Saturday, February 26, 2011


I received a few blanks today that I ordered last week, so went ahead and stamped a custom order for one of my 'wibbly wobbly' 1" cuff bracelets in sterling silver. MAN, was it nerve-wracking. I'm used to stamping on cheap aluminum blanks, and if I mess up, I'm out maybe a dollar or so; if I'd messed up on the sterling blank I would have been out a whole whole lot more than a dollar.

But, I am happy to say, I didn't mess up (yay!) and I am really pleased with the end result. I love aluminum because it's cheap and malleable and shines up pretty, but silver sure is pretty. I won't be able to get a decent pic of the bracelet til tomorrow when there's daylight, but I'll try to post one then. Shiny! -as they say on Firefly, though of course I mean it literally...

Speaking of which, I have been trying to come up with a good Firefly quote for a stamped bracelet, and have come up blank so far. My favorite Firefly quote is Jane's "You can't change that by getting all...bendy", but even people who remember that probably don't think it's as completely hilarious as I do.

Friday, February 25, 2011

fingers crossed...

This seems to be just a run of the mill cold, and not the flu (knock on wood, and any other superstitious good luck action that might work...), so hopefully I'm not going to be really sick, just kinda miserable.

Which is good because the to-do list is growing. Got to dye more fabric tomorrow, hurrah!

I finally found a good source for sterling silver blanks for my stamping. I know I'll eventually have to invest in a tumbler, jeweler's saw, etc., but I'd really like to hold off as long as possible, and honestly, I'm kept busy enough just stamping the blanks. I'd rather make less of a profit and have time to sleep occasionally. ; )

Anyway, off to watch the next episode of 24 with hubby - we're slowly but surely plowing through season 8.

Here's a bracelet that I made on a whim; not many views so far, so maybe I'm the only one who thinks it's awesome? The quote - "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly / What is essential is invisible to the eye" - is from The Little Prince:

The bracelet can be seen HERE.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


So with hubby being sick and then the Buggle getting sick, I should've known it would hit me eventually. Bleh. I'm afraid that by morning I'm going to be full-out sick; right now I just feel icky, and my throat feels like I could use it to polish up and smooth my metal bracelet blanks, ha ha.

I haven't been sick since the week I had Kate -- I kind of got used to never getting colds. I still remember being in the OR right before the c-section and telling the anesthesiologist to wait so I could blow my nose first. Then I didn't know what to do with the tissue, and ended up handing it to a nurse, who didn't look pleased...but what else was I going to do, hang onto it until after they wheeled me out of there?

Off to eat some potato leek soup and drink lots of OJ...

Monday, February 21, 2011


So I was really happy that my order from Metalliferous showed up today as I'd been looking forward to adding hand-stamped solid bangles to my shop after several customer requests. But I'm a big dummy...I don't have anything to anchor the bangles to before stamping them, and I can't make a good enough impression! I've tried my wooden bracelet mandrel, a soup can, my ring mandrel (obviously too small, but because it's steel that one actually worked the best), the edge of my little bench block...I'm stumped.

Time to go do some research in google-land. I'm guessing the solution will involve forking over money for yet another tool. Booo... and just when I was getting ready to take the plunge and buy a tumbler.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


The metal stamping is keeping me busy! I think I was definitely right to open a new shop just for my stamped designs, as I've already had eight sales! Woo hoo!

The Harry Potter designs are definitely the biggest draw, though the Dr. Who stuff is getting a lot of attention as well. I've also added designs inspired by True Blood, Lost, Pirates of the Caribbean, LOTR and a few fun, random things, like this:

Next up: Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Firefly...and maybe Buffy?

This is really fun.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

found her home!

We found the little dog's people (or they found us, rather; they saw one of my posters yesterday morning), so she's back home safe and sound!

And I forgot to post yesterday because the Buggle is sick (a virus, but she's on the mend), so today's a two-post day...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

little old lady

We have a lot of dogs in our neighborhood. And unfortunately, a disproportionate number of them are allowed to roam about, despite the leash laws. I have learned to just ignore the dogs running about, because I know that the vast majority of them have homes nearby and if I started 'rescuing' them, we'd either have dozens of foster dogs or a lot of angry neighbors (or both). This comes from experience...we have taken in four dogs in the past few years who lived within a block of our house. We had one of them for a week before his owners put up signs (they never even noticed the ones we'd put up).

