Monday, March 2, 2009

Got the creative bug back!

I have opened an ArtFire shop! Here, I am showcasing my 'Signature Collection' as well as my newest and best creations. Please check it out at Interested in joining a neato community like ArtFire? Click here!

Moving on to my newest creations, all finished within the past week. The first is a necklace made from Azurite and Malachite combined with copper chain. It really has an earthy feel, reminds me of looking at the Earth from space. It's a longer necklace at 23 inches, and totally cute and casual!

Next, I took a filigree butterfly and cut it in half, preserving the wings. I then wired black tourmaline rounds to the wings to make a body on each half. These have to be my favorite earrings to date! I love flutterbies!

My latest project was just finished on Saturday. I took a beautiful green piece of beach glass that Diane of MyGemStoneBox sent me from Rhode Island and finally learned how to cage it to make a beautiful pendant! I used square copper wire to cage it, and hung it from a length of brown leather cord. The cord is adjustable to make a long or short necklace. Turned out just darling!

Lets hope the creative bug keeps going for me! })i({

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I've been featured on Found-Handmade!

Just received an email late this afternoon that Found-Handmade, a wonderful blog that finds handmade items to showcase. I have been selected to be featured! Isn't that fantastic news? I can use all the exposure I can get!

Visit my selection of featured items from my ArtFire shop! Visit to see the yummy goodies and also to leave a comment pretty pretty please! })i({

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Winner of One World One Heart Giveaway

I have a winner in my OWOH giveaway!

I used a random number generator at to select my winner for this year's giveaway. Join me in congratulating #206, Lilly from Sampa, Brazil as the lucky gal to win my earrings! Yay!

View Lilly's profile at to find out a bit about her.

I thank everyone for leaving a comment, I had 251 comments left for me, and I got to see all sorts of neato blogs! This is a wonderful opportunity to mix and mingle with bloggers from all over the world, and I look forward to doing this again next year! })i({

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Meet Dani Garcia of DG Designs!

Dani, one of my dear friends and a fellow eSMArts member, allowed me to find out a bit about her! Read on to see what she has to say about jewelry, selling, and life in general!
"Welcome. My name is Danis Garcia and I am in independent jewelry
artisan living inthe Texas Hill Country just outside of San Antonio.
I started making jewelry years ago, mostly for myself and
family/friends but it blossomed into a full time love of creating
after my 4 children were grown and doing their own thing.

I also love creating that one truly unique element for some of my
jewelry designs by custom wrapping stones, shells and other materials
with sterling silver, copper or gold filled wire as well other handmade
findings. You can find some of my work online at

I am also a retail/wholesale jewelry supplier with a huge show show
schedule that covers most of Texas. My online store for jewelry supply

Currently I am learning to make pendants and other elements in glass
and precious metal clay.

Visit my blog,, and read a little more
about me and take a peek at some of the things happening in my life."

Dani works with her daughter, Toni Garcia and they are the best of friends.
She is hopelessly in love with her husband Henry, and they celebrated 25
years of marriage this past December.
She has three grandkids, Jeremiah, Christopher and Kendal Marie.
She is a member of the San Antonio Bead Society, eSMArts social marketing
team, Texas Artisan Promotions, and SRAJD.
She strongly believe in the concepts of paying it forward and bartering.
Justice is dealt with by the Karma Police.

Thank you Dani for the great interview! })i({

20% OFF all items in my Etsy shop!

I'm now having a 20% OFF sale in my Etsy shop for ALL items! Please go to for details and to shop your hearts out!

Please please wait for a revised invoice before paying with PayPal. This will make things much easier for everyone! Otherwise you will get a PayPal refund. ;)

Enjoy shopping, and remember, do your part for the economy and my food fund! })i({

Monday, February 9, 2009

And the winner is...

I have the winner of the Team Challenge for January! Our favorite design is Joyce Bevil's 'Daisies and Lace' dress with a total of 4 votes! Second place goes to Jill Milan's anklet, and 3 people tied for 3rd: myself with my 'First Flower of Spring' choker, Wilma Travis's 'Spring Pinks and Greens' bracelet, and Anna Lee Husband's 'Springtime Imagery Study' earrings.

