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Artist Spotlight: Nana Browns by Nicole Lulchak

Custom Insulated Lunch Bags by Nana Browns

I discovered Nicole’s Etsy shop back when my now 5 and 6 year old were baby & toddler, while searching for the perfect light weight sun hat. I was so impressed by her design aesthetic as well as fun & stylish fabrics. Soon came diaper holders and the life saving wet bags; all have proven invaluable over the years even now with my girls being 2.5, 5 & 6. In fact I am over due for a new purchase, I think I may have to get a crayon holder or two, as I can attest to Nana Browns durability and innovative design. Best of all: handmade in Canada!

Nana Browns sun hat circa 2010
Nana Browns sun hat circa 2010

how long have you been creating with fabric?

I have been designing and sewing for at least 20 years. It is my favourite form of creative expression and it always makes me feel connected to the women that have shared their knowledge with me over the years.

waterproof zippered wet bag by Nana Browns
waterproof zippered wet bag by Nana Browns

what made you start creating with fabric?

Probably my grandmothers were the biggest influence. They were always sewing something when I was growing up. Quilts, doll clothes, special dresses – anything that they could imagine. I loved everything that they made and wanted to know how to make things of my own.

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crayon wallet by Nana Browns

what inspires your designs? 

My daughter is my biggest inspiration. She is 7 and her imagination is boundless. She does not believe in “can’t” so if she can imagine it she figures that mom can make it for her.

I am also inspired by the world around me. Colours, textures, the shades and depth in a sunrise or sunset …….

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baby bib technicolor mushrooms by Nana Browns

What are your favorite pieces to make/creations you have made? 

I LOVE to make things for my daughter. She is still so thrilled and excited that her Mom made it for her and the pieces I make quickly become her favourites.

I also like to make quilts. They are practical, but can be very beautiful and multi-dimensional depending on the pattern and fabrics used. When I see a quilt it feels like I am making something useful and lasting. I make several quilts every year and donate them to a local hospital for them to use as a fundraiser and I also donate fabric and supplies to a local quilting group that makes quilts for other local charities.

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burp cloth bright floral by Nana Brown’s

Where do you sell your work?

I sell my work locally at markets and by word of mouth. I also have a shop on Etsy:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/nanabrowns

Organic Cotton Flannel Nursing Pads by Nana Browns

Do you accept custom work?

Yes I do accept custom work. I have a lot of fun working with clients to make something wonderful just for them

lavender sachets by Nana Browns
lavender sachets by Nana Browns

Don’t forget to check out Nana Browns on Etsy, or if you are local to Red Deer keep an eye out for her at local markets & shows.

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Are you an artist inspired? I’m looking to share your story here and in my monthly newsletter. Inspire me; inspire others! E-mail me or leave a comment below to be considered. All you need is an online presence (blog, website, Etsy shop, etc.) so that the international audience the internet attracts can get to know you & your product better. This is my contribution to the handmade/artist community, & I am honored to do so! Look forward to hearing from you…

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Artist Inspired: Keepsake Necklace Featuring N Valentine Studio

Last week,  I received a real gem in the mail. Not a precious stone per se, but a handmade keepsake that means the world to me.

This is one of Nicole Valentine-Rimmer‘s (of NValentineStudio) keepsake lampwork beads: and inside contains two locks of hair – each from both my girls’  first hair cuts.

I was so amazed when I received it – I had sent her the locks of hair and was astounded at how she got it inside the bead – and so neatly displayed as well! So my task at hand was – what to design along with it? The bead on its own is a true focal and I didn’t want to attract too much attention away from it. In fact I put it on a sterling silver chain and declared: done! 🙂 But what could I do to make this more special to me, as I wear it on a regular basis?

So I started forming this idea for an asymmetrical style necklace which contained an engraved sterling silver heart pendant (as I am working toward developing a customized engraved line) and a sterling silver word bead. I didn’t want a lot to detract away from Nicole’s keepsake bead – and something asymmetrical to me would still allow the bead itself to be the focal point.

