Thursday, February 26, 2009

Things I Love Thursday: Cupcakes

Here's a new feature I'm hoping to get to every week: Things I Love Thursday. In case that isn't self-explanatory enough, it's pretty simple. Every week--every Thursday--I will post a list of things I currently love, each revolving around a certain theme. Like I said, pretty simple.

Today's theme is cupcakes. I just think they are so adorable! Funnily enough, I don't actually like to eat cupcakes. I just like the way they look. And smell. I have a lot of picks in a lot of different categories, so sit back and enjoy the eye candy. Or maybe we should say, the eye cupcakes!

Cards: Cupcake-y sentiments.


This is such a cute little card! I especially love the glitter accents. This card is blank so you can add your own message and comes with a plain envelope. Check out their other items.


This one is sweet and simple, complete with a cherry on top. This birthday card is stamped inside with the cutest sentiment: You deserve a day sprinkled with fun! Includes a white envelope. Be sure to check out her other cards.


For those of us who love all things pink, including our cupcakes! I know Valentine's day is over, but there is always next year. But there are other cards by the same designer, if you are looking for something different.


And just in time for Spring: A blank card ready for whatever occasion crops up! Be sure to check out the rest of their cards, all of which are just as adorable as this one!


Bath and Body Cupcakes: Cupcake your beauty routine.

Here's a whipped shea and aloe body cream that looks dreamy and creamy from Hendrick's Hearth. This is just shea and aloe, both of which are soothing and moisturizing.



Here is a great cupcake soap. Yes, soap! They come in many scents and look good enough to eat. Check out their other products.


This cupcake-scented goat's milk soap is just beautiful; those are jojoba bead 'sprinkles' which do more than look pretty: they also help exfoliate skin! The Pink Bow Bath Boutique is just getting started, but if this soap is any indication, they will keep turning out pretty bath products.


Doctor Sweet Tooth is high up on my list of shops to try next. The products look gorgeous and the scents sound delicious. This is a bath bomb/bubble bath duo in cupcake form. This is life size at 5.5 ounces (that's about the size of a whole bar of cold processed soap!).

Patterns: To make your own cupcake-y treasures!

These felt cupcakes are so cute! I have no idea what one would do with them, but they would sure look pretty sitting on my dresser... This is about the closest you can get to instant gratification: Purchase and pay, and you get a PDF pattern that you can use right away! There's a special going on right now: Buy three patterns, get one free!


Here's a crochet pattern for cupcakes and more! This pattern is for the four cupcakes, a 13 inch three layer cake, and a pie! This pattern will be your in less than 24 hours once purchased. Check out the rest of the patterns!



Accessories: Cupcakes, cupcakes, everywhere!

This is a felt hair clip perfect for all ages of cupcake lovers. There are a lot of other designs, so check out Cutesie Clips for all of your cute hair clip needs.



Here's a super-cute applique that you can apply just about anywhere, to have your cupcake always at hand. Be sure to check out the rest of the iron-on patches available!



And our last cupcake of the day is an all purpose little pouch. It is 6.5"x5", with a zipper, making it perfect storage for all those small 'essentials' floating around in our purses. If you think this is cute, you'll love the rest of their bags!



I hope you enjoyed week one of Things I Love Thursday. Have a specific theme you'd like to see? Let me know, and maybe I'll find more things I love to share with everyone. Have a great night!

New Features and Ideas

You may have noticed some new stuff decorating my blog. The first and most exciting one is the rapid cart, which you will see directly to your right. This amazing little program will let you purchase items without an artfire account. Furthermore, you do not even have to leave the page! In 28 seconds, you can buy a piece of jewelry! 28! Ladies, are your boyfriends complaining about what a huge 'ordeal' it is to buy you jewelry? They have no excuse anymore! Send them here and in less than half a minute, bam! You have jewelry! The list shows random selections from my shop. You can either refresh the page to see more or click to view my studio where all of my designs are displayed.