The theme for this challenge was 'Springtime Pastels' and we had many truly fantastic designs entered!

All entries are beautiful and here's a list of those who participated and their designs:

Jamie's First Flower of Spring Choker
Elayne's Groovy Spring Flowers Bracelet
Wilma's Spring Pinks and Greens Bracelet
Diane's Candy and Pearls Necklace
Jann's I Love Pink Set
Lois's Carnelian Carnival Necklace
Jamie's Springtime Branches Choker
Anna Lee's Springtime Imagery Study Earrings
Jill's Entry Anklet
Wezz's The Mermaid's Blues Necklace
Joyce's Tulip Garden Dress
Joyce's Pastels for Spring Dress
Joyce's Daisies and Lace Dress
Theresa's Garden Trellis Bracelet
Joella's Spring is Sprung Bracelet
Heather's Think Pink Bracelet
Van's Turtle Medicine Wheel Goard

If you want to see these designs for yourself, please visit my Picasa site at and look for the January Team Challenge 09 album! })i({

Monday, February 2, 2009

New listing on my Etsy shop! Also made a sale!

I listed a new item in my Etsy shop this morning, my first January Challenge entry for the eSMArts team! Please check it out at and let me know what you think of it! I tried something different for this design, and I think I like it, the more I look at it. Stepping out of your comfort zone is difficult for sure!

The listing has already been picked up by CheapTweet. If you want to vote for it, go here and click on the 'Cheap!' button!

On another positive note, I woke up this morning to a sale! My Monet Bling Ring is packaged carefully in its envelope and waiting to be mailed to MA this afternoon! Woohoo!!!

My friend and fellow teammate Wilma has been chosen for an Etsy treasury! Check out the treasury here and check out all the cool 'Aquafied' items, including Whimsey's 'Swirling Seas' lampwork beads. They are gorgeous and I want them bad!!!

Enjoy the eye candy and let me know what you think! })i({

Saturday, January 31, 2009

One World One Heart Blog Giveaway Event


The One World One Heart blog giveaway event is a chance for bloggers from all over to meet, mix, and mingle. We have the chance of a lifetime to interact with bloggers that we would never ordinarily meet! It also gives us the opportunity to win prizes from each other!!! I love prizes! Why don't you hop aboard the Love Train?

I have decided, rather at the last minute, that I am going to participate in the 'One World One Heart' blog giveaway. For those who don't know how it works, I am donating an item to the event. Leave me a comment, being sure to give me a link to your blog or your email address in the comment so I can contact you if you're my winner! You have until Thursday, February 11th at 11:59pm CST to leave a comment here with the requested info in order to enter the drawing. I will then use a random number generator to choose the winner!

My entry this year is a lovely pair of large silver-plated Czech pressed glass wire-wrapped hoop earrings. They measure 2 1/4 inches or 5.6 cm in diameter. Good luck and I look forward to
meeting tons of new bloggers! })i({

I'm a new member of SRAJD

An exciting announcement!!! I have been accepted into SRAJD, or the group Self-Representing Artist Jewelry Designers.

This is such a great opportunity to mix and mingle with some of the world's best jewelry artists and really get my name out in the jewelry community! I'm looking forward to seeing all I can do for this group and what they can do for me.

If you're interested in applying for membership, please click here. })i({

Thursday, January 29, 2009

My Lemonade Award

I received the Lemonade Award from Elayne of ChezChani, one of my fellow eSMArties and a wonderful person. Thank you for thinking of me, you have really brightened my day!

The Lemonade Award is awarded to sites that show a positive attitude and gratitude.

Here are the rules for the award:
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.

