Saturday, January 26, 2008

Have a Laugh!

My friend Carol sent this to me the other day. (She's also from North Carolina and is Silverbeadsandclay on Etsy (beautiful jewelry). I just had to share it with you. Hope you laugh as much as I did!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Thanks for the Ride Etsy!

I read in the Storque that Etsy had its biggest day ever in terms of site traffic this past Monday. It had 8.6 MILLION page views in one day! Wow! Talk about traffic. That's an astonishing number of views!

It just so happens that my best day EVER on Etsy was also on Monday when I had a spot in the Main Showcase. I consider myself very lucky to have picked that day to appear in that particular showcase. Very lucky indeed. As a result of Monday's ride, I made an amazing 10 sales, acquired 23 new hearts and had over 300 views on my lead showcase item alone (which I did not even list for the first time until 3 A.M.!). I was flabbergasted!! The best I've ever done in a showcase or in any single day was 5 or 7 sales I believe. (I'll have to go back and double check that.) Never, never, never have I made 10 sales in a single day, showcase or not! Maybe over the course of two weeks before Christmas I made 10 sales, but this was just an unbelievable day. I was reeling by midnight, walking on cloud nine, and doing a little happy dance!! I also had a tiny little glass of scuppernong wine to celebrate!!

All day long I listed and renewed things to keep myself on top and noticed. And for once it paid off! Again, I'm very lucky I hit on a good day. Otherwise, I don't believe I would have done as well, maybe making one sale to pay for the showcase fee. If I do that, I consider myself lucky. I don't know what Etsy did to bring in all that traffic, but I wish they'd do it again!!

Here's the piece I finally settled on.

It's a beautiful smoky quartz necklace and I'm just in love with it. I wasn't too thrilled with most of the pics I took of it (so what else is new?), but I did finally settle on one I liked. I'm glad I picked this one! It shows off the lovely elongated cushion cut and checkerboard faceting. It's an amazing smoky quartz briolette. The new owner gets their choice of length up to 18 inches.

So there you have it folks! What a ride it was!! My best day ever on Etsy was also Etsy's best day ever (in terms of views, not sales as far as I know). I knew something was up because this just doesn't normally happen to me! I'm so very thankful to everyone who did purchase from me on Monday. I really appreciate your patronage and your support of my shop. You made me the happiest seller on Etsy and I'm very grateful!

Until next time...!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Custom Requests, Bracelets and a Winner!

I created the coolest pair of earrings yesterday for a dear customer of mine who just happens to be an Etsy seller herself. They are checkerboard cushion cut apatite on heavily oxidized elongated kidney earwires. I loved the way they turned out, so much so that I gave the customer the option of not taking them if she wasn't happy with how they turned out (I really wanted to keep them!). She was very happy with them so they are going to their new home shortly. (I'm going to have to make a pair for myself!!!)

Custom order apatite on heavily oxidized long kidney earwires

Some people don't take custom requests. I'm not sure why. Perhaps they feel like it's more of a hassle than they want to deal with, but I like to do them. It's another way to get your creative juices flowing. Perhaps the customer wants something that you would never have thought of. Hooray for that! I seem to get stuck in a rut when it comes to designing. I need to branch out a little bit and custom requests can often create spark an idea that comes to fruition later on in another design.

I also listed a rhodonite bracelet and matching earrings yesterday. They're not being sold as a set though. I have trouble selling sets for some reason.

Rhodonite bracelet and earrings, oxidized sterling silver

I like bracelets. I used to wear them all the time (until a certain baby would pull them off). I need to do more of them, they're so fun. I'm just not sure what size to make them. My wrist is 7 inches so I can wear anything from 7 1/2-8 inch bracelets.

Below is a labradorite bracelet I created that is 8 inches long, but will only fit up to a 7 inch wrist comfortably due to the size of the beads take up a lot of room in the fit.

Faceted labradorite nugget bracelet

Faceted labradorite nugget bracelet

It's always hard getting good pictures of labradorite. But each bead above has its own personality and unique flash. I just couldn't capture it very well. Of course, the flashiest bead is top dead center!

I have made another one of these necklaces. I adore this. I found some more nice stones like this so I can create more now ('cuz I wanted one too!).

Amethyst baguette solitaire necklace

The first one sold the other day (yay!), but I have more stones to make a few more of those. I'm listing them so the customer can choose their own length. It secures with my own handforged and hammered hook and eye clasp. (I also intend to do this in as many large solitaire stones as I can affordably get my hands on!)

