Come share my passion for handcrafted artisan jewelry
in this ever changing informative place for all things blingy!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Turkey out - check, wine chilled - check

But are we ready? Not even. Where has this year gone please?? This is such a busy week for everyone with lists to make, shopping to do, running here, running there. Thanksgiving is two days away and I am gasping. I need more days in the week, more arms and legs, always need more money, a tan, and heck, toss in a Mercedes while you are at it.

Please make sure you stop. Yes, stop everything. Stop the lists, stop the computer time, stop working, just stop! Please take the time to share quality time with your family and friends. Count each day a blessing to have them with us as they are gone far too early from this earth. Remember tomorrow is promised to no one.

Give thanks this week. No matter how difficult things may be, it could be worse. Count blessings one and all and be grateful for who you are and what you have. Pass on the love. Enjoy your Thanksgiving and have a safe happy weekend.

REMEMBER: Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, wine in the other....screaming WooooHoooo!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Woman of Substance - Erika Price

Today's entry is about an incredible woman, one that I am proud to say I know. Well, barely. I have only just met Erika Price via my Etsy JET Team(Jewelry on Etsy Team) and it seems each week I learn more about her. I have thought this entry out a over a week now and just don't know how to do her justice. Instead of writing something I know nothing about, I will instead, copy her last blog entry and share part of her world with you. You see, Erika makes amazing jewelry and donates every last cent of proceeds to charity. Yes, you read it right, not just one item but the whole lot. Take a good look at her offerings and if you purchase something from her shop, you know you will not only get a fantastic piece of jewelry but will be helping a very good cause.

Enjoy reading her last blog entry......

As most of my readers will know, I donate the profits from everything I make to charity. I raise funds for Cancer Research UK, my village church, and various Tibetan causes, amongst other charities, and between now and Christmas I’m donating all the profits from my Etsy sales to the American Cancer Society in honour of my fellow-Etsian and cancer-sufferer-in-remission, Laura Slocum.

Today I want to share something with you about a very special person called Tanya Boden. I’ve never actually met Tanya, but I’ve had the privilege of corresponding with her. She lives in Thailand and together with her Thai husband, Attit, runs Aardvark Silver – a quality silver and gemstone supply business.

This summer, completely out of the blue, I received a Facebook message from Tanya asking if she could donate some of her gemstone beads for me to use in my creations – she had noticed my charity work and wondered if she could help in some way. I was amazed at such a generous offer! No-one had ever suggested such a thing before (or since, for that matter!), and for a fleeting moment I wondered if there was a catch! But Tanya, like me, just wants to “give something back”.

Not long afterwards I received the most amazing parcel crammed full of all these beautiful beads – all of which will eventually find their way into my jewellery creations and will thus ultimately benefit good causes. I aim to start listing these new designs on Etsy in early 2010, and you’ll know which ones incorporate Tanya’s beads because “sponsored by Aardvark Silver” will appear in each listing.

So I’d like to say a huge thank you to Tanya for being such a warm, caring and wonderful person, and for helping me to raise funds for good causes. And it’s not just me that she has helped – Tanya and Attit also support two boys from one of the villages in East Thailand, and are currently looking to raise enough funds to employ an English teacher in the area next year – a wonderfully worthy goal to help raise the level of education in the area. Thank you so much, Tanya!

So you see, not only is Erika a giving kind soul but she is also CONTAGIOUS! I hope you all catch her bug! Hope you enjoyed reading about a real woman of substance. I certainly admire her, surely you will as well.

www.erikaprice.etsy.com (please support her cause)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Admiration Society - PoleStar Jewelry


I guess I could easily say, there are a large number of true true artisans on Etsy, there are a gazillion crafters and well, face it, a few garage sales here and there. I am featuring one artisan today that I feel excels in a number of ways. Drum roll please......


Today, I want to direct you to PoleStar Jewelry www.polestar.etsy.com. Not only does this artist make lovely work but her website/shop is well designed and navigates easily. The thing that I believe makes her work stand out is her photography. Time and time again in labs and forums people inquire and downright whine about photography. Well kiddos, take a look at this for an example of what to do to make your designs shine brightly.

This shop has been open for a little over a year now and she has made over 1400 sales. Now take that to the bank! There are items in the shop that have over 2600 views and the sales to match those numbers. I think if you would take the time to really look over this shop and not only take away the photography bit but also the inspiration this shop exudes. And to top it, she is humble (note the welcoming message about how she is honored to have you visit).

