Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sales and To-Do List

So much to blog about! Let's start by getting the shameless self-promotion out of the way! I'm having a bit of a clearance sale over at Handmade Jewelry by Erthe Fae Designs. There are ten pieces of unique jewelry currently marked down. I also discounted some of the destash lots in the Beads section. I plan to get more jewelry and beads listed throughout the coming week, some at discounted prices.

Speaking of beads at discounted prices, has a coupon code out for their blog program partners to share with their readers! It's only good until the end of the month, so act fast if you want to use it! Code ZZ-DESIGNER-0211 will get you 15% off any order, no minimum or maximum. Enjoy!

I recently received my latest Design Partner package from Artbeads, so that adds another thing to my lengthy to-do list. I need to make a custom necklace for my dance friend Kelly (finally found the perfect beads on Thursday!), make the embroidered beetle pendant for MZ, make a couple of pieces using the awesome components I got as part of Earthenwood's Design Team program, and use my Artbeads goodies, too! And that's not even counting making stock for my shop or finishing Wings of the Morrigan. I'd better get busy!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Word of the Week: Passion

Andrew Thornton is posting a word a week for the next year, putting out the challenge that anyone who wants should blog and/or create around that word, and share the results. To kick it off, he chose the word "passion."

Now, I did just finish reading a cheesy fantasy romance novel this week, so it is tempting to go off on that sort of passion, but I try to keep my blog family-friendly, so instead I'll talk about my main passion in life: tribal belly dance! The picture above is from my first solo performance back in May 2010. Let's not get into how bad my arms/hands are in this photo, we're talking about passion, not criticism. So! Passion!

There are few things that move me as much as dance does. Sometimes it's a nearly transcendent experience for me, when I really connect with the music and my heart is thrown wide open and joy just flows out. And sometimes there's passionate frustration, when I just can't get a combo to click, or I keep stepping on my veil, or my finger cymbal gets caught in my hip scarf during recital. And sometimes, when watching one of my idols dance, it's all I can do not to weep from the sheer awe.

I wanted to create a new tribal necklace to celebrate my passion for dance, and to celebrate being more than 7 weeks into my 365 days of dance, but I didn't have much time to work on it, and what I attempted didn't work out right away. Instead, you can admire this picture of Innana at Dusk (which I made and wore for my solo performance), or go to Handmade Jewelry by Erthe Fae Designs and check out some of my unique tribal necklaces.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Wings of the Morrigan, Progress Post 4

It's been a long time since I posted about Wings of the Morrigan, mostly because I've been too busy to really work on it. This is where I'm at currently. Unfortunately, I have to once again shelve it for a bit so I can work on custom orders and new stock for my shop.

So far this necklace includes:
-1 Black Kyanite specimen
-2 Swarovski Elements Pegasus Pendants
-1 Color of Czech size 11 seed beads
-Many Colors of Japanese size 11 seed beads, including permanent galvanized and hybrids.
-1 Color of Japanese size 15 seed beads
-1 Color of size 15 Charlottes
-8 Flat-backed freshwater pearls
-3mm Swarovski crystal bicones in Crystal Silver Night
-2mm Swarovski crystals rounds in Black Diamond.

Disclaimer: FTC regulations require me to mention that the Pegasus pendants in this necklace were provided for promotional consideration by

Shop news!

Today I listed Blue Heart, a spiral bracelet in my shop.

And today is the last full day to use coupon code loveandsparkles for 15% off anything at Handmade Jewelry by Erthe Fae Designs. I'll shut it off when I get up tomorrow, so you can also use it tomorrow morning -- I'm a late sleeper!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A spiral, as promised!

I just listed this Trundling Beetle spiral rope bracelet in my Etsy shop, Handmade Jewelry by Erthe Fae Designs. I photographed all the other spiral bracelets, too, but I only had time to list one, and I decided to do the best one! I love the bone bead focal, with its little beetle. I'm surprised I didn't make it into something for myself, honestly.

