Monday, November 16, 2009

Path to Peace Gifts Making a Difference



While on my Disney's Magical Mocha Mom trip the topic of jewelry came up. What do you expect when you have a room full of women?
One of the mommies, Lorraine wore the famous "O" Magazine Unity Bracelet. All the moms admired her jewelry and asked her about it.

Like me Lorraine is a blogging mom. She told me how she joined the Macy’s Rwanda Path to Peace Project exclusively at Macys.com to spread the word. I asked Lorraine to share with my readers how they can join in and help spread the message to support this cause. This is what she had to say.


Each uniquely crafted piece in the series was commissioned by Macy’s, and comes with a Certificate of Authenticity. The Path to Peace Project and the income it generates has impacted the lives of thousands of women and children. Support the cause, which is "based on trade, not aid" you can review the collection online

So this holiday help spread the word about this project and when you do you holiday shopping buy a gift from the path to peace collection and help make a difference.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Getting Jewelry on the Stars, Celebrities, Whoever



While cleaning out my ridiculous overflowing jewelry related inbox I came across this article on National Jeweler


http://www.nationaljewelernetwork.com/njn/content_display/fashion/celebrity-style-jewelry/e3i6f62e77d11ef17c02c262bda5598428d

There are sites and companies that will help get your jewelry into the right hands. While there's no guarantee it's definitely a good thing to have in your promotional tool box.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Birthday Feature on Etsy For Charity



Guess which black jewelry designer was feature on Etsy For Charity blog main page today. ME! Happy birthday to me indeed =)


Ah that was nice. Wondered how that happened? Each month we get to choose a day slot to be featured on the EFC blog. When I saw no one had requested the 23rd then I did. I guess it helped that I also told them it's my birthday =)

The jewelry that was featured is my Rainbow Flourite Nuggets Necklace. It's looks kinda nice being center stage. I really should show off my jewelry more. Maybe this will be the encouragement I need. Maybe.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Art of Mourning Jewelry



About a week ago my stepfather ended up in the hospital after a heart attack. He had to have emergency surgery and all that. My family of course went into what I thought of as the "death fear" mode. It was interesting to see and hear people's reaction to the "fact" that we're all impermanent. But I won't get into that here....that's a whole other blog

Well my step dad survived the heart attack and surgery. When I spoke to him we had an interesting convo. After asking him how's he's doing and all that...he replied " You can put away your outfit for the funeral...jewels and all.


Seems my stepfather knows me. See, I understand death is a part of life, just as much as birth. While everyone was wondering about their own mortality...I was wondering what to wear. This thought reminded me of the custom of mourning jewelry.

During the Georgian and Victorian Periods, works of art and jewelry were created out of hair and other materials to commemorate the loss of loved ones. These mourning pieces served as an eternal memorial and reminder of the lost loved one.

While there are many compaies making jewelry to celebrate life very few make jewelry to remember a dead loved one. But there is a good amount of info about the history behind this type of jewelry. Doing a quick search I found


I also found the website Things Gone By which has a mourning jewelry museum and the Art of Mourning website which is dedicated to mourning, memorial and sentimental jewellery, funeralia and art.

How wonderful that during the saddest moments of our life, we can still be creative and make beautiful jewelry. There's definitely a lesson for me to learn from that.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

J'Adore Tien Blog Award



How sweet of Jamee (Jonara Blu Maui) to give me this blog award =). I feel very special since Jamee took time away from making such incredible jewelry to pass along this award to me and others =)

Now the rule is I'm supposed to say 5 things I love. Hmm. Lets see:
  1. I love my son.
  2. I love cookies.
  3. I love having my own personal mixture of Buddhism and Christianity.
  4. I love the feeling I get from working with gemstone.
  5. I love hiking in the mountains where I can hear the sounds of nature.

and now I'm passing the award on to 10 of my favorite blogs:

  1. Woven Gems
  2. Made By Amber
  3. Luciana Podschun
  4. Gammiebrat
  5. Bangles & Clay
  6. Inside the artisan
  7. Jewelry by Szarka
  8. kerin rose
  9. Namaste
  10. YellowGoat

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Entry for EAOC August Theme



So as I now try...once again...to turn my attention back to jewelry I decided to keep up with the challenges/themes for some of the etsy teams I'm part. First up Etsy Artists of Color August Theme

EAOC August Theme: The challenge/ theme is to create and/or showcase all of our animal-inspired designs.


Hmm, I can't say I do alot of prints or jewelry with a pattern look since I'm currently on a gemstone and metal focus. Yet, I do have quite a few beads that I have yet to use soooooo...I made these earrings for the EAOC challenge/theme. They're made using Mudcloth Batik Bone Beads from Kenya, Africa with Sterling Silver finds.

Some Batik Bead Info ~

Mudcloth beads are made of bone and are created in Africa using a "batik" technique. Wax is painted onto the bead to create a design, then the remaining surface is darkened with a vegetable dye. Once the dye is set, the wax is removed. The resulting graphic is reminiscent of the African "bogolanfini" fabric known as mudcloth.

