Thursday, November 20, 2008

Off to Grandma's

Tomorrow afternoon I, along with the kids and Fred. will be taking a twelve hour long drive to visit with my Grandma Lucille in Edenton, North Carolina. Last year my youngest son was two years old and he did fairly good on such a long trip (we only had to stop six times to quiet him down☺). This year, I'll make sure to bring plenty of small toys and gummibears.

Edenton is a small town near the border of Virginia. I must admit that I didn't know too much about the town until a few years ago. I did know that this was the place where my Grandmother grew up and where my mom spent here childhood along with my aunts and uncles. It's a fairly small place compared to Rochester but I love it's quaint appeal and slower pace.

A little, brief family history (as I know it):

My Grandma grew up in this town along with her mom, dad and 16 brothers and sisters. It was told to me that they did sharecropping of goods like peanuts, corn and cotton. She grew up and met a young man from Georgia, my Grandfather (we called him B.C). They married and had four children two boys and two girls, one of which is my mom. Things started to slow down in NC and jobs increased up North so Grandma, B.C and the kids rooted up and moved here in Rochester. My grandmother took up housekeeping here and B.C worked in an auto garage for many years, until his severe arthritis put him on disability. My Grandmother worked at a nursing home called St. Ann's Home for over 30 years before she retired. During all of this 21 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren were born (more are on the way but not by me-hehe!☺).

When B.C. past away some years ago-my Grandma began expressing a wanting to go back home. She really missed the simplicity and warmth of her home town and she had so many family and friends that still lived there. I think that she was beginning to feel a little lonely. B.C was gone and all of us were growing up and making families for ourselves. She finally moved back to Edenton just five years ago. And last year was the first time I'd ever visited the place. After my first experience there, I must say, I do know why she missed it so much.

If you ever visit Edenton be sure to check out these great handcraft and artisan shops on Main Street:
Byrums Gift and Crafts Shop-all types of handcrafted jewelry, textiles art as well as supplies
The Urban Village- this store carries handcrafted items such as these great vintage doorknob winestoppers called Knobstoppers

You can find out more about this towns rich history as well as its art culture by checking this link:

Well I'm going to be really busy getting packed-not only clothes but business cards and a couple of jewelry pieces to wear-always networking, you know and there's plenty of B&M shops and boutiques in the area to visit. I'll have new pics, new stories and possibly some new jewelry design ideas when I return.

Take care☺

Sunday, November 16, 2008

1000Markets...a dream come true?

Three days ago I was reading another blog and clicked on a link that brought me to a handcrafting comer's site called 1000Markets .
At first glance I could already tell that this site would be one that would possibly rival Etsy's already established position in the handcrafting movement. After reading it's terms and browsing the stores (some of which are also well known and successful Etsy sellers), I decided to sign up to sell. Managing four stores is going to be abit of a challenge for me but since my schedule now allows me more time to do this, I think I'm more than up for the challenge.

1000Markets is a juried site that offers features such as stats, Marketgroups and an actual blog within your store. Customers go through the Amazon payment system for orders and along with the forum, you can contact another member by posting on their "wallboard" or by contacting them through their store (similar to the convo system provided by Etsy). The opening page of the site is very pleasing to the eye and it is fairly easy to navigate here. In short, this place has everything that a seller would need.

I'm still waiting for approval for my shop to began selling here and although my items cannot be seen by the public as of yet, my blog and comments can so that is still a plus in my book. I'll keep you all posted on how things go...


I've been ACCEPTED! You can find my brand spanking new shop at:
Check out my blog there too.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A pleasant surprise☺

So yesterday I was browsing the forums of Etsy when I came upon a post from a very talented artist by the name of FrucciDesigns asking for help from jewelers that were from New York. Post about NY always grabs my attention so I jumped in. I came to find out that she is moving from California right to my hometown of Rochester New York and not only that, but she's moving just ten minutes away from where I live. I became so excited, I replied to her post, along with a few other helpful members and then I convo'ed her to let her know that if she would like to meet I'd be happy to. It's not very often that I get to meet a fellow Etsy member (actually I have NEVER met another member) and this particular artist was one that I remember hearting her shop when I first began to explore Etsy-her unique style and unconventional artistry really stood out to me. I just got a reply back from her today and hopefully we will soon get together and chat over a cup of coffee about our experiences working in our craft and selling on Etsy. I'll keep you posted.

Here you can see her amazing work:

Monday, November 10, 2008

A lil' o' this, A lil' o' that

Yesterday I attempted to be a virtual social butterfly.....

I always hear that in order to promote my online business, I need to do alot of socializing and networking via the web. On Etsy whenever I'm reading the business section of the forum I often see the words Blog, Twitter, Facebook and Flickr. I've already joined Flickr' and I now have a blog(the one your looking at right now☺) but sometimes I wonder how the sucessful sellers are able to make their items and still maintain an up to date account on their chosen networking sites.
As you can see from my blog log,I tend to post when I can get five spare minutes away from my motherly duties which is not very often. After a hiatus of at least two months, I logged into Flickr yesterday to add new pictures of my latest creations. While I was there, I joined a couple of groups and submitted pictures to a group that I had joined previously. I'll have to go back later to see if they were accepted. I left a comment for an unrelated picture of an African tribesman(I REALLY liked that pic) and that was it. I feel as if I could utilize Flickr better but I'm not sure how to. If anyone has any suggestions please comment below.

I also did my regular posting at Etsy and left comments for subjects that I was interested in, however it seems as if I'm constantly conversing with the same group-not that there is anything wrong with that-but the atmosphere gets stagnant and old after a while and it seems that I've seen the same subjects discussed over and over again. Not to mention that I'm not too sure that many buyers frequent this area of Etsy. Finally I visited Myspace and did my regular routine of emailing my friends and inviting new friend and then I decided to clean up my Ecrater site a little by deleting old listings and giving the shop page a fresh look.
I'm going to continue to read the business sections of Etsy to get some pointers and also surf the web for some new ideas. There's a wealth of info out there and I just have to find it and make it work.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Voting and Listing Today

I'm sitting at home right now, contemplating on whether I should help myself to a second cup of tea and watching the election coverage on CNN. I did vote today-it allowed me to take a nice stroll down the street to my polling place(it was 70 out today) and I got to pass out a few bussiness cards too.

In my last post I said that I wanted to focus on bridal jewelry for my SCJ Etsy shop.

I realize now that to do this would mean fierce competition in this catagory on Etsy. I came to the conclusion that all I need to do is narrow my niche and really make my items more recognizable and unique. I'm going create a signiture look to my pieces and throughout the months of November to January, I'd like to have my first complete, cohesive collection.

I listed two new items on Etsy today. My Croc bracelet-a sterling silver beaded cuff that allowed me to get back to my "roots". I started making jewelry professionally using this technique but as time went on I started venturing into other techniques. Now I've decided to bring it back with a vengance in both my Etsy and Ecrater shops.

I've also remodified my classic Bohemian Hoop earrings. I used to make these earrings using a basic brass wire. The hoops that I created before are very pretty but I decided that I wanted a design that was more study and artistic in the way they looked. I picked up some pure raw brass low gauge wire from a craft and metal reclamation shop. It came in two long rods taped together. When I got it home, I tested it by bending a small section on one end and snipping it with a pair of old wire cutters. It's resistance was more than I'd anticipated-nothing like the brass wire I'd used before. It took me a while to get used to working with it and when I finally did, I was able to make a bracelet and a beautiful pair of hoop earrings. The earrings I made are not so different from my original hoops but they do have a sculptural element to them in that I've created a tapering effect for the earwires while the rest of the earring is hammered flat and textured.