Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tuesday's Tips #7

Today I want to talk about inspiration. Where do I find it? Where do you find it? What do you do when the well runs dry and you have NO IDEAS???

There is a lot that can be said about inspiration. In fact, I'm going to be spending the next couple of weeks of tips devoted to the topic. Well, more specifically challenges to you as an artist that might help you when need to find inspiration.

So where we find inspiration? Here's just a few ideas I had when I was thinking over the topic (in no particular order):

1. Books
2. Music
3. Art
4. Artists
5. Conversations
6. Nature
7. More Nature :P
8. Old Pieces we've created.
9. Children
10. Museums
11. Malls
13. Materials
14. Blogs
15. Dreams

I'm sure the list could go on and on! In fact - I'd like to hear you stories! Where do you find inspiration? Tell me something that's not on the list! I know I find ideas in the weirdest places sometimes. Like one time I was in class and I couldn't focus because the pattern on these girls shoes was calling out to be made into a bracelet...

The item I featured at the top of the post is a great example of finding inspiration. Amy, of Mama's Little Monkey's, started making sock monkeys for her shop a little while ago. Somewhere along the line (no idea where, but she just rocks, so that's that) she thought it would be fun to pattern some of them after her friends! The one at the top is the musician Chris Huff, who has some GREAT music :) Isn't that a cool idea?

And yes, I know, there aren't really any great "tips" you can pull out of this post, but I do hope it gets you thinking, and it gets the ground work laid for what I have planned in the next few weeks :)

A Lovely Morning Surprise

There's been so much going on lately - that I can't tell you how much it helps me keep going emotionally when I get lovely surprises in my inbox! Look at this lovely treasury I'm in! I actually got a shot of it this time too (*pats self on back*). Thank you so much KraftyMax! You can find the treasury here. Mine's the third down in the right column. Inara's Cuff.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Weekly Special - and More!

Weekly Special!!!

This simple yet elegant bracelet is made from rainbow fluorite beads. Each bead has a slightly different coloration to it making this a dynamic bracelet that your friends will all love! Each link is lovingly handcrafted from gold colored wire to best accent the colors in the rainbow fluorite.

This bracelet is approximately 7 3/4 inches long. I can easily shorten this bracelet but I can not lengthen it with out adding different beads into the pattern because these are the only beads I have like this!

Gem Stone Lore:

Fluorite: The name for this beautiful stone comes from the Latin word "fleure" which means "to flux." It's thought that fluorite helps bring calm, a sense of connection to the universe, and symbolizes fresh beginnings just like a beautiful rainbow after a storm.

This week it's only $8 plus $2 shipping and handling to anywhere in the world!

Exciting News!

As you probably remember, I had to give up my radio show awhile ago because I've been too ill to meet the commitment. Well, a couple of weeks ago Rod contacted me and asked me if I wanted to write the weekly artist feature for the station! I was so excited! Basically it's going to mean that each artist who gets featured here on my Friday's Featured Artist will also get the expsure of being the featured artist on Block Head Radio! We're about a week off, but that's ok, nothing like spreading out the love! Go check out www.blockheadradiolive.com to see the first one!

Top Commentator Contest

We're almost to the end of the month which means this month's Top Commentator Contest is almost over! Let me just say there are some people in the lead - but that doesn't mean it's too late for you! All comments count - even on old posts! So if you have some time to read feel free to go back and read through my blog :) I just ask that you give me real comments and don't spam my inbox with a bunch of "cool!" and that's it. Here's what you stand to win:

Top 3 Commentators - Write up on this blog :)

1st Place - $20 Gift Certificate to my Shops
2nd Place - $10 Gift Certificate to my Shops
3rd Place - $5 Gift Certificate to my Shops

Check these Out!

Once again it's time to share my most recent relistings or new listings! Tell me which of these is YOUR favorite and earn an extra entry into the Top Commentator contest!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

New Pretties! (And their stories)

Sometimes with my health it's REALLY hard to get around to taking product photos. I've been able to get a bunch of photos done today though and I'm looking forward to getting a bunch of new items up in the next week! The two I posted today have stories with them so I thought I'd share :) Both are available in my Artfire shop - which is currently running a 15% of sale!

The first piece I've named Aztec Treasure - doesn't it look like something from that culture? I love how it turned out!
This piece was one that literally evolved as I was creating it. I started out thinking I wanted to practice my St. Petersburg chain techniques and make a necklace. I love the color combination of these smokey black beads and bright copper colored beads, so that's what I started with! As the necklace got longer though I just *knew* that I needed some sort of focal for the piece.