Anyway, there are certain situations under which I'll still pick up a dog, and unfortunately I encountered one today....on our way home from the Bug's My Gym class, we saw a tiny dog in a blue coat limping across the road. I thought it was hurt, so had Miko get out to look at it. She wasn't hurt...she was blind. And ancient. And miserable, because of some sort of terrible skin condition. We figure the coat was there to keep her from scratching.

And of course, she has no collar.

I don't believe in hell, but I think that the universe would create one just for me if I had left that poor little dog in the road. So we now have another foster dog (we JUST found a home a few weeks ago for our last one), one who is absolutely unadoptable. My guess is that she's about 16 years old. She weighs maybe ten pounds. I hope so much we find her family. Someone cared about her, to put that coat on her. I hope, I hope, I hope...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

new shop

So I really felt that I'd reached my limit of new etsy shops and wouldn't be opening more, but it's sort of an addiction, you know -- and anyway, in this case I really do feel that I needed to open a new one. My hand stamped jewelry has basically taken over Eclectic Garden, and it's doing so well that I feel justified in giving it its own home.

Yes, this means I now have ten shops (but only seven are mine exclusively).

I had hoped to name this one "clever little fox", but some mean, nasty and hateful lowlife stole that name long before I ever thought of it, so I had to come up with something else. I finally settled on "foxwise". I hpe I don't grow to dislike it, the way I got sick of tinybird's name about two days after setting up that shop. But I love foxes (& did even before they were "in") so I think I'll stay happy with it. Here's the shop (though only a few items there as of yet): f o x w i s e

I need to add another etsy mini or two to the sidebar here. Not one for every shop, because that would be excessive and weird and a little embarrassing, but at least one more.

The Buggle is still feeling under the weather! I thought it was from her shots last week, but if she's still sick tomorrow I'm calling the doctor. She's supposed to go to her My Gym class (we just signed her up) tomorrow afternoon but she can't go if she has a fever. : (

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

too sleepy

zzzz...a real post tomorrow, I promise, o invisible reader.

Speaking of invisible readers, no one won my giveaway, which is a bit depressing. I suppose I would have a better chance of attracting readers if I put a bit more thought into letting others know this blog exists...

Monday, February 14, 2011


Happy Valentine's Day!

The Buggle has been fussy all day (probably a reaction to her immunizations last week), and I had a fair number of orders to mail today (lots of stamped bracelets, hurrah!), so I'm wiped out and inspiration-less. Rather than trying to come up with some clever and interesting topic, I'll just post a photo of what happens when hubby
decides it's a good idea to store all of Homer's toys in a basket under the piano bench...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

okay, random giveaway #1

Since I've already got to pack up a bunch of free soaps (I donated six items to and they all sold right away), I figured it'd be no trouble to ship out one more free bar of soap. So, on the off chance that anyone ever stops by here - leave a comment on this post and then send your mailing address to and I'll send you a free bar of soap from Three Lucky Ducks! It'll be an almost-full size bar (I sometimes cut them a little too thin, so the oops bars are either converted into guest sized soaps or rebatched) in my choice of scent, vegan and handcrafted!

Oh, but the catch is that you have to leave the comment no later than noon EST on Tuesday, February 15th, and only the first person to comment will get the free soap.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

this and that

Haven't found time to scan my new fabrics, but hopefully tomorrow... I really, really want to start redoing the FaeryFire site; it's been so sadly neglected.

My big adventure today was going in search of Kate's shoe. Yesterday, we went to Michaels to pick up a few things (well, it was supposed to just be an antique silver chain, and they didn't have the right kind, but lo and behold I managed to find a few other things I just had to have), and when we got home I noticed Kate was missing one of her little shoes. How I got her into the carseat without noticing that is beyond me. Anyway, I called Michaels and they confirmed that they had the runaway shoe, and promised to hold it for me because I said I couldn't come in til the next day. Fast forward to today - we go to Michaels (just to get her shoe, of course, and I have NO IDEA how those items snuck into my cart, nor did I have any control over the weird seizure that caused my hand to whip out my debit card), and I ask about the shoe...and get a blank look. Nobody there knows anything about a shoe. They offered to look for it. I thanked them and waited. Nope, no shoe. I explained that the girl on the phone had verified it was there just the day before, and received a blank stare. I was then asked if it was a baby shoe. This is after I had told them that it was Kate's shoe that was missing, gesturing to Kate, who was resting on my hip doing a remarkable impersonation of a baby. I confirmed that yes, it was indeed a baby's shoe, and not my own, that I had come looking for. I asked them to look again. They did. No shoe. Sigh. By this point, my arms were tired because Kate was getting heavy (not the bag, because I didn't get that much stuff) (really) (well, okay, I did, but it was lightweight stuff), so I thanked them and left. We now have one slightly scuffed black shoe. At least it was the pair I bought her, and not her cute converse sneakers that hubby bought her, or the impractical little brown ones with the pink butterflies that don't match anything but are so cute.

