in this catalog such as stationery, luscious hot cocoa, adorable children's shoes and many other interesting items. Don't miss it and then take out out your list and get that shopping done before Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

For the Men in Your Life

This item really blew me away as a truly unique and unusal gift for a man. It is one of the outstanding pieces of Steampunk Jewelry offered by

This is just one set of amazing cufflinks offered by this artist. I chose them because I think they ooze class.

I wondered exactly what steampunk means so here is the definition by wikipedia:

"is a subgenre of fantasy and speculative fiction that came into prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s. The term denotes works set in an era or world where steam power is still widely used—usually the 19th century, and often set in Victorian era England—but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy, such as fictional technological inventions like those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, or real technological developments like the computer occurring at an earlier date. Other examples of steampunk contain alternate history-style presentations of "the path not taken" of such technology as dirigibles or analog computers; these frequently are presented in an idealized light, or a presumption of functionality.
Steampunk is often associated with cyberpunk and shares a similar fanbase and theme of rebellion, but developed as a separate movement (though both have considerable influence on each other). Apart from time period and level of technological development, the main difference between cyberpunk and steampunk is that steampunk settings usually tend to be less obviously dystopian than cyberpunk, or lack dystopian elements entirely.
Various modern utilitarian objects have been modded by individual craftpersons into a pseudo-Victorian mechanical "steampunk" style, and a number of visual and musical artists have been described as steampunk."

This item caught my eye as a nice gift for one of my sons. The shaving jelly contains aloe which is always soothing on the skin. I love the packaging and the idea that a lip balm for chapped lips is included. This shop is another one with unusual gift items . Don't miss it!

This luscious brown scarf is handwoven with lambswool and silk by

who has some beautiful offerings in his shop. Make sure to visit his shop today for top quality handwoven items.

Finding the right gift for my guys is never easy. I have two sons and a husband to shop for every holiday season and of course birthdays and other special occasions. I spent the morning searching etsy for some fine items for men to add to my HOLIDAY SHOPPING GUIDE and although it was challenging I found some pretty nice offerings. There are multitudes of gifts available for women and children while the men seem to get stuck with another boring shirt or tie. I chose three different shops to show you for excellent men's selections.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Stackable Rings

If you are a jewelry "nut" like I am, chances are you might wear lots of rings. My rings never come off my fingers and that is one of the reasons stackable rings work well for me. I can enhance my lovely petite rings with another one of a similar material or with a design that will make the ring next to it stand out like a frame on a picture. In my quest to add wonderful selections to my HOLIDAY SHOPPING GUIDE, I discovered the newly opened shop of She has been doing metalsmithing for over 2o years and has some outstanding pieces in her shop. Her stackable rings would make a lovely gift for that special lady in your life. The bracelet featured here is one of an award winning series of incredible one- of -a- kind pieces. I had to include it in this post!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Magic, Fairy Tales, and a Sprinkle of Whimsy

The magical artwork of Victoria Vusova has captured my heart. After browsing her wonderful shop, I knew her work would be perfect to add to my HOLIDAY SHOPPING GUIDE. Her brightly colored works of art will put a smile on your face. Reminiscent of the fairy tales that enchanted me as a child , I chose these beautiful pieces to feature. Do not miss her shop at and think about making one of her pieces of art a gift for that special person on your shopping list.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Too Early for the Flu?

That's what I thought! I even have an appointment in a week or so to get my vaccine. I noticed a little scratchy feeling in my throat about a week ago, but didn't think much about it. Then it was like a small bomb went off in my nose. I've been through 3 boxes of tissues, containers of homemade chicken soup, lots of Advil, night sweats, fever and there seems to be no end in sight. I thought maybe some of my cyber friends might have a flu remedy to recommend. I thought that humor might work and have been looking a flu cartoons. Thought this one was kind of cute.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Something Special to Hold your Treasures

As you know, I have been featuring some very talented artists for my Holiday Shopping Guide and hope I can help you find something special for a loved one to make that shopping list disappear. Buying handmade items is always appreciated because your gift will be unique and probably a great match for the recipient's personality. I love today's selection because these items are one-of -kind, handmade and beautiful. Think of all the wonderful treasures you can store inside one of these gorgeous boxes. Contact the shop owner to find out about other designs which are not yet listed.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Great New Game- Cyber-Tagging!

Just received a note from a old cyber friend of mine that I had been cyber-tagged. Ooh, what a nice gesture from Phyllis M. at http:/ This a social networking game and the rules are easy.

*Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
* Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
* Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blog.
* Don't forget to let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Facts about Me:

1. I am a recently retired school teacher who substitute from time to time and makes one-of- kind jewelry much of the time.
2. One of my favorite things to do is to travel to a new place.
3. I love Italian food and enjoy cooking as well.
4. I have the best friends possible-they are always there for me.
5. My golden retriever Sonny is feisty but very lovable and loving.
6. I am surrounded by males- my wonderful husband and 2 sons and of course Sonny.
7. I enjoy conversing with my cyber pals.

I am tagging:

Cryztalvisions Creation
Unique Women
A Breath of French Air
Glitter Star

Friday, October 24, 2008

Home for the Holidays

I love being in my home for the holidays. It's warm and cozy by the fireplace, delicious food is readily available and wonderful aromas fill the air. My home is comfortable and decorated with art that I enjoy seeing every day. Many years ago my brother brought me a painting done on plaster which he found on a trip to Greece. It looked as though it had come straight from the walls of an ancient dwelling. That painting was one of my favorite gifts and still is to this very day. A gift of art can be very special and become an item that adds to the beauty and warmth of a home. The shop of Lupe at carries beautiful prints and paintings that would make a lovely addition to a home. The print she calls Visions of Home is the one that first caught my eye . The girl you see through the door could be me coming in from my garden. It inspired such a feeling of warmth and tranquility in me that I had to add this artist to my HOLIDAY SHOPPING GUIDE.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Getting Married in the Morning Cake Toppers

I haven't been adding as many items as I would like to my handmade HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE because I have been looking for unique and interesting choices . My choices for today ,vary in price according to the amount of detail the artist puts into her creations. When I stumbled upon these amazing cake toppers, I wished I had a wedding coming up in our family. What an amazing gift for a bride and groom or someone celebrating a special anniversary or event! The artist fashions her little polymer clay caricatures after the photo that you provide to her. The results are whimsical and delightful, as you can see here. She also carries Christmas ornaments, jewelry displays, market totes and other unique items in her shop. She is truly a talented artisan.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

3 Pairs of Lovely Little Earrings that Won't Break the Bank

With the holidays rapidly approaching we are all thinking about gifts for people that will stay within our budgets. I chose three pairs of earrings from my etsy shop that will put a smile on your lady's face and will keep you smiling too. All are made with genuine stones and quality findings. I used carnelian, quartz, moonstone, pearls, prehnite,copper, gold vermeil, and sterling silver to make these one-of-a-kind unique earrings. These items will be sent in a lovely pouch or little gift box, if you prefer. Please visit my shop to purchase these earrings or other one-of-kind jewelry designs.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Handmade Jewelry Findings

Do you have a jewelry designer on your shopping list? One of the most thoughtful gifts I received in recent years was a gift certificate to my one of my favorite bead stores. The shop of carries handmade jewelry findings that will complement many types of jewelry designs. This etsy shop has many different styles of ear wires and some very pretty clasps. I am sure the artisan on your list would love these wonderful handmade supplies.