100 Days of Creativity: Day 55

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Today I really wanted to work on something slightly more challenging than earrings. I am getting rather sick of making earrings. Well, that is harsh. More like, feeling uninspired to make earrings now. So I decided today was all about the cuff:

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This hematite cuff was hard to photograph. In fact, I would like to try & get more shots of it if there is time & adequate lighting in the next few days. It is has such a nice, shiny lustre however that makes it hard to get a good photo without glare/blur. This angle seemed to come out okay. When I started out to make this piece, I really saw it as a earthy, wear it to dress up your jeans type of piece. But it really is shiny & bold, I think it would make a statement with whatever you wore it with…

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These two are very similar, using the same materials. This was my way of using up these green tube fossil beads. I paired them with South Seashell beads. South Sea shell beads are man-made. Mollusk Shells are pulverized to a powder, an iridescent pigment added, and shaped into beads. I thought this was a clever way to transform discarded shells into beads. Fossil beads are formed from limestone, a sedimentary rock which is formed by the skeletons of tiny marine organisms (calcium carbonate). Since limestone is so porous, it is ideal for making into beads since it will easily take on dye. Get a closer look at these pieces on Etsy

Well, that was fun. Now I have to think what to do tomorrow…I am sort of running out of creative steam since I have made so many things in the past little while. But tomorrow is a new day and a new set of thoughts. Until then…

100 Days of Creativity: Day 54

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Another jewelry making blitz afternoon! Let’s get right to it, shall we:

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This chunky fun red agate cuff was a cheat today: I actually made it last spring; and had unlisted it to get new photos of it. I just remembered it today & relisted it. It’s very bold & earthy. Fun!

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This was my favourite piece today. I have had these 36mm onyx tubes for almost a decade! That’s right: one of those “these are neat” purchases and they never seemed to really work the few times I tried to incorporate them into a design. I realized today that simple is better, so I simply paired them with these 6mm stardust beads. The curved design of the pendants hug your wrist. I had six of these, so I made two identical bracelets, both available in my Etsy Shop

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I think as of today I am officially satisfied with exploring with Celtic influence! I have quite a few of these Celtic pewter beads so it’s easy to get many ideas for simply stated pieces. This is a remake of a pair of earrings that sold in this design with hematite. This time, I used faceted smoky quartz & added bead caps for accent.

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Woohoo!  The end of the amethyst chips.  Simple yet fun earrings and that stash is officially used up! 🙂

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These 25mm Celtic braid charms work well as a pendant, too!  With 4mm onyx beads and sterling silver fine cable chain this piece is great for someone who wants a simple, dainty necklace that still makes a statement. I also made the piece full adjustable to a maximum of 20 inches so that it could be worn at variable lengths for variable neck sizes.

With that, I have broken the 90 item mark! So in a couple of days, I should make my goal of 100 pieces.

100 Days of Creativity: Day 53

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Holy crick in the neck!!!  This was a lot of listing…I got in the zone this afternoon and made these 5 pairs of earrings today:

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For the sake of my neck I will try to be brief…I was inspired again by the up-coming St. Patrick’s Day…actually, I was happy to have an opportunity to work with malachite again! I have quite a bit of it and no opportunity to play with it lately. 🙂

I am putting the push on to get my 100 things. I am so close, so I am motivated to just get it done! I do enjoy making earrings when I need volume. It’s like a gratifying creative snack! Once the energy gets flowing I can usually churn out several pars in such a short period of time. They are also easy to photograph so there is not a lot of time editing pictures. Hence, 5 pairs in one afternoon…and afternoon for me with a toddler doesn’t mean the full 4 hours!

A very productive day. For more on malachite & these pieces please visit heavenly flower on Etsy

100 Days of Creativity: Day 52

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I wasn’t home much today, so I just was able to make this simple yet pretty pair of lapis lazuli hoops:

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I have been hanging on to this hanful of lapis chips forever! I was happy to finally use them up in these earrings. These chips have many pyrite inclusions giving them pretty gold flecks throughout. Did you know lapis lazuli is the planetary stone for Capricorn? Learn more about the metaphysical properties of this stone by checking out the Etsy listing for this piece…

I am happy to say that two of the four Celtic earrings I listed last night sold almost instantly. I have an idea for a necklace I was hoping to get to today but I was just too busy. I am officially at 36 weeks today so I am giving myself another week of creating…then it’s all fair game when it comes to birth…anything that gets done after that will be bonus.

