Sunday, November 30, 2008

Cyber Monday Madness

Why fight the crowds all "Black Weekend" when you can go back to work and use company time to shop online on Monday?

I'm having a Cyber Monday Sale in my shop from midnight December 1st (Cyber Monday) until 11:59 pm. I am offering free domestic shipping on all purchases during the sale, and 10% off orders of $25.00 or more. As an added bonus, I will be putting in a complimentary pair of Christmas Earrings in each package from now until Christmas Eve.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Holiday Sale

Due to my jewelry party on this weekend coming up, I am unable to participate in the team sale, with the possibility of having to temporarily inactivate some items in my shop during my party. I am, however, glad to be able to promote my fellow teammates who are having a team-wide sale!

Sales include free shipping, 10-20% off, BOGO deals, and more! Click on the ad for details.

And stop by my shop on Cyber Monday... I will probably have a promotion going on if I can organize myself after the party.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Map of the Forest

I bought this pendant to make a choker with specifically because it reminded me of a topographical map of a mountain. I used this focal piece as inspiration and added beads that remind me of a hike through the woods. The back of the choker is the trail you take to the top of the mountain, along the way are rocks and bodies of water. From the summit peak or the cab of a fire tower you can see the rounded tops of nearby mountains.

It's like a hike through the woods without breaking a sweat! See my store for details.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Local Treasure Box of Plant and Wildlife

I had a great opportunity to go for a nature walk this past weekend, and was once again reminded that no matter how hard I try to remember to slow down and appreciate what's going on around me, I still take things for granted. I have probably been to Moreau State Park at least 50 times in my life. As a child, my mom would take me to the beach there because it was nearby and clean. My grandfather took me snowshoeing across the lake when I was younger. We've had a couple of family summer picnics underneath the pavilion, and my husband and I even rode our bikes there when we lived a few miles closer. Sister and I have been there several times, in all seasons, for hiking and snowshoeing. It wasn't until this hike that I realized exactly how much plant and animal life the Park actually has to offer.

Despite the rain, we were rewarded with many great photo-ops!

An announcement in the newspaper for a hike scoping the park for frost weed caught Sister's attention, so she asked Diane (my mother-in-law) and me to join her. I was intrigued - I never had heard of frost weed before. Frost weed is a plant that forms ice crystals as it prepares for the winter freeze. Unfortunately for us frost weed seekers, that weekend in November was unusually mild and they did not bear any ice crystals. We saw plenty of other interesting things, however, adding an extra hour to our tour, despite the rain.

Frost weed - unfortunately too warm for ice crystals

We came across an American Chestnut Tree, which is now a rarity since the chestnut blight wiped out about three billion of these trees. The blight was caused by an Asian bark fungus that was accidentally introduced by importing Asiatic chestnut trees. Underneath the lonely chestnut tree were open spiny burrs, once occupied by chestnuts. These nuts continue to grow through the end of the summer, and the burrs open and fall from the trees around the time of the first frost.

From American Chestnut Tree

A flying squirrel poked his head out of its dead and hollowed out tree home to investigate the noise that our group was creating. Sitting ever so still, with only an occasional whisker twitch, it posed for a few pictures before disappearing back into the tall stump.

Flying Squirrel

With the recent wet weather, we were surrounded by an abundance of mushrooms. We learned about edible varieties such as hen of the forest, which allegedly tastes like hen, and chicken of the forest, which is said to taste like chicken. We saw shelf mushrooms and learned how to make a spore print. We saw plants such as spotted wintergreen and Christmas ferns, as well as some offering berries.

Sister found an Earthstar mushroom!

Near the shore of Mud Pond sat a huge beaver dam. The busy beavers left gnawed tree stumps behind as evidence of their hard work. We were told that you can see osprey and bald eagles in the Park as well. Who knew that all these existed together so close to home?!

Beaver dam- Mud Pond

Osprey - Picture taken when my husband and I went to Florida in 2007

If only I had a pen and paper or a tape recorder that day so I could share even more. It will be interesting to see what we can find on our own when we go snowshoeing this year, and when the flowers are in bloom next spring and summer.

Here is a complete photoset.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Words Behind the Jewelry

I was very excited when my friend Deb, who goes by the alias Storybeader, was announced to be the featured seller for the Etsy Bloggers Team this month. Deb describes herself as a frustrated writer who likes to put words and colors together to make them wearable art. Deb includes a unique gift with each purchase - a haiku that she personally wrote specifically for that piece.

When she's not making jewelry, she is reading a dictionary or thesaurus, playing with her dog, or chatting away in our team forum.