Most if not all of the other spiral ropes will be listed at a discounted price, I think. There's nothing wrong with them, they're just not as fancy as I tend to make them now, and a couple of them are really small.

No dance class tonight, which makes me sad! But this weekend we'll go to the Renaissance Faire and I'll get to see my favorite live music and dance group, Ghazaal Beledi! I'm so excited to see them dance, hear their music, and get their new CD! Oh yeah, and all the other stuff we'll do at Faire, too. But mostly Ghazaal Beledi! If you go to the Faire, make sure to see at least one of their shows and give them a big ol' cash tip, too!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

More spirals coming soon!

So, today I was rearranging my Etsy shop, Handmade Jewelry by Erthe Fae Designs, because Valentine's Day is over and it was time to get the hearts off of center stage. I decided I wanted a row of various bracelets, and that's when I made a startling discovery: I only have two spiral rope bracelets in the entire shop! White Salamander, as discussed yesterday, and Pearl Branch, as shown above. This simply won't do! I found half a dozen more spiral ropes that are on my old website but not in Etsy, so I'll try to get them photographed and listed across tomorrow and Friday. I also plan to make new spirals, using some of the new, yummy colors of seed beads I picked up during the gem show, but those will have to wait until after I finish the two custom orders on my plate.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Treasury Superstar!

White Salamander is a superstar today! This gorgeous orange and white spiral bracelet is not only one of the items I chose to highlight in the new animated ad I made today, but it's also featured in THREE FAETeam treasuries! Our theme was the Pantone Spring/Summer 2011 color forecast, and White Salamander is a shoe-in for Coral Rose. You can see it alongside many other beautiful items in Color Me FAE, Dreaming of a FAE Spring and Spring's Fresh FAETeam, where two more of my items represent Regatta and Russet!

But that's not all! Yesterday I found Beneath an October Moon in The Color of the Wind's Song, a beautifully curated treasury.

And of course I took my turn at curating. My Pantone-themed offering focused on just one color. A Magical Lavender Daydream shows just how varied FAETeam is, with items ranging from stationary to costuming to jewelry.

Is your appetite for treasuries still not sated? You can view all FAETeam treasuries, or check out the linky on Aquariann's blog. You can even post a treasury of your own, but be sure to follow the rules by clicking and commenting on others as well.

By the way, I've decided to keep the loveandsparkles coupon code active until I get up on Saturday, so you still have a chance to save 15% at Handmade Jewelry by Erthe Fae Designs. Please help feed my belly dance costume fund! ;)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Love and Sparkles!

Happy Valentine's Day! You know I am not the sort to usually celebrate this holiday -- not because I'm not in love, or not because I feel like it's overly commercialized, but mostly because it falls between the gem show and our anniversary, so I would feel silly expecting to get additional sparkly gifts. This year we are having a bit of a romantic day, with plans for him to get off of work early and make me a delicious dinner. No gifts needed, just a night to ourselves without work, house guests, or outside obligations of any sort.

But I do have a gift for you! Well, not really a gift so much as an offer. You can use the code loveandsparkles at Handmade Jewelry by Erthe Fae Designs to get 15% off anything and everything in the store! So buy yourself something beautiful, or get someone else a sparkly surprise. And have a lovely day, whether or not you're celebrating romance.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Unprofessional Vendors Irk Me

Due to a general sense of being tired, and having a bunch of stuff to catch up on here at home, I didn't make it out to the Gem Mall until today. This was the last day of the show, and it was set to close at 3pm instead of the usual 6pm. So I fully expected that when I got there between 12:30 and 1, some vendors would be in the process of packing things up. After all, it's a two week long show, and I remember from the couple of years that I worked it that we were all pretty eager to leave by the end!

What I did not expect was to find that many of the vendors were mostly, if not completely packed up! This included my usual Swarovski crystal supplier, and the vendor I get my carved bone pendants from. So I completely failed to stock up on those items, as if there was anyone else selling what I wanted, they had also already packed up!