Here's a peek at another pair of earrings I fell in love with after they were finished. They are now for sale in my shop. I think they look sort of Victorian and old worldly.

Checkerboard faceted cushion cut AAA garnet & sterling silver filigree link earrings - oxidized


Well, they say it's supposed to snow today. HA! I'll believe it when I see it. I wish Kevin could play in some real snow, this time more than slush, but it may not start snowing until too late for him to get to play in it. Right now it's raining, making for a very gloomy day. If this was snow it would be pretty outside already. But it's just rain.

******* ******* ******* ******* *******

Thank you to SandAndSkyCreations for participating in the Treasure Hunt! She chose these earrings as her prize from MsBelle!

silvery gray coin pearl earrings oxidized II

The Treasure Hunt lasts until midnight! Go check it out and you might win some prizes too!!

Until later, have a great weekend!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Winter Storm, Showcase Sales and a Treasure Hunt!

It snowed. Here in Charlotte! 3 o'clock in the morning. :( Who can enjoy it at 3 a.m.?! Nobody. Kevin didn't even get to see it snowing, but I did. I was awake. (That's typical for me some nights.) So I took a picture of our snowstorm at around 4 a.m. using a long exposure (that's the reason the pic looks dirty. It was dark, very dark outside except for the streetlight in the back lefthand side of the pic behind the trees). I propped my camera up in my kitchen window to steady it (you can see the window screen in the pic!).


Then here's our snow already melting at 8:45 a.m.

snow (melting) at 8:45 AM

Since Charlotte has no clue what to do when it snows, they called school off for today! Geez! The snow had already turned to slush by the time Kevin got around to seeing it. That didn't stop him from wanting to go out and play in it (which I let him do even though he is sick once again).

throwing slushsballs at the door

slushie snowball spaltter

So when he came in it was time for hot chocolate!

having hot chocolate

Even Barney enjoyed the snow...

Barney looking at the snow/slush

...from the inside where it was nice and warm and dry!!
(He doesn't like to get wet!)


I spent most of the day trying to get some new things listed on Etsy as I had a showcase spot today (Thursday). I actually sold three things when all was said and done which paid for the showcase fee! I'm doing another two showcases in the next week so perhaps I'll sell more then too. One is in the Valentine's showcase next Thursday, the 24th, but I'll be in the Main showcase again this coming up Monday, the 21st. The exposure is good. I got a ton of views on many of my items, not just the ones in the showcase. So people really stopped by and stayed a while. I also relisted items throughout the day and was disappointed that only 3 items sold for the entire day. However, I guess overall I am happy. I like getting the 24 hour worldwide exposure, but I still think the previous price of $7 was much easier to live with for all sellers and there was no reason other than greed to raise the price of showcase spots. (I also got 16 new hearts today which helped put me well over 1000 hearts! I'm happy!)

Today's sold items:

Czech pressed glass flowers on sterling circles

Vintage glass white bellflower earrings in shiny sterling silver

lemon quartz and seed pearls

Thank you to those who purchased from me today!!!

And thank you to my new customer from North Carolina!!
I'm so happy to have you!


As I try my best to get caught up on pictures of the pieces I've created and get them listed, I keep getting sidetracked. Like with today's snow. (It's sort of hard to keep my nose to the grindstone when I'm constantly being asked "can I go outside and play in the snow?!", or "Watch this!") I get so tired of editing pictures. Really, really tired of cleaning them up. I'm sooooo wanting a new camera so I don't have to spend so much time editing out all the little lime green and hot pink spots from each picture. (Talk about spending way too much time doing something. There's a waste of time!) And in the meantime I created a few more pieces on top of the ones I have yet to list (I guess I like punishment). It's much more fun to create than do the pictures. I love taking pictures, don't get me wrong; I don't love spending time fooling with the editing. I'll have a real feeling of accomplishment when I get all this done!


**♥** ANNOUNCING the 1st MONTHLY EtsyBloggers TREASURE HUNT**♥**
Click here to learn more about how you can win a free item from my shop!!

I'm participating in the EtsyBlogger Street Team's Treasure Hunt this Saturday, the 19th! Some shops are hiding pictures of the EtsyBlogger icon/logo in one of their shop listings. The participating shops will all make that listing available as a prize to be won for those who go hunting! It ought to be fun! You can go read the thread in the forums if you'd like to learn more about it and perhaps become a treasure hunter!!


I'll leave you with one last pic of Kevin and the snowy day (HA!).

slushball boy

At least he had fun!