Oddly enough when I look at these beads they remind me of a cow. LOL. Thus, I feel I meet the EAOC August Theme for an animal-inspired design. What do you think?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Connection of Myspace and Self Promotion



Like everyone else I have a myspace business profile that I made when myspace was considered the new hot spot to promote yourself. I started building a community there and promoting my brand but it's alot of work finding and marketing to the right kind of people on that site. Not impossible but alot of work



While hanging on on myspace for some reason I decided to turn my attention somewhere else...perhaps there was some new hot site that lanched and of course I wanted to try it out. Whatever the case my presence there as business has been lacking. But every now and then someone surfs over and makes contact.

A few weeks back I received a myspace email asking me if I wanted to donate some jewelry for the Southern Maine Pagan Pride Day in exchange for being advertised at the event. First thing is I'm not familiar with this event which is out of state. At first I was like...umm, I don't even know you but you want me to send you my jewelry? I mean this was the women's first email to me. I felt like...at least exchange a few emails with me before you ask for my jewelry.

But then I thought...why not...I can make and send something on faith for help this women out. If it turns out to be a scam...well it's her karma but if it's legit then we both benefit. Promoting my business hasn't exactly been on the top of my list lately. LOL. Maybe this can be a way to do some alternate forms of promoting.

So within the next couple of day I'll make a few simple earrings, bring out some business cards and then send everything out on faith and see what happens

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Shopping for Diamonds Has Never Been Easier



The purchase of diamonds and diamond jewelry is one that most involve research to ensure that you are not a victim of fraud or misrepresentation. There are online jewelry retailers who pride themselves on exemplary service and quality items as well as safe purchasing procedures.


One such company is Abazias, who are one of the leaders in online diamond sales. Their selection of engagement rings and loose diamonds in unrivaled and using their sophisticated search software is a breeze. They offer free shipping and a custom ring builder for you to get the perfect ring the first time. Rather than searching multiple websites for settings and loose diamonds, you can find everything you need at Abazias.com.


There are thousands of designs for setting available out there in the marketplace. It is wise to narrow down your choices, first by metal type. Platinum, white gold and yellow gold are the most popular choices. Once you know what metal type you like, you can then consider what you would like the ring to look like. If you want side stones, you can disregard basic styles and look at settings where side stones are present to accentuate your center diamond.


At online retailers such as Abazias, you can easy separate the settings that you want from the many others available. After deciding on the diamond cut you favor, you can also search for settings that will accommodate your choice. Purchasing is a breeze as all of the transactions take place online, but if you have any questions, you can speak to a diamond jewelry expert at Abazias to help you make a choice. You have a generous return period as well. There are times when you buy a ring and it just does not look right on the finger. At Abazias, you can return or exchange the ring for any reason within their generous 10-day return period.

{This is a sponsored post.}

Friday, July 31, 2009

Merry Go Round - What Inspires





It's Merry-Go-Round topic blogging time! Each month a group of creative folks get together, pick a topic and then blog about it at the same time...give or take a time zone =).

This month's topic is to answer the question..."What inspires us: a peak into journals, pinboards, folders or wherever we keep our little snippets of inspiring stuff...?.



So even though I knew this topic was coming I wasn't very please to share. LOL. Not that I didn't want to share but in order to share I had to brave the inspiration box. The inspiration box started out as a inspiration folder that grew into an inspiration binder that...well grew into a box over the years. So what's in there that inspires me you wonder?





It's a combo of a binder and bits and pieces of things I find interesting like fabric, magazine ads, jewelry sketches, etc. Inspiration for me doesn't come from just jewelry, beading or fashion magazines. Anything I find interesting that can be re-made into a jewelry design goes in there. I also write little notes on the pages so I remember what inspired me and how I want to experiment with the idea.

But as I look at my box I fear it's outgrown it's current size. LOL. I've been trying to prune it and remove ideas that I've completed or that I'm not inspired by anymore. Still there's still lots in there to be inspired by...

Sadly this is my last contribution for the Merry-Go-Round project. But the other members are still sharing and blogging so please make a note of their links and go take a visit.

Andreanna @ Glamasaurus
Charlotte @ Fancy Picnic
Fabienne @ Easterya
Marian @ Florcita
Wendren @ Wren

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ladybugs and Fireflies Necklace Inspired by Artbeads



Making jewelry is not as easy as some people try to tell you...some people feel as long as you have some beads and other jewelry supplies then your all set. Well not for me at this stage of my life. I've been struggling to make this necklace using the Stoneware Porcelain Pendants for days now. So, what's the issue?

Some might say a creative block but that's never it...it's usually about time management. I had to stop and start this necklace a few times because other things demanded time but I'm proud to say I kept going when I could sneak time for it and finally...here it is!



I decided to name this necklace Ladybugs and Fireflies...even though there isn't any fireflies in the pendant. But I felt the carnelian chip beads seem very firefly-ish to me in color and form. As for the pendant instead of metal or gemstone I chose one of Stoneware Porcelain Pendants for the symbolism of the ladybug.

