Friday, July 3, 2015

Happy Independence Day!


by Sherri Stokey

Vintage fireworks ad.
Looking around for some Independence Day inspiration, I ran across this vintage add for Hand Made "torpedoes".  I'm a big fan of hand made.  Quilts made by hand are family heirlooms and hand made furniture can be around for generations. Handmade ice cream beats the store-bought stuff every time.  But hand made fireworks just sounds like a bad plan.  Luckily, I also found some handmade inspiration that won't give me nightmares, like this patriotic wire wrapped pendant:

Wire wrapped flag pendant from Rachael's Wire Garden.
Rachael's Wire Garden
Isn't that fun?  I love how she incorporated the Tree of Life symbolism within the flag and gives the impression of stripes with just a few "branches".  These lamp work glass pieces also caught my eye with great use of color and movement:

Lampwork glass bead from Cat's Meow Art.
Cat's Meow Art
Blue swirl glass bead by Karla Eames Classy Sassy Glass
Karla Eames Classy Sassy Glass
I found eagles done in several different mediums, including hand painted  porcelain, glass and deer antler:

Hand crafted eagle cabochon and beads from Loco Lobo, Joy Munshower and Spirit Wind Studios.
Top: Loco Lobo Designs, Bottom left:  Joy Munshower, Bottom right:  Spirit Wind Studios
These metal end caps, charms and large hole beads all feature a rustic star motif:

Hand crafted cord end from Cathy Dailey.
Cathy Dailey
Rustic star charms from Inviciti.
Inviciti
Stars and Bars big hole bead from The Happy Jewel.
The Happy Jewel
I am so impressed with what some folks can do with a coin:

Cut coin pendants from Saw Artist and Hamilton Custom Cast.
Left:  Saw Artist, Right: Hamilton Custom Cast
There were some great pieces of patriotic handcrafted jewelry, too.  The stars and stripes design really stands out in the Western Cedar laser cut cuff, and the use of color blocking in the beaded wrap bracelet really struck a cord with me. 

Laser cut cuff from John Leslie Studios.
John Leslie Studios
Handmade leather and bead wrap bracelet from Boulder Beads.
Boulder Beads
American flag leather cuff from DGierat leather.
DGierat Leather
I love the worn look of the wide leather cuff and the vintage picture in the pendant below.

Soldered glass pendant from My Sweet September.
My Sweet September

This etched bullet pendant has a secret:  there's a casing fitted up inside it that you can remove and add your own little treasure:

Etched bullet casing pendant with eagle motif from Dazzlez.
Etched bullet casing pendant with secret cubby from Dazzlez.
Dazzlez

The riveted on star is what caught my eye in this next pendant.  It's a nice little touch that really makes this one stand out:

Stamped metal pendant from Little Bits o' Faith.
Little Bits o' Faith

And last, but not least, this charming wax seal charm:

Wax seal charm from Gilded Lilly.
Gilded Lily Charms
All in all, I think I'll stick with jewelry components for my handmade fix.  Nobody wants to look like this on July 5th:

July 5th cartoon (public domain)

Many thanks to all of the lovely artists who agreed to let me use their photos here.  I hope you'll spend a minute or two and visit some of their shops.  Have a Happy 4th!

 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Contrast: Blinging up my Rustic

by Staci Louise Smith

I finally decided to try adding a little "bling" to my rustic.  I love contrast, and I am surprised at myself, for not trying this sooner!

I love how Gaia Copia uses crystals with her natural shapes, like her ammonite and crystal earrings.  Her rustic bling has always inspired me!

you can check our more of her work here- while her website is under construction


So I ordered me some crystals and got into it.  

I spent a day making these before I left for our trip, and just could NOT wait to paint them and see how they looked finished.


So then of course, I painted a few before we left too, because I am so impatient.
(they are mid-paint here)

So when I got home from vacation and went to clean off my desk, I could not just put these to the side, they were begging to be made into something right now.  

So of course, I obliged.



So now I can move onto other things on my list.  

Do you ever have that happen?  That you can't move onto what you are supposed to be doing, because you just HAVE to finish something that sparked your creativity?  Happens to me all the time!