Check out her jewelry below and poetry below:

Unakite Fetish Bear Necklace

The bears walked into
The campsite wearing crowns of
Gold they had stolen.
- storybeader

Tipi Treasure Necklace

"Doves Rising"
The young woman looked
Out the tipi towards the white
Doves and rising sun.
- Storybeader

Turquoise and Coral Choker

Natural nuggets
Setting off on the path to
The sea, you and me.

Be sure to visit her shop and to Stroll Through Storyland - her blog. You will be able to tell right away that she is a great writer!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Fun Winter Jewelry

I know what you're thinking... Halloween's barely over and all the Christmas stuff comes out... My thinking is that with Thanksgiving seemingly so late this year (less than one month 'til Christmas after Thanksgiving Day) that it will sneak up on all of us!

I'm not posting too much holiday jewelry yet because of my upcoming jewelry party - I just plan on posting whats left. But this piece is too cute not to share. The Snowman Polymer Clay Necklace was made using a recycled Christmas ornament, and some handmade multi-Christmas colored polymer clay beads. I made these beads last month and finally found something that they go great with!

For other holiday-inspired jewelry in my shop, click here!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Project Make a Lot of Jewelry Really Fast

I have been ignoring my blog quite a bit lately, and my Etsy shop too, because I'm working on something huge. It's called Project Make a Lot of Jewelry Really Fast. A friend from high school and I recently caught up on Facebook. She looked at my jewelry and asked me if she could host a party. I said no a couple times... There's a reason why I sell online. People can find my stuff, if they like it they can buy it. I don't have to do anything pushy face to face. Finally, I realized it's a way to get experience, like a trial run, if I decide to work a craft show some day, and agreed to let her host.

I'm getting really nervous, not just about the interaction and sales, but the presentation. I bought some displays but I know I can't have every piece on a bust or display because that would cost me a small fortune. I bought a business card couch from Stormy to hold my cards, and I think I'm going to pick up a small mirror for people to try on necklaces before purchasing.

I'm trying to come up with some promotions. I'm toying with the idea of a free pair of Christmas earrings with each purchase, or at least for the first ten or twenty purchases, depending on how many I can make up. Of course, that's assuming that I'd have ten purchases or that anybody will show up, for that matter. Maybe a discount code for the next future purchase?

I'm also afraid I won't have a large enough variety. I'm trying to make some more chokers and necklaces since I've been on an earring run for a while. I'm done making clay beads for now, just making stuff with them. I'm trying to make enough Christmas stuff, but want to have everyday jewelry on hand as well. So I've made a few chokers, some gemstone necklaces, and played with some Swarovski crystals. I'm not putting too much new stuff on Etsy yet because it's time consuming and I need to be keeping my fingers busy making jewelry for the party, as opposed to cropping pictures and writing up descriptions. But don't worry, anything that doesn't sell next week at the party I will share online with you.

If you have ever hosted a jewelry party (or other craft party) please leave some suggestions here! Should I provide brown paper bags? Offer gift boxes for an extra charge? Go green?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I Guess I'm a Domestik Goddess!

It was such a pleasant surprise to find that I had been featured on a website called Domestik Goddess the other day! Her website covers many topics including Arts and Crafts, Pets, and Gardening and Outdoors - lots of good information for you to check out! There's great advice on being thrifty, crafty, and trendy. Thanks for the special honor!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Etsy Bloggers Superlatives

I decided to have a little poll game for the most recent carnival that I hosted for the Etsybloggers Team. After reading the posts, everyone was invited to vote on their favorites in different categories. Congrats to the following winners!

Best Title:
Santa's Gone a Little Nutty by Two Zany Zebra's, winning 45% of the votes. It was also a recipe post, describing how to make these cute little Nutter Butter Santas.

Most Creative Spooky Item
A three-way tie!!!

Treasures by Tina shared her Skull Treasure Candle

Healing Stones (Stoneweaver) presented her Knitted Satan Dolls

Scariest Story
Magdalene Jewels won 57% of the vote with In the Dusk of the Moon

Most Informative
This category only had two candidates. Tote N Tots won with a domestic violence awareness post called A Promise to Kill, ending with contact numbers for the National Domestic Violence Hotline:

If you are in crisis or need help, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline
at:1-800-799-SAFE (7233)or
TTY for the Deaf:1-800-787-3224
Help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Se Habla Español

Favorite Recipe
This was the category with the largest number of submissions. A two-way tie between Athena Workman's Double Chocolate Cherry Pie and Off the Peg's Chocolate Brownies. Guess you will have to try both recipes and decide for yourself!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

November Outdoorsy Carnival

Welcome to the November 1, 2008 edition of an outdoorsy carnival. Thanks to everyone who participated, sorry to anyone that tried when it was down last week.

