Dec 15, 2008

Check out the eSMArties and their goodies!

Buy Handmade

Just listed today in my Esty Store are these wire wrapped pieces I've taken these lovely lampwork glass beads created by Wilma Whimsey's , fellow eSMArts team member and mix them with AB Swarovski crystals and silver. I finished off the clasp with a tear drop lavendar faceted chalcedony and 2 amethysts, both teardrop and faceted as well.

Let me tell you a little bit about the artist that created these lovely beads. Wilma Travis of "Wilma Whimsey's" is a single mom of three wonderful children and 2 delightful grandchildren. Her oldest son is engaged to be married and will do so in May of 2009. She has a handicapped young adult (27), her youngest son who still lives with her. She was originally from New York, born and raised there. I moved to MN in 1994 and I love she loves it there.

Wilma has been working with glass for several years. She began her journey with stained glass until begining Lampwork in June of 2005.
Here is how you can see more of her lovely work:
Wilma's Etsy Store
Wilma's Whimsey's Website
Wilma's Blog

Nov 21, 2008

M5 Creative Corners

Detail of Covered Bridge Wallhanging by Tina Cowan of M5CreativeCorners

Our Tina Cowan of M5 Creative Corners is one of the hardest working women I know. In all seriousness, this kindhearted lady works practically 24/7 to support a slew of orphaned nieces and nephews. I'm not joking about this. After the untimely passing of not one but two siblings due to congenital heart problems, Tina stepped in to raise the orphans as if they were her own.

Tina is always busy creating beautiful new quality pieces not only because she loves her craft and likes to keep busy, but partly out of necessity. Tina's work ethic is absolutely outstanding, in fact it's A++.

Tina Cowan of M5 Creative Corners on etsy ~ ~

I don't know where Tina gets her energy from but it usually tires me out just hearing what she has accomplished lately! And like all her fans and customers, I'm in awe of Tina's fiber art creations. The opening picture shows close-up detail of Tina's impressionist style Covered Bridge quilted wall hanging. Tina paints with fabric and no two pieces are alike. These are truly one of a kind collectables of enduring beauty and high quality craftsmanship.

I hope Tina will forgive me for showcasing to the world these grand pictures of her at work, in her element, conducting business at one of her many craft fairs and bazaars. The first thing I noticed in these shots was Tina's full sized cash register and the great halogen lighting. Both these additions give her booth a professional look and feel. She's obviously a veteran seamstress with the image of a credible working artisan.

A mutual friend sent me these lovely photos (and more) and since a picture is worth ten thousand words, just take a look and imagine our tiny Tina setting up these metal display walls all by her lonesome. Think of Tina trekking around with all this stuff in her van and imagine her stamina manning booths like this one ~ and doing it solo sometimes for days at a time. Tina you're a trouper!

Covered Bridge quilted wallhanging from M5CreativeCorners

From her studio located in the Sparks, Nevada area, Tina attends many local art and craft venues. Her beautiful quilted items are also on display in local boutiques and an antique shop. But recently Tina opened M5CreativeCorners, a new online boutique where her intricately stitched quilted wall hangings and other goodies can be acquired around the clock.

handmade quilted treasures from Tina Cowan of M5 Creative Corners

Please support this talented artisan. Visit her shop. Her designs are fresh and new, Tina's handiwork is first rate and her prices at least for now are very reasonable.

Tina's nieces and nephews range in age from 10 to their mid twenties and a few are currently attending post secondary education. Trust me when I say this lady has bills to pay!

At M5CreativeCorners, Tina Cowan offers customer service and attention to detail that can't be rivalled. So if you're in the market for beautifully handcrafted and stunning quilted items at incredible prices, please shop with M5CreativeCorners and support our valued eSMArts team mate. You won't be disappointed if you do.

every picture tells a story ~ Tina at a southwest craft fair
Submitted by: Anna Lee Husband

Oct 30, 2008

A Beaded Affair

Hand wire wrapped Jasper cabochon from A Beaded Affair

Lois of A Beaded Affair is the talent who created this incredible wire wrapped ocean jasper. I like how the center wire curves to reflect the natural curve and circular patterns on this ocean jasper cabochon.

