A little while ago I had purchased a new camera and I was also looking to upgrade my lenses. I had been admiring Maria’s photos (her Etsy shop is here) for awhile, and decided to ask her what lens she was using to take her stunning shots. Long story short, she volunteered to take some photos of my earrings for me. They turned out beautifully and inspired me to think a little differently about my own product photos. The images below are all by Maria, and my photographs have improved significantly since I became newly inspired and also purchased a new lens!
I made these earrings as a custom order sometime around Christmas. They came out so pretty, I made a few extras but never got a chance to list them in my shop because of the crazy as usual holiday season. I only have two pairs, and might just have to make some more.
I am so excited about this! I am trying something new where I’m making a small collection of one, two, or three of a kind earrings and necklaces in a limited color story. This keeps me the freedom to experiment more, offer a variety of items, while being able to see what sells out quickest and might be worth making in a larger batch. These items are all in one Etsy listing and will be removed from the drop down once they are sold out. The items that sell quickly will be considered to be made again as permanent staples in my shop. This also allows me to make some earrings and necklaces that can be purchased as a set! If it goes well I will be doing this more often with different color stories, shapes, sizes, etc. My first collection is a variety of baby blue, aqua, and salmon pink jewels all with gold leaf and glitter called the Cotton Candy Collection!
Of course, this isn’t available for wholesale since most of these items are one or two of a kind and the collections are experimental in nature. I do always love hearing what my wholesale customers like, though, and keep those thoughts in mind when I’m deciding what to add to my wholesale linesheet.
I had so much fun taking photos of this collection. I am so pleased with them!
I’m probably a little late with this, but I have a lot of Valentine’s Day stuff in my shops! Honestly they aren’t really only for Valentine’s Day, but this is when I make a lot of little heart things that stick around my shop year-long until I’m out. They are so cute. I really love how the tags came out. The little hearts were painted with watercolors and scanned into the computer.
My birthday is on February 17th, so it’s always a crazy week for us personally filled with many delicious dinners. When it’s over I’m usually happy to get back to home cooking. By the way, I tried Hello Fresh for the first time a month or so ago because my sister had an extra box and passed it along to me. We were both (husband and I) super impressed with the food, and how incredibly fresh everything was. It’s a really nice way to not have your fridge filled with stuff you will not use, buying more than you need for one dinner and having waste, etc. And I found all of the ingredients to be even better than what we can get in the grocery stores around here. If you are interested, my referral code is TRKXPU for $40 off of your first box. We are getting our second box next week and I’m really excited about it! I do enjoy cooking but it’s nice to have most of the work (planning and grocery shopping) done for you, and no waste in the fridge! If you have tried it, let me know what you think. I have to say, I would never have ordered it on my own but I’m so glad I tried it!
It is CRAZY how long it’s been since my last post, but I can explain. This year, not only did I get married, but my only sibling (my sister) got married, our house is a construction zone, and of course regular life has been happening in between there. This year has been a blessing in many ways. I have been picking up more wholesale accounts which have made up for less Etsy sales. The changes to Etsy and the site have not been beneficial to those of us old timers and seasoned sellers. Sadly, I find myself shopping less on Etsy because I’m not finding awesome things due to the change of the home page and I don’t think it’s a good direction for the community. Luckily I still have a loyal customer base and my shop is still going strong. My sticker and gift tag shop has been doing well but honestly I don’t find it fun, it’s just a ‘job’. I have also devoted more time to painting and opened a new shop which you can find here. I’ll post more about that another time.
I realized just how long it’s been since I last updated my blog, because I have been getting more traffic on here due to an insane thing that happened in November. Actually, two insane things happened. My jewelry is featured in Bead Style’s January edition (which came out in November) AND our wedding was featured in the Pennsylvania/Delaware The Knot Spring/Summer edition. Crazier things have really not happened. I’m so proud that my jewelry has made it far enough to get into a magazine, it really does make all of the time, persistence, heartbreak of copycats stealing my designs, roller coaster ride of owning a business in general all totally worth it. You can see my feature on the last page of Bead Style’s ‘Rising Star’ section. I tell a little bit of my and my jewelry’s story. And it’s freakin’ awesome.
