Sunday, July 31, 2011

Etsy is rough. And 'The Hunger Games' books are addicting.

So I didn't create an Etsy shop with high expectations.  My expectations were extremely low, in fact. My only true goal has been to sell a piece of my jewelry to someone I don't know.  That hasn't happened (yet).  I guess if I reached my goal in less than a month and a half I would have made even higher expectations and been disappointed at some point.  I'm not exactly disappointed now, but I feel like this shop can really play with my emotions.

Posting items on Facebook and then not getting any feedback makes me a little insecure.  (NOT a plug to beg for feedback, just wanted to express the way this shop has been taking me on a roller coaster of excitement and disappointment).  When I only get a handful of views on an item that I thought would be a hit, it makes me feel like maybe I'm not really creating things others would want, just something I would wear.  Maybe I'll start asking people on Facebook to give me tips on things I should create.

I started adding things to Etsy more for the fun of it, wanting a way to make myself feel like I'm not just making endless amounts of jewelry that only I will ever wear (and the recipients of Christmas, birthday, etc. presents).  But it started out and has remained personal.  Everyday I check my shop and everyday I feel a little less excited about it.  I want to persevere, to continue adding things I make here and there and just let their time expire (the items posted on Etsy have 4 months to remain listed before you either have to relist them or let them expire).  I guess I have to just take a step back and try and remain impartial about all of it.  It's hard though, considering I can't help but wonder if my jewelry isn't all that I thought it was cracked up to be.

Thankfully, I have school starting again in about three weeks.  I'll be extremely busy and will have little time to get upset about the shop and the sales I am or am not having.

Also...for the past week I have been reading The Hunger Games trilogy.  I'm about 1/3 through the last book and can't put it down...the same as I have been with the first two.  I look forward to every moment where I have time to sit and read, and with a 10 month old baby, those times are often not very often.  But for anyone who likes to read, and who has enjoyed a good series such as Harry Potter or Twilight, please give these books a chance.  They're addicting in a good way.

Now it's time to go nurse my baby and read :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Forever Necklace

I have never spent more time making a necklace than I did for this one.  I started it Friday, I think, after work and it is now Monday evening.  In total I probably spent about 5 hours working on it, almost a full work day (except that while I'm endlessly stringing beads I can watch TV at the same time). There were two strands of beading wire the same length, and I pulled one out a little longer in order to string beads on each separately and then combine them and string beads so there would be the appearance of having only two strands around your neck.  I know...that made no sense...but if you look closely at the below photos you might see what I mean...

See how there are two strands past the silver hoops and then they magically come together on each side? I couldn't think of any other way to make two separate loops.

Next time I'll just skip the fancy two loops and go for one very long strand to make as a lasso necklace.  Either way I was really pleased with the finished product of this necklace!


And I love my new $3.00 purple tank top from Rue 21 (any clothing that I get under $5 makes me extremely happy).

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Bathing Baby

So I caved and decided a photo or two of Jane enjoying an awesome bath would be pretty cool to post.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Harry Potter and the First Date Since Baby was Born

With my husband being active duty Air Force, we tend to live far away from our families.  With him recruiting right now, we also live very far from any military bases, so we don't have that support group or network of friends we had when he worked at Barksdale Air Force Base.  This is the reason that in the 10 months since Baby J was born, we haven't gone as a couple anywhere without her.  So it was amazing and a little terrifying when Steve's sister drove over two hours with her boyfriend and 19 month old son to watch Baby J while Steve and I went out to see the final Harry Potter movie last night.   The movie was excellent.  One of those movies that I can't stop thinking about the day after watching it (it was epic, emotional, closed the story exactly the way I pictured it, and pretty much everything I had hoped for after reading the books).

We got ice cream after the movie and then came back home to a houseful of sleeping babies.  Jane reportedly did very well with her Aunt, Uncle, and baby cousin while we were out on our date.  The adults all sat on the porch and compared fun stories for a couple of hours and well past my normal bedtime.  I wish the evening hadn't gone by so fast.

Oh, and I have a bathroom now!! It's gorgeous and about 95% complete.  I'm about to go give Jane a bath (such a more pleasant experience).  Pictures to follow (of the bathroom, not the bathing baby).

No jewelry this weekend, though I did start something Friday that I have been working on since.  It's a beaded necklace that has two strands of beading wire.  The reason for this was to create a loopy effect, unfortunately it's taking me forever to string the beads.  Hopefully I'll finish it tonight.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

End of Vacations

I cannot really express how sad I am that today is the end of my week off of work. And to add to my end-of-vacation depression I still have the problem of no bathroom. We hired someone at the beginning of the week (after the 4th of July holiday. I would never complain about a holiday but starting a huge project and then realizing it isn't a 'do it yourself' kind of thing couldn't fall at a worse time than at the beginning of a three-day weekend...well, maybe the day before Christmas Eve would have been worse, but who would tear out their only bathroom then?). The people we hired estimated that'd it'd be done by tomorrow. Today the guy was back again and with the four hours he worked in our bathroom this morning his total hours worked are about 7 or 8 hours...since Tuesday!!! His new estimate is 3-4 more days. Not happy.