I choose these bloggers to win the Lemonade Award:
1. Susan of Perfectly Twisted
2. Anna Lee of SassyDLite and GaHooleTree
3. Dani of DG Designs
4. Diane of MyGemStoneBox
5. Teri of S&T Creations
6. Lois of A Beaded Affair
7. Margot Potter of The Impatient Crafter
8. Wezz of Cyberwezz
9. Van of Coastal Artist
10. Perri of Shaktipaj Designs

Have fun with this! I could nominate 20 more, but alas, it's in the rules...LOL! })i({

Monday, January 19, 2009

Etsy Teams Newsletter

I am way behind in writing blogs, but as usual, I do several at the same time. Sorry folks, so much to write about, so little time!

Our Etsy street team eSMArts has a mention in the last issue of the Etsy Teams Newsletter! Woohoo!

I wrote the following post for the newsletter, and although it came out a week late it still helps promote us as a whole!

Read on...

'"eSMArts January Happenings

eSMArts is hard at work for the New Year! There is a fantastic January Challenge in the works with a theme of pretty pastels, just in time for spring. eSMArts members are asked to work with pretty spring colors and fix up a wonderful project (or two) for the team to vote on at the end of the month. Maybe this will brighten up those dreary winter months!

eSMArts is also working hard to fill up the team etsy shop with a contest! Team members are listing inexpensive items (around $20 or less) through the end of this week and then doing a Twitter/blog blast to encourage customers to send a direct twitter message or blog comment. Customers who do so will be entered into a drawing to win a $10 eSMArts gift certificate compliments of Lois Linquist (A Beaded Affair)!"'

Yay to us!!! })i({

You Touch It, You Buy It Study

Coming across Yahoo! News last Friday was a very interesting article, titled "Study: You Touch It, You Buy It". It's written by Andrea Thompson from

I am copying the article here, with proper credits given to its author and such! Read on...

"'You've heard of "you break it, you buy it," but what about "you touch it, you buy it?"

A new study suggests that just fingering an item on a store shelf can create an attachment that makes you willing to pay more for it. Previous studies have shown that many people begin to feel ownership of an item - that it "is theirs" - before they even buy it. But this study, conducted by researchers at Ohio State University, is the first to show "mine, mine, mine" feelings can begin in as little as 30 seconds after first touching the object.

Participants in the study were shown an inexpensive coffee mug, and were allowed to hold it either for 10 seconds or 30 seconds. They were then allowed to bid for the mug in either a closed (where bids could not be seen) or open (where they could be seen) auction. The participants were told the retail value of the mug before bidding began ($3.95 in the closed auction; $4.95 in the open auction).

The study, detailed in the August 2008 issue of the journal Judgment and D
ecision Making, found that on average, people who held the mug for longer bid more for it - $3.91 to $2.44 in the case of the open auction and $3.07 to $2.24 in the closed. In fact, people who held the mug for 30 seconds bid more than the retail price four out of seven times.

"The amazing part of this study is that people can become almost immediately attached to something as insignificant as a mug," said study leader James Wolf, who began the work while he was a graduate student at Ohio State. "By simply touching the mug and feeling it in their hands, many people begin to feel like the mug is, in fact, their mug. Once they begin to feel it is theirs, they are willing to go to greater lengths to keep it."

Retailers have been using the try-then-buy tactic for years, said Wolf, who is now an assistant professor of information systems at Illinois State University. For example, car dealers routinely send prospective buyers out on test drives, and pet shop owners encourage people to play with the puppies in the window.

Understanding the attachment this tactic can create could make consumers aware of their own susceptibility, Wolf said.

When testing out new cars, for example, and "going in there knowing that you are going to feel like raising your price, maybe you can be better prepared not to make a hasty purchase that you'll regret later on," he said.

The study was funded by Ohio State's Jensen-Wallin-Young Fund and by Illinois State's Caterpillar Scholars Fund."'

Click HERE for the original article! Fascinating, isn't it?

Please leave me a comment about what you think of the study. Is it valid, do you think it's true? Give me your opinion please! })i({

MomFuse shows the love...for ME!

Nicole, a member of eSMArts, a wonderful graphics guru, fantastic mom, and of course the editor of MomFuse, featured me as the 'Etsy features artist' on the MomFuse website this past Saturday. This is an honor for me and very touching.