I ended up putting it aside for a day or two while I thought about what I was going to do to form a focal piece. Finally I decided to play around with circular brickstitch, something I've been wanting to learn anyway, and so I started with that! It still wasn't looking quite complete, so I decided to add the fringe, which I kept short to kinda reflect on the rest of the pattern, and I fell in love!

Next I finished up stitching the two lengths of St. Petersburg chain, firmly attached them to the back of the focal, added a copper toggle clasp - and a new piece was born!

These earrings, Whirl of Color Beadwoven Earrings, grew out of two inspirations. I had finished my Aztec Treasure piece not long before and had been contimplating using beadwoven discs for earrings. Then Natasha put up the a challenge for the Thursday Sweet Treats called "Whirling Colors in Midflight." I had a few different ideas for this one, but everything I came up with in my head I ended up vetoing because of one logistics problem or the other! Then, as I was falling asleep one evening, I put the idea of the whirling colors together with the desire to make some disc earrings - and these were born!

Part of the whirling colors challenge was that she had given us pictures of hot air balloons for inspiration. That's where the bright colors come from in this piece! I've always loved the bold colors used in hot air balloons :)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

My First Artfire Sale!!!!

I'm so excited!!! I'm doing my first ever sale in my Artfire shop! Let me say I just LOVE how artfire has it set up so you just type in the percentage you want to give off - and they change all your listings for you! Sooo much easier than the way Etsy is set up!
So that's right - 15% off my entire Artfire shop! Make sure you check it out - most of the inventory (with the exception of my high priced items) is different from what you've seen in my etsy shop!

On a different note... I have a lot in the works for both my shops! Life has been really busy with apartment hunting so I haven't had the energy to take pictures this week, but I have a bunch of new inventory to put up as soon as I do!

I also picked up a book at the library that I've been waiting for - it's all about beading with cabochons and I'm so excited! I've been doing some research on-line and one of the sites recommended this book. So I ordered it at the library, had to wait TWO MONTHS, and it's finally here! I read the intro and first chapter last night and my fingers are itching to play!

I'm also planning on expanding my hemp line in the near future. I've sold quite a bit lately - for me at least - so I plan on having a hemp section in my Artfire shop soon and more inventory over all for both stores!

I just found out that this necklace is in a treasury! Thanks Peacox Creations!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday's Featured Artist - LazyT Crochet!

This week's artist is also the Etsy Blogger for the month! Tricia of LazyT Crochet has been a part of the team for quite awhile now, and I remember her being very friendly and welcoming when I first started. I had a lot of fun getting to know her better and I hope you do too!

1. What type of art work do you do?

I consider myself to be a fiber artist. I started out with simple cotton and acrylics in classic crochet, but have included a lot more natural fibers and techniques over the past year or two. I like designing knit and crochet shawls, hats, and purses as well as Nuno felted scarves and accessories.

2. How did you get started doing art work?

I taught myself how to crochet and started making dishcloths and potholders for gifts. The family can only wear so many hats, so I started making lots of different things.

3. What's Nuno felting?
I'll probably be blogging about it again soon. This new cuff is wet felted also... (See the picture to the right)

3. Do you do any other crafts?

I do some sewing and often combine yarn and
fabric for projects. I am not very artistic when it comes to drawing, painting, or beading/jewelry work. I do like to add a holiday craft project to brighten up my holday show table each year. Sometimes natural things like potpourri or garlands.

4. What's your favorite piece in your shop right now?

This art shawl is my favorite item in my shop right now. (See the shawl on the left below)
It was fun using the rings to design the edging. My favorite piece that I'm working on right now is a raw felted handbag, felt with wool batts and decorated with glitzy and colorful fibers.

5. Where do you sell your work?

I've had a shop on Etsy for over two years and sell at local shows and events. LazyTcrochet.Etsy.com

6. Do you blog?

Yes, I blog about yarns, patterns, fashions, recipes and more at LazyTcrochet.Blogspot.com

7. Are you on any social networks you'd like to share?

I have a Facebook page at

8. Do you watch or listen to anything while you work? If so, what?

I sometimes listen to audio books, but haven't in awhile. I do like to catch up on a soap or two.