I will have to admit – this was not an easy necklace to photograph. The glass of the bead reflected the light and camera – and I buffed the pendant on my polishing lathe to a high shine so – finger prints – as much as I tried to remove them at set up, would be glaringly obvious, and looked like scratches in the photos. After some fiddling with lights and camera position, here’s what we have:

I engraved my girls’ names on the heart blank – and added a word bead: “inspire” – because I am dedicated to living an inspired life and my children certainly inspire me. I also wanted the word as a reminder to always inspire them.

The word bead is stamped on both sides so regardless of which way you wear it or if the bead flips around it will always say “inspire”. So I needed to engrave something on the back of the heart pendant. I decided to go with a mother and child symbol – a mother holding baby in arms.

When I engraved the symbol – I would have liked it to be one maybe two sizes larger to fill up the pendant more. So I had this idea to adhere Swarovski flatbacks in our birthstone colours to help fill up the space. The larger one on the left is mine: for April – diamond, the girls (September and March – Aquamarine & Sapphire ) on the left.

I’m not sure how I feel about the Swarovski flatbacks. They certainly look nice on the necklace as I wear it, but it is hard to remove finger print smudges around them. One good thing is that they bond really well to the metal. I put them through a bit of abuse this weekend to see if I could get them to fall off – suffice it to say unless I plan on soaking the pendant in acetone, they should stay put. 🙂

I’ve been wearing this necklace all day, and will probably wear it almost everyday! What makes it so special to me, is the keepsake bead.

Nicole has been making beads at her home studio in Victoria, British Columbia for almost 6 years; 2 years full time. Besides making lampwork beads she is  also a metalsmith &  does some viking knit and byzantine. She also teaches her craft, developing a class specifically for silversmithing for lampworkers.

She is inspired by the wilderness, her animals, and  color. “I love color the brighter the better right now.” On her inspiration for the keepsake beads, she says, “I’ve been wanting to offer something unique as a keepsake for a while. We lost a horse last year and I was trying to think of a way to have a memory of him. Hence the filled beads were inspired.”

Check out more of Nicole’s work  by visiting NValetintineStudio on Etsy and her blog.

It is my hope that we can collaborate on this piece together and it is my plan to offer it for sale on my website.  I want to be able to allow the customer to choose either just the bead or add my elements to it as well. Of course, you can also buy the bead direct from Nicole as well! Whatever you decide, it is sure to be cherished for years to come.

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Etsy’s Treasury East: New Feature

I got a convo from a fellow Etsian that I am featured in her curated Treasury East. This is the first time I have been included in one, therefore my first time to give it a test drive. I’ve not had the time to curate one myself as of yet, unfortunately.

Treasury East has been rather controversial with the Etsy community. With Treasury Main and Treasury West, you would have to wait for the full treasury to “open up” – when the current treasuries expire – and hope to grab one before they fill up. The treasuries fill up in seconds, and if you are the lucky one to grab one and curate, it is a fun and important marketing tool for many Etsy Users.

The difference with Treasury East, is that they never expire, and comments and the number of treasuries curated will be infinite. This left a lot of Etsy users wondering how they will become relevant regarding promotion and marketing: how will potential buyers see the treasuries and wade through the hundreds – if not thousands of treasuries?

Treasury East is still in the testing stage so these questions will hopefully be answered in the coming weeks. I do see some pros to the new format: you don’t have to wait around for one, and the never expiring element means that you can share it on social network or you blog and it will always be visible. The new format is also larger and cleaner looking. “Hotness” is gained not just by clicking and commenting as before, but gained through promoting outside Etsy, using social networking tools such as Twitter and Facebook.

I don’t know when or if I will curate a Treasury East. But I thank you, riorita for including my turquoise chip earrings! 🙂

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Jewelry Inspired: Sparkly Reconstituted Smoky Quartz…

Expanding on yesterday’s post, that lately I have been working with colour themes, I now introduce you to one day’s project: fun with reconstituted smoky quartz. Essentially, these are glass beads that contain particles of smoky quartz. So yes, they are “just” glass but are they ever so pretty! I don’t purchase a lot of glass anymore but when I saw how these faceted beads danced under the lights I had to have them. They are a nice size too – 12mm, so they really make a statement.

