Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Poll Winner

Ok, the kids are already back to school which means it's time for me to announce the winner of our poll.

The listing that got the most votes is the bright colored bracelets by FriendlyBanter:

Congratulations, FriendlyBanter! Well done!!

And here is the prize you'll be receiving - my Tree of Life pendant. Enjoy!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Tutorial Sale

So I complained yesterday about how long it took me to make the Anemone Bracelet Tutorial. Well, hopefully the effort will pay off - I sold my first copy of it last night! I was so excited.. Today I changed the cover page on the listing because the one I had yesterday was kind of busy. Here is the new look:

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Anemone Bracelet Tutorial

Had I known how much work that tutorial is going to be, I would probably not have done it! Taking all the pictures and formatting them right, and then writing the explanations was a pretty formidable task.. But it's over now. I did it! Finally!
Here it is:

And here are some preview pictures of it:

Monday, August 11, 2008

Back To School Contest

Ok, it's that time of the year again when the kids are going back to school and we have to get them ready. Some moms are veterans in that - they've done it for many a time. But it's my first time - my 5 year old is just starting kindergarten. It is a bittersweet feeling - looking at how she is gradually becoming more and more independent and feeling pride that my husband and I have brought this wonderful girl to this world is certainly very fulfilling. But it's kind of sad as well to think how quickly time flies..

Anyway, I should not to digress from my main idea. This idea came to me as I was browsing through the stores of gifted etsy sellers with the back-to-school theme in mind. I saw so many beautiful things that I felt compelled to show at least a small number of them on my blog and create a poll so people can vote for their favorite item (the items are clickable so you can actually go and browse the entire shop of a particular seller). The seller who gets the most votes would receive a small present from me - a version of my Tree of Life Pendant. Here it is:

And here are the beautiful pieces that I hand-picked. I know the voting will be hard:)

The poll will stay on the rightmost part of my blog. It's the honor system - you can vote for more than one item but only one vote per item please.

The voting will close on August 31, 11 pm EST.

So let the fun begin!!!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Taking pictures

I wonder if taking good pictures is a talent, like having superior math skills, or a beautiful voice, or what have you. And I am beginning to think that it is. I've struggled with taking pictures of my jewelry for about 2 months now. I really enjoy making the piece, I am enthusiastic, passionate about it and once it's done and I know I have to take some pictures, my enthusiasm kind of fades away.. And that is because I know I'm not going to be able to do justice to my creation.
Ok, my first pictures were awful - no question about that! I had to insert a text probably to say what was on the picture. Then I read a little bit here and there, actually opened the camera's manual (both mine and my husband's even though his was truly discouraging) and the quality went up a little bit. But it was still difficult to make them crisp, to let the light through if you know what I mean.
I made a light box only to find that I must have done something wrong because the pictures were even darker! I experimented with what not, I found out that I could not take a decent picture on a white background for the life of me, that fabric works better than paper as a background, that taking them inside (close to the window) works far better than outside, that I should have majored in Photography in school, etc.
Now, I've found a set-up that I believe is decent. My pictures are still far from magazine quality but at least I can live with them. And I don't dread the moment of taking them. So going back to the original question - is picture taking a talent - I believe yes. After many trials one finds a decent set-up but choosing that particular angle that will make your piece stand out and let the light through is something that you either have or you don't. Or at least that's what I believe - any takers?
My latest creation - Tree of Life Bracelet - check it out:

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Wire Creations

I keep working on my wire animal collection. After the cat and elephant pieces, I came up with a snail drawing (have to admit it - my 5 year old's drawing books come in really handy those days:) . For the cat and the elephant, I first made the drawing on paper and then tried to replicate it with wire. I had to adjust the paper drawing the first few times until I got the proportions right. But for the snail, I thought confident enough to start with the wire right away. I made "something" and had to run it by someone at home to see what they thought. Now, my husband is a very patient guy but he has his limits:). My five-year old, however, is always happy to express an opinion. And she is quick too - sometimes she expresses one even if she hasn't been asked. This time though she had to think hard - evidently my snail was kinda of unconventional.. Finally she settled on a pig! So I figured I'd better start again. I made the drawing this time, adjusted it here and there and then replicated the design with wire. This time she was quick to say - snail! Here it is, my new snail bracelet, part of my wire creations series.
Check it out in my etsy store:

Friday, August 1, 2008

Been Busy

I've been really busy these days, I wanted to do so many things, I did not know where to start from. First, I wanted to redesign my etsy shop - I thought my banner was too lame, my pictures stink, no sales - all pretty discouraging. I also wanted to work on my wire animal collection, make a pair of earrings the design for which I've carried in my mind for a long time, play more with my kids - my 5-year old had her b-day this week, and my 2-year old is growing like a mushroom! Oh, and did I mention find the manual for my camera and start reading it - my pictures would always stink otherwise..

Well, I am still going down my list, but my elephant wire bracelet is ready and so are my earrings. Here, take a peek:

And my new earrings:

Now back to my list:)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Pictures from Tutorial

I had a lot of views on my tutorial when I first posted it on etsy. That was really encouraging for me because I spent a lot of time preparing it and I was hoping people will like it. Then I also heard that my cover picture was kinda of busy and people did not quite know what they were buying?? So I figured I would rework that and see what happens. I tried putting both the bracelet and the mandala on the same picture but the colors did not work well together and in short, I did not like it. I ended up with two different pictures, sort of less busy than the first one which I like less but I think they seem to pass the message across better. Here is what I am talking about:

This is the first picture (the one I originally had that was perceived as busy):

Those are the two I just did:

Would anyone comment which one they like better?

Thursday, July 24, 2008


These days I've been busy working on a tutorial about how to make a teardrop bracelet and a mandala. Those are some of my favorite pieces that I've designed. I can't really remember how many of each I must have made - takes a couple of hours max, yet the design is so effective and the color combinations are just amazing!

Recently I came up with the idea to make a tutorial about how to make them. My etsy stats where I have a few of my pieces listed seemed encouraging - people seemed to like them because I could see the clicks coming, yet the buys were not there! I know, everyone says it's slow these days, look at gas prices, the stock market, the housing market, the mortgage market, you name it market, everything is doom and gloom.. I agree with that - as a family, we've cut a lot of discretionary expenses as well. But every once in a while, you need that little something to keep you going. It doesn't have to be expensive, sometimes it's even something handmade that brightens the day. So I figured I'd put my knowledge to pen and paper (or rather to camera and world wide web these days) and let whoever wants to exploit their creative side have some fun with it.

To sweeten the deal, I've even promised to refund the purchase price of the first five people who send me pictures of their completed bracelet or mandala, as my way of saying thank you for their trust in me! We'll see how that goes, now I am expecting the pictures to start coming:)

If you are interested in finding out more about my tutorial, here is the etsy link:

Check it out:)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I first learned about Mandalas when I was reading Jung. For Jung, Mandalas are the expression of the self, the path to the center, to individuation. I found that fascinating. My google search for mandalas produced hardly anything that spiked my interest. But then I found a couple of really cool books on Amazon for coloring mandalas. I ordered them together with a hefty set of Prisma pencils (I believe I got the box with 108 pencils in it which immediately became the source of envy from my five year old who was upset that I would not share them with her!). I colored quite a few mandalas and I really found the whole experience highly therapeutic. Coloring a mandala on a lazy Sunday afternoon and experimenting with all the different color combinations (and believe me, with 108 different color pencils the possibilities are just endless..) was truly enjoyable. I did not like all the mandalas that I colored - when I looked at them the next day, I would go like - gee, what was I thinking yesterday. But while I was coloring the mandalas I was so engrossed in the exercise that this did not seem to matter. And my mind was really enjoying the break from all thoughts and worries. I still produced some mandalas that I liked though. Then, after some negotiating with my husband, we ended up hanging some of them around the house.

