Saturday, December 6, 2008
I recently purchased the most incredibly unique, stunning necklace from a fellow Etsy Seller. I was so impressed with her style and how out-of-the-ordinary it was; and you can tell from my own jewelry, I like more uncommon than common; that I decided to do a spotlight on this seller and hope that this will be the first of many more spotlights to come. Below are photos of my purchase from Nubia.
Her name is Nubia Goncalves and you can see her Etsy shop here.
What I found so extraordinary about Nubia's jewelry, were the materials she uses to create her works of wearable art. Nubia is from Brazil and uses organic plant material from her native country as the focal pieces in her jewelry. I was able to interview her via email recently so I will let her explain it herself.
Where do you live?
Nubia: I live in Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in South America.
How long have you been making jewelry?
Nubia: This is quite recent. I started last year, around September or October, after I retired. My last job was with a Brazilian NGO, that is a non-governmental organization, where I worked for about 21 years. It was an amazing experience!
What materials do you use in your jewelry?
Nubia: My first jewelry was made mainly from Brazilian seeds and wood. But lately my favorites are dried organic products. I also like to mix them with gemstones or other materials to give a different touch. I also use alpaca wire,nylon coated stainless steel, leather cord and cotton and some sterling silver for earrings.
Why did you decide to use organic products in your jewelry?
Nubia: Brazil is a very warm and colorful country and especially Rio which has tropical weather, so I thought it would be nice to put these colors in my jewelry. Also using organic products helps the people who collect and sell them as they are usually from poor communities and need our support. They are also quite popular here and I thought that, especially in my international shops, it would be good to show people outside Brazil what we have here in my country.
How do you prepare these organic materials to make them into jewelry?
Nubia: I have different suppliers.The seeds or pods come from the Amazon region, the dried products come from Minas Gerais which is a state quite close to Rio; and the gemstones I get from other suppliers ready to use. I get some of the dried products in their natural color and I dye them with a mixture of alcohol and pigments. You are not to put water on them. They also come in their natural state, that is I have to drill a hole or use a special glue to fix them. That will depend on the design.
How long have you been selling on Etsy?
Nubia: I registered with Etsy in July of this year to see how it was, browse a little, and then decided to open my shop last October 16th.
Do you have other venues where you show or sell your jewelry?
Nubia: I also have a shop on a Brazilian site called Elo7 and the European DaWanda. I have a blog and a page on Flickr. I have had Open Houses in the past and mouth to mouth advertising has been the greatest among friends.
In additions to your jewelry,what are your other interests or crafts?
Nubia: I also paint. I had painting lessons in The School of Visual Arts of Parque Lage, in Rio. This is a very good and popular school of arts in Rio. I use acrylics on canvas and paper and also love monotype and etching. I am an art lover! Apart from my art I am an Interpreter and Translator. All of these keep me quite busy!
What are your hopes for the future of your jewelry business?
Nubia: I am thinking about starting silversmithing, jewelry design and expand to other materials such as resin or clay. Those would go very nicely with the seeds and dried products I use. I will also continue with my shops and hope to improve them as much as I can. What started as a hobby is really becoming a business although I hadn't planned it to be like that. I am quite happy how things are going!
Here is a small sampling of some of Nubia's jewelry pieces and the organic materials she uses:
Nubia, I am sure you will have much success, you are a very talented woman.
Friday, November 28, 2008
I spent much of the day working on this. It is a technique for a faux dichroic glass effect on polymer clay. To learn how to do this check out Donna Kato's site for a detailed tutorial.
Good luck and have fun!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Well, I did it. I got through my first craft show and it was a lot of fun. It was sponsored by the Women's Guild of my church and held in the church social hall. It ended up being a lot bigger than people thought with at least 40 different vendors, so there was plenty of variety. Of course there were several jewelry sellers, but we were spread out, and no one carried jewelry like mine.
