Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Big Ball Earrings and Times Square on New Years Eve

They will be dropping the big ball in Times Square in New York City tonight to celebrate the start of 2009. For some reason we always tune into that event on the TV, and I invariably think about how thankful I am that I am here in my nice warm home and not out in the huge crowds of people in the cold waiting for that ball to drop.
No ball in Times Square for me ~ I like the crystal balls in these earrings.

These are called Green on Green and are available for purchase at my Etsy shop, Filigree Romance.

I am enthused about the new year. It is always good to have the opportunity to start over. I don't get hung up on resolutions, but I do ponder what the new year will bring and what I can do to improve myself. My jewelry business did better in 2008 than in 2007. That being said, I have miles to go before I will feel successful. The best thing is that I am learning so much about making jewelry, how to market, and how to use the various internet resources to sell my jewelry. I am thankful for the many people who create blogs and websites with helpful information that they are willing to share. I hope to find things to share with all of you that will help you as you create and market your designs.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Filigree Romance - Vintage Inspired Jewelry

I decided to update my Etsy shop that I called LeAllyson's Creations. It is now called Filigree Romance. I really enjoy the feminine look of Victorian vintage inspired pieces made with gorgeous Czech glass and Swaroski crystals, and then decorated with antique brass, antique silver or copper filigree beadcaps and beads. Have a look at the designs I posted at Filigree Romance. Several of my favorite pieces of jewelry are pictured here.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Blue Porcelain Earrings

Here is my newest earring creation posted on my Plumbeadacious Etsy site. These are made from porcelain and display lovely small flowers. They are a good size earring, and will look great with jeans. I have these beads in several other colors, white, yellow,and green. If you are interested in another color, contact me.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Fasten Your Shawl with a Brooch Pin!

I have been making some brooch pins that can be used to fasten shawls or scarves, or perhaps worn as a decorative accessory on a coat or jacket. I was inspired by a scarf pin in the December 2008 edition of Simply Beads. After searching online for awhile, I found a source for the pins and bought some in silver plate and some in gold plate. It is fun and easy to place about 2 1/2" of beads on the pins, and after some practice I was able to bend the pins to form them into a pin that looks like a kilt pin. I sold several at a recent craft show. Here are some pictures. See the fuschia pink and cobalt blue pin at my Etsy shop, Plum Beadacious!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Beaded Lanyards to Delight the Eyes

I have found the most delightful eBayer who creates stunning lanyards for id badges. They are incredibly beautiful. Her name is Emmie, and her shop is Emmie's Gems. Here is my favorite lanyard that she sold at auction.

Emmie's jewelry is full of gorgeous beads. She uses lots of handmade polymer clay beads that she purchases from various polymer clay artists. Then she accents these beautiful beads with all kinds of unique and wonderful silver beadcaps and spacers. All of her lanyards are yummy eye candy.

Emmie not only creates beautiful handcrafted items, her marketing of them is superior. She has oodles of excellent photos, and she carefully describes each of the beads she uses in the product. She explains her high quality in a way that is convincing to the customer.

I am inspired by Emmie's artistry and her dedication to presenting her work on eBay in a delightful way. She has lots of Christmas designs too. Here are a few more. Click on the pictures to link to them in her eBay shop.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Rescued Treasures

Most of us are looking for creative ways to economize and save our hard earned dollars. None of us know what will happen next with our jobs, our investments, and our futures. We never really did know those things; we just felt more secure prior to this international economic crisis.

First and foremost I have faith that God is in control, and that he has a plan for each of us. From that perspective I try to look at the adventure and the good in all of this. As I have expressed before, I enjoy searching for quality old jewelry at estate sales and garage sales. I am beginning to create new pieces from the best of the old pieces. These are my "Rescued Treasures". Beads are rescued from a boring life at the bottom of a box or drawer, go through the pain of resuscitation via soap and water, are introduced to brand new youthful beads and findings, and take their places side by side with those new beads and findings, and take on new life in a brand new jewelry creation.

I have only posted a couple of "Rescued Treasures" on my website at this point. Check back often for more.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Reminders of Summer - Carribean Blue Jewelry

I wistfully wish summer had not rushed by so quickly. This jewelry reminds me of summer vacation at a beach by the ocean or swimming pools or ponds with aqua blue water.

