Christmas gifts ho! (and photos for Miss Trish of

Dec - 14 2010 | no comments | By

So…it seems my sister-in-law is going to be the only one I have to think really hard about with regards to Christmas gifts this year.  I’ve given back to the Etsy community and bought gifts for my brothers and my father all on Etsy, and my mother, sister, and sister-in-law are going to be getting handmade gifts, too–but handmade by me.

My sister, of course, basically picked her own gift without even knowing it.  She said she liked something that I’d just posted on Etsy (and when I say “liked” she said I WANT THIS) but the piece would be too long for her little wrist.

So I made her something else.

My mother…well, I’ve known what I was going to give her for months, so long as the piece didn’t sell at a show.  It hasn’t so I’m going to make her a matching pair of earrings and call it a day.

Sister-in-law…she’ll be an issue.  I have a very vague idea of what to make for her, but I have to talk to my brother first about some things before I make final decisions.  I’ve still got a week and a half.

Finally, that brings me to a vaguely related subject, which involves peridot giftables.  I’d posted Augustine Brilliance on Etsy, which is a peridot piece, and Trish was shocked to see how it looked.  I promised her I’d post pictures of another peridot piece, this one one-of-a-kind (the nuggets I used are no longer available and I don’t have enough to make a second necklace).

And so, with no further adieu, the pictures of the peridot nugget version of “Imperial Arms,” inspired by the arms of the Holy Roman Empire.

LOTS of new listings up, plus a 10% off offer!

Dec - 13 2010 | no comments | By

I’ve posted a bunch of earrings and braclets today, plus a pair of necklaces to my Etsy Store.  All versions of A Lady’s Ransom are now available individually for purchase.  Also newly listed are some pairs of Azshara pearl and Swarovski crystal earrings.  The biggest bangs, however, are two necklaces that are newly listed: Quartering the Arms (sodalite and garnet) and Roman Elegance (garnet ovals).  I’ve carried these pieces to two shows now, and a different version of Quartering the Arms sold at the Grand Valley Renaissance Faire back in October.  Both necklaces go for $50.

The other bit of big news is that I’m offering a 10% off coupon code at my shop until December 26!  Punch in YULE2010 at checkout and receive 10% off your order.

Oh, and about the Holiday Bazaar on December 11?  Don’t ask.

Holiday Bazaar tomorrow!

Dec - 10 2010 | no comments | By

The Holiday Bazaar at Our Shepherd Lutheran Church is tomorrow.  I’m mostly ready; I may make a few more pieces since I’ve got the day off to make them (though nothing new in polymer clay–it snowed last night and I do my baking on the back porch!).  I still have to make the donation piece.  This show’s donation value is lower than most–some shows don’t set one, others set it at about $20, but this one’s suggested value is $15.  So I’m probably going to do a bracelet and we’ll see what happens.  I’ll post pictures of it once it’s made.

This is the first show I’ll be bringing my own table to.  Hopefully it’ll fit into the car all right.

The Athens Festival Craft Show did not go as well as I’d hoped–I barely doubled what I paid for my table.  Turnout was very, very low and it was poorly advertised.  I’m not sure that I’d do it again next year–certainly not with the poor  level of advertising.  I need to do my survey for the show and send it in to them.  I’ve got a lot to say about it.  The student helpers were great, but all things considered…not a good show, which is sad because once upon a time, it had been an amazing show.

Hopefully, this one will be better.  If it’s not, then it’s not–it’s a short show, and I’ll be working at the store in the evening if I can’t get someone to pick up my shift.  I’m hoping I can.  Hoping very, very hard.

Athens Festival Craft Show – T-minus two days and counting…

Nov - 18 2010 | no comments | By

So the Athens Festival Craft Show is this coming Saturday and I’m still preparing for it!  I’m making some extra bits and pieces for the show (including a few brand spanking new designs that only my mother’s been privledged to see!).  I’ve got it in my head to make a few pairs of earrings today before I turn attention to doing other things.  I’ve already completed three necklaces (two copies of other ones and then a brand new peridot piece I’ve named “Augustine Brilliance”) this morning, tagged them, and priced them.

I’ve got some housekeeping stuff to do, including getting my bins of displays together and a bin of packaging together.  I have to stamp most of my bags still (though I’m half thinking to not to stamp them–I have ribbons to tie on the handles in red and green).

All of the ornaments I’m going to make are done.  I made sixteen of the suckers.  I’m going to see if they sell, and if they do, I’ll make more and offer them on Etsy.  I already know I have an order coming in from my mother for a custom-made set of them.

Mom’s going to be my booth helper this time around (Miss Jen has to work!), and I’m very grateful for the extra set of hands for the show.  That means I can work on more pieces during the show and answer questions and such–or that two of us can be working with two different people at the same time!

I have all of my stone cards made up and ready, which is wonderful, and I have my larger boxes stamped (fifteen of them, anyway–I’d love to need more than that, but we’ll se what happens).  I also have a bunch of business cards ready–I may or may not make more before the day is out (stamping them can be beastly, and running up and down the stairs to load the cardstock and then get the printouts while praying no one else is printing anything is a pain, too).

Sold a few pieces through Etsy the other day — two Marks of the Dawn sold, and then one of my stone pendants sold as well.  They went out in Tuesday’s mail.  Tuesday was kind of a lost day–I spent the whole morning and into the afternoon running errands.  Then Bill and Nat came over for dinner, so while I got thoughts and opinions on displays and new pieces, I didn’t actually make any new pieces.  And then yesterday was a total loss for everything because I got stuck working at the store until 3:30 (I was supposed to be off at 2) and was completely wiped out by the time I got home at 4.  Today should be a better day all the way around.

