Monday, January 31, 2011

Green Girl Goodies!

Octopi! Owls! Hearts! Medusa! All this and more. I hit To Bead True Blue today so I could restock my Green Girl Studios focal stash. I focused mostly on what's sold well for me this year, plus a couple of new designs that I really liked. They make me want to sit down and make jewelry right now! You can bet that after the gem show is over, some of these lovelies will be made into new necklaces and listed in my shop, Handmade Jewelry by Erthe Fae Designs. But not the octopus with garnet eyes... she's MINE :D

Unfortunately, the weather was pretty bad, so I didn't head down to the Gem Mall to stock up on crystals and carved bone pendants. I'll have to go next week, after I'm done working at Best Bead.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Frontage Road Shows

Why do I love the frontage road shows? Because that's where I score sweet tribal jewelry! Not only did I get two cute rings for $3 each today, but look at this amazing belt that was only $35! Yes, that back panel that spreads across my entire bum is in fact peyote-stitched seed beads (size 8ish) with a netted border. There are two smaller triangle panels at the front. And the bells make such a pretty chiming ring. And there are mirrors! Oh, I love it so much! In fact, I plan to wear it tomorrow when I perform in Tempe! My friend Jen and I will be doing a duet!

Anyway, we didn't have much time to spend at the shows today. We did check out a new show, on the east side of the I-10 and 22nd Street corner, which has free parking, clean restrooms, and some friendly vendors. I saw some cabs I wanted and OMG Liquid Fire Mantra was there and I saw the ear things in person and I WANT THEM SO BADLY! If only I hadn't just bought a new belly dance skirt on Thursday, those ear things would be MINE!

Remember, if you would like to support my debilitating tribal jewelry, 25 yard skirt and elf ear habit, you can go to Handmade Jewelry by Erthe Fae Designs and give in to your addiction for unique beaded jewelry. Just saying... ;)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Earrings in a Treasury!

My Midnight Dancer tribal chandelier earrings (pictured above) are in Beadmask's beautiful Labyrinth-themed treasury Dance the Magic Dance. Labyrinth has been one of my favorite movies since I was old enough to form opinions. We must have watched it at least once a year when I was a kid, and it's largely responsible for my love of the fantasy genre and the art of Brian Froud. I somehow never became a Bowie fan, though.

So please visit the treasury, click a few items, make a comment if you feel moved to, and definitely visit Beadmask's shop! I've loved Andrea's work since way before Etsy! She's so talented.

And while you're at it, pop over to my shop, Handmade Jewelry by Erthe Fae Designs. Any purchases made within the next week will go straight to purchasing supplies at the gem, mineral and bead shows. My first shopping trip is tomorrow! Woohoo!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Have I mentioned the gem show lately?

I know, I know, it's nothing but gem show around here from mid-January to mid-February! I just love it so much! The first long-running shows are opening up along the I-10 this week, so I'm very excited to take my brother-in-law to them on Saturday. He's never had the Tucson Gem Show Experience. I hope he's up for it!

Wings of the Morrigan is just not shaping up. I've ripped out about as many beads as I've stitched down! I probably won't finish it in time for gem show, but it's not as if I don't have plenty of old jewelry to wear... and while I may not have a new necklace for the Swarovski party, I will have new moves on the dance floor.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Win a trip to the gem show!

Not this year's gem show, because hey, you need time to schedule vacation days and save up for the shopping. But is offering you the chance to win round-trip airfare for 2, 3 days accommodations, and classes at the 2012 gem show! Pretty sweet! And you won't even have to compete against me, because hey, I already live here. Click here to learn more and enter the sweepstakes. If you do win, you'd better let me know so we can meet up!

I am super excited for gem show 2011! This is when I buy almost all my supplies for the year, though I also stock up a bit when Rings & Things comes to Phoenix, and occasionally I make some good finds at bead stores or the tiny show in September. But the February shows are where it's at! I'll get my crystals, seed beads, and focals, which shape what sort of designs I'll be offering at Handmade Jewelry by Erthe Fae Designs through 2011 and beyond. Based on what has sold well this year, I'll be looking for supplies to make another Medusa necklace or two, some steampunk earrings, and definitely more skull jewelry. Maybe some more owl necklaces, too. As far as tribal jewelry, I'll mainly buy things for myself, since that collection doesn't seem to sell as well as I expected. But maybe 2011 will bring new surprises!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Need more time!