9. Tell us one random fact about your self *wink*

Hmmm...random random. I don't like taragon. It can totally ruin a dinner out if I order wrong!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Feeling the Love Today :)

I've had a migraine all day - which sucks - but I've had some great things to help balance it out! And yes, it's mostly gone by now, or I wouldn't be blogging :P I'm down to the dull ache, lethargic, grumpy stage. Although to be fair the grumpy pretty much starts with the headache and takes forever to go away. Working hard to combat it though! And like I said, these things helped :)

First, I found my "Set Me Free" bracelet in this lovely treasury! Isn't that wonderful? It's been awhile since I've found myself in a random treasury and it always makes me want to squeal! I didn't though...head pounding and all...

Then I found a blog post by my friend Teresa of TiLT Creations. She was one of the winners of my Top Commentators Contest for last month! So she blogged about what she bought with her gift certificate to my shop.

Not familiar with my contest? All you have to do is comment on my blogs! Each month the person with the most comments (and two runner ups) receive gift certificates! Last month was a blast and I can hardly wait to see who wins this month :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Plurk VS Twitter

I know, I know, some of you are probably thinking, "Not ANOTHER social media site to keep up with!?!" But wait! Don't panic! Before you close this post thinking, "I just can't handle any more," I want to challenge you to at least read what I have to say, and THEN make your decision about wether Plurk might be a tool for you to use to grow your business. Ok?

www.plurk.com and www.twitter.com have a lot of similarites and a lot of differences. Similarities can be summed up as:

1. Both are Social Media Sites
2. Both provide you with a method to do "mini-blogging." IE - to share a short message about what's going on in your day.
3. Both have systems for finding and making "friends."
4. Both have systems for sending a direct or private message to an individual "friend."

Twitter has been around longer and is the one that I'm betting most of my readers are more familiar with. After all, even the stars are using twitter these days! I've been on twitter for awhile now, and I know many people who've found it very useful. I currently have 1,424 followers and I follow 1,377.

Now I know several people who've made sales that they can directly relate back to advertising on Twitter. I can say that I've gotten views on items, but no sales. I've built a few relationships, but with that many people feeding in to my twitter, building a relationship is hard!

When I first heard about Plurk my thought was, "Well isn't that just like Twitter? It's not like Twitter's really been that helpful for me..." I ignored the first few inventations I got to it, but then I noticed something. I was getting a LOT of invites for Plurk! So one day when I had some extra time I signed up...and fell in love pretty quickly.

Like Twitter, you post up short thoughts on Plurk. However, instead of having to go to your "replies" section to see if you've gotten any responses, Plurk creates a "thread" with each post that's put up so you and anyone else who's interested can follow the responses! This makes it much easier to form a connection and have a conversation with the people reading your plurks.

Plurk also updates you immediately when one of your friends puts up a new post or when someone replies. With Twitter you have to find and download a seperate program to get those features, but Plurk does it right there in your browser. I can't run the Twitter programs because I'm on a laptop and it slows down my processing speeds too much, but I can keep up with Plurk!

Now here's the kicker - I've only been on Plurk for a month or two (vs 8-10 months with Twitter) - and I've already had several sales as a result! Since all your replies to a post are right there and easy to view it's really easy to talk to potential customers. I've had several direct sales where I've posted about a new item and it's sold, and I've negotiated several custom orders via plurk.

Does that mean Twitter's all bad? Certainly not! Like I said, I know people who make sales from it! Plurk allows me to send all my posts over to Twitter so I still use my twitter. I check for responses through out the day and I still talk to people over there. I just vastly prefer Plurk!

If your interested in signing up for an account on plurk just follow this link: http://www.plurk.com/roseworksjewelry/invite

A CUTE giveaway!

You all know I love anything fantasy related - so I love this shop! And I'm really excited about the giveaway :) Go check out the blog for Elfling Creations to get all the details!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Weekly Special!

I had a lot of fun when I made these earrings! I remember sitting down to do some bead weaving, going all "crafty ADHD," and making these instead! They have all sorts of fun beads in them. Swarovski crystals and hearts, ladybugs, and all dangling from chain! The earrings hang about 3 1/4 inches. This week, on this blog, they are on sale for only $8 plus $2 shipping and handling to anywhere in the world! So what are you waiting for?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

Daddy Walking Me Down the Aisle

You know, I've talked a lot about my Mom's influence on me as an artist and a crafty person in general, but the truth is that my Dad has had a large impact on my artistry as well! Dad always encouraged us to draw and be creative, but most of all to think. He was always questioning us, having us question everything around us, and pushing us to do better, to try harder.

