Monday, January 30, 2012

Gift Certificate Giveaway

A few weeks ago we were approached by a representative of NOVICA to write a review of their website.  NOVICA offered us a $75 gift certificate to purchase something from one of their global artisans and then write a review.  Mom declined the gift certificate but purchased something on her own to provide an unbiased review.

National Geographic is an investor in NOVICA, as is the World Bank, and the Grassroots Business Fund. NOVICA’s mission is to help preserve traditional crafts that have been disappearing in many corners of the world.

NOVICA does not charge artists fees for listing items on the website.  Artists remain fully independent to raise their prices, lower their prices, or remove items from the website.

NOVICA has the first-ever microfinance website where customers can purchase products and lend money directly to artisans with loans at 0% interest!  This concept is possible due to the presence of NOVICA offices in each of the serviced regions. These regional offices distribute customer orders and serve as disbursement centers for artisan loans.  Mom has requested that NOVICA investigate the possibility of extending the offer of 0% interest loans to American artisans and representing them on the website.  She also suggested that NOVICA strike up an alliance with Women for Women International.  She thinks it would be a good partnership.  If you haven’t heard about Women for Women, give them a look see.  Mom has been a sponsor of an Afghanistan woman for the last year. 

Mom visited the NOVICA website and found it well planned, informative (photos, testimonials, etc.), very user friendly and full of beautiful treasures.  She looked at EVERYTHING before making a selection – home décor, jewelry, apparel and paintings.  Checking out was a breeze with several payment options.  Email confirmation of the sale was immediate and status emails followed.  Delivery was prompt and the package was very well wrapped for safe shipping.  After opening the package, the presentation was very nice.

The package was wrapped in special paper with a lovely ribbon.  Included was a post card with Greetings from Ghana to give Mom a bit of flavor of the area where her artisan hails.  On the flip side of the post card is a personal handwritten message in the native language (with an English translation).  There was a small note card with Kwabena Kufuor Afriyie-Addo Jr.’s artist statement and an explanation of the meaning of her purchase called Long Cool Drink

The batik wall hanging is signed by K. Baka.  It is 100% cotton using all natural dyes and dry cleaning is recommended.  Mom is thrilled with the quality of the work, and she said it made her smile as she unfolded it.

To help promote NOVICA, we are having a giveaway.  NOVICA has provided us with two gift certificates – each for $37.50.   

Make a comment on our blog through Saturday February 4th and we will enter your name into the drawing.  You can even enter extra times by blogging about our giveaway or Facebooking about the giveaway. But make sure you leave us comments that you either blogged or Facebooked so we can enter your name for the extra drawings. 

The winners will be announced on Sunday.  NOVICA is currently promoting accessories, so pop over and see what you might covet.  Scarves, Womens Shawls from Peru, Winter Clothing, Womens Brazilian Accessories and Pearl Dangle Earrings.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

January ABS Challenge Piece - Tra La La

Trellis by William Morris, 1862
This month's Art Bead Scene Challenge is based off of William Morris wallpaper design.

We are calling this piece "Tra-La-La".  Mom came up with the name and the design.  I had one design idea but mom didn't think it would be stable enough.  I wanted to use the vines as a focal pendant but we couldn't think of a way to make it stable and durable.  Mom came up with the idea of using the trellis squares and flowers for the necklace.

This is the focal pendant.  We used the side view flower for this pendant and made a larger square to wire wrap the pendant to.  Mom drew the design and then glued the pattern to 20 gauge copper.  Mom then hand saws out all the pieces.  Once the pieces have been filed and sanded I have fun with the enamels.  For the flower pendant I used transparent oranges and yellows and I love, love, love the colors of the square.  I used three different opaque greens to get the look with black around the circles in the corners of the square.

This is the middle of the necklace with more flowers and squares wire wrapped together.  Again the flowers are from the wallpaper design and the squares are the trellis.  Seriously, I love the color of the squares, just thought I would reiterate ;-)

These are some of our lampwork beads that we had extra of.  Love those colors and so glad we had them in our stash of beads.

I told mom I wanted to make our own clasp for this necklace.  So, we used one of the squares and then cut one of the flowers in half to use it as a clasp.  I am really happy with how it turned out.

A different view of the necklace.  Both mom and I like how this photo turned out.

One last look of the necklace.  Oh, if you didn't notice I am trying to use different props for the photos.  I used a wooden box and a textured basket for these photos today.  I wanted to try something new and different.

If you wish to view the other entries for this month's challenge head over here and check out all the goodies.

Tomorrow is another enameling session - have a set of bees to enamel, two humming bird pendants and I am sawing out more of these squares to make a set to sell.  So, I hope to have more pictures to share tomorrow.

Thank You Everyone!

Mom and I just wanted to say "Thank You" to everyone who follows us and leave us comments.  Those comments help us get through the day and count down the days to the weekend when we can create.  You all also give mom and myself big heads with the wonderful feedback you give us on our sawing, enameling and lampwork beads.

So, "THANK YOU" everyone!  You all mean the world to mom and me!  Happy Creating!!!!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Etsy Listing and ABS Layout

I have listed the two heart pendants and the owl pendant on Etsy.

The owl pendant.

The Flaming Hot Heart Pendant.

The Ivory and Gray Heart Pendant.

This is a Tree of Life pendant mom made for my aunt.  Her birthday is next month and we thought this would be a great gift.  We used beads that represent the birth month of her children and grandchildren.  She can either use it as a pendant in a necklace or as a sun catcher out in her all year round porch.  I think mom does an awesome job with the wire work.

This is the layout for the January ABS Challenge piece.  Mom has it laid out and now just has to assemble it, but not tonight.  She is crashed on the couch right now.  Mom has also ordered me to finish writing this post and go home!  I never argue with my mother when she is right ;-)  You all have a wonderful night!!!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Enameling Sunday

This is what was sitting in the computer chair when I came in to write a blog post.  She looks cute right now but I had to throw her out of the room because she was chasing the pointer all over the screen.  Kind of hard to work when I can't see because of Zola.

Mom and I worked on sawing out pendants and enameling this weekend.  I was able to enamel another set of bee pendants that we are using in a necklace, two more heart pendants, an owl pendant and all the pieces for the January ABS Challenge piece.

Here is the show:

These are the enameled pieces for the "Bee Hive" necklace.  I want to make lampwork beads to go with this necklace.  We have bought black lava stones to use and not sure what the other accent stone/bead will be used also.

An owl pendant that I need to take more photos of and post on Etsy.  That will be later on this week.

I used ivory and transparent grays in this heart pendant.  Mom loves this pendant but I am still not sure yet.  This is the smaller sized heart and also will be photoed later on this week and posted on Etsy.

I am calling this one "Flaming Heart" pendant.  It is black, red, sunset orange and marigold yellow.  You can't really tell the depth of the color from this photo, so I can't wait till I take photos to post out on Etsy.

These are all the pieces that we need to put together for the January ABS Challenge.  We are still debating on the color of beads we are going to use.  Mom has a plan and it is actually sketched out, so I really can't wait to see what this piece looks like once it is put together.

That is it for this weekend.  Right now mom is working on a tree of life pendant for a gift.  We also want to make several more tree of life pendants to post out on Etsy.  We went to Von's today and bought a bunch of pink and red Czech beads to use and I can't wait to see them completed.  So, lots to do and not enough hours in the day.  Though I am happy with all we did get accomplished.  How was your weekend?  Did you get a lot done you wanted to?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Last Day of Sale

Just a reminder that today is the last day of our sale in the Etsy store.

The entire store is 20% off.  We hope you enjoy browsing our handmade, one-of-a-kind items. Enter code NEWYEARS2012 to receive your 20% discount when checking out. Discount does not apply toward shipping.

This weekend mom and I plan on sawing out more pendants and enameling.  I hope to have pictures tomorrow or Sunday of new items.  Possibly even our January ABS Challenge piece, cross your fingers for that one.

It's Friday so have a great one!

Monday, January 16, 2012

New Listings on Etsy

Today I worked on taking photographs of all the pendants and lampwork beads we have done.  I also was able to list all those items on Etsy.  Which made for a very long day and once I am done with this blog post I will finally eat and go home and veg.

Small bee pendants

Blue and Green Humming Bird


Orange and Purple heart pendant

Orient Red and Flame Red heart pendant

Green, yellow, orange humming bird pendant
Worry Stones

Worry Stone

Worry Stone

Pink Worry Stone

Bead Sets

Apricot Nectar lampwork beads

Muted Pink Ribbon Lampwork Beads

Pink Ribbon Lampwork Beads

Sedona Sunrise Lampwork Beads
I think mom and I were pretty productive this past weekend.  I hope we can keep this up.  Have a great one all!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Productive Day and a Sawing Incident

Currently it is 31 degrees but feels like 21 degrees, but this is the temperature I got the garage up to while I was enameling.  I guess it does help to bring a third heater out into the garage to warm it up.

This is the enameling set up with the third heater mom brought out to warm up that area. I really didn't think it would make that much of a difference but it did!!!  Mom is sooo smart.

The other two heaters set up around the kiln.  It also helped that the kiln was going even with the exhaust fan going it was still pretty warm, except for the water, that was still bloody cold!  Mom has a sink in the garage that I use to clean the pendants after each time I bring them out of the kiln.  Well, the sink only has cold water going into it, so have to suck it up in the winter time.

Picture of a hummingbird right out of the kiln.

These are all the items I need to photograph and list out on Etsy.  I am hoping I can get that done tomorrow morning.  As you can see I have four sets of beads to list, three worry stones, a kokapelli pendant, two humming bird pendants, two heart pendants and a set of bee pendants.

Mom is a little exhausted after all the sawing, filing and sanding she did today.  And that is Lily giving me the evil eye.


I thought I would share what mom did.  If you have a weak stomach go no further.

This is mom's finger wrapped up in a paper towel.

This is mom's finger after she sawed it.  I was out in the garage so I wasn't keeping an eye on her to see how tired she was getting.  Usually I can yell at her to stop before she does something stupid to herself.  Oh well. 

Tomorrow mom and I have off for the holiday.  Maybe more things will be enameled, but I am not sure yet.  I know for sure I want to get the above items listed onto Etsy.  So look for those tomorrow.  Also, don't forget you have five more days until our sale ends on the 20th of January.  All inventory is 20% off in the store.

Sawing in the Kitchen

Yesterday mom and I worked on sawing out pendants.  It was way toooooooo cold to be working out in the garage so we set up our sawing stations in the kitchen.  Don't you just love the chair I am using to saw, so comfortable and it rocks.  Just so you know, I don't sit or stand still, need to be always moving which drives mom crazy sometimes.

Mom drawing on the pattern for our January ABS Challenge piece.

These are the copper sheets I was working on sawing out.  Oh, I just saw out the perimeters and mom saws out the designs.

My pile of copper that was sawed out.  To the left you can see the dustpan filled with copper shavings.

These are all the pendants that mom sawed out the insides and now are ready to be filed and sanded.  Once that is done I will be enameling them.  While I am enameling mom will be sawing out more pendants for us to enamel.  I hope to have photos later on today.
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