Thursday, November 29, 2012

Books and beads, my two addictions

 I love to buy beads, and I love to buy books about beading. But too often, they sit around unused. So I've been trying to use more of my beads, and also to actually make some projects from books and magazines. Towards that goal, I made this bracelet from "Great Designs for Shaped Beads" by Anna Elizabeth Draegar.
This is an awesome concept for a book, because I know I'm not the only beader who has excitedly purchased a new style of seed bead, only to be totally stumped on what to do with them. Take the Tila beads that are in this project. I see a lot of designers doing great work with them, but I have not even tried. I took the easy way out and waited for a book project to grab me! It also let me use some size 10 Delicas (which helped dictate the color palette because I only had 3 colors, because I never use them).
The instructions and illustrations in the book were really clear, I was able to make this bracelet over the span of 3 nights while watching a DVD (I also worked on other projects, so I probably could have done it in 1 or 2 sittings if I'd focused). Another nice thing is that Draegar provides alternate options for a lot of the designs, so if you only have a few Tilas leftover, you can whip up a ring to match, or if you like a necklace but don't have enough beads, she scales it down to a bracelet.

I like this design enough that I might make more in other colors, but I think I should delve into another book first!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Rarh, Bird Tribe!

 Bird Tribe is one of the new tribal necklaces that I made for the Shakedown! It's pretty awesome, if I do say so myself. I love those rough-hewn matte tiger's eye tabs. They were a little pricey but I just had to have them! I think they combine really well with the lava and coral. Lava is quickly becoming one of my favorite materials for tribal jewelry because I can go BIG without it being too heavy, although these particular lava beads are only about 6-7mm.

As for the focal, I bought it at the same time that I bought the wicked skull in Souleater. I would like to work more with this sort of pendant, but I probably can't justify buying more until one of these necklaces sell (so hopefully one will before the next gem show). I can't help it, I have expensive taste!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Where did you get that one?

 At the Desert Shakedown, there was a kindergarten-age girl in our booth for a few minutes, and she decided to entertain herself by asking "Where did you get this one?" about the focal pieces of every necklace within reach, which lead to the realization that I get beads from a lot of different places. Between that, and a conversation yesterday about whether stories help sell products, I was in the mood to talk about where my beads come from. Married to the Dance (above) is a new necklace, and I included its provenance in the description. But it left me thinking about the varied beads I use in each project, and where I get them, and how I get the idea to bring them together.

Take The Hungriest Pixie Ever as an example. I of course got the focal bead from Green Girl Studios at a Tucson bead show. I ordered the ceramic pomegranates from Earthenwood Studio specifically to go with it, and then the colors of those charms set the palette for the necklace. The freshwater pearls were purchased in bulk at a gem show years ago. The green crystals came from the same gem show, but more recently. I think the moss agate is from a Rings & Things trunk show in Phoenix. The padparadscha crystals are leftover from a Beading For A Cure kit. They all came together beautifully, as if I bought them all to be together, but in truth I just have an extensive bead collection to pull from.

Are you curious about the origins of the beads in any of my other work? Just ask and I'll do my best to answer -- though sometimes I may have to say that I honestly don't remember! As of last month I've been doing this for 14 years now. Whew!

Monday, November 26, 2012

New and Beautiful

I spent the Thanksgiving holiday in NY, but now that I am home I can get down to listing all of the new stock that didn't sell at the Desert Shakedown! That includes this Hamsa of Earth bracelet, made with chocolate jasper and rhyolite. Expect to see a lot more stones this week! There will be lava/basalt, tiger's eye, amethyst and more.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Small Business Saturday!

I'm holding over yesterday's Onyx Friday specials for Small Business Saturday! If you pop over to Handmade Jewelry by Erthe Fae Designs you'll see items with "SBS" in their title. Those pieces are discounted.

This will be my last sale of the year, and probably my last sale until NEXT Onyx Friday. I put too much into my jewelry to just discount it at a whim. However, I know that we all want a bargain when we can find one, so I chose a variety of items to put on sale. Some are budget-friendly, and some are not. I put faerie, gothic, belly dance, and other designs into the mix so there should be something for just about everyone.