When Lois gets a free moment from running her realty office in Pennsylvania or from wire wrapping gemstones, she seeks out incredibly beautiful bead strands for listing at her "candy” store. She has fancy drilled amazonite, malachite coins, graduated garnet, sardonyx with very striking white stripes, deliciously colored Botswana agate, and so much more.

Lois is currently offering free shipping when you buy 3 items or more at her online shop. Don’t forget to grab some very hard to find square copper wire so you too can give a try at wire wrapping gem cabochons. Check out Lois' A Beaded Affair Etsy store right away. You won’t be disappointed. She is an avid antique jewelry collector too.
Exquisite chain maille delights by Lois of A Beaded Affair
I’m so glad to be a teammate with her at the eSMArts Team. Lois will be our store manager for the new eSMArts Team Shop. She is one of the most qualified candidates, plus the fact that she has a big heart.

Proceeds from our team shop support good causes so please check it out! The new eSMArts team shop is filled with a spectrum of handcrafted art created by the artisan team members from around the globe. Where else can you find better one-stop shopping for the upcoming holidays? :)

Oct 12, 2008

S & T Creations - Beautiful Handmade Jewelry

The delicious jewelry delights of S & T Creations

When style and flair combine with quality and value everyone wins. That's why it's a pleasure to feature the unique jewelry creations of S & T Creations, a developing jewelry design company located in Jeffersonville, Indiana.

Visit!The prolific artistic team of Saundra and Teri of S & T Creations is always busy churning out a seemingly endless array of attractive yet affordable jewelry designs.

Check out the complete S & T collection of colorful, whimsical and contemporary styles that will definitely get you noticed. Order online now and receive free domestic shipping or a handmade collectable bonus gift!

And this design and marketing duo is now making many of their unique and fresh creations available to a wide audience through their new online boutique

The wise value conscious fashionista takes a structured approach to formulating her unique personal fashion style and statement. And the other day I found timely help with regard to this ongoing task in the form of an informative blog feature presented by Saundra of S and T Creations.

Reading Saundra's article I was reminded how challenging looking and feeling like a million dollars gets in dismal economic times such as these. Even if inflation soars and our fashion budget shrinks, we gals still need our secret sources of great fashion finds. Enter S & T Creations...

At S & T you'll find retro, classic, formal and funky so grab a few things to stretch your wardrobe. S & T Creations also has something for everyone on your holiday gift giving list. No matter what your budget or purpose, you'll find fab jewelry accessories available from this team.

For more information about what's new in the world of S & T Creations, please visit their web log.

Sep 26, 2008

eSMArts Team

Favorites From Our Etsy Team

More of our Favorites!...

Sep 17, 2008

BlueBonnet Jewelry Design by Yvonne

BlueBonnet Jewelry Designs of Texas

This feature is really Part 2 of the last post. On September 11th I also had the priviledge of chatting online in consultation with Yvonne the enchanting founder and genius behind BlueBonnet Jewelry Design - "Jewelry sophisticated enough for a night on the town - Casual enough to wear with a T-shirt and jeans".

Beaded Spiral Lariat
Now Yvonne and I don't know each other that well yet, but we certainly do share many of the same passions. Yvonne has a broad experience base with needlework and several fiber arts media but I'm most in love with her intricately beaded wearable artwork.

Even just a brief visit to Yvonne's new online jewelry boutique located at reveals a wonderful array of beautifully crafted jewelry from this artist who tastefully blends bold fashion tones with elegant and timeless designs. Yvonne marries a variety of weaving, crochet, netting and embroidery techniques into her unique jewelry designs with stunning results.

