Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Wednesday Featured Artist - Mbmclees

Today we meet Mary Beth and her Etsy shop Mbmclees. She has a wonderful selection of handcrafted cards in her shop! Read on to learn more about this very talented artist.

Tell us about yourself
I grew up in Atlanta, GA and now live in Clemson, SC. I'm graduating from Clemson in a few weeks and moving to Augusta, GA to start physical therapy school. Besides crafting, I love to exercise, travel, cook and bake, watch 24, and spend time with my family (older sister, younger sister, awesome mom and dad)and friends.

What do you like to create?
I create paper crafts, mainly greeting cards.

What is your favorite material to work with?
My favorite material is patterned paper (I get excited every time I find new paper!) and scrapbook embellishments. Also, I have recently started playing around with rubber stamps, which I have enjoyed so far!

Part-time or full-time?
This is part time right now, but one day I would LOVE to be a full time crafter. A dream of mine is to have my very own crafts store/bakery when I am older.

How do you manage your time?
I manage my time by making LOTS of to-do lists. If I don't have a list, nothing gets done. I write eveything on my list - laundry, exercise, grocery shopping, school work, phone calls, emails, craft time, time with friends, reading - EVERYTHING! Thats how I make sure everything gets done =) It usually works, too! Another way I manage my time is getting enough sleep. When I am tired, I can't focus and don't get any work done. Finally, when I am being super lazy and wasting time, I disconnect from the internet. I could spend all day reading blogs, looking at news sites, keeping up with friends on facebook, looking up recipes, and so on. When I can't do any of those things, I get SO much work done - its amazing!

What is your favorite item in your shop?
My favorite item is this set of mini greeting cards
I like them because they are so unique and personal. I love the colors too..."happy" colors without being too bright and overwhelming. And the font is so cute, too!

What are your goals for 2009?
My goals for 2009...I want to continue to build/market my Etsy store and blog, and to start getting sales that are somewhat regular. Nothing huge, because I think that is unrealistic, but a I'm aiming at a 4-6 each month by the end of this year. I will be staring grad school in a month, so my big challenge will be adjusting to that while maintaining my crafting.

And just for fun...

My favorite color is blue - like the sky on a gorgeous day, and the water in Cancun.

I love any kind of fruit, I love grilled chicken, and I love peanut butter. And Ice cream. That's just the tip of the iceberg =)

My favorite music is probably country, but I like just about anything except jazz and really loud/heavy metal stuff. I also really enjoy listening to old hymns.

My favorite "inspiring" movie is To End All Wars (Les Mis is a close second). My favorite chick-flick is Baby Mama. My favorite "just for fun" movie is Dan in Real Life. And my favorite animated movie is Ice Age 2. Can't pick just one =)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Mother's Day Coupon

Until Mother's Day (May 10th), I am offering a coupon to be used at my Etsy Shop.

Buy one item, get a second item (of the same or lesser value) 50% off.

How to use the coupon?

Go ahead and purchase from Jacaranda Designs and specify "ILOVEMOM" in message to me. At that point, instead of paying immediately, I will invoice you the reduced amount on Paypal. If you're really eager and you pay right away, then I'll refund you the appropriate amount on Paypal.

Share this with any other friends you know who'd like to use this money saving coupon.

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A Couple of New Pieces

It's going to be a busy week. I have my jewelry open house on Thursday and Saturday. I have no idea how many people to expect. So far this year, I've had more sales than this time last year so I'm crossing my fingers. In times of recession, people tend to spend on smaller items (not diamonds though) when they need some retail therapy. Apparently, cosmetic companies make more lipstick sales than during the boom times because women tend to spend on smaller items to give themselves a lift....so we shall see.

Just finished reading "The Book of Negroes" which was fascinating. A really good read but difficult at times to get through. It's all about the slave trade from Western Africa to the States. When my husband was in the Ivory Coast he went to one of the harbours that they used to ship the slaves out of. There was a photo of these huge wooden gates. They were the gates of no return because once you went through them you were loaded onto a ship, never to return to Africa. Well I can say that after reading this book, those photos have even more impact!

I managed to photograph some of my recent creations and posted a couple yesterday on Etsy. Very colorful pieces.

The first is made from all vintage glass beads and I love the mixture of colors. I actually made two but kept one for myself!

The second is a glass pendant wrapped with antique brass finished wire. It's very whimsical.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday's Five Good Things!

1. Nigella Lawson's chocolate guiness cake - yum!
2. Perfect weather for a BBQ tonight
3. Seeing my son's excitement about Monday's upcoming hockey game
4. Tulips in my kitchen
5. Finally hanging a gorgeous wall hanging my mom made me and seeing out great it looks

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

One Big Mess...