My Dad is always an ideas person. He's always coming up with a new plans and schemes. They may not always work, but he never stops dreaming. I definitely get that from him! I come up with so many ideas that it's hard to keep up with myself sometimes.

Dad also taught me the value of working hard, and not giving up. Both values that help a lot when your an artist, especially an artist with health problems!

So Dad, here's to you, thank you for all you've taught me!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Do YOU have a favorite???

Tell me which is your favorite out of this set and earn two entries into my top commentators contest!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday's Featured Artist - Smadars Treasure

I'd like to introduce you all to a very talented bead weaver that I've had the pleasure of getting to know! I contacted her awhile ago with a question - and that conversation turned into a friendship that eventually led to me joining the Etsy Bead Weavers! There's so much more I could say - but I'll let her work and her words speak for themselves :)

1. What type of art work do you do?

I create jewelry, focusing on beadweaving and embroidery, but I also like designing other jewelry with assembled components and wire-work.

2. How did you get started

doing art work?

In 2004 I attended a beading workshop – simple stringing – and I realized that creating with beads was very relaxing for me. I continued beading for a few more months until I discovered the fascinating world of bead weaving.

3. Do you do any other crafts?

Ever since I was a child I liked crafting – painting,

knitting, scrapbooking, wood engraving and sculpting, but what I really love is drawing. Beadweaving took over my spare time (and my Muse) and I sometime miss drawing … This is my last drawing, from about two years ago, of an old Indian woman by a photograph of one of my most favorite photographer Wendell Phillips (please see the images at the bottom)

4. What's your favorite piece in your shop right now?

Note - I did ask her this question - but I'm thinking it must have sold because I can no longer find it! Congrats on the sale Smadar!

5. Where do you sell your work?

Most of my work can be found in my Etsy shop www.smadarstreasure.etsy.com

but I also have a shop on Artfire www.smadarstreasure.artfire.com and another one on Dawanda , where you can find my assembled jewelry. http://en.dawanda.com/shop/SmadarsTreasure

6. Do you blog?

Yes, I do have a blog http://smadarstreasure.blogspot.com . I wish I could post more often, but there's never enough time… I try to update my blog everytime I have a new work finished.

7. Are you on any social networks you'd like to share?

Not long ago I have joined Facebook, which is fun and lets you make new beady friends from all over the world. I am also proud to be a member of two beading groups – the Etsy BeadWeavers (EBW) and the Bead Art Originals (BAO) group.

8. Do you watch or listen to anything while you work? If so, what?

Sometimes I listen to a local radio station that broadcast non-stop music, but I prefer working in a quiet environment. That's why I usually bead at late night hours, when everyone in my family is sleeping.

9. Tell us one random fact about your self *wink*

I think I am a compulsive collector. :) Until I discovered beading, and to the resentment of my family, I used to collect many kinds of what people would call "junk", like boxes, pieces of wood, wrapping papers etc. in order to create something beautiful out of them. I now have tons of "materials" in my working room, waiting patiently to be reused. I stopped collecting junk materials, but now I am collecting beading supplies of all kinds..;)

The picture on the left goes with the link and is the picture she was working from as mentioned in question #3 :)


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Just Looking at the Numbers

A week or so ago one of my blogging friends put up a post she titled "By the Numbers." She looked at her numbers for her shops, blogs, and all that fun stuff. Since I'm too tired to be creative this afternoon, I thought it would be fun to look at my numbers! So here they are:

Total Page Views: 17902
Items Listed: 105
Sales: 73
Shop Hearts: 354
On-line since: May 24th, 2008

Total item Views: 2507
Total Studio Views: 738
Items Listed: 48
Sales: 2
On-line since: April 9th, 2009

Total Page Views: 1176
Items Listed: 22
Sales: 7
Shop Hearts: 28
On-line since: December 26th, 2008

I'm going to stop there and not look up all my blog numbers and such - but I found looking at these pretty interesting! I hope you did too!

Just a reminder - right now in Kindred Spirit Treasures were having our first sale! 15% off any item in the store - including custom orders!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Busy as Always!