I'm sure after browsing around in PoleStar you will easily see why I have singled out this artisan today as the feature inspiration of my blog. Kudos to you and many wishes for continued success.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Halloween Fun!


























These items are ready to deliver before Halloween. Break out and enjoy the whimsy!

Arachnid Attack Earrings
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=31482143

Halloween Orange and Black Charm Bracelet
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=29855035

OrangeYouGlad Stone Pendant
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32383754

October Dreams Stretch Bracelet Set
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=28523351

Pumpkin Spice and All Things Nice Earrings
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=31528480

Saturday, October 10, 2009

BeadzNBling was featured in Artistic Weekly!

This is a reprint of the recent article published in Artistic Weekly where we were this week's featured artist. Thanks ladies for the nice write up! www.artisticweekly.com

When I think of Minnesota, I think of the Mall of America, my brother-in-law (ya, you betcha, eh) and the mom from Bobby’s world. The state does not exactly inspire thoughts of artistic accomplishment. However, if you thought 10,000 lakes and an enormous mall are all that Minnesota’s got to offer, think again. The 32nd state is also the birthplace of this week’s artist, an extremely talented jewelry designer.

Lynn Potter Goldstein, who currently lives in Dallas, TX, crafts one of a kind jewelry, ranging from timeless classics to holiday themed pieces and even humorous designs. Her creations are mainly made of pearls, but don’t let that fool you into thinking that these are boring “granny”-ish pieces. No, indeed many of them are chunk, funky and all together unique.
Lynn works with not only the standard white or peacock colors, but also uses dyed pearls in lime, purple, pink, copper, blue and red. The pearls are also not all your standard spherical shape, either. There are pieces that use freshwater baroque, which look most like the common idea of a pearl, coin pearls, which are more flat in appearance, as well as potato and seed pearls. Most of Lynn’s current projects are centered around holiday themed items, both for Halloween, which tend to be more on the humorous side, and Christmas pieces.

Etsy is home to Lynn’s online shop, Beadz n Bling. With the holidays approaching, it would be worth your while to see what Lynn has to offer. I believe that there is something for everyone as far as jewelry tastes are concerned, there are some very elegant pieces, some that are pretty wild looking and of course, those that will just make you smile. The thing to keep in mind, though, no matter what type of jewelry that you may be looking for, all of Lynn’s pieces are one of a kind, have incredible personality, and are just plain beautiful. Check out Beadz n Bling at www.beadznbling.etsy.com. ~KLS

Friday, October 9, 2009

Twitter and More on Social Networking 101

I am encouraged by some and thanked by others for the knowledge and wake up call on Social Networking 101, a previous blog posting, so I continue reading and searching for answers. "Why are people RT'ing me" and what the heck is "FF". So here are a few more bits and baubbles for those that are new to Twitter and Tweeting.

I was new and looking for followers a good way to get followers was to get "retweeted" -- meaning that someone would pick up my tweet and send it to their followers preceded by the code "RT @beadznbling

Then we have #FF or Follow Friday. In January 2009, a new hashtag named #followfriday started on Twitter. It immediately became a successful way to recommend some of your most interesting followers to others. Recommending great followers is similar to recommending a great restaurant or product. Spreading the word about someone on Twitter on Follow Friday is a great way to give kudos to your favorite followers and make sure other tweeters connect with quality members of the Twitter community.

For Follow Friday, I found this terrific source. It will give you a box to type in your twitter name, then hit enter and an entire list of your TWEETS in order of activity will pop up, you copy and paste, vioia! http://thetwittertagproject.com/followfriday.php

I found it difficult to acknowledge answers I received on Twitter. Twitter's reply features felt clumsy. The easiest way to reply to a tweet is to hit the @reply icon which broadcasts your answer to all your followers, essentially Twitter's equivalent of the "reply all" email function. As a result, I often didn't reply because I didn't want to spam everyone with a bunch of "thanks for your feedback" messages. So I was silent -- which made me feel even more antisocial. This is where the DM, or Direct Message, may come in handy.

There are more than 2,000 Twitter applications made by other people to help you sort through all the tweets. One of my favorites is Twitturly.com, which tracks the most popular URLs (or Web links) being shared across Twitter. Others such as Tweetdeck and Twhirl, help you manage and organize your tweets. (Thanks to Julia Angwin for subject matter)

Twitter Glossary
@: At reply. A public tweet directed at a fellow Twitterer, such as @Barack Obama, that shows up in their Twitter stream.

