Monday, June 21, 2010

A Summer Necklace w/ Components

I love being one of the design partners for, and I'm really excited to be part of their "Summertime Design Partner's Gallery" featuring gorgeous handmade Summer-Inspired jewelry!

These are some of the beads and findings I received from Artbeads. I fell in love with their selection of Porcelain beads and once I saw the Hand-Dyed Silk Ribbon, I just had to have it! I never worked with ribbon before, so I was attempting something new...expanding my creative side....

and I created this fun & colorful Summer necklace titled, "Surf -n- Sand!" The focal is a Porcelain Starfish, and I just love it! The colors are SO beautiful! As accents, I chose 5mm  Porcelain Cube Beads in colors that I pulled from the starfish. They have a gorgeous glaze on them, and they ended up being the perfect size for the silk ribbon. To accent the cube beads, I used 5mm Bright Sterling Silver Roundels, and they fit the ribbon to a tee. By the way, the silk ribbon I used is "Multi-Blues." I see more of it in my very near future! "wink" "wink" I love Artbeads selection of Charms, and I didn't want the starfish to be all alone, so I added the cutest little Antique Silverplated Seahorse. (It's 18mm x 8mm) I wanted it to be small so it wouldn't overpower the starfish.....just be it's lil buddy. :D 

If you look closely at the making of my necklace, you will see that I didn't use a lot of tools to make it. I simply tied knots between sections of beads, and I used a Sterling Silver Curved Tube Bead (15mm x 3mm w/a ring) and a Sterling jump ring for hanging the starfish & seahorse. To complete the necklace, I threaded the ribbon through a TierraCast Antique Silver Nouveau Duet Link, then knotted one SS roundel bead to each end, leaving about a 1" tail. It's pretty cool in that you can wear it two different ways, and the length is adjustable. You can tie it in a pretty bow or just let the ribbon flow freely. I definitely stepped out of my comfort zone with this jewelry piece, but I love the way it turned out! 

Check back in a couple of days to see my Summer bracelet! To see more Summer-Themed jewelry from talented Artbeads Design Partners, click here
Thanks for reading & Happy Creating!

I participate with blogging community as a Design Partner, therefore, I receive products free of charge in return for honest reviews. I have not been paid for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received. Thank you.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Fabulous Artist Feature-Peanuts Creations

Happy Saturday! I don't know what your weekend is looking like, but here in Eastern Washington State, the sun is shining and the birds are chirping. A great start to the weekend! Another great start is this wonderful and inspiring artist I'm featuring today! Her name is Karen, and she is the owner of "Peanuts Creations." Not only is Karen very talented at what she does, but she's a real sweetheart, and I feel very fortunate to have met her! Enjoy her feature and feel free to leave a comment. :)

What is your craft and how long have you been making it?
Mainly I crochet. I was taught by my grandmother when I was a very small girl. I am 48 now so that would be about 40+ years. She taught me to knit and tat as well. I also help my hubby in the wood shop, making pens, bottle stoppers and such on our lathe. And since winning the Cricut in a contest on My Craft Corner, I have been spending time playing with paper as well!

What inspired you to start selling your handmade items and are you enjoying it?
People would see me crocheting and started asking me to make them things. Before long, it took on a life of its own and now I sell online, at craft shows, festivals and fairs. And even though I don’t earn anywhere near the income I had before, I absolutely love it….it beats a desk job by miles!!

What is your best selling item?
My crochet hats are by far my best selling items! I make them for all ages and use a large variety of yarns.

What are your favorite materials to work with?
Cotton blend yarn is my fav…it is easy to work with, comes in pretty colors and makes a beautiful finished product. In the winter, I love to use suede yarn!! (And paper for my Cricut is fast becoming an obsession as well!!)

What is your favorite venue for promoting yourself and your craft?
I would have to say my favorite venue is My Craft Corner

Where does your inspiration to create come from?
Lots of things inspire me from colors, the beach, people I meet and even smells! And seeing someone wearing or using something I made, is a huge source of inspiration! When I look at a cute little girl wearing one of my hats, it just makes my day!

What do you do to keep busy when experiencing slow sales?
There are so many things to do all of the time, so when it is slow, you have to use that time to organize, catch up on paperwork, make gift bags/boxes, taking better pictures, rewriting listings and trying to promote myself and others more.