Until next time, I hope everyone is well and has a wonderful weekend!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Kevin!

Kevin's cake

My one and only baby boy turned 6 years old today! He's growing up so fast. It's hard for me to imagine he's already 6 years old. (It's even harder for me to imagine I'm as old as I am! Where does the time go?) He was just 4 pounds, 12 ounces when he was born (delivered at 32 weeks). Now he's a whopping 65 pounds and is a big kid for his age! But he'll always be my baby.

I sang Happy Birthday to him this morning as I woke him up for school. He sort of mumbled and rolled over to go back to sleep, but then he remembered what day it was and got up. I put a candle in his toaster streudel and let him blow it out at breakfast! But tomorrow is his real party when his relatives will all be here for cake and ice cream and fun. We'll blow up balloons and sing once more, and he'll unwrap even more presents that I have nowhere to put. (It's hard having a birthday right after Christmas. People are out of money by then!)

He's so excited about being 6. He can no longer count his age on one hand. That's a milestone. You should see his face glow when I tell him that. Also, he's supposed to get a birthday hat at school. He's so been looking forward to that. I'll post a picture of his hat when I get one!

(UPDATE: Here's the picture of his birthday hat!! He was wearing it
when I picked him up from school today! He's very proud of it!)

cool birthday dude

Here's a cute picture from his very first birthday party.

The following picture is from Christmas morning where he's modeling his new footie pajamas that Santa gave him (parts of them glow in the dark too!). He loves them so. They're really snuggly warm! He still has his cute little dimples which I hope never go away. And he has those beautiful blue eyes and a big beautiful heart to go with them.

(he still has bedhead here!)

I'll have more pictures to share with you later after his actual birthday party tomorrow.

Oh my baby boy, how I do love you so....

Happy Birthday Kevin!


In the meantime, I've been working on lots of new things for my shop. I'll give you a sneak peek at what's to come. I have loads of stuff but need to work on the pictures to get them ready (remember, I have a dying sensor in my camera making spots on all my pics. Loads of time cleaning up). This is just a peek, mind you. I haven't gotten all the images ready yet but I'm slowly working on them. I just did the first image for each piece, but this gives you an idea. (And there are four pairs of earrings that didn't make it into the collage!)

This gives you some idea of what I've been up to!

Until next time, I hope everyone has a happy weekend!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!, originally uploaded by msbellee.

Happy 2008 everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful New Year's Eve and celebrated in your own special ways. We had a nice dinner of steak and baked potato, but the best part came when we had strawberries dipped in chocolate for dessert! Then at midnight we toasted with sparkling grape juice so Kevin could join in. (He likes to toast!)

Kevin really had fun with some sparklers on the last night of 2007. I got some pictures while he was playing with them. He and his daddy went out in the driveway and lit quite a few of them, swirling them around in the air. Then after midnight we called Granny to wish her a happy new year and then it was off to bed for Kevin. What a late night for him, but boy he had fun!

Look at that face!

More sparkler handywork.


One more day of vacation for Kevin and then it's back to school for him. For me it's back to creating some new pieces of jewelry. Valentine's Day is coming soon (it's never too soon to think about the next gift-giving holiday!) so I want to be all stocked up for it. I hope to be creative in the new year, learning new things including perhaps soldering and new wire techniques. I would like to anyway. I would also like to take some classes and acquire some new tools including new pliers and a new flush cutter, a vibratory tumbler, some different hammers, stamps, disk cutter, dapping block, and a saw and bench pin. (I like to dream.) We shall see....

I certainly hope 2008 will be a better year for Kevin as well as me regarding our health. He goes back to the ENT soon to learn if his sinus infection has cleared up or not via a second CT scan of his sinuses. I'll probably get better when he gets better as the stress of him being sick the majority of the time has kept me down too. I've gotten just about everything he has had, and we've both been immune compromised. I've been drained by it all which has lead me to become ill yet again over Christmas with another sinus-upper-respiratory-something-or-other that won't go away. But it's Kevin that's had it the worst. I hope he finally gets better soon.

A new year means another year older for Kevin too. He will turn 6 in less than two weeks! It's amazing how time flies. He can no longer show his age on just one hand. That's a milestone! He now has to hold up two hands to do it and he's just tickled about that! (I remember when I could do that too, do you?) We don't know yet what we'll do for his birthday, but I'm sure we'll think of something. He already has his cake picked out!

Well, I had better hit the sack, so I'll go for now. Until next time, I hope you all have a very prosperous new year in everything you do!

Happy New Year!