Anything sold this weekend will be mailed on Monday!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Onyx Friday

I am pleased to be part of this exciting event! Here's the official description:

Onyx Friday: a black friday alternative
Friday, November 23rd, 2012
Starts at 8am (PST)!

Get your holiday shopping done at home AND support fine artists and craftspeople all over the country.

Tired of getting up at 5am to go shopping on the Friday after Thanksgiving? Trying to fight your turkey hangover and putting on your "fat pants" so that you're comfortable enough to go out and brave the crowds? Fighting a little old lady for the last $40 stereo system on the shelf? Getting run over by shopping carts as you dare to enter the store?

Forget all of that awful business!

Wouldn't it be nice if you could get all of the adrenal rush of shopping at the same time as the rest of the world while sitting on your warm, soft, comfy couch in your pajamas? Stretched out under a blanket on your lap, fuzzy slippers, and hot cocoa in your hand? Shopping away like the rest of America in the comfort of your own home?

And the BEST thing about it?! All of your shopping done in one place, on one day, from artisans and crafters all over the US!

Siren Song Productions presents "Onyx Friday: a black friday alternative"!

We scoured the earth for the finest in crafters, artists, performers, and film makers for an incredible line up of AMAZING products! These artists are offering their items on sale for ONE DAY ONLY and you will not want to miss out on this opportunity!

Whether it's stunning, shiny baubles created with antique beads, cutting-edge clothing , hand-crocheted winter-wear, independently-produced DVD's, or one-of-a-kind accessories or limited-edition fine art, you're bound to find it here!

Eat as much as you want on Thanksgiving, cuddle up with your kitty, and get ready for one of the biggest and best sales online ever!

It's super simple to join in on the sale and fun!
1. Log in to Facebook on the morning of the sale.
2. Go to the "Onyx Friday" event page.
3. Look through all of the beautiful items posted for sale!
4. See one that catches your eye? Just click the link provided to purchase and be directed to the sellers website!

It's that easy!

We'll see you there!
Erthe Fae Designs will have a dozen items on sale as part of this event! Oh, and for those of you who do not use Facebook, you can of course still get the sale prices (everyone can), FB is just the primary vehicle for advertising it. So while you can go to my shop and buy the sale items, you won't know what everyone else is offering without being part of the event.

Friday, November 09, 2012

I love living in the future!

All of these crystal bracelets are coming with me to the Desert Shakedown. In fact, all of my stock is. But my Etsy shop will remain open because we live in the future! Having a smart phone is one of the best things I have ever done for my business. The Etsy app will notify me if anything sells, allowing me to remove it from the table. Meanwhile, as items sell at the Shakedown, I can use my phone to remove them from the Etsy shop. How amazing is that?!?

And of course, I'll be processing credit cards with Square, aka "the best invention ever!" Seriously, if you are a small business like me, doing business primarily on-line but doing a couple live events a year, having Square or one of their competitors is the smartest thing you can do. Especially if you sell a lot of high-ticket items. Sure, someone will probably have cash on hand for a $10 pair of earrings, but do I really want to take a check from a stranger for a $200 necklace? No, I do not.

So anyway, feel free to visit Handmade Jewelry by Erthe Fae Designs and do all the shopping you want tomorrow, or come see me at the Desert Shakedown to shop in person, or ask me about the Open House that I am having next month.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Strange Souvenir

This necklace is made with some souvenirs from my trip to Seattle. The focal was purchased from fellow bellydancer Tempest at a dance festival in Bothell (which I have decided, against all logic and evidence to the contrary, should be pronounced Bot-Hell), and the awesome drop beads are from a bead store in Bellevue, where we were staying.

I didn't intend to buy any beads while in Seattle. I made no plans to visit bead stores. After all, I have plenty of beads and didn't really need any more. But I ended up buying beads anyway! The Bellevue store was within walking distance of our hotel, so we went on a whim. I also randomly stumbled across a bead store in Bothell while looking for an ATM, so I bought some things there. You'll see some of those next week, if the items I'm making with them don't sell at the Desert Shakedown.

