Wednesday, August 26, 2009

New Background

I've been using music as the background for my jewelry listings for a while now, like in this listing of a rainbow bracelet. However, I wanted to make a change and try something new. I just wasn't sure what I should use.

Yesterday, as I was getting ready to take pictures of the jewelry I made over the weekend, I went looking around for a new background to use. I remembered a piece of fabric in all the fabric my mom gave me recently that I really liked and was wondering what I could make out of it. It had light, bright colors, and I thought it'd be a pretty background without being too over-powering. After all, I wanted the jewelry to stand out, not the background.

So, I gave it a try and I'm mostly happy with the results. I think my pictures will look a lot better when I finally make myself a light box (which I'm hoping to do sometime this week), but between natural sunlight and a little bit of help from the computer, I think the pictures turned out ok. I think they could stand to be a little brighter, and it'd be better if the whole picture were in focus, of course. Anyway, here is one of the items I listed using the fabric as a background in the pictures. Let me know what you think:

If you're interested in seeing the listing for this necklace and matching earrings, you can click here.

What are you favorite backgrounds when taking pictures?

Also, a fellow Etsian, Robyn, interviewed me for her blog recently. She posted the interview this morning. Here is the interview if you'd like to read it!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Adventures in Crocheting

I have a real weakness for crocheted items. I especially like tiny little flowers that can be used to decorate scrapbook pages or greeting cards, but I also really like headbands, barrettes, dishcloths, scrubbies, soap savers, and and and... Let's just say I could send myself to the poorhouse very easily on Etsy just from browsing people who sell anything crocheted. I even use a little purple crocheted elephant that a friend made for me in most of my earring listings as my earring "model". You can see her (well, her ear anyway) in this listing of Ceramic and Hematite Earrings.

So, I thought I'd try my hand at crocheting (again). I'd tried it a number of years ago, but couldn't get the hang of making a granny square and gave up quickly. In the meantime, I'd re-learned how to knit so I thought surely I'd be able to teach myself to crochet.

Let's just say my first several attempts were less-than-stellar (they looked more like a knotted mess than anything even halfway resembling crochet). My mom has done some crocheting in her time so, between her help today and the help of the 2nd of two crochet books I bought, I spent a good part of the day trying to do a few different crochet stitches and came up with:

As you can see, crochet sellers on Etsy should feel safe and secure in the knowledge that I will be buying from them for the foreseeable future. ;) I had to rip out more stitches than I completed which is part of why there really isn't all that much to show for working on this for a good part of the day. That and, even with the ones that I did end up keeping, I did them almost painfully slow. It was fun though, once I started getting the hang of it. I don't see me ever getting good enough to feel comfortable selling something I've crocheted on Etsy, but I might get to the point where I can make myself a serviceable (if not beautiful) washcloth.

In the meantime, here are a few sellers on Etsy who make beautiful items using knitting and crocheting that I can buy from instead:






If you're like me and love anything crocheted or knitted, check them out!

Monday, August 24, 2009

What I Did This Weekend

This weekend was fairly productive. I got a lot of housecleaning done and my husband got a lot of yard work done (as always, there's plenty more to do, of course). We played board games with the kids.

The game we played this weekend was a yard sale bargain (gotta love those). Only $3 for a like new set (it is just missing one Life card, and there are enough of those that one isn't going to be missed). The game is Life: Twists and Turns which is a new (to us) version of Life that comes with an electronic device for spinning and keeping track of scores. The board itself is also quite a bit different, as are the cars. The game was way above our 4 year old's head, but the 7 year old (mostly) kept up with it. We all had fun, although our 4 year old kept trying to drive her car all over the track, hehe.

Not too surprisingly, I also made jewelry this weekend. :) The picture above is everything I made Sunday that I haven't had a chance to list yet. It's a mix of items I made with beads I wasn't sure what to do with and ideas I've had for a while. I won't tell you which is which though. I'll leave it to your imagination to decide.

When I have beads I'm not sure what to do with, I will often just take them out and play with them until I come up with something I'm happy with. I have to say, what I came up with this time I am VERY happy with, and am tempted to keep it for myself. However, if I kept every piece I was tempted to keep, I'd have no shop and too much jewelry!

I did get a chance to list three items I made over the weekend (and they are not pictured above). These two bracelets were inspired by something I saw on the show Firefly:

Red, Blue, Green Glass and Turquoise bracelet


Red Glass and Turquoise Bracelet

And, this moon necklace is similar to some others I have made and sold:

Green Moon Necklace

So, a very productive weekend, both at home and for my shop!

What did you do this weekend?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Value of Wants

This morning, Meandmomscrafts wrote a post about the monetary value of her wishlist on Etsy in her blog. It made me wonder how much it'd cost if I bought everything on my wishlist too.

I have a number of items on it that have already sold (the price of waiting on those favorites), so I didn't count any of those, even the ones where I was pretty sure the seller would have more of the same item. I also didn't count anything from sellers where I just added their whole shop to my favorites because there were so many things I liked in their shop. My total came out to a mere $250.50.

I've been pretty conservative with my favorites, or "hearts" on items on Etsy. I know I can't afford everything I want, so I avoid looking for things for me (which has not prevented me from finding things I want for me, it has just helped limit how many). I've only just started looking for birthday and Christmas items, so not many of those have made it onto my wishlist either (though the ones that are on there, for birthdays at least, I need to buy sooner rather than later...just about everyone in my family was born in September!).

If you could buy everything in your favorites on Etsy all at once, how much would your wishlist cost?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Stamp Sets

The Stampin' Up! stamp sets I've listed on Etsy have been very popular and many have already sold. I've only got 4 left (for now), including the one pictured above. I do plan on digging deeper into my stamp collection and finding more to sell, but if for now what is listed right now is what I have. If you'd like to take a look at what I still have, you can click here. :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

School Bus Fun

I feel like my life has been a whirlwind of busyness since the first day of school. I didn't touch my Etsy shop or get on Etsy more than very briefly from Thursday til Sunday night because of how busy everything has been. I am sure things will settle down and feel normal again at some point...right??

My daughter rides the bus home from school. I took her to school and picked her up everyday for kindergarten, but then gas prices spiked and we decided we needed to cut bakc on our driving so, starting with 1st grade, she's been riding the bus most days. Last year, she got dropped off around 4:30 most days, so I was expecting that to be the case this year as well but, like last year, expected the bus to be late on the first day, so I figured she'd be dropped off around 5pm or so.

Thursday, on the first day of school, she did not get dropped off til after 6pm. I made a number of calls to the school during the wait and was quite relieved when she finally was dropped off (the delay was a combination of technical problems with the bus and the heavy traffic of the first day of school). She was starving and desperate for *something* to do (the kids are allowed to read, but not draw or color and she hadn't brought a book with her). So, I picked up dinner for both girls (my younger daughter doesn't go to school yet and was waiting with me the entire time) before heading out to pick my husband up from work very late.

Friday, the bus was slightly earlier, arriving at 5:40. Monday, earlier still, arriving at 5:15. I'm hoping that the earlier drop-offs continue to happen. I hate the idea of my daughter being on a bus for so long, and the 45 minutes she was riding it last year was about the limit as far as I'm concerned. She at least has a book now, so she can get the "read for 15 minutes" portion of her homework each evening done on the bus.

Still, I may start picking her up in the afternoons again. We get home much later than I'd like on a school night, particularly when she has homework. I'm going to give it this week to see if the bus continues to arrive earlier each day (and hopefully with a "normal" drop off at the old 4:30-4:40 from last year), and then re-evaluate at that point.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

First Day of 2nd Grade

Today is my older daughter's first day of 2nd grade. She'd been saying most of the summer that she didn't like school and didn't want to go. After going to orientation yesterday (where we also had to say hello to her 1st grade and kindergarten teacher), she started to get excited. This morning, she even wondered what she'd learn at school today. :)

For being the first day of school, the morning ran fairly smoothly. We had one minor hiccup, however. Yesterday, I let both my daughters pick out any headband they wanted while we were out shopping for school supplies and school clothes (nothing like the last minute, right?). One of the things my older daughter had been looking forward to is wearing her new headband to school.

With all the hustle and bustle of getting her out the door for the bus stop on time, we all forgot about the headband. Fortunately, she realized this at the bus stop and not at school so the minor meltdown about it got out of the way before she got on the bus.

The picture above is her getting on the bus. I feel a little sad about her getting on the bus for school, but I'm also glad to be back to having only one daughter at home during the day. My younger daughter will be going to school next year. I don't know what I'll do with myself when I have NO kids at home during the day!

And, to celebrate my daughter's first day in 2nd grade, a ONE DAY SALE in my Etsy shop!

Buy any item in my shop and get the 2nd item (equal or lesser value) HALF PRICE!

If you want to check it out, here is my shop.

Sale ends at midnight tonight!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

New Section In My Shop

I decided to "expand" my shop and also sell supplies. Right now, what I have in the way of supplies is stamp sets. I used to be a Stampin' Up! demonstrator, but it was very part-time. I had a regular stamp club of 8-10 members that ran for close to 5 years. I had a few core members, with the rest of the membership changing over the years. Well, last year the core group shrunk down to just two people (not including me) and since I'd been considering leaving Stampin' Up! to pursue selling jewelry, I decided that was a good time to do so. I still go to another stamp club, one run by the woman who signed me up to Stampin' Up! because although I don't want to be a demonstrator anymore, I still really enjoy using their products (all the stamped items I sell are using Stampin' Up! stamp sets, inks and cardstock).

Over my years as a demonstrator, I acquired A LOT of stamp sets. Many of them I intend to keep because I do still stamp cards (I haven't given a store-bought card in at least 7 years, ever since I discovered Stampin' Up!) and I still use stamps in my scrapbooking. But, over the years, my style and tastes have changed, not to mention I got some stamp sets just to use in my demonstrations or as prizes. So now I'm listing some of those in my Etsy shop in the hopes that they'll go to someone who will give them a good home.

Here is one of the sets I have listed:

This one (and the other three for that matter) are actually duplicates of ones I've kept. This one in particular is one of my favorites. You can find this one and the three others (so far) that I have listed by clicking here. I have more to list, so be sure to keep checking back!

Monday, August 10, 2009

I'm Feeling Blue...

Well, at least that's what my listings look like. :) Two new listings today, both of them blue.

First, a blue bracelet:

This bracelet is made out of light blue cat's eye, dark teal blue glass, and silver-plated spacer beads. The decorative clasp is a silver-color metal. If you'd like to see the listing, you can click here.

The second listing is a blue swirl/splatter patterned pocket tissue cover:

This tissue holder is a great way to keep a pack of pocket tissues protected in your purse. Or, if you'd rather, you can also use it to hold business cards, discount cards, or any other cards that clutter up your wallet, leaving you more room for your money! :) If you'd like to see the listing on this one, click here.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

When It Rains, It Pours

Yesterday my city was hit with a storm that brought so much rain with it that large parts of the city were flooded. Cars were submerged, dumpsters and parked cars were swept "downstream" from the current of the water, basements (and sometimes more) flooded. A friend of mine, Eric Truman, who ended up stuck downtown during the worst of it, took pictures of some of the flooding.

In the first picture, taken after the rain stopped, is my church. You can see how deep the water is in the street, and according to Eric, that was after the water level had dropped a little. Our church was fortunate (relatively speaking) because it sits on a little bit of a hill. The basement got a foot of water in it and no water in the rest of the building.

In the second picture, the building in the background is the Main Library downtown. The basement was entirely flooded out, to the tune of approximately $1 million in damages. They had new computers and all the new books that were going to be sent to a new branch opening mid-August, among other things. Such a horrible loss.

One thing that amuses me about the picture, however, is the two people walking in waist-deep water huddled under an umbrella. I figure, at that point, just let the rain hit you on the head too, you really can't get much wetter. ;)

Some people lost just about everything with the flood waters in their house, many lost their cars due to flood damage. I am really fortunate because our basement didn't leak at all and our street never flooded. During the worst of the rain, there were rivers running rapidly down both sides of the street (which happens during any big rainstorm), but the street drained quickly when the rain stopped and the water in the "rivers" probably only got 2-3" deep at the most. Streets just a few blocks over were not quite as lucky as us. When my husband drove home that evening (he left for work just before the thunderstorm really hit hard, so I'm incredibly thankful he made it to work safely), he said he saw several areas where parts of our neighborhood had been closed off for flooding.

The University of Louisville was flooded really badly as well. Several friends of mine who work there were trapped for part of the day because of the flooding, and a few people even had to be rescued by boat from where they were. Fortunately, all my friends who had been trapped did manage to get home later in the day.

On one of the local news stations, they showed a video of someone riding his canoe down one of the streets of Old Louisville, which I thought was really great. Even in the face of disaster, someone found a way to laugh.

This is the third major flood that has hit the city that I'm aware of. The one in 1937 (we have "high water mark" signs showing where the water was during that flood, but I haven't seen pictures of how the water yesterday compared to those), the one in 1997 (I moved from a 1st floor apartment whose ceiling started leaking in three spots the day of that flood, so it was definitely a good move, though a little earlier would have been better), and now yesterday's flood, which I guess will be known as the flood of 2009. Although the total rainfall yesterday was less than those other two floods, the amount of rain that fell in an hour was record-breaking for the area. The fast rain and all the rain we'd been having recently is what combined to cause such major flash flooding.

In addition to this being the third flood, it's the third natural disaster we've had in a year. The leftover damaging winds of Ike tore through last September and took a lot of trees and power lines with them. In January, we had a really powerful and damaging ice storm come through and take more trees and the power lines again (we lost power for several days during both storms, as did most of the city). My daughter who is in school missed a week of school for each event because of how long it took to restore power to the schools (not to mention the rest of the city) and also repair damage.

On the bright side, this year's July was the mildest for Louisville in recorded history, so not all the weather oddities have been bad. Overall though, it's been a tough year, since last September, and I'm hoping that we've seen the worst that Mother Nature has in store for us for a while.

Edited to add: There is a fund set up for donations to help with flood damage at the library. You can send donations to The Library Foundation, 301 York Street, Louisville, KY, 40203

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Flower Pot

A few weeks ago, I won this beautiful flower pot from LePinkChandelier in a contest. I'm not much of a gardener, but I thought LePinkChandelier's flower pots were very pretty. I try to be kind to plants and not take them into my care because they almost always end up dying. Other than an aloe plant I bought a last summer and a snake plant (also known as a mother-in-law tongue) that my daughter wanted, I haven't managed to keep a plant alive for more than a few months. The poor aloe plant almost didn't make it because I took "water infrequently" seriously and didn't water it all winter (Ok, I admit it, I actually just forgot).

So, when I actually won the contest (a very nice surprise), I wasn't sure what I was going to actually *do* with the flower pot. I briefly thought about giving it away as a gift to someone who can actually take care of plants, but it was so pretty I didn't want to part with it. So, I looked at the coffee mug I've been using as a "temporary" pen holder for months and decided it was time for something more permanent.

The drainage hole in the bottom meant that anything I tried to put it it could fall out the center, so I cut out a piece of cardboard the right size and put it in the bottom of the pot. That did the trick and now it holds all my pens, pencils and scissors very nicely, and now I can look at my beautiful flower pot anytime I'm on the computer or need a pen. :)

LePinkChandelier has more flower pots in the "upcycle" section of her shop as well as many other lovely and useful items in her shop. I especially like her upcycled envelopes, like these Vintage Map Envelopes. If you'd like to see more from her shop, click here!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Venturing Into Twitter

I've had a Twitter account almost since Twitter first started. Originally I only used it to communicate with a few close friends and my husband, but eventually started letting some other friends read it as well, but it's always been a private account. I was surprised when Twitter started getting so popular for businesses, and I decided I didn't want to open up my personal Twitter account for business stuff.

However, I'd been considering the possibility of starting a Twitter account for my Etsy shop, but wasn't sure what I'd do with it, whether I'd have anyone follow it or how complicated it would be to keep up with two Twitter accounts. Well, tonight someone suggested that I just go ahead and do it and if I didn't like it, then I could just abandon the account.

So, I have a brand new Twitter account for my Etsy shop. You can find it at

The story behind the name is kind of fun too. I was two letters short of 42PurpleElephants, making it 42PurpleElephan. My husband thought that was actually a cute idea, and if I changed the ph to an f, I'd even have enough room to add the s at the end. So, 42PurpleElefans on Twitter was born. :)

I also have a Facebook Fan page, and I recently reached 100 fans so I could have my own custom URL! If you'd like to fan me there too (I post fan-only specials, including one that is running right now), you can find that here:

Hope to see you on Twitter and Facebook! :)

If you have an account on Twitter or a Facebook fan page, feel free to post them here in the comments and I'll check your pages out as well! :)
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