Wednesday, November 12, 2008

LouisianArtisans Meet & Greet

I love meeting and talking with artistic people. Our LouisianArtisans Etsy Team (tag: LArtisans Team) members periodically have local meet and greets. I attended one last week for the Etsy sellers in my area. We discussed local marketing opportunities, upcoming shows, promotional items, as well as shared our creations.

In the photo, from left to right are the owners of the following Etsy shops: JodieFlowers, Mamaslittlemonkeys, Cheeseandchocolate and LisaRaspino.

Clicking on their shop name below will take you to their Etsy shop. If you click on the photos, it will take you the specific item in their shop. I encourage you visit...great stuff!


JodieFlowers works in a variety of media. She brought some of her adorable patches to show us:

These appliques/patches measure 5 1/2 by 7 inches and are sewn for durability. They are perfect for kid's t-shirts, denim jackets, fabric totes, robes...the possibilities are endless!

I'm coveting one of Jodie's colorful spiders made from polymer clay and wire, which can be attached to a window/porch screen or made with a magnet on back. Check this out:


Mamaslittlemonkeys is a great place to find baby items: clothing, cloth wipes, nursing pillows, bibs and blankets. She made this blanket and Sammy the 6-Legged Octopus set out of the softest minky fabric:

In addition to being an artist with needle and thread, she's also a talented graphic designer. If you're looking for a website banner, avatar or graphic for your social networking site, you can order one through her shop.

The same artist has a second shop:


This shop has beautiful silk flower pens for the person who likes to write with flair.


This shop is a mother/daughter owned shop featuring beautiful, trendy (yet not dated) jewelry, as well as original drawings, art prints, and ACEOs (Artists' Cards, Editions & Originals). Below is her new listed earrings.

The owner of CheeseandChocolate has another shop:


WorkingtheStash sells supplies for making jewelry, scrapbooking and stamping. She has a nice selection of Christmas stamps, just in time for your holiday card-making.


This is my shop, where I sell handcrafted beaded and embellished chain jewelry. Below is a necklace made with purple glass beads and sterling silver.

I hope you enjoyed the brief introduction to these shops. I encourage you to click the links and get better acquainted!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Round Ear Wires

Look what I made with silver wire, a couple of beads, a pair of pliers, and a Sharpie pen (to shape the wire):

You may be thinking, "whatever possessed you....?"

I mentioned in yesterday's post that one of my fellow LousianArtisan team members (an Etsy team) and I attempted to visit our favorite bead shop after our team's Meet & Greet on Tuesday, but unfortunately the shop is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

She and I made arrangements to go again on Thursday. I love, love, love this store. It's called Turquoise Coyote and they have amazing prices (especially on their sterling silver wire, chain, findings).

One reason I believe their prices are so great is that they are almost rebelliously low-tech. No website = no online orders, no computerized inventory, no cash register... Your receipt is written in a notebook with a sheet of carbon paper in between - item number, quantity and price. The top sheet torn out for you (your receipt), the other stays in the notebook for their um..recordkeeping (if they keep records). Your purchases are tallied up on a handheld calculator. Tax is calculated on the calculator. It's actually rather quaint.

I went with the specific purpose of buying deep red cultured freshwater pearls for a custom necklace I'm working on for a customer, and to buy some sterling silver wire. This is my first foray in to bulk wire. I usually purchase 2 inch headpins and use those to wire wrap my beads, but I wanted to venture into making my own ear wires.

Two hours and eighty-plus dollars later, I leave with:
  • deep red cultured freshwater pearls
  • deep brownish olive cultured freshwater pearls
  • rose quartz chips
  • tourmaline chips in shades of pink and green
  • small tourmaline bead in shades of brown
  • green quartz faceted rondele beads
  • red carnelian faceted round beads
  • 31 feet of sterling silver wire
  • 100 sterling silver headpins.
It's quite possible that I'm forgetting something.

Anyway, I used the sterling wire to fashion my own rounded ear wires. A nice change from the traditional French hook style, I think.

My Latest Compulsion...Beaded Sphere

After our LouisianArtisans (Etsy team) Meet and Greet on Tuesday, one of my fellow jewelry designers and I decided to visit our favorite bead supply shop. It isn't too terribly far away, but not in an area that I pass regularly, which is probably a good thing for my wallet.

Anyway, the bead shop is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. However, there's another bead shop a block away that is going out of business. I've been there before and it's a very nice shop. It's more of a specialty bead place, rather than the buy-in-bulk store. But I digress...

All items were 50% off. I bought the bead in the photo. No specific plan in mind for it, but it intrigued me. It's made of small rice pearls and woven together into a 3-dimensional open sphere. The diameter is smaller than a dime.

As it so often happens with me, 'intrigue' morphs into 'compulsion' (or is it 'obsession'?). I cannot tell you how many hours I spent online looking for instructions on how to make one of these. Especially challenging because I don't know what it's generally called.

Is it a beaded ball (one small typo in google brings up some very, very strange links. Oy!), a beaded sphere, a woven beaded ball....? You get the idea. I've found a few different sets of instructions, plus one online video tutorial, so I think I'll be able to figure out the technique and perhaps make a few of my own.

It's the mantra of the self-taught: "I read a tutorial (or saw a podcast) and now I'm an expert." :-D