100 Days of Creativity: Day 51

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Whew, I think my eyes are bloodshot tonight! Another busy day & I am still amazed at how much energy I have.  Still, I also feel myself quickly fading…so on to the shiny happy things created today…

I was struck with the luck o’ the Irish today! 4 pairs of earrings in anticipation for St. Patrick’s Day:

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I am really happy with how these turned out!  Sometimes themed items can look a bit tacky but I think these are lovely if I don’t say so myself. The first pair I entitled “Celtic Wedding” as I think they would make a lovely bridal pair as well. I am happy to work in malachite with the other three pieces. I haven’t had the opportunity to work in this rich green stone for a very long time!

What I am not happy with, is my descriptions of the pieces in my Etsy listings. They were rather…blah…because I am feeling rather brain dead tonight. So tomorrow I want to rework the wording & also add a bit of information on the history of the Celtic knot symbol. But, that is for another day. I also have ideas for a Celtic themed necklace & bracelet. I have to run into the city tomorrow to the Naturopathic Doctor to pick up my herbs for birth preparation, so I’m not sure if I’ll get to that tomorrow or not…we shall see what my head comes up with tomorrow…

100 Days of Creativity: Day 50

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Wow – I can’t believe I am half way through! Where did the last 50 days go? Time really does fly when you are having fun as they say…

I really wish I had something spectacular for the halfway mark, but it has been a busy day & I am lucky to even get one thing made, photographed & listed.

Here it is…still milking those 10mm faceted black carnelian beads I love so much! I decided I don’t have enough gold in my shop, so I put this pair together today:

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Check out my shop for more info on this piece. I am thinking tomorrow I will make a few celtic themed pieces in honour of St. Patrick’s Day! That is the plan anyway…

100 Days of Creativity: Day 49

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Despite being really tired today because my little was awake at the crack of dawn, I got quite a bit accomplished. This has to do with the fact I had my morning cleared as an appointment in the city has been postponed until tomorrow morning. So I was free to play amongst the beads. 🙂

First off I am happy to say my customer loved the baby birthstone bracelet I made yesterday, & bought it plus my tiny bubbles bracelet; which as I mentioned in previous posts I adore. It’s going to a good home, though. A  milestone has been reached. I set a couple goals for myself at the beginning of the year. One was to have 20 things sold in my Etsy Shop by the time I have baby #2. As of last night this goal has been reached.  It has been a really good month for me, considering how much time I can dedicate per day to jewelry making. Besides the Etsy sales I have had some off-line custom work as well. I am quite blissful with part time jewelry making & it is nice to see money in the bank again.

The second goal, was to have 100 things in my shop before baby arrives. Tonight I am pleased to say, I am 75% of the way there. Here are the three pieces I made today:

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I am hard pressed to choose a favourite today. I so adore tiger eye & its metaphysical properties; yet pearls are always so classic & these are a light shade of violet; plus fluroite, another powerful stone…well, the cuff I am definitely proud of because of the tedious nature of this kind of work. No sore wrists today! Horray! 🙂

Anyway, I am very tired and probably incoherently babbling…so I bid you adieu for the evening…

…And the Lemonade Award goes toooooo….

Lemonade

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I want to give a special & heart felt thank you to Dawn & Maureen for nominating me for a lemonade award previously. This may seem like a small gesture but it touches my heart that you enjoy my blog & that I inspire you…you ladies inspire me too.

I wanted to pick a special night to annouce my nominations, & I thought that leaving it for Oscar night would be very appropriate. I had a really hard time picking 10 blogs: I read a lot of blogs that inspire the many factes of my life so it was hard to narrow down. However, here are my picks:

Kristie, Lisa & Co., Jody, Lynn, Jill, Aurore, Jenell, Carle, Linda and last but not least of course, Dianne!

