Sunday, October 27, 2013

Time to Get Ready for Christmas with Swarovski Earring Kits

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It is never too soon to start thinking about the upcoming Christmas holiday.  Jump over to my Etsy destash shop VRJewelrySupply to purchase all the materials you need to make these adorable Swarovski Christmas Tree earrings.  The kits are pretty inexpensive an you get all you need to make a wonderful DIY gift.

Swarovski Crystal Christmas tree earrings made from kit
There are several colors available, these are the lovely color of Swarovski crystals called Crystal Silver Night and would look fabulous with a little black dress at your holiday party.
Emerald green Swarovski crystal Christmas tree earring kit
These kits include everything you need to make a pair of earrings, with the exception of round nose  pliers and wire cutters.

You can also finds several kits to make gemstone Christmas tree earring kits, like these shown below.

Here's what you'll get in the Jadite kit:

You'll receive the green Jadeite gemstone triangle beads, two gold stars, two tigereye gemstone cube beads, two headpins and two gold plated earwires.  You can whip these up quickly and have a great gift.


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Introducing Existential Ella, Best of Etsy

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 I am pleased for you to meet Existential Ella, who I recently met on Etsy.
Existential Ella
Her shop is called ExistentialElla, and she has a blog with the same name. The name of her shop was inspired by her philosophy of life, and one of her role models, Ella Baker, a remarkable woman who inspired many regular people to do extraordinary things during the Civil Rights movement.

After working in offices for over a decade, and earning a degree in social justice, Existential Ella realized that working for someone else was no longer an option. She didn’t want to spend hours fulfilling someone else's dreams or pushing paper around a desk. Her first stop on the road to financial independence was joining Etsy, which is  super low-cost and easy.

Existential Ella began with a box of embroidery thread, and another box full of beads.  Using those supplies, she made jewelry to sell on the road while living in a VW bus, traveling the West Coast.

Fiber colors for bracelets from Existential Ella
Ella has been selling bohemian friendship bracelet wraps for about a year and a half now, making mainly fiber, and wire-wrapped, wrap bracelets. She liked the concept of the friendship bracelet, and gifts of friendship. She is a firm believer that Love between friends should be acknowledged more often. Her friendship bracelets are a way to show your appreciation and are fashionable too. Each order comes with a hand-crafted card, or a card featuring an art print that she created, as shown below.

Packaging samples
She also has several specialized lines of jewelry including chakra bracelets, and something she calls the Warrior Goddess collection. She also dabbles in necklaces and purses. Ella also has a second shop where she sells vintage books, called The Astral Library.

I asked Ella about tips to pass on to others, and she said "One of the biggest tips I can give anyone looking to make money online is do your research, set goals, and then get to it! Planning is great, but I have found that I do it way too much. The best way to learn is definitely by doing. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. We are supposed to make mistakes." Additionally, she related "I’ve learned that focusing on what makes me the happiest, and letting the other things go, is a great way to prioritize my time. To figure out what makes me happy, I jump in and try different things out. Life is about change, and everything changes. You never have to be stuck doing something you dislike for very long. If you like writing, do that. If you don’t like social media, figure out a way to minimize it, or not do it at all (have someone else do it for you, or use other options). Never let yourself feel trapped. There are always options in life, even when you are bound by certain responsibilities."

Bracelets by Existential Ella

Next for Ella is a recently launched video-based, on-line class on how to open an Etsy shop that looks great and gets traffic. It's called "Etsy: Smart & Simple" and can be accessed on Skillshare.comShe's received really great student reviews on the class. The course is a "kick in the pants" for people who want to open a shop, or revise their shop, but don't want to read through dozens of blog posts or just need the support of others.

Ella has been kind enough to offer a coupon code for readers who want to enroll in her class.  Enter the code HANDMADE, and you will get 25% off, which makes the class just $15.  What a great deal!

I am so glad that I met Existential Ella, and am heading over to her shop and to to see what goodies I need.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Book Review: A Street Cat Named Bob

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I just finished reading the book "A Street Cat Named Bob And How He Saved My Life."  It is the delightful story of a ginger cat named Bob, and his guardian James Bowen.  James saved Bob from a life on the street, and Bob saved James from a continued downward spiral from drug abuse.

This story is not always an easy read.  Bob almost gets lost a couple of times, but thank goodness he is a very intelligent cat and was quickly found again.  James' description of coming off drugs, a two-day process, was difficult.  But James' dedication to his new pet made it bearable and also the impetus for him to clean up his life for his new friend.

My favorite part of the book was when James would take Bob along with him while he was busking (to play music or otherwise perform for voluntary donations in the street or in subways), and he noticed that more and more people would see Bob and come over for a chat.  Up until that point, most people ignored James, but upon seeing Bob sitting in the guitar case, they were intrigued.  Several people started making knitted and crocheted scarves for Bob, which he wore proudly.

I don't want to give away any more of the story, you need to get a copy and read it.  I highly recommend this book, it is a heartwarming story and will lift your spirits.

Many people can related to these types of stories, myself included.  Our own beautiful orange tabby Pookie arrived in our lives just when I needed her -- the summer before my daughter headed off to college -- and kept me company and was a great source of comfort.

Here is a photo of Pookie and James' book, you can see that she isn't quite sure what to make of Bob.

Find videos of Bob and James on youtube, search on street cat named Bob.  And leave a comment to let me know how a pet saved you.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

I Heart Swarovski Hearts, New Colors for Spring/Summer 2014, Valentine's Day Earrings

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I got my hands on several of the new Swarovski colors for Spring/Summer 2014, in their 14mm heart shape.  The facets on these beads really brings out the colors, and these new colors are amazing.

Here we have the new color aquamarine antique pink:

The color of these earrings are more purple than aquamarine or pink, but flash both a dark blue and light pink.

Secondly, look at these fabulous light rose blue shade:

These are definitely on the pink side and have just a hint of light blue.

Thirdly, oh my goodness - jet astral pink - a jet heart with the astral pink coating on one side:

Simply stated, sparkly hot pink.

And last but not least, the white opal antique pink:

These are pink and purple opaque, just breathtaking.  

All of these earrings are much more beautiful than I can photograph them to be, just take my word for it.  You will not be disappointed.

And we can't forget Pookie the beading kitten, she approves of all of the new Swarovski colors.  The jet astral pink seems to be her favorite!