Nicole is one of those people who tries to do everything that everyone wants and more...I wanted to let her know how much I really appreciate her taking the time to write about ME, of all people!

Visit her article about me here. Leave a comment, or 2. Tell your friends! ;) And while you're at it, browse their wonderful site! Click the button below to get her Valentine's Day gift guide and find out more about their 14 days of giveaways!!!

Mom Fuse VDay Gift Guide & Giveaways

Thanks so much Nicole! })i({

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Yummy! That wonderful, addicting drug...CAFFEINE!!!

The most caffeinated cities in America are...Tampa, Fla., Seattle, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles! Hmm, big surprise! The least caffeinated American cities are Riverside/San Bernardino, Calif., Atlanta, San Diego, Minneapolis/St. Paul and Dallas.

Read the article for lots more interesting tidbits and goodies! ;) Click here! })i({

Friday, January 9, 2009

Learning more about Theresa, of Studio 618

For the past 20+ years, I’ve been working as an architect. My projects range from small residential remodeling to multi-million dollar corporate headquarters and public institutions. After years of being on the more technical side of architecture, watching my designs being built by the construction trades, I longed to use my own hands to create. This gratification comes in the form of jewelry-making. Now I have the best of both worlds, from macro to micro scales, offering design and technical challenges that keep me up at night.

I joined the Etsy artisan community in the mid 2008, and it opened a whole new experience to me. The benefits of buying from independent handmade artists are tremendous. Since marketing is not my strength, I joined one of the Etsy teams - Etsy Social Marketing Arts Guild. The goal of this team is “further understanding and applying eCommerce advertising and promotion techniques.”

Our members consist of artisans across the globe, working with all art medium.

My jewelry is available through the team shop, at local art shows and through my online store under the name Studio 618. My blog reflects my creations, my various interests, issues important to me, and much more. So come on by, say hello, and let me know what you think.

As an additional note: Theresa is one of the most helpful and kind people you would meet in eSMArts or anywhere for that matter. Her jewelry often reflects her religion, judiaca and is simple yet elegant. I really wish her the best success and can't wait to see what she does next! })i({

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Esmarts Gift Cert Grab - Friday 1/9

The Esmarts Team Shop at Etsy was created in the spirit of "PAYING IT FORWARD". The Team has jumped on board and loaded it with scrumptious new listings for you to peruse. In that spirit we'd like to give a bit back to all of our readers and buyers by running a contest on Twitter and our blogs. All you have to do to enter the contest is leave a comment mentioning the contest here on A Beaded Affair, the Esmarts Team Blog or Direct Message @abeadedaffair on Twitter and you might win the $10.00 Gift Certificate in the drawing on Saturday which you can use in the Esmarts Team Shop . Gift Cert donated by A Beaded Affair at Etsy. Take a chance, have some fun, enter our contest and win $10.00.Just a few of the new items donated by the talented members of EsmartsContest runs from Noon Friday January 9 (that's tomorrow folks) til Midnight.On Saturday we will announce the winner here!!!This weeks donations by Creations by Jae, dgdesignstx, SandTCreations, The World of Wezz, Chic Hats and More, Gahooletree, Studio618 and Wilma's Whimseys. Visit these Etsy shops for more exciting hand crafted goodies.

When you snooze you lose. If you didn't check out the Esmarts Team Store on Tuesday you missed donations by M5 Creative Corners which sold right away.

One more note, Coastal Artist has reduced the price on 3 of his prints to $20.00 just for the contest. Don't wait, leave a comment and check out all the fabulous items at Esmarts Team Store and win the Gift Certificate.

Are you on Twitter? Share the love and Tweet about the contest for us. The more the merrier.


Monday, January 5, 2009

Interview with eSMArts Team Owner Anna Lee!!! Must Read!!!

