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Sunday, June 19, 2011

My Busy Weekend...

Well, I just spent a majority of this weekend working on my jewelry. I'm not complaining, as I enjoyed most of it. I guess I just didn't realize initially how much time would be involved in going from design to actually listing an item on Etsy to sell. I'm still learning and will continue to learn more as I go. I honestly don't know how people with young kids at home and a full time job doing something else can manage an Etsy shop on the side. I don't think I could. Anyway, so I've been working on several pieces of jewelry (10 items total) over the last couple weeks and all I needed to do on most of them was to just add a clasp. So I finally finished them all on Friday night. So then Saturday was spent on photography, taking several pictures of each item, in various locations, settings, angles, etc. It doesn't end there. I then went through every picture cropping, adjusting, zooming, etc. to make them just right. This process actually took up most of my Saturday. I did manage, however, to list one item, this brown peyote stitched/cellini style necklace, around 10 pm last night. Then today, I finished listing all 10 items in my Etsy shop.

The one item (out of these 10) that I am most proud of is this green peyote stitched cellini rope necklace with a green gemstone pendant that I also did a peyote stitch around, creating a beautiful bezel pendant, which was the first time I've ever done that. I do believe it turned out very nice. My husband seems to think so, also. Of course, he knows better than to say otherwise. LOL I also did my first ever peyote stitch toggle clasp using the same seed beads that I used for the rope necklace and on the bezel. Even the bail holding the pendant was done using the same seed beads. This necklace took several hours to complete. I honestly don't know the exact amount of time I spent on it, but I enjoyed every minute of it... there's just something very relaxing about the rhythmic motion involved in peyote stitch, as well as Herringbone and other stitches. It's kinda like a stress release/therapeutic process, I guess you could say. So, anyway, here it is... the completed project...












To see the rest of the items I just finished and listed in my Etsy shop, you will just have to go check them out in my shop...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

NA (North Alabama) Crafters Etsy Team

When I registered on Etsy and started listing my jewelry on Etsy to sell, I had no idea that I would end up connecting with several other crafters locally, who live so close to me.  I started looking around on Etsy to see what all I could take part in, including taking interactive classes online, joining teams, and connecting with other Etsy shop sellers to help each other promote our shops.  I ended up joining several teams, one called NA Crafters, a group of talented crafters from all over North Alabama, including Huntsville, Madison, Cullman, Decatur, Athens, etc.  We are continuously talking online about our crafts, local arts and craft shows, and our most recent event, Craft Party 2011, a worldwide celebration of crafters from all over the world meeting up on June 10 to celebrate arts and crafts.  I have posted some of the pictures from the party here.  See the below link for pictures from our local team meetup, at Lowe Mill studio in Huntsville, AL.  Several NA Crafters team members showed up and we had a blast!!



 
 


 

See below link for the rest of the pictures taken at Etsy Craft Party Meetup at Lowe Mill in Huntsville, AL:

Another fairly new venture for our NA Crafters Etsy team has been our very own website, designed by one of the leaders of the team, Tarra of Little Sunbird Studio.  She not only has multiple artistic/craft talents, but is also a fantastic web designer/graphic designer, and we are blessed to have her on our team!  Also, the captain of our team, Jessica of TrevTrevDesigns, who has an awesome jewelry shop on Etsy, selling very unique charm jewelry and sports team jewelry, has been phenomenal in keeping up with welcoming new members, organizing events, and she actually started the NA Crafters team on Etsy!!  There are so many talented others on our team that I could go on and on about, and I hate to leave anyone out.  So please check out our team website for more info on all of us and for the latest happenings going on in our group.


I was actually honored to participate in a feature blog on our team website. See my interview here...


Monday, June 13, 2011

Unemployed

Well, here we are, both of us - my husband,Darrin, and I, unemployed. Darrin was laid off from his job in February earlier this year and I just got laid off from my job on May 27. It's gonna be challenging, but I think we will be ok. I already have 2 prospects lined up, but unfortunately they are both contingent on a government contract and I just recently discovered that we will not hear about one of them until November!! The other one... any day now. I just hope we can pay all our bills from our unemployment checks. I do have another interview lined up for today. Hopefully this one will go well.

One positive thing I see about this is that I will have more time to spend on my jewelry business. I have accumulated lots of beads and supplies over the past several months. I have just needed more time to be able to design and create more items to sell and list in my Etsy store. I also plan to get caught up on my Facebook page and this blog! I will still spend as much time as I can looking for another engineering job, especially since that's the job that pays the bills, for now!!

Anyway, be on the lookout for several more jewelry items that I will be posting in the coming weeks!!

Thanks for stopping by!! :-)

My First Blog

Ok so I'm just getting started here with this whole blog thing, but I think I'm gonna like it. I want to make this blog primarily focused on my custom jewelry. I work full-time as a systems engineer for a major defense contractor, and I make jewelry on the side. I started taking an interest in jewelry a couple of years ago when I started purchasing this woman's craft club kit-of-the-month. I then discovered another craft kit-of-the-month that was strictly jewelry sets and other kits containing beads. I quickly got hooked!! I have always had an interest in arts and crafts since I was a young child, and I actually remember winning 1st place in an art contest in elementary school. My favorite subject in school was math and though I wanted to become a math teacher, I eventually ended up going unto engineering. While at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), I took some art classes in college. But once I decided to pursue my engineering degree, there was just not much time for other interests.

So... moving ahead to my current situation. I recently moved from Orlando, FL, back "home" to Huntsville, AL, to get married. My husband and I had dated back when I was living in Huntsville (15 years ago) and we reconnected through Facebook (yes I know, this will have to be another blog alone, as its a great story!!) I was fortunate enough to find an engineering job in Huntsville fairly quickly and moved back home to plan my wedding with my husband and our families, who all happen to live in or near Huntsville. As we were trying to save money in any way we could in planning this wedding, I decided to create the jewelry for my entire wedding party. I loved coming up with the designs and creating the necklaces, bracelets, and earrings for my bridesmaids, flower girls, my mom, his mom, and my guest book attendant, and they all seemed to love it, too!!
I showed some of my jewelry to a friend at work, who was getting married in April 2011) and she ended up asking me to design and create the jewelry for her bridal party.
I have had several friends, family members, and even strangers, who have seen me wearing my jewelry, tell me how wonderful my jewelry is and that I should try selling it. So I did just that. I started researching the web and reading several books on marketing and selling jewelry and on starting a small home-based business, and I finally opened my Etsy store just a few weeks ago. I have 26 items listed right now and will continue adding items. No sales just yet, but I'm hoping that will change soon... :-)

Please check out my etsy store:
http://www.awrdesigns.etsy.com