Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Rhinestone Badge Reels - Bring on the Bling!

Do You Like Sparkly?

Bling is sparkly,bright, fun and popular.  Rhinestones are pretty. I am on the band wagon with that for fun badge reels. I am making and selling badge reels that feature rhinestone buttons. I do them as magnetic or clip on badge reels.

I purchase rhinestone buttons for these.  My hubby goes down to his work room and removes the shanks from the buttons. Sometimes this is a quick snip snip process, and sometimes I hear the grinder running.  On some of the buttons he cuts off what he can of the shank, and then grinds the back down smooth.   When he is finished he has a smooth back to the button.
Then I take the button and glue it to the top of the badge reel.  For the larger buttons, I glue them directly to the badge reel.  For the smaller buttons I glue them to a decorative pendant base or to a metal ring.  Then I glue those items to the badge reel.

 Black Rhinestone Badge Reel
Some of the rhinestone buttons have a glass pearl cabochon in the middle and rhinestones around it.
 Pink Pearl Rhinestone Badge Reel

Grandma wore sparkly rhinestones

I have not personally favored rhinestones in the last thirty years or so because it reminded me of what older women were wearing and what was popular when I was a child.  In addition, I thought rhinestone jewelry was cheap and gaudy. Some of this jewelry was cheap and gaudy, but I was sadly mistaken to believe all rhinestone jewelry was or is unworthy.

 Turquoise Blue Rhinestone Badge Reel

Did you know that rhinestones were from the Rhine River?

I decided to do a little research into the history or rhinestones and found that they originally were small colorful pebbles from along the Rhine River in Europe. Antique Jewelry Investor describes these as " razzle dazzling little pebbles, originally found along the Rhine River."  As I read further, I was delighted to learn that Swarovski in Austria furthered the refinement of rhinestone jewelry with his invention of a glass cutting machine that would cut facets.  Swarovski crystals are the finest crystals, and I have never thought of them as
rhinestones.  Swarovski does market flat back rhinestones as well as faceted crystals.

The rhinestones used on my button badge reels are not Swarovski crystal.  
They are just lots of fun and sparkly. Have a fling and treat yourself to some bling !

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Shirt Dresses - Are They Back in Style?

I subscribe to Country Living magazine, and in the February issue they have a full page spread on shirt dresses. It looks like these are making a comeback, and are found at numerous stores.
Shirt dresses, also known as shirtwaist dresses, were very popular from the late 1940s into the early 1960s.  My mother wore one most of the time.  It is the famous garb of June Cleaver on Leave it to Beaver, Lucile Ball of I Love Lucy, and Donna Reed of the Donna Reed show.
Donna Reed - The Donna Reed Show

Shirt dresses are quickly identifiable by the tidy shirt appearance of the bodice.  The button down front, usually has a shirt collar, and may be short sleeved or long sleeved.  The waist is fitted,and the skirt is usually gathered or on occasion pleated.  Comfortable cotton was the fabric of choice for most of these mid-century styles. Women would cook, bake, clean, do laundry, and take care of the children dressed in this "uniform" of the times.

June Cleaver - Leave It to Beaver

Modern versions of these dresses are available at most department stores.  On line you can find them at Mod Cloth.  You may wish to wear a shirt dress to work, and a beaded lanyard would look great with one.

Shirt Dresses from Mod Cloth - Lanyards from Plum Beadacious

Are you planning on wearing some shirt dresses this year?  If so, you may wish to try a beaded lanyard with it.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Wedding Tie Patches - for the Groom or Father of the Bride

"The Patch that Changed my Life!"

Becky created a wedding day gift that turned out to be the patch that changed her life.  She was struggling to sell her hand sewn items on Etsy, and a friend of hers asked her to hand stitch a special note for her groom onto the back of one of his ties.  She did this, and it was an instant success.  So Becky took this idea and started creating wedding tie patches to sell in her Etsy shop in June 2013.
First patch - wedding love note for the groom

Becky now sells these wedding tie patches at her Etsy shop, Sew Happy Girls. Her patches became very popular, and soon Becky was featured on Huffington Post, various blogs, and now in Southern Weddings magazine.
This success did not just drop into Becky's lap.  She spent many years of work to get to this point.  Her path took her from the corporate world, to interior designer, then photographer, and then sewing wonderful rag dolls, hence the shop name Sew Happy Girls.  You can read more about this journey at Etsy-Preneurship.