Secondly, beneath that is the shopping window. This window displays a random assortment of handmade items. EVERY item displayed is handmade. Click the item and you are taken directly to the item's page. These are not created by me, this is just me doing my part to encourage everyone to buy handmade! It's good for everyone, and it's a great way to help the economy, by supporting American crafters!

Just a reminder, March heralds the first Charity of the Month. I still have not decided on the specific charity, so if you have suggestions, feel free. April's charity will be something to benefit the planet in honor of Earth Day.

I am also planning an item of the week segment, where I feature handmade items that catch my eye, and share them with all of you. These will not be my items, they will be from a variety of artisans.

But speaking of my pieces, I did get around to creating a bracelet using more rhodonite carved flowers. I will get to pictures tomorrow, and hopefully more pieces. My muse was just not on my side today.

And lastly, I am also considering a series of posts on various gemstones--their history, myths and lore, metaphysical and healing properties, general specifications, etc. With each entry, I'll post a variety of jewelry that fits that post's theme.

I am hoping to implement many more features and ideas eventually, but these are the ones I am currently focusing on.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

On To Creating More

I listed two more items today, I only have one left to list, but that one still needs more pictures. So tomorrow will definitely be devoted to the creation process. It actually isn't a process, to be honest. I sort of just pick out something that looks good to work with then, well, work with it! Sometimes I'm in a green mood, so maybe I'll go to some green glass beads. Then I'll find something that goes with that. Decide where I want to take it. And generally, in the process, I'll find something to match item B, and then I'll find something to match that! And on it goes, until I need to stop. I seem to make the same number of pieces whether I take a lot of breaks whenever I need to, or if I take breaks only after completely finishing the piece. So I take a lot of breaks whenever I need to. This does mean that it seems to take me longer, but taking a lot of breaks also enables me to create for longer periods of time without too much pain.

So when/how/why do I stop? It depends. Sometimes a break will turn into lunch, will turn into dishes, will turn into xyz, and other things come up. Or else, I find other things to come up, such as email, designing, or paperwork, in which case I realize the muse has left the building. Sometimes, it's like I can literally feel her withdrawing, and I will just suddenly know I have to stop. Some people, whatever they do, can sit down and tell themselves: create. I am not one of those people. I need inspiration. But I am lucky in that I never seem to run out of ideas and inspiration for very long. My mind jumps from thought to though, and my muse and creativity work in the same way! I am also lucky in that I can sometimes channel that inspiration. I can't sit down and force myself to create, but I can save that burst of creativity for later. Best of all, I am easily inspired; all I have to do is browse through my beads to find ideas!!

But when it is time to stop, it is time to stop. Sometimes my body tells me when and sometimes it's my muse. I've tried to "push on", but if it's my body telling me to stop, it's pretty futile to rebel. If I am working long enough for my hands to ache, I've been working too long; not only does this add pain to whatever else I am feeling, but it's difficult to create anything with your hands when said hands hurt. It takes me longer to finish things and I am not as skilled. I refuse to tolerate sloppy work, whatever the reason. I would rather stop for the day or the hour and come back later and do GOOD work, then get in another hour or two of bad work. And if my muse has fled, there's nothing left. I've learned to not even bother, because everything takes three times longer than it should. My work ends up sloppy. You can tell that the spark just isn't in the piece. And I refuse to make jewelry under those conditions, because each piece is special to me, and more importantly, special to you. I like to think my pieces have an inner spark, a tiny little piece of life to them. That is what makes them special. If they no longer have that spark, are no longer special, then I might as well have bought the piece off the rack for all the life in it.

One last little note. Beginning in March, I will debut a charity of the month. What that means is that, each month, I will donate proceeds to a different charity. I might donate 10% of my TOTAL profits for that month. Or I may make specific pieces just for the donation event and donate the total profits from each specific piece. There may be months where I do both, for two different charities. I will give full details in a couple days, including which charity will be featured. If you have any specific charities near and dear to your heart, feel free to offer up suggestions. I can't promise I'll use them, but it's worth a try.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

More New Listings and an Announcement







I still have a couple of things left to post, one needs a couple more pictures. You can find these items at Artfire.