As if that wasn’t enough, our photographer submitted our wedding to The Knot and it was chosen. Like, what the crap!!!!? Amazingness, I would curse here but that’s not really appropriate. I have a LOT of updating to do, so please check back soon to see more of our wedding, more of our home renovations, my paintings for my new shop and obviously some cat photos.
We’ve been so busy, between weddings, completely renovating our back room, and working on the rest of the house (and a vacation somewhere in there). I’ve been focused on the house lately. Thrifting, repurposing items, painting stuff, decorating, etc. Below are some photos of my projects, recent decorations, and even some earrings (because I do still have to find time to work). I won’t drone on about everything, but everything was either from a thrift store or on sale and very, very cheap.
When we planted our little container garden I didn’t expect much. Our peppers are growing like crazy. We have banana peppers, which are pictured below, and some sweet peppers. The banana peppers are growing in hoards and I have no idea what to do with them. One grew earlier this year and when I tried it I was shocked at how HOT it was! If you have any ideas for what to do with a bunch of banana peppers, please comment below and help a sister out.
Also pictured: tomatoes and rosemary.
Ever since one of my BFF’s asked me to be her maid of honor, I’ve been freaking out about all of the responsibilities that come with it. Some of you might know I’m planning my own wedding, and my sister is getting married next year as well. It’s A LOT! During the planning of her shower, I was nominated to do the crafty stuff – centerpieces, favors, etc. I am comfortable with those responsibilities. What I ended up coming up with were a homemade body scrub and a homemade lip balm.
The shower is in a week, this August. Her wedding is fall themed, on October 4th, so I wanted to do fall flavors and moderately fall colors that still look nice in the summer. I ended up going with gold, peach, and purple (the bridesmaids’ dresses are ‘sangria’ purple) for the colors. Amy is obsessed with all things fall and pumpkin so of course that had to be incorporated into the flavor. I found a pumpkin cheesecake flavor oil on Ebay which was perfect and smells amazing, and used a lip balm base instead of mixing it up by scratch. I wanted to make the process as easy as possible since I’d be doing everything in bulk. I tinted the balm with orange mica powder for a pretty peachish orange color.
The scrub was the hard part. I used half brown sugar, half white sugar, and a whole whopping pound of cinnamon. I couldn’t decide which oil to use, as I wanted the scent to be neutral and the oil to be affordable in bulk. I ended up choosing sunflower oil, which had a neutral, if anything, flavor. I didn’t have enough, so I asked Ryan to pick some up on the way home and he got olive oil instead. Everything went smoothly until I added it and it had a weird undertone of olive smell to it.
So I freaked out, ordered cinnamon oil on Amazon and a vanilla fragrance oil. The cinnamon did not pan out, but holy crap, the vanilla smells amazingly like icing and the small amount I added to the 20 pounds of sugar made it smell AMAZING!
For the labels, I used weatherproof premade labels for the scrub, which I printed on at home. The lip balm labels I made from scratch and they look so cute! I also made the tags from scratch here too. They came out so cute, and I think she’s going to love them!
Here are a few more shots of the favors.
This is how they will look at the shower:
Over the last few months, I’ve been thinking about getting into the craft show scene again. I did some when I first started out a few years ago, but having a job and doing shows was just too much. I stopped doing them, eventually lost my job, and starting out making jewelry full time.
Now that I’m pretty established, have my shit together, and a healthy stock of inventory, I’ve been mulling over the idea of doing some shows again. I want to start small, and do a few here and there. Nothing crazy.
My old display was all black, which is not the look I’m going for anymore. It’s too dark for my light, fun jewelry. I am going with white and pops of color this time around. I realized that I need to figure out exactly how I would set up a booth, and went to Pinterest and Flickr for ideas. Honestly, I didn’t find a damn thing I liked. Nothing even close.
So I decided I’d buy some old frames, paint them, and try to hang my earrings on ribbons that I strung across the backing of the frame. I wasn’t sure if it would work, or look right, but turns out it does and I really like it. It’s simple and light, just what I was looking for.
My next step is buying some more, larger frames and doing this to them. I’m also on the hunt for some candy colored glasses dishes. Hopefully I’ll find some, but I can never find exactly what I’m looking for when I have something in mind. I’m also hoping my brain gives me some other ideas, because having 10 frames sitting on a table would really be overkill.