The rest of the beads are not done, but the necklaces are available through my Facebook page (below) if you are interested, just message me.  Otherwise, they will venture to my next show with me. 


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Pinterest Promoted Pins?? & GIVEAWAY

Carol Dekle-Foss
In an effort to pull my website out of an internet no man's wasteland, I have been tweaking my keywords, meta tags, descriptions etc etc..to the point of my brain turning to mush. Google insists that my site remain barren, with only the occasional lost soul tripping and falling down my URL. So to try and increase traffic, I strolled down the path of Pinterest Promoted Pins.  My intent was one of hope for us all. I was going to test it out and do a post today to share my amazing results. The Pinterest Promoted Pins mysterious marketing marvel ended up being just..meh.
The results were 45 repins with 8 clicks to my website. The below stats say it had 56 repins, so maybe 11 to secret boards?? Will I do it again? Maybe. Maybe not. As expected, the campaign didn't attract all that many buyers. 
Now they are launching Buyable Pins, showing up on iphones and ipads very soon. Sigh. As of now, this is something I WON'T be trying. Is it just me? I find this very scary and can visualize customer nightmares galore. Products out of stock, wrong products being shipped, customer not receiving refunds...etc etc. I know, I'm being pessimistic. It will be very interesting to see what happens with Pinterest in the upcoming months.

Okay, enough about Pinterest... Let's talk GIVEAWAY!!!

I've had a few requests to purchase my sandblasted pendants, so I've decided to start selling them on my website. I've listed some, and will be listing more in the next few days.


To celebrate, I am offering this sandblasted pendant and ceramic beads set as a GIVEAWAY!


The stone is a pretty red fossil coral sandblasted with my Tree of Life design. 

To win, just leave a comment on your thoughts about Pinterest. Do you hate the Promoted Pins or do they not bother you?  Have you ever pinned a Promoted Pin? If you run into a Buyable Pin will you purchase through Pinterest? We would love to hear your thoughts on the matter!

Also, to enter more than once, you can share this post, like my Facebook page, or follow me on Pinterest. Just let me know in your comments.

UPDATE: Oops! I forgot to add that I will be announcing the winner on my next post scheduled for July 15th. Thank you everyone for your comments and input! It's greatly appreciated!!!

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Maybe tomorrow....

Yesterday was my last day of school for 2014/2015. I have been a special education resource teacher for 31 years, 25 of those at Fabius-Pompey, a nice little rural district south of Syracuse, NY. It never fails.... I am working on paperwork (I HATE PAPERWORK) up until and including the last day. The problem.... well, it is the same problem that I have with everything that seems like a chore... procrastination.

I always get everything done that I need to and I tend to do my best under pressure. At 55, I am pretty sure that won't be changing anytime soon.  Procrastination MADE ME wait until this am to think about today's post. The truth is as I type this sentence, I still have no clue.

ughhh......

.......pressure is building

I think I have this.....

Yup - there is an "I'll do that later" list at home......

........I told the group was that I think it would be a good idea to have links to our individual FB pages. That was at least two weeks ago. In my defense, life has been a little on the crazy side (friends often look forward to my morning news reports on the latest family drama), so that has been put a few sticky notes down in the pile of things to do.

I do have a procrastination system. Notes to self (usually sticky), have notes all over desk, throw notes away as the work gets done, more new notes added, still have notes that have wrinkled edges and maybe some coffee stains on them (those are the ones that I try not to look at), maybe rewrite those notes on a clean sticky note (maybe a new color will me get it done), hold onto notes because I can do it tomorrow, time is running out, pressure, gather the dreaded notes with the most important on top and then.... finally, if it all goes as unplanned, things work out!

I haven't dreaded this task..... just haven't gotten it done.

In no particular order (If all went right, you should be able to click each picture- If not, give me a few minutes and I will have it fixed!!) -

Staci



Sherri




Mary Jane




Karen




Patti




Carol




Marsha



Barbara




And then there is ours. Yup.... this task of updating got somewhere lost in the fire of the year...... maybe this summer I will get on top of it!

We'll see.

MaryAnn (and Bill)



Of course I don't want to forget what we share as a group.

Love My Art Jewelry


I am now one step away from completing the task of making this a page. 

Maybe I will get on that tomorrow.

MaryAnn

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