Also, I have decided that, until further notice, I will NOT be listing any new items on etsy. I will leave what items I have listed up until they expire. I cannot say if or when I will return to posting on etsy. When they have cleaned up their practices and begin to treat ALL of their sellers fairly, then I will consider rejoining the community. I won't get into all of the reasons behind this decision more than to say I will wait for them to treat us fairly, treat us equally, find a modicum of consistency, and be more open and honest with us, the community. As it stands, I simply cannot invest money into a marketplace I am not 100% confident in.

I encourage everyone to give artfire a try. Artfire cares about its users, both the buyers and sellers. They are in this for us, not for the money. It's not just a job for them, and we aren't just little dollar signs. The staff routinely answers questions in the forums, I have yet to see them close or lock a post. If something is wrong, there is a bug, or anything of that nature, they are not afraid to say, You are right, I will get someone on it right away. Even better--they actually do it! They are working very hard to help artfire grow as a community and a marketplace, they constantly rework and rethink everything to make it the best it can be. If we have a suggestion, it is listened to, and either acted upon or explained to us why it cannot be acted upon. They are not only staff, they too are a member of the community. Most importantly, they are on OUR side, not just in it for themselves.

It is a great community, with great staff and great sellers. It is still new, so many have not heard of artfire, and maybe you are wary of a relatively new comer. But trust me, they are in it for the long haul. And I know that many sellers are able to lower their prices because artfire does not nickel and dime us. For myself, there is AT LEAST a 50 cent difference in costs between the two sites. Now, 50 cents is not a lot, but it adds up. And the more expensive the item is, the higher the difference. I think the average is between 1 and 2 dollars. Per piece. With my artfire account, I only pay a one time fee (which is NOT required, I just enjoy the extra features it gives me). The fee is 7 dollars, and I know you are probably thinking that is a lot. But that is ONE fee a month. On etsy, I have to pay a fee and commission on EVERY piece. If I list 30 pieces a month, that is only a 23 cent charge per piece. It is the same charge per piece; it will not be a bigger charge for a more expensive piece. You will pay 23 cents for a 10 dollar item and you will pay the same 23 cents for a 100 dollar item. This saves me money, and in turn, it save you money!

My pieces currently on etsy are there to stay, but only until they expire in about 3 months. If, by then, I am not satisfied with the changes that may or may not occur, I will NOT list or relist anything. I will check back periodically, though, and always keep you guys updated. But for now, I suggest getting acquainted with artfire, because the site is amazing, the sellers are talented and friendly, and artfire as a whole is here to stay.

Friday, February 20, 2009

New Items Listed

Five new pieces listed today. And I made five more earlier. Hoping to get pictures of them tomorrow and then list either tomorrow or Saturday morning. Just a quick update on the new items.









Thursday, February 19, 2009

Distracted

I know I said in my last post that I would take pictures and list today. Well, I did manage the pictures. But I got distracted in a new piece and didn't get the chance to list! I will definitely do that first thing tomorrow.

But I am very pleased with how this newest piece turned out. I have a bunch of what I like to call orphan beads. They are the leftover beads I have, usually they aren't enough to make a whole piece out of. They are leftover from strands or packs, or sometimes they are only one or two pieces that match in an assortment. Sometimes, I find a few beads that I think will be great for this or that, then realize they aren't exactly what I expected. And in lampwork glass bead assortments, the beads really are an assortment, and most don't match.

For a long time, these beads have sat in my bead containers, taking up space. I could never throw a bead away, unless it was broken or something else was wrong with it. And even then, I sometimes keep them, if I think I might be able to do something with them (what, I'm not sure yet, but you never know...). As it is, I have some supplies that don't have a home, because I've been too lazy to buy a new storage container, because I know that, once I use up beads, I'll have more room. And since these are taking up the most room, these need to be the first to go.

