Thursday, April 30, 2009

Last Chance to Win

Today is the last day to enter to win my April giveaway. The prize is a lovely Botswana Agate bracelet. To enter, click here. It's easy to enter. Just become a follower of my blog if you aren't already (current followers can enter as well), visit one (or both) of my shops, pick your favorite item, and post it in a comment on the thread.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Ajdjss Guild "Spring Cleaning & Treasure Hunt" Event

The Ajdjss Guild "Spring Cleaning and Treasure Hunt" Event is on now and runs through May 1st.

***To visit the guild's studios please click on the studio links provided on the right side of this page just under the slideshow of jewelry prizes for the treasure hunt***

When you visit our studios you will find that each one has a special section called "Spring Cleaning"--check out this section for fabulous sales and specials on beautifully handcrafted jewelry and wonderful jewelry supplies. Deals you will find hard to resist.

But that's not all--We are having a "Treasure Hunt"--with the chance for you to win fabulous handcrafted jewelry from our talented jewelry artisans!

Here are some items from one of the guild members, Silver River Jewelry. She has some incredibly beautiful and unique items available in her shop. Please click here to see more of her wonderful items.

If you would like to see more wonderful artisan jewelry, please visit the other guild shops as well. For more details and to enter the contest, please click here.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Pamper Yourself

I love handmade soaps. They leave my skin feeling cleaner and more moisturized than storebought soap. My favorite soaps so far are olive oil soaps, but I have also heard wonderful things about goat's milk soaps and look forward to trying them soon.

I always take a look at shops that sell handmade soap and would like to share one with you. The shop is Shine Your Hiney Soap on ArtFire. Not only are the soaps lovely, but I have heard wonderful things about them from others I know who have tried them. I hope to find out how great they are firsthand in the near future.


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Accept Payments with No Fees

I love selling online, but hate the fees charged by some companies to accept payments. I was so happy when I heard of Revolution Money Exchange (RME). You can accept payments and transfer the money to your bank account or spend your money in other shops that accept RME. Best of all, there are no fees.

I accept Revolution Money Exchange payments in both my shops. If you accept RME, please comment with your shop name and link. I'm trying to put together a list of shops that accept RME.

If you haven't heard of RME and are interested in learning more, please click here to visit the Revolution Money Exchange site.


Friday, April 17, 2009

A Bit of Cheer to Brighten Your Day

I love small zipper pouches. I use them for everything - makeup, jewelry making tools, crochet needles, change, my daughter's small toys, and the list goes on. Most of the pouches I find are rather plain, but occasionally I run across a few that have a bit of personality.

Imagine my delight when I found an entire store of pouches with personality! DJStoreroom on ArtFire offers beautiful, cheerful, bright pouches along with her other great items. Here is a bit about the artist in her own words:

"DjStoreRoom is registered in Singapore as a sole-prop business in 2009 Febuary and operated by myself, a work-from-home-mother. I operate my business daily, from Monday to Friday ending at 6pm each day to focus on my family, marriage, child, friends and other commitments. Setting goals and priorities is important to me as I seek to bring forth my greatest potential and courage in achieving sweet victory and showing magnificent actual proof in my life.

Handmade Treasures by DjStoreRoom is my creative outlet where my handmade bags and crafts are being sold. Crafting and sewing allows me to focus on my hands and my projects, and it makes my happy which in turns fuels more passion for creating.

Sharing tutorials for sewing bags and more helps to create value for others while creating value for my own growth."

Please take a look at her store today and see what you can find to brighten your day.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Business Sense and Sensibility

I have been noticing a trend lately. It is a trend of business owners disparaging their own shops in public venues. Some are even asking their customers to provide negative information about their shops. Sound crazy? I agree. I would never go into a public venue and announce to people I don't know, including my potential customers, that my business wasn't doing well even if that was the fact. It just isn't a good business practice.

Let's say you're shopping in your town. You go into a shop you've never been in before and the owner says the following:

"My shop is not doing well. What's wrong with it? Are my products awful? Does the shop need to be cleaned up?"

If that happened, you would likely turn around and leave. You don't know this person. You went into the shop to take a look and were bombarded by questions from the owner asking why his shop is so horrible.

Perhaps we all need to think of online stores in a different way. The internet is faceless for the most part. We often forget that an online store, and what is said about it, reaches far more people than local stores and information possibly could. After all, isn't that one of the reasons we love to sell online?

We all have our moments of frustration. We all need a chance to vent. All I am suggesting is that a public venue is not the proper place for this to occur. There are many private forums and groups available if you don't have anyone to talk to locally. If you spend your time promoting your store in a negative manner, you will get negativity in return and will most likely lose sales and potential customers. You must try to allow your business sense to overrule your emotional sensibilities. Otherwise, you have failed before you even get started.