Wanna know some cool ladybugs legends?

- Nearly ALL cultures believe that a Ladybug is lucky! Killing one is said to bring sadness and misfortune.
- In some Asian cultures, it is believed that the Ladybug understands human language, and has been blessed by God, Himself.
- In France, if a Ladybug landed on you, whatever ailment you had would fly away with the Ladybug!


And my personal favorite

- People in Switzerland told their young children that they were brought to them, as babies, by Ladybugs!


To me jewelry is more then just precious metal and gemstones to look pretty with. I feel jewelry should also have a symbolic connection with the wearer. One purpose of wearing jewelry is to adorn but people also wear jewelry to protect and bless the wearer. I hope my ladybug blesses the person who's spirit leads them to it.

So that's what I did with my Stoneware Rectangle Pendant - Spring Blooms and Ladybug. What do you think?

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Tease of Inspiration



After the morning drama of getting my son ready for his first day of daycare, then coming all the way into the city for a class that booted me out and told me to sign up for an upcoming one ...you can imagine that I was feeling a bit out of sorts.

I didn't want to hop back on the train again feeling that way so I decided to take a walk to breathe and bring my focus back to a positive level. It's been a long time since I took a walk alone...without a baby or stroller. At first I felt a little weird but the combination of a sunny day with the hustle and bustle of people in union square soon had me smiling and getting into a walking groove.



I decided to stroll uptown and see the sights and window shop. As I was strolling I passed by Anthropologie's store window and fell in love. There resting on the collar of a mannequin was a butterfly necklace made of beads that spoke to me. I don't know why or what about it caught my attention but I was soon walking into the store looking to view the necklace up close and personal.

But at first I couldn't find it. Darn! So in my desperation I flagged down the first sales rep I saw...btw, a very nice girl...and asked in a near whisper where I could find the necklace. She soon directed me to a display box on one of the tables. As I contained my shout of Ah Ha! she got her keys to open the box. She inserted the key and...the lock wouldn't open. She tried another key...again the same thing. Whaaaa is goin on I wanted to shout. Can't you see I need to see that necklace up close and personal?!

Of course I didn't say that I just smiled and said...well if you can't get the box open...But being a trooper she said, hold on I'm going to get the master key....which she did...which did not open the box either. In the end we tried all different types of keys with the help of one of the store mangers. But that necklace never made it out the box into my hand. Why? I have no idea.

In the end I admitted defeat to the gods of inspiration, said goodbye to the necklace and walked out the store as one frustrated jewelry lover. LOL. All in all I think it was best since the necklace cost around $200. I of course don't have an extra $200 laying around but it was nice to forget the price for a while and be inspired by the design.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

National Independent Retailers Week



National Independent Retailers Week starts today. Did you know this? I sure didn't until I saw it on the website. How can something so important start and pass so quietly in some area? Maybe because some might feel that the jewelry industry doesn't fall under this movement’s umbrella but I disagree.

So many jewelry makers and suppliers are family owned business. These small scaled business have struggled along with the large jewelry companies and have craved out their niche while building loyal customers. They deserve some recognition and our support.

So for those like me out the loop of things. lol. Here is some background info about this movement.



This summer, National Independent Retailers Week will be celebrated July 19-25. This special week was created by retail guru Tom Shay of Profits+Plus Seminars to help shoppers break the chain-store habit. His grandmother, the second generation in his retail family, was one of his favorite people, so when he created National Independent Retailers Week, he decided that it should fall each year during the week of her birthday, which is July 21.

National Independent Retailers Week celebrates the uniqueness that locally owned businesses bring to a community. Money that is spent in a locally owned business stays in the local community much longer. Why? Because the local business owners purchase more of their supplies, equipment, and inventory from other area businesses.

Local businesses are often owned by multi-generation families, and were started by the oldest generation years ago. Usually, the older generation is still a part of the business, but now a second and even a third generation are also taking part in day-to-day operations.

Shay established National Independent Retailers Week more than a decade ago, to remind us all of the importance of the locally owned small businesses within our communities. These "Mom and Pop" retailers provide local flavor and color not found at the big-box conglomerates. Shay hopes that this week will encourage consumers to support their diverse local businesses all year round

Suggestions are available about how retailers can get their area chamber of commerce or board of tourism to participate in National Independent Retailers Week at http://www.nationalindependentretailersweek.com/.

Samples of newspaper ads and free bumper stickers can be found on the site as well. Visit the site to find out more about how you can promote this important week in your own community.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Moving forward with Blogging for Beads Program



After many emails back and forth with the Artbeads Coordinator of the Blogging for Beads Program where I'd asked...yet again...what was the latest selection of jewelry goodies to choose from...I finally buckled down, picked my item AND sent in the order. I'm happy to say it arrived today. What did I choose?



I chose this Stoneware Rectangle Pendant in Spring Blooms and Ladybug. I originally was going to chose one of the Hill Tribe Silver Pendants since I had a idea to use it with some fresh water pearls I've had stashed away to long. But after seeing the Stoneware pendants I felt my inspiration lead me down another path. Well, I better go and start being creative =)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Merry Go Round - Favorite Publication or Websites




It's Merry-Go-Round topic blogging time! Each month a group of creative folks get together, pick a topic and then blog about it at the same time...give or take a time zone =).

This month's topic is to answer the question..."What is your favorite publication(s)? Is there a book, books, magazine, or web site that has become the bible of your art/craft?.


I can't say I have one favorite publications or web sites for jewelry making. In the world of jewelry making there are many, many, many different sources for inspiration and information. Also, many web sites, magazines, etc start of being valuable but are now out of existence or has made company changes that affected my use of them.

As some of you know, there are literally thousands of styles and techniques to be found when it comes to jewelry making and design. Funny thing is, they all have a place since self-adornment is such a subjective thing. One persons diamonds can be compared to another persons trade beads.

But there is joy in variety right? So here is just a small variety of book, magazines and web sites I’ve found helpful and inspiring for many different reasons.

Books:

The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity [10th Anniversary Edition] - A must have for any artist
The New Beadwork - Love seeing how something simple like seed beads can be transformed in so many different ways.

The Artist's Resource Handbook - Information, services, opportunities and advocacy.
Crafters' Internet Handbook (Miscellaneous) - Even if your not an internet guru you can learn a few things from this book.


Magazines:

http://www.lapidaryjournal.com/ - Combines both jewelry and lapidary info. Even has tutorials
http://www.beadandbutton.com/ - Great all around for inspiration, projects, contests and info of all sorts


Web sites:

http://www.jjill.com/ - Love the clothes and jewelry. Very modern but
http://www.neimanmarcus.com/ - Helps me keep up with the hottest jewelry and fashion trends

http://www.beadshop.com/
- Beading tools, supplies, beads, classes, and jewelry repair
http://www.artbeads.com/ - Includes Swarovski crystals, glass beads, gemstones, charms, wire, chain, and findings.
http://www.firemountaingems.com/- beads and beading supplies since 1973. Largest selection of beads and jewelry making supplies at wholesale prices.

http://www.sunshineartist.com/ - Magazine for crafters. Includes listings, reviews, articles, and resources.
http://www.snagmetalsmith.org/ - Society of North American Goldsmiths is the premier association for jewelry, design and metalsmithing.



Some jewelry designers / makers like to tap a certain section or style of jewelry making and make that their signature mark. While I do think it’s important to find your “niche” and to develop a look that customers can recognized you by….I don’t feel that you should limit your self when it comes to learning and being inspired. I find a lot of people lock themselves into a limited section creative and business wise.

Now there’s nothing wrong with that. If you find something that works for you then great…but if I had to look at magazines that only feature diamond and gold jewelry I’d get crossed eyed. LOL. Same with if I had to look at beads…gemstone and seedbeads… without any metalwork to add some flair. So my advice? Be open to checking out different things even if you don’t think it’s your style…you might just discover something new.

So that's my contribution for the Merry-Go-Round project this month. Wonder what the other members of the Merry-Go-Round crew shared? Go take a visit and see.

Andreanna @ Glamasaurus
Charlotte @ Fancy Picnic
Fabienne @ Easterya
Marian @ Florcita
Wendren @ Wren

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Momfluence House of Gems iPhone Twitter Contest



iPhone Contest Details:

Anyone on Twitter who tweets with the hashtag #HouseofGems between Noon eastern Monday, June 22nd and noon eastern Saturday, June 27th will be entered to win an iPhone 3GS!

U.S. residents 18 years and older are eligible. The winner will be announced during the #houseofgems SiteWarming party Saturday, June 27th at 9 p.m. eastern

Monday, June 15, 2009

House of Gems "Bejeweled Giveaway" sweepstakes



House of Gems and Momfluence has teamed up to have a "Bejeweled Giveaway" sweepstake to introduce House of Gems and give ten lucky blog readers a chance to jumpstart their own jewelry making business or new hobby.


Contest Details:
Have you ever wanted to start your own handmade jewelry store on Etsy or Silkfair, but didn't know where to start? Maybe you already enjoy scrapbooking and knitting and thought beading might be worth a try, but weren't sure about the investment.

Now you can win a bracelet making kit plus $75 in product - a $100 value - by entering the "Bejeweled Giveaway" contest. Ten readers across the Momfluence network blogs will be chosen to win!

But there's more! Those ten winners will be able to submit a picture of their completed bracelet to the House of Gems, and one will be chosen to receive a $250 gift certificate, enough product to really jump start your business.

To Enter: Must choose one or more ways to enter

Option 1 - Subscribe to one or more of the House of Gems feeds found at http://www.houseofgems.com/feeds.aspx - each feed subscription counts as a new entry! Once you've subscribed fill out this entry form: http://cli.gs/ND4NMe

Option 2 - Blog about the "Bejeweled Giveaway" contest on your own site then fill out this entry from: http://cli.gs/ND4NMe

Join us on Twitter Saturday, June 27th at 9:00 p.m. eastern for a #houseofgems SiteWarming party where the 10 winners will be announced!