What would you say to artists who are new to selling and/or who are struggling with selling?
If you truly enjoy doing your craft or art, STICK WITH IT. It takes a lot of time and effort to sell, especially online. Put a picture in your mind of yourself being successful and you will find a way to make it happen. And learn all you can from other artists and crafters.

What are some of your goals for your business?
I would like to really boost my online sales, keep improving my pictures and help other artists and crafters in promoting handmade.

Have I missed anything or is there something else you would like to share?
I am a proud doggy mommy to Reggie, our 10 yr old Jack Russell Terrier, who makes me smile every single day! 

Find Karen & her wonderful handmade items at these sites:

For info & custom orders, contact Karen at:
Thanks so much for sharing your awesome talent & wisdom Karen, along with your understanding too! :)

Friday, June 4, 2010

New MCC Artist Feature - Mary @ Misobel

Happy Thursday peeps! I've got another very talented artist feature for you. Meet Mary ... she makes gorgeous jewelry, and you can clearly see her love for it in her beautiful creations!

What is your craft and how long have you been making it?
I've been interested in beadwork and other crafts since I was about 12, so around 17 years. I just started to make and sell wirework jewelry on Etsy around Christmas time last year.

What inspired you to start selling your handmade items and are you enjoying it?
I started selling online after a co-worker at my previous job introduced me to Etsy. Kathy shopped the site often and thought the stuff I made for myself would sell. I didn't want to sell online much before Etsy – I guess because Ebay didn't seem like a fun option. I am really enjoying it, especially all of the contacts I've made with other kind and inspiring crafters!

What is your best selling item?
So far my best sellers are cedar berry “ghost bead” bracelets and simple post earrings. Wrist malas are not too far behind, though. I love making jewelry that has a special meaning to the wearer.

What are your favorite materials to work with?
Almost anything that comes from nature. My favorites include pearl and other healing gemstones like Labradorite, Amazonite, Garnet, Amethyst and many more. Wooden beads and beads made from nuts and seeds are also neat. Sterling silver and hemp are definitely my top favorites to get my hands on!

What is your favorite venue for promoting yourself & your craft.
I don't do very much paid advertising right now – I don't have a budget for it, but a trial of Google Adwords did bring a noticable change in traffic. One place I really like to network and promote is MyCraftCorner. It's a really nice community of crafters who support each other. I also upload product photos on Flickr, tweet on Twitter and I especially enjoy interacting with fans on Facebook.

Where does your inspiration to create come from?
I find inspiration from a quiet, spiritual place within. It can sometimes be hard to cultivate that. It can also be very easy, such as doing some yoga breathing, or the act of clearing clutter off my desk. Ultimately I want everything I create to be a product of the love I have within me.

What do you do to keep busy when experiencing slow sales?
I have a lot to keep me busy. I spend as much time as possible with my loving and also very creative husband. I enjoy working out and doing a yoga practice at home. I have partnered up with a friend who wants to open a fine art gallery and boutique here in Louisville, KY. So that means I have to keep busy making inventory for that shop as well as helping with the planning and inception of the business! I couldn't be more excited about the future.

What would you say to artists who are new to selling and/or who are struggling with selling?
Stick with it! Learn more about what you can do to increase your sales. Don't beat yourself up because you think your shop isn't “good enough.” There are so many helpful resources you can read online about marketing, photographing your items, effective blogging, etc. I like Etsy's email newsletter, forums and Virtual Labs. Network with other crafters on sites like MyCraftCorner for absolutely free advice. Finding a mentor that's willing to answer questions is a good idea. If you are not willing to give it 100% every day, it probably shows... and people don't want to buy that. Believe in yourself, educate yourself. You'll be fine!

What are some of your goals for your business?
There's definitely room for improvement and expansion. I would like to start listing work on sites other than Etsy. I am looking forward to having a retail space where I can work and be available to clients looking for a custom piece. I want to develop my website into something bigger. Another goal is to get more capital up so I can take metalsmithing classes and afford more supplies. I can never have enough supplies!

Find Mary's handmade jewelry online at:
For custom work, email Mary at:

Thank you for sharing your wonderful talent Mary! It's been a pleasure featuring you and learning more about you and your awesome talent!