Open Air

Madeleine Begun Kane presents Toying With Kites posted at Mad Kane's Humor Blog.

GrrlScientist presents Hurricane Ike Unearths Fossil Tooth in Paleontologist's Yard posted at Living the Scientific Life, saying, "Hurricanes are very destructive, make no mistake about that. But imagine the surprise when Lamar University professor, Dorothy Sisk, returned to her home on the Bolivar Peninsula of Texas after Hurricane Ike had passed through. Together with her friend and colleague, Lamar University paleontologist Jim Westgate, they found a fossil tooth in her front yard. It almost makes it bearable to realize that Sisk's beachfront home had been completely destroyed."

Sahara Reins presents Backyard Plans for Wild Bird Feeding and Bird Watching posted at Fowl Visions.

Althea presents Tynan is… Better Than Your Boyfriend » Living in a Small RV: Odds and Ends posted at Tynan is... Better Than Your Boyfriend.

P.L. Frederick presents 9 Side Effects To Using The Clothes Line posted at Small and Big, saying, "All true, I say." presents Hogenakkal Falls: Part 1 posted at

Aquatic Life

GrrlScientist presents The Amazing Hook-Nosed Sea Pig posted at Living the Scientific Life, saying, "Gray Seal, Halichoerus grypus, at the ferry dock in Uig (Isle of Skye, Scotland). The translation of the scientific name for this species is "hook-nosed sea pig"."

Haydee Sampiano presents Great Time to Buy a Boat posted at SeaDream Boating News, saying, "The over estimated demand by manufacturers for new boats and a substantial sell-off in the private party marketplace have significantly reduced pricing. In addition, marine finance programs are still surprisingly attractive. Interest rates have remained low and there are programs available for many credit profiles."

James Hills presents Fishing in Charlotte Harbor and the Florida Gulf Islands posted at Man Tripping - Guys Getways and Mancations, saying, "This looks like a great area to do some fishing, hadn't really thought about the Gulf Islands before coming across this, but it looks like there are some great opportunities for mancations and guys weekend fishing trips if you live close enough to just do a short trip."

Ernesto Maitim presents Salmon Fishing in Alaska – Few Good Angling Advices posted at FlyFishingGreats.

GrrlScientist presents Palouse Falls posted at Living the Scientific Life, saying, "A gorgeous photograph of the area where I grew up: the Palouse of Washington state. This image is Palouse Falls, washington."

Green Thumb

Jamie McIntosh presents Save Money with Organic Gardening posted at Jamie's Blog, saying, "Everyone knows that green living techniques can save money by saving energy in the household. Earth-friendly organic gardens can also help you save money."

GrrlScientist presents Seattle Visit: University of Washington's GreenHouse, Part One posted at Living the Scientific Life, saying, "Part one of my two-part photoessay about my visit to the biology department's greenhouse on Seattle's University of Washington campus. lots of gorgeous images!"

GrrlScientist presents Seattle Visit: The Montlake Fill (UBNA) posted at Living the Scientific Life, saying, "This photoessay describes my visit to one of the finest small- to medium-sized urban birding areas on the west coast of North America, the Montlake Fill. This is a reclaimed wetland that was formerly a city dump."

GrrlScientist presents Honeycomb posted at Living the Scientific Life, saying, "A picture of a honeybee honeycomb, photographed at Russ Pittman Park, Texas."

pnreddy presents Common Problems That Take Away The Beauty Of The Garden! posted at The Garden Central.

In the Woods

A Keeper's Jackpot presents Kane Mountain: Half Way Done posted at A Keeper's Jackpot.

Shelley Duncan presents True Blue of Crater Lake posted at SheSue Experience, saying, "Crater Lake National Park in southern Oregon is the perfect place for tuning in with nature."

GrrlScientist presents The Race to Save the World's Rarest Bird: The Discovery and Death of the Po'ouli posted at Living the Scientific Life, saying, "A review of the new book by Alvin Powell about the desperate struggle to save the world's rarest bird. This book reveals the strengths and weaknesses of the US Endangered Species Act."

GrrlScientist presents London's Regents Park posted at Living the Scientific Life, saying, "This photoessay contains descriptive text, my Regent's Park bird list, a nursery rhyme, and lots of gorgeous images."

pnreddy presents Why People Love To Go Camping? posted at Camping Tourist.

Advice Column

Sarah presents Ridding Your Lawn of Gophers, Moles and Other Rodents | Spring Lawn Care - Lawn Care Tips posted at Lawn Care Tips, saying, "How to get rid of pesky lawn creatures."

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