Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas!!

I thought I had better pop in and wish everyone a Merry Christmas now since this week is going to be so busy! I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and a terrific new year ahead!


Today I received an early Christmas present of sorts by hitting 500 sales in my Etsy shop!! Thank you so much to each and every one of you who shopped with me this past year. I appreciate you all and hope to see you again next year!

500 sales!!


I will leave you with a new set that will be coming to my shop soon. I don't know when I will get it listed, but I wanted to show it to you. It consists of earrings and a necklace using stunning AAA quality green amethyst fancy briolettes (prasiolite), all in solid 18K gold. Each briolette is wrapped in 18K gold wire which I thought was fitting for these gorgeous stones. I also made the earwires for the earrings, hammering them lightly. The necklace has a larger focal briolette as the pendant and is on an 18K gold chain.

These are truly beautiful stones with perfect clarity, gorgeous faceting, and such a unique cut and shape. I've had them for a while and am finally doing them justice (I hope). This is a one-of-a-kind set that I won't break up unless absolutely forced to. I've not seen another set in this shape and quality and I'd hate for them to go to different homes. If at all possible I'd like them to stay together. They just need to stay together, don't you think?


Well, happy holidays everyone!! See you soon!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Get Out and Vote!!

Tonight I received an email on Etsy informing me that my green onyx earrings were chosen by Etsy's blog editors for their Holiday voting on the best sparkly special jewelry. How cool is that?!! I made the cut!

Here's an excerpt from the Storque article:

"This week's voting challenge is an homage to all the shiny, sparkly jewelry out there on Etsy. Etsy's blog editors picked 60 items, and we want you to vote for your favorite.
Click here to VOTE!
Voting ends on Friday, December 19th at 5PM, Eastern Time. May the prettiest jewelry win! As an added bonus, we'll feature your favorites here on Etsy's blog and in the Gift Guides.
Thank you Etsy! I'm so very honored! :D
I hope everyone reading this gets out and votes!
And spread the word!!


This past Thursday was Kevin's Christmas concert at school. Before we went, I had to get a picture of him all dressed up since we don't get to see him that way very often.

He was so proud of his tie. Didn't he look sharp?!

And here are a couple of pretty bad pictures I took inside at the concert.

He's just a cutie even if they are bad shots!

You can tell by the look on his face that he's really enjoying himself. He had so much fun and was so proud to be performing. And we are so proud of you Kevin!!

Well, I've got to run. I hope everyone has a great day! And don't forget to VOTE!! :D

Until next time....

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Let's Do the Time Warp Again!!

I could not believe it....

Etsy Front Page 12.08.08
Etsy Front Page 12.08.08
Thank you Etsy gods!
I feel like I'm in a time warp here!

And today I listed these AAA blue topaz "Twirly Slide" earrings which are already gone!!

Twirly Slide earrings with blue topaz briolettes in sterling silver
But I intend to make more!

Thank you to everyone who has shopped with me so far during this holiday season. I truly appreciate each and every one of you for your patronage and hope that I can fulfill your jewelry needs with ease. I'm thrilled to have gotten this far and could not have done it without loyal customers. And to all my new customers, thank you very much as well!

Have a great week everyone!

Until next time...

"It's astounding.
Time is fleeting.
Madness takes control...."
(anyone remember Rocky Horror???)


Monday, December 8, 2008

Been Busy!

Well, golly! The season is upon us for sure and I'm certainly feeling it too! Due to some very fortunate appearances on the Etsy front page I have been just a busy little beaver!

Front Page 12.03.08
4blog Etsy Front Page 12.03.08
Thank you thejunebride!

Front Page 12.05.08
4blog Etsy Front Page 12.05.08
Thank you Etsy gods!

These two appearances brought me not only sales, but custom orders as well and that's why I've been so busy. I've been trying to get everyone's items made, photographed and shipped! Whew! I think I'll be glad when the season is over!

I have made some new things as well and the latest are the gorgeous labradorite earrings. They are in sterling silver and are about 1 3/4 inches long.

Labradorite briolette collage for blog

They are a one-of-a-kind pair of earrings as their flash is uncomparable. I can oxidize these as well for whomever ends up purchasing them.

Along with the labradorite, I made these pretty prasiolite briolette (green amethyst) earrings in sterling on my own lightly hammered arched earwires.

4blog Prasiolite (green amethyst) briolette earrings in sterling

Pink amethyst briolette earrings in sterling.

