Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Filling up the shop

Confession time: I have a lot of perfectly wonderful jewelry that is not in my Etsy shop due to pure laziness. It's a lot of work to get things photographed. There are plenty of items that used to be on my old website and just need new photos, or items that I made but when I took pictures they didn't turn out, or items that I've made and not yet taken photos of. Basically what I'm saying is that photography is always a huge hurdle for me! Once I get some good images everything else is easy.

I just listed Winged Dancers, which features a lovely Thai silver butterfly pendant. It's part of my campaign to fill up my shop for the holidays. It seems like every time I think I'm going to break 100 items in the shop I sell a few. This is a good problem to have and a trend I'd like to see continue.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Still here

 Sometimes I am surprised by the things that don't sell. I mean, I fully expect that my most expensive items will take a while to move -- everyone loves them but no one can afford them. I make beadwoven jewelry because I enjoy making it and it's nice to have some WOW pieces to draw people into my shop. But when I have something that is awesome and affordable and then no one buys it, it confuses me.

Waiting for a Key is a good example of this... It's a nice, simple necklace. Adjustable length, pretty chain, art bead focal. Only $25. What's not to love?
 Gossiping Pixies are pretty much the cutest thing I've ever made, so I'm especially surprised that I still have them. Of course, people don't seem to really search for faerie jewelry very often, so I guess it may take a while for the right person to find them.
Disembodied Zombie Heads are only ten dollars. They feature bright green skulls. They are perfectly delightful in a punk-horror sort of way. I am honestly shocked that they did not sell within a week of being listed. If I was out shopping, and I saw these for only $10, I would totally buy them.

I guess this just goes to show that I am much better at making things than at predicting what people will like!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Small Business Saturday!

I think I've mentioned before how it kind of drives me crazy the way this weekend is broken up... Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. Most businesses seem to have some sort of sale that runs the entire weekend, because they don't want to miss people who can't or won't shop Black Friday anyway.

But small businesses are near and dear to my heart, and not just because I run one. I think that the best things come from artists and unique little shops. I would much rather spend all day at 4th Avenue browsing thrift shops and gift shops than hit the mall and look at the same stores that are in every mall in the country. I'd far rather browse Etsy than Amazon.

I prefer to eat at local restaurants, too. I'd much rather have something that's made fresh that day than something that was cooked and frozen at a central distributing center and sent to my town. Of course I'm lucky to live in a town that has a disproportionate amount of amazing local places.

I'd love to link you to some of my favorite small businesses and Etsy sellers, but that would take forever and I have guests coming over any minute now ;) So instead I'll just urge you to reconsider your holiday shopping at the mall and big boxes, and look to unique stores and artists to support. In this economy us little guys could really use the boost!

Shameless plug alert! You can support my small business by visiting Handmade Jewelry by Erthe Fae Designs and using code thxabunch for 15% off your purchase. Sale ends at 11:59pm MST Monday night.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

 One thing I am seriously thankful for this year is the ability to be part of not one, but two great dance communities! Here's my beloved Anaya Tribe in the Phoenix area...
And my wonderful friends and classmates here in Tucson! (Also photographic proof that I wore red and didn't look horrible).

It's hard to believe that we're near the end of November already. This year has flown by in a flurry of activity, and there are certainly things I planned to do and never got around to. But over all I'm feeling pretty happy and accomplished.

But I really should be making potatoes right now, so I'll cut this short. Before I go, let me mention that all this weekend you can use code "thxabunch" for 15% off of your entire purchase of Handmade Jewelry by Erthe Fae Designs.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Have I mentioned lately that I am obsessed with beetles and scarabs? I've loved them ever since I read an article about beetles in the Smithsonian when I was a teenager. They're so varied and beautiful and awesome. This week's treasury is an ode to my favorite critters.

Check in tomorrow for info on my Thanksgiving weekend sale!

Friday, November 18, 2011

New coin bra

 Being in a troupe called for me to make a new coin bra! It's been a work in progress for a couple of months, as I would stop at a stage in which it was wearable but not quite done yet. I think it's done for now, though I may eventually cut off the original straps and replace them with something sturdier.*

The trim is made from a belt that I loved which was simply too small for me. It was a bit difficult to stitch down to the bra, but definitely worth it to have embroidery and mirrors instead of simple brocade ribbon. I added the coins by hand -- that was this week's project, and it only took me less than 4 hours, spread across two nights of DVD-watching (season 3 of Parks and Recreation, in case you were wondering).
The center piece is a kuchi pendant. A couple of the dangles were missing, but no big deal, I just rearranged them to make a hole in the middle and attached this scarab pendant that I've had forever. There is definitely something to be said for having DIY skills and a huge stash of beads to pull from.