You may have already seen my other two orphan bead pieces, one in Shades of grey and one in green. Today, I've added a never-ending necklace to that category. What is a never-ending necklace? It is a necklace with no end; that is to say, with no clasp. It is big enough to fit over your head, and this one is big enough to double around your neck. It took two hours to make, but it is even better than expected. Two hours probably sounds like a lot, but I wire looped each bead, individually, then joined them all together to form a chain of beads. The beads are all different colors and the effect is really cheery.

I actually thought it would take longer to complete, so that's another reason I'm pleased. I have fibromyalgia, which is a condition characterized by chronic pain and fatigue. What that means for me, personally, is that I am often in pain for no discernible reason and even the most mundane of tasks can leave me far more tired than one would expect. I say this only to explain why I am tired out after making only one piece. Also, I have to take breaks to rest, especially my hands because of the tools, but I do not factor those breaks into the labor of each piece. I have also found that, for whatever reason, it is easier for me to create jewelry in the evenings. During the day is generally when I do paperwork, filing, organizing, taking pictures, listing, and everything else. I thought I would just take a quick break to work on this new piece; once an idea has hit me, it's hard for me to not jump right in, whatever I am doing. And thus, I became distracted in this piece I thought I would just get started.

I also got distracted earlier, while taking pictures of my pieces. I have a cat--Delly--who I just had to take pictures of. She was sleeping so peacefully and looked so innocent--a rare opportunity. And for whatever reason, today she was being cooperative when I wanted to take her picture. She looked at the camera, turned her head different ways. I was taking a picture of a pair of earrings hanging on the lip of a cup, and she lowered her head to look into the cup. Lowered it further. Then she would stick her paw into the cup. The shots were just too cute. And she usually looks away or walks away, so of course I had to take the opportunity.

Here are some examples:

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So pensive...
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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

More items for the new line

I've updated my own records and hope to take pictures and list some new items tomorrow. I did list two new items today, one that I made yesterday, and one that I made a week or so ago and somehow, I hadn't caught that I hadn't checked it off the list. They are Aragonite and Calcite Bracelet and Perfectly Simple Tiger Eye Necklace.

All five listings I have planned for tomorrow meet the Recession Friendly requirements, under twenty dollars. The most expensive is a pair of chandelier earrings at fourteen dollars. There are two bracelets, at twelve dollars each. And two more pairs of earrings, both at ten dollars each. I am working on more pieces for this line, so be sure to check back at my artfire shop regularly.

I will also gradually move over some of my etsy items from etsy to my artfire account. Why? Well, to be perfectly honest, I prefer artfire. There are numerous different reasons, but one of the main ones is cost. It is a lot more cost-effective; they do not charge a listing fee or take a fee when I sell. Those are two less costs I need to tack onto my prices, savings which I can then pass on to you. For etsy fans, yes, I will keep my etsy shop open, I have no intentions of closing that shop anywhere in the near future. But I am focusing more on my artfire shop at the moment, promoting it more than I am the etsy. I do not think I will list any new items on etsy for the rest of the month. But I am still there, I constantly check that store (more than I should, I am sure!) and definitely reading and answering convos. Eventually, I would like to have a good mix between the stores, rotating items in and out as they expire. I may even open up shop(s) elsewhere. But this is in the future, and a long way away.

Besides designing, I have been catching up with a lot of paperwork. Stuff that I should keep updated as I go, but don't. These things include pricing. There is a process to figuring out how to price my products. Please don't think I make a product then simply tack on a price I'd like to get for it. It is a definite process, and for me, that means keeping really good records. I am the type that I need to see each step, and each step needs its own paperwork. I have pages of costs of materials, final pricing notes, labor time calculations, tedious paperwork like that. It is not hard, it is just not the most fun part of having a business.