Initially, I set out to make one of my signature chunky bracelets. However, as the piece evolved it became clear that it laid better across the neckline than on the wrist. And so, voilà – this piece was born:

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Unfortunately, my photography skills do not do it justice. It looks and feels like a million bucks on. This is probably due to the heavy sterling silver dot dash chain, as well as the 22 gauge sterling silver wire each bead is affixed on the chain with. I also made sure to make it adjustable length wise so that it could be worn in different ways: choker style or longer. I love how it looks and feels on –

I was really, really tempted to keep it for my own personal collection!

If you can imagine, this was a fairly labour intensive project, so I finished up my adventures in sparkly amber coloured bead land with two elegant and tasteful pairs of earrings:

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ELE099 (1)

ELE099 (5)

That was fun! I am really hoping to find time to do more projects like this!

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Jewelry Inspired: Aqua Blues…

So the other day I had the opportunity to have an adventure in sea blue – or aqua blue as these particular beads are properly called. I currently have dyed quartz and fiber optic cat’s eye beads in aqua blue. I have beads of all colours of the rainbow in the cabinet…so I love to get requests for specific colours to work with esp. if it is one I have not touched in awhile. I mean really, do I need an excuse to get creative? Twist my rubber arm…

Check out these dyed faceted quartz beads paired with sterling silver hoops. I tell you, the pictures do not do these babies justice: so pretty and sparkly!

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I also have many round 4mm dyed quartz beads. Kind of boring, you know? So I had this idea to wrap them around some memory wire  – the bracelet size – with 24ga sterling silver wire to make a fun & funky hoop earring. I have not worked in memory wire in a long time, & due to the success of this experiment I think I will be doing more projects using memory wire in this way. I can also see making some cool pendants & such as well, not just earrings!

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The hoops face back-to-front when you wear them – just like a normal pair of hoop earrings. I decided to put them on sterling silver French ear hooks (earwires) for comfort.

Finally, I really love the look of this hue of blue with white, so I wanted to make a dangly pair coupled with a freshwater pearl accent…and here you have it: 4mm dyed quartz, fiber optic cat’s eye beads and 5mm frewshwater pearls on sterling silver:

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It was really fun to work with this colour amongst all the Fall colours here in Québec…really makes me long for white sandy beaches and turquoise seas! 🙂

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SATeam Wrist Candy Holiday Giveaway!

See this charm bracelet…

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Want to win it?

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This bracelet is the collaborative effort of members of the SATeam – Starving (Jewelry) Artists Team on Etsy. You can see my own pewter/sterling  silver and Swarovski angel charm poking out at the bottom left in the top photo.

Basically, for every item purchased at participating shops, you get an entry to win this beauty. We can’t even start to guess what kind of price tag to put on this. We’re talking high quality handmade charms from fellow artists.

You can check out each shop to see more savings and deals. The list of participating Etsy Shops can be found here:

http://starvingartiststeam.blogspot.com/2009/10/sateam-wrist-candy-holiday-giveway.html

Take note as per the above post you can enter this contest without purchasing. Simply follow the directions indicated on the starving artists blog. 🙂

You can also do a search on Etsy for “SATEAMWRIST”. This will bring up the available items for sale in all participating shops.

The sale is running starting today, October 26, 2009 to December 6th, 2009.

Good luck!! I can’t wait to see who wins!!

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Jewelry Inspired: Fire Agate in Sterling Silver ~ Finding Creativity Again…

I sold my “Day of the Dead” earrings,  so I wanted to make something in replacement. I was drawn toward these faceted fire agate beads that I picked up at a Gem & Mineral Show this summer. Not exactly falling into the category of, “leftovers” but  I have been jonesing for some true creativity & inspiration lately, so I’ll take it wherever it appears!! 🙂

This always happens when I go away. While on vacation, my mind is turned on. I get lots of ideas for marketing, photography backgrounds…what I would like to make and designs…however when I sit back down at the bench my head and hands just don’t seem to be communicating. What we got here is (a) failure…to communicate… 😉