I had the pleasure, and honor, of interviewing the eSMArts team owner/leader, Anna Lee (AL) Husband, for this blog feature. It's the very first time I've interviewed anyone for my blog! I am so pleased that AL makes time to help mentor me and encourage me to be more involved with the team as well as with my passion for jewelry making, despite her super-busy schedule. She's a fantastic lady, full of spunk and zeal. Without further ado, here she is!!!

  1. Tell me a little bit about yourself and your family/friends. What do you do for fun? Are you married, for how long, how many children do you have?

    My spouse of 30 years David is wonderfully supportive of my addiction to hobbies, crafts and creating artwork. Our daughter Kate, who lives near us in a full time health care residence because she is now totally disabled, visits us for holidays and special events like her birthday. David and I spend most of our free time together with our young Airedale Terrier Amy ( at our home in Oshawa, Ontario.

    I am Team Leader and Founder of the Etsy Social Marketing Artisans (eSMArts) street team and yahoo group where I have a small family of online friends. We’re all independent artisans who feature our items for sale on Etsy and who got together for support, inspiration, friendship and connection.

    At eSMArts we’re trying to develop strong social marketing ties with one another in order to drive web traffic to our sales sites. We’ve each donated creations to our team store ( where all sales support worthy causes. Visit our blog for more info on my talented friends:!

    In my free time I love the outdoors, entertaining, cooking, travel, music, movies, TV, spectator sports, computer games, golf, gardening, cycling and well just making things!

  2. What inspired you to get started making this gorgeous jewelry? How old were you when you started?

    As a child I was instantly drawn to the beauty of shiny and pretty stones. I kept special boxes of my lovelies as soon as I could walk. I loved to play with just about any type of crafty endeavour or toy, so when I was 8 or 9 I got a rock tumbler that I was obsessed with. I polished nuggets, made primitive jewelry and kept an extensive rock collection. I guess I’ve never met a gemstone, crystal or rock that I didn’t like.

    In my teens I borrowed cookbooks from mom to learn how to bake and cook. Mom (an oil artist) dabbled in virtually every medium so I read with interest her library books to learn basics of embroidery, knitting, crochet, crewel and the like. When mom learned how to sew so did I, and throughout high school I often made my dresses and pant sets (this WAS the early 70s!). My dad (a jazz musician by night) stressed musical training for all three of us kids, so when I wasn’t making something I was likely practicing the piano or flute.

    Throughout my 20s and 30s I kept busy with work, home, family, university etc. and only returned to my first love, gemstones, in 2002. I started beading only because I wanted designer level shinies at a fraction of the retail price. I receive compliments on my jewelry continually so in 2003 I decided to display a few showcases of my creations in my retail bicycle shop ( Positive feedback from customers helped me begin to take jewelry making seriously.

  1. What are your favorite materials to use when making jewelry?

    I enjoy making pretty things and unique adornments using all gems, metals and materials. But unlike some artisan jewelry makers I started working with precious stones and sterling silver wire because I began making items for myself to wear for work, play and formal. So my creations had to look professional. I have to admit that I am hooked on Thai Hilltribe silver and tend to use it in almost all my silver creations.

    I am self taught, but have continually been amazed at the amount of good free information there is on the web regarding handmade jewelry techniques.

I now find it easier to work with gold wire than its silver counterpart although I am very fond of coiling effects using oxidized silver wire. I no longer do any pure bead stringing as stringing bores me to tears. Just about any other technique or genre intrigues me and keeps me interested. I’ve never made the same design twice as repetition does bore me. I enjoy the challenge of fresh, new designs and custom commissions the most.

I’m enjoying PMC and really get a kick out of creating mens/unisex creations, bead crochet (which I rarely have time for these days) as well as creating ornate bridal jewelry and bridal hair accessories too.

  1. Who inspires your designs now? Who do you look up to in the jewelry-making world?

    Linda Trent’s clean crisp lines were my first inspiration on Etsy and her talents prompted me to make the leap into online jewelry marketing. Passementerie first caught my eye when she had an Etsy shop and Magdalena Borejko is a huge favorite of mine too. I recently began to follow Iza Malczyk’s wire work and no doubt over time my own style will evolve as some combination of all these. I follow the work of several emerging design houses.