DM: Direct Message. A private message that appears in a Twitter inbox. You can only direct message people who follow you.

RT: Retweet. A tweet that you like so much that you are resending to your followers. Usually includes credit to original tweeter, such as RT @BarackObama, followed by the tweet.

Whale Icon: The iconic blue whale that pops up when Twitter is down. It appeared frequently in Twitter's first year and a half.

#: Hashtag. Used to designate a topic such as #SanDiegoFire so that people can easily search for tweets on a topic. (It is totally unnecessary, though, because a search on a keyword without the # returns the same results).

Nudge: A feature that lets you send a note to a Twitterer encouraging them to tweet more frequently. You can only nudge people who are tweeting from a mobile phone

So there we have it....more brain food!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Social Media 101

I just read the best article written by Gini Dietrich on Social Media ie Twitter, Blogs etc. As the article was in a news periodical I cannot clip and paste her ideas so I will give you the nickel version.

I am very new to Social Media and from what I have been reading (and reading) is it's actually Social Marketing. My newbie status on the likes of Twitter has shown me that 'more' is not the way to go but select quality followers and followings. I watch my Twitter account several times a day and there is nothing worse than seeing Tweet after Tweet after Tweet from the same person discussing nothing but themselves, and mostly info that nobody would care about nor relate to.

Gini Dietrich began her article by talking about a man that walks in to a party and introduces himself, explains he just opened a company, he sells wrenches, but not just any kind of wrench, the kind you cannot lose because it has a 'Clapper' attached, so when you cannot find your wrench, you clap and there you have it, you have located your wrench blah blah blah. WELL, by the time he gets halfway through his ME intro, you have totally lost interest in the person, his company and his product that may or may not have been worth looking at.

So the bottom line, let's talk...that means all of us about all of us, not just you.
Create Brand Awareness
Prospect for New Customers
Develop Brand Loyalty Through Engaging
Increase Your Online Presence With Knowledge you Wish to Share

Social Networking can be very useful, but don't be my mother, don't try to be the Dali Lama, a Shrink, and for goodness sake, don't tell me how many times your child had a bowel movement today. Use this platform to keep your presence, but don't be 'in your face all the time'. Be active and be involved with others within your followers. Ask, answer back, seek more, be interested about them. They are, after all, your followers and they can very easily become bored or overwhelmed by the land of ME.

Itsastitch, a fellow Etsian, was the person that brought out my first wake up call on Twitter. She is not shy and is willing to say COME ON ALREADY PEOPLE! She made a simple clean statement one day and I stepped back and thought...wow, she's got a really good point. If you are in the Etsy or Artfire type business, don't keep listing items and end it there. After a while, as noted above, people will become very bored with you and no longer click to look at your wonderfulness. Become engaged and involved and every once in a while, send a new listing or something you think they would like to see.

In summary, Social Networking is a wonderful tool and quite addictive and fun in a nutsy sort of way. Dedicate one hour at the max per day for social networking or you will lose focus of why you are doing it in the first place. There are some great features to see if your networking is actually doing you any good. Twitter Grader is one, Popuri will check your popularity and sites like Digg or Delicious will tell you your ranking amongst search engines and number of subscribers. Twitter Analyzer will give you analytics for pretty much everything and Socialmeter scans the major social sites to analyze a blogs social popularity. These are great tools to use to start a benchmark now and and then see where you are in a few months.

I hope this info will help you grow as a Social Networker and allow you to develop your skills in the right direction.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

So Much To Do, So Little Time

With the aproaching holidays, we Etsians have been hard at work creating inventory to be good little scouts = prepared! The month of September started out with a bang which led me to believe the recession may indeed be over. The holiday buzz is starting and I can see that people are visiting more frequently and 'marking their spots' in anticipation of the actual gift purchasing time. Are we waiting for the full moon, next paycheck or what? The Etsy community is full of OOAK (one of a kind) artisans and if you see something you like now, I can guarantee it will not be there tomorrow. Ladies and Gentlemen, start your engines...the silly season is upon us and shopping is in full swing.

On that note - I have found a few true artisans in their respective fields and wish th share them with you today.