So pictures and listing tomorrow. More Recession Friendly pieces to create. I am also in the process of designing hand made cards and different types and patterns, etc. I am hoping to get up Mother's Day cards, but hopefully I can get some other types up before then. I also have a lot of vintage jewelry my mother has cleaned out of her jewelry boxes, so I want to play with those a bit when I get the chance. Hopefully some time this week. But my main priority right now is to work on those Recession Friendly pieces.

Don't forget: My artfire shop

New Line Debut: Recession Friendly

One of the first new projects I wanted to do was come up with pieces that are both fashionable and affordable. I have a lot of ideas--no, really, a LOT--but this is the first I wanted to focus on. I am happy to declare that Idea Number One has come to fruition: Recession Friendly Pieces are now available.

I am really aiming to make jewelry pieces that are affordable, but don't look 'cheap'. I understand that times are tough right now. As a small business, I am one of many feeling that strain. Unfortunately, there are not many things I can do to truly help others during these times. But one of the things I can do is try to work with you. In an effort to do so, this line was born. I understand that many cannot justify or afford jewelry at this time; but for those that just want a little something, as a gift to themselves or others, I am hoping that these pieces can fill that need without breaking the bank.

No item in this line will be over twenty dollars. Most will be under fifteen, and many earrings will be ten dollars or even less. I am working hard on designing and creating a number of pieces that fit these criteria, so be sure to stay tuned for all the updates. I currently have three pairs of earrings listed. Please visit my artfire shop to see these listing; on the right hand side, click on the "Recession Friendly" sub-category. I spent today working on more pieces, and hope to list them tomorrow or Wednesday.

I am hoping to get a full range of products: necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and eventually rings, hair accessories, and even hand made greeting cards. In the near future, I will definitely develop a line of necklaces, including chokers and longer pieces; earrings; and bracelets, all in a range of materials, yes, even gemstones!

So how, exactly, do I create pieces with such low prices? Here is an example or two showing how I am able to offer such a deal. Sometimes, it comes down to materials. Glass is generally less expensive than gemstone, and plastic more affordable than glass. And so it goes. By using materials that cost less to purchase, I can pass that savings onto you. And there are many, many lovely examples of both glass and plastic beads; many examples are not, in my opinion, inferior to gemstones, just different. Now, just because the price is lower, does NOT mean the quality is in any way diminished. There may come a time when I sell a piece with a chipped bead or a bead whose color doesn't quite match the others. BUT if and when that happens, I will fully disclose the fact, including pictures of the defect.

To continue on about materials, there are also less expensive substitutes that can be used. Silver plate instead of sterling. Imitation gemstones. There are even gemstones that mimic gemstones which are more expensive. One of the best examples of this, I have found, is red agate mimicking carnelian. It is very difficult to tell the difference with the naked eye, and even then, you have to be familiar with one or the other. But to the untrained or casual observer, those earrings with the red agate price tag have a carnelian flashiness. Even glass has a 'top price' brand and less expensive brands, as do many types of non-gemstone beads. It's sort of like the difference between the big brands, the cheaper competitive brands, and the store brands.

There is also the grade of each gemstone. A AAA amethyst will cost a LOT more than a grade D, for example. Many gemstones are deeply discounted at grades C and below. You are probably sitting there, outraged that I would sell you a C grade piece of jewelry. But in many cases, the grade is given because every bead on the strand is not perfect. Or there are some inclusions or a lack of perfect clarity. Perhaps they are unevenly shaped or sized or colored. Many things can effect the grade of a gem, and the grade of the gem is what effects the price. So there is no need to worry that recession friendly equals no more gemstones. It will mean a lack of the more precious gems--certainly no tourmaline or ruby--but many low-priced designs can be made with gems. Either because the gem is common, and therefor less expensive, because there are not a lot of them in the piece, or because the quality is not as high. But you don't have to give up gemstones.

