Sunday, October 30, 2011

You + Me

Hello sweet friends!
I have an exciting news to share. If you liked my FB page, you probably knew already. I'm honored to be one of Amy Jaz Designs Creative Team members.


Check out her new release: You + Me. I fell in love the first time I saw it.


This is a versatile kit, I must tell ya.

First I made this card.

Then I said to myself that I should make the 'male' version. He does deserve that, doesn't he?

The calculator really caught my attention. Won't you?

And I had to make another card. It's so hard for not to :-)


When I said versatile, it's really is!! It's perfect for Christmas theme as well.


Note to self to do some scrapbook pages using this kit. And if you want something quick, Amy also has Quick Pages to grab as well.

Check out what the other creative members are making with the You + Me kit:
Cara's Scrap N Stamp Art
Life with Terri

Monday, October 24, 2011

Giveaway Winner of the Thrifty Gift.

Hello blog friends.
I hope you all have a great weekend.
I'm popping by to let you know that Amy of the Thrifty Gift has chosen the winner of her giveaway via random draw. Congratulations #15! You've been contacted :-)

See you all soon.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Giveaway: Purple Fluorite Earrings Set

Win these beautiful Purple Fluorite Earrings from Sweet Silver.

These beautiful purple fluorite fluted rondelles in shades of fuchsia and violet have, and have slight rainbow inclusions when the light hits them just right. Adorned by a small silver saucer bead, they hang from hand formed and hammered sterling silver earwires. The total length of the earrings is 1-1/8 inches. They will wrapped in a gift box and ship them USPS First Class.

Get to know Amy, our Saturday Artisan this week.

There are many ways to enter. Please make sure you leave a separate comment for every entry.
How to enter to win:

Mandatory entry:


Extra entries (only qualify once mandatory entry is fulfilled):
  • Earn 2 entries - Go to yesterday's post to know her more. Leave a comment there (yesterday's post) on at least one the following: what you learn from the interview, what you want to see more on her shop and why, or any constructive feedback are always appreciated. Come back here and leave 2 comments that you did, to ensure your entries are counted.
  • Heart Sweet Silver (1 entry). Simply let us know your Etsy username.
  • Follow Sweet Silver blog (1 entry).
  • Follow my adorebynat blog (1 entry). If you're already a follower, you still get an entry, just says you're following already.
  • Like Sweet Silver Facebook page AND tell Amy, Nat of adorebynat send you there.
  • Like my Adorebynat Facebook Page. You must drop by and say hello to earn 1 entry.I'd love to hear from you.
  • Follow adorebynat on twitter (1 entry).
  • Tweet about this giveaway, add "@adorebynat" in your tweet. (1 entry).
  • Blog about this giveaway to earn 2 entries. Leave two separate comments here please providing me with the link to your post.
  • Be creative and share the love! Refer your friends and family to enter this giveaway. Use your social media (other than twitter and blog) to shout out this giveaway. As long as you provide me a link or a way to confirm it, you'll earn 2 entries (two separate comments).
  • Purchase an item from Sweet Silver and earn 10 entries for each purchase. Don't forget letting us know by leaving comments.
Contest starts now and ends on November 5, 2011. Contest opens worldwide.
Don't forget to leave us a way to contact you. Entries without contact information will be disqualified. Entries that do not follow the rules will be disqualified. Contest winner will be drawn on Sunday, November 6 by a random number generator, by the artist herself. Winner must respond within 48 hours after being contacted otherwise another winner will be randomly selected.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Saturday Artisan: Sweet Silver

Meet Amy of Sweet Silver, our Saturday Artisan.

You must add her shop as favorite (I had!) because her work are simply beautiful.

There is something about Amy that I truly admire, her positive attitude and her praise to God of his blessing to her and her family. This is one of the reasons why I love handmade.

Tell us a bit about yourself and what arts/ crafts that you make?

I am almost 30 years old, I have been married to my husband for 5-1/2 years, and we have two very active and silly boys, ages 3-1/2 and 2. Oh, and we also have a 2-1/2 year old Border Collie mix who has so much energy you’d think we only fed him Red Bull. In addition to taking care of our boys, I work 20 hours a week in the office at a landscape irrigation service company while my mom and my mother in law take turns taking care of the boys. I am so thankful to God that I get to work with wonderful people at my “day job”, that my boys get to spend so much quality time with their grandparents (and we don’t have to pay for childcare!), that I get to spend some time being a stay-at-home mom, that I get to do something I love in my free time and make a little money doing it, and most of all for my loving and super supportive husband.