White Thistle Designs - WhiteThistleDesigns.etsy.com - This lady has a real eye for color and design. She makes OOAK purses and pillows out of extremely high end designer fabrics. Lots of raw silk and embroidered fabrics. I have to say I have my eye on a few pieces of hers! Prices range in the $30s to $40 and are a huge value.



Redneck Candles - redneckcandles.etsy.com - again a true quality artisan in candles. They are soy based and quality oils. They are fantastic in customer service and aim to please.

I will continue to be posting some of 'my favorite things' so stop by often and will be asking my favs to offer specials and give-aways so don't be a stranger. They will be available only through this blog.

Have a great week everyone.....BUY HANDMADE PLEASE.

Friday, August 28, 2009

4 Color Business Cards - great printer!

It's so wonderful to get the name of a low cost reputable provider. I have used Printing for less for around 10 years and I know many of you are looking for great business cards. You do have to provide them with camera ready art work but they are fast, efficient and really wonderful to work with. Here is some info on $$ savings!
If you do need four-color business cards, check out PrintingForLess.com. You Coupon Code $25.00 off your first order: RP14UDGRU This is NOT and ad - I SIMPLY LOVE THEM!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

What a Wonderful Day Today!

This has been a great day! I logged in to find someone had purchased one of my really fun Halloween designs so I guess it's back to the workbench again. Then, just a short time ago, the necklace that has been featured on my blog all week sold - thanks to both of you. EVERYONE loves that Blue Hawaii Triple Strand Necklace and I hope you do as well. Please stop by again soon to the online shop www.beadznbling.etsy.com

Also this week I opened a second shop, Texas Beads. www.texasbeads.etsy.com and it's filling up fast with beading supplies. I will specialize in Sterling Silver Gemstone Box Clasps and Sterling Silver Gemstone Pendants, along with beads and bobbles. The inventory is fairly low as I only opened shop yesterday so keep checking back often.

The week is nearly up and I could use so much more time. It's been a terrific week so far and fabulous Friday is already tomorrow.

My biggest excitement, we made front page of www.etsy.com with a Treasury called Follow the Map.....VaRooooom. We had well over 200 views and were on Etsy's front page for over one hour. We are usually given 2 days before the listing expires and we were granted one extra day as well. Needless to say, the artists I featured in the Treasury got great exposure, and in fact, three of the 12 items sold! I cannot be happier for them. This Treasury thing gets quite addictive, as do the Virtual Labs and Forums....yikes, I have to get back to work and create!

I'm working on holiday designs right now so make sure you stop by and check out the shop again next week. I may be doing a Labor Day weekend FREE GIFT special...check back! Have a great weekend, all!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Manic Monday





Why is it that Monday always comes too soon. Saturday and Sunday never seem to have enough hours in the day. Since Manic Monday has once again arrived, I will share with you some new items that have recently been posted on my ETSY shop. Halloween is two months away but is really just around the corner considering how time is flying!

Take a look at these fun earring listings and more can be found on the website www.beadznbling.etsy.com

Today I was fortunate to be listed in a fellow ETSY member's blog - Take a look http://moonangelnay.blogspot.com

I also got a coveted ETSY Treasury - expires in 2 days so look now http://www.etsy.com/treasury_list.php?room_id=78182

So much to do, so little time!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Old Dogs Once Again

So as I posted today, old dogs really can learn new tricks, I continue to learn new and crazy ways to drive people to my online shop on ETSY. If you are new to ETSY, it is a platform where artists and designers can showcase and sell their items at a reasonable cost and network with over 100,000 other fellow artists and creators.

This network is for the people, by the people and the people support each other. When you are lucky enough to get noticed outside the network, this is a true bonus. The more that enter your shop, the more the word gets out that your 'stuff' is worth looking at and hopefully, purchasing.

So my first day blogging, I have managed to compose two posts and can't wait to share my world of jewelry creation and design. With the holidays just around the corner, I will be communicating new items, sale items and specialty listings. My mission statement on my site is, if you like it, you best grab it as it's one of a kind and never to be repeated!

Gift giving season will be upon us soon so don't wait until the ETSY shops are picked over. Apparently from what the forums say, Oct, Nov and Dec are insane and sales are really strong.

I can only hope.........

New Found skills

I am new to blogging, Tweeting and such and today I am opening yet another chapter. Yes, you can teach old dogs new tricks. I have opened a new world of communication and hope to be able to take the time to keep these newly learned tools up to date. Stay tuned for more entries soon.