Ipsy

I got my first Ipsy bag in the mail today. For those of you who might not know what Ipsy is, it’s similar to Birchbox only it’s rumored that you get better/larger products. It’s $10 a month for a surprise bag of beauty products. It sounded fun, and although I’m not super into doing a lot of makeup, it is fun to play with and I love finding new products. I figured it might be neat to see if I’d actually use things that I wouldn’t typically pick out.

In my first bag, I got:

  • Urban Decay 24/7  Glide-On Eye Pencil
  • Such a Tease ‘So Seductive’ lashes
  • St. Tropez Gradual Tanner for Face
  • City Color White Color cream eyeshadow
  • Caitlyn Tinted Lip Balm  in 12. Apple Pink

I probably should just throw away the lashes because I will never use them. I was hoping that I wouldn’t get lashes. I’m going to have to see if there is a preference that I can change in my account so that I can avoid getting them again. I’m excited about the sunless tanner, as I’m pretty pale and I like a little glow for the warmer weather. I have heard such good things about St. Tropez, but never wanted to spend the money to try it.

I tried the Caitlyn lip tint, and I like it. The texture is velvetty, the finish is opaque and matte. The color is a spicy neutral that I think would look nice on most people. What I don’t like is that it’s a pot. I usually only end up using lip products in tube/stick form, because frankly I’m usually just a little too lazy to bother with pots, they get my fingers dirty and I just don’t like them.

The Urban Decay eye pencil is wonderful. It applies so smoothly and stays on throughout the day. It is a nice rich black that gives my eyes the definition they need since I’m light complected with light hair/eyelashes.

The City Color eyeshadow was a pleasant surprise. It scared me a little bit in the pot, but it actually applies lightly (though you can definitely build it for a more intense look). I think it might actually work as a highlighter too. I just put a little bit of this on my lids, and it brightened up my whole face.

Overall, I think I’ll be using most, if not all, of these products (besides the lashes) in the future. I can’t wait to see what’s in next month’s bag!

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new in the shop

I’ve been busy making a bunch of larger earrings for my shop. People have asked for them many times throughout the years, but I never really got around to making them. It’s about damn time, I think! The only thing that sucks about making them is that they must be made in smaller batches due to their size. I will be making less of each for now, and the designs that are most popular will probably be made over and over, like what I do with everything else. I do have more room to work with though, which can only be a good thing!

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These little babies are new too. I seriously love them. I made myself a larger pair in the 8mm style (they will be available in the shop later this week as well). Should I make more like this? Multicolors and varying sizes of glitters? I really think I’m onto something here and will be making a few more colors of these.

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around

Taking more photos today to update the whole shop (whew!). The cats are always trying to get involved. Today, Ryan and Jan did a little impromptu photo shoot. What a couple of clowns!

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And you know Gus had to make an appearance. Such a ham.

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I did some thrifting yesterday. I had terrible luck until I decided to head to the last place (Goodwill), which is where I found these awesome brick tumblers! I’ll try to post again on the other things I got sometime later this week.

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upkeep

I’ve been super busy the last few days reshooting everything for both of my shops (and I mean, literally everything). My sticker and tag supply shop is done, and looks pretty good I think. I couldn’t be much happier with the photos, especially considering I really struggled with photographing my jewelry for years.

My jewelry shop is coming along as well and I’m probably about 65% there. I am taking a different approach to photographing my jewelry now. It all happened by accident, after I began shooting my stationary items. About a year ago I really wanted some nice head on shots of my earrings. The detail shots are nice, but they don’t give as good of an idea of what the jewelry will look like in person as the head on shots. I struggled with it last year, mostly using my light box, and eventually gave up. This time around, I tried using natural lighting in my living room and my sofa table that I painted with a chalk paint as the surface to shoot on. I’m so pleased with how the head on shots came out, and although I can’t do my post earrings that way, I’m still using the same location to shoot them so it’s consistent with the danglies, and I’m trying to give them more perspective by shooting them with more white space in the shot.

You can see what I’m talking about below. I HOPE they are nice, I always end up second guessing myself when it comes to things like this.

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The cats like to be ‘involved’ when I’m working. By that, I mean sitting on what I’m trying to photograph, bopping it, that kind of thing. I did get some pretty photos of them in the midst of it though. These two are real trouble makers. The other two are a bit older and like to keep to themselves more (aka staying out of the way of the tiny crazy cats). I’m going to have to get some good shots of them soon, because they are also my babies!

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new size

I’ve had a lot of requests for larger sized earrings, and though I’ve made this size in the past, I never made many and they have never been entirely filled with glitter. They are much more difficult to photograph for me, because of their size and the fact that they don’t seem to look as nice in my usual setup. I’ll be experimenting with photographing them a bit differently in the future, and if they sell, making more and more colors.

Right now they are available in silver and gold:

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feelin springy

Sometimes I need a different creative outlet. Something that isn’t technically work. I’ve been wanting a bright and cheery floral wreath for my front door but nothing I’ve seen has really spoken to me. I decided to try to make one on my own with no real idea what I’m doing.  I didn’t want it to be perfect, more of the wild kind of look. I think it came out pretty good! The best part? A lot of these flowers were from the Dollar Tree. I am itching to make another wreath now!

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welcome home

When we moved into our home about a year and a half ago, it needed a lot of work. Everything was beige, I mean everything. Beige carpets, beige walls (you can see the carpet on the stairs, it’s still there and upstairs and kind of gross). It offended me on a very bland level. Before we moved in, Ryan put hardwood floors in the downstairs, and we painted as much as we could. Since then I’ve been working on decorating, and it’s sometimes been a struggle. I’m very particular about my surroundings and I want it to feel ‘right’. I’ve settled in on a mix of new and old things and have finally found some harmony here.

Now that I’m in a comfortable place with how the living room looks I’m ready to show it off. I’ve put a lot of time into it! If you know me, you know I don’t half ass things. It needs some more stuff on the walls, and some work  here and there, but I finally feel that it’s coming together. I’ve been working on the dining room as well and it’s getting closer, so that will be next.

The upstairs needs a lot more work. My studio is up here, and besides that, just about everything needs to be renovated.

Here are some shots of the living room as it is now. I’m switching all of the pillows over for spring to make it feel a little more summery, but I’m not ready yet. I really love those damn fur pillows.

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It’s hard to see, but that white elephant above the entryway is from Etsy. The butterflies are real butterflies that were mounted (by Ryan and I) in shadowboxes. The ship was a thrifting find, along with the red chair and the white sofa table (you can see it in a few pics below) that I repainted. It was originally black gloss and painted terribly.

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That red poofy thing? That thing is ridiculous. I saw it, thought it was both hideous and intriguing, and left the store. Needless to say I couldn’t stop thinking about it and brought it home the next day (I tend to do this often).

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This is what it looks like when you come in through the front door and foyer. There’s the table that I painted several times, until I finally realized that it would be perfect in white. The chairs on each side of the fire place are both thrifted. The green chair is velvet and was left as is. I painted the other chair metallic silver and reupholstered the chair with a burlap fabric. When I bought it, it was a dark wood with a very 60s orange and red fabric seat. Kinda cool, but definitely didn’t work for what I wanted. It was $8 for the chair and maybe $10 for the materials to redo it. I really love when that happens.

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Here’s a little shot of the desk/filing cabinet in the corner of the room. Both are from Target. The alligator is a bank that I found thrifting and of course had to have. The chair was $8 and it’s awesome. The fabric on the seat is a darker shade of red and perfectly faded.

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And here’s a little shot of the entrance. You can probably tell by now that I have a thing for graphic rugs. In fact, my favorite one isn’t in any of these photos so I’ll have to get on that. I have a really hard time not buying them when I see them.

I hope you like it! I am proud of it so far. If you have any suggestions on what I should do with the walls (paintings, mirrors, etc), feel free to leave a comment below!

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amethyst amethyst

I’ve always loved purple, I think it’s because my birthstone is an amethyst. Below are some new post earrings in a variety of purples, though there are plenty of other colors available and coming soon in the shop.

After a lot of consideration, I’ve decided to make my post earrings in a new way. Back when I first started my shop on Etsy, there weren’t any other teeny glitter post earrings out there. Now, they are everywhere, and they are made in a different way than mine and often cheaper. Many of the shops that make them are still very inexperienced and small, and I’m guessing that they don’t consider many things when pricing their earrings (like cost of material/labor/expenses/fees/wholesale) OR pay taxes, and probably don’t make much if any of a profit. I feel like that might make me sound like I make a huge profit, and trust me, I don’t! This is how I make a living, therefore I obviously need to make some kind of profit. My original globes were made much differently than the copycats, which are made with polymer clay. I’ve always only used resin. The process of making the original globes is time consuming, and though I love how they look, I can’t complete with the prices of the others or offer them for wholesale. I’ve decided to revamp how I make them to take less time and allow me to make them in larger batches, keeping their prices slightly lower and allowing me to offer them for wholesale. I haven’t gotten that far yet, but I’m building up my stock and testing out colors right now in my Etsy shop first.

The original globes will still always be available as a custom order, and I’ll keep them around until I run out. I may keep them permanently in a few colors, but I haven’t decided yet. I have never seen anything exactly like them on Etsy, or elsewhere, and they will always hold a special place in my heart. The new (non-globe) posts are below. They are available in both 8mm and 5mm sizes, just like the globe earrings.

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new colors

Some new colors in the shop today. Oddly enough, I didn’t even realize I had done the Pantone Color of the Year, Radiant Orchid, until a few days after they were made. Convenient, and such a damn pretty color.

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this year, so far

I know I haven’t posted in awhile, and that’s not without good reason. Things have been VERY hectic. January was filled with wholesale orders, and for that I’m very grateful. I’ve been working very hard to streamline my jewelry line in order to make more room for wholesaling efficiently. For those of you who don’t know, wholesale is VERY important to maintaining a successful career in this industry. I’m grateful for the new accounts I’ve made this year, and for a busy January.

Aside from that, I’ve been working on transitioning a few styles to other, more practical ways of making my post (for those of you who are familiar, I’m talking about my globe style) earrings in large batches. I won’t get into that, it’s boring and really should have a post of it’s own. I’m also working on some other new stuff that should be posted soon. Oh and I still have my other shop, which is always pretty consistently busy. So even though I’ve been pretty quiet, LOTS of things are happening!

I’m not going to get into this TOO much, but something very disheartening has happened and I’m not sure what I’m going to do about it yet. You know that feeling when your heart just drops? Well that happened to me last week when I stumbled across someone very blatantly ripping off my designs. I’m not talking about the glitter posts, that’s been happening for years now. I know that it’s possible that someone else could have independently come up with the same idea as me, but to be honest, this time I am certain that’s not the case. The particulars are just too exact for it to be accidental. I’ve always come up with my ideas for designs on my own, and I cannot understand how someone could copy someone else’s designs in good conscience. It honestly really does hurt, and I can’t wrap my mind around it.

But, I’m not going to focus on that. Good things are happening, and I am blessed to have the life I do. Last weekend, I got engaged! Ryan and I have been together for almost five years (this coming April), and I’m so happy that we’re finally getting married. I’ve never been the type to dream of my wedding, honestly I’ve always been very intimidated by thoughts of all of the planning and money that goes into it. I’m finally in the right frame of mind to do it. All of our other ducks are in a row now (house, careers, etc), so it’s the right time! I am actually kind of excited about planning it now. I guess that’s a good thing!

I know that no one cares about other peoples rings, really. I mean let’s be honest. I couldn’t resist taking a few photos though. It’s antique, and I love it!

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