Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Have you heard about my newest project, ReddingHandmade? If not, you must not log into your Facebook very often. I'm MAD about handmade and I established a group to represent my obsession with it.

Ok, so I made the group for other reasons too. But one over the top reason (that is a great blog topic) is my obsession for all things handmade. And, strangely, as I get farther and farther into the making of the group... the love grows and grows. I used to just like handmade but now I adore it. I adore it the way that Audrey Hepburn adored classy.

Want to know more about my new project? Go check out ReddingHandmade now and see for yourself. Or become a fan on Facebook and support handmade artists. You can also follow our Blog and see the comprehensive list of local shops.


Here's a link from USA TODAY's website speaking the virtues of handmade and Etsy's part in making it more readily available.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Handmade Heaven

I heart handmade. I used to heart it because I made it. Now, I heart it because I respect it. I respect it so much, in fact, that I made a club devoted to it. It's called ReddingHandmade. It's technically an local Etsy team made up of Redding residents that make handmade items.

I've been working on this group for a few weeks but I've been dreaming about it for years. Even before I moved to Redding, I daydreamed about a creative collective in all forms and mediums. I fantasized of creativity parties where we teach each other the craft that we ourselves have fine tuned. I rehearsed workshops where I could share what I've learned the hard way and others could spring from a higher platform than the one I started on. I envisioned an overall attitude of generosity in the way that creative people steward their knowledge.

And so, a week and a half ago, I began by emailing local Etsians and asked if they'd be interested in a Redding team. I have to admit that I was taken aback by the sincere and enthusiastic responses that I received from every one of the local artists I contacted. That enthusiasm has compelled me to action, and swift action at that.

I have already established all of the solid social media outlets that define our online culture. And now, we have our first meeting set for the end of this month. That means I'll get to meet all of the interested parties that want to see the art of handmade more accessible to the Redding community. I'm also in the works of planning an Open House for our debut. It will be next month.

If you live in or near Redding, have or desire to have an Etsy shop, and recognize the virtue of handmade, we'd love for you to join us! Even if you're none of these things, your support is imperative to our success. Check out the following links and let us know what you think. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook and read our blogs once in awhile. And more than anything, support your local businesses!

Twitter: www.twitter.com/reddinghandmade
Facebook Fanpage: www.facebook.com/reddinghandmade
Blogger: www.reddinghandmade.blogspot.com
Ning Site (for Members): www.reddinghandmade.ning.com

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Name Change

So there are 2 parts to the name change reference. For one, I got married about 5 months ago now and I still haven't changed my name fully. I've changed it with the state but not on any of my important documents. I'll call Social Security tomorrow. The Department of Transportation will just have to wait. Even still, my social media name is Chrystal Lynn Paasch Simmons. That's only so people will recognize me, not because it's factual.

On another note, I have actually changed the name of my blog. I used to blog about life and school in Redding (which I'm done with) and a boyfriend (which is now a husband) and my creativity (which has it's own blog now). So, I've sort of wanted to start back up again but wasn't sure what I'd actually have to say. Even now, I still don't fully know. But, I suppose that I figured I might as well start somewhere.

Anyway, that's pretty much it for tonight. I'm currently doing temp work full time so that plus jewelry plus husband keeps me super busy. I think I want to post my new favorite recipe tomorrow. Be on the lookout. It's the one that I Twitter about every time I think about it. Ok, now you're in suspense...

Hearts for Haiti Etsy Shop

Kathy Duncan from Sacred River Designs on Etsy posted this on our ReddingHandmade team page today and I wanted to make sure everyone knew about it.

"I learned about this on Twitter Tracker:

HeartsforHaiti is an Etsy collective of donated items from hundreds of Etsy shops to raise money to rebuild Haiti. 100% of the proceeds from this shop (minus Etsy fees and Paypal fees) go directly to DoctorsWithoutBorders (http://doctorswithoutborders.org ) in bi-monthly increments. This shop has permission to use the DoctorsWithoutBorders name and a separate bank account and Paypal account have been opened to maintain the integrity of this shop.

Items have been donated from many individual shops; each shop has included their particulars ( country, shipping time) in each listing. All items include seller-donated free shipping (most worldwide, see individual listing) because the need is SO great, we want you to buy and help support Etsians helping Haiti. The theme for the next few weeks is on heart items but we have more than just that. Please browse our sections to the right and know that your purchase in this shop not only gets you a great Etsy item but it also helps alleviate the needs in Haiti through donations to DoctorsWithoutBorders (MedicinesSansFrontiers ).