There is no other way to describe the state of my house right now! I'd like to at least say "organized chaos" but there is no order to this chaos at all.

I'm hosting my jewelry spring open house next week so I've been working non-stop towards that. As a result, I seem to have let everything else slide. I'm busy trying to photograph several new pieces of jewelry so there's photographic equipment all over the dining room table. Guess dinner will be in the kitchen tonight.

Tomorrow, we're having family over for dinner, so I guess I'll be madly trying to get this place tidy!

Otherwise, for those of you who don't know, tomorrow is Etsy Day, so promote, promote, promote! Not specifically your shop but just Etsy as a whole.

I have two new listings for today ...

Cream Coin Pearl and Silver Bloom Necklace

and for anyone who loves a cup of tea (like me!), there's the

Love in a Tea Cup Necklace

And The WINNER is.....

The winner of the Blue Egg Birds Nest Earrings is .....



Thanks everyone for entering. Come back soon as I'll be having another giveaway in a few weeks!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Wednesday Featured Artist - DesignsByTwilight

Today's featured artist is DesignsByTwilight. Read more about her in this interview as well as a collaborative project she is involved in, created by TinkersShop.

Also, DesignsByTwilight is offering buyers 10% off posted prices (excluding shipping). Just mention my blog when you purchase!

Give us a little background about yourself
I currently live in Albany, NY with my husband, our cat, and our standard poodle. I grew up all over the world so in a way it's odd that I've ended up in Upstate NY for now, but I really do like it. My childhood was spent in Belgium, Indonesia, and Taiwan. My "day job" is working with an organization which provides free legal services to victims of domestic violence. I love the job a lot, but it can be stressful, which is why I enjoy having the opportunity to be creative.

What materials do you like working with? 
I love working with glass, both with beads made by other artists and beads I make myself. I always string beads onto wire rather than cord. I also like stones, jump rings, crystals, shells, and vintage beads. I am always happy if I can re-purpose a beloved old necklace or broken pair of earrings and give them new life in my work! 

Is this a full time or part time venture? 
Part time. I've been making jewelry for a while, but only just started selling it last year. It would be great to do something creative full time, but I also love my other job. Having the jewelry making along with my legal job helps me have some balance in my life. 

How to you manage your time? 
I am obsessed with making lists. I always have a whole bunch of "to-do" lists going at once, ones for work, for home, for shopping, all kinds of things. I just love getting to cross things off of my list when I am done with it. 

What is your favorite item in your shop right now and why?
I have two. My very favorite item is the first one I ever listed - my Snowdrop necklace. I love this because it is made with my own lampwork beads, including the focal bead which is my favorite bead that I've ever made! I will be sad when this piece sells, but I hope that someone else can enjoy it as much as I do.

My other favorite are my Epherma Earrings I  and Epherma Earrings II These are part of a collaborative project created by TinkersShop, also on Etsy. Each artist was given three vintage pharmacy labels and asked to create something original with them. I love these earrings because I feel that participating in this project gave me an opportunity to branch out from my regular jewelry designs and try some new techniques. I also love being part of a collaborative project with other Etsy artists, and I can't wait to see what everyone else makes!

What are your goals for 2009?
I am hoping to continue getting the word out about my shop. I also want to set up my lampwork studio in my new house and also my dark room. I love photography as well, and I feel that with some of the direction my work is taking I might be able to combine my photographs and my jewelry together.

Favorite color
I'm a lapsed goth, so I have to say black. And red. Oh, and purple. You'll notice not a lot of my jewelry is in these colors as I tend to keep a lot of those pieces for myself!

Favorite food
Anything spicy. I also love, love, love olives (prefer green but will also be happy to eat other ones if my choice is that or no olives). Spicy green olives are the best.

Favorite music
The Cure, U2, Depeche Mode, Tori Amos, Sisters of Mercy, Joy Division, New Order, Bob Marley, David Bowie, tribal belly dance music

Favorite movie
Anything with Johnny Depp!

Monday, April 20, 2009

My Gorgeous Magnolia

We have a lovely magnolia tree in your front yard. Many people on our street comment on how they know spring is well on it's way when our magnolia blooms. Usually the blossoms last about a week but occassionally, when there's no strong winds, it can last for three weeks, as it did a couple of years ago.

This year I decided I would go out everyday and photograph the magnolia so we could see the progression over a week or so. Of course, yesterday, when I took my first pic, it was a glorious blue sky. Today it's pouring cats and dogs!

So here's my first photo in the series.

With magnolia's in mind, I'd like to post two lovely magnolia- inspired items I found on Etsy.

First, are these really cute Little Magnolia Baby Booties by Frostingcouture. Made with lovely wool felt or denim these booties have an elastic strap, cute contrasting felt insole(insole fabric may change depending on whats in stock), and slip-guard sole.

