crystals and glass

my jewelry line has evolved greatly since i opened my shop on Etsy in 2008. however, one of the earring styles that i have made for several years now is a dangle made of glass beads from the Czech Republic, clustered with Swarovski crystals. i love how chic and versatile they are, and can dress up any outfit. it is a style that appeals to many of my customers, since it has some sparkle, but doesn’t make too big a statement.

cluster earring process_2 clusterearringprocess_1

i also love that the color possibilities and combinations are endless! i am working on a bunch of them to bring with me to my holiday boutique, as they are a steady seller, and reasonably priced, of course, which means you can take home a few variations without breaking the bank. you can find them here in my shop.

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an undesired manicure

well, it’s official. two of the adjacent properties to ours are now vacant. and being flipped, apparently, as the sounds of renovation have become a daily occurrence. the house just behind us went first, which i can’t say upset me much, since the tenants were hoarders and unwitting beekeepers, apparently. (wild bees were building a hive on the back corner of their house and drifting over to drink out of my potted plants.)

the emptying of the second house has had a more notable effect on me, however. our backyard is home to a glorious old cork oak that shades not only our yard, but those of the rear adjacent homes. and well, part of its glorious charm was that it was a little unkempt and massive. a portion of the renovation in house number two has included the pruning back of our well-meaning giant into a more respectable volume. it breaks my heart a little to see the light breaking through above the fence, since it means that the very busy street now features more prominently in our backyard view. plus, my little haven there in that back corner where our hammock hangs is a little less welcoming with all that horrible, wholesome sunshine.

i can’t help it. it bums me out.

am i allowed to blog on the weekends?

well, yes, i guess…as long as the toddler permits it. this morning should do fine, as i am up FAR earlier than i typically am, and she is nestled in her bed. (feet to the pillow, i might add…just one of her nightly migrational habits that make us fear the implications of transitioning her to a big-girl bed.)

i can explain my early rising by telling you that i have so much going on in my head these days, that i am amazed i get to sleep at all without a shot of horse tranquilizer to my haunches every night. shall i try to list them for you? most tangible and nearest in the horizon first:

1. craft fair preparation. i was accepted to my first ‘real’ holiday craft boutique a couple of weeks ago. (there were more applicants than spaces, mind you, so i feel somewhat accomplished already.) the event takes place on december 8, and, having never tackled something of this dimension, i am finding myself a little adrift. it does not help in the slightest that i am a perfectionist, and have such delusions of grandeur that i picture in my mind the following scenario: upon seeing the glory of my setup and branding prowess, no one will believe that this is my first time doing it. one of the pitfalls of being a perfectionist, at least in my case, is that i also tend to procrastinate. which is, i suppose, a blog topic all its own.

2. domesticity. i struggle with it. and every time i square up to tackle it, i end up a little overwhelmed. being a planner is not something that comes easy to me. see number 1.

3. motherhood. i have a toddler. i could stop there, and a whole multitude of women would bow their heads in solemn solidarity. but i am thinking of having another one. the journey from point a to point b is fraught with a plethora of stumbling blocks. one of which, being my weight. i have been making some solid inroads toward this goal, but it is time to step up my game. i am aware of this. a second, finances. we are pretty much a one income family, though i am trying my darndest to make this jewelry thing a winner. amongst the many others, the most gut-wrenching (quite literally, i can assure you) obstacle to subsequent procreation is the haunting memory of my first pregnancy, in which you watched me become a shell of a person who spit excess saliva into a cup all day long and puked every night. seriously…do you really want to see what happens when you throw a toddler into the mix? i shudder just thinking about it. yet, i can’t seem to help myself. i am twisted like that.

which brings me to the present, wherein i am nursing a cup of coffee in the growing daylight, and trying to sort through some of this madness. time to pour another cup.

branching out

i have received encouragement to become a blogger from various people, but i always considered myself too busy, ill-equipped, uninteresting, or…you name it.

i was first and foremost a maker, but my penchant for ‘spinning yarns’ was a close second to bud. (fiction comes easily to children when they have been caught doing something they shouldn’t!) my creativity takes many forms, but creating the descriptions in my etsy shop listings give a nod to my writing self. wait, etsy, you ask? oh, yes…i am a maker, remember? i make jewelry with a vintage flair, and i LOVE doing it.

etsy has been an exciting catalyst for both my creative selves, and i have spent the last five years cultivating my shop and evolving my aesthetic. but like all bright and shiny things, it has begun to lose its luster. created as a unique marketplace that fostered the handmade culture, etsy provided a meaningful connection between seller and buyer through features like chat (which etsy removed, to the detriment of all, a few years ago), and the forums, which bear little resemblance to the useful and varied platforms they once were. most recently, etsy erased and redrew its boundaries to include sellers who outsourced their production to factories.

it is a sad state of affairs, and an utter heartbreak to me and many of my etsy peers, who honestly believed that etsy would never succumb to the pressure of bigger business. following etsy’s announcement of their ‘redefinition of handmade,’ the CEO has disappeared back into the woodwork and remained almost completely silent, while millions of small-scale makers grapple with the upheaval of a place we called home.

which leads me to this, the creation of a blog. a place where hopefully, i can begin to process my disappointment and fears…and my hopes and dreams for the future.

are you with me? let’s do this thing.