Ok, so when am I NOT busy? This week just feels busier than usual! Friday night was a girls night, Saturday was a movie with Gypsy, Sunday we had church and then I worked on my disability app, Monday I finished up my disability app, Tuesday I took it in (more details here), Tuesday was also laundry day, today I had a doctors apt (nothing big), and we're headed out soon for my inlaws! Mo is going to haul some rock for his Dad and I'm teaching my MIL how to do the St. Petersburg Chain stitch.

Speaking of which, in the midst of all this I've been blogging, creating, and listing! Here's one of my most recent, in St. Petersburg Chain, that I put together for a Thursday Sweet Treats Challenge.

I've got a lot more in the works, both beady wise and writing wise too! Lots left on my plate life-wise too. Don't worry, I'm making sure I take lots and lots of breaks and spend enough time relaxing! Fortunately beading is relaxing :P

In other news - my second shop is having it's first sale! That's right, you can 15% off any item in Kindred Spirit Treasures! Like this beauty...

And as if all THAT wasn't enough...I just redid my jedi blog! It still needs a little tweaking, but I'm much happier now that I have a 3 column layout! Check it out :)

My treasury blog is next up for some improvements - and I have a GREAT idea that I can hardly wait to show you once I get it pulled together! You may have to wait a few days though... Tomorrow I go in for a big shot where I get to sit in the docs office for a few hours, then after that I'm hopefully having Gypsy over for a movie, and Friday is even more doctors time!

Gee - it sounds like I live at the doctors >_> Sometimes it feels like I do :P

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

*blushing* Another Award!

I just wanted to say a big thanks to Creative Critters and Recreational Art for giving me this lovely award today! I can't tell you how special that makes me feel :) I'm being a spoil sport and not passing it on - because I've done that recently - but make sure you check out these two great blogs by clicking on their names!

Tuesday's Tips #6

One great way to improve your business is by reading great books! I'd like to share one with you that I read recently. I think it has a lot of potential for helping artisan's like you and me take our business to the next level.
"The Sassy Ladies' Toolkit for Start-up Businesses" is a great book written by Michelle Girasole, Wendy Hanson, and Miriam Perry. These ladies certainly are Sassy, and more importantly, they really do know what they are talking about. Are you ready to learn and have fun at the same time? Then this book is for you!

This book is set up to take you step-by-step through every thing you need to do and think about when starting your business. Already have your own business? That's OK! I already have my own business, but I found a lot of these ideas helpful, even the one's for just starting up! Sometimes it can be really good to go back to the beginning, to the basics, and take a fresh look at what your doing.

Each chapter contains useful tips, anecdotes, and some wrap up questions to think about. There is also a "Toolkit" at the end of each chapter which contains books, web-sites, and other resources for further research. I found the chapters to be easy to understand, but at the same time they managed to cover all the basics you would need to know. I really appreciate the tool kits at the end so that I can do more research if I want to!

To be honest, there were a lot of things that didn't apply to me at my current level of business. However, I still got a lot of ideas while reading those sections, and if I ever do manage to grow my business to anywhere near that level I plan on using this as a resource! In fact, next time things slow down in my life I plan on coming back to the book and looking through it for ideas for what I can do next in growing my business!

Interested in learning more or reading the book your self? Here's the Sassy Ladies' Website!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Weekly Special and New Items!

This week's special is a pair of my new line of hoops! I'm still slowly working on getting these added into my inventory, I have several pairs of wood bead hoops up, a few others, and many more planned to come! This pair that you see above is only $4 this week! Plus only $2 Shipping to anywhere in the world! Isn't that a fantastic deal? If these sell - I'll put another pair up!

It's also time to show of the latest items in my shops! Remember, any comments about your favorite from the below spotlight gets you TWO entries into my top commentator contest!

I also wanted to invite you to check out these treasuries I'm in!

A big thanks to Peacox Creations and Angies Crafts for featuring my Mom's piece and my bracelet!

Have you visited Block Head Radio lately? Well I won an slot as the featured item of the week this week! I can't even begin to tell you how happy that makes me :) I'm down on the right. :) Also...I'm going to be doing some writing for BHR...so stay tuned for more details about that!

One last thing - Honey Love did an incredible feature on me! Go check it out to learn more about me...and see a pic of me from my wedding :)

I'm so feeling the love right now :) And I really needed that this week!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Showing Off

There's a lot going on in my life lately, which some times leaves me a little brain dead when it comes to posting! But then you guys make it easy for me by giving me awards! How special is that? This one, the Premio Meme Award, comes from my dear friend Kayla over at The Eclectic Element.

