Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Fall is definitely here. The leaves are turning pretty colors and, true to the name of the season, are falling off the trees. just about every afternoon when my 4 year old and I walk to the bus stop to pick up my 7 year old, one or both of them pick up several leaves that they really like. When the sun hits the trees just right, it looks like they are on fire with color.

Between my mother's comment about not having anything in colors she liked in my shop and the beauty of the autumn leaves and weather, I've been in the mood to make more autumn and "earthy" focused jewelry. Today I listed a bracelet and a pair of earrings that inspired by the beauty of nature and fall.

This is the Green Earth bracelet.

And these are Falling Leaves Earrings

These and the Autumn Jasper Bracelet I posted about recently are the first of hopefully many in my line of jewelry featuring more "earthy" colors. I will, of course, still be making a number of things in my favorite purples, reds, blues, and silver, including a pair of earrings just for stampers that I'll be listing soon!

Monday, October 26, 2009

20% Off Birthday Sale!

Today is the Second Chance BNS 1st birthday and October is also my birth month! My birthday is October 20th, so in celebration of both birthdays, for today:

Take 20% off your total purchase before shipping! And, since most of my items ship free as the second item, stock up and save more on shipping! :)

I'll refund via Paypal this evening.

Etsy sellers, come check out the Second Chance BNS! You don't have to be a seller to take advantage of my sale on the BNS today though!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Doing More With Stamping

I've always intended to have more stamped items in my shop than I currently have. Some people like to have a different shop for each different type of product they sell, and that's great if you can keep up with it, but I can't imagine trying to keep track of two (or more!) shops when the work involved with just one seems to take so much time.

This is why, when I was trying to come up with a shop name, I very deliberately didn't use "jewelry" or a variation on "beading" in the title (for new visitors to my blog, you can read here about how I decided on my shop name). Aside from knowing I wanted to sell hand-stamped items, I also wanted to make sure the shop name was flexible enough to accommodate any craft I wanted to try. For instance, when I started the shop in May, I had no idea that I'd want to start sewing pocket tissue holders to sell. However, those were a perfect starter project for someone who hadn't sewn in years, and I enjoyed making them so much that I made many more than I could use (some will also be showing up in some Christmas gifts I'll be giving this year...shhh!). ;)

I've been stamping for over 7 years now. It's easy to remember how long because I went to my first stamping party at a friend's house when I was pregnant with my first daughter, and I started stamping regularly when she was still an infant. My mom was at that first stamping party I hostessed and we took turns holding my daughter to keep her on the opposite side of the table from the embossing gun we were using, hehe. Seven years later and I've acquired a number of supplies, including cardstock, stamp sets, ink and accessories.

I started out by listing a few hand-stamped items, and then I've added a few more cards, but mostly I've been concentrating on making jewelry to sell. I've decided that it's time to stop neglecting that part of my shop and add some new items. So last night I sat down and made these thank you tags:

These tags can be used to decorate a thank you card, tied to a product that's been sold, included in a package as a thank you note, and more. Clearly, the photo needs some work, ;) but I took this last night (just using a regular lamp) so I could show a preview of what's coming. I was hoping for a sunny day today so I could use sunlight, but I woke up to rain, so I'll be setting up my light box later today to take better pictures of these, three sets of marble magnets I also made last night, and two pairs of earrings I made last Friday. I'm really excited about getting all of these things listed, which I will be doing over the next few days! :)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Branching Out

My mother took a look at my Etsy shop not long ago and said that while I had beautiful items in my shop, she wasn't tempted by anything in it because I didn't make anything in her colors. Gotta love a mother's frank honesty. ;) She's right, though. I am drawn to the cooler colors (purple, of course, being my favorite) and I don't make much using warmer colors. Most of what I've made using warm colors was made specifically for her.

I decided to change that and made a necklace, bracelet, and earrings set in autumn colors of green, yellow and gold to sell. Apparently mom wasn't the only one wanting these colors as a friend of mine bought the set before I ever listed it on Etsy.

So, I made another similar autumn bracelet, but with jasper instead of the green freshwater pearls and different golden beads than I'd used in the set. This is the result:

This is the link to the listing in my Etsy shop. Friday night, I made a simple pair of earrings using the jasper beads that I haven't listed yet, but will be as soon as I can get pictures. Although my preference is for cool colors, I'll be working to expand my inventory to include more warm color items. I never make something I don't like myself, and I am drawn to blues, purples and greens, so those are the colors most often found in my jewelry. However, I've seen that I can make jewelry in the colors of autumn that I like just as well, so I'll be looking for more warm color beads for future jewelry pieces.

I always get a burst of energy and excitement from branching out and using a new idea or new color scheme. This is no different. I'm excited about expanding the range of colors found in my jewelry. But, for everyone who prefers the cool colors like me, don't worry, I'll still be making plenty of jewelry in purples, blues and silver, like this festive glass and turquoise bracelet! :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Here Comes The Sun...

I made a necklace last night and also had two bracelets I made recently that I hadn't taken pictures of yet. I was going to get my lights out, set up the light box, and take some pictures today. However, I noticed that the sun was shining in the window really brightly and I decided to take the opportunity to use natural sunlight.

I still used the light box (it's a convenient "studio", if nothing else) and positioned it to get as much of the sunlight as possible. I got pictures of all three pieces of jewelry, although the sun went behind some clouds for the last few pictures. Regardless, I felt lucky that I'd gotten that "window" of opportunity (ha!) and got the pictures done early this morning. So far, the sun has not come back out from behind the clouds.

Right now, I'm trying to re-list a few items that expired recently. Here are the two (so far) that I've done today:

Flower Greeting Cards. I reduced the price on these to $8 for the set of 5. That makes them $2 each when you include the shipping! For handmade cards WITH envelopes, I think that's a great deal.

The other one may be a familiar one for long-time blog readers. This Stars In Purple Bracelet was the first bracelet I ever listed. I'm still not sure why it never sold, except maybe that I could never get the purple of the aventurine to look right in the pictures. I also reduced the price on this bracelet from the original price of $10 down to $8.

My Buy 1 Get 1 Free sale is going on til tomorrow at midnight, so either one of these great deals would be made even better by taking advantage of the sale!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A sale!

I don't run sales in my shop very often, and I decided tonight to run the best one I've done. Here it is:

BUY ONE GET ONE FREE SALE! Every item in the shop is eligible! Buy one item and get a second item of equal or lesser value FREE! Either pay and I'll refund, or wait to pay and I'll send a revised invoice. This sale lasts until midnight on FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9th, so act fast!

Just click here to go to my shop if you're interested in taking advantage of this sale! Most of my items are set so that if they are a second (or more) item in a purchase, they ship free! So that's even more savings!

See my shop announcement, which is on the main page of my Etsy shop, for more details! :)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Baby Elephant!

We went to the Zoo this weekend with some friends. On our way up to where the elephants are, we saw that they had the baby elephant out and a small crowd had gathered to listen and watch as they talked about the elephant. Unfortunately, we got there at the tale end of the presentation, but I still got to take some pictures before they took him back inside. This one is probably the best of what I took:

The zoo also has two adult female elephants. One of them had the baby a little over two years ago. Interestingly, a couple of years prior to that, I managed to get a picture of the mother-to-be (not knowing that she was pregnant at the time) right before they changed the elephant area. Now they have it surrounded by a fence of thick wire so it's almost impossible to get pictures of the elephants without wire being in the picture somewhere. I was really glad that I had thought to bring my camera and take pictures that day. Now I have some pictures of the baby elephant without wire in the way too. :)

Elephants are one of my favorite animals, which is why my Etsy shop has elephants in the name. Purple is my favorite color and 42, according to The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, is the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything. And now you know why I named my shop 42PurpleElephants!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Adventures in Sewing

Yesterday I decided to tackle a sewing project I hadn't tried before: a drawstring bag (no, I haven't sewn much, so it's easy to think of new things for me to try in sewing, hehe). Specifically, I wanted to make a drawstring bag to use as a knitting or crochet project bag. If the first one wasn't horrible to make, I wanted to make several as I have a few knitting and crochet projects in mind to try (although I'm currently only working on one) and, knowing me, I'll probably be working on at least 2-3 at a time.

The first one, as expected, was definitely a learning experience. But in that good way. ;) Here's a picture of the bag:

I do my sewing at my parents' house so my mom can help me. I'd forgotten to bring my thread assortment and didn't want to ask her (again) to provide me with thread, so I just used what I did bring. It was a very pale pink/purple, but on this darker purple fabric, it looks white. I decided it wasn't a big deal because this was a "practice" bag and it was going to be mine anyway. Using thread that stands out like that really shows you where you could have done better, which I actually think is good for learning. So, yeah, I used the pale thread to help me make this more of a learning experience, that's it, hehe.

There are a couple of things I'll do differently next time. For one, I'm not going to use two lengths of cord, so I don't need openings on both sides (the other side isn't pictured, but is there, and looks sloppier than the one pictured, if you can believe that). Also, when I stitch up the side, I'm going to then stitch backwards down the seam a bit as the stitches started to loosen at the top when I was rolling down the top to make the area for the drawstring. Also, next time I'll use a thread that more closely matches the fabric. ;) I'm considering lining the next one too, but I haven't decided yet. It would certainly help make the inside look "finished", but since that's the inside, I'm not sure how much it matters whether or not it's lined. I guess when I start using the bag, I'll find out.

Something else I made a month or two ago that I'm really happy with is a knitting needle roll, also made in a purple fabric. Here are two pictures of it (excuse the scratched up TV tray, I tried to edit out all the scratches in the picture but gave up because there's only so much editing I'm willing to do, haha):

This knitting needle roll was made using the same fabric that I used to make this tissue holder. I still need to sew a ribbon on it so it can be tied shut, and I think because most of my needles are longer that I probably should have made the roll a little longer so there would be more at the top to fold over, but overall I'm really happy with it. It has certainly made it easier to find my knitting needles when I start something new (I will write about what else I've knitted recently in a future post). I want to make a second, smaller, one for my crochet hooks too. This one was fun and surprisingly simple to make. I thought for sure it'd be difficult, but it wasn't. It is time-consuming because of how much sewing is involved, but it was not hard to do.

Eventually, I will be confident enough to sew at home without feeling like I need help close by. I can already do that with tissue holders, and I think I could with another drawstring bag or needle roll (though I'd still prefer her help on the second). But, one of the things I also like about sewing (or scrapbooking, or crocheting or knitting or....) at her house is that we can sit and "talk shop" while crafting (or talk about anything else too). I don't necessarily get as much done as if I were working alone, but it is certainly more fun.
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