Wow, how time has been flying. January is already more than half gone, the gem shows start in less than two weeks, my brother-in-law will be here on Sunday... and Wings of the Morrigan isn't even half done! I need to get back to work, furiously embroidering this week and next, if I have any chance of wearing it to the Swarovski party. I have a feeling I'll need to come up with a back-up plan.

Because I've been so busy, and so stressed-out about house stuff, I've really been neglecting Handmade Jewelry by Erthe Fae Designs. I had all these cool ideas, for the FAETeam's Stag challenge, and for Valentine's Day, but I've barely touched my beads except to make a few custom pieces last week. I have to clean up and put away my beads to make the guest room inhabitable, so I'm hoping to sneak some beading time in as well, as seeing things while I put them away will no doubt inspire me!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Things that make me happy

Three things that make me happy!

First, I'm featured in the treasury A little bling by AnikasArt. Anika is a really talented fellow FAE, so please make sure to check out her shop after you're done admiring the treasury!

Second, I had a fun day exploring the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum with Andrew Thornton. I'd tell you all about it, but my guess is that Andrew will blog it more eloquently than I will, and with better pictures (I left my camera at home because I'm paranoid about it dying again). I will say that my inner Goth was very pleased that the first birds in the raptor free-flight were a pair of Chihuahuan ravens!

Third, by the time I got home I had a new water heater and a fully-operational shower (and a new bathroom faucet to boot)! Oh, happy day! I can finally take a hot shower in my own home again! And my water heater won't make weird sloshy noises any more.

Monday, January 17, 2011

At last, my style and versatility have been recognized!

As you surely already know, I am both stylish (in a Goth/steampunk/boho/jewelry addict sort of way)...
...and versatile. Why, I can't even begin to enumerate my various uses! Aquariann chose to recognize these two great assets of mine by sharing with me the blog awards that she was given for also being stylish and versatile. I'm suppose to choose 15 other blogs that I think are both Stylish and Versatile to pass the award on to, but I know most of the bloggers I follow are too busy for that sort of thing, so I'm just going to recommend that you visit them:
1: TotusMel's Wunderkammer
2: Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
3: Cephalopod Tea Party
4: The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
5: MadDesigns
6: Mermaiden Creations in the Underworld
(Around this time I realize that I might not even follow 15 active blogs right now)
7: Fantasy Artists of Etsy
8: SaraBeth's Belly Dancing Bead Blog
9: Multicultalism for Steampunk
10: Princess Farhana
(Fiiiiiiive moooooore)
11: SpeedieBeadie
12: Darkling Woods Studio
13: Bead Indulgences
14: Anne E. Mitchell
15: Art Bead Scene

But wait! I'm not done! Now I'm supposed to tell you 7 random things about myself. This is turning into a really weird acceptance speech.

1: I used to think blogs were dumb and I only started this one to promote Handmade Jewelry by Erthe Fae Designs. Then I got addicted.
2: I met my husband in a chat room for on-line roleplaying. We were in character at the time. Gaming turned to friendship turned to romance turned to almost 11 years of marriage so far.
3: My favorite color used to be purple.
4: As far as I know I am not allergic to anything... except maybe vodka.
5: I enjoy learning new belly dance combos, but I have a hard time remembering them. I do not enjoy learning choreography, but I am good at learning it.
6: I have recurring dreams about being forced to walk through rooms full of dark aquariums full of inky water and things I can't quite see.
7: Any time I see a greyhound rescue group I have an irresistible urge to run up and pet a greyhound. They're just so sweet and calm and they have the sleekest, skinniest little heads!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

FAE Team Gift Swap!

Just like in 2009, in 2010 the participants of FAE Team's Etsy chat thread had a gift swap! This year I was fortunate enough to receive pretties from Lithia's Creations. Lith sent me three pieces of her great jewelry -- an adjustable black and purple ring with crystal accent, a cameo pin, and one of her brand new Gypsies Dragon Skin bottles! So cool! They all suit my Gothic steampunk sense of style and I am really happy that I will have them to accessorize with for Wild Wild West Con in March!

Plus she sent me the gorgeous absinthe mermaid by Jasmine Becket-Griffith, one of my favorite artists that I somehow never bought any prints from. This one is particularly cool because not only is it green, but I do enjoy the occasional glass of absinthe, and I love how delightfully creepy the mermaid is. She definitely looks like the sort to drown a few sailors, the little minx!

I bet you'd like a closer pic of the pretty jewelry...
Isn't it lovely?