Please send the following information in an email to etsyforhaiti(at)gmail(dot)com
and put "Hearts For Haiti Donation" as the title:

Your shop name (ex: SacredRiverDesigns.etsy.com)
Your location and country
Item Name/Title
Item Price (please do include this! we don’t want to undervalue your work :)
Item Description
10 tags
Materials used
Up to 5 clear photos of the item

*Please be sure to attach (or upload) all of the photos to the email. Make sure you are sending the sized-for-Etsy versions of your photos. If there is a problem with the photos being transmitted, we will let you know.

*Quantity: if you have a quantity greater than one of this item to donate, please note it here and remind us to RE-LIST it when it sells


♥ Shipping: All sellers must ship items at their own cost. We would like to encourage everyone who can to offer worldwide shipping but understand that some items need to stay domestic due to customs restrictions. If you would like to restrict your shipping parameters please be sure to note that explicitly in your listing!"

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ylang 23

When I was an impressionable young middle schooler growing up in Dallas, the greatest thing to do was go shopping at the Galleria. Going to the Galleria was a post Christmas tradition. Going to the Galleria was the wonderfully creative location of my 13th birthday party. Going to the Galleria, to this day, warms my heart as I think about years of memories with girlfriends & giggles & good things to eat.

And even amidst all of the memories, there's something else about the Galleria that instantly transports me back to fond mother/daughter memories that, without a doubt, have set the stage for my fashion taste to this day. And that something is Ylang 23. Up until a few years ago, you might have known it as Ylang Ylang. It was a matchbox sized stand alone shop on the south side of the mall on the first floor.

My mother and I would frequent the shop as it was one of the only places in town where she could purchase her favorite perfume, Ylang Ylang Autumn. They had lots of perfume, but I remember most the jewelry. When everything else was bigger in Texas, this shop featured dainty and delicate creations. Designs were, and to this day still are, ones that are beyond elegant in their simplicity and utterly luxurious in their construction.

If, by chance, you are captivated by my obsession with the shop, you'll no longer find it where I described. It has grown tremendously and rightfully so. The world wouldn't be right if it had not. It can now be found on the 2nd floor of the Galleria overlooking the brisk and bright ice rink. The windows are now bigger and the variety is plentiful. And, in case you were wondering, the shop is as inspiring as ever.

I'll leave you with one more fond memory of what you now know as Ylang 23. The last time I wandered through the Galleria (which was about 3 years ago since I no longer reside in Dallas), I happened to be wearing one of my own Chrystalyn creations. I, as always, perused the intricately wrapped gemstone necklaces and the earthy leather stamped bracelets. While I was coveting in a flattering sort of way, the impeccably dressed saleswoman commented on my necklace. She loved the texture of my vaguely faceted raw opal chunks and round, crisply cut smoky quartz all hand knotted on silk thread.

From a shop that sets the standard on taste in my book, I am forever grateful for that kind compliment. Ylang 23, I hope you never cease to captivate me!

Cathy Waterman - Love of My Life Collection

Current designers include the breathtaking Cathy Waterman, Me & Ro, Temple St Clair, Ten Thousand Things, Good Fortune, Irene Neuwirth and more.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

One Last Time

So I thought it might be fun to sneak one more blog session in before I got my new template. I'm so excited that I don't want to go to bed. I just want to stare at my awesome new blog template that a fellow Etsian Carlynne Welch created for me. Its so adorably sweet and totally in sync with the new style of my shop.

I just wanted to give you a heads up in case you actually VISIT my blog and are confused by the look of it. Of course, most of you probably just read the imported version that feeds into Facebook. But I really do have an actual blog that I've tried to make relatively engaging. And seriously, it has some fun stuff on it as far as widgets go.

Ok, I'm probably being wholly self-indulgent right now; I just can't help myself. I'm just in the mood to type and my husband isn't around to stop me. I could go on and on. But I won't. I'll stop right now. Yes, now.

So anyhow, The new blog look will debut this coming week. I'll let you know (for the folks that only read the feeds) so you can go look around. For those of you that are awesome enough to actually make your way to the blog page, well... you'll know it when you see it.