Kayla was such a sweet heart - this is what she said about me: "Ruthie over at Rose Works Jewelry-Ruthie is one amazing person and I think we connected because we have a similar plight. Just like most of the other 'challenged' people I know(I used challenged because it seems so much better then 'sick'), she overcomes her problems and works past them =]"

Now I'm supposed to share 7 facts about myself and pass this on to 7 people so...

1. I have Crafty AdHD - I can't stick to just one thing!
2. I used to be a swing dancer, and I really miss it!
3. I own over 300 books.
4. I was born a full month after my due date - and Mom says I've been stubborn ever since!
5. Purple is my FAVORITE color! In case you hadn't guessed...
6. I'm only 26...but I've lost half an inch in height - crazy huh?
7. My life time goal is to grow up to be one of those eccentric old ladies that everybody loves!

Now for my 7 people...

1. Splendid Little Stars - because even through life's tough times she smiles and encourages others!
2. Beaded Tail - Because she simply rocks my world!
3. Memories for Life - I bet we'd hang out all the time if we leaved anywhere near each other :P
4. Nothing Like It - because her sense of humor is incredible!
5. My Art and the Mom in Me - Because she's so sweet.
6. Spirit Essence Art - I love the challenge she's set herself!
7. Little Studio Photography and Jewelry - because her comments always make me smile ;)

So what's been going on with me? Well, it's finally come to the time where we've decided I need to apply for disability. Let's just say it's a ton of paperwork and a very emotional process.

I'm also hard at work filling my Artfire shop! I just listed these earrings tonight :)

And just so this post isn't ALL about me - don't you just love this piece by my friend Huck? Her name is Bitty.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Having Fun!

I had a great post planned for today, but I'm tired so it's getting put off! Don't worry, I'm sure you'll live :P Why am I tired? Well, I actually got to have some girl time this weekend! My Evil Twin hosts a movie night once a month, and I actually made it last night! We had Whiskey Burgers, watched Taken, and laughed a ton. Then today, my "sister" Gypsy came over and we watched Pirates of the Caribbean, Dead Man's Chest. It was a lot of fun!

Of course, being the crafty addict that I am, my hands were flying the whole time! Last night I made about 98% of another St. Petersburg Chain bracelet (hope to have it listed by Monday). I finished that today during Pirates, stitched up the rip in our couch blanket (hubby naps on the couch a LOT), did the last 2/3 of the work on a pair of dangly earrings, and knitted about two inches on my scarf I'm making! Woohoo!

And then I crashed. Any wonder? Seriously though, it wasn't from the crafty stuff, all though I'm sure that helped. After the last month or so I've got very little stamina, and hanging out and laughing wears me out incredibly fast. Not to mention I was having mild asthma attacks through both events... But hey! I finally got me some girl time, and that did wonders for my spirit!

Quick reminder - tomorrow is the last day of my YART sale! So don't forget to head over to my Etsy Shop and check it out!

And don't forget my Top Commentator Contest! Leave me comments and win jewelry! How cool is that? Current stats are:

Top Commentator: 16 comments
41 total Commentators

Oh and you better believe the runner ups are in close pursuit of the leader!

Have a great weekend friends :)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday's Featured Artist - The Eclectic Element!!!

I'd like to introduce all of you to an artist who has become very special to my heart! Kayla found my blog randomly one day, left a comment, I commented back, and beautiful friendship was born! Kayla deals with dibilitating health problems (more on that in the interview) and we've really connected. I hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as I have!

1. What type of art work do you do?

My main craft is jewelry and jewelry design!

2. How did you get started doing art work?

Wow, for that question I'm going to take you way back to when I was just a little one. My mum is a very creative person so she had a whole craft closet for us to play in. She would put my sister and I into our high chairs and just set things in front of us like paints,
play-do, and anything else she seemed to find and let us go to town.

3. Do you do any other crafts?

Oh, I do many kinds of artwork and crafts! From painting and drawing, to
scrapbooking and card making, to knitting and crocheting. Throw in a little bit of sewing and cross stitch. There are others but I can't think of them. Lol I plan on trying everything at least once!

4. Where do you sell your work?

My main venue is The Eclectic Element branches on Etsy, but soon, I hope to start my own website.

5. What's your favorite piece in your shop right now?

My favorite piece would have to be Au
It was one of my earlier pieces and my first wire wrapping venture.