Speaking of baby shoes, the last time Kate and I flew to Texas, they told me I had to remove her shoes when we went through security. For some reason that struck me as really funny. She wasn't even walking yet, but I had to take her little shoes (the brown and pink ones!) off before we went through the xray thingummy.

google (again)

Okay, I'm not going to keep nattering on about google and my rankings therein (herein? thereof? oh, whatever), but I thought this was cool...when you do a search for Harry Potter Bracelet under google shopping, my stamped bracelet comes up on page 2 - which is cool in and of itself, but what's neat is that the part of the title that shows up is: "Hand Stamped Cuff Bracelet - Harry Potter 'I solemnly swear I am ..." and then just above that is my photo, which shows the part of the bracelet that reads "up to no good". I'd love to claim that in my cleverness I set the title and photo up that way, but it's just dumb luck. Neat, though.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Dyed up a little batch of fabric today...a few pieces for orders, and then a couple of sample pieces for some new 'favorites' on FaeryFire. I'm really hoping to have the site updated this month with all of my new colors, most of which I haven't even gotten around to adding to the site yet. I got some new dyes in from Dharma and the colors are really nice, especially the two purples: eggplant and lilac. I have to be careful when dyeing that I don't just dye up a bunch of purple and green fabrics (well, and brown; I really love brown), since I always think they look the prettiest.

I also dyed up a few lengths of silk for more wrist wraps. I ordered some different types of silk fabric and can't wait to see how they turn out. I may end up liking one of them better than the dupioni, though the dupioni really is very well suited to the wraps. One of the new types is an extra-nubbly silk (I've gone blank on the name) that I think will look very interesting.

Will post scans of the fabric tomorrow, hopefully.

Oh, and I got my printer set up! Hubby's sick so I set it up all by my little self, even connecting it wirelessly, so I feel intelligent and accomplished. Go me.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


After yesterday's customer troubles (I guess I did lose the sale because I never heard back from the customer), I was expecting today to be a bit brighter. But just as I was printing out a tutorial for my sugar scrub kit, my printer died. And I don't mean it had a small hiccup or got a little tetchy -- I mean it died. With one of those errors that Canon says means you have to take it in to be serviced.

Well, I've had this printer for about five years now, so I've gotten my money's worth; I decided it was time to retire the old workhorse and get a new one. So, what could have been a really rotten day turned into a pretty good one, because now I have a brand shiny new Canon all-in-one printer, which is extremely cool because I've wanted a copier for AGES (can we talk about how much of a pain it is to use a scanner as a copier?). The scanner won't be much help because I've already got a good one that I use frequently for my fabric, and it's bigger than the one on my new printer. But the copier is cool. At least, I presume it will be - I haven't set it up yet, and now I'm sleepy so I'll probably wait til tomorrow.

I'd complain about how living with a toddler (though I am clinging on to her babyhood for as long as I can, since Kate still seems like a baby to me even though she's charging around the house at full speed) causes one to be boring and go to bed early, but the truth is that I like going to bed early, because it means I can get up at 4 or 5 in the morning, which I've always loved to do. I even went to bed early and got up early when I was in high school. My mom says I'm a little old lady, and I suppose I am, though the little part isn't very accurate, and will be even less so if I don't stop stealing Kate's animal cookies.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Yesterday, someone bought one of my soulbound bracelets and sent me a very nice note saying how much she liked the bracelet, and could I please ship it to her new address? I wrote back and said of course I'd be happy to, etc. And then I shipped it today, to the old address, because I forgot that she'd written. So now I have to make a new bracelet, get it shipped tomorrow and hope it still gets there in time for Valentine's Day, and then write her and tell her what an idiot I am.


