Tag: etsy shop

Review and Giveaway: No Clasp Hoop Earrings (closed)

No clasp hoop earrings by Eluna Jewelry Designs.

I was recently contacted by April Williams of Eluna Jewelry Deigns to do a review of her hoop earrings. It has been a long time since I have blogged about product reviews and I love to help out fellow Etsyers, so I jumped at the opportunity.

When I first opened April’s e-mail I saw basic hoop earrings. I immediately thought to myself, they look nice, but what makes them special? I then noticed a little loop at the end of the earring, rather than a straight piece and back clasp. After reading through the details I realized these hoops were clasp free.

As a very bad jewelry owner, clasp free anything is ideal. I have lost so many earring backs simply taking my earring off. There must be a black hole hidden in the tile of my bathroom. As the earring back falls I hear the final “ping” as it hits the floor, never to be heard from or seen again. Then there are the days where halfway through my workday a student will ask why I only have one earring on. Somehow they jump out of my ears and with my daily routine of being everywhere on campus, there is little to no chance of recovery.

Long story short, I was on board with this product before April shipped it to me. I couldn’t quite grasp how these would work, I am a visual learner, but figured it couldn’t be too complicated. April shipped them out and I eagerly awaited their arrival.

I opted for the medium size sterling silver backless hoop earrings. All of her products are made from quality metals such as sterling silver, 14 kt gold, copper, and niobium, a metal I had never heard of. I learned it is a hypoallergenic metal that can come in multiple colors. Since I am lacking a set of hoops (crazy, I know) in my earring collection, I thought this was the best way to go. I also like to review the “bread and butter” products of a seller, since these are typically the most moved and most popular items.

As soon as the package arrived I handed the babies over to my hub and ran upstairs to try them on. The package included instructions, the earring should be placed through the back of my earring hole. What should have clicked as soon as I pulled up images of her jewelry finally clicked when I had the earrings and instructions in hand. You thread the non-loop end through the back of your ear and the loop rests agains the back of your lobe.

My immediate reaction was, “well this isn’t going to be easy.”  But it was much better than I expected. It only took a few tries to line it up before it came through. Since then I have gotten much better at the process, and I have to admit I have had a lot of practice wearing these over the last two weeks.

The size was just what I was looking for and the wire is nice and thin. The earrings are incredibly light and look delicate. It’s so nice to have this basic style in my collection, they have become regulars in my rotation.

I am also a big fan of the fact that April makes and ships these out of Raleigh, NC. I love supporting fellow artists and local, handmade, southern products. Her prices are extremely reasonable, this style lists for just $20.

In addition to sending me a pair to try out, April has also sent me a pair to giveaway to one lucky reader. All you have to do is visit April’s Etsy shop here or website here and comment below with your favorite item. You can get one bonus entry if you subscribe to my blog (simply fill out the form at the bottom of this post) and follow her Etsy shop, comment again letting me know you are following both of us. The winner will be randomly selected on Sunday, April 29th. They will have 24 hours to respond to my e-mail before another winner is selected.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my latest product review and read my blog! Check out my other posts here, teaching products here, and my Etsy shop here. Thanks for stopping by!

 

Backless Hoop earrings by Eluna Jewelry Designs.

Handmade Ceramics: Wood Grain Mugs and Vases

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In the spring of last year a new, local shop reached out to me about including my pottery in their store. I was excited about a new opportunity to sell my artwork, but tentative about the required year long commitment, and monthly rent. Despite my concerns I decided to jump in with both feet, and commit to Crafted Westside.

Since I signed my contract I have been hard at work, creating, producing, and filling my space at Crafted. The store has been a huge success, and after a short 5 months of being open, they have already expanded into the space next door. I’m looking forward to the  upcoming holiday season, and am keeping my fingers crossed that I will set my personal best sales months.

One of my favorite things about my commitment to Crafted is it has pushed me out of my comfort zone. I have had to develop new designs, techniques, and products. I have had to chart what is selling, and what is collecting dust and taking up space on my shelves. I have had the opportunity to experiment, and experienced a great deal of trial and error.

A few weeks ago, while brainstorming new ideas, I decided I want to try my hand at hand building with slabs. Up to this point all of my products had been thrown on the pottery wheel, and I needed a change of pace. I went to my local ceramic store, perused their shelves, and fell in love with a wood grain stamp. An idea immediately hit me, I would hand build a few sets of mugs and vases, using slabs, and this beautiful patter.