The second item is Pink Magnolia Handmade Coconut Milk Soap by SoapStore.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Interview With Me on Women-Preneurs Galore Website

Nathalie from Women-Preneurs Galore was kind enough to post an interview with me on her blog. She reviews a piece of jewelry, the Pearls and Swirls Oak Leaf Necklace I sent her plus there is a giveaway for my Green Tea Bloom Necklace.

Take a peek!

Cool Clasps

I'm always on the lookout for really different, good quality clasps for the jewelry I make. I think that a stunning clasp can finish off a piece perfectly. I also like to incorporate the clasp into necklaces so that the clasp may be worn at the front and appear as part of a lovely design, rather than being hidden at the back of the neck. Here's a few of my favourite!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

It's Giveaway Time Again!

OK, everyone, I think it's time for another giveaway!  This time I am giving away a pair of  Blue Egg Birds Nest Earrings.  Great to wear any time of the year but especially appropriate in the springtime.  They're made from pale blue swarovski pearls and antique brass finished metal.

To enter, simply go to Jacaranda Designs and find the piece of jewelry that you think embodies the warmth and sunshine of the Caribbean (seeing as I was just there!).  Post your entry in the comments here. 

If you post this giveaway on your blog and add the link to a comment here, you'll receive a second entry.

Good luck and have fun.
The contest closes Thursday April 23rd at noon.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Wednesday Etsy Feature - DelightfulDeceits!

Starting today I shall be featuring another Etsy artist each Wednesday. The first artist I'd like to introduce you to is Becki from DelightfulDeceits.  She has a wonderful selection of greeting cards, tags, prints and more.

Read on to learn more about Becki!

>>> Give us a little background about yourself

HI! I am a 28 year old stay at home mom. I have an 8 year old daughter and have been married for 8 years. I have always been artistic, either acting on a stage, painting, drawing, singing ect...I became fascinated with jewelry and creating unique pieces. A friend introduced me to scrapbooking and from there my creative mind desired to create unique and fantastic greeting cards. I started off making them only for family, but every family member said I should sell them! There are not many crafts I do not do I enjoy creating no matter what it is.

>>> What do you create?
Many things, Jewelry, hair accessories, keychains, magnets, greeting cards, art, digital photography, and altered jewelry boxes.

>>> What type of materials do you like working with?
I create many things and use a vast array of materials. I always use high quality materials in anything I create.

>>> Is this a full time or part time venture?
Full time, I do not work outside the home, therefore i spend most of my time creating things. I come up with new ideas all the time.

>>> How to you manage your time?
I manage my time very strictly. I am writing a book, manage two shops, and one blog. I also manage a household. I blog three days a week. I spend two days a week creating new items. I spend most late evenings promoting my shop. Three days a week I focus on writing a book.

>>> What is your favorite item in your shop right now and why?
I have so many favorites in my shop. I have two shops as well so This is my favorite from my art/card shop: Vintage Tatoo - Mother Card - Funny

This is my favorite from my jewelry and accessories shop: Grandmas Broach Barrette

>>> What are your goals for 2009?
My main goal is to reestablish my shops and regain traffic. I would absolutely love to sell many items, but my main goal is just to reestablish.

And just for fun...

>>> Favorite color

>>> Favorite food

>>> Favorite music
Depends on what I am doing I am well rounded musically
Current favorites include
Celtic folk music
Lilly Allen
MOdest mouse
Black eyed peas
Kate Nash

>>> Favorite movie
Currently Role Models
All time
Bram Stokers Dracula

Monday, April 13, 2009

Quiet Monday

Well it's very quiet at our house today. I think the boys are worn out from all the activities this weekend. Still, I got them to walk to the post office with me to mail some Etsy items. It's about 4km and I felt quite tired by the time we arrived home. I've also been working hard towards my spring open house which is in a few weeks. Looking at my currently jewelry inventory and seeing what I need to make and if I have the materials!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Thursday, April 9, 2009

It's a Lovely Day Here

The sun is shining and it's a high of 9 degrees which to some of us in the north, seems like a heat wave! Had a lovely 4-5 km walk to mail our tax returns. They owe us money so there was an incentive to get them done!

I've even posted some new pieces of jewelry in my shop the last couple of days as I know I won't get much work done over the weekend. Too busy inhaling chocolate!

Hope you're Easter egg hunting too this weekend. Have a good one!

Winner of the Sweet Pea Earrings

Hey, everyone, thanks for entering the Jacaranda Designs giveaway.  I used random.org to find a winner and it was the very last person to enter, 


I'll be having another giveaway starting in the next week or so, so come back and enter again everyone!