My next bra project will be more fusion-y than traditional tribal and will involve covering the entire bra in fabric. I'm pretty excited about it.

*Belly dance purists -- I know a lot of you have a pet peeve about coin bras that are clearly lingerie bras with stuff sewn on them. I get it. But everyone in my troupe wears this style of bra and we always wear a tie top or Turkish vest over them, so that pretty much only the trimmed parts show.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Already gone!

These hamsa earrings are already on their way to a new home! I never would have expected them to be so popular! I'm going to look for some more styles of hamsa charms and pendants to expand my line and offer a little more variety.

Are there any special symbols you'd like to see added to my line? I'm thinking of throwing in some "om"s and maybe some Buddhas. The belly dance and yoga communities overlap so much that those are really popular with my friends.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Here's a treasury for all of you purple lovers out there :)

Monday, November 14, 2011


 Yay, I made something! I've been sick for a while and I wasn't up to beading, but now I am better and overflowing with creative energy! I have so many cool new and old beads to play with. I started by making a birthday present for my teacher Jolie, who likes black and brown and grey all together. The necklace is built around a banded agate focal, and features sardonyx, pyrite, Swarovski crystals, and a few Afghani coins.
Oh, and this lady! How cool is she? Beads Galore had bunches of these vintage Japanese stamped glass charms and I HAD to have them! I loved them so much that I also HAD to put one in Jolie's necklace, and I thought it would be cool to silhouette her against an old coin. The necklace is called Terpsichorean, because Terpsichore is the Greek muse of dance and she has a really fun name to say.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Do I have some Treasuries for you!

It's been a while since I made a steampunk Treasury, so that's the theme that I decided to work with yesterday. Lots of great steamy items from my friends in FAETeam. I'm thrilled that RobinRed is now part of the team, because I've been admiring their masks for a while and now I can include them in my team Treasuries!

With the holidays coming (yikes!), gift guides are now a trending topic, so I decided to make a Gifts for the Bellydancer guide which in no way serves as a holiday wishlist (yeah right, I'm not kidding anyone).

Speaking of gift guides, Andrea included my Black Rose Gothic Necklace in her jaw-droppingly beautiful Treasury: For Your Favorite Gothic Beauty -- Gift Guide.

Not specifically a gift guide, but Lisa's Argh Matey is a great collection of pirate-themed items that would also make great gifts. I'm happy to have one of my steampunk escutcheon necklaces in there!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Jade Cicadas!

I can't believe that I forgot to blog about these awesome carved jade* cicadas that I purchased at the Rings & Things show in Scottsdale last month. They are pretty much the coolest thing ever. I had to buy them even though they were really expensive and I really only wanted one for me. Then after I paid I plopped them right down on a table and took a photo to post on Facebook.

I'm going to make some pretty epic necklaces with these. The first one will be for me, of course!

*I don't know if they're actually jade. There are so many stones that get called jade but actually aren't. These are an antiqued/aged (I forget what word the tag says) "jade" that has a cool mottled brown, makes them look like some sort of old Chinese artifact that I stole from a museum or something.

Monday, November 07, 2011

More hamsa earrings!

My hamsa earrings have been selling well so far, so I made a few pairs for the Desert Shakedown last month... where they did not sell at all. I am terrible at predicting trends! I listed the Crystal Hamsa Earrings in my Etsy shop, and the other pair (which also involves crystals) will be part of a special giveaway on another blog. I'll post more about that when the time comes. There's a third pair which I didn't photograph, and they'll be added to my selection of jewelry at Plaza de Anaya. I should also have some hamsa hairpins and sticks available, as well as other hair accessories and possibly other earrings. Did I mention that Plaza is still the only place to purchase my line of one of a kind hair accessories? It's true!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Two Treasuries

This week's FAETeam treasury has a faerie and mermaid theme! I like it a lot.

Only one feature this week but it's a really awesome one -- A Celebration is a Dia de los Muertos themed collection and it has a lot of beautiful items in it. Mr. Skully-Man fits right in!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

My Gothy roots

Did you know that when I started out making jewelry, most of my designs were Gothic? There were ankhs and elaborate crosses and so much hematite and amethyst! My style has changed quite a bit since then but I still love elegant Gothic designs, like this necklace, The Darkest Rose. Black, purple and silver is one of my favorite color combinations, and was in fact my very favorite before I fell in love with green.

I actually made this one a few years ago and only now got around to taking nice, Etsy-worthy photos to get it listed. It's always interesting to look over something I made a while ago and think about the ideas that were in my head and wonder why I never revisited them. This Nepal chain with crystals hanging off some of the flowers is really cool! Why didn't I ever do that again? Maybe I should come up with another design using it.