So earlier this week I sat down with the beads and some sterling silver wire. I knew that I wanted them wire wrapped, that I wanted them to be somewhat free formed and more rugged/edgy than elegant, certainly not  “perfect” – but would have a universal appeal and style. I tried a heavy gauge square wire. Then a  heavy gauge round wire. Both attempts ended up in the scrap pile. I found myself digging out the bead caps and making a simple yet beautiful pair of fire agate earrings…

The only problem is, it nagged me all night and into the morning. It’s not what I wanted to do – at all! Although they looked great it wasn’t what I was going for. So out came the nippers and cut cut cut…I dismantled them. I could have gotten two more beads out of the stash but – these were the ones I wanted to work with. So with determination I sat down again. This time with a 20 gauge round sterling wire. I was amazed at how fast and easy these worked up:

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These earrings were such a joy to make. They were truly meant to be. They also reminded me to never give up – and to never settle. The creativity will come back…it always does… 🙂

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Artist Inspired: Double Duty Diaper Buddy – Diaper Bag and Change Pad by Nana Brown’s

Sometimes I am totally inspired by a handmade item not just for its beauty-artistic appeal but for it’s practical-artistic appeal. So is the case with the Double Duty Diaper Buddies by Nicole Lulchak of Nana Browns.

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I discovered this fellow Canadian’s  Etsy Shop a few months ago, upon preparing for summer with essentially two babies. I was actually drawn in by her adorable sun hats which I ordered (they are totally cute too!). Then while browsing her shop thought I would try the diaper buddy as well. I was immediately impressed at the craftsmanship and by the versatility of the item. It held diapers for both my girls plus was the perfect change pad while on the go (and we have certainly been on the go A LOT this past summer!).

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When I inquired as to how she came up with the diaper buddy, Nicole replies:

“The inspiration behind the Diaper Buddy was truly necessity. We were going on a vacation to Arizona and Mexico and I was trying to find ways to make the diaper bag lighter, while still carrying everything that we needed. I also wanted to be able to just grab the things needed for a quick diaper change and leave the big bag behind. The criterion was lighter, functional and stylish and after some tinkering with the pattern and different fabrics the Diaper Buddy was born. We tested it out everywhere we went on our vacation, it was fabulous, and I got all kinds of feedback from people who saw us using it and wanted to get their own. Mine travels everywhere we go and it really is great to just be able to grab it and go if we need to.”

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Nicole has been designing and sewing for approximately 20 years.

“…not quite longer than I can remember, but a lot of years. I think I made my first piece, a patchwork pillow, on my Mother’s sewing machine when I was about 10 or 11.

“I have a large collection of fabric and patterns, both new and vintage and really enjoy designing new pieces from all the ideas in my head. Both my Grandmothers were avid sewers and I learned a lot from them. One of my favorite patterns is a hand drawn quilt pattern that came from my Grandmother on my father’s side. I use it often and it always reminds me of her.

“I have had a lot of fun since I set up shop on Etsy about a year and a half ago. It has been really incredible to send my pieces to people all over the world and know that they enjoy them. I have really enjoyed the opportunity to make more custom pieces for people as well.”

Nicole is inspired by colours and textures, and also finds her daughter is a great source for inspiration. Necessity will drive the creativity as well, and as a busy mom myself, I can totally relate! She also finds that her creativity & tactile nature motivates her to find inspiration in most things.

“I am a very tactile person – I love to wander through a shop and touch and feel the things that catch my eye. My husband always says it takes twice as long to shop with me because I have to stop and touch everything!”

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Artist Inspired: Mother and Child Pendant by Dianne Karg Baron

When I joined the Starving (Jewelry) Artists Etsy Street Team last year, one artist that caught my attention right away was Dianne Karg Baron. Her wire work is absolutely perfect: the attention to detail & craftsmanship is second to none & the designs truly inspire me. I knew that I had to have an example of her work featured here for future reference. Although there are several other pieces that are far more intricate, I was totally drawn to this pendant entitled: Mother & Child.