6. Do you blog?

Yes I do! I love my blog :D

7. Are you on any social networks you'd like to share?

As of right now, I'm on Twitter: www.twitter.com/theeclectice

8. Do you watch or listen to anything while you work? If so, what?

Oh yes, I love to listen to music or watch t.v. when I create. I guess it all depends on what day it is or what mood I'm in at the time. One of my favorites to listen to is Iron & Wine.

9. Tell us one random fact about your self *wink*

I love reading self help books(that should tell you a lot about me) haha

10. Would you mind sharing a little bit with us about your journey with Lyme Disease?

I first got sick back in 04' in the middle of my 8th grade year. The first thing to go was the use of my right arm. In searching for an answer for that, we were put on a medication, and within days I stopped walking completely. From then on, it has been a whirlwind of doctors, hospitals, treatments and travels. We learned it was Lyme Disease and started treating for it in the end of the 3rd year I was sick, but by the time we started, it was already chronic. Since then, it has been an uphill battle with it's good and bad days, weeks and months. It would be easier to tell you what symptoms I didn't have, but the ones that never seem to go away are severe fatigue, joint and muscle pain, joint and muscle weakness, sporadic paralysis, severe insomnia, nerve pain, back and neck pain, memory loss, brain fog, confusion and depression(I'm sure there are more, but I can't think of them at the moment). Because of the fact that I don't know what's going to happen from day to day, I haven't been able to hold a job or go to school at all which is why I started my shop on Etsy and my blog. If you have any other questions or comments, feel free to email me atTheEclecticElement@yahoo.com. I'm always up to talking about my situation-If it can help prevent this happening to another person, I will gladly do it!

I asked Kayla to share a little bit more with us about what causes Lyme and what can be done to prevent it. This is what she had to say:

Lyme is said to be caused by mainly the deer tick and found mainly in the northeast part of the united states, but those two facts are wrong. You can get Lyme Disease from any type of tick, and it is said now mosquitoes carry it, as well as, anything that bites or stings. It can also be found everywhere and anywhere; I have friends ranging from the east coast in California to the north in Michigan and Wisconsin, to the south in Texas, Florida, and Tennessee to a great deal on the east coast(That's just to name a few). Canada and Europe aren't discounted either!

The best thing you can do is practice prevention! When going outside or around wooded areas, make sure to wear long sleeves, pants, a hat and sturdy boots. Also, make sure to tuck your pants into your socks; That way, the ticks don't have a way to get in. Deet is good to carry, along with any other type of bug spray and repellent. When you get home, make sure to take everything off and check yourself extremely thorally. They like dark, dry places. If one is found imbedded, DO NOT burn it off. Take tweezers and try to get everything off. If you can, save it in a plastic bag for further testing.

Don't take any chances if you find you have been bitten, immediatly see your doctor and request 2 weeks of antibiotics. I don't care what you have to do, you fight for those meds! Better to catch it early, then end up chronic like me and a whole bunch of others who are suffering with this nasty illness.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I'm drooling...

See that pile of goodies? That's just a SMALL portion of all the incredible beads being given away over at the Silver Parrot! Seriously - it's an insanely awesome giveaway. I would so be in heaven if I won this giveaway. And I need to buy a LOT more storage boxes :D So head over there and enter - because as much as I want to win I think it would be pretty cool if one of my friends won too!

Which one???

It's time once again to show off my latest listings from my three shops! Remember - leave me a comment with which one out of this set is your favorite - and you'll earn TWO entries in my Top Commentators contest instead of just one! There's a lot of variety today - so hopefully there will be something you love :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

YART, EBW Challenge, and an Award!

So much going on it's hard to even know where to start! The first is that I'm participating in the YART sale on Etsy! What's that? Well, apparently if you marry the words "yard sale" and "art sale" to each other, you get YART sale. Don't ask - it wasn't my idea - I'm just participating! So what IS the sale?

I'm doing FREE shipping WORLDWIDE!!! PLUS if you purchase $25 or more - you'll get a FREE GIFT! Now how cool is that? If you've been looking to shop in my store - now is the time! www.roseworksjewelry.etsy.com Sale runs through the 14th.

Next - the June Challenge for the Etsy Bead Weavers is up! Go visit the blog and vote! I'm exctra-super excited about it this month because it's my first time entering! I'm entry number 5. Don't feel obligated to vote for me, but PLEASE do go check out the entries and vote for one of the team!

