Thursday, November 26, 2009

Holiday Sale!

I have two special promotions to offer in my Etsy shop, Juniper Gems, during the holiday season! The first one is a progressive discount sale that will run until the end of the year! Basically the more you buy the more you save!

For purchases of 2-3 items you will receive a discount of 20%! Each listing counts as one item, even if the listing contains a set, or multiple items within the listing.

For purchases of 4 or more items (listings, See above for definition) you will receive a 30% discount!

The other Promo I have is this…. If you sign up for my mailing list which can be located on the right hand side of the page, AND make a purchase sometime during the months of October, November or December, I will give you free First Class shipping on that purchase. This offer is good on only ONE purchase, not repeated purchases. I will confirm that you have signed up for the mailing list prior to giving the discount. Just put “Mailing List” in notes to seller and I will look you up and give you your discount! You do not need to be purchasing multiple items to qualify for this Promo!

Please note that my normal method of shipping is USPS Priority mail. First class mail is the postal service’s slightly less expensive, slower shipping method. If you desire to still receive your package via Priority mail, I will refund you the difference between the two shipping costs.

For both Sale Promos, you will receive your discount in the form of a PayPal refund, within 24 hours of purchase, usually less!

If you have any questions about my Promotional offers or any questions about items in my shop, just send me a convo! I can also be reached via e-mail listed at the bottom of this message.

I have many traditional and non-traditional holiday pieces this year, and as always, a large selection of jewelry pieces suitable for anytime. The listing are added to almost daily, so check back frequently. The best way to catch the updates is to save me in your favoites, then it's just a click away to come back and check out what it is new.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday weekend! Ours will be a little different this year having just moved. I must admit with temps still in the 70's most days and all the leaves still on the trees, it doesn't really look or feel like Thanksgiving me. We do have many things to be thankful for this year, a healthy, happy family all around, which is most important, and a good job, which is why we made this move in the first place. Enjoy your day, don't over eat! You can always eat left overs all weekend long! That is my plan! Who wants to cook again anyway!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I Have A New Blog...

Don't worry, this one isn't going anywhere(not that I think THAT many people actually read it!). I decided that I needed some where to express my ramblings about my experiences in bead making. It doesn't mean I'll never talk about that here, but I wanted a place that was dedicated to my glass work and beads, so I started A Glass Princess Tale... You'll have to go check it out!

In typical fashion, at least for me, it took in inordinate amount of time to put together. I am never satisfied with standard formats, so I find cool blog templates online and upload those, that part isn't so complicated anymore, I've done it a couple of times now, and made enough mistakes in the process that I finally have it down. Altering a template you get from somewhere else, well, that's another story all together. I am not a computer genius, I have a sort of love/hate relationship with my computer. I have learned a lot more than I thought I would ever know about them in the past year since I started selling online, but I have miles to go to actually feel like I KNOW what I am doing.

I will eventually have my up coming bead listings there and use it as a place to talk about bead making and glass in general. Just like here, you may find post about how I feel about the weather, or that someone nearly ran me off the road and acted like it was my fault, general "my life" stuff.

I have listed some new items in my Juniper Gems shop, so go by and take a peek. I have lots more to come, I just need to conquer my new photo editing software, and figure out the right place to take pictures here. It has been a challenge since we move to find the right spot. I am not really satisfied yet, it's still a work in progress.

Please jump over to my new blog and give it a look!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Back in the Saddle!

After what seems like an eternity I am finally back to torching at home! While the garage is not all the way put together, it enough so that I can do my thing without having to stumble over a mountain of stuff just to get in and out of there. I even have the added benefit of being able to easily access the refrigerator out there and find a muffin pan should I need one, that of course being for a different use, not torching.

I am finding that the time off from my torch has actually proven to be a good thing and has helped me be better now. Sometimes a break from things came help make us better, doesn’t usually feel like that in the interim, your just aching to be back at it, but somehow, it helps refine things without doing anything. My best example would be my yoga practice, something I has severely neglected since we moved and need to get back on track with. I have found that there are time when you are introduce to a new pose and your body just doesn’t want to go there, so you stop doing it, six month later you try it again and you are more successful now than you were the first time you tried it. You haven’t been practicing this pose, so why can you now do it? Chances are you’ve been working towards it in other areas without being aware of it, be it physically or mentally, you are now ready for it.

Last night I went out, fired up my new GTT Cricket torch and sat down to make a bead on it for the first time. I will admit I was a little intimidated by it in the beginning, I am not used to this much power and heat! I just made basic beads for quite a while until I felt I had my feet back under me and I had begun to make friends with my new torch. I think we are going to get along very well, Cricket and I. I worked on a minor in my lampworking class last weekend, but have to say I think this little guy blows the minor away! Everyone has different reason for the torch they choose and the minor is a great torch, I wouldn’t regret having one at all. That said, I am so glad I made the choice I did and went with the Cricket! It’s the right one for me!

My beads from last night turned out pretty well, some better than I thought they would. I will be torching my little heart out for years to come I am certain. There is so much more to learn, explore and experience!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

O Tannenbaum!!!!

Are you singing the song in your head right now? I am! That wasn't the goal of this post, but somehow music has a powerful way of getting into our heads. Like the annoying TV commercial jingle you can't stop replaying in your mind over and over again!

I will admit that I do find the holidays come just a bit too early in a retail sense anymore and every year they seem to come sooner. That being said, when one deals in a retail market you can only protest so much. Wait too long and you've missed the window of sales opportunity all together. This would be why you see holiday items posted here and listed in my Etsy shop.

You won't find me listing Christmas/ Holiday items in July, I just can't! But I have to come over to the dark side just a little and start selling holiday stuff before Thanksgiving, even if it does grind me just a bit that retail has to keep pushing the envelope on this one especially.

This is just a sampling of the selection of holiday earrings I will have to offer this year. I may have gone a bit overboard, but my husband doesn't call me "Little Miss Moderation" for nothing. I am more of a something for everyone type of a gal, rather than the one size fits all approach.

I have a limited supply of materials this year and won't be getting more, partially do to the fact that these parts become virtually impossible to get the closer you get to the holidays. You have to order in the summer if you want a good selection! Some versions I have several pairs of, some only one. I do have a few different size options as well.

Stop by my Etsy shop or my Artfire shop and see what I have listed. Each shop may have a different selection, especially where these earrings are concerned. I will also have some Snowmen earrings as well, just as soon as I get them photographed and listed. Feel free to contact me with any questions either here or through my shops.

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Firey Weekend!

I spent the entire weekend taking bead making classes at Wired Designs here in San Antonio, Texas. I originally signed up to take one class now and one in January, but they had so many open slots for the class on Sunday I decided to jump over to that class. It was an awesome experience and I learned a lot! There were quite a few areas I was struggling with and this really help fill in the blank and straighten me out on several issues. I am a very visual learner, so seeing it done, then having the opportunity to do it myself, plus get pointers and corrections along the way are immensely helpful. You can learn to do a lot of things on your own, but I figure this really cuts down on the learning curve, spares you a considerable amount of frustration, provides a lot of great tips that only years of practice can bring and saves you from wasting pounds of glass!

I will still need to spend hours and hours practicing, but I feel like I have a very good foundation in which to build upon now. Combining this with the classes I took back in the spring have really helped to make sense of a lot of core concepts. I am a firm believer that you must get the foundational stuff down first, then anything you do after that will just be adding on to that. If you don't have a good foundation, you will continually be frustrated. I have two more classes I am signed up to take in January and February. They will have more classes come this spring and summer that I am sure will entice me into another one or two!

They offer a really cool teen artist program, which I have Emily signed up to take glass fusing classes in. She'll be taking both the one and two class back to back. I think she's really going to enjoy this studio and working with kids her age. She already did some fusing in her art class last year in High School. This should just build upon that knowledge and give her more skills and confidence. If she really enjoys doing it, I told her she can sell her pieces in my shop where I will be selling my beads, once that is up and running. She rather liked the idea of making money. I'm not sure she fully grasps the concept of subtracting costs from the price before she gets paid, but we'll get there. She might still think that materials are free.

The instructor for our class was Nina "Sam" Hibbler, and she was an excellent teacher. I really enjoyed her focus on getting the basics right! She had a great, simple way of explaining things that made it easy to understand how to put it into practice, did excellent demos that were informative, but didn't take up the bulk of the class. She's a bit feisty which I love, and has a great passion for art in general. If you live in the San Antonio area and are looking for lampworking classes at any level I would highly recommend this studio!

I am going to put a good deal of effort into getting more things listed in my Etsy shop this week. Last week was plagued by headaches and a whole bunch of mishaps! I hope to be much more efficient this week! Stop by my Etsy shop as the week progresses and see what new listings are now available!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Conquering The Garage!

It is pretty much the last frontier left in the move. The Garage! I do still have an over flow of stuff in the spare bed room, kind of the "what in the heck am I going to do with this", pile which is just really waiting for there to be shelves in which to take up residence upon out in the garage.

I have made some good progress over the past few days, I can even see some floor now! I have built, with the help of Bob, a bunch of the racks and am now unpacking boxes. It is amazing what you find as you unpack them. Quite a number of things you wished you would have gotten rid of at the other end. Did we really need to move this? But one only has so much time and energy, I could only go to the Goodwill so many times and the garage sale I had was already a monumental undertaking! I just keep telling myself they have a Goodwill here, so I can take stuff to them!

Hopefully I will have my lampworking bench all set up by the end of the weekend! I am taking a class all day on Saturday, so I will be itching to get home and melt glass in my own space with my own torch after that! I will be very glad when all the boxes in the garage are unpacked and put away! It'll be nice to be able to find a muffin pan if I should need one, I know they are out there some where, and I did discover the waffle iron today, so we could be having waffles his weekend I am thinking!!

I have put a few more items in my Etsy shop over the past couple days, and will get more in there daily if possible. Somedays, I don't get to it, but I try not to go more than a day or two with out putting something in there!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Día de los Muertos...

As part of my daughters high school art class they had a big project to do this semester for Día de los Muertos, (Day of the Dead). Emily choose to do her project on her Great Grandmother, Grace Durland. She was able to spend a lot of time with her Great Grandmother up until she passed away a few years ago and has very fond memories of her.

She used a lot of creative materials to make all the items in the "House" she built. The couch was made from Popsicle sticks and upholstered with fabric and cotton balls. The table and chairs were made out of balsa wood, with the tableware coming from the miniatures section of the craft store(this was allowed). She made the basket for the balls of yarn out of fimo sculpting clay, made the knitting needles and rolled all the balls of yarn herself. She used a small gift box to create her television and even found a picture of Sesame Street on the internet to put inside, since that is what she would have been watching while Granny lived in this house.

She used sculpting clay to make the table lamp, made the remote control for the T.V. and included a copy, handmade of course, of a crossword puzzle on the coffee table. It was something Granny did everyday! The stairs and the fireplace were made from both wood and cardboard, then painted. She even found a picture of a fire for the fireplace to make it look authentic. All in all, it was a very accurate representation of My Grandmothers house. It is amazing all the details Emily remembered all on her own. I don't think she asked for any help on what to put in the house. The only help I gave was with finding construction materials to make some of the items, but she built everything all by herself.

I went to the school to see her finished project along with the other items done by her classmates. It was very interesting the array of subjects that were chosen to be honored. Grandparents were very well represented, as were pets, followed by celebrities such as Patrick Swayze, Elvis Presley, Bob Marley, but by far the best represented celebrity/musician was Kurt Cobain. I was somewhat surprised by this. There must have been 6-8 different kids doing a piece in his honor.

I think Emily really enjoyed this experience and the opportunity to remember her Great Grandmother in a special and unique way.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Something New!

I've decided to give ArtFire a try! I've opened a shop under the same name, Juniper Gems. It will only ever have a dozen or so items listed over there while I test things out. One of the really cool features they offer is their Rapid cart which you can see off to the left. You don't even have to go to another website to purchase, you can just click on the items right there and purchase directly... Pretty cool! A lot of people have been saying good things abut Artfire, so here goes nothing! Stop by and check it out!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

It's Christmas Time!!!

While for most of us it's not REALLY Christmas time, if you've stopped by any retail store you'll know what I mean. It's Christmas time in retail! Actually I've seen Christmas stuff in stores since early September. I LOVE Christmas, anyone who know me will attest to the fact that I am a Christmas freak, but I can't look at Christmas stuff that early! Even if I take a glance, I won't even consider buying until late October or the beginning of November. I also hold stead fast to my rule that I will NOT decorate for Christmas, not one little bit, until the day after Thanksgiving. I think That holiday deserves it's time!

Since it is officially November I have started listing some of my Christmas/Holiday offerings for this year. Some of the items shown here are already in my Etsy shop, others will be soon. If you see something here that isn't in the shop, and you are interested, feel free to send me message, e-mail, or a convo through my Etsy shop. I can always put up a reserved listing for you for one of the items I haven't gotten around to listing yet.

I have several more pieces planned for this year and will also be offering a large selection of my Swarovski crystal Christmas Tree earrings again this year in both traditional color themes and non-traditional. Personally my favorite are the less traditional colors!

I am still waiting for some really cute holiday beads to arrive in the mail. These are going to make some super cute, non-traditional colored holiday pieces. I have a limited supply of holiday beads this year and most of the artist making them have stated they won't be making more made to order sets of this type, so if you see something you like, don't delay, it's quite likely I won't be able to make another just like it!

It's November 1st, sunny and 72 degrees here in Texas. Having just moved here, this is a bit strange for me, not unwelcome, just strange. The really odd thing is that while most of the rest of the country talks about falling leaves and autumn colors, not a thing in my world has changed! The trees are all still green as can be and full of leaves, and these aren't pine trees! My flowers are still blooming, grass is still growing and needs to be mowed. While I am glad it is no longer 100 degrees on a daily basis, it doesn't feel like any kind of fall I have ever really experienced! Thanks for stopping by! I will have more listing trickling in through out the week, both holiday and non-holiday, so stop by my Etsy shop and take a peek!

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