Yvonne's drop dead gorgeous heavily beaded exotic cuff bracelets are to die for, and I can only describe the quality of her pieces as "sheer excellence" in execution.

You won't regret choosing any lovely creation from BlueBonnet Jewelry Design either to pamper yourself or to give as gifts (for even the pickiest of friends!). Each piece from BlueBonnet Jewelry is hand crafted with love and Yvonne's careful attention to even the tiniest of details is evident in the perfect choice and placement of each bead and stitch.

Follow Yvonne's blog to keep abreast of what's new in her creative world. I can't wait to see what she'll come up with next!

Submitted by:
Anna Lee Husband
Oshawa, Ontario

Sep 12, 2008

Day of Service - Consultation with Victoria Flaherty

Jewelry By Victoria store in Ogunquit, Maine
I'm pleased that on the anniversary of those horrendous terror attacks on the USA, a day now deemed a National Day of Service, I was able to donate some time yesterday helping a few of my neighbours to the south. Y'all already know that I'm a strong supporter of warm international ties between our two countries, so here's what's new.

I had the joy to speak by telephone yesterday with an interesting member of my eSMArts yahoo group and etsy team. Victoria is a multi talented lady who has run a successful bricks and mortar handmade jewelry storefront in Ogunquit Maine for the past decade! The financial planner in me isn't quite sure how Victoria has managed to pull this feat off what with soaring overheads and a dismal economy of late, but anyway I applaud her marketing efforts (which in my view are stellar).
Victoria Flaherty's Ogunquit Maine Handmade Jewelry Shoppe
Victoria's cute storefront will unfortunately close after Columbus Day due to soaring rents, so this savvy gal is taking portions of her jewelry business online. Stay tuned to this story via Victoria's new blogs one of which is JustBrilliant where we'll likely hear how Victoria's juried Swarovski delights resulted in her being awarded approved Swarovski dealer status. When Victoria's quality sparklies (Swarovski crystals) are listed on etsy, grab them quick before she changes her mind on the remarkable pricing she's thinking of offering.

Ogunquit Maine Handmade Jewelry store
At her JewelryByVictoria blog we'll likely learn more about the trials of running a bricks and mortar shop and we'll get a sneak peak into how Victoria manages to move this business online.
For more information visit the Jewelry By Victoria website. Her etsy shoppe called "Just Brilliant" featuring quality Swarovski crystals will open soon. And hopefully Victoria will share with the etsy community her gorgeous handmade jewelry too! Stay tuned. :)
-Anna Lee Husband
eSMArts team founder

Sep 8, 2008

Growing by Leaps and Bounds

eSMArts is truly growing by leaps and bounds!

Our list of member shops continues to blossom and our eSMArts handmade Gallery of unique artwork currently available for sale is impressive.

We're pleased to endorse the many gorgeous creations from these new members of our team:

Silver Rabbit Studio

Kelly Snelling

M5 Creative Corners

Pine Tree Designs


Twisted Sister Arts

Vamp Kitty Designs

More will be written here about these artists over the following weeks and months. I take this opportunity to welcome all of these talented artisans to our group and I wish them continued success in their creative endeavours.
Anna Lee Husband

Sep 7, 2008

See What Our Team Does in Copper

Copper is gaining in popularity, and is no longer the very distant third against gold and silver. It is much more common in jewelry today than in recent years. The warmth, the earthy color and its natural beauty radiate in jewelry. Copper is warm against the skin and has been used in jewelry for thousands of years. Copper has the reputation as an environmentally natural metal, making it very earth-friendly.

Our eSMarts team has many members who have created pieces in copper, not just jewelry, but also bookmarks, copper wire and findings so you can create your own, and a wonderful handmade copper gemstone box! Beyond the designs that I high-lighted in the montage, there are many other copper designs in our esmarts etsy teams. Search for tags with esmarts, or go to our esmarts team and look through our stores.

In our designs, you will find hammered copