8/28/09

Personalized Custom Key Chains -- Christmas Gift Idea


You carry your keys everywhere!! What a great gift to give your spouse, parent, grandparent or child --- a glass keychain with a custom photo of a loved one -- beloved pet -- favorite hobbie -- or Big Boy Toy under the glass.


The glass will protect the photo nicely and the glass-like resin that I layer on the back of the photo further protects the photo from daily use.




The glass used is crystal clear 1" handcut glass with rounded edges. The swivel hook used is a nice sturdy hook that will withstand a lot of use.

The Custom Key Chain will come in it's own little tin -- all ready for gift giving.

This would be a gift that would be used and appreciated all through the year!

8/27/09

Lucious Thick Glass for Magnets

My glass maker has developed this new thick glass for magnets. It is delicious and highlights personal photos. The glass that I was using before was crystal clear and very pretty. But this glass is twice as thick and I adore how the light bounces off the rounded corners.




Here is my old style of 2" glass magnets with the thinner glass. It is pretty and nice!




Here is my new style of thick, gorgeous handmade glass. Love it!! What do you think?

8/26/09

Ready for the Crunch? Twilight Mania!


I haven't posted for a few days -- I've been busily getting many new designs created, printed, manufactured, photographed, edited and listed on my shop!! It is such a great effort to make up new designs!

I really do love to get new designs in my shop though. Besides the new exposure and increased views to my shop, I love looking at the "new faces" when I browse through my shop windows!!

The inquiries about my Twilight Jewelry have made me realize that a great deal of shops (online and brick and mortar) are gearing up for the release of the 2nd Twilight Movie, New Moon, in November. I've been busily making up new mixed media Jewelry with the Twilight Theme. Many holiday shoppers will be looking for Twilight Inspired Jewelry for their loved ones that are hooked onto the Twilight Books and Movies.

I will have some pictures of the Movie Characters in my Jewelry Selection. But, I also wanted to give the shoppers some fresh and original items from which to choose!

8/23/09

Feeling Shamed for Working at Home

I had a conversation last night while at the grocery store that gave me cause to ponder my reasons for being a Work at Home Mom. While strolling along with my shopping cart scouting out the spices and olive oil, I heard someone call my name. A lady that I had known while I was teaching Resource at a local elementary school commented that she hadn't seen me for ages. I thought quickly to myself that it probably had been quite awhile since I haven't taught school for the past 4 years and two years before that I had taught at middle schools.

So, she asked me what I was "doing" -- which I knew meant, "where are you working". I happily told her that I was working out of my home. She looked at me funny and said, "doing what?", in which I replied, "Right now I'm making glass jewelry that I'm selling online". Well, I could tell from the look on her face that she was very confused and concerned. Then she asked me, "didn't you finish your degree?". I told her that I had -- and thought to myself, "I finished two degrees and was a project short of my master's" --- but I told her that I felt that I was needed at home right now. She then said, "for your children?" and I said yes.

We then parted --- on to look for the rest of the items on my list -- me with a very pensive attitude and concern in my heart.

I reflected how my mother's generation didn't have to worry about working out of the home -- and if there were those that did, it was against the norm. In her time, you were expected to be home gardening, canning, sewing, caring for the children, working in the community and church, beautifying your home, supporting your husband and family, etc. My mother consistently worked from sunrise to sunset. She wasn't thought weird for staying home and taking care of the home and family.

Even today there are many women who choose to stay at home and raise their children -- and most applaud their efforts -- believing that it is best for children to have a mom raise them rather than daycare facilities. But, for the most part, even in Christian societies, it is thought that a woman should go out and "do something" once all of her children are school age.

On that line of thinking -- when looking a a middle-aged woman whose 3 older children are out of the home and the 2 youngest are in High School, one may truly think that there is something "wrong with her" if she chooses to not work out of the home (I'm talking about me here). Others may wonder how I can find stimulating conversation and something to "keep myself busy" if I'm not busying myself away from the nest.

I hate that sort of thinking --- I love being at home -- I love my nest, my family and creating a great place for us all to be. Of course, we live very frugally. Others may not like that aspect of not working outside the home, but I take it as a challenge. I look at my ancestors and marvel at how they lived on very little means, yet were very happy people.

I'm hoping that my home-based business of creating pieces of beauty for others to wear will progress to bring our level of income to a place where we can have more security and peace -- that is why I'm doing it. But, at the same time I don't what it to take over the position for what's number one and two in my life -- God and Family.

I've still got a lot of rambling in this area to do . . . but not today . . . I'll leave some ramblings on the importance of a mother being in the home for another day.

8/18/09

Pendants now come with Free Chain and Cute Tin

Now all of my pendants in my Etsy Shop will come with a chain!! This is GREAT for gift giving! For one low price you can buy the pendant and chain. I will also be switching up to packaging all of the pendants in a cute decorated tin. It all makes such a cute package! Pendant, chain and Tin -- all ready for gift giving or for keeping for yourself.

I will still have many options of chains, ribbons, cables and cords available for purchase in my shop! Sometimes it's great to have a few different options to switch up the pendants to a different chain/ribbon/cable depending on the outfit that you're wearing.

The BEST news yet is that for the moment I'm not raising my prices. You'll still have the opportunity to buy this cute package for $6.50! That's huge! Probably once I have loaded on all of my new designs for the holiday -- by the middle of September -- then I'll be raising the prices to match the market.