A wise person I know told me that many people have created a business, quite by accident, while doing something they love. If you love your craft, then do it! If you don't, then perhaps you could take a moment to think of what you do love and see how that could possibly work for you.

There are many ways to promote the businesses we love. There is also a right and a wrong approach to promotion. Please make sure that you choose the right approach in order to succeed.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Handcrafted Home Decor

I love interesting home decor items. While shopping recently, I ran across some wonderful items that will make your home even more special. There are handcrafted outlet covers, light switch plates, lampshades, and more. The design on the items are done with fabric, so there are a lot to choose from.

These lovely items are made by 3zArt on ArtFire who has this to say about herself:

"I've had a pretty interesting life for my short time here! Lived in many wonderful places (and many not so wonderful). Currently going to school to hopefully make something of myself :) I love making home decor items and experimenting to make new products. I have lots of crazy ideas..some work wonderfully and others end in disaster(and usually burnt hands). I also love playing with polymer clay but that is just a hobby and I would probably never sell any of my work. I have not had a traditional life at is very hard for me to fill out any kind of form about myself *<:o) "

If you would like to see more of the wonderful items at 3zArt, just click on a picture below, then click to visit the studio. You can also purchase the items through secure checkout once you click without signing up on the site.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Accessories by Gottjoy

Beading isn't just for jewelry and Accessories by Gottjoy has some great choices. She makes beautiful ceiling fan pulls, elegant pens, wine stoppers that are perfect for special occasions, and beaded letter openers in addition to her beautiful jewelry selections.

Accessories by Gottjoy is run by Joyce who has this to say about her art:

"I have been making jewelry for several years. I got hooked on it when I discovered the cool things my co-workers were making. I knew once I purchased those first beads, I was in trouble."

So if you are looking for something special that was handmade with love, please visit Joyce's shop and take a look around.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Reminder about Blog Giveaway

Just a reminder to enter my April blog giveaway. Click the link above this post and follow the instructions to enter. All you need to do is be a follower of my blog, then visit my shops and post your favorite item.


A Great Day for Jewelry

I love jewelry, as most of you know. There is a shop on ArtFire called Alisuns that I would like to share with you. The following is from Alisuns' shop information:

"Alisun's Custom Crafted Jewelry is my full-time at-least-8hr/day obsession. I enjoy custom crafting my 3 Generations necklaces, bracelets, and Core of My Heart earrings and hope to have a selection of styles of them up on the website soon.

I work in gemstone and Swarovski, with gold filled or sterling silver wire. I enjoy the look of the fine metals and crystals, and use them almost exclusively. The occasional finding or pendant will be plated, but if it is, I have noted it in my listing.

Although I have a category called "custom" almost any style in my studio can be custom made for you."

If you are looking for beautiful jewelry, stop by and see what she has available.


Friday, April 10, 2009

A New Product for Absolutely Amy

I just added a new product to my shop, Absolutely Amy, and wanted to share them with you. I am making soap bags, or soap socks as some call them.

Just drop your favorite bar of soap inside, tie the bow, and it's ready to use. You can hang the bag by the bow as well. When the soap is gone, throw the bag in the washer and dryer and it is ready to use again.

If you prefer to use a liquid soap, just put the soap on the bag, rub together to lather, and use. It would also work with facial cleansers.

The bags come in regular and extra soft.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Ready for a Laugh?

I love a good laugh. When I first saw a magnet by Picard Creative, I had to go to her shop and look around. Some of the magnets are quirky and some represent works of art or Hollywood stars, but most are just plain hilarious.

The following bio was taken from Picard Creative on ArtFire:

"I am a mom of a teenage boy-(he is the love of my life) I live with him, my boyfriend (sometimes, when I like him) and my 2 crazy cats- Oreo and Lilly.

I own a brick and mortar shop called "The Cats Meow" it is a super cool shop which features many, many handmade items.

I am also a graphic designer and altered art/collage artist. My goal is to transition into being more of an artist/creator of fun things- I love my store, yet business is not so hot right now- so I need mulitiple streams of income. Plus, I am so creative and hyper that I cannot just sit in the shop all day doing nothing! lol

My greatest hope is that you find a smile or 2 in my shop and choose to purchase my items to share a laugh or smile."

The first of Picard's magnets I fell in love with was this one, which my family members agree was made just for me.

When I looked at others in her shop, I decided that most of them were absolutely priceless. A few more of my favorites are below.