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I chalked up my intense interest in this pendant as the result of being a young mother, having given birth twice in an 18 month period. Then Dianne shared the background on this design, and it was then that  I understood why this particular piece held such a powerful energy:

“…And sometimes, the inspiration for a piece comes from an episode in my own life. In the case of “Mother and Child”, it was a miscarriage. Back in May, I discovered I was pregnant. It was a surprise pregnancy – completely unexpected. On the Monday I took the test, had a positive result. On Wednesday I went to my family doctor to get the process of finding an OB started and to schedule an ultrasound. On Thursday I started bleeding… After a couple of hours of sitting in Emergency, I had some tests and was sent home with the advice to come back if it got heavier. On Saturday, I started cramping severely, went back to Emergency and miscarried while waiting for a second set of test results.

It all happened so fast that I barely had time to wrap my head around the idea. Originally, I had planned on delaying doing the pregnancy test until Thursday, and then got impatient. It occurred to me that if I had followed through on the original plan, I would have never known I was pregnant.

I knew the chances of going full term were slim: I have underlying health issues that would have made for a very difficult pregnancy. So, the miscarriage wasn’t a surprise, but I was still sad. More than anything, it made me wish I’d met my husband 10 years earlier.

I’m of the opinion that every pregnancy is a soul connection between the mother and the child. That connection continues regardless if the pregnancy is terminated, miscarried or goes full term. Part of my grieving process has been to think in terms of still being “Mommy” to an angel who didn’t quite make it to Earth.

The pendant is my expression of that soul connection: it clearly shows the baby growing safe and secure in its mother’s belly. The foetus is abstract, and to my view, also looks a little like an angel wing. So my hope is that it works on both levels: celebrating the ones who join us, and remembering the ones who are growing up on the other side.”

When I received this background on the pendant, I found myself welling up with tears. I wanted it to remain in Dianne’s words rather than edited as I am sure many women will be touched and even comforted by her story. This piece is a true testament of how we can use our creative abilities to heal & inspire others.

Dianne has been making and designing jewelry for almost 15 years. She finds her inspiration from art, from architecture, from nature, from history – and of course, from personal experience. See more of Dianne’s work, including tutorials, at her Etsy Shop & visit her website.

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Artist Inspired: Not-so-delicate Delica Ring – Gold Bling by Maked

I come across the most wonderful handmade work & it pushes me to keep creating and keep evolving. So I thought it would be nice to have a section on my blog just for work that moves me, influences me & speaks to me. I also wanted to get background on certain pieces. How and why were they made, what inspired the particular piece & the artist. This will be a place for me to refer back to especially when I need some extra inspiration, as well as share it with all of you & give these talented artists some recognition!

The first piece I wanted to share is this delica beaded ring by Lisa Brideau of Maked. I have always admired her skill to make such beautiful items out of seed beads (something I have tried my hand at but I just don’t have the patience or the vision!!). These rings not only look great on, but are comfortable to wear!

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Lisa started beading in Jr. High after her mom gave her a cheap plastic bead loom. She took to it instantly, and so started an obsession with seed beads. The beadwork was shelved while Lisa attended university, but soon after she picked up the hobby again, this time discovering delica beads.

“I’ve been making the delica rings in particular since the 2nd year of my graduate program (a few years ago now) – I needed a small, portable project to do during my law class – not because I was bored but because I didn’t have to take notes so my hands were restless. My classmates loved them and they became a staple of my beadwork.”

These rings are great for those of us with busy hands. Says Lisa: “I love the way they feel – when I need something to fiddle with, I can take my ring off and squish it. Weird, but satisfying. There’s something lovely about the texture of woven beads. It’s also very pleasant feeling the perfect delica beads lock into place one by one as I stitch the ring.”

Although the delica rings give her a nice break from the long, involved & intricate work she normally does, larger projects are more to her liking.  Check out her most involved beadwork project to date. She had to build a loom big enough to create it on:

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My Black Cat Anklet featured on The Grand Design Blog

I am honoured that CJ Grand of  The Grand Design chose my black cat anklet as today’s Handmade Tweet on her blog. She has some absolulely stunning work featured from many different artistic mediums. Go check it out & get inspired (and drooling!).

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heavenly flower Featured as Shop of the Week Bejeweled’s Jewelry

Thank you Lisa Holley for featuring my Etsy Shop as the shop of the week!!