Elwynn Ivy ornaments ho!

Nov - 13 2010 | no comments | By

So, I’ve made a few more Elwynn Ivy pendants and pins…but I’ve also made some new Elwynn Ivy ornaments!  I’ll be debuting these at the Athens Craft show on November 20.  Here’s to hoping they do well for me.

They can be a bit of a pain to make because…well…polymer clay can be a pain!  The ornaments are also quite thin, which makes mounting the bails a bit difficult (I use a twist of wire to make the bails — they stay in the clay better than a straight pin does).

I made a few more than what’s in the picture this evening, since I realized I only had a few of the ornaments done!  I’ll seal them tomorrow, most likely.


The acrylic seal on them really brings them to life!  I’m really looking forward to seeing what tonight’s turn out looking like after I spray seal them (tonight’s were made with a green base polymer clay).

Marks of the Crusade, Marks of the Dawn

Nov - 11 2010 | no comments | By

I’ve gotten a few more marks made and listed.  The new ones are made of both white clay and granite polymer clay.  The Marks of Crusade are listed as single items, the two new Marks of the Dawn are listed as a set.

We’ll see how they do!  They’re part of my Warcraft Trinket collection.

Wedding necklaces – “Something Blue”

Nov - 07 2010 | no comments | By

The other day, I finally got around to making my “Something Blue” wedding necklaces.  I got inspired by a couple of Swarovski crystal teardrops I had floating around that were too small to just be pendants on a chain.  The original piece was a variant on my “Icy Brilliance” piece, a strand of snow quartz and Swarovski crystals.  At the suggestion of my lovely mother, Karen, obsessed with all things sparkly, I put together a version that was all Swarovski crystals spaced out with very pale blue delica seed beads.

These pieces have already been posted in my Etsy Store.

Custom orders are full of fun!

Nov - 05 2010 | no comments | By

I put together a custom order for longtime friend Krinny today.  He wanted a gift for family members and had an idea that definately fit the bill.

The whole enterprise took more time to mock up, photograph, and ship than it took to make! (probably because I have this bracelet down to a science).

The piece was made to symbolize the union of his brother and his sister-in-law and contained Emerald Swarovski crystals, Sapphire Swarovski crystals, and Sand Opal Swarovski crystals to symbolize their birthdays and the month they got married. The center section, with the Fern Green, Sunflower, and Capri Blue Swarovski crystals, symbolized the place where they met.

This was a very fun piece to make and I hope that the intended recipiants enjoy them as much as I enjoy making things like this!

So how does my stuff ship?

Nov - 01 2010 | no comments | By

It’s becoming increasingly clear that when folks are asked to pay $3 for shipping small items such as earrings or bracelets, they want to know how they’re shipped–especially if they’re being shipped in envelopes to keep costs down!  I know that $3-$5 seems like a ton to pay for shipping, but it’s really not when you get right down to the raw numbers.  Most Etsy sellers take a loss on their shipping, it seems (and not just the ones that offer “free” shipping!).

I’m going to be adding more pictures as I take them, but I thought that I should toss an example of how small items such as bracelets, pendants, or earrings from Jude’s Chest will be shipped to buyers.

Small items such as jewelry will be shipped US Postal Service either First Class Mail or First Class Parcel.  This means for even the smallest items, I’m paying about $3.50 at the high end for some pieces in shipping cost alone–that doesn’t include packaging!  Let’s take this item for example, which is a small, Swarovski crystal bracelet for my sister (a gift for her 19th birthday).

The whole package weighed a little under 2 ounces.

Now, in future shipments I’m going to wrap the bubble wrap a little differently than I did in this package in the hopes of keeping the whole shebang under 3/4-inch because then it ships cheaper at the First-Class flat rate rather than at Parcel, which is slightly more expensive.

The envelopes I use are bubble mailers, which means they have a layer of bubble wrap inside the envelope already.  On top of that, I bag the pieces in little gauze bags for the smallest of the small items (Jude’s Tear pendants, all bracelets, and earrings not attached to cards).  Larger items will be wrapped in muslin or other small quantities of cotton fabric or placed in cardboard jewelry boxes lined with cotton batting.  Then these items are wrapped in a square of bubble wrap for extra protection in transit.  After that, everything goes into the envelope (this is for small items that will fit in bubble mailer envelopes.  Other items may actually be boxed, especially multi-piece orders).

Every piece will ship with my business card and cards giving some metaphysical and/or historical information on the stones used in the piece.

When you get right down to it, all of these things, the bubble mailer, the extra bubble wrap, the bags and boxes: they all cost money above and beyond the actual shipping rate per piece, which is already higher than the stated shipping price for some items.  I hope this gives some insight into how I ship and why shipping rates are what they are!

New jewelry collection – Robin Wood Tarot collection

Oct - 29 2010 | no comments | By

I’ve started to put together a brand new collection of jewelry that I’ve been thinking about for a while now: a collection of jewelry inspired by my Tarot deck of choice, the Robin Wood Tarot (which may or may not be available anymore).  I completed the first piece of this collection early this afternoon, the piece inspired by the Heriophant.

This piece is made of very powerful stones and the combination of them tingled when I handled it.  Hopefully whoever ends up buying it from my Etsy store or at any upcoming craft show will enjoy it immensely!

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