With so many great magnets to choose from, you may find it difficult to pick a favorite. So if you are up for a laugh, please visit Picard Creative.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Little Creativity

Good morning! I was looking for some pretty, creative items and wanted to share what I found with you. These items are all available on ArtFire. Click the pictures for a closer look.


Monday, April 6, 2009

I Dreamed

I would like to share a lovely poem I came across on the internet today. Amy of AmyDesigns wrote this lovely poem about her son and is running a special in her shop on Tuesday, April 7th. Please read on after the poem for details.

I Dreamed


Amy Cavaness

I dreamed he'd be born beautiful and healthy.

He was.

I dreamed he'd tell me that he loves me.

He tells me every day.

I dreamed he'd be bright and funny.

He is - his humor is wonderful.

I dreamed he'd ride a bike, catch a ball and wrestle with his big brother.

He does and his brother loves it.

I dreamed he'd have big birthday parties with lots of friends and cake and presents.

He's had six.

I dreamed he'd one day get on a bus and go to kindergarten.

He did it yesterday - my heart full of love and my eyes full of tears.

I dreamed he'd make us proud.

He has, and he's inspired us.

Dean has Down Syndrome.

I never dreamed that.

"It's been 15 years since I wrote this poem. Dean turns 21 on April 7, 2009 and I couldn't have dreamed what kind of man he'd become. He's still funny, he's very bright, and he still loves cake. He continues to make us proud. I continue to be grateful for his presence in our lives. And I love him dearly.

In honor of Dean's 21st birthday on Tuesday, April 7, I will donate 100% of my sales to the National Association for Down Syndrome. This organization offers wonderful support to parents and their kids, and we were so glad we found them when Dean was born."


In addition to Amy's generous sale, James of Birdy Knits had this to say:

"In support of Amy and her endevor, for every sale she makes on the 7th of April, we will send her an additional $5 to help with her support. So if you can find it in yourself to purchase one of her lovely items Birdy's Knits will kick in an additional $5 per item sold on April 7th from AmyDesigns, no limit! That's our Birthday gift to Dean.

We wish you the best Birthday Yet Dean!

--James of Birdy's Knits"


So if you find the time, please visit Amy's shop by clicking here and help support a wonderful cause. You don't even need to become an ArtFire member to purchase an item. Thanks.

Some items from AmyDesigns:


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Pretty as a Peacock

Today I would like to share a new shop with you. The shop is Caterpillar Peacock and it is run by Lindsey. There is more about Lindsey below. You can find some great items at Lindsey's shop such as this lovely Needlefelted Calla Lily Brooch.

Your name: Lindsey

Where in the world are you? Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Your website:

Your Blog:>

Briefly describe yourself and what you make:

I'm a big weirdo, through and through. I like strange things that make me laugh. If you've ever seen the show Clone High, I like to think that it's my EXACT sense of humour. Funny and ironic, and kinda off kilter. This helps explain what I make, teeny tiny hats. I crochet them first and then felt them in my washing machine until they're just right and finally I block them to just the right shape. I make all sorts of hats: berets, fedoras, top hats, you name I can crochet it. Well, that's what I make to sell, mostly. I've been expanding out into other things as well, like jewelry, but not your run of the mill jewelry, it's soft and made of wool too. Right now because of spring I've been working on making plant inspired stuff, like ivy vines and calla lillies. It's been a lot of fun.

Who or what inspires you?

I'm inspired by so many things: colour, nature, my mom, funny things on the internet, old school games, comic books, anything from the 50's through the 70's, Alphonse Mucha... The list just goes on and on.

When / how did you learn?

I've been crafting for as long as I can remember. My mom taught me how to crochet when I was 8. We made bracelets for my softball team in just chain stitches and it was awesome. I knew then that I would never put down a crochet hook.

Why do you make things by hand?

I have to. It's just been a happy byproduct that I can make stuff and actually sell it. I make stuff because if I don't see all these crazy ideas in my head through I would be a sad, sad, panda.

What is your craft ”philosophy”?

It was said best in handmade nation: There are two types of people in this world, those who make stuff and those who don't.

Have you always made 'stuff'?

Yes! I used to make clothes for my dolls out of kleenex by tearing it into skirts and ponchos and the like. Then I took a fashion class in highschool and that's when I knew that I would forever and ever be making stuff. When I went to university for fashion I KNEW that I would one day be selling my wares somewhere or another.

How do you motivate yourself?

My boyfriend is my motivator. There are some days that I might not even be able to get out of bed without him.

How do you deal with crafty mistakes?

A lot of the time they get thrown into the WIPs pile. Sometimes they turn out to be better than what I started out with.

Favourite craftbook(s)?

Creative Hands. There's like 30 of 'em. From the 1970s. They are so amazing.