All in all, in 7 hours I made 15 sales and sold 22 pieces of jewelry, gave out a lot of business cards and have one special order.
It may not seem like much to seasoned crafters, but I think for a first time, it was pretty successful for me. I got a lot of exposure and those who did not buy, were genuinely impressed and seemed to like my jewelry.
Attendance/turn out was low too, a lot of those who came said they had no idea it would be so big, and if more people knew how many vendors there were with such a variety of wares, more people would have come. Well, maybe next year the word will get out. I know I will be advertising it for sure.
Have some pictures of my display. Not too bad for the first time also. My pics aren't too good. I am waiting for Kelly to email the ones she took with her big Canon digital with the professional lenses.
On a side note,please pray for Joanna's family.My son lost a good friend on November 16th. Thank you.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Thanks to Michele for taking so many pictures for me. I can't upload even a quarter of all the pictures she took for me. She is a lifesaver. Visit her Etsy store here.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
For any who do not know, on Etsy, they have what are called Treasuries, where other Etsy people can choose 12 or 16 items from other shops on Etsy, to promote others and show their appreciation for other's work. I can't wait to get to do one.
Now to work on some more pieces.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
I do not currently have a work room, work shop or studio. I have a Work Table, with most of my supplies packed into my bedroom with some of it on the table and under the table. I live in a 2 bedroom apartment and I keep trying to get my son to shape up so he can afford to move out so I can take over his bedroom-sort of kidding but not really. He's 19 1/2 and I didn't move out of my parent's home until I was almost 23, but I already had a full time job with decent pay when I was his age. I mean, I don't want him to be a bum, and he certainly isn't a momma's boy, but he needs to get his act together soon, but he knows he has it pretty good here.
Coiling gizmo. Very inexpensive and makes great coils out of wire.
Pasta Machine. Very useful with polymer clay. I will write about it later.
Beads and things. One of many containers.
Well, I need to get started on dinner. I am cooking for once, do not do much of that in this apartment's tiny kitchen, but I've been wanting to make spaghetti for a while now, so I better stop. Next time, hopefully, more about polymer clay.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
My Mom and Dad on Cruise for their
We are all relieved that she is no longer in such pain, but it is still a loss, especially for my father. My mother was 77 and he is 82. His mind is very sharp, but his health is not that good either. He survived cancer himself, but has heart issues and needs to use a walker. My younger sister and brother are still in New Mexico with him, and hopefully, my brother, who has never married, will move out there permanently early next year. We would all be so relieved to have a family member living with my dad, instead of him being alone.
Please keep my family in your prayers. God Bless.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Leslie and her Mom
The Beautiful Bride
Bride, Groom, Ted and Laura
Me and my sister Dolores
My brother Jim and I
Monday, September 22, 2008
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Well Hurricane Ike has made landfall and has done its' damage. It's still going and going like the energizer bunny, but it is getting weaker. I pray for all those who have been affected by the wind and storm surge and those who may have been injured or lost their lives. I would also add that prayers are coming for those killed and hurt in the train collision in L.A. and for their families and loved ones.
Here it is,Saturday night and I am home with my babies: Gizmo and Angel, my chihuahua and cat. I will have to post pictures when I can find the best ones on my computer. Actually I will take new ones I think. My real baby, Jason, is 19 and at work at Carrabbas at the moment.
I've added some new items to my Etsy store. Unlike most of what I've been making, these do not utilize polymer clay and they are earrings, an item that my store was in need of. Also, I had these beautiful Sterling Silver ear wires that were begging to be put to good use. Actually, the ear wires are made of Argentium Sterling silver, which is sterling silver with a touch of germanium, an element that strongly inhibits tarnishing. You can find a large selection of Argentium Sterling wire and findings at Rio Grande. If you are a jewelry crafter and have not made use of this superb supplier of fine jewelry tools, gems and findings, I would strongly recommend checking them out. They will also send you their catalogues free when you register.