As far as jewelry goes I made a pair of earrings tonight and then decided to use Facebook to prove that the friend they are intended for actually wears earrings. She doesn't. Ever. And she has lots and lots of photos on Facebook.

So they were added to Etsy:

And then I made her a bracelet:

And now I'm done for the night. I wish I had been able to make more time for the jewelry this week. I love being a grad student but I'm really worried that when classes start again in August that I'll literally have no time for it. I've always made time for it before but I haven't really been a student, mother and full time employee at the same time AND still made jewelry on a regular basis. We'll see how it goes. Everyone needs to make time for themselves once in a while.

In twelve hours I'll be at work :( ...and nothing is worse than the first day back to work after a vacation.

On a side note, I bought the app BlogPress tonight and am using it on my iPad and it so far is well worth the money. As long as this post gets added to my blog without a hitch I'm going to be writing a nice review for the app!

Well, no nice review tonight. The first time I posted this my second photo was replaced with a completely different person's photo!! (someone holding their baby at a lake or beach...what the *??)

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Jewelry stores and cities

I live in western Pennsylvania so I have no available Targets, Best Buys, Barnes and Nobles, not even a Starbbucks within about an hour of where I live (I know, it's a complete shock when you think of the cities that have two on the same block). So there are definitely no great bead or jewelry making stores. We do have a Joann Fabrics, which has recently taken over the adjacent out-of-business Movie Central so I do have three aisles of thoroughly browsed jewelry making supplies. But here in Richmond, where I'm visiting my sister and her family with my 10 month old, they have a great store called Bangles and Beads. I spent almost 15 minutes there yesterday (they also have a website, so I had already scoped out exactly what I was going to buy) and ended up feeling extremely out of place among the hippy and probably much more successful jewelry makers who were also spending their Wednesday morning in the store. Nonetheless I bought some sterling wire and two rose charms cut out of pyrite (I used to LOVE Fools Gold as a child, so I'm keeping one).

Despite my momentary depressing sense of low self esteem, I still came back to my sister's home and made two necklaces, one of which I'm proud of, the other (with the pyrite rose) I will probably take apart and think of something else.

Today I made two bookmarks out of very thin and small glass beads (seed beads, I think they're called...I swear I'm not as amateur as I sound, I'm just terrible with remembering labels and names of things like precious stones and types of pliers).

So bookmarks, when I get back from my sister's, will be my next Etsy items.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Failed Experiment

This weekend my husband started a project in our bathroom. His goal: remodel it completely. He accomplished gutting it to the bare minimum with his friend but when the two of them started the overwhelming project of putting it back together they realized quite quicky that they were in over their heads. So now we have one running toilet downstairs and no shower or bath. Hubby is already in contact with local contractors but we will be left without said shower and tub for the foreseeable future. Luckily tonight was also the night of the fireworks in our town, so we took our 9 1/2 month old to see them and I was able to put off thoughts of borrowing friends' bathrooms until I got back home to the house.

Whenever there's a remodeling project in my home the whole house seems to take part in the project. There are plumbing pipes, pieces of molding and tools scattered everywhere. Not to mention the things that used to find their home on the bathroom vanity. So to further take my mind off of the mess that is my house, I made a bracelet and pair of earrings while watching "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind". And now it is one in the morning and sleep should hopefully take over the task of distracting me from this failure of a day.

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Etsy Addiction

So two weeks ago at this time I was going on my merry way, not thinking too much about my jewelry making hobby. Then, on a Saturday morning, June 19, 2011 to be specific, as I was finishing up yet another piece of jewelry for myself, I felt a little odd about looking around my room and finding several small jewelry boxes full of things I had made myself over the years. I've made things for gifts as well, Christmas, for example, usually entails me making several pairs of earrings and matching sets of bracelets and necklaces. But throughout the year I haven't stopped making things, and getting all the supplies has become extremely expensive even with the spoiling from my parents during my latest visit with them and a stop at Bandgles & Beads. So on that Saturday morning two weeks ago, I finally made the time to check out Etsy, a website I learned about through a friend (Joyce) from work. After a quick and very easy bit of research, I realized how inexpensive and simple it was to start a shop on the site. Since then I have sold exactly six items, all to people I know. That's okay though, I'm getting good feedback built up and I'm still making and listing new items at least every couple of days. I love love love the website. It is very addictive, checking other people's shops, reading forums, learning new ways to list my items, etc. There isn't enough time in the day to do everything I want with my own shop. But I'm in it now, and I'm not giving up. I think I mint have a celebration when I sell my first item to someone I don't know!

Id really like to learn how to solder my own sterling pieces...I've been researching it, so we'll see!