Monday, April 26, 2010

The Price of Beauty

I meant to do this a very long time ago and totally forgot.

This past fall, I did a trade with Laura from SugarChills on Etsy.  She got some very sweet fabric bags for gifting and I received a pot of her Face Slime No 2 - healing oatmeal face mask. 

I'll admit.  I was excited, but not hugely expectant.  I have pretty sensitive skin and I've not found a really good mask in years.  So, I was crazy excited when this one was so utterly wonderful. 


I use it once a week per the directions and it seems like my skin is on a high for a good 12 hours afterwards.  It has this "I've been in the sun all day" sort of glow only without the actual tan.  How is that possible?  I have no idea.  All I know is that I strategically use it in the mornings before I want to look extra pretty for a day. 

I've been running low and meaning to order some more.  I've used it almost weekly and this pot has lasted since mid December.  As I was on Laura's Etsy shop today and I was trying to recall what size I usually order, I saw what reminded me to write this review in the first place.  She had asked awhile back if she could quote me and of course I said yes.  So, there I am at the bottom of the listing telling all of her shoppers how wonderful her product is.  And really, it is so wonderful...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

How To Rock Your Hairpiece Part I

I got a wild hair this past weekend.  I decided to do a video tutorial on how to rock your hairpiece.  I'm not sure exactly where the idea stemmed from except that I've been living, breathing, and eating hairpieces lately.  It might have developed out of the last piece I made which was a 6 inch layered tulle hat-like thing with peacock blue feathers and a vintage button.  Yes, that was probably it.

So, if got a great hairpiece but just aren't sure how to make it work for you... this is perfect for you.  Part I focuses on the snappers specifically.  I'll do another one this week on hair combs.  Enjoy!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

My Roots

I have become increasingly aware, in the last year or so, that I should revisit my roots.

I've been making jewelry since 2005 and I started with a distinctly "my own" style.  Even though I taught myself with other people's work, my disassembling and reassembling seemed to turn something pretty into something unique.  I uncovered the mysteries of jewelry assembly by both my hands on "research" as well as by reading everything I could get my hands on.

About  6 months ago, I discovered a mostly strung necklace filled with big, plump, copper freshwater pearls and a myriad of garnet shapes and sizes.  I didn't have the heart to unravel the intricate pattern that I'd so easily set 4 and a half years ago.  So, I instead blended it.

I used my now tried and true technique of lacing the back third of a necklace with a singular stone as to bring a bit of extra focus to it.  Though the row of stones are the same at the back rather than part of the overall pattern, the idea breaks up the design so that the ends of a necklace become as much of a focal as the center.

Another technique that I used to incorporate regularly within my work was the idea of asymmetry.  If you take a close look at most of my work, you will see this "lack of pattern" an ever-existing theme within the style of my designs.  But, its not really a lack of pattern at all.  Rather, the pattern is simply more intricate than many designers employ.  You have to look closely, study the whole, and see that the lack of pattern becomes the pattern.

The pieces that feature this "lack of pattern" are like witty conversationalists.  Most don't get it.  But, every now and then, someone will notice and be highly amused.  They'll commend your work in a different sort of way that is like a secret handshake.  And then, you know they know.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Not so much self-help

I've been reading a lot of blogs lately and I've, just this morning, discovered a bit of intrigue that I'm just itching to write about. 

There are a zillion and one blogs out there right now.  And, there are almost just as many blogs for social media tips, tricks, and cure-alls.  Personally, I can only read so many of these before I've heard it all.  I know that technology is ever-evolving and there's always something new and game-changing on the cusp of being released.  But, I'm officially over how to make the most of Twitter marketing and how to get more fans on your Facebook Fanpage.  Of course, as of today, "fans" are no longer fans but rather people that "like" you or your product.  Either way, you know what I mean.  I'm just tired of hearing the same thing in a new way.  

On a similar note, I've also seen increasingly more and more blogs dedicated to supporting Etsy sellers and handmade advocates.  I've seen how to optimize search engines and tutorials on how to take magazine quality photos with your light box. Again, I can only read so many versions of these articles before I've squeezed out every last bit of usable information.  Suddenly and in a moment, the topic is exhausted.

That is why I'm so pleased to uncover a few new blogs that I appreciate, not because of their "how to use twitter to market your business" articles, but rather because of the honest and transparent approach to building something valuable.  Whether it be an online, handmade business or a bit of character within the depths of who a person is, some blogs just stand out because you know that the person on the other side of the computer holds a high regard for the empowerment of others.

I'm not going to name any names here, because I want to plant a seed.  As you are reading your favorite blogs, do a touch of evaluation.  Are there any links on your blogroll that challenge you as a person?  That encourage you to get past your fears of not succeeding or maybe succeeding at your business?  That move you to shift the way you think about why you do what you do?  If not, go find one.  It'll change your life.     

Change the World Ticket from AFavorite on Etsy

Saturday, April 17, 2010

River Trail

A new friend of mine, Charlotte Rosenhoff, posted a link today on Facebook stating that she had featured one of my wedding photos on her blog, My Old Blue Suitcase.  In my curiosity to see which of my photos she found so charming, I popped on over and checked it out. 

As I browsed through her blog, I became less and less interested in where my wedding photo was.  I became more and more interested, however, in how utterly delectable her photos are.  I was so inspired that I recruited my husband, Daniel, for a walk along the river trail this afternoon and made him promise he'd be patient as I scavenged for the perfect shot.  This is what I found...


Spring is only so long

Has it really been a month since my last post?  And to think I thought I was getting better at the frequency of my postings.  Well, I will say much has happened in the course of 30 days.

I've thrown out some pitches for my products in Mother's Day & Bridal Gifts guides.  After about a month of doing so, I'm happy to report that I've landed a few.  On April 20th, my Winter Gemstone Wine Charms will be featured in a Mother's Day Gift Guide for Mainstreet.com.  Soon after that, I will have my Cranberry Hair Comb in the Bridal Gift Guide for PrettyCity.com and the St. Pete Times tbt edition.  It will also, in conjunction with the above, run in OrlandoStyleMag.com in May. 

I've also been exceedingly busy working on the ReddingHandmade Etsy Team! We've already done an open house, a peer to peer critique, a promo swap, and lots of brainstorming for the future.  In fact, we've got so many event ideas that I had to create another platform to launch from.  Just a few days ago, my fellow creative brainstormer Charmaine and me, launched Oh!Carousel.  Carousel is a creative collaboration to support local business by having as much fun as possible and by using as much spunk as we can muster!  What's on the menu?  Local events, workshops, classes, shopping experiences that will engage our community and educate them as consumers and creative people.

And, on a final note, I just made a Facebook Fanpage called "I don't mind spending more on handmade items."  Be a fan and join the cause!