Bejeweled’s Jewelry: All My Friends on Etsy

(on a side note, I should be back to blogging shortly. I got side tracked with web design & a new venture hopefully launching shortly there after…so many ideas, so little time…)

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Weekend Promos for the SATeam

I have been so neglectful of the blog as of late; I hope to rectify that soon now that a smooth rhythm seems to be in place now with my little girlies. To think Ava is 2 months old already! Anyway, my fabulous Etsy Team, the Starving (Jewelry) Artists are doing a promo this weekend. I unfortunately cannot participate but check out our team blog to see what my teammates have to offer. But as usual, my shop always offers free shipping worldwide, at par pricing for Canadians, and additional discounts on more jewelry if you buy $50 or more. Check out my shop for more info..oh and we have a shop chain going now, so you can easily click through participating SATeam shops. You’ll see it on my Etsy Intro!

I feel like the shop is really lacking right now, I’ve been trying to find time to make new shiny things all week however organizing the house has been occupying my thoughts/time. When it hasn’t been done in over two months…I feel like I cannot think with clutter looming!

OH! I am really excited about the new Artfire layout; that I am able to customize my Artfre Studio to match all my business branding. Now, there is a lacking shop! Hopefully the lazy days of summer will mean more beautiful things made and therefore listed on Artfire, too. Not to mention the badly needed website I need to do! *cringe* It never ends!

I’m going to start featuring other artists/crafters here as well, so if you’d like to be featured, be sure to follow me on Twitter so I can get to know your work. If something catches my eye I will be in touch! I have a few of you in mind already… 🙂

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Update on this Weekend’s Sale

So the Starving (Jewelry) Artists sale on Etsy starts this Friday (April 24th) at 4pm EST. The promo is free shipping from the participating shops. I am looking into giving away a free gift or additional discount for my customers as well since my shop always offers free shipping worldwide. Remember Canadians, I offer at par pricing to the US dollar amount. So if you see something you like for $20 USD I’ll sell it to you in Canada for $20 CAD. Plus free shipping. Good deal! Check out or team blog for participating members: SATEAM on ETSY

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SATEAM Mother’s Day Sale on Etsy this weekend…

Okay so, I am typing this half in the dark with a newborn laying on my chest…bare with me…but I am excuted to announce that SATEAM on Etsy is having our first ever sale! Details to follow…all participating shops will be offering free shipping. I’ll post updates as I have them or go to SATEAM on Etsy for more info…start time is looking like 4pm PST on Friday the 24th of April.

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100 Days of Creativity: Day 78

I feel like I am on auto pilot today, yet I was still able to put together this turquoise bracelet. I do love turquoise. I never seem to tire of it.It always looks great with silver…

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I do apologize that these posts are getting shorter & shorter. I twisted my back putting my daughter to bed last night so I am trying to not stay in the same position for very long. Happy creating!

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100 Days of Creativity: Day 73

I am in such a good mood today – spring is definitely in the air!  So nice to know the equinox is tomorrow!  Today I was distracted by the sun, but was able to complete a custom order with hematite and moonstone, list it, sell it and ship it off. After that there was only time for yet another simple pair of earrings, so out came the turquoise again. The stone faired well for my mood yesterday, so I figured I’d keep that going today. I was hesitant about this one because it is featuring small turquoise chips; the average size is 3.5mm, and some are flatter than that. But I am really happy with the results. I’d definitely wear them and I don’t make anything I wouldn’t wear myself. 🙂

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Because chips are affordable, these are listed at only $12 – and as always, free shipping. There is still sun shining thanks to daylight savings time so I am going to enjoy before dinner.

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100 Days of Creativity: Day 72

I finally am starting to feel like myself again. I think a lot of contemplation and some nice weather really helped. I only had time to make one pair of earrings today. Turquoise is such a spiritual stone I wanted to use it in a piece today; but with limited time it had to be something simple:

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These are turquoise nuggets on 30mm sterling silver hoops. Turquoise is said to be balancing; connects us with all life; is generally healing; helps us attain honest communication; increase serenity; give us meditation energy, positive thinking, protection, sensitivity, strength, and wisdom. All things, I so needed today. I feel like I am getting there…

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100 Days of Creativity: Day 66

Thank you daylight savings time…I didn’t think I would be able to post my thing for today since I was out. I didn’t get anything created all day. But, I was able to put together these simple & affordable earrings at 5pm right before supper. Thanks to the extended daylight, I even got photos.