By the way, I'm of course not selling this necklace, as it is way too ME and serves as a happy reminder of my Summer vacation. But I will see Tempest again when I go to TRIBAL FEST (!!!!!!) in May, so I might bring back some more bird skulls to share.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

More new pics!

 I took a little break from making new stock to update the pictures on two more listings today! Check out the nice new pictures for Autumn Flier (above) and Mother Moon at Dawn (below).
I am really excited about the new inventory. There's some bracelets, necklaces, hair sticks and earrings. I hope to have time to make even more tonight and tomorrow, before I start tagging and packing everything for the trip up to Phoenix.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Sprucing Things Up

In addition to adding new listings, I've also been working on new photographs for some of my existing items. Elvensoul is one of the first necklaces to receive some nice new images! This lovely elf necklace is of course one of my favorite pieces of jewelry in my shop. It has everything I love: an olivine and bronze color palette, leaf beads, vintage crystals, and an art bead (in this case, an elf by Melanie from Earthenwood Studio).

I'd like to be doing even more with my shop, but right now I am busy getting ready for the Desert Shakedown and for Thanksgiving, so I'm limiting myself to one or two Etsy-related tasks a day.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Purple Crystals

 I finally managed to photograph and list the last two crystal bracelets. These two shades of purple were being especially camera-shy, always showing up too dark, or too fuzzy in pictures. But I captured them at last! Above is Grape Sorbet and below is Velvet Queen.
Both crystal bracelets have sweet vintage button clasps because I have such a button addiction! I love how they make each bracelet even more unique. I think they add a lot of personality, too. The pink striped button on Grape Sorbet is really playful, while the one on Velvet Queen is super glamorous.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Sunny Seattle Summer

 This bracelet takes its name from the fact that I started it during my Summer vacation in Seattle, where it was beautiful and sunny and wonderfully fun. Of course, I didn't finish it until the end of October, but the colors still remind me of my trip.
 I used Jean Power's Caldera pattern which will be in Contemporary Geometric Beadwork! It's the same technique as the Power Puff but with a more complicated pattern which creates endless waves of chevrons. I love the white borders between the various greens and teals.
 I was originally going to do olive and bronze, but let's face it, I do that too much! I needed a summer brights bracelet.
Now that it's finally done, I am ready for more beadweaving and embroidery! I think I am going to particpate in NaSeBeMo, which is like NaNoWriMo but for seed beading instead of writing. Weaving and embroidery every day! Woo!

Thursday, November 01, 2012


Well, it finally happened. I turned into the person who dresses her pets for Halloween. Well, a pet. The only one who really likes wearing clothes. Daisy LOVES dog shirts and sweaters, I think it's because she knows they make her extra cute and people are more likely to fawn over her. She also loves people and is good with little kids, so last night I let her help me hand out candy to the Trick or Treaters.

After seeing Frankenweenie last week, I knew that had to be Daisy's costume. We're pretty sure she has some dachshund in her, she has a more weenie-like build than most corgis and a more narrow face and flatter coat, plus some doxie mannerisms. Plus it would be an easy costume and not too weird and bulky (she may like sweaters, but I don't think she'd do well with one of those costumes that goes over the head, since she has a long neck and big ears).

I lucked out and found a Junior's size grey t-shirt on clearance for $2 at JoAnn's. It was already a pretty good fit on Daisy, just a little too long. So I cut a couple inches off the bottom and then took a little more off the front of the shirt so she wouldn't trip on it. Then I spent 5-10 minutes drawing stitches and patches with a black marker. I wanted to add bolts to her neck but I couldn't find any Frankenstein makeup kits. Still, the t-shirt was good enough. Lots of people recognized what she was supposed to be.

Daisy had a great time making friends with kids, adults, and even one giant werewolf. She was very well-behaved, other than a few times when she decided to start barking at people because they were walking on the other side of the street instead of coming over to us right away. I'd say the night was a success!