And one last example: Rarely, I can buy materials for a very low cost. There may be too many, so shops have marked them down as overstock. They may be a poor seller and are now in the clearance section. There may be one or two unusable beads on the strand. Maybe the store is going out of business or won't be carrying a certain brand anymore. Sometimes, they just have good sales or very brief discounts on certain products at different times. Now, that is not to say this type of deal is common, because it isn't. It is not often I see something marked down to, say, fifty percent or similar. I can often find lower cost items through the above methods, but rarely are they anything to get too excited about. And it is probably unwise to hope to find a strand of rubies for ten dollars. But it does happen (not the rubies bit, the great deal part). And should I find such a deal, I will pass on those savings to you. Even if they are just a little bit of a difference, because every little bit counts in this economy.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

New Pieces Listed

(links take you to my picasa account, please see the end of the entry for the link to my artfire account)

The first in a round of affordable earrings I am making. Simple green glass beads, the color reminds me of new spring grass. $10

From Jewelry


Pearl earrings, also part of the affordable earring collection. Creamy peach cultured freshwater pearls. Very simple and pretty. I am tempted to make a pair just for myself. $10

From Jewelry


Rose Quartz Bracelet. Silver lined pink seed beads with rose quartz nuggets. A scalloped effect makes me love this.
From Jewelry


Matching Rose Quartz necklace
From Jewelry


Tiger Eye Chandelier earrings. Also part of the affordable earrings. $14
From Jewelry


Tiger Eye drops, the last of the affordable earrings I made today. I definitely want to make more tomorrow. Maybe tonight if I start feeling better. $10
From Jewelry


Tiger Eye Necklace. This is an interesting one. Not exactly what I intended, but still cool. It has a bit of a tribal feel, to me.
From Jewelry


Simple Tiger Eye Necklace. Just a simple necklace showing off the tiger eye rounds
From Jewelry












New Pieces

I have a few new pieces that I have to take pictures of and list. I thought I would give a little sneak preview of each piece before listing them.

I have been loving tiger eye lately. In pretty much all forms. I had some larger round tiger eye beads, so I used them to make a very pretty, simple necklace. It is comprised of the tiger eye and amber seed beads. It is a shorter necklace, maybe an inch or two more than a choker. I also made another necklace, featuring three types of tiger eye: rounds, chips, and faceted briolettes. This necklace uses smaller tiger eye rounds, accented by gold seed beads that are repurposed from an old piece of jewelry. They may be vintage, but I am not sure how old the piece was. Hanging from the necklace to form a 'fan' are the tiger eye chips. And dangling at the end are the faceted briolettes. It has a vaguely tribal feel to it, but the faceted tiger eyes give it a touch of sparkle.

I also made two pairs of tiger eye earrings. The first pair is very simple, just three looped beads, two of fire-polished czech beads, and one small tiger eye round. These earrings give you a way to wear dangles, without feeling they are too much or over-the-top.

The second pair is a bit more complex. My purpose today, when I sat down to create some earrings, was to create simple earrings that are both affordable and cute. I strayed a bit with these in terms of simple, but they are pretty. They are 3 strand chandelier, with topaz colored Swarovski crystal, tiger eye rounds, and tiger eye faceted briolettes. These earrings have a lot of sparkle. For a chandelier type earring, they are simple and low-key.

The third pair of earrings I made today did fulfill the requirments. It is a single pearl, a creamy peach color, between dainty silver bead caps. They are very delicate and girly, and a nice variation from the usual pearl studs.

The last pair of earrings features a very pretty green glass bead. It is swirled with white, and reminds me of spring grass. They are also pretty and simple, with a silver lined seed bead underneath, and featuring the green glass round between silver bead caps.

I am hoping I can create more simple and affordable earrings, I am planning to create $12 and under earrings. I will also be working on lower-cost jewelry in other areas, such as necklaces and bracelets.

