Saturday, December 6, 2008

Etsy Seller Spotlight

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

Faux Dichroic Glass Pendant

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

Update of First Craft Show

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.

Ok Tweeters - Lets Save a Young Girls Life!

Ok Tweeters - Lets Save a Young Girls Life!

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Getting Ready for First Craft Show

Since I've been back from New Mexico, I have been a busy little bee working furiously to increase my inventory for my very first craft show. I am excited and nervous of course.

It will be for one day only, November 22nd, at my church. I figure, even if it is not successful for me, I will learn alot, and this is probably the best place to start and get my feet wet.

Here's a peek at some of my newer items for the show:

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

I'm In An Etsy Treasury

I am so surprised and excited. I am in Etsy's Treasury West. A wonderful etsian, RhodesAnnalsDesigns made up the Treasury and chose my Cutting Edge necklace. It is in the 2nd row, 2nd column. Check it out before it's gone! When I can jump in at a time when there is Treasury space available, I have my choices lined up from Etsy, I will hopefully be able to put one together and I'll post it.

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

My Work Table

Well I have really digressed on my blog lately, but now I am ready to start posting about Polymer Clay, Jewelry making and Etsy.
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.

Here's a picture of him from about a year ago, with Gizmo and Savannah.

So, until he can go out on his own, or move in with his dad (Yesss! Please!!!) I have to make do with a work table. My work space is my dining room table which is actually rather large, covered with a vinyl table cloth. It works pretty well for me, except for those rare times when I need to eat. But at least I have everything where I need it and I don't have to keep putting things away when I am done. I can just sit down and get right to work.

Here's some pendants I recently finished.

A Pendant in the works.

More pendants waiting to be finished.

My tools!

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.

Polymer clay, for my beads and pendants.

Tools for Polymer Clay. I will save the explanation of these and the pasta machine and other tools for Polymer Clay in another post.

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

A Wedding and A Funeral

Well, my Etsy store is back up and running. I had it closed down for about a week and a half last month due to a sad event.

The night I got back from my niece's wedding (see below), I found out that my mother was going into hospice. She has been battling breast cancer that has now been in her bones and elsewhere for 4 years. At first we were told that it could be a couple of weeks at least or maybe up to 2 months, so I planned on going out there at the end of October.

We got a call 3 days later, on Thursday, October 23rd that she was starting to slip fast. My 2 sisters got there on Friday, and my brother and I arrived on Saturday, October 25th. "There" is Las Cruces, New Mexico , where my parents moved 20 years ago for their retirement.

I went straight to the hospice from the airport Saturday afternoon. I tried to prepare myself for how she would look, but still it was a shock. She was so skinny, her cheeks and eyes sunken in. She was no longer able to talk, and she appeared to be comatose. She was also heavily medicated for the pain. Since she could not talk to me, I am glad that I had spoken to her over the phone the week before. She did not sound good then either, and you could tell she was having trouble breathing.

My poor mother! All we could do was talk to her, hoping she could hear us, they say that the hearing is the last to go, and pray. We took turns spending the night on a cot in the hospice. I stayed the night on Sunday/Monday. That morning, on October 27th at 10:35a.m., she went to be with Jesus.

My Mom and Dad on Cruise for their
50th Anniversary-2005

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's Wedding

I was in Chicago this weekend for my niece's wedding. Leslie was the first baby in the family, my older sister Mary's first child. It would be another 8 years before any more kids came along, so Leslie was always special to her mom, aunts, uncle and grandparents. Her dad was not in the picture for long and soon my sister was a single mother to Leslie. But Leslie was such an easy to please child, so easy going, she and my sister, her mom, really made a great team.

When Leslie was six, my sister met a wonderful man, Tom, who loved Leslie as his own, and he and Mary got married and Tom adopted Leslie. A couple of years later her brother Ted was born and three years later her sister Laura came along.

In the mean time, my niece Leslie went to school, graduated, went to Med school and is now a doctor doing her internship in San Francisco (don't know the hospital name, so sorry). It was on the 11th day of a 12 day Mediterranean Cruise that Leslie met her future husband, Damon. Even though she was in Chicago at the time and he lived in San Francisco, he pursued her and they kept up a long distance relationship until Leslie got her first choice of San Francisco for her residency.

Which brings us to her wedding this past weekend. It was so good to be back in Chicago, my home city for 31 years and to see family I hadn't seen in at least a year or more. It was also great to get away from the humidity in Florida and enjoy some dry, cool fall weather. My niece was the most beautiful bride and her husband the most handsome groom.

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

New Stuff

This past week has been about a lot of new stuff and keeping busy. I have been spending a bit of money on jewelry findings and tools lately. But that's okay. I am determined to make my jewelry business work, and it makes me happy and keeps me busy when I am not at my part-time day job. With my pending divorce, this one-time hobby, now exciting business venture, and my strong faith in God is what really helps me get through the tough times, and I am sure there are more ahead.
Well, about the new stuff. I have registered for my first craft show. It is this coming November 22nd at my Parish church. I have been told that this may not be the best venue, but this is my first one, and as far as I am concerned, a perfect opportunity to start and get my feet wet. Even though I have been doing some research on what to do and not do with shows, I am sure I will screw up somewhere, but it will be a learning experience; and that is what I need, experience. I will take any advice and tips that anyone might want to give though.
I also have some new items in my Etsy store, link above and on the side. I am also posting photos on Flickr, still have more to go on that one.
I have purchased some cool new tools. One is this great wire cutter . It is a double flush cutter with a guage. It has these small holes that correspond with different wire guages and when you put your wire in that you want to cut, the cut is so smooth, you do not need to do any filing! I have tried it a few times so far and it works great. I still need to figure out all that I can do with it. It is rather large and a bit heavy compared to my other tools, but to me it is worth it.
I also decided to purchase a light tent, or table top photo studio. I know this one is probably cheap, but again, I am a beginner, and I have done my research on the internet. For where I'm at right now, this is perfect for me. I took a bunch of photos of my jewelry that I listed this weekend, and I can really tell a difference between the photo studio and just taking pictures with natural lighting. The only problem was that it did not come with any instructions, so I had to figure the set up on my own. But, with some common sense and patience, I actually got it up and running in about 15 minutes! And when you're done, it all folds up flat and has a separate little case for the tripod.
Gizmo, my chihuahua, is begging for my attention so that's it for now. I promise I will get into the basics of polymer clay for those who are interested, but really have no idea what it is.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Praying for Those Affected by Ike

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.
Well, until next time, have a great night and enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Monday, September 8, 2008

First Day-First Post

Well, here first blog, my first post.
The purpose of this blog is to talk about creativity. That of my own and of others' creativity. And, to avoid cleaning my house.
From my blog title you can figure out that I like polymer clay. I have been working and playing with this versatile medium on and off for 10 years and more. After making all sorts of home decor items and wall rosaries, larger rosaries that you hang on your wall, I have finally settled on jewelry.

I recently began selling my jewelry on It wasn't long before I was invited to join the eSMArts Team, which is a team on Etsy to help other etsians, as we are called, market themselves, their product and their websites. Realizing that pretty much everyone else on the team had their own blog, and seeing the marketing potential, not just for myself, but my team members and others, I decided to bite the bullet and give blogging a try.

So here it is. I spent all morning trying to figure this out, went to work in the afternoon, and came home to get this done. Needless to say, my house is still a wreck.

Under Construction

Hello. This site is still under construction.
Thank you for your patience.