Although these ladies blog about very different topics, their creativity, talent, & personalities inspire me in so many ways. I always enjoy visiting their blogs & applying their strength, ideas & overall good energy to my day to day life. Hats off to you! Keep sharing & keep inspiring! Visit their blogs & see for yourself… 🙂

Pass on some lemonade & let someone know they have inspired you. Here’s what you do:

1.Put the logo on your blog or post
2.Nominate at least 10 blogs that show great Gratitude and/or Attitude.
3.Be sure to list and link your nominees within your post.
4.Let them know they have received this award by leaving a comment on their blog.
5.Nominate your favorites and link to your post.

100 Days of Creativity: Day 48

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Ow,  my wrist. Today’s creation was rather fun & used up a whole lotta agate chip beads. I bought a huge lot of chip beads about 8 years ago from a dude in Newfoundland with a rock hounding shop who was selling them out cheap. And, I have been trying to use them up ever since! I’m a lefty, so my left wrist hurts from holding 5 strands of wire steady while I added the beads…and then finishing it off is a very tedious task. The outer strands are easy to tie off; the inner ones are so tight together it takes a lot of patience & skill to get the wire wrapped.

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I made this one 7 inches so it would be a nice snug cuff for most women’s wrists. It’s about 2 inches high, and priced really cheap considering how much tedious work I put into it this morning…

The second thing  made today, was a custom order request for a baby’s bracelet. I was really excited to make this since it was yet another bloodstone request (who knew how popular that stone would turn out to be!) and it’s for a baby expected to be arriving in the world around the same time my next little one will. This was my first Alchemy request on Etsy, so I was very pleased to give this a shot. Even though she has not approved the request yet, I went ahead & made it and listed it as a reserved listing. If she decides she doesn’t want it then it counts as one of 100 pieces I want to get showcased in my shop. I also want an example of a bracelet that can be customized for babies for when my website will be up and running, so it’s all win-win for me. I have made a handful of baby bracelets over the years but never got one photographed! Go figure…

So this is a smaller version of my fully adjustable delicate bloodstone bracelet. I have two delicate bracelets in bloodstone currently for sale but I think something fully adjustable would make the most sense for a growing baby…

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I can also customize this piece with a variety of different stones; I bought 4mm beads just for this purpose, and of course never got around to making any. My own baby goes jewelry-less…everyone says, “when are you going to make her something?”  You know that old saying, how the cobbler’s children has no shoes…. 😉

100 Days of Creativity: Day 47

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I had a pretty good day today: three things designed, made, photographed & listed.

I have a lot of pieces made out of hematite in my shop. A few years ago, I had a lot of requests for hematite pieces. It is a pretty, shiny, weighty stone that appealed to both men & women. Since it is an ore which is melted and molded into beads & pendants, it is also very affordable. So I stocked up…because of this, I have a lot of hematite odds & ends: 20 beads in this size, 10 beads in another size, 50 beads in this shape…I thought of starting a destah site & just selling them but really, the effort to photograph these & put them up for sale, well, I’d rather be making  jewelry…

So I decided to challenge myself to make some pieces out of the smaller lots of odds & ends using up as many of the beads per piece as possible. These three creations emerged:

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Piece #1: hematite & pink jade bracelet

Piece #2: hematite & moonstone bracelet

Piece #3: hematite & peridot anklet

Ah, pink jade. The controversy. I bought these pink jade beads several years ago from a distributor in China; before I knew that pink jade is awfully rare. I question whether or not this is the real deal, or simply dyed. No guarantees here folks, & that is reflected in the price. Either way, it is a pretty stone & makes for a great addition to jewelry making.

Check out these pieces, & my other hematite creations, in the “down to earth” section of my etsy shop

100 Days of Creativity: Day 46

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Moving right along…I decided to try & double up on my item per day idea. I really would like to have 100 items featured in my Etsy Shop before I depart to new baby land. It’s going to be cutting it close…but I am going to try & do two pieces a day if possible. Here are today’s offerings; item 68 & 69 in my Etsy Shop:

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I absolutely love the cute turquoise hoop earrings. Turquoise is a stone I am partial to; I think it’s all the spiritual energy connected to it. However, I bought these chip beads ages ago & cannot guarantee 100% these are not howlite, so I have priced them accordingly. I know I would never buy howlite personally, but the colour of these chip is really blue rather than green-blue; I would hate to misrepresent something. Either way. they are a pretty pair of earrings.

