Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Handmade Artisan Jewelry from Gilliauna

Bits n' Beads carries an impressive array of handmade artisan jewelry that is beautifully designed and constructed with quality materials and attention to detail.  It is hard to know where to start first when telling you about this artist's work.  You can find something in most any price range for yourself or for a gift.

Gilliauna creates fine handcrafted rosaries with exquisite detail.  I am especially drawn to her Holy Rosary Handcrafted in Blue Ceramic and Pearls.  The fabulous cross is unique with a gorgeous rich blue inlay.  In addition,  a gold-plated Madonna and child is the centerpiece.  This piece contains 191 links each of which is turned by hand.

You can find delightful practical items such as beaded key charms, beaded eyeglass holders, beaded id badge lanyards, and beaded bookmarks.  This shop also offers beautiful earrings, bracelets, and necklaces.

Here is one of Bits n' Beads made for fun pieces,

and a vintage inspired piece

and an elegant piece for a very special occasion.

A visit to this Etsy BESTeam member's  Bit n' Beads shop will surely delight you.  To find out more about the artist's work and thoughts visit her blog, The Meandering Musings of a Consummate Shopper, and find her on Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

BESTeam Feature: Ancient Oils

Lilly DelValle is well versed in her calling.  She is a treasure of knowledge regarding Holistic and Spiritual healing.  Her shop on Etsy is Ancient Oils and she creates Goddess Blends of therapeutic essential oils.  The practice of using essential oils is often referred to as aromatherapy, and use of these types of oils contribute to physical and psychological well-being.

I asked Lilly how she became interested in aromatherapy.  She explained that it started with her sensitivity to chemicals, and her daughter’s sensitivity to many things.  This led her on a search for holistic alternatives.  She found that essential oils were integrated throughout her studies of Metaphysics and Holistic Healing. Essential oils actually carry the vibrational energy of their plant and retain the plants amazing healing properties; properties which enhance moods, ease pain, and help get rid of disease. To top it off, these were an excellent alternative for controlling Lilly’s allergies as well as improving the over all health of members of her family.

Then I questioned Lilly about what inspired her to look into Biblical essential oils.  She told me:

“As a Metaphysician, I am also challenged with questions of spirituality and
religion. Most of what I practice can easily be supported by Biblical
scripture. Hands on healing is not only mentioned in the bible but was practiced by
Jesus himself. The use of essential oils was just as common then as taking an
aspirin in today's world. A matter of fact, within the Bible there are 33
species and over 500 references to essential oils and the aromatic plants
from which they came. This was considered a natural way of living.

As we look at the plants and essentials oils in the book of Exodus v30, I
just marvel at the thought that God gave Moses a natural formula that is an
anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, etc. to anoint
with. Talk about a booster shot. This one formula taken directly from the
Bible can teach us a lot.

You can find Lilly’s wonderful products and fascinating information on her Ancient Oils Etsy shop and at her blog, Living Vibrations.  Also, check her out on Facebook.

I am sure you will be captivated as I was.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Pink and Green Treasury Challenge

I enjoy making beaded id badge lanyards, and sometimes I make them in colors that are a little different for everyday work situations. One of my newest lanyards "In the Pink" features large soft pink beads.  Smafactory is an Etsy seller who decided to put it into her treasure below.  I was happy with the lanyard when I made it, but it certainly looks fabulous with all the lovely complementary soft pinks and greens in this treasury.

I also learned about the Treasury Challenge that occurs each week.  If you have an Etsy shop, you may wish to participate in this challenge.  You do not need to be part of a team.  You see what the theme is for the challenge, and then you create and submit a treasury based on that theme.  The theme that inspired the treasury below was a spring textile art piece.

'The Lovely Things...' by smafactory

This treasury is an entry in the NonTeam Treasury Challenge! Feel free to join in!http://treasurychallengenonteam.blogspot.com/

Mardi -limited edi...

Spring Clean Framed...

Bridesmaid Jewelry ...

Earrings. Jewelry, ...

Floating in Light -...

Flower leather broo...

Peridot Hammered St...

Big Thoughts in a W...

Vintage inspired fl...

15 Assorted Multi-c...

Choose your Color P...

Antique Brass Key E...

Agate Sea Urchin Te...

Pocket full of Flow...

In the Pink Beaded ...

Dusty Rose.....Embr...

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Does What You Learn Lead You to Take Action?

Don't let your learning lead to knowledge,
let your learning lead to action.
                                      Jim Rohn

We have so many opportunities to gain knowledge and to learn from others around the globe in this computer internet cyberspace age.  I don't know about you, but I can spend hours surfing the web reading about all kinds of things ... health information, financial information, marketing on the web, decorating, how to articles, etc.   My mind gets overloaded with all this information.  I can spend hours doing this in the evening, and then, I'm tired and I go to bed.