One note about my shops on artfire and etsy. Right now, I am focusing more attention on my artfire shop, because I am getting more hits there. Also, it is not uncommon for my prices to be lower on artfire, because artfire does not charge me a listing fee or take a fee when I sell something, which etsy does do. This is not to say all my prices there are lower, but some pieces will be. Please don't think this means I do not take care of my etsy shop, because I am still very active there and I do check my shops--both of them--multiple times. Don't hesitate to convo me on etsy. I say this simply because many of my newer pieces will be posted on artfire first, to help save customers some money.

Don't ever hesitate to contact me at either site, or here. I am now off to take pictures, and hopefully upload a piece or two tonight. Thank you!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Welcome!

Hello. Welcome to Moonlight Eternal's blog! Moonlight Eternal currently specializes in jewelry. All of my jewelry designs are one of kind. I create beautiful, unique pieces for a beautiful, unique you.

I'd like to introduce you to the person behind Moonlight Eternal--namely, me. My name is Charlotte. I am 21 years old. I have fibromyalgia, and because of that, I find it difficult to maintain a steady job. I have wanted to design and create my own items since as far back as I remember, but I never thought I would actually be able to achieve such a goal. Mainly because of the fibromyalgia, which flairs unpredictably, and has often confined me to my home. But also for other reasons, especially financial, and recently, because of our economic status. But I came to realize that it is now or never. This is a way for me to keep doing what I love while making an income. It is something I can do, even when the fibro is flaring. I can't do it very long, perhaps, but a half hour here and a half hour there add up. I make all my pieces first, then list them, so I don't have to worry that an order will come in that I won't feel up to filling. All I have to do is ship.

Another reason is that, right now, I have no major obligations that could be harmed because of this business--no husband, no children, no mortgage payments or car payments. If I crash and burn, I do it alone. I hated the thought that, by the time it was the "right time" for me to try this, I would have too many obligations that I wouldn't be able to risk. I also don't have other obligations to juggle between this and the fibromyalgia--I would rather not overreach myself and end up the worse for wear unless it is necessary.

Furthermore, I have never liked the idea of working for someone else. I knew I wanted to work on my own, or at least, not for the traditional boss. Eventually, I came to realize that the best way to go about that, for me, was to own my own small business. So I learned how to go about becoming a business. Laws and regulations. Federal, state, city, and county regulations. I read business books. I read articles online. I talked to others who had the type of business I wanted.

It took me two years to open shop. In that time, I made sure this was really what I wanted. Something I loved doing. I researched other shops. Saw what they were doing, whether I would buy a piece, why or why not. I studied prices and trends. I looked over various sites on which to sell my products. Whether I wanted to sell solely online, or online and craft shows or farmer's markets. I decided what I wanted out of this experience, and what I needed to do to get it. I made sure I knew what I was doing, especially in regards to taxes and laws. I went through each legal hoop, step by step, to finally come to where I am today.

As for more about my pieces, I love the feeling of taking a plain piece of wire and a bead and turning it into wearable art. I can not draw at all, so this is one way for me to still be involved in art, without having to be able to draw. I favor gemstones and pearls, but I am equal opportunity when it comes to beads, I love all types. Don't be surprised to find crystals, swarovski crystals, glass, vintage beads, lucite, wood, acrylic, shell, or resins in my pieces. I am drawn to pretty things, whatever their material.

I favor romantic, classic designs, timeless beauty. But I also create modern, eclectic pieces that are new and will outlast the 'trends'. I generally do not bead weave, as I just don't have the patience! I prefer to work with wire, beading wire, and findings. The list of my favorite gemstones keeps growing and growing as I hold a strand of this or a few of that in my hand. Currently, I am enjoying crafting with amazonite, garnet, tiger eye, obsidian, moonstone, rose quartz and various agates.

I have a lot of ideas on ways to grow and which directions to expand in. New products to introduce. There are always ideas and designs dancing in my head. I will eventually get to those ideas here. I will also post sales announcements and discounts here. Provide sneak peek photos of pieces before I list them. And discuss any new items, gems, beads, or products I am working on.

Thank you and welcome!

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