The necklace actually started out as a ring, but I wasn’t feeling it. I started wire wrapping the focal bead, which is a 18×24 oval coffe brown cat’s eye bead. When it wasn’t working out I removed some of the wire & it became this pendant…and I fashioned a necklace out of coffee brown & olive cat’s eye beads.

Happy Friday everyone!

100 Days of Creativity: Day 45

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I’ve been noticing this trend the past few days where I am just exhausted in the evening…so I am trying to stay ahead of the game & post to Etsy & here on my blog earlier in the day.

So today my focus is on these pretty black carnelian beads. I obtained them oh, ages ago and am just getting around to using them in designs. I don’t have very many, so I treat them like a rare gem. 🙂 They are 10mm and faceted…

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I decided to pair them up with these crystal quartz rondelle beads, which I think I have almost used up. I bought them some years back for a custom project & over estimated how many I would need. I am delighted to breathe new life into them as new pieces; for many years I have not been sure what to do with them. 8mm Bali (AKA daisy) sterling silver spacers finish this bracelet, making a nice piece of bling if I don’t say so myself.  Check it out closer in my Etsy shop

100 Days of Creativity: Day 44

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…tiny bubbles…in the wine…make me happy…make me feel fine…

Today was a “no-brainer” (I hate that term) as far as my creation of the day goes. Inspired by yesterday’s “pearly shells” necklace:

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I thought the freshwater pearls looked like bubbles, and I had the song “Tiny Bubbles” stuck in my head from designing the “Pearly Shells” necklace yesterday.  This bracelet looks good on my wrist if I don’t say so myself. It almost made its way to my jewelry box instead of stored in the inventory binder! Check it out

Sometime ago I also designed “Pearly Shells” earrings…but I haven’t been inspired to make any other pieces around that theme until now.

…so here’s to the ginger lei…I give to you today…and here’s a kiss…that will not fade away…

More Work In Bloodstone…

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As I wrote earlier, a customer on Etsy gobbled up my bloodstone dangle earrings shortly after I posted them. They then requested a bracelet to go along with it. At this stage in my pregnancy I am only taking custom orders that I can fill immediately, & rather than making the client obligated to purchase, it is easier for me to make a few pieces & list them on Etsy for the customer’s approval. If they like what they see, they purchase. If not, then no harm as I can always use more pieces in my Etsy Shop.

So the bloodstone beads I have are quite small, so this is what I came up with:

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The piece directly above, is what sold. It contains 4mm & 6mm bloodstone, sterling silver & pewter accents. The other two, are now off reserve & available for purchase in my Etsy Shop

You can also read the post on the original bloodstone pieces that inspired these by checking out 100 Days of Creativity: Day 41.

100 Days of Creativity: Day 43

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Pearly Shells, from the ocean…shining in the sun, covering up the shore…

Today’s creation, came together in no time, & I am really happy with the results. It is inspired by all the vacation photos I have been viewing on Facebook…lucky friends I have. The sun was shining today and despite the winter temperatures outside, inside it felt very tropical to me. 🙂

The great things about this piece, is that you get 4 pieces of jewelry in one! Wear it as a full-length necklace, a choker, a lariat, or wrap it around your wrist as a funky chunky bracelet…

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It is fashioned completely out of shells: the circles and the pearly type beads, which are South Sea Shell beads. I came across these beads as a cheaper alternative to pearls many years ago. Mollusk Shells are pulverized to a powder, then an iridescent pigment added, and shaped into beads. I thought this was a great way to recycle discarded shells. I have since grown to prefer to use pearls in my work, butI have a few of these leftover from past projects. Voila, there you have it. A fun, versatile piece that will go with many outfits. You can check it out in my shop as usual, as well as other pieces inspired by the sea in my “still waters run deep” section on Etsy

…When I see them my heart tells me that I love you…more than all the little pearly shells… (I grew up with this song. Used to know the actions that went along with it, as well as “Tiny Bubbles”.  Happy times!)