**I've also added the addition of 2 new "Gift Sets" to my shop that will add more options in buying in bulk.

8/15/09

New Custom Photo Glass Jewelry

I've just finished up a really cute Custom Photo pendant of an adorable dog!

The picture is of a customer's sweet furry companion -- made into something that she can keep close to her heart. She bought a chocolate/copper colored chain to go with the pendant which I think looks fantastic!
Pets give their owners such love and devotion. Our pets (dog, cat, rabbit) have brought such a sense of security and love to our home. They love us unconditionally and bring my children tons of therapeutic devotion.

8/12/09

Fabric Necklaces

Romantic Silver Screen Star --- Made by Florabond on Etsy


I've been looking at Jewelry made out of fabric lately -- more importantly, necklaces. I'm very intrigued my the many types out there and how popular that they are becoming. Since I was heavily into bag/purse making last year, I have a whole closet full of great material that is calling me to put it's beauty to good use. This may be just the craft for me to express my creativity even further! Here are some great looking fabric necklaces and some tutorials. Gotta love tutorials!!Find this great tutorial by Jessica on her blog, Happy Together, which shows how to make a ribbon necklace with pearls (above) and a great dressy ruffle fabric necklace (below).

Then there are the drapes of fabric that are made from t-shirts! There are actually quite a few tutorials out there about this type of necklace. I found this one from Cumbersome
that I felt was very well done. It is called the 5-minute necklace. These pictured above are actually taken from Urban Outfitters.

Here is another crafty fabric necklace shown on Craft. Jenny Ryan gives a great tutorial on this scrappy fabric necklace.

This one is so adorable on the younger tween/teen! I love it! This tutorial for the Fabric Scrappy Necklaces is by Smaller who had gotten their inspiration from a fellow Etsy seller, Cakies!

I've found a tutorial on a Beautiful Lace and Vintage Jewelry Necklace. I really love it LOTS because a couple of the jewels on the piece remind me of a few from my grandmother. I love vintage things and this piece really "sings" to me!! I can't show you a picture because it is copyrighted, but go ahead and follow this link over to Rhonna Designs and see what I'm so excited about!
Florabond on Etsy has done some wonderful things with fabric and vintage fabric and jewels!! She's located in Idaho Falls -- just 2 hours north of my home! She's a very creative lady!! Take a look -- but I'm warning you, you'll be VERY tempted to hit the "add to cart" button :)

8/11/09

New Designs and Pendants

I'm so excited about my new pendant designs! I just finished a whole bunch of new designs and they are looking so pretty all in a row!These designs were bought from a talented graphic designer, Lisa, from a shop on Etsy called My Eye's View. They are called Doodle Flowers, Modern Flowers and Sweet Tweet.Along with those cute nature pendants I have a variety of other new designs coming out in my shop on Etsy. There are a few great Twilight Inspired Pendants, Sayings, Vintage Jewels, a Cat, a Dancer, another round butterfly on a vintage music score, and two floral oval glass pendants.
What I'm really thrilled about is the way that the backs of the pendants look!! I've been working at perfecting the backside of my pendants all summer. I've gotten the process down and the resin is smooth as the glass on the front!Many crafters try their hand at making these pendants, but most of them just put a thin layer of spray, varnish, modge podge, or water-based glaze on the backs. Mine was this way also before this summer. I was using a thick layer of water-based glaze on the backs. It was pretty and protected the paper great. But once the customer would sweat or get the pendant a little bit wet, the glaze would become a little bit sticky to the touch. It would also dent some when you pressed sharp objects into the glaze.I was searching for a better way at perserving the art on the pendant and making an overall superior product for my customers. I had considered doing resin on the backs during the winter and had even bought the resin. It took me until this summer to overcome the fear that it was hard and something that wouldn't be pleasant to try.

I've actually really enjoyed using the resin. It is a little sticky and stinky, for sure, but on the whole I haven't had the bubble problem that I was worried about.
So, my pendants have nice hard and durable crystal clear glass on the front of the image. They are made with a premium photo paper that has been professionally printed and sprayed with a preserver to ensure a long lasting bright and clear image. Finally, they have a durable 2-part epoxy resin applied to the back to protect the image from the elements.

I hope that once customers try my pendants that they will be convinced that they are a better option to other mixed media pendants (scrabble, wood, glass with water-based sealer on the back, resin on top of glass) and come again and again!!!

8/1/09

Colorful Wavy Afghan

When I was a teenager I began to crochet. I mostly self-taught myself after learning at a local church youth group the basics of crocheting. There were many projects that I would begin and then run out of yarn and never finish. One of the projects that I remember never finishing was a peach, orange and white wavy afghan.

When I ran across this blog post by Lucy at Attic24 giving a tutorial of how to make this very colorful wavy afghan, I was excited. I love the vibrant colors in this one!! It's really reminds me of my 16 year old daughters room -- she loves to use lots of colors in everything that she does! I have noticed that this afghan pattern changes colors very frequently --- which makes it really pretty -- it's just not the most enjoyable thing for me to do when I'm crocheting (something which I need to practice I guess)!

I have wanted to make each of my children one afghan and one tied quilt before they go off and get married. I'm thinking that I'll go ahead and tackle the wavy afghan with lots of color for my daughter. She's in her senior year and will be moving away to college next year. I'm wondering if I can finish it before Christmas? I'd have to work on it while she's at school and work -- which is when I'm usually doing my business, so I'm not sure. But it could definitely be worth a try!


Here in Utah afghans are great to work on during the winter months -- as you complete the last of the afghan, you have the completed portion laying on your cold legs :)



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