I discovered Fine Silver Precious Metal Clay in the fall of 2010 and taught myself, with the help of books and the internet, how to create jewelry with it. It is the most amazing material. It has a clay-like consistency composed of superfine particles of pure silver and an organic binder. It can be formed, shaped, and textured in almost exactly the same way as stoneware clay, but on a much smaller scale. Once the piece is dried, filed, and sanded to perfection, it is fired with a torch or in a kiln at very high temperatures until all of the organic binder burns away. What is left is 99.9 percent pure silver – more pure than sterling silver, which is 92.5 percent pure. Then the piece is painstakingly polished, a patina is applied, and then polished some more.

As long as I can remember I have always enjoyed creating something from scratch with my own hands. I have tried my hand at lots of different 'arts', including watercolor, pencil drawing, acrylic painting, sewing, clay, stained glass, paper crafting, wire and steel, photography, and graphic design. I even like putting together Ikea furniture! I love that even though jewelry is what I create, I get to use almost all of my past art interests in the creation and promotion of my work. From sketching ideas, to using some of the same techniques I learned in working with stoneware clay, to working with wire and tools, to sewing handmade felt pouches for my personalized metal clay items, to photographing my items, to graphic design and paper crafting to aid in the recognition and feel of my “brand”.


Which part of creation process that you like to do the most?
I truly love every part of the creation process, but I would have to say my favorite part is when I get to work with a customer to design a piece that is personalized specifically for them, and then delivering the finished product to them. My Sweet Petite Teardrop Initial pendant came about in this way and is one of my favorite pieces. A friend was pregnant with her second baby girl and described what she wanted for a “mommy necklace”. We emailed back and forth for a few weeks discussing different options and refining exactly what it was she wanted. I was able to complete the necklace just a couple weeks before her sweet little girl was born and she got to wear the necklace during the birth.

Could you share on how your organize your products, we all can use a little tips here and there in this department?
I LOVE CONTAINERS! As I have acquired more and more gemstone beads, I have had to “upgrade” my storage. I love the Snapware Smart Store System of containers. The boxes are clear and come in lots of different sizes. They have handles and the lids snap on with clasps that are effective at keeping little hands out! My workspace is in my kitchen/dining room/office, so I try to keep it as tidy as possible. I find that if my workspace is clean and tidy, so is my brain and my thought process. (Both can get quite cluttered!)

What is your best seller?

My best seller so far is my Lovebirds Personalized Necklace. I created this because my dad wanted something that he could give my mom for Valentines Day that would also commemorate their 40th year of marriage. (WOW!) I came up with the design of the kissing lovebirds sitting in a tree, which led me to thinking about how couples carve their initials into a tree. The back has a faux bois/tree bark texture that I carved their initials into. I have sold a few of these and each one ends up being just slightly different than the one previous, which is the awesome thing about handmade and individually created pieces.

How do you balance your personal and work life?
Actually, I don’t believe my life is in balance. With two small children, my husband, an office job, a house to keep up, and a small business, and trying to fit sleep in there somewhere, I constantly feel like I am just trying to keep up. I frequently do not get the laundry put away, or the floors cleaned, and sometimes I have to put off jewelry projects until later, but I try to remind myself that God did not create me to DO stuff, but to LOVE people. If I love my family and the other people in my life well, then that is success.

How do you promote your shop?
I have a facebook page, and I just started a Tumblr. blog where I plan to post a bit about how I create with metal clay and what inspires me. You can also see some of my photographs there. Please “like” me and or “follow” me! I would love to hear feedback and any suggestions for new items.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Giveaway Winner of Jazzies & Lilies Designs

Happy Thursday!

One lucky winner of Jazzies & Lilies Designs' giveaway has been selected randomly.
Congratulations, Laura #37, you won one of beautiful Treble Clef Ring!

Thanks Glenn for your sponsorship. Everyone who entered, thank you!

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Friday, October 14, 2011

BzzAgent Review - Titanium (TM) Maximum Security



Over a month ago, as a member of BzzAgent, I was invited to join the Titanium Maximum Security campaign.

It was a perfect timing as we just bought a new desktop and the 30-day free trial from Norton Virus had about to expire. I signed up and was given a one-year free subscription for up to 3 computers including smartphones. Isn't that awesome?

Protecting ourselves from internet dangers is very important. We are surfing the internet at almost all times. I have a couple of online shops, twitter and Facebook accounts, just to name a few, in addition to e-mail account. I download data and images constantly and therefore need to have a secured system that protects us from virus, spyware, hackers, etc.

My husband installed the software into our desktop and laptop, but held off in installing to the smartphone as he wanted to see how it works first in our desktop and laptop.

PRO:

The installation is pretty straight forward. FAQ and installation guide are available via video. And if we would have any difficulties in setting it up, there is technical support team that we could reach.

Every couple of weeks, we diligently keep up with the updates and it's an easy and user-friendly task to do.

Another thing I like about Trend Micro Titanium, compared to Norton Virus is that it gives a monthly review/ update on how it had successfully protect us. For example, how many spyware that it was able to detect.

CON:

We find that since we have installed the Trend Micro Titanium, our computer is a bit slower. I'm not sure if the software takes a lot of memory space.

Overall, Trend Micro Titanium is a good virus protection software. It might not be the greatest but I'm quite happy with it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Giveaway Winner of the LIttle Magpie

Happy Tuesday!

The the Little Magpie's giveaway has ended. Maggie did the random draw and it's is.....no 83 is the winning number. Congratulations, Kimberly!

Maggie, thank you for sponsoring the giveaway and thanks to everyone who entered.

Be sure to enter the current giveaways. We have 2 exciting giveaways!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Giveaway: Bracelet and Earrings Set


Win these beautiful Snowflake polymer clay bracelet and earrings set from the Thrifty Gift. Get to know Amy, our Saturday Artisan this week.

There are many ways to enter. Please make sure you leave a separate comment for every entry.
How to enter to win:

Mandatory entry:

Extra entries (only qualify once mandatory entry is fulfilled):
  • Earn 2 entries - Go to yesterday's post to know her more. Leave a comment there (yesterday's post) on at least one the following: what you learn from the interview, what you want to see more on her shop and why, or any constructive feedback are always appreciated. Come back here and leave 2 comments that you did, to ensure your entries are counted.
  • Heart the Thrifty Gift (1 entry). Simply let us know your Etsy username.
  • Follow the Thrifty Gift blog (1 entry).
  • Follow my adorebynat blog (1 entry). If you're already a follower, you still get an entry, just says you're following already.
  • Like the Thrifty Gift Designs Facebook page AND tell Amy, Nat of adorebynat send you there.
  • Like my Adorebynat Facebook Page. You must drop by and say hello to earn 1 entry.I'd love to hear from you.
  • Follow adorebynat on twitter (1 entry).
  • Tweet about this giveaway, add "@adorebynat" in your tweet. (1 entry).
  • Blog about this giveaway to earn 2 entries. Leave two separate comments here please providing me with the link to your post.
  • Be creative and share the love! Refer your friends and family to enter this giveaway. Use your social media (other than twitter and blog) to shout out this giveaway. As long as you provide me a link or a way to confirm it, you'll earn 2 entries (two separate comments).
  • Purchase an item from the Thrifty Gift and earn 10 entries for each purchase. Don't forget letting us know by leaving comments.
Contest starts now and ends on October 22, 2011. Contest opens worldwide.
Don't forget to leave me a way to contact you. Entries without contact information will be disqualified. Entries that do not follow the rules will be disqualified. Contest winner will be drawn on Sunday, October 23 by a random number generator, by the artist herself. Winner must respond within 48 hours after being contacted otherwise another winner will be randomly selected.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Saturday Artisan: the Thrifty Gift

Meet our Saturday Artisan: Amy of the Thrifty Gift.

Amy is a busy mom with a lot of beautiful artworks to offer in her shop, from polymer clay to cards.

Tell us a bit about yourself and what you create?
I am a Wife and Mother first and a part time worker in the healthcare industry in the evenings. I decided to open up a shop because I am interested in creating just about anything and everything I can get my hands on. I started with jewelry, I love to make things for children's rooms and have done so for my children and many friends and family members. I am currently working in polymer clay but I love change and learning anything new so you can always expect something different to show up in my shop!

How does your day go in general?
Wearing the many hats that I do, the day is never a total plan however, I check all of my acct's and shop in the morning while the kids are doing breakfast. I try to work on some projects throughout the day and the kids love to play with beads, paint, clay or anything I am working on so they work right along side me! I also love to get outside to photograph and they usually play in the yard while I am working on that part of it. I do most of my listing in the evening once my husband is home from work or once the kids have gone to bed. I check my shop and accounts a few times during the day just to keep up. It is no a planned schedule but it works for right now.

Favorite Etsy seller?
I adore so many things it is hard to choose one. I LOVE the wire work in FaeriKat's shop and really admire what she can do with wire. I know her fingers have got to be sore!! I also love oneofakindbabydesign her work is for the kids and her business is not only for her creative needs but to support her family and I find it inspiring how influenced by her own children she is and you can see it in her work. Magpietree has lovely vintage inspired items and her quality and craftsmanship are absolutely inspiring to me. I have lots of faves in the polymer clay department but noneoftheabove and societysedso are amazing clay artists and they are my 2 favorites.

What inspires you?
I LOVE nature and I LOVE color. I like taking risks with color combinations and textures. I like to work pretty fast and I love to take suggestions from my children because everything is just fun to them. I look at other's work and I play with new products all the time. I can spend hours in a craft store looking at already made things as well as browsing fabrics, yarns and beads and findings.

What do you do to save money?
I do anything and everything to save money in ever area of our lives. As far as my product goes I pride myself in being "thrifty" and want to bring quality one of a kind pieces to folks looking for special gifts. To keep with that I never buy anything that isn't on sale in craft shops first off. That means waiting and watching ads and such but it works. I also ALWAYS use the 40% of coupon that comes with the craft store ad, even on something that isn't that expensive. I shop on Etsy for supplies and also shop sales on quality products. When there is a good sale, I load up and thus far I have grown my shop organically. It is paying for itself and I only use monies I make by sales in my shop.

What is your goal for 2011? And are you on the right track?
Goals: I love setting and reaching goals. I love checking off lists and this year my goal is to get involved in more craft shows and meet more people like myself. I also have a goal to keep up with my blog because creating, for me, is all aspects and I love to write as well. I would say I am on track with the blog and my writing. I am a little behind with the craft shows. I have one upcoming in November- Birds of a Feather Fair in Northern Kentucky, otherwise nothing planned. This will be just my second show. I am still working on finding a niche but don't know if that is really necessary for me or not so I am networking, meeting people, making contacts and loving every bit of it!!

Find out more about Amy and her shop here.

Stay-tuned for tomorrow's giveaway!

Friday, October 7, 2011

52 Weeks of Mail


Happy Friday, friends!

A fellow of Etsy Greetings Team came up with this brilliant idea, sending a letter or a card each week for the next 52 weeks.

When nowadays all communication are mostly done via e-mails, would it be nice to receive surprisingly letters from the mail? I remembered 15 years ago (that's how long ago) when I received letters from overseas friends and how great the feeling was. Slowly, it was replaced by faxes and then e-mails, and instant tweeter and Facebook. Now what we get on the mails are bills or flyers. E-mails are great but it doesn't have the personal feel that we get from handwriting letters/ cards.

52 Weeks of Mail is “all about getting back to sending cards and letters to loved ones and fostering relationships that way”,

I decided to participate and would you like to join me?

52 Weeks of Mail begins on October 9, 2011 (appropriately, World Post Day) and continues through October 7, 2012.

Get all the info at 52 Weeks of Mail. Free printable enclosure notecard with an explanation of the project are available, so you can help spread the word via the cards and letters that you send and encourage others to take part.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Baker's Twines


Aren't these so Delicious?? Well may be delicious is not the right word to describe it but for me, anything is that is overly Beautiful, that equals delicious.


I was craving to get these baker's twines for months. It's a big investment for threads as non-crafters will call them. I finally bought them a couple of weeks ago from Crafty Theresa Supplies. Theresa who is by the way so great to deal with had 14 colors to choose from, but my budget only allowed me to get 10 spools and it was a pretty stretchy budget.



Each spools has 240 yards and these, my friends, will last me to an eternity. Stay-tuned for projects I'll be making using these twines.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Giveaway: Treble Clef Ring

Win one of Treble Clef Rings from Jazzies & Lilies Designs. Get to know Glenn, our Saturday Artisan this week.

There are many ways to enter. Please make sure you leave a separate comment for every entry.
How to enter to win:

Mandatory entry:

Extra entries (only qualify once mandatory entry is fulfilled):
  • Earn 2 entries - Go to yesterday's post to know her more. Leave a comment there (yesterday's post) on at least one the following: what you learn from the interview, what you want to see more on her shop and why, or any constructive feedback are always appreciated. Come back here and leave 2 comments that you did, to ensure your entries are counted.
  • Heart Jazzies & Lilies Designs (1 entry). Simply let us know your Etsy username.
  • Follow my adorebynat blog (1 entry). If you're already a follower, you still get an entry, just says you're following already.
  • Like Jazzies & Lilies Designs Facebook page AND tell Glenn, Nat of adorebynat send you there.
  • Like my Adorebynat Facebook Page. You must drop by and let me know that you enter this giveaway to earn 1 entry.
  • Follow adorebynat on twitter (1 entry).
  • Follow Jazzies & Lilies Designs on twitter (1 entry).
  • Tweet about this giveaway, add "@adorebynat and @aliljazz" in your tweet. (1 entry).
  • Blog about this giveaway to earn 2 entries. Leave two separate comments here please providing me with the link to your post.
  • Be creative and share the love! Refer your friends and family to enter this giveaway. Use your social media (other than twitter and blog) to shout out this giveaway. As long as you provide me a link or a way to confirm it, you'll earn 2 entries (two separate comments).
  • Purchase an item from Jazzies & Lilies Design and earn 10 entries for each purchase. Don't forget letting us know by leaving comments.
Contest starts now and ends on October 15, 2011. Contest opens worldwide.
Don't forget to leave me a way to contact you. Entries without contact information will be disqualified. Entries that do not follow the rules will be disqualified. Contest winner will be drawn on Sunday, October 16 by a random number generator, by the artist herself. Winner must respond within 48 hours after being contacted otherwise another winner will be randomly selected.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Saturday Artisan: Jazzies and Lilies Designs

Meet Glenn of Jazzies & Lilies Designs. Amazing wire jewelry accessories!


Tell us a bit about yourself and what arts/ crafts that you make?
I am a stay at home mother of an 8 year old daughter hoping to have more children one day. I love to travel and spend quality time with my husband and daughter, go shopping with my sisters and mother, and eat out at different restaurants. I am a self-taught, Jewelry Designer in the Bay Area of California since 2009. I mainly hand make Jewelry out of wire.

What is the story behind your shop name?
It was always a dream of mine to start my own business with designs that I personally hand-make. That is when I decided to create, Jazzies & Lilies Designs, named after my daughter Jasmine, the Jazz Dancer, and my favorite flowers, Stargazer Lilies. Jazzies & Lilies Designs was created from my passion of hand-making simple, yet, unique jewelry designs. My Jewelry Line is called a Lil'Jazz.

Which part of creation process that you like to do the most?

I love to just sit down and start wiring and creating designs, especially when I am challenged to create something from a design that I've imagined all in my head or when I get a custom request.


Could you share on how your organize your products, we all can use a little tips here and there in this department?
I don't have much work space since most of my creations are handmade in my room on my small desk. I use a lot of small bins and various size ziplock bags and separate my wires, tools, and beads accordingly. I have a jewelry case that I keep all my jewelry designs in ready to be shipped.

What is your best seller?
My Treble Clef Rings, Wired Love Two Finger Rings, and my Love Rings are my best sellers!

What inspires you?
Aside from my daughter, my inspiration for my Jewelry Designs is Fashion! Every time I go to the mall, look through fashion magazines or just think about fashion, I get a whole lot of ideas rushing through my mind. I don't draw pictures, and I rarely write down my ideas. I just create them by hand from the image I've designed in my mind. This is why my designs are unique and one of a kind. Since my designs are all handmade, not one piece of jewelry will be the exact same.


How do you promote your shop?
I promote my shop through my Blog, through Twitter, and Facebook Fan Page.

Stay-tuned for tomorrow's giveaway!