But ---what am I doing with all this information?  I find I have multitudes of ideas for action, but very few of them come to fruition.

When it comes to my jewelry business, I decided I need to take one of my ideas, test it, market it, and see it through.  I seem to jump around a lot.  I may decide to work on improving my photos, so will take some photos again to post online for the items in my shop.  Then I may read a good article on keywords and off I go rewriting my titles and descriptions of products. Meanwhile my blog gets forgotten for weeks.

Blinders on
Really, I believe I need to put on blinders to prevent me from being distracted by all the data and information coming at me through cyberspace,  totally focus on a plan of ACTION, and see it through.  The plan can be multifaceted, but should have clear goals and milestones.

I am trying to do this by marketing to a niche of  career women who need to wear id badges to work each day.  I am focusing on  making beaded lanyards and selling them.  I set up a new shop on Artfire, LeAllyson's Lanyards and I also sell them at my Plumbeadacious shop on Etsy.  I am beginning to have some success with these.  Here is one I sold just this last week.

Gold Chain Lanyard with Lampwork Focal Bead

How do you deal with the massive amounts of information or knowledge that you take in each day?  How do you put your learning into ACTION?

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.  Do what it says.
                                         James 1:22  NIV

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Copper Beauty

I am so thrilled to be included in another collection on Artfire.  This collection features a variety of artistics designs that use copper or coppery hues.  My Autumn Sunset Earrings are included.  They feature soft plum Czech glass beads, lovely copper decorative beadcaps, and sweet small Czech glass beads.

I am always excited when I see that someone has included one of my creations in a collection.  It is truly an honor.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

New Crimping Tool

I picked up a new crimping tool for myself.  Do you ever have trouble getting your crimps even and tight on the wire?  I do.  The traditional crimper is a two step process that requires you to apply pressure on the crimp, and then to turn the wire on its side and apply pressure at a 90 degree angle to what you did in the first place.  Ideally this causes the crimp to fold tight onto the wire and to look very even and nice.

Along comes the Bead Buddy crimper.  This tool is a little intimidating to look at, but it works like a charm.  The Bead Buddy crimper allows you to crimp in  a one-step process.  There is a small groove into which you place the crimp bead or tube.  You then press the handles together.  In one step the crimper pushes the crimp down in the middle creating a small crease in the metal.  Then two small arms come together the opposite way and complete the crimp.  OK - if you are scratching your head with my attempt to describe this mechanical process, take a look at this video from Bead Buddy.

I had to practice on this to get the crimp centered on the tool, so I wasted about 5 crimp tubes.  Use inexpensive ones for practice.  Then I tried it on one of my lanyards.  I am still not perfect, but it is a good solid crimp done very quickly.

I purchased my  Bead Buddy crimper at Joann's Fabric and Craft Store, and used a 50% off coupon.  Joann's has lots of coupons for 40% and 50% off right now.  Some are good this week, and some are good later.  This brought the price down to make it reasonable to give it a try.

Let me know how you like using this tool.  I'm pretty happy with it.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Mistakes Can Be Your Friend

"The man who makes no mistakes does not normally make anything."
   - Edward John Phelps - January 24,1899

Oh gee! How many mistakes have I made?  Countless mistakes.

One of the biggest deterrents to taking up a new hobby or activity is the fear of failure.  Years ago I thought I had no artistic ability.  Why did I think that?

My father could draw very well.  He had been a commercial artist for awhile when he was a young man.  When I  was a child, he would entertain me by taking a blank piece of paper and with a pencil, he would quickly sketch a picture of a puppy or Mickey Mouse or any number of delightful pictures.

This was wonderful. Unfortunately, when I picked up a pencil to try to do the same thing, I was slow, clumsy, and really not very good.  I gave up and decided I had "no talent".

It was many years later that I started painting.  I learned that it takes practice and patience.  I really think that "talent" plays the least important part.
Early attempt at jewelery and photographing it

I don't paint much now, but I started creating jewelry about 7 years ago.  Again my first inclination was that beading wire and working with pliers, crimpers, and cutters was definitely not my cup of tea.  Yet I was drawn to the beautiful beads and the endless possibilities to create unique jewelry.  Once again I found that practice and persistence paid off.  Now I am not so clumsy when I wrap the wire or attach a clasp.  It is fun to do these things, and it brings me hours of enjoyment.
More recent piece I made and photographed
Did I goof and make mistakes to start with?  Absolutely!  Many many mistakes. I had to cut wire off the piece and throw lots of it away, and then start again.

Do I still make mistakes?  - Oh, YES! Not as many, and not the same ones, but every time I try something new, I go through a learning curve and make new mistakes.

Never fear making mistakes!  It is part of the path to success!

Have you had similar experiences with learning from mistakes?  We would love to hear your story. Comment below. 

"Though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand."
                                                                              Psalm 37:24 -NIV

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