About the House of Gems:

House of Gems, Inc. (http://www.houseofgems.com) was established to provide quality beads, pearls, findings, pendants, chains and other jewelry making accessories at wholesale prices, directly to the consumer. The people behind Houseofgems.com have been in this business since 1992 and have an extensive network of designers, manufacturers and other direct suppliers to draw upon.

Since they have their own factories,craft shops and import directly, they have the best prices on quality products. Now, with the power of e-commerce they have eliminated the 'middle men', bringing their quality products at low wholesale jewelry prices, directly to your doorstep.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Merry Go Round - My Five Year Plan




It's Merry-Go-Round topic blogging time! Each month a group of creative folks get together, pick a topic and then blog about it at the same time...give or take a time zone =). 

This month's topic is to answer the question..."Five years ago did you think you'd be doing what you are doing now (craft/selling)? What has surprised you the most?".



Heck, I had a good chuckle at this question.  I'm doing nothing like I thought I would be.  Five years ago I was preparing to enter my 30's with excitement and plans of traveling.  I had worked all throughout my 20's, saved up a nice nest egg and had my heart set on getting lots of international stamps in my passport.

I had tried being a jewelry designer and decided it wasn't for me.  All that packing and unpacking, selling in the rain and bad weather, explaining to people why my earring cost this amount more then the person is the booth three rows down... and on and on and on...I had enough and had exchanged having a creative life for a life of travel.

As for kids, I had all so decided being a parent wasn't for me.  After all I tried settling down, being married and planning a family...twice...both times ended in divorce so I felt I gave that option a good chance.  Now I'll live for me and if need be adopt somewhere down the line.

Yup, I was all set to enjoy my coming years. But the universe has a way of tripping you off the path you think you should be on...so you can start following another path...maybe your true life's path? I dunno...While I don't believe in destiny I can see areas in our lives where after making changes we're do something only we could have done...does that make sense?

So somewhere in those 5 years my original plan was changed drastically.  I never did travel, I became a single mom and thru motherhood renewed my need to be creative.  Who would have thought? Certainly not me...I'm curious to know what changes the next 5 years will bring.

So that's my contribution for the Merry-Go-Round project this month. Wonder what the other members of the Merry-Go-Round crew shared? Go take a visit and see. 

Agathe @ Le Bar du Vent
Andreanna @ Glamasaurus
Charlotte @ Fancy Picnic
Fabienne @ Easterya
Marian @ Florcita
Wendren @ Wren

Monday, May 18, 2009

Be Healthy, Fit and Wear Jewelry



Today I attended the EA SPORTS Active Launch in NYC. I meet with the first 12 people from across the country who have completed the 30 Day Challenge using Active. I even got a chance to try out the demo of EA SPORTS Active a day before it came out in stores. Score!



Naturally for a cool but hands on event like this the jewelry needed to be understated but still was a must. But what to wear? My outfit was preppy casual.  I did wear jeans since I was going to do some of the workouts.  But I wore a semi dressy top in a dusty blue.  Now I wanted jewelry that was simple but funky to fit the casual jean look.  

I chose to go with my silver plated goddess earrings and necklace set.  You might remember I blogged about this design for my spring interpretation for the monthly merry-go-round assignment. I think I made a good choice.  Sadly I didn't remember to get a close up photo during the event.  I guess I was too busy have a good time and meeting people.


Speaking of meeting people...  I met Jessica Smith of Jessica Knows, one of the challengers and one of my twitter friends on my personal twitter id.  We struck up a very interesting conversation about fashion and styling.  

This convo led her to introduce me to her personal stylist Debbie Wright of Project Closet, who then joined me in talk about using jewelry to enhance and dress up a simple everyday outfit. We both agreed the sometimes just adding a little touch... a pair of gold earrings or a simple chain does wonders for an outfit and adds a pick me up feeling. Who would have thought jewelry would be a topic at the EA SPORTS Active Launch.  Goes to show you never know...

Want your own goddess earrings? 
Shop my eCrater store and receive 15% off your total now through June 18, 2009! 
Promo Code is Active2009

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Free Jewelry Wednesdays : Winner and Upcoming Break



Ok folks,  after I announce last weeks winner I'm going to take a break from holding this weekly giveaway.  Who knew that it would get so popular? It's a case of to much of a good thing. 

Right now I need to concentrate on blogging more regularly, stocking my online stores, and making my new jewelry line.  Now that Mothers day is over and my personal social calendar is clear I can bring the focus back to here.

But don't worry the free jewelry wednesday isn't gone forever...just on pause for a little while.


LAST WEEKS FREE JEWELRY GIVEAWAY WINNER

Thanks to everyone who entered the Sports Charm Bracelet giveaway! Oddly only one person enter this week so they are the winner.

The winner was chosen so not at Random and is:  Akia

Congratulations! I've sent you an email. Please respond within 48 hours to claim your prize! =)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Free Jewelry Wednesdays : Sports Charm Bracelet



This weeks jewelry giveaway is a multi charm stretch bracelet with silver-tone beads and enamel sports charms. Made with elastic band so one size fits all. Perfect as a present or treat for yourself. 