Then, tonight, someone purchased one of my soulbound rings and added a note asking for it to be personalized with extra initials, which is something I offered in the listing for $2 extra. I wrote to say of course I'd be happy to, etc, and refunded her payment, then sent a revised invoice. Except that she made the original payment using a credit card without an actual PayPal account, and she accidentally put down the wrong email address, so she didn't receive any kind of notification from Paypal and I have no way to 'prove' that I refunded her money (at least, I don't think I do...I don't really know how all that works, or if her refund will show up on her account right away), so of course she hasn't paid the revised invoice. I think this will end up being a lost sale, but I'm not sure how else I should've handled it...the refund/revised invoice has always worked smoothly in the past.

Sigh, again.

It could be worse...I could be making no sales at all, and then I wouldn't have any shipping or payment problems to whine about.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

ok, google weirdness

So right after my last post I decided to check google to be sure that, in fact, I really did have one of only two bracelets listed in google shopping. I'm talking literally one minute. I typed soulbound bracelet in the little search box and guess what popped up first under the regular google search listing? My blog. (cue Twilight music).

Back in my day, you had to wait a long time for things to show up in search engines...

a busy day in metal-stamping land...

Got some new blanks in yesterday, so I had to make some new items! I've bought blanks from several sellers on etsy and have been pleased with all of them, but for my bracelet and ring blanks I'm sticking with Liz at gottagettadeal (no, not affiliated with her and she has no idea I'm posting this), because her blanks are pre-finished, which saves me time, and good quality.

I had a customer ask a few days ago if I had any thinner rings in stock, so I decided it'd be a good idea to get some thinner blanks. And by thinner I mean narrower - these are heavy gauge blanks and not nearly as easy to curve into shape as the ones I've been using! But they look great, I think.

Here's one of the new ones:

It's a magic ring! (Yes, it really does say 'my magic ring'). Here's the description/story behind it, copied (yes, I'm too lazy to rewrite it) from my shop: A nifty ring made from bright, shiny aluminum, hand-stamped with the phrase 'MY MAGIC RING'. Here's the inspiration behind this one (no, it's not just my usual nerdiness): years ago - more years than I care to count - I attended a gaming convention and was given a very thin, rustic handmade sterling silver ring by one of the artisans manning a booth there. We'd been players together in a D&D tournament, and his character had stolen my character's ring of invisibility, and I guess he felt he had to make it up to me. Anyway, I ran into the ring again a couple of years ago when we moved; I'd forgotten all about it, and it took me a long time to remember what it was -- I just knew instinctively that it was important for some reason. Once I remembered, it really cheered me up and brought back a lot of fun memories.

Okay, so maybe it is my usual nerdiness...regardless, my magic ring has given me a lot of happiness, and it occurred to me that not everyone has a thief-turned-artisan hanging around waiting to present them with a magic ring, so I offer this one up for your magical shopping pleasure. It's aluminum, not sterling silver, but on the plus side, you'll never forget its purpose.

I also made another Mischief Managed ring and an Expecto Patronum ring, and a soulbound ring (World of Warcraft thing).

Speaking of WoW, if you go to google and type in 'soulbound bracelet' in the search and then click 'shopping', you will pull up only two listings for a soulbound bracelet in the entire google universe. And one of them's mine. I feel quite exalted.

Monday, February 7, 2011


Okay, so right after publishing my latest post, I checked my main etsy shop and found that I'd sold the two felted soaps I blogged about the other day (scroll down to see pics). Heh. So, there is a bit of practicality to doing so many things. I think.

new wrist wraps

Back to the topic of being overextended and having too many shops... the thing is, if one of my shops were clearly the most successful, it would be a simple matter to focus most of my energies there, but just as I start believing that one thing is going to be the best investment of my time, I suddenly make a nice sale, or a couple of sales in a row, from another shop and have to go back and rethink my strategy.

The past few weeks, I've been focused primarily on my hand-stamped jewelry and my soaps, etc. And it's true that both are doing pretty well. But then yesterday, I made two sales from my SeeThatGirl etsy shop (and one of them was for three pieces!). So, I certainly don't want to just let that shop fade away, and not just because my wrist wraps have done pretty well -- I really enjoy making jewelry, and I especially love making my wrist wraps.

Here are the two new ones I added to my shop today. The lavender one is a duplicate of one of the ones that sold yesterday; the orange is new.

I am temporarily without a model, as Miko is in Arkansas all week with her dad (and I'm not going to put my pretty wraps on my chubby wrist), but I think I did a fairly good job with the pics. Here's the direct link to my SeeThatGirl shop:

I have two more wraps that I need to photograph and post, but I am out of silk and waiting for more to come in, so I think I'll work on some other jewelry. I have some new pretty yarn in and want to make another crochet/macrame bracelet...maybe I'll get to that tomorrow...