4blog Pink amethyst briolette earrings in sterling

Aqua chalcedony briolette earrings in goldfill.

4blog Dark aqua chalcedony briolette earrings in goldfill

And I brought back my 'Snowballs' from last year! White freshwater pearls in blackened sterling silver.

4blog White freshwater pearls and oxidized sterling silver earrings

One of my favorite customer requests was for two pairs of my "Twirly Slide" earrings. One in goldfill and one in oxidized and polished sterling silver. Both have labradorite briolettes dangling at the bottom of the 'slide'.

4blog customer request

Aren't they great? And they were so fun to make! I've been making lots of labradorite pieces.

4blog been busy

Along with the everything else, I made these for my sisters and also a pair for Kevin's teacher. They're Swarovski crystal Christmas tree earrings and they're so very cute and sparkly!

4blog Oh Christmas tree....

And I took a little time and visited my bead store where a trunk show was being held this past weekend. Boy, talk about some gems! There were quite a few! I could have taken a bath in all the yummy gemstones that were there! I got some very pretty things. I hope you will agree!

4blog girls just wanna have stones....

That's all I have time for right now as it's bedtime and I have to get back at it early tomorrow morning after the boy goes to school.

I hope everyone is well and had a good Thanksgiving. I know I must have gained about 5 pounds at least!

Until next time....

Monday, November 24, 2008

A First! (for me anyway)

Well, I finally made something that wasn't a pair of hoops! Don't get me wrong, I love hoops (and I did actually make some more), but these were a first for me.

I made these earrings using AAA quality rubellite tourmaline microfacted ovals and solid 14K gold wire and findings. I was totally thrilled with how they turned out!

The stones are marvelously rich and sparkly, and extremely clean for tourmaline. And the gold's real gold! Yay! :D

At first I was very nervous about wrapping with high karat gold, but I jumped in and did it. I'm really quite pleased with my results.

The little open marquise link at the bottom is solid gold as well and adds just a nice little touch to make these more fun and flirty. They're about 3 inches long and quite elegant. I just love them!

I have quite a few pieces made and pictures taken, but I haven't gone through them all yet (what else is new?). That's the hardest part. They'll be in my shop soon though (I hope). I'll give a sneak peek here first though. My shop is running low and the holidays are upon us! I have to get stocked up as best I can and still have a life!

If you're interested in these rubellite earrings, feel free to pop on over to my shop. You can find them there!

I hope everyone had a great weekend. This week is Thanksgiving and we'll be going home to the mountains to eat turkey and see Granny and my family! (It's Thanksgiving already, do you believe it?!)

Have a good one! Until next time....

Monday, November 17, 2008

More Hoops

I just had to pop in to show you these. I fell in love with them after making the because they're just so darn fun and pretty!

Citrine briolettes with tourmaline rondelles on
oxidized and highlighted hand forged and
hammered sterling silver hoops.

(I'm really getting into hoops.)

You can find these in my shop. Stop by and check 'em out!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

400 sales!!

400 sales!! Woohoo!, originally uploaded by msbellee.

My Etsy shop hit 400 sales today!! Yippee!! Happy dance all over the place!!

I was silently hoping to hit 400 before my two year anniversary of being on Etsy which is tomorrow (Monday). However, I didn't foresee selling two more pairs of earrings by Monday which would have made 400. I thought I had done very well to come as close as I had by this morning which was 398 sales. I was very satisfied to have reached that amount and quite thrilled! But to my astonishment, five pairs of earrings sold this afternoon and put me over the 400 mark!! Talk about blown away! I thought I had clicked on the wrong shop when I checked it this afternoon!!! I'm not kidding! I thought "did I click on someone else's store? This can't be right." But it was! And I'm so very, very thankful to each and every one of my customers and just pleased as punch you all helped me reach my goal!

To all my customers, every single one of you all over the globe, thank you so very much from the bottom of my heart. You have made my day and filled me with such joy at having a successful little shop. It gives me such a feeling of accomplishment that I can make jewelry people like and that you continue to support my shop.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!! Thank you so much!

Have a fantastic week ahead everyone!! :D

Until next time....

Saturday, November 15, 2008

New Pieces in My Shop

Just wanted to pop in and let you know that I've added just a few new pieces in my shop.

I have some gorgeous smokey quartz twisted spiral briolette earrings in goldfill. There are at least 2 of these available, possibly more if I can get more briolettes.

sized for blog

These are some really, really lovely light aqua chalcedony in a puffed diamond shape. They just glow! These are also in goldfill. There are at least 3 pairs available in this style.

sized for blog

The last thing I have added is a pair of pretty coin pearl and amethyst marquise briolette earrings in sterling. These are so elegant. There's only one pair of these available!

sized for blog

And last Thursday to my surprise I was on Etsy's front page!!

Etsy Front Page 11.13.08

I can't thank the curator of this treasury enough for including me in her list!
Thank you so much PrettyinPoisies!

That's it for now. I hope everyone is well and has a great weekend!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Etsy on Good Morning America!!

Did you get to see Good Morning Amercia this morning? Wow! Talk about some great air time and free advertising for Etsy!! It was fantastic!!

The segment was all about finding a job and GMA was hosting a job fair in Atlanta. Etsy apparently participated in that job fair. I was really surprised but thrilled to see the great big orange Etsy sign plastered all over national TV! A woman in Atlanta was searching for a job. While she kept getting turned down for jobs all over the place, she decided to put a couple of her own paintings on Etsy. Two of them sold within two weeks! Hooray for her! And hooray for Etsy for getting to be displayed all over the TV screens of America for a big portion of the segment!

Nothing can beat free advertising, and Etsy got a good bit of it today. Way to go Etsy!

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Thing of Beauty....

Check out this earring! There's something to be said for quality construction and great artisan craftsmanship, huh?!

This gold, pearl and emerald earring was found by Israeli archeologists beneath a parking lot excavation site in Jerusalem. Its beauty is literally timeless as it is supposedly around 2000 years old!!! Now that's quality construction! I can only hope that my jewelry will last a lifetime, much less 2000 years!

I bet the designer of that gorgeous earring never expected it would last for centuries. How proud he/she would be to learn their design stood up so well and remains intact in present day. It could stand on its own alongside any of today's luxurious creations. It certainly stood the test of time.

"A thing of beauty is a joy forever...."


Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!!

Here's what Kevin and I did after school on Thursday!

I took the guts out and Kevin did most of the punching and carving. I just went back and cleaned up the lines a little bit (and pitched in when his hand got tired).

He did a really great job!

Here's our finished Jack-O-Lantern!!

I hope everyone has a safe and happy Halloween!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Adventures In Gold

OK, so I took the plunge. I bought some wire. Some 18k and 14k gold wire! Since I'd always wanted to have a pair for myself (and since sterling silver doesn't agree with the piercings in my ears), I decided to first make a pair of 18k gold hoops. I figure if they never sell, I'll just keep them!

At first I was almost afraid to work the wire and instead just admired its rich, buttery yellow color for a few days. But since I'd recently made quite a few pairs of sterling and goldfill hoops, I felt pretty comfortable making these hoops. I was still a bit nervous though, but I did it! I completed my first pair of totally hand forged and hammered solid 18k gold earrings! You gotta start somewhere and I was very happy with the outcome!

Working with this wire was a bit more difficult than I thought it would be. It was a bit stiffer than either sterling or goldfill which is all I'd ever worked with as far as wire goes. I'd set some gemstones into 14k and 18k gold settings with pre-notched prongs, but had never used wire before. I used to make jewelry from prefab settings years ago but have since turned to wire wrapped jewelry instead of the pre-notched prongs. I would still like to do more of that and might again if I ever get my own website (hint, hint to the IT man of the house). I'm proud that I finally took the plunge though and turned out a great pair of earrings that can be worn with anything, are very lightweight and easy wearing yet quite sturdy too. And they're oh, so shiny!

I must add that a lovely customer of mine from across the pond inspired and influenced me to try high karat gold instead of only sterling and goldfill. I'd always wanted to venture into it, but after discussing it with her I decided to give it a shot. Thank you to my customer for inspiring me to try it. (You know who you are!)

Not only did I make the 18k hoops, but I also made a pair of 14k gold Twirly Slide earrings!

They turned out just like my other 'twirlies' in sterling and goldfill!

If you are interested in purchasing either pair of these, they are available to the left hand side of my blog in my "Itty Bitty Store", but are also available in my Etsy shop. However, if you purchase them here from my "Itty Bitty Store", you get them for $5.00 less than my Etsy price. I do plan to add more things to my "Itty Bitty Store" so you will have more to choose from. Perhaps I will add some items that are only available here and not in my Etsy shop. We'll see.

That's it for now. I hope everyone has had a good week and has a fun Halloween on Friday! We have a Power Ranger that will be going trick-or-treating this year!

Until next time.....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Who Woulda Thunk It?

When both Stephanie Gibson and Brenda of Phydeaux emailed me today about my coin pearls being on the front page, of course I thought they were referring to the other day's treasury. So when I went to see who was on the front page, I wasn't really expecting to see them there again today!!! That makes three times in less than a week! That never ever happens to me! I was just floored!

I again thank reconstructionist for picking me as an alternate on her list. It was fun being up there for even the few minutes I appeared. And it was even more fun being up there with my good friend Brenda! Woohoo!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Another Front Page!

Even though I missed it, apparently this beautiful treasury made it to the front page on Sunday afternoon! It was curated by JulieGarland, an Etsy seller and designer of beautiful jewelry herself. She put together an awesome Mahogany list that I'm extremely proud and privileged to have been included in. Thank you so much Julie!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Feature on "Mustard and Sage" Blog

I discovered tonight that I was featured on a beautiful blog called Mustard and Sage. It's even based right here in North Carolina--Durham to be exact (GO DUKE!!). The owner, Meghan, has a feature called "Friday Finds" of which I was this past Friday! How cool is that?!! I was very honored and thrilled to find this. Thank you so much Meghan! I really appreciate your choosing me to feature. It certainly made my week!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Etsy Front Page and Another Crazy Hair Day!!

Wow! I was on the front page of Etsy today (well, not me but my earrings)! I totally wasn't expecting it but was very happy nonetheless! The creator of the list turned out to be one of the 'Etsy gods' (as Cindy of Starry Designs likes to call them). heymichelle (aka reconstructionist) is an Etsy admin as well as an Etsy seller herself. I wasn't quite sure who to thank as there was no curator listed on the front page. I found out later via Flickr that she had curated the list.

During the few minutes my earrings were on the front page they acquired an additional 85 views and my shop received 35 new hearts!! So today was a really unexpectedly good day! Thank you very much Michelle!


And on the home front, this week is "Spirit Week" at Kevin's school. Many of you will recall "Crazy Hair Day" from the last school year. Well, we did it again this past Tuesday. Kevin wanted to do the same thing to his hair this year as we did the last so I happily obliged.

He had so much fun and wore his crazy hair proudly!!
(And this time he didn't end up with chickenpox!!!
He actually hasn't missed a day of school yet this year due to illness! Yay!!
Now watch me jinx him...)


And lastly, here are just a few new things which have yet to be listed in my shop. I'll get them in there eventually, I promise!

On the top row from left to right are: 1) fuschia/maroon freshwater potato pearl and goldfill earrings with vintage brass filigree that I recycled from a pair of earrings I've had since high school (1979 or thereabouts); 2) labradorite bicone linear earrings in sterling; 3) rhodolite garnet marquise briolettes in oxidized sterling. On the bottom row are: 1) lustrous light pink freshwater rice/oval pearls in sterling; 2) goldfill hammered hoops with pink amethyst faceted rectangles; 3) hammered hoops by themselves which I have decided to carry in my shop. They will also be available in shiny sterling as well as oxidized sterling (and possibly even solid 18k and 14k gold). All hoops are lightly hammered.

Christmas is coming and my shop is so very bare. The way my eyes have been behaving lately I don't know how full my shop will be approaching the season, but I'll do my best to have something for everyone. If anyone has suggestions regarding what they might like to see, please do let me know and I will try to accommodate.

That's it for now. I hope everyone is having a good fall or spring (depending on where you are of course)!

Until next time....

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Pina Coladas and Other Stuff

I'm back! And yep, I've been a really bad girl. It's been almost two months since I've written anything here and I'm sure you've all given up on me by now. I've just been laying low, doing things around the house as well as making some jewelry. But I decided I could no longer sit and look at the computer for as long as I used to and it's been much better for my eyes. I was starting to get headaches and neck cramps from sitting here. It's actually been a nice change not to be at the computer for so long at a time. And my eyes just aren't what they used to be so I've been giving them a break. Well, I thought it was about time I let you all know I'm still alive and tell you what's been going on.

When I last wrote, Kevin and I were leaving the mountains and coming home to Charlotte, then going to Myrtle Beach for a week on vacation. Even though Myrtle Beach is a bit more touristy than I like, we did have a great time. (I'm not a real big fan of sand though either). Kevin had so much fun boogie-boarding in the surf. He swam in every pool possible, walked on the beach, played at the waterpark and went to the aquarium. But I think he had the most fun on his boogie board.

There was lots of yummy seafood and some really good sweet tea, but I must say my favorite part of the entire trip was Drunken Jack's 'Ultimate Pina Colada'. Drunken Jack's is a restaurant down in Murrell's Inlet where we went to eat one night. Their Pina Coladas are like milkshakes! They are sooooo good! The best I've ever had. The restaurant sits right on the inlet too and has a beautiful view. There's also a great legend attached to this place that you have to read about. I highly recommend Drunken Jack's. The food was great too but I'll never forget those Pina Coladas! Overall we had a really fun time on our trip.

Kevin has now been in first grade for a little over a month and he absolutely LOVES it! He's having a great time and is making new friends. He likes his teacher a lot which is always good. He's also getting pretty big now (it never ceases to amaze me just how big he's gotten). He's one of the tallest in his class (so he tells me). He's already been in love and has written notes back and forth with a little girl in his class. Friday he told me she broke up with him. I asked him if he was upset. He said "no, not really." I said that breaking up didn't mean they couldn't still be friends. Friends are forever. (I got married under the teacher's desk in first grade and got divorced in gym class in second grade, and that little boy and I are still good friends to this day.)

Kevin is also now a Tiger Cub. He joined Cub Scouts last month and is having a great time. He went on his first camping trip overnight and thoroughly enjoyed it. He's learned the salute, the pledge, and all kinds of other things. They'll be going camping again in a couple of weeks and he's really looking forward to that. Oh, and he's so very proud of his uniform.

We took our canoe out on Mountain Island Lake one weekend a few weeks ago. It was Kevin's first time ever in a canoe. I hadn't been in years (and boy did I get sore), but I really want to go more often though, I enjoy it so much.

Our canoe has three rows of seats and Kevin sat in the middle on top of the built-in cooler. It was a beautiful day. The sky was such a bright blue. We took a little picnic lunch and ate it in the boat in shade of some trees at the edge of the lake. Kevin really enjoyed being on the lake and seeing all the motorboats, canoers and kayakers. He said that when he grew up he was going to go canoeing every Sunday. It was definitely fun.

As for me, I'm tired. Tired all the time. Even when I do get as much sleep as I can possibly get, I'm still tired. I keep telling myself it's just the seasons changing and it's like my body is preparing to hibernate or something, but I suppose I'll have to go get checked out. One of my dear Etsy friends told me it could be my thyroid which is easily be treated with a pill. I guess there's no excuse for me not to go to the doctor. It's just that they can never find my veins when they try to get blood and I end up bruised and sore for at least a week afterwards. I don't look forward to them blowing my vein each time (and in each arm). I'll have to drink a gallon of water just so they can find my vein. I hate that. But I'm tired of being tired.

I say that I've been doing things around the house, but truth be told I just can't figure out what needs to be done. My concentration is off and it's like I'm going around in circles. It's not a bipolar feeling, of not being able to concentrate, having my head go in ten different directions at once. And it's not really a depressive state either, although it's more of a depressive state than bipolar. But having experienced both to their fullest extent, this doesn't really fit into either category. This is just tired. Plain and simple tired. Sometimes I ache all over, especially my neck. Sometimes I have a headache. Sometimes my vision is sort of blurry but then I attribute that to getting old and looking at the computer too much. My IBS has been acting up a lot recently and I haven't really changed my diet and don't feel that stressed which always triggers it. Perhaps it's just all the turmoil over the economy and the daily stress from hearing about the frigging $700,000,000,000 'bailout' over and over again (that's a lot of zeros). Or maybe it really is that I'm just getting old. We'll see.

I have mustered up enough energy to make some new jewelry for my shop even though I'm still tired (and working on the pictures takes its toll). Anyway, here are some new things you can find in my shop.

Lots of earrings as you can see. The following two necklaces are not in my shop yet but will be soon. Both are hand knotted freshwater pearls with brass filigree pendants. They're a little different from what I normally make, but I loved the look of the pearls with the brass and just had to make them. Keep an eye out for them in my shop as well as other new pieces still to come!

Well, that's about it for now. I hope everyone is well and coping all right with the state of the economy these days. We've had a hard time finding gas around here lately due to hurricane Ike. I refused to wait in line for gas and luckily I didn't have to. I don't really drive that much when I'm here in Charlotte (it's a good thing too), but I finally had to get some gas one day last week. I crossed my fingers and found a station nearby that had some gas. I got in without having to wait in a line. As I pulled up to the pump, my fuel level alarm went off. I'd gone about as far as I could on fumes.

Take care all. Until next time.....