I like to wire wrap loops and attach one bead at a time to chain. I enjoy watching my creation start out with a piece of chain, a spool of wire, headpins, Czech glass beads and a toggle clasp. As I use my pliers and cutters, one step at a time a fun necklace appears. I made matching earrings, too.

These Czech glass beads are lots of fun because they are a little different. They are fat fluted beads that are elliptical in shape.

Go to my Etsy shop to add these pieces of fashion jewelry to your personal collection.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

New Website on GoDaddy

After two years of hosting my website with CityMax, I decided to start over and create a website using GoDaddy's Website Tonight. I am so pleased with this site builder. It is very user friendly, and I can preview my updates prior to publishing them. That was not possible with CityMax unless I created a whole new page and kept it hidden, and then replaced the old page with the new. See my new PlumBeadacious site hosted by GoDaddy.
I also decided not to have my own shopping cart on my site. Everything is listed on my Etsy shop, and the new website will link customers through to Etsy. When I tried to list jewelry on my own website and on Etsy, it became difficult to track what was for sale where. Sometimes I had things posted both places, and sometimes I found that I didn't have certain items listed at all.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Dueling Pianos

My husband and I had a night out on the town tonight. I am usually a stay at home type person, but my cousin reserved a table for a bunch of us to celebrate the fact that my son has been hired to work at Google, and will be leaving us here in St. Louis next week to move to California. We are all excited for him, and we celebrated at Jive & Wail, a piano bar, here in the community of Maplewood,MO.

What fun it was! There were two pianos on the stage with two guys playing and singing. It was crazy, fast paced and loud. It took me out of my normal comfort zone, and I had a blast!

Now, had I thought ahead, I would have worn some funky earrings like these Pumpkin Aglow earrings that I created last week. These were made from rich fluted orange cubic zirconium beads that look a lot like pumpkins. Then I selected yellow orange Swarovski crystals to cap off each end of the "pumpkins". The black of the gunmetal used for chains that dangle from the beads and the leverback earwires are the perfect contrast to the orange. Great to wear from now through Halloween and Thanksgiving! Take a look at them at Plum Beadacious.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Leaves of Gold

Fall is coming up very fast here in St. Louis. Normally we have very hot weather well into September, but this year not so. We have had temperatures at night in the 50s with highs in the 70s during the day. I guess that is to be expected after the unseasonably cool spring and summer we have had.

So in keeping with the season, I made this delightful golden necklace that I call "Leaves of Gold". I was looking at color design in a quilt book and decided to try a three color scheme from alternating colors on the color wheel. With this type of color scheme you start with one color on the color wheel, skip a color, use the next color, skip a color and use the next color. I started with the tertiary color yellow-orange for my main color. This is the color of the leaves. Then I selected small beads to complement these leaves in the tertiary colors of yellow-green and blue-green. The design is very symmetrical and is finished with goldplated brass chain.

Color is lots of fun to play with, and I am hoping to come up with more combos that are vibrant like this one is. This necklace is available for purchase through my Plum Beadacious shop on Etsy.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Stylin' As We Work

As school is started and vacations are over, we all start thinking about supplies and needs to make our everyday work a bit easier and more convenient. Many of us, including myself, are required to wear or carry an ID badge to work or school. These have absolutely no style or fashion sense at all, and are a necessary item in today's world. Many crafters make beaded ID badge holders to wear around the neck as a fashion accessory. They are called lanyards, and some are remarkably beautiful.

I tried my hand at making a few of these and will be selling them at my Plum Beadacious shop on Etsy. They are comfortable to wear, and add a touch of fun to every day attire. I made mine without magnetic break away clasps. I did this because whenever I wear a piece of jewelry with a magnetic clasp, I am constantly watching to make sure it has not fallen off. I have had problems with that, and so don't want to be losing my ID badge because of this. However, I do know that for safety reasons, many schools and employers require break away lanyards. So I will do them if customers would like me to. I plan to go ahead and make some with break away clasps so that customers have a choice.

