Search This Blog

Monday, March 31, 2014

Here Come the Lilacs!

It's spring, and soon the lilacs will be blooming.  So I decided to make my JCUIN (Jewelry Creators Unite In Numbers) collection this month in that same color.  Once I started looking for items to include, I had to add orchid as well.  There were so many items I wanted to include, that I had to share a few more of them here.

Purple Lilac Flower Beads Coin Jewelry Making Supplies Handmade
Handmade Lilac Beads by Blue Morning Expressions

These polymer clay lilac beads are soooo cute!  Purple lilacs with green leaves, grass, and white picket fences.  They are handmade by Julie of Blue Morning Expressions, and she has many more unique, original beads where these came from.

Amethyst Heart Hoop Earrings, Sterling Filled Earrings, Valentines Jewelry, Gemstone Jewelry, Febuary Birthstone Heart Earrings, For Her
Amethyst Heart Hoop Earrings by Maggie's Jewelry
I am intrigued by these amethyst heart hoop earrings.  I think they are really cool, and I would like to see what they look like on.  It looks like Maggie of Maggie's Jewelry shaped the silver filled wire into the heart shapes and then wire-wrapped all the little faceted amethyst beads on.  A very romantic design indeed!

Shades of Purple and Cream Hand Woven Cuff Bracelet
Woven Cuff Bracelet by Irish Expressions
Being a huge fan of these bracelets by Elizabeth of Irish Expressions,  I just had to include this one.  This purple and cream hand woven cuff bracelet is made of thousands of tiny seed beads.  It is finished off with a multi-strand sterling silver clasp.

New Born  Purple Headband With Flowers
Newborn Headband by Wyvern Designs
It's not jewelry, but this newborn headband with flowers was just too darn cute not to share.  It is handmade by Wyvern Designs, and features fabric flowers in shades of lilac, purple and yellow with faux pearls.  

Spiral Aurora Borealis Handmade Earrings Czech Rainbow Beaded Jewelry

Spiral Aurora Borealis Earrings by Shadow Dog Design

I couldn't resist these lilac colored aurora borealis spirals in these Spiraling Rainbows earrings.  They are handmade by Catherine of Shadow Dog Design.  They seem very mystical and, since they have an AB coating, the colors change with the light.  However, they apparently photograph as lilac, that was perfect for my theme this month!

Purple Black Earrings Vintage Lucite Hoops Sterling Ear Wires Handmade
Lucite Hoop Earrings by Shanghai Tai

Last are these unusual lilac and black dangling hoop earrings by me, available at my studio, Shanghai Tai.  They feature large, vintage lucite hoops attached to sterling french wires by large sterling twist jump rings.  They are a new twist on a retro look. 

I hope you enjoyed this little spring preview.  You may also want to visit my Lilac and Orchid collection.  Hopefully we will have the real lilacs soon!  

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Spring Rain

One day recently, I came out of work and I could just smell spring in the air.  Of course, then it went away, but I know it won't be long until it warms up and we get that spring rain that makes everything turn green again.  This was the inspiration for my latest Jewelry Creators Unite In Number (JCUIN) collection, entitled "Spring Rain".  What jewelry reminds me of glistening rain drops?  Crystal, of course!  But I added a few other dark, shiny and sparkly things as well.

Clear Crystal Silver Pearl Cluster Cocktail Cha Cha Ring Adjustable
Cha Cha Ring

Here is a cute little cha-cha ring, by Crystal Bazaar.  The silvery grey pearls are like a grey, rainy day, while the AB bicone crystals are like the sparkles of raindrops.  

Lacy Floral Earrings, Peacock, Purple Amethyst, Black Silver, Peridot
Lacy Floral Earrings

This little gem is one of a pair of earrings made by our friend Margaret of Boho Wire Wrapped.  We lost her in January, so there is not much time left to own one of her pieces.

"Wild Heart" - Swarovski Crystal and Sterling Silver Necklace
Wild Heart Necklace

When I saw this stunning Swarovksi crystal pendant on a chain I had to include it.  It has all the colors of the rainbow, by Adora by Simona.

Secret Crystal Magic Carousel Dream catcher Mobile 8 dreamcatchers
Dream Catcher Mobile

These dream catchers are not sparkly, but they certainly do remind me of rain because of the colors and the vertical lines.  They are handmade by Dream Catcher Man.

Dazzling Black Delica and Swarovski Cuff Bracelet
Black Delica & Swarovski Cuff Bracelet

This cuff bracelet is woven of seed beads and Swarovski crystals by Irish Expressions.  Doesn't it just remind you of glistening rain drops?

Crystal dangle necklace, sterling silver, Swarovski, choose colors
Crystal Rain Neckace, choose colors

This Swarovski crystal dangle necklace reminds me of raindrops falling, which is why I named it "Crystal Rain".  You can find it in my studio at Shanghai Tai.

Hope you enjoyed my spring rain choices.  You can find the rest of the collection here.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

5 Reasons I Like ArtFire

Edited to say:  In light of Artfire's recent decision to display ads on paid shop's listings, I can no longer recommend it.  March 5, 2015

When I first decided to sell my handmade jewelry online, I did what a lot of people do.  I opened a shop on Etsy.  I thought customers would come to me.  They didn't.  Jewelry is a very competitive market, and I soon realized that if I didn't list something in the last few hours, it wasn't likely to be seen in a search.  Also my listings were only good for so many days.  Once they expired, I had to relist them again, and pay the listing fees again.  Obviously many people are successful on Etsy.  I just never figured out how to be.

Then I found Artfire.  It's been a slow process, but I am now getting regular sales from people I don't know who find me online.  Here's what I consider to be the advantages of being on Artfire:

  1. On Artfire, I can link to my other sites.  Facebook, Twitter, your web site, etc.  This is something that most venues will not allow you to do.
  2. A flat monthly rate with no additional charges.  No more paying listing fees on items that don't sell, or having to pay more fees to list more items in the hopes of being seen.  As a result, I can
    Amethyst stud earrings, sterling posts
    list multiples of an item.
      This comes in handy for pearl stud or amethyst stud earrings, because they are perfect for bridesmaids earrings.  Actually, you can do this on Etsy, but you pay listing fees for each, so people usually list just one.  I have a Facebook friend on Etsy who frequently posts the status "sold and relisted". 
  3. They submit my listings to Google and other search engines.  I regularly see incoming traffic to my shop from the search engines.
  4. Tools I can use include being able to edit multiple items at a time, coupons (displayed publicly or to send to your customers privately), an in-shop blog (used for posts of interest to customers), collections to promote yours and others items, and two kinds of vacation mode.  I also have a gallery of sold items where potential customers can see one of a kind items that I have sold in the past.
  5. Help is available in many forms -- help guides, tutorials, the forums and by phone.  There are so many other artisans on Artfire who are very generous with their time and always willing to help.  I am also in a few guilds where we cross-promote each other's shops through collections and social media.

Let me close with the thing I wanted to change about ArtfireI say "wanted" because now I'm having second thoughts about it.  For a long time I have wished they were strictly handmade.  They offer commercial shops, and a shopper can do a general search, or search only within handmade.  Now I'm thinking, if someone wants handmade, they can search for it.  If they don't care, they might find my item and like it.  So I think I'm ok with that!