100 Days of Creativity: Day 42

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I feel myself running out of steam. Although people remark that I “don’t look very pregnant” I can assure you when I sit for long periods of time the pressure on my back reminds me that there is pretty much a full term baby in there ready to come out in the coming weeks. So I can only sit for a few minutes at a time. So the designs have to come to me tout de suite from here on in. Today, no problem…

I must have been in an elegant, indulgent mood. I always like to make my pieces versatile so that they will go with pretty much anything you wear. At first glance this looks very dressy/elegant, but I think that it could really add to casual wear as well.

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It contains 10x10mm faceted hematite squares & 9x4mm quartz rondelles.  The 8mm & 4mm daisy (bali) spacers are sterling silver. Find out more about this piece in my Etsy Shop

100 Days of Creativity: Day 41

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There are three offerings in today’s creative challenge. I had a request to make some March birthstone pieces. Aquamarine is a pricey stone so I don’t stock it. Actually, I consider bloodstone the birthstone for March as it is the traditional choice, & also recognized as such still in many other parts of the world. So I came up with these three bloodstone pieces:

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The dangle earrings (above) sold out in record time. I am now about to embark on a custom bracelet request for the same customer. Because of my limited time these days, I am handling custom orders by seeing what I can come up with, preferable more than one piece, for the customer to choose from, with no obligation on them to buy. I find this is working well, as there is limited expectation & I do not have to be tied into a certain price point. Besides I can always use more pieces in my Etsy shop.

Bloodstone is a very hard stone to come by. It is used in India as a medicine so it is definitely a commodity. Therefore I only have 4mm and a few 6mm in stock at the moment, so the pieces are very delicate & dainty. Still, the earthy & mystical properties of this stone make a bold statement without having to be physically large itself.

Find out more about these pieces in my “birthstone & lore” section of my Etsy Shop. There you will also find some background information on bloodstone, also known as green chalcedony.

100 Days of Creativity: Day 40

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I’m feeling very introspective today. I think my body is starting to mentally prepare myself for birth…so I used this energy to make a more complicated piece this morning. The sun was shining so I wanted it to be bright & happy. This is the outcome. I describe it as fun, flirty & funky!

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That’s 20 gauge sterling silver wire accenting the fiber optic cat’s eye beads. The aqua sqaures measure 14mm; the white rounds are 8mm. This is the newest piece in my ‘eye candy” section of my Etsy Shop.  It was a lot of fun to make & photograph!

A Gesture that Made my Day: I Won a Lemonade Award!

Dawn, fellow jewelry maker & blogger, nominated me today for a lemonade award, in recognition for great gratitude/attitude. It may seem like a small gesture, but to me it means so much! Dawn is also a talented jewelry artist & a great source of inspiration for me. I am honoured to be a source of motivation & inspiration for her as well. Big hugs to you, Dawn!! Check out her Etsy Shop

Shop Promo for Sales of $50 or more & background of Shop Philosophy

I have an on-going shop promo that I wanted to mention. First, background on my shop’s philosophy…

I call my Etsy Shop my “playground” since I wanted a venue to cheaply & easily list pieces while I get my “feet wet” into the jewelry business game again. This is where I can create pieces freely, without any pressure of sales or expectation. I take left over beads from past custom projects & think of ways to breathe new life into them by making these limited edition pieces. Sometimes I do dip into the “good” supply that I am hanging on to for future custom work, but for the most part, I enjoy pushing myself creatively to figure out what to do with the leftovers…how can I make these all look good together when originally they were not purchased to be together…

So because of this, I make little to no money on the work that goes into these. In fact, if you think of the time that goes into making the jewelry, photographing, cleaning up said photos, posting them on Etsy with descriptions, then offering free shipping…well, do the math quickly in your head…there is no money to be made…

My Etsy Shop is simply for the joy of creating; to share my talents to the world and get back into it again. It’s a way for me to have an on-line portfolio to showcase my work. It also leads to custom order requests which is where the money is to be made…Eventually, I will complete my website so that I can offer many different styles for customizing. For right now though, it’s too overwhelming of an endeavour with a toddler and another baby on the way…

OK, so that leads me to the promo. Since the pieces are final sale I wanted to make purchases of $50 or more worthwhile. It also helps me move inventory, so really, you are doing me a huge favour here…

Buy jewelry totalling $50; either by purchasing 1 piece or several, and you will get $10 off an additional item. For example…

You buy a bracelet for $29, a pair of earrings for $14, and a pair of earrings for $12. Since the sum of these equal more than $50, you decide to take advantage of the promo & get a pair of earrings that are $14…with the $10 off promo, you get the third pair of earrings for just $4.