Becky's Art

Here are some of my favorite items from Becky's Etsy store.
This is a wedding tie patch for the father of the bride.  I really appreciate the hand stitching of the words and date and the yellow stitching that outlines the heart.

Wedding patch for the father of the bride

Becky also stitches up some very pretty embroidered jewelry.

Embroidered pendant

Etsy Success

Becky is very enthusiastic about selling on Etsy.  She offers many excellent tips in her interview with Jason Malinak on the Etsy-Preneurship website.
I have enormous passion for selling on Etsy and I tell anyone who asks me, “Do it! Start today! You CAN make money as an Etsy seller!  BUT. Growing a successful shop takes time and lots of it.”
Becky is ramping up for the 2015 wedding season.  If you are having a wedding or have a friend who is getting married, check out Becky's shop for a tie patch.  What a perfect gift!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Resolve to be Resolved - Too Many Choices

Resolve is a Loaded Word -

I am not much for New Year's resolutions anymore, but I am one to plan and make goals. Anyhow I have "resolved" to revitalize this blog and to become more consistently active on social media sites. What's not to like about that, right?
So I knew right off the top of my head that these two goals are of importance to me and to growing my business. So now what? Ah, that's where the difficulties spew forth and overwhelm me. It comes down to too many choices.

Thinking It Through

I am a start from the very beginning kind of gal and look at everything in detail. Personality tests always categorize me as analytical. Good strength don't you think? Well for every strength there is usually a corresponding weakness. Mine is that I can analyze things to death, and not make a move to do anything.

Let's look at my first goal - revitalize my website.  Here is where my brain went on this one.

  1. My first resolve was to analyze what blogging platform I really wanted to use.

  • I have an old blog on Blogger.  It's pretty easy and straightforward to use.  I don't know how to fancy it up the way I would like, and not sure if I can do that on Blogger.
  • This blog is on  Wow, do I ever struggle to create the look I want here.  But WOW - what can be done when you do know what you are doing is fantastic.
  • I looked at other possible platforms, and did a quick trial run of Squarespace.  It is nice, but a whole new learning curve for me.
  • I finally decided to stay here on and to work hard to learn more about using it.
     2. Once I settled that after many hours looking at excellent published blogs, and at Blogger, and Squarespace, I decided I had spent too long on the first step, and headed to the second step, to improve the look and quality of this site.  So then I tried out multiple different themes, and finally came back to the same one I have been using.  It is the Adorable theme from Pretty Darn Cute, and uses the Genesis framework.

     3. Next I started trying to develop a new header, so headed over to Canva.  I spent many hours there trying out different ideas.  Meanwhile, I had looked at a blog called Mom Gets Real and was drawn to the colorful header, design of the site,and the fact that you can know what to do to find information there.  I used her header as inspiration to design the one I have on my site right now.

Choices, Choices, Choices

This all took most of my time for over two weeks.  Most of the problem for me was making choices from all the possibilities out there.  I love so many choices, but I also love looking at every choice available to me.  You could spend the rest of your life doing that.
Words that would come out of my mouth during this process:
  • I am so confused!
  • I could scream!
  • I don't know why I want to blog anyhow!
  • I could just bang my head on this desk!
At least I just said these things to myself. LOL!
I still need to tackle my second "resolve" to be consistently active on social media sites.  I need to do much better at my decision making on this one.  I do know I should focus on one or two social media sites and actively participate in them.  So which do I choose?  Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram?

Oh no, my head hurts again!

Do you have any helpful hints to deal with too many choices?  Does that plague you as well?  Leave your comments below.

If you liked this article you may also wish to read more on dealing with choices in this post, Constraints, Ignite Your Creativity.

See Other Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...