I would love to hear your comments about these. Do you wear an ID badge? Would you wear a beaded one? Would you need a break away clasp? Please let me know.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Charming Brass Filigree Flower Necklace

This was another fun project for me. I purchased several of these charming brass filigree flowers and as usual had no idea how I would use them. I just thought they were delightful! So once my creative juices got in gear, I decided flower upon flower would be a great idea. So I took a brass headpin and placed a small blue catseye bead and a green Czech glass flower on it. Green and blue color combinations are one of my favorite color combinations. Then I glued this into the center of the brass filigree flower. After that I took a small brass chain and cut it into smaller segments so I could wire beads between the segments. I used the blue catseye beads there again to coordinate with the one in the flower, then added a few white glass beads, and to pull it all together added some green glass cone shaped beads in a tone similar to the green glass flower in the pendant.

You will see that I added a couple of catseye beads near the clasp at the back of the neck. I have seen other jewelry artists adding small beads at the back, and just love the effect. Hope you do too.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Voila! Creation of a Favorite Necklace!

I had so much fun creating this necklace and matching earrings. I found these large vintage lucite beads on eBay and fell in love with the scrollwork on them. I used to paint on wood and enjoyed Rosemaling and other types of decorative strokework. This reminded me of that. After I bought the beads and had them in that little plastic bag sitting all alone on my work table, my enthusiasm waned for awhile. All I could see is the brown color, and I did not have the slightest idea of what to do with them. Weeks later I started pulling out my various beads. I knew I didn't want everything to be brown. I thought of moukaite. These natural stones come in a variety of muted colors. They are brown, rusty red, soft rose, cream, gray, soft yellow, and other variations. They complemented my large scrollwork beads perfectly. Now, I needed some sparkle. Gotta grab your attention! So I selected some lovely faceted Czech crystal roundels in soft rose pink and pale green with a hint of pink. Sprinkle in some sterling silver beads , and voila - a wonderful unique necklace! As I say about my favorite pieces - It's just Plum Beadacious!

This necklace and the earrings are for sale in my shop. I named them Soft Earth.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Show Me Etsy - St. Louis Artisans

I am so pleased to be a member of the up and coming Etsy team, ShowMe Etsy! We are an energetic group of artistic entrepreneurs who have banded together to support one another's endeavors and to have some fun. Last night we met at a local Starbucks and talked non-stop for two hours, yet managed to make plans, yes, even important decisions, for upcoming events. We have a blog, a webjam site, and a flickr site.

Some people will participate in some arts and craft shows this week-end and others will participate at shows in August and into the fall. Come on over to our web page to learn more about all we are doing. We're looking for other Etsy artisans from the greater St. Louis area. We do cross that big old Mississippi, and have members from Illinois too. So check us out!

I will be displaying my jewelry at the Cool Art Hot Jazz Festival with this group on August 15, 16 and 17 at Queeny Park. Come see us!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Have You eBayed Today?

Lime Green Swirl Lampwork Earrings for sale - eBay- plumbeadacious2

Red & Pink Lampwork Earrings - on sale at eBay - plumbeadacious2

I am trying eBay again to market my jewelry. I've tried before and almost gave my jewelry away by starting with $.01 auctions and $.99 auctions. Bidding frenzies just did not happen for me. My bidders are cool and collected. They sit back and watch.

For the last three weeks I have posted earrings on eBay after doing some serious studying of keywords and categories. I priced my earrings at $6.49 per pair, the rock bottom I could take without actually losing the money I put into them. I've got about a 30% sales success, which for eBay is just fine. Unfortunately, I have yet to work up a bidding frenzy with my customers, but I have had a few small bidding tussles between bidders. Here are some of my most recent sold items.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Have You Declared Your Independence?

If you are like most women, you probably feel driven by all the tasks and obligations of each day. I know I have certainly felt that way and behaved accordingly.

Did you know if you just step off that treadmill for awhile, and take time to reassess your priorities, the whole world will not fall apart? I know it is hard to do. I have had to do that, not just once, but on multiple occasions.

I recognized that much of what I felt enslaved to was of my own making. I can be my own taskmaster and worst enemy. But I finally realized that if I skipped some of the chores or responsibilities, no-one would be upset or burdened by it. Of course, I am not talking about all of your chores and responsibilities. Choose carefully!

That gave me a whole new perspective on my life and allowed me to start pursuing my own interests. VOILA! My little jewelry business emerged, and is beginning to blossom. Plum Beadacious is a by-product of my new found freedom.