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Keeping with the look and feel of my pottery, I decided to keep the exterior simple, with the white body of the clay, and a quick layer of clear on top. For the interior I used blues and greens, to stick with the earthy feel of the wood. I also decided to experiment with gloss and matte finishes. Rather than coat the entire exterior with clear, I left a section at the bottom unglazed.

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I was really excited about my finished products. They have been delivered to Crafted Westside, and are sitting on the shelves, waiting to find a happy home. I hope they do well, so I can continue to play around with my beautiful new stamp.

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In addition to my wood grain pieces, I also made a set of hydrangea inspired vases. Check out Crafted’s website here to look at more products!

IMG_8148Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog and read about my latest works of art. Help me spread the word about my blog by sharing with others on your social networking site of choice! Thanks for stopping by.

Crafted Westside

Crafted Westside 1I am so excited to share about my new home for the next year, Crafted Westside.

A few weeks ago I was approached by owner, Shanna, about adding my artwork to her soon-to-be-open store. She discovered my pottery through my new Etsy shop, Sweet Celadon, and thought my products would fit with the look and feel of her shop. I was very flattered at her offer, and we set up our first meeting. She contacted me the same day I opened my shop, and I couldn’t help but feel it was meant to be.

Located on the up and coming westside of Atlanta, around the corner from Georgia Tech, and just 2 miles north of downtown, the shop is one of three turquoise store fronts in a short strip. For my fellow Atlantans, who also hate scouring the city for parking, a free parking deck and lot are located right around the corner. The surrounding areas are under construction, with new mixed use developments popping up at a fast pace. Some amazing restaurants and shops are already in place, with more being added. I expect this to be a happening place in the coming months and years.

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Shanna has a very specific vision for her store, a mix of worn wood and metal furniture, and an emphasis on local and handmade. Looking at the bare bones of the store, it already felt reminiscent of my favorite store, Anthropologie. After our meeting she mentioned my work reminded her of Anthropologie products. At that point I couldn’t say no, she had hooked me with our similar tastes. I was in, ready to start producing more work, and continue on my path to finding ways to support my need for artistic expression.

After committing to spending a year filling shelves at Crafted Westside, I was off on a mad rush to create. Leading up to opening day I spent my afternoons and evenings pumping out mugs, bowls, cups, and a pitcher or two. When I returned to the shop, two weeks later, with a box filled to the brim, I was surprised to walk in the door of a very put together store.

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Quirky, eclectic, and beautiful handmade items filled shelves and table tops. Everything came together beautifully, and I was excited to be a part of it.

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At Crafted Westside I have a shelf in a large, metal cabinet. However, in addition to my shelf Shanna has also scattered my work around the store. I love the way the products are interspersed. When you walk into the shop it doesn’t look like multiple artists are feeding into one store, with work divided into booths or sections. Instead, everything has it’s place, as well as a communal center, creating a unified look and feel.

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I love seeing my work mixed in with my very talented fellow crafters. Our different styles and backgrounds contrast, while at the same time enhancing each others work. I have already pointed out a number of items to Nick I hope to open on my birthday.

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I was very impressed with how far the shop had come in two short weeks. Bags were hung, tables were in place, products were out, and customers were milling about. I loved spying as I saw people pick up my items, turn them in their hands, and share their thoughts with their fellow shoppers.

I’m looking forward to a long, and hopefully profitable, partnership with Crafted Westside. My only fear is my income will go straight back into the shop, as my Crafted wish list continues to grow.

Check out more picture of my artwork and the shop below. Check out Crafted Westside’s website here and Facebook page here.

Thanks for taking the time to checkout my blog and read about my new artistic endeavors. Help spread the word about this amazing new store and my blog by sharing on your social networking site of choice! Sharing is caring. Thanks for stopping by!

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The Sketch Series: Encaustic Mixed Media Art

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I’m really excited to share my newest work of art, and hopefully a new direction for my encaustic work.

Last year I began playing around with encaustic wax as a new material. I love the entire process, melting the wax, smoothing it, layering, and carving back into it. I instantly fell in love, and since then I have been working to refine my technique.