After my coloring period was kind of drawing to a close, I experimented with making a mandala from beads. I played a little and after a few tries, I produced a mandala that I was happy enough to hang on my car mirror. The mandala was predominantly purple, to match my car color:) I figured next time I get stuck in traffic, I might as well be looking at my mandala and thinking those deep thoughts instead of getting aggravated by the traffic situation. It does seem to work, plus the sparkle of those Swarovski crystals in the sun is really fascinating!

Since then, I've created a number of mandalas from beads but they all have the colors red and purple predominate in them. There was a reading I stumbled upon once that the colors one chooses to color their mandalas tells something about them, I have to dig this out:)

Here is my latest creation:

You can see all the pictures at my etsy store:


Monday, July 21, 2008

Wire Weekend

Just recently I was reading "The Little Prince" to my 5-year old daughter. This is probably the book I've read the most times in my life (and I'm sure there are more to come since I have a two year old as well:). Anyway, in the book, the little Prince makes a drawing of a snake who has swallowed an elephant. And he cannot really understand why the grown-ups say it's a hat. I just love that story!! My 5-year old did not believe it either so I guess she is growing up:)

Anyway, I got the inspiration from the book to try to make my own drawing of an elephant and then to make it with wire. My first two elephants turned out kind of big, I guess you wouldn't want to wear them and neither would I but then I got better. I made a cute little elephant that I turned into a bracelet. I thought, wow, that's fun, let's try something else! I tried making a cat. Here's how it looked:

I decided to make a bracelet out of it. I don't know if you've heard the superstition but I remember when we were kids, if a black cat crossed our way while we were playing outside, we had to turn around three times, just to make sure nothing bad would come our way:). I thought we are grown ups now, if I had to turn three times, probably the obvious thing that would happen is that I'll feel dizzy.. So instead of trying it out, I decided to add a couple of evil eye beads to my bracelet (as you can imagine I always keep those handy in the house:), to make sure that we'll be safe from evil:) This is all a joke of course, but I liked the final result:

Then I played some more, made another cat and decided to make a necklace with it. No evil eye beads this time, no superstitions, just a fun, attention-grabbing necklace. Here it is:

I listed both pieces on etsy, check them out if you want to see all the pictures:



Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Ok, here are the pictures. I was able to load them now.

Hope you like them:)

Added Links to Etsy

I am starting to like this! I was actually able to add links to my etsy shop in less than an hour. Ok, I had to restart my computer in the meantime but it wasn't because of something that I did. This is really cool. And I was able to change that awful template that I picked yesterday. I looked at it this morning and I was like - gee, what was I thinking yesterday.. I like this one a lot better - it's simple and pleasing to the eye (at least to mine:). And since I am probably the only one reading that blog anyway, I wanted to make sure it doesn't drive me crazy.

Talking about readers, I saw that my blog had 10 hits yestereday - I am hoping it's not all me checking it out 10 times, it's me and 9 OTHER people! I still don't know how most of the things work around here so I am taking everything with a grain of salt:)

Ok, enought about me, this blog was supposed to be about jewelry anyway! Let me share with you my newest piece that I just posted on etsy:


I wasn't sure whether that pendant is not too heavy for a bracelet but I liked the final product. It sure grabs attention!

For some reason my 'add image' button is not working so if you want to see the pictures, you'll need to follow the link above.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

First Day of Blogging

Ok, it's official now - I've just joined the world of blogging. You may call me a blogging virgin, a newbie, whatever comes to mind for someone who had never tried blogging before. But they've made it easy on us - just choose a predesigned template, add a picture and a few things about you and off you go - you are in blogging universe. Technology does wonders those days! The question is what do I or anyone who writes a blog for that matter has to share that someone else would be interested to read.. right?That's the BIG question.

My initial idea is to write about the jewelry that I am making - post pictures, hopefully get feedback and comments and gradually find my niche in outer space. I want to start small and see where that takes me.

Here is a picture of a bracelet that I just posted on etsy today (hopefully I can post it here:)

And here's a preview of another piece I am working on:

Anyone for comments? That would be a big encouragement for me, means someone actually read this!!