So declare your independence! Open your heart and mind to your creativity! Celebrate you and the freedom God has given to you! HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY - JULY 4, 2008

Results of some of my happy creative moments:

This necklace is one of my all-time favorite. I've made several of these. I have one more of these lampwork beads, and promised myself to make this necklace one more time for me. I really like this style of necklace. With beautiful lampwork beads, this style is one of my best sellers.

Some of my newest creations in my Cottage Garden collection.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Aqua Dream

I just posted my newest creation on my LeAllyson's Creations Etsy shop. I just love making a new design. I wanted to use the aqua faceted glass briolettes. There is something so classy and elegant about briolettes. I purposely allowed the briolettes to take center stage, then the pearls with chain going up and around the back of the neck. I find that necklaces lay better when they are not too bulky as they go around the back of the neck. Then I added a couple of little pearls near the clasp along with a pearl and crystal on the extender. I really like the look of some decoration at the back of the necklace. It makes the picture complete and no detail is overlooked. That what I was striving for here.

When I was making this piece, I was thinking of light colors and summer dresses. It would also look great with white dotted swiss, or something with the aqua color swirled in with other colors. So many feminine blouses are being worn this year. This would go great with one of them. Then when I listed it in my shop, it dawned on me that this would look good with a sweater or soft crepe dress in dark brown, winter white, or deep teal.

Those of you who make and sell your jewelry, do you think of so many possibilities for your little creations? Sometimes I just don't even want to part with my designs once I start visualizing all the ways they can be worn. Then I always remind myself that I can create the piece again and keep it for myself.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Gem of a Mother's Day

I am the mother of five grown children. Two of them are my natural children and three of them are my step-children. I am so thankful for each one of them.

They are each unique, gifted, talented, and very special in their own ways. Each one reached out to me to honor me as their mother today. I am so blessed!

I wish each mother who reads this many blessings and good memories.
Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

May Flowers

I am so happy that I am beginning to sell some more flower earrings. They are such happy things, and perfect for the season. It is so cold here in St. Louis, that we need any sign of spring we can get. It rained buckets today, and the temperature has been in the mid fifties. Brr! Here is what I sold lately.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Craft Fair Frenzy

Aah! I am home and comfy after a long day as a vendor at a craft fair. Today was an unseasonably cold and windy day here in St. Louis. The craft show was indoors which was good because lots of people came. They could not work outside in their yards, but they wanted to get out and do something. I am pleased with the sales I made at the craft show. My earrings were popular, and many compliments poured into my happy ears especially about the flower earrings. Here are a few of the items I sold

Friday, April 11, 2008

Spring Craft Show

Wow! It has been way too long since I posted anything here on my blog. I have been working diligently everyday to prepare for the craft show that I am participating in this weekend. I have everything boxed up, displays loaded, receipt books ready, etc. We set up tonight on Friday. I am pleased that I have this opportunity to set up the day before the show. That way if something is not quite right, I can try to make it right for tomorrow.

The weather should be good tomorrow but still cool. The show is inside at Lindbergh High School. See the details here at Plum Beadacious. I will be introducing my Cottage Garden Collection and my Filigree Romance Collection. Wish me well!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Garden of Jewelry

I found the cutest things on another blog. The blog is called Catching Fireflies. The writer makes all kinds of whimsical handcrafted items. She is featuring jewelry holders for bracelets and earrings with a whimsical garden theme. I must confess I just ordered a couple of them from their online site. Check them out. They are delightful!
Now, what can I hang on these jewelry holder? Hmm, how about this ~my Pink Flower-Violet Leaf Earrings for sale at my online store, Plum Beadacious!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Filigree Romance Collection

I am creating a new collection of jewelry called Filigree Romance Collection. It will feature brass filigree and silver filigree pieces that are decorated with crystals and other beads. These all have a delicate romatic feel.

As part of this, I designed new jewelry tags and earring cards to display these pieces when I take them to my craft fair. I decided that each tag and card will provide a little of what inspired me. They will say -

Dreams of long ago bring thoughts of lace, flowers, intricate scrollwork ~ lots of lovely things. Dream away with this vintage inspired jewelry!
I hope this helps my business to develop more of a niche, and personality. From what I have read on marketing your jewelry, it is important to have a story or something to draw the customer to the design. What kinds of things do you do to bring your personality to the forefront in your online or in person marketing?

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Tax Time ~ My Head Hurts

This is my first year to file income tax on my business, Plum Beadacious. My tiny business that provides so much enjoyment has become quite the headache for my husband and me. Thank goodness my husband used to work for H&R Block part time several years ago. He is quite good at doing our taxes with the help of Turbo Tax sofware.

However, he can't do the work without the figures. I have learned the hard way to become much better at keeping meticulous records when I buy my beads and findings, pay my Etsy, eBay and other website fees, and when I sell my jewelry both online and at craft shows. I have all that information, but in all kinds of different places. I gathered the data (over the last few weeks), and gave it to my husband to put into schedule C on our taxes. Whew, what a job!

Now, I started an inventory spreadsheet in Excel for all my purchases and created the formulas to decriment beads as I use them. If I am faithful in using this, my inventory of beads should be all ready on January 1, 2009.

Beaders - Do you have any hints to share on tracking everything for tax day?

I must say that the discipline of pulling all this together has certainly opened my eyes to some of my poor business practices. I surely have not been wise in my purchasing and my pricing. Pricing is another difficult process. I am not going to think about that yet tonight. Figuring out the tax was enough math for one day.

By the way, Etsy has some Storque articles on taxes and on inventory. One is Tax Time Considerations for the Independent. Another is Etsy Seller Inventory Worksheet.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Time to Relax

It's Friday, and I am so glad. There are no special plans for the weekend, so I can relax, work on my blog and my jewelry. I've been showing lots of my bright spring/summer jewelry, but I am in a more mellow mood today. Take a look at this necklace that is for sale at my Etsy shop, LeAllyson's Creations. I think it is just perfect to wear over a weekend like this with jeans and a sweater or teeshirt.

I need to apologize to everyone who wants to use the links to the "Bead Artists Who Blog" and the "Etsy Sellers Who Blog" webrings. I was trying to make something a little bit more creative with my blog template and lost all my Widgets. That is the code that creates the links to all the other sellers in the webring. I've emailed the webring administrators and hope to get all fixed within the next day or so. Also, I decided to try again on the creative template at a later time. I didn't want to lose everything. I had saved my original template, but I lost everything in the right hand column. Someday I will be more proficient. It is a slow process for me at this point.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Papaya Passion Earrings

Here are my latest earrings. In keeping with the Crimson Passion earrings I posted yesterday. I now have Papaya Passion earrings. Hope you like them!

This is a short post tonight. I am one tired puppy!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Crimson Passion

Longing for summer and carefree times is what inspired this design. I call these earrings Crimson Passion and describe them as sassy and a little bit naughty. Makes me feel young and daring! LOL! Hope you like these and my other designs.

I have posted these at my Etsy shop, Plum Beadacious.

For those of you who create handcrafted jewelry and sell it online, how many places do you list your items for sale? I've been thinking the more the merrier, but sometimes I have trouble tracking what is for sale where. I need to get better with lists.

I have items listed at:
Then I talk about and show my jewelry at:
Please comment and let me know where you list your items!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Snowy Tuesday

We are just not used to all this snow in St. Louis. The last 5 winters or so were very mild. Today is what I would call a blizzard. I had to drive in it because my husband was scheduled for a test at the hospital. All went well, but I am ready for spring. Here is a picture of the snow on our deck rail today.

Thankfully, I am home now and can think about and work on my spring jewelry. Here is one of my newest designs for spring. I am making lots of earrings for my new Cottage Garden collection. These are made from acrylic iris beads, sweet glass pearls, tiny seed beads, and antique brass earwires. Bring on the sunny days!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I Can See Clearly Now

Today was my day to go to my opthamologist for a thorough eye exam. Of course, I had my eyes dilated and also had my peripheral vision tested by doing a visual fields test. This left me blurry eyed and squinty as I left the doctor's office in the late afternoon. Somehow with the help of sunglasses I made my way home, thankfully a short distance down the road. My vision is finally returning to normal, enough to put a couple more of my jewelry creations out on my Etsy shop, LeAllyson's Creations. These items are bright and lively. When I placed them under my lights to photo them tonight, they about knocked my eyes out. (The result of dilated eyes.) Actually they are a gorgeous combo of orange and green, bright but not glaring, and are perfect for the upcoming spring.

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