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Buddha of Brass

Ok, I can't show the Nephrite Jade necklace because my friend Jen wasn't at dance class last night and I don't want to chance her seeing it on-line and ruining the surprise (it's not a total surprise, she knows she's getting something from me, she just doesn't know what!). However, I also made a necklace for my friend Meghan, and she was at class, so I can show and tell.

When I saw these brass Buddha pendants in Andrew Thornton's shop, I knew Meghan would love them. So when she signed up for the Pay it Forward "swap" on my Facebook page, I bought one and contemplated what to do with it. I eventually decided on an adjustable chain necklace, with a few added dangles. The beads actually came from a goodie bag from a different order I made from Andrew's shop! I thought they looked good with the brass. There's tiger's eye, carnelian (or possibly heated agate, or maybe one of each), a freshwater pearl, and some Czech glass. Plus little brass dangles that I got at Micheal's of all places.

My goal was to make something that would look good with either tribal belly dance costuming, or steampunk costuming, while still honoring the fact that Buddha is an important spiritual figure. I felt like dressing him up with gears and keys and such might be a little tacky. I'm pretty happy with the design and Meghan loves it, so I'd say it's a success!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Custom Jade Earrings

Right before Christmas, I sold a Medusa necklace made with Nephrite Jade, Lizardite (whatever that is!), and Swarovski pearls. A few days ago, I received a convo on Etsy from the customer wanting matching earrings, so I made these. Nice and simple. I love the Nephrite Jade, it has a beautiful translucent avocado sort of color. Actually, I like it so much that I used most of the rest of the strand in a cool necklace for a friend of mine, which I will probably post tomorrow :) I hope Rings & Things has more next time they're in Phoenix for a trunk show!

Fun fact: Even though I shamelessly plug Handmade Jewelry by Erthe Fae Designs on a daily basis at this blog, and have a big Etsy widget, I have been getting more visits to my shop from my dance blog, where I don't mention my shop and just have one little link to it! But SEO demands that I keep mentioning it here to raise my Google rankings.

I'd blog more, but right now there are a couple of little corgis who would like my attention!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Good Bye, Sphinx!

My Sphinx bracelet was one of four items that sold from Handmade Jewelry by Erthe Fae Designs today! I would not have expected so much business on a Wednesday in the middle of January, but I'm not complaining. I should get busy re-stocking, though.

Plumbing problems persist, but at least there was some progress today. My hope is that they'll at least get fixed this week. A week and a half is more than long enough!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Birds of Ereshkigal

The owl skull necklace is on Etsy now, under the hard to type but fun to say name Birds of Ereshkigal. If you would like to see more bird and skull themed necklaces at Handmade Jewelry by Erthe Fae Designs, now is the time to speak up! My supplier should be at the gem show.

I am cautiously optimistic that my plumbing problems will be fixed tomorrow, which would be nice. A friend has been allowing me to use her shower in the meantime, but it's really annoying to have to drive across town just to get clean! In truth, it will probably take a couple of days or more to get them actually fixed, unless our firs plumber was wrong and it's an easier fix than he diagnosed. I just want this hassle behind me so I can focus on more important things -- like the gem show!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Gothic Romance

I told you I wasn't going to make traditional Valentine's jewelry! Instead, I'm offering two darkly romantic offerings. First, Romance and Corsetry, which features a sexy little pewter heart by Green Girl Studios! This beauty was already featured in a treasury, I give you my HEART for Valentines Day.

Love Hurts is less elegant and more in-your-face. The awesome focal is by Earthenwood Studios, and is paired with black pyrite and red Swarovski crystals. Very dramatic and Goth.

I have to admit that Valentine's Day is not a big deal for my husband and I -- it's sandwiched neatly between gem show and our wedding anniversary, so I'd feel rather greedy asking for anything to mark the day. But I'm more than happy to facilitate a happy holiday by providing handmade, romantic jewelry from Erthe Fae Designs.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Sweetly Romantic

Finally! New Jewelry! I just listed these Demure Sweetness chandelier earrings. Perfect for a romantic date, and Valentine's Day is just around the corner!

I also finished out my listing of gray items with this crystal bracelet.

I still have to list the owl necklace and two rather Gothic heart necklaces, so keep your eye on Handmade Jewelry by Erthe Fae Designs, or come back to this blog tomorrow for convenient links.