  1. What techniques would you like to master in the future?

    I strive to hone my wire working skills until they are the absolute best they can be (this may be a life sentence!). I plan to set up a glass studio in the near future and to develop solid glassmaking skills. I am a huge fan of lampwork glass and borosilicate beads. Metalsmithing is also near and dear to my heart. I know silversmithing basics but will take a good silversmithing course or two. The designer in me dreams of venturing into the world of fabricated pieces.

  1. Do you have any advice for new jewelry-makers and people trying to get an Etsy business going?

    Great photographs are the key to online sales so learn how to take them – invest in photo training and good equipment. Regardless of your current skill level, strive for perfection. Develop a few signature pieces using the best materials you can afford. Study your favorite artists and their techniques. Take courses if necessary or buy tutorials but hone your skills. Above all, market yourself feverishly and shamelessly both on Etsy and off. And don’t forget to smile – enjoy the journey!

  1. Where can we find you?

    My flagship online outlet is called Gahooletree ( where I feature luxe gemstone and pearl formal and bridal creations. Email:

    We recently opened SassyDLite ( an off price discount outlet for sale items where I can also experiment with offering fun and casual designs created at times with base metals (copper, brass) and more affordable materials like semi precious stones, swarovski crystals and shell pearls.

    I offer studio overstock of gems and findings for sale online at Gahooletree Supplies ( and there’s plenty more information about my jewelry business in general at, http://gahooletreedesigns.blogspot and

Again, I really want to thank Anna Lee for taking the time to talk with me, and for being so patient with me. You ARE appreciated! })i({

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Years!

Myspace Graphics
Myspace Comments

My New Year's Resolutions:
1. Lose some weight (I'm not telling how much!!!)
2. Go to the YMCA twice a week
3. Sell one item per week
4. Do 1 show
5. Learn silversmithing
6. Move out of my parents house! I know, it's sad to live here at 26, but it had to happen for a while.
7. Learn to budget my money appropriately

What are yours?

Have a wonderful New Year everyone! })i({

You Wear WHAT?!? Interesting Jewelry Trends

I've been browsing my groups and forums, trying desperately to catch up with all the goodies that everyone is talking about! Lately, I've noticed a lot of talk about...let us trends! I thought I'd share some of them that I find really fascinating!

MyWiredImagination is a seller on Etsy. She does some lovely wire-wrapping and other work, but one item of hers in particular is something to look twice at! Check out these interesting, and slightly creepy, custom pendants and rings made with rejected prosthetic eyes!

Another company that has been talked about is Ashes to Glass. They make beautiful lampwork beads intended to hold the ashes of a loved one. In addition to that, they make beads to hold the ashes of your pets called Petglash. It's definitely a unique idea, and many people would love to be able to have their deceased loved one or pet with them all the time.

Then we come to LifeGem. This company can take either the cremated remains of your loved one or a lock of hair (for those who choose burial, or even for those who want a special gem from someone living) and using a special process, creates a certified, high-quality diamond from the carbon remains. These diamonds are molecularly identical to a genuine diamond. It's a fascinating process. They can even make them with your pet! Visit their website for a video showing the process and to request more information! These are not cheap, but may be worth it to have that rememberance of someone you love. There are several color options available as well!

One of the most fascinating jewelry ideas is by Jared Gold, a Salt Lake City designer who specializes in the unique! His creepy creation is a Giant Madagascar Hissing Cockroach Brooch. This is a live critter! The giant roach is encrusted with Swarovski crystals and comes complete with a tiny 'leash' so that you can attach it to your clothing and let the lil bug wander around. Ewww... With proper care they can live for up to a year. Cost: $80.

My last interesting jewelry trend for today is made by a very creative jewelry artist named Margaux Lange. She sells on Etsy, and takes parts from Barbie dolls and makes them into earrings, pendants, tie tacks, etc. I can't believe how professional they look! Definitely interesting jewelry for a party, great conversation pieces! })i({