HOW TO WIN
1) Subscribe to the Beaded Zen Designs blog via feedblitz for an automatic entry (1 entry)
2) Follow this blog publicly (1 extra entry)
3) Follow @bzdesigns on twitter (1 extra entry)
4) Tweet about this giveaway. Each tweet gets you 1 extra entry. Leave a comment with the link here so I can check and give you credit for each time =)
5) Stumble, Digg, or del.icio.us. this post. Leave me your id so I can check and give you credit.
Make sure to leave me a comment letting me know what you did!
NOW THE RULES
Winner will be selected by random.org on or shortly after Tuesday, May 12, 2009. Giveaway entry must be completed before extra entries will count.
Winner will be contacted by email and must respond within 48 hours or a new winner will be selected. Open to residents of the U.S. with a valid street address. If your an international friends then we'll work something out if you win =)

LAST WEEKS FREE JEWELRY GIVEAWAY WINNER

Thanks to everyone who entered the Wire Wrapped Earrings giveaway!

The 1st winner chosen at Random and is:  #22 - Katherine
The 2nd winner chosen at Random and is:  #4 - Icefairy
The 3rd winner chosen at Random and is:  #29 - Ktquelleheure4

Congratulations! I've sent you an email. Please respond within 48 hours to claim your prize! =)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

When I'm Not Making Jewelry



Over in my personal life I've been attending a lot of promotional events as a blogging mom to highlight different companies and all that cool jazz. Since this takes time away from my jewelry making and selling, I've been trying to find ways to mentally keep jewelry making on my and then hopefully in my hands.


I think I found a way! A recent comment from Anne of AL Creations said I should wear my own jewelry. Duh! Why didn't I think of that? Well, I decided to take that advice.  So when I was invited to attend the opening bell ceremony at NASDAQ with 1800Flowers I made sure to plan a complete look...jewelry included.

Bet your wondering which one of my jewelry designs I wore.  As you can see from the photo I chose to be pretty in pink.  After all this was an event to celebrate Mothers Day =).  


The jewelry of choice was.... a combination of my Chunky Rhodonite Nugget & Silver Necklace, Bracelet and Earrings set. Normally I sell each item individually but I think going forward I'll start selling as a set. They really went so nice together and photographed well during the event. I don't think I look so bad in the photos either. Ha

Like the set and want one of your own? 
Shop my eCrater store and receive 15% off your total now through June 05, 2009! 
Promo Code is MOM2009

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Universal Gifts of Encouragement



The universe always knows what we need and provides it at the right time. I've experienced this time and time again in many different areas of my personal life so I'm not surprised to find it also happening in my business life.

I bet you think I've been sitting too close to the incense burner and inhaled a few fumes to many. So let me show you...

First example, yesterday I was struggling thru emails...as usual, when I saw an email directly to me... meaning it wasn't from one of the groups, ning sites or stuff like that.  I did a quick read over and then had to read it again. The email was from a representative from artbeads.com inviting me to join a small group of jewelry designers who blog,  for their new program where they'll send me beads and jewelry supplies to use and then blog about. How cool is that right? 

But to me it's more then getting free jewelry supplies...once again a great thing...it's more about getting the encouragement the universe feels I need to keep making jewelry PLUS to blog about it. I mean there are literally thousands of jewelry blogs on the web, what are the chances he picks my little blog which is sadly lacking in regular updates?! I'm telling you universal encouragement. 

Second example, today I'm once again goin thru emails, this time on face book when I read this
Hi,BZ.

I looked through jewelries designed by you.they are good, really! maybe they give a sense of normal at first glance, but I found they are tasteful after I look them more. You designs don't like current fashion design which give much visual stun. Your designs are very lite and durable on visual. actually! your personal profile picture (the one you working at lamp) also give a sense of that! I can't help to tell you these after I saw your pictures!

I am an ordinary Chinese.I am web programmer instead of jewelry designer!my hometown is a jade base of china where have many gemstone and gemstone jewelries!I will collect some good designs for you maybe you can use them when I go home next time.

I was SO touched by him seeing the "spirit" of my designs. What he said is exactly what I aim for...to have something simple at first glance but that carries a deeper meaning. Since jewelry is such a personal item having it handcrafted with a positive spirit and intention is the way to go. And yeah how nice of him to offer to get me some gemstones during his next trip home. LOL

Third example to round out the universal encouragement is this. In the Etsy Artist of Color some changes were recently made to better promote the group and get more members to support each other.  One idea was to start a mentoring program. Now i'm humble enough to say that I need help when it comes to understanding how to sell and promote on etsy..so I ask to be mentored. Very soon after that Gaetana of Satin Doll contacted me and offered to be my Etsy mentor.  I of course agreed cause really how can you say no to such a kind hearted gesture of each one teach one.