(I'm keeping this short and sweet because otherwise it will turn into a rant about plumbers)

Thursday, January 06, 2011

False Alarm!

It turns out that even though my camera wasn't behaving like it normally does when the batteries are run down, all it needed was new batteries and it's working again. Thank goodness! I probably should replace it sometime this year, as it really is getting old for a small electronic device, and I don't want it dying on me at an inconvenient time. But right now, my money is better funneled into home repairs and getting ready for a very busy, very shoppy February and March: Gem show, house guests, Renaissance Faire and Wild West Con, all in a row!

So I was able to successfully take photos today, but there's no time to list anything before I head off to Tempe for dance class (yay, dance class!). Instead I'll leave you with this photo of the tribal necklace that I made for last month's recital. Other than the round black horn beads, everything in this necklace is from my birthday trip to Beads Galore!

Tomorrow, there really will be new jewelry at Handmade Jewelry by Erthe Fae Designs!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011


Remember how I promised new jewelry today? Well, I set up my photo stuff, took out my camera, turned it on... and nothing. It would appear that my beloved PowerShot is on its last legs. I can turn it on in playback mode, but when I switch to photo mode, it sticks out the lens and then shuts down without even retracting it! No error message, nothing.

Of course, the camera is at least 3 years old (because I already had it when I moved into this house in 2008) and has seen almost constant use in that time. It photographed two years worth of Beading For A Cure auction items, countless Erthe Fae Designs pieces, and accompanied me to New York, San Diego Comic Con, and Aruba. I'd kind of been expecting to replace it soon... but having it flake out in the same week that I already replaced the thermostat, and am about to replace my hot water pipes, is a bit of a blow.

So I don't know when I will have new jewelry, as it will all depend on when I get a new camera. Yay.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

New jewelry tomorrow!

The customer who ordered this awesome owl necklace backed out of the deal, so tomorrow it will be up for grabs in my shop, Handmade Jewelry by Erthe Fae Designs! I expect it to sell pretty quickly -- don't disappoint me, internet!

But that's not all! I made two necklaces and a pair of earrings today, all designed to inspire feelings of romance and/or sexiness. They'll also be listed tomorrow. I may even make more jewelry and list that, but I probably won't as I have a very busy day planned -- grocery shopping, a dance class, and an evening of gaming, most likely.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Water sucks!

My hot water pipes need to be replaced entirely. BOO! I hate water. Go ahead, ask me about my torrid history with water.

However, the heat appears to be working again, which means I can get into the bead room again, which means I can make jewelry again. Yay!

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Like the new look?

I decided the blog needed a makeover for the new year. The old format was a little dark, and more importantly, everything was cluttered over on one side of the page. Now things are a little more spread out. I'm still in the process of changing up my links to more accurately reflect what I read and where I can be found on the internet.

Picking up the thread of thought from my last post, I will not be embarking on a year of beading alongside my year of dance practice. I failed to find the time/inspiration to bead yesterday, and it will be hard enough to always carve out at least half an hour for dance every day, even during gem show and while sick and while on vacation, without also having to find half an hour for beads, too.

Of course, if you want to force me to need to bead more, you could go on a shopping spree at Handmade Jewelry by Erthe Fae Designs. I wouldn't complain!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

365 Days of Beading, too?

As I've been getting ready to embark on my year of belly dance practice, I'm wondering if I should set the same goal for beadwork. I didn't get nearly as much jewelry made as I wanted to this year, so spending at least half an hour a day, every day, would allow me to put more stock in my store, Handmade Jewelry by Erthe Fae Designs, create a few more necklaces for myself, and participate in more beading challenges. I suppose I'll have to wait and see if I get any time to bead today, and it's not looking likely.

You see, while I was gone, our furnace started acting up again (we already had to fix it once over Thanksgiving weekend). This time it appears to be a problem with the thermostat. The furnace itself seems to be working fine. So I've purchased a new, better thermostat (programmable!) and I'm just waiting for my Dad the electronics technician to come over and make sure I don't zap myself in the process of installing it.

But as if that's not enough, this morning I got up and went to wash my hands, only to be greeted by opaque orange water in my bathroom faucet! The kitchen was fine, and the orange went away, but now we have low water pressure in the bathroom sink and tub, which means no showers and probably another plumbing bill in my future. Why did I ever want to be a homeowner?

So beads would be really good therapy right about now, but first I have to fix the furnace because the beadroom is the coldest place in the house. Brrr.

Hope your New Year is off to a better start than mine!