I put these earrings in my Etsy Shop & not my Artfire Studio as I had another sale today dipping my inventory below 100. I wanted to add a couple more affordable pieces, & these chip bead hoops seem to be quite popular:

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The first pair are snowflake obsidian chips. The second is crazy lace agate…I always loved the name of that stone. 🙂 Affordable at $12 & free shipping. In this economy, I can see why simple & affordable would be attractive to customers.

Hopefully I will be home tomorrow as I would like to make something a bit more intricate. But, since I can’t sit for very long comfortably I’m not sure I can swing that anyway…

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100 Days of Creativity: Day 65

I had a really, really good day today. I could get used to this leisurely living. Only, looking at the toilet & the pile of laundry I realize I have to do a bit of housework tomorrow. The other good thing, is this extended daytime means I was still able to make a piece today for my 100 Days of Creativity & photograph it since I made it right before dinner! I sold another pair of earrings today so I listed this bracelet in my Etsy Shop since I want to try & keep 100 listings there if possible:

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Made completely out of coffee brown fiber optic cat’s eye beads & accented in lead free pewter bead caps. There is also sterling silver daisy spacers. I strung it on a heavy guage sterling silver wire: 20 gauge to be exact. I wanted it to be very solid & it is just that! It reminds me of a bangle in some ways. It’s 7.5 inches, & since it is quite solid, would look fab on a smaller wrist too hanging lower like a bangle…

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100 Days of Creativity: Day 57

Well, I did it. By the skin of my teeth I did it…I now have 100 things in my Etsy Shop for sale. I am really tired & brain dead…it is hard to focus after being kept up last night with contractions. I will continue tomorrow with my 100 days provided that I feel up to doing it. Tonight I am just finding it hard to concentrate…

So here’s what rounded out the items available in my shop:

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I’ve been doing a lot with the black carnelian beads lately, & really wanted to play with typical carnelian. So I cheated & dipped into the “premium” supplies, which I usually only use for custom orders, to make this pretty bracelet. Carnelian is the traditional birthstone for August.  These 6mm faceted beads are accented by sterling silver.

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This bracelet was the challenge for the day: how to use up these 7mm lantern hematite beads. I paired it with 6mm tiger’s eye for a very earthy piece.

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I figure you can’t go wrong with pearls. These 9mm freshwater pearls are very special to me since they are from the Philippines. A classy yet interesting pair of earrings mixing the dangle style with the hoop style.

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For my final piece, I couldn’t help but get into those 10mm faceted black carnelian beads again. I really like how these earrings turned out coupled with the 7mm pewter beads. Tempting to keep for myself… 🙂

So, if it turns out I can keep up with the 100 Days of creativity, I will be putting any new work in my empty Artfire Studio. Don’t worry, regardless you’ll still be hearing from me…!

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100 Days of Creativity: Day 56

I am happy to report that I was able to make another 3 pieces today…bringing me pretty close to my goal of 100 pieces in my Etsy Shop. Here’s what I came up with:

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I only had a handful of these pretty jade beads left, & they are very special to me as they were purchased during a trip to India a good friend of mine took. So I came up with this bracelet, and then a matching pair of earrings with the final last two beads. These 9mm beads are really pretty, I hope these pieces go to a loving home. 🙂 Jade is also the mystical stone for those born in the month of March so it was very appropriate to make these pieces & list them this month.

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The third piece, a bracelet, is comprised of 10mm denim fossil beads. I love these beads as they are a blue/black mottled colour that really do live up to their name. I wanted to make a versatile piece as usual, that will go with many outfits. I already had a pair of earrings listed, so a matching bracelet seemed like a natural choice.

I can;t wait for tomorrow & see if I can break the 100 item mark in my Etsy Shop! 🙂

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100 Days of Creativity: Day 55

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…

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100 Days of Creativity: Day 54

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.

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100 Days of Creativity: Day 53

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