Sunday, February 6, 2011


I stopped and counted up my etsy shops today -- I have nine. NINE. And the truth is that I think I actually need them all. Though to be fair, one of them is shared with my mom (Mindred and Shebaas Bead Emporium) and one with my daughter (Beautiful Magic). (Unfortunately, those are also the two slowest shops, so the ones that keep me the busiest are the ones I run solo).

I actually had some more thoughts on this, but the Buggle is hollering at me. So, another time...

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Valentine felting

So I had all sorts of grand plans about all the things I was going to make for my shops for Valentine's Day, but I ended up just adding a few bath/body items to my new Three Lucky Ducks shop and a couple of felted soaps to Eclectic Garden. But aren't the soaps purty?

These turned out so well; that I think I'm going to start being more adventurous with my felted soaps. I love the combination of practical and pretty -- while I like making needle-felted miniatures (and also like that people want to buy them!), they're not something that I would ever make for myself because I already have too much stuff everywhere. But everyone needs soap!
Man...does running in here at 5 a.m. because I remembered that I did not, in fact, actually post yesterday count as a blog post for yesterday?

Spent the day dyeing fabric -- I had a couple of custom orders that I was VERY late in getting done, but so far they're looking good. One of them is a custom piece for Mirabilia's Fairy Idyll, which is on my 'I want to do this someday' list, though I don't have the chart.

Sometimes I miss cross-stitching so much that I get really depressed. But I hope that I can become more organized in the coming months and start finding a little more time for myself. Fingers crossed...

Thursday, February 3, 2011


I think investing in metal stamping tools will prove to have been a very good decision (which alas I can't say about every crafting investment I've made). While I needed yet another hobby business venture about as much as I needed the leftover pasta I ate for lunch today, I justified it to myself by figuring that it fell under the umbrella of jewelry-making and so wasn't really something new, just an expansion of my existing business.

I made a few sales around Christmas and had fun making some personalized gifts, but the smart thing I did was making bracelets tailored to people as geeky as I am. Aren't these fun? (The Harry Potter one says 'I solemnly swear I am up to no good'). And I've already sold quite a few through my main etsy shop. Yay!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

RIP alchemy...

I am so bummed about etsy's decision to get rid of alchemy. They've said that it will be replaced with a 'new and improved' alchemy, but I really can't understand why it wasn't possible to leave the 'old' alchemy up in the meantime. I have gotten quite a bit of business through custom requests on etsy, and that will end, effective tomorrow.

To make matters worse, the etsy admins don't seem to have any interest in responding to the hundreds (literally) of upset responses to their announcement. This just seems like poor customer service to me, and not in keeping with etsy's general philosophy and business model. I'm a huge fan of etsy (well, obviously, with 9 shops and counting!!) and always recommend it to people, but now I'm starting to look more closely at some of the other venues out there. I haven't had any luck with Artfire but I do have a shop there, and I may start to tend it a little more carefully now. I think the people threatening to just leave etsy permanently are overreacting, but I am pretty annoyed. And disappointed.

For anyone reading this who liked to use etsy to request custom items, there is a new group etsy specifically for custom requests. Obviously it's not going to be as streamlined or simple as alchemy, but better than nothing, I suppose! It's here: Custom Requests Team

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I rarely make New Year's resolutions. That's because I end up keeping them even more rarely. But every few years, I decide that I'm going to do something a little different, or change something about myself that I'm not too crazy about, or try to accomplish something that I haven't managed to do in the past.

This year, I made a resolution. And, setting a new record, I broke it within 24 hours.

The resolution? To blog every single day of 2011. That's right - I intended to post here on my poor, sad, neglected little pseudo-blog every single day. In case you don't get the joke, peek down to the entry before this one. That's right...I didn't even blog on January 1st.

But, you know, I decided today that this was a setback, not a failure. Who says that a year of blogging daily has to start on January 1st? MY year of blogging daily will start today, February 1st.

I'm not going to pretend that every single blog entry will be a scintillating, fact-filled journey through creative wonderland, complete with gorgeous photos and fabulous tips. In fact, there's a very real possibility that on most days, the blog entry will be even more boring and rambling than this one (and quite possibly shorter as well). But there will be a post. Every. Single. Day.

At least, that's the idea. Now let's see if I can actually do it...