The aisles were full of boxes and packaging materials, and the tents echoed with that irritating sound of tape being pulled from the roll. Many sellers seemed much more focused on packing up than on serving customers!

So my money went to the people who actually had the integrity to stay set-up until the end. I got a few strands of Czech glass and a handful of dyed ribbons from Da Beads, Inc and shared a gripe about people closing shop early. And I got three super gorgeous tribal pendants (one for me, two for business) from a vendor whose name I forgot to get. I wouldn't have splurged on tribal goodies at all, but I had extra money in my budget thanks to not being able to buy what I was there for in the first place!

I'll be looking for new sources for Swarovski crystals and carved pendants now. Anyone who can't stay open for the duration of the show they signed up for does not deserve my patronage in the future.

Speaking of patronage, here's my token mention of my shop! Handmade Jewelry by Erthe Fae Designs! Your home for fantasy jewelry and blog-based griping!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Treasury Love

Fantasy Artists of Etsy Team has been participating in Treasury Tuesday! Last week I got featured in several but had no time to blog about them... This week, no one from the team featured me, but I have plenty of time to blog! Ah well. I curated the above collection, called In love with a fantasy. Please consider taking the time to view a few items, leave a comment, and maybe share it on your favorite social networking sites!

I was featured in one non-FAETeam treasury at least! My mermaid necklace, Queen of the Arctic Ocean, is in the nautical-themed Out at Sea.

My plan is to get some new fantasy necklaces made and listed at Handmade Jewelry by Erthe Fae Designs this week, so hopefully next week will be more treasuriffic!

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Gem Show 2011 Recap!

Gem Show 2011 is more or less behind me! I still have two shows to go shop at, to get some supplies and more wooden necklace displays, but I've wrapped up most of my shopping and all of my working. Speaking of working, above is a picture of me at work! This is just a fraction of the Beyond Beadery booth. It really is bigger -- and has a better selection -- than a lot of bead stores I've been to.
But enough about work, and more about beads! I only took pictures of part of what I bought. Above, a cool heart bead (with an octopus!) by Christi Friesen, and some beautiful raku cabs by MAKUstudio. Mak is based in Phoenix, so it's pretty likely I'll be getting more of her yummy clay in the future!
And here, lampwork beads by two of my favorite artists! The tree and two sets are by JC Herrell, and the beetle, caterpillar, and other set are by Margaret Zinser. The cab is actually going to go back to MZ, in an embroidered pendant. I'm very excited about the project!
Of course, I had to get some steampunk goodies! The key with lampwork on it is by Kerri Fuhr. I've been admiring her work on Etsy for a long time, so I was really happy to meet her in person! The enameled pieces are from C-Koop, and I actually have a lot more than I put in the photo. I have more of the new TierraCast components on the other side of the photo, too! And I got the "Lolita" skeleton cab from work, and also have a smaller one to work with.

I've also got a big bag of seed beads, a bunch of chain, and some new crystals. I can't wait to get designing and bring some exciting new pieces to Handmade Jewelry by Erthe Fae Designs!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Jen's Dragon

I could have sworn I had a better picture of this, but I can't find it, so I guess I don't! This is the necklace I made for my friend Jen as part of a Pay it Forward crafting thing on Facebook. Jen loves dragons, and I thought this one that I got from a while back was perfect for her, because it's highly detailed, unusual, and a nice size. Plus the round shape looks great with the nephrite jade coins! I also used hematite, and Czech glass in Montana blue with a jade green Picasso effect on the ends. I was finally able to give it to her on Sunday and she loves it. Yay!

If you would like a dragon necklace of your own, I do have some available at Handmade Jewelry by Erthe Fae Designs. Well actually, it looks like right now I only have one, In The Dragon's Nest. So I guess I know one thing I need to work on after gem show! I have a bad habit of hoarding all the dragon focals for myself instead of making them into jewelry for the shop! I need to either be less greedy, or buy more duplicates ;)