Or, you buy a necklace for $53. You then decide to buy a bracelet for $29 because the promo entitles you to that bracelet for $19…

You get the idea? 🙂 Of course, there is always free shipping worldwide & Canadians will pay at par pricing. All this info is located in my Shop Policies section. Simply include a note in your purchase that you would like to take advantage of the promo & I will send out a revised Paypal or Alert Pay Invoice (or advise the new amountif you are paying by cheque, money order or email money transfer). Off-line sales as usual, contact me with which pieces you would like to purchase, I will unlist them & proceed as mentioned above for payment. Happy shopping!

100 Days of Creativity: Day 39

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I still felt like playing in hematite & those peacock blue fossil beads, but this time a slight variation. This piece emerged, and felt very earthy to me. I added it to my “down to earth” section of the Etsy Shop.

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Despite the earthy quality, the hematite is still very shiny, so this piece would really add to any outfit. The hematite is 10x10mm two-holed beads; the dyed fossil beads are 4mm. Find out more about this piece in its Etsy listing….

My Fellow Canadians…

I am honoured to be able to sell jewelry on Etsy & most of my sales have been to our American cousins south of the border. Canadian sales so far have come mostly from pre-existing customers who I have sold pieces off-line or through custom work.

It wasn’t too long ago, that we enjoyed for the first time in many, many years the Canadian Dollar & US Dollar being matched exchange wise almost dollar for dollar. Now we are back to that ever fluctuating market game of dollar up & down…now, shopping in the US is not so attractive for us Canadians, eh? 🙂

Since Etsy lists in US dollars, I want to give my fellow Canadians a break & offer at par pricing on my work. Therefore, if you buy a bracelet for $29 USD, and the item is going to a Canadian address, you may have the piece for $29 CAD. Simply include a message with your purchase & I will either send you a new PayPal or Alert Pay invoice to the current exchange rate that day, or advise you the amount to make your cheque, money order or email money transfer out for.

More details on my Shop Policies page. As always, shipping is always free world wide.

100 Days of Creativity: Day 38

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Um yeah…so I was doing the math today as today is exactly 34 weeks …there is no way I will make 100 days consecutively. I hope that I can at least get 100 pieces in my Etsy Shop before this baby arrives! We shall see…I’m over half way there now!

Today’s creation: I was feeling like adding more to my “eye candy” section. I just love these hematite donuts & think they look awesome with these peacock blue dyed fossil beads:

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I added quartz to the piece to amplify some good energy!

I find fossil beads really interesting. They are formed from limestone, a sedimentary rock which is formed by the skeletons of tiny marine organisms (calcium carbonate). Since limestone is so porous, it is ideal for making into beads since it will easily take on dye.  A very affordable way to add colour to my pieces.

Check out more about this piece in my shop

100 Days of Creativity: Day 37

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I”m tired tonight. Between running after my toddler I decided it was time to clean up my email. I am about ready to go cross-eyed!

I did sneak this piece in however:

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I was in a quartz mood today. Quartz is so amplifying…I think because the weather has been so mild & sunny for February in Québec I wanted to capture that good energy within the quartz. I am also partial to clear quartz (AKA rock crystal) since it is a birthstone alternative for April, my birth month. Let’s face it, we can’t always afford diamonds! 🙂

The blue quartz is formed by a process called reclaiming. That’s where they take pices of quartz and fuse it into glass to make beads. I’m all for waste not want not so I think that’s a great idea. The clear quartz is the real deal, through & through.

Check out more on this piece as well as other birthstone pieces in my Etsy Shop

100 Days of Creativity: Day 36

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I have all these fun, brightly coloured beads: dyed quartz, fossil beads, etc. When I look at the bead case, they really remind me of candy. With the sun shining coupled with unseasonably warm temperatures for this time of year, I have been motivated to make something with these yummy colours. I have started a new section in my Etsy Shop called “eye candy“.  This is the first piece I have created today. Simple yet very fun!

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The pink is a bit deeper than what you see in the photo; more like a hot pink. Find out more about today’s creation in my Etsy Shop.