So you see what happens when you become ready...the universe sends it's gifts =)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Free Jewelry Wednesdays : Wire Wrapped Earrings





This weeks jewelry giveaway is a silver-tone wire wrapped beaded earring. The wrapped bead of this earring comes in many different colors including red, grey, green, yellow, brown, peach, and blue.  But it's a surprise which color you'll get if you win. Perfect as a present or treat for yourself. 

But wait since there was no giveaway last week this week we'll have (3) earrings to giveaway so that means (3) different winners get a prize!


HOW TO WIN

1) Subscribe to the Beaded Zen Designs blog via feedblitz for an automatic entry (1 entry)
2) Follow this blog publicly (1 extra entry)
3) Follow @bzdesigns on twitter (1 extra entry)
4) Tweet about this giveaway. Each tweet gets you 1 extra entry. Leave a comment with the link here so I can check and give you credit for each time =)
5) Stumble, Digg, or del.icio.us. this post. Leave me your id so I can check and give you credit.
Make sure to leave me a comment letting me know what you did!


NOW THE RULES

Winner will be selected by random.org on or shortly after Tuesday, May 5, 2009. Giveaway entry must be completed before extra entries will count.

Winner will be contacted by email and must respond within 48 hours or a new winner will be selected. Open to residents of the U.S. with a valid street address. If your an international friends then we'll work something out if you win =)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Where's the Jewelry for Todays Moms



Friday morning, I went to a Todays Moms Breakfast Book Bash & Diaper Drive event. It's always cool to go to a mom bloggers event but it doubly cool when the events supports a worthy cause. This event collected hundreds of dollars worth of diapers to go to NYC families in need via BabyBuggy.org As a new a mom of course I had to show my support

Here I am with the Todays Moms, Mary Ann Zoellner and Alicia Ybarbo

Here I am with Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, the surprise guest during the event

All that is nice and good but your thinking not really jewelry related right? Oh so wrong! This is a mommy event that pulled in a large group of ladies from mostly middle working class families right?  So there should have been jewelry bling all over the place at an event such as this. Yet as I walked around the room I noticed a shocking lack of jewelry. Not to say there wasn't any but very minimal. 

What is this about I thought?  Is there a new minimal jewelry trend that no one told me about? Should I have brought my jewelry business cards? Every time I made contact with another mom I was so tempted to offer some jewelry info. LOL . But I was there to promote my personal blog instead of my business blog. Still I wonder... where is the jewelry for todays moms and how can I get my jewelry to them?!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Merry Go Round - Spiritual Spring Interpretation



It's Merry-Go-Round topic blogging time! Each month a group of creative folks get together, pick a topic and then blog about it at the same time...give or take a time zone =). 

This month we chose to blog about our interpetation of spring and what that means to us personally.

So to be honest I was a little stuck on this one. I tried thinking of alternative ideas/images/ways for spring but kept coming back to the same idea. To me spring has always been about starting anew. It's a season for making new connections, starting new goals, being fertile in mind and spirit as well as body.  How does this idea translate for me? In jewelry of course.

I've long felt these earrings have a mother earth, goddess, fertility, spiritual feel to them. For this project I was going to add a gemstone bead in the middle to make her pregnant. LOL. But I changed my mind cause I like the plain simpleness of the design. The idea of spiritually fertile can be more highlighted in this design by being in plain metal. Do u agree?

So that's my contribution for the Merry-Go-Round project this month. Wonder what the other members of the Merry-Go-Round crew shared? Go take a visit and see. 

Agathe @ Le Bar du Vent
Andreanna @ Glamasaurus
Charlotte @ Fancy Picnic
Fabienne @ Easterya
Marian @ Florcita
Wendren @ Wren

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Free Jewelry Wednesdays : Winner of Angel Pendant Necklace



This weeks jewelry giveaway will be held over till next week wed due to my having one to many balls in the air this week. Sorry everyone. Now lets find out the winner of last weeks giveaway


LAST WEEKS FREE JEWELRY GIVEAWAY WINNER

Thanks to everyone who entered the Angel Pendant Necklace giveaway!

The winner was chosen at Random and is:  #8 - icefairy

Congratulations! I've sent you an email. Please respond within 48 hours to claim your prize! =)

For the non-winners don't worry, I will add the angel pendants necklaces to my online store and post a free shipping code just for you! How nice right =)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Free Jewelry Wednesdays : Angel Pendant Necklace




This weeks jewelry giveaway is a cord necklace with a pewter cherubic angel charm. Each necklace has a different rhinestone color.  But it's a surprise which color you'll get if you win. Perfect as a present or treat for yourself.


HOW TO WIN

1) Subscribe to the Beaded Zen Designs blog via feedblitz for an automatic entry (1 entry)
2) Follow this blog publicly (1 extra entry)
3) Follow @bzdesigns on twitter (1 extra entry)
4) Tweet about this giveaway. Each tweet gets you 1 extra entry. Leave a comment with the link here so I can check and give you credit for each time =)
5) Stumble, Digg, or del.icio.us. this post. Leave me your id so I can check and give you credit.
Make sure to leave me a comment letting me know what you did!


