Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Diving into ACEOs

I have always loved drawing. Crayons, colored pencils, finger paints, oils, pastels, acrylics..you name it, I've dabbled in it. My favorites are colored pencils and acrylics. Colored pencils because they are so versatile and vibrant. Acrylics, for the same reasons, but also beacause they are paints and using them makes me feel like a real artist :) Also, they dry pretty fast making them a good choice for hectic lifestyles and impatient personalities!

So I have opened another Etsy shop, called Chameli Creations! Chameli is the Hindi word for that lovely flower, jasmine. The word "jasmine" is derived from the Persian word (also used as a a name), "yasmin," which means "gift from God." I am not a classically trained artist. That is to say, I have never had any formal training, other than those elemantary art classes, but I don't let that hinder me from trying. Flower, trees, nature in general is a great inspiration for me. I am not good at drawing life-life portraits and such. But I do like abstracts and strong, vivid colors. I use the world around me, our gift from God, to inspire me.

The ACEO pictured above is one of mine, entitled "Mountain Home." I have 3 more in my shop and I plan on drawing more. It's very exciting getting into a new art and learning all about it.

ACEO stands for Art Cards Editions and Originals. They have only one rule, and that it that it must measure 2.5 by 3.5, the size of a baseball cards. If it is any other size, it can not be called an ACEO. The size makes it easy and affordable for are collectors to collect a variety of art from all over the world and place them in card albums or shadow boxes, give as gifts....the possibilities are endless! I LOVE the idea of collecting mini masterpieces and I am looking foward to starting my own collection.

Here are some of my favorites that I found on Etsy.....

Happy Together ACEO by PaintingPrints

The Clamshell Mermaid by SusanRodio
Hope you enjoy these and are inspired to start your own art collection!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Just Bead It!

On Sunday afternoon, after I had put the kids down for a nap, I headed to Red Bank, to visit The Red Bank Bead Company. (Don't worry, my husband was with them!). Downtown Red Bank borders the Navesink River here in Central Jersey, and it is a very posh and upscale area, with specialty boutiques and designer stores. There are also a lot of antique shops and great activites during the summer season. I'm lucky to live only about 20 minutes away. So as I walk through the door, I felt like I had entered heaven. I think a lot of jewelry artisans share this sentiment, that something just happens when you are surrounded by beads and findings and wire and stones. You're surrounded by infinite possibilities. At first I was just walking around in a daze. It was like I couldn't take in everything fast enough. Then I calmed down and wandered around, with a constant tirade in my head of buying what I needed as opposed to buying what I wanted (two TOTALLY different things!) I bought a few things, among them metal bookmarks that I am going to embellish with an array of fabulous beads. My friend Deana gave me the idea. Like myself, she loves to read, and since she doesn't wear a lot of jewelry, she mentioned to me that I might make jeweled bookmarks. Thanks Deana! You can read her blog here, and read about her amazing life with her husband Steve and their warrior son, Maximilian. So stay tuned for those bookmarks to show up on Etsy!

Speaking of beads, I love beaded earrings. There is just something about them, especially if you have your hair up and you're wearing gorgeous clothes. You feel confident and awesome. Here are some of my new earrings, just listed in my Etsy shop.

All these earrings really reflect my personality. I have so many interests and passions, and so many things that I want to do. These earrings are all so different and varied. I think that really does describe the kind of person that I am. It seems that we are all pressured to find an identity, to make ourself fit into pre-conceived categories. I personally don't think that it works that way. Even now, sometimes I don't know where I fall in these categories. I turn 30 this year, God willing. I think it's okay to be the odd one out now.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Aprons Galore...and More!

As a mother, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I'll be the first to admit that, though I like cooking, it can get tiresome doing the same old thing everyday. But I know that this Patti Paisley Demi Apron from the Bella Morgan Boutique will make those mundane tasks all the more exciting! Aside from aprons, they have all kinds of loverly, handmade items, like diaper bags, burp cloths, bibs, tutus, etc....

They are also having a great giveaway for this delicious Cupcake Apron. Go visit The Apron Goddess to enter for a chance to win!

I got inspired by this apron, so I checked out what Etsians had to offer by way of this sugary confection. Here is an adorable Little Girl's Cupcake Bracelet...

A Cupcake Cook Charm Necklace, which I think is fabulous...
I am going on a sugar overload, so catch you later while I go brush my teeth :)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Roller Coaster to the Dragon's Den!

So starting your own business is like a roller coaster. Here's the first dip. See that big jumble of jewelry? Those are a few of the pieces that I made for the Medford Craft Show that was held this past weekend. Of course, with the husband at work, it would have been hard for me to get out there with the two little ones in tow, so Sheri was nice enough to sell for me! I heard from her last night and she told me that I made a whopping $27. Oh well. She said that the economy had a lot to do with it, since there was a huge crowd, but not a lot of buying. Here is everything all packaged up and tagged, ready for selling.

It doesn't look like a lot, and I guess as craft shows go, it wasn't. But Sheri told me to make as much as I could and just send it on over! So I made about 30 earrings, 20 necklaces and some bracelets. She has mailed everything back to me so I should be getting that soon. Then I will list everything in my shop!

Now here is where the ride gets better. I am finished with the custom order that I got from my sister's co-worker/friend, Dalana. She ordered one necklace at first and then she ended up with wanting three. Here they are:

Egyptian Goddess Hathor Necklace

Lotus Flower Prayer Box Necklace

Zodiac Libra Necklace

Now another dip. My consignment deal fell through. I was walking through the mall and I was peeking into the nail salon. I couldn't see my jewelry display anywhere! So I went in and the owner was all flustered and embarressed at seeing me there. She told me that she wasn't comfortable displaying it since there were children that would grab at it and she was afraid that they might steal it. Well, the counter was about 4 feet above these thieving children, and besides how many children came in to get their nails done? Of course, she just didn't want to display them so I took them back after telling her that she should have at least called me. She was all like, "Oh, I was going to call you on Monday." Sure you were. But that's all right. There were a couple of other places that seemed interested so I will try again!

I love featuring and promoting artists of all kinds. If you like candles and awesome body products, then you will love the Dragon's Den! Sarah is part of the fabulous EtsyNJ Street Team and her shop is so luxurious. See the pics of her Cinnamon Sandalwood Tea Light Candles and Oatmeal Honey Soap.

She is having a great giveway at her blog! Just go and vote for your favorite candle scents and leave her a comment. She will then pick 2 winners to receive a FREE set of 6 tea lights! There is NO catch, since she will even pay shipping! The poll closes March 23rd, so go vote and and enter yourself for a chance to win!

And with that, the ride has ended and I wish you all a scent-sational day ;)

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Treasured Highlights!

I have been featured in my first (and hopefully, not last!) Etsy treasury! My Emerald Forest Dangle Earrings were featured in this lovely Go Green Treasury, beautifully curated by Robin of CreationsbyRobin. Robin is a fellow EtsyNJ Team member AND a talented jewelry artist. She has so mnay beautiful pieces, but this one is one my favorites, the Go Green Sea Glass Heart Necklace

I was also featured on a blog for the first time! Read it HERE! CreativeCrafts2009 are two sisters from Colorado who knit, crochet, and make lovely handmade cards. Here is one of their handmade items, the Love Never Fails card!

For me, these are the highlights that made my day! Thanks to all!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Spring Fever!

In anticipation of spring, the EtsyNJ Street Team is running a sale! Check it out here! And of course, I am participating as well. I am offering free shipping on any order in my shop for the run of the sale. I am so lucky to be part of such a great team! Starting out on Etsy is pretty easy, but it can also be overwhelming. And the feeling of being overwhelmed applies not just to Etsy but to everything dealing with the handmade world, in which I have just dipped my toes in. So I have a lot to learn and being part of a team gives me a resource that I can go to for any questions that I have. It was through the team that I learned of a Craft Show taking place in Medford, NJ. It runs from March13th to the 15th. Even though I can't actually be there, Sheri the organizer said that it would not be a problem. I could just send the stuff to her, she would sell it and then send me any remaining items and my money! Hopefully, all I will get back is a big check....and nothing else!

I have also set up my display in the nail salon that agreed to sell my jewelry on consignment. I am really wanting to go to the mall and walk past and see if anything has been sold or not! I started out small. about 6 pairs of earrings and 4 necklaces. I pulled up a sample contract online and tailored it for my situation. I have to admit, it was a little scary for some reason, asking the owner to read and then sign the contract. I have always been geared toward the sciences my whole life, so doing something business-related made me empathize with the whole fish-out-of-water scenario.

Looking around on Etsy, I found this lovely necklace...

A gorgeous steampunk necklace that invokes that irresistable essence of early spring. It's made by JewelsofLuxury and I think that she did a great job on the composition of the photograph as well. Here is a painting that drew my eye, titled "Dreaming of Spring." How apropos!

The artist, Sascalia, is a self-taught artist in mixed media. She grew up in rural France, and now lives in the U.K. I adore the colors that she uses and her technique is so storybook-like. My walls are looking bare! And since it can still run a little cold in early spring here in the Garden State, I leave you with this lovely scarf from Grace Sakowski of gsakowskidesigns!