Lastly, I received a blog award! Thanks go to Teresa of Elegance by Mode for giving me the award. I have to admit that I'm a spoil sport and I'm not going to pass it on to the 15 people required... I tend to be lazy when it comes to these things :P

Oh! And I had my 70th sale in my etsy shop today! *dances*

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sale Item of the Week - Fabulously Blue!

I love this bracelet - and this style! I have one of my own in different colors :) Not only will you feel fabulous when you where this bracelet - your friends will all think it's fabulous as well! Not to mention it's so light weight you'll forget your wearing a bracelet! I'm the type who can't stand bracelets or watches when I'm working at the computer, and I'll forget I have this on even when I'm typing!

"Fabulously Blue" is approximately 7 1/4 inches long - but if that's not right for you don't be worried! The special this week will apply to all custom orders done in this style as well. So if you need a different size, or would like different colors, don't hesitate to let me know!

So what is the price? Normally this bracelet runs for $40 - but with the 20% discount this week you can get it for just $32 plus shipping and handling of $2! How cool is that? And yes - I ship anywhere in the world!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Happy Accidents

You just gotta love how life works out some times! I hadn't picked up my hemp in awhile...I've been on a bead weaving kick like nobody's business! Usually I alternate a lot between the different mediums, but I've had a pretty bad month physically, and the advantage of bead weaving is that once a projects is set up I don't have to move around for supplies or anything for a long time :P

Then I was talking with Selana on Plurk and we decided to do a trade. I'm getting some incredible sock yarn - that I'll show off after I get it! In exchange I made the necklace on the left for her. Now I was pretty tired the night I started it, so I totally miscalculated the hemp lengths at first. I knotted for awhile and realized I didn't have anywhere near enough hemp left for the full necklace, but I did have enough for a plain bracelet. So I finished it up as a bracelet and started over again on the necklace.

Now I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do with the bracelet. I usually put some sort of beads
in each bracelet! And it was a little on the small side... But I decided to take a photo and list it anyway. And guess what? That was earlier this week - and it sold this morning! To some random stranger in Australia. How cool is that?

I was talking the other day with another artist about how sometimes it amazes us, as artists, which pieces end up being the one's that sell. Sometimes the things that sell are the one's that you didn't like very much, but decided to put out there any way. Other times it's pieces that are simply "happy accidents." They don't look anything like what you may have originally intended when you started them, or they are a result of a mess up, but they still are what some one wants for their very own. I love it when that happens!

It also makes me wonder if I should do a few more simple hemp bracelets in different colors that are beadless... I'll add it to my ever growing list :P Seriously...this list of ideas and projects is INSANE. If I could just get the ideas to slow down to something less than a flood...naw...that would be less fun :P

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Introducing Arrrt!

So I missed doing my Friday Feature yesterday - because I really wasn't feeling good enough to be able to think enough to put this together! So I put it off for today so that I could do a good job with it - because this is an awesome store!

1. What type of art work do you do?

I make Journals mostly. I also make stuff IN journals (aka journal art), dabble in softies & card holders.

2. How did you get started doing art work?

As a kid I remember making stuff out of 3x5 cards and regular printer paper - mostly armies of origami jumping frogs, furniture & armadas of paper airplanes.

3. Do you do any other crafts?

Yes! I sew, paint with watercolors & acrylics, draw, collage, sculpt (with polymer clay),

4. What's your favorite piece in your shop right now?

I really like my book necklaces - all of them.

5. Where did you come up with the idea for your book necklaces?

One day I saw a beautiful accordion book that you could slide into a metal frame & hang it around your neck... I fell in love & instantly thought of ways to incorporate that idea into my own bookbinding.

Since I like using polymer clay for book covers - it's sturdy and you can do just about anything with it - I decided to try and make my own using a coptic stitch. The first few came out so well I made ten & five sold the next week. Figured I had something there so I made a bunch more!

It helps that I have a soft spot for tiny cute things...

5. Where do you sell your work? Etsy (arrrt.etsy.com) & Artfire (arrrt.artfire)
6. Do you blog? Of course! In several places... http://imakearrrt.com/blog, http://thelaternatingcurrent.com

7. Are you on any social networks you'd like to share? Twitter (@emberlexi), Flickr (http://flickr.com/photos/emberlexi) and Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=733330851