NOW THE RULES

Winner will be selected by random.org on or shortly after Tuesday, April 21, 2009. Giveaway entry must be completed before extra entries will count.

Winner will be contacted by email and must respond within 48 hours or a new winner will be selected. Open to residents of the U.S. with a valid street address. If your an international friends then we'll work something out if you win =)


LAST WEEKS FREE JEWELRY GIVEAWAY WINNER

Since I didn't post last wednesday, no one entered so there is no winner =(

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Connecting Black Jewelry Designers



So last night I was just hanging out in the different jewelry groups I belong to...one to many if you ask me...but anyway, I decided to post that I'm looking for other black jewelry designers. To be honest I didn't expect any replies but ironically I received quite a few.  Soon I started a little emails list with the people who responded.  But after a discussion about not seeing a group for black designers Sonja of Fire Hazard decided we should have one and *bam* made a yahoo group for black designers.


At first I couldn't believe it...how could there not be a group for black designers?! Well I had no time to really ponder the issue because Sonja and I were soon inviting the other women and planning how to attract more members.  We started throwing ideas back and forth about ways to promote the group, the groups aim and purpose and how to handle any drama that would follow.  

Now someone reading this will think...what drama can happen just because you started a group. For that person I'll share a email I received today from a non-black jewelry maker.

From: C
Date: Sun, Apr 12, 2009 at 3:36 PM
Subject: black jewelry designer

Hello and Happy Easter,

You and I are fellow jewelry designers and fellow members of several yahoo groups.  I’ve been to your blog and feel that you have no idea how badly you are alienating me (and perhaps others) when you ask for black designers.  I try to tell myself that you are just looking for like minded friends but the color of one’s skin has nothing to do with their insides.  I sort my beads by color, not my friends.  I hope that one day the world will be color blind to skin tone but until all stop discriminating by color, this isn’t going to happen.  Everyone is colored unless invisible has become an option.  So, unless you have another reason for looking for black designers that I haven’t fathomed, I’d like to be a part of your group even though my skin isn’t black.

Sincerely,
C

Now, I'm at a loss on how to answer this.  I don't understand how something as simple as black women jewelers forming a group to talk shop means we're...or should I say "I" want to alienate non-blacks?!  Lets be real here...I come across information and  projects that are race specific. If a company is looking for a "black" designer or is offering an incentive for the "black" creative community then what would be the point of me posting this info in a non-black group? It's best to have a place where this info will reach the intended community.  That's my view of the issue. Since this is a group issue I'll ask the group and see what they say about this...but I wish people would respect other people choices. 

Friday, April 10, 2009

Sometimes You Have to Chase



The past few days have been crazy busy with stuff both jewelry and non-jewelry related.  It's always amazing to me how many things can happens at once after you do just one thing =)


So to give an update about me and my charity direction.  I emailed Americans for UNFPA but have yet to hear back from them. I'm not discouraged though.  Since they have an office in the New York City area then I'm just going to make it my business to stop by and see what they say.  I can't sit waiting on an answer.  If they want to partner in some way to help me promote their cause then great. But even if they don't want to partner,  I'll still send the donations from my charity line of jewelry sales. I'll just need to change how I promote that jewelry group.

Now with Etsy for Charity, I followed all the steps to be part of the team and had some back and forth dialogue going until I understood how to get my jewelry in the gallery and store. It took me some days to get it together so I could upload some jewelry to my second etsy shop but I finally did it.  I still have more jewelry to add but for now I have the jewelry I wanted to donate for the Etsy Charity Gallery and Shop. Tonight I emailed my jewelry listing info and hopefully I'll be added soon. Yeah me!

Sometimes when you want to get to the next step with an idea you sorta have to chase after people and yourself to get things done!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Free Jewelry Wednesdays : Hearts and Roses Charm Bracelet




This weeks jewelry giveaway is a multi charm stretch bracelet with silver-tone heart charms and roses beads. Made with elastic band so one size fits all. Perfect as a present or treat for yourself.


HOW TO WIN

1) Subcribe to the Beaded Zen Designs blog thru feedblitz for an automatic entry (1 entry)
2) Follow this blog publicly (1 extra entry)
3) Follow @bzdesigns on twitter (1 extra entry)
4) Tweet about this giveaway. Each tweet gets you 1 extra entry. Leave a comment with the link here so I can check and give you credit for each time =)
5) Stumble, Digg, or del.icio.us. this post. Leave me your id so I can check and give you credit.
Make sure to leave me a comment letting me know what you did!


NOW THE RULES

Winner will be selected by random.org on or shortly after Tuesday, April 7, 2009. Giveaway entry must be completed before extra entries will count.

Winner will be contacted by email and must respond within 48 hours or a new winner will be selected. Open to residents of the U.S. with a valid street address. If your an international friends then we'll work something out if you win =)


LAST WEEKS FREE JEWELRY GIVEAWAY WINNER

Thanks to everyone who entered the Amethyst and Pearl Earrings giveaway!

The winner was chosen at Random and is:  #7 - Janet Faye

Congratulations! I've sent you an email. Please respond within 48 hours to claim your prize! =)