Do you have a designated craft space? What does it mean to you?

I have a CRAFT ROOM. It was the best thing that ever happened to me. I have a cutting table and a place for my FOUR sewing machines, all my wool/yarn stash. It's great. Life has been ever so much more productive since it happened.

Do you use a sketchbook or journal?

I have about a billion sketchbooks that also serve as journals. I tend to have two on the go at all times, a purse sketchbook and a house sketchbook. That way I always have something around for when a good idea strikes.


Friday, April 3, 2009

Ahoy Mateys - It's Pirate Time

Do you like fun, useful things? If so, then you should check out Pirate Pixie Crew. The shop is run by Lynne, who makes wonderful, fun, and attractive knit and crochet creations. She live with her partner Jon in South Wales, in the UK, with mountains behind their house, mountains in front and the sea within a 30 minute drive. She feels it is a beautiful place to be. As an added bonus, when you buy from her shop, you become a member of the Pirate Pixie Crew - an honor indeed!

The Pirate Pixie Crew had an interesting beginning. According to the information in the shop, Captain Skulduggery Dug was tired of all the scurrilous scurvy dogs in her ships crew. They stole from her, drank all her rum and never did the washing up! Cap'n Skully decided enough was enough and she made them all walk the plank into shark infested waters. One by one they were all gobbled up never to be seen again. All were left to sleep in Davy Jones locker.

Cap'n Skully found it very difficult to sail her big galleon alone. Steering whilst putting up and taking down the sails on the ship was impossible. Doubloon the Captain's faithful dog was roped in to take hold of the helm when the Cap'n needed to hoist the sails, eat her dinner, drink some rum, or go below for a sleep. The only problem was Doubloon had no sense of direction and couldn't read a compass. As time went on the ship veered further and further off course until they were in strange waters that the Captain didn't recognise.

Late one night with Doubloon at the helm the galleon ran aground on a beautiful island. The bump woke Cap'n Dug from her slumber. Confused, she stumbled up onto the deck to find the galleon slumped at an angle and illuminated by hundreds of tiny sparkling coloured lights. Doubloon was hiding under an empty barrel. He was frightened that the Captain would be angry with him.

As the Captains eyes became adjusted to the lights she realised that each light was coming from a tiny little person that appeared to be fixing up, cleaning and polishing her tatty, tired old galleon. In awe she moved closer to one and saw that it was a teeny little baby. She looked at others. They were all tiny little babies. On their heads they wore a variety of cute woolly hats and sprouted from their backs were the most gorgeous twinkling wings that gave off the iridescent light.

Skully shook her head and rubbed her eyes. Surely she must be dreaming, or maybe she'd had too much grog, but no, she really did have a new crew of Pirate Pixies. Come the morning, the high tide had lifted the galleon off the sand and it was floating back out to sea, for new adventures, with a brand new crew. Captain Skulduggery Dug stood at the helm with a happy grin on her bony face.

Do you want to come and join her crew?

One of my favorite items in the shop is this beautiful hat. It is handmade of an acrylic, wool, polyester blend.

If you aren't in the market for a hat right now, how about a case for your phone or MP3 player? The bright colors will liven up every call.

Everyone needs a booty pouch and this red one is just the ticket.

As you can see, there's a little something for the pirate in each of us. So hoist those sails and take a ride over to visit Pirate Pixie Crew (and don't make me force you to walk the plank).


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Fun and Funky Finds

I wanted to find some fun & funky items this morning, so I went window shopping again. I found animal print jewelry, chainmaille beauties, dragons in love, and a candle cocktail.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Easter Egg Hunt is On...and This Bunny Leaves Gift Certificates

The Easter bunny has visited ArtFire and has left several eggs in shops for you to find. If you would like to participate in the hunt, please click here for full rules and details on how to enter. There are three gift certificates up for grabs:

1st place: $50
2nd place: $20
3rd place: $10



April Blog Giveaway - Win a Sterling & Gemstone Bracelet

Good morning and welcome to my April Blog Giveaway. I've decided to make it very easy to enter my giveaway this month. All you have to do to enter is:

1) Follow my blog


2) Post your favorite item from either of my ArtFire shops.

You can visit my shops by clicking on the shop name below:

The Jewelry Shop

Absolutely Amy

The prize for this giveaway is this lovely Botswana Agate, Hematite, and Sterling Wire Wrap Bracelet made by me.


And the Winner Is....

Good morning! Using a random number generator, I picked the winner of my March Blog Giveaway this morning. The winner of the lovely vintage earrings and surprise gift is...(Drum roll here)...Jenn from Ninja Jenn! Congratulations Jenn! I'll get those out in the mail this week.