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When I first started I played around with image transfers and began my silhouette series. I have always loved decorating my home with objects, new, old, antique, and unique. Old sewing machines, eclectic furniture, and interesting artwork fill every nook and cranny of my home. With my silhouette series I sought to bring attention to individual items in the hopes that it would spark a memory and create a connection to future owners or viewers.

While I am not abandoning my silhouette art I am moving in a new direction to a place more abstract, larger scale, simple yet complex. I add paper, encaustic wax, and paint to create layer after layer of delicate, somewhat neutral, and textured depth. As you look at the background the layers slowly reveal themselves.

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On top of the layered background I painted naples yellow encaustic wax, then carved a simple line on top. The line outlines the beginnings of a tree, a simple sketch of a recognizable shape. I filled the line with paynes gray oil paint to emphasize it. Around the edge of the painting I repeated lines in a crosshatch pattern using white and naples yellow oil paint. I wanted to reference the straight line, stick like shape of the tree throughout the painting.

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I hope by using a very basic line to form these shapes I am toning down the feel of my artwork and allowing the viewer more space to create the rest of the form. I have always admired abstract art, and I hope I can move in that direction with my own work.

I have already begun my next piece, a boat inspired encaustic painting, and can’t wait to see where this bit of inspiration will take me next. I will continue to share as I continue to create!

Thanks for checking out my new artwork and my blog. Help me spread the word by subscribing, sharing on your preferred social networking sites, and sharing with friends, I couldn’t do it without you. Check back this week for my upcoming Etsy giveaway with Jess, shopowner of Fawn and Rose. While you are at it check out my encaustic here, and my newest ceramic and glass shop here.

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Etsy Shop of the Month: Statement Necklace Giveaway via AquaGiraffe (closed)

Statement Necklace Giveaway AquaGiraffe

I spend a large portion of my life on Etsy. I would like to say the majority of time is spent focusing on my shop, updating, tagging, selling, making my millions… but I have to admit I spend most of my time shopping. My favorite items list is beginning to get a little out of control, and I buy a large portion of the items I end up favoriting. It does make me feel better knowing I am helping my fellow shop owners, I support handmade, I support the arts.

As the days leading up to the holidays grew shorter, my time on Etsy grew longer. I had the majority of my gifts covered through the many offerings of Etsy, including a beautiful green, beaded and braided statement necklace for my mom. My mom’s wish list for my sister and I is always the same, any clothes or jewelry you pick out. She loves nothing more than being dressed and accessorized by us, and I love nothing more than shopping.

I knew I wanted a cute statement necklace, it had to be in the blue or green color family. If you type in “green statement necklace” in Etsy it is unbelievable the amount of items you have to sift through. I was at a point of hitting the “next page” button automatically, and going crossed eyed as I stared at necklace after necklace. Suddenly I saw the braided necklace from AquaGiraffe and I was set. It was cute, fun, trendy, and without a second thought I bought it.

Aqua Statment Necklace via AquaGiraffe

It arrived on my doorstep incredibly fast, was cutely wrapped, and was just what I pictured. My mom was thrilled when she opened it up on Christmas day, and I have already seen her wear it on countless occasions. It works well with a wide variety of outfits and color, and isn’t overwhelmingly large. It can be dressed up or pair with jeans and a t-shirt. There is a possibility this will disappear from My Mom’s closet one day and find it’s way into mine…

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AquaGiraffe, run by Kimberly out of Orlando, FL, has a variety of products in her shop. From head scarves to trendy jewelry she has an adorable selection to choose from. I was very excited when she agreed to participate in a giveaway, and offered her Petal Statement Necklace as the prize. I had already noticed this necklace as I recently browsed her shop, and am slightly bummed I’m not eligible to enter my own giveaway. I just might have to make another purchase in the near future.

Enter to win this beautiful, fashionable necklace by liking your favorite item in Kimberly’s shop here. After you like an item share the link to the item in a comment below.

Want more chances to win? Like my Etsy shop here and link to your favorite item in a separate comment below. Like my Facebook page here and comment a third time with the name you liked the page under. A winner will be randomly selected on Thursday 2/13 using the plugin, “And the Winner Is…” The winner will be e-mail and has 24 hours to confirm their prize before a new winner is selected.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog and enter my giveaway! A big thanks to Kimberly at AquaGiraffe for donating a necklace to one of my lucky readers. Whether or not you are the winner don’t forget to support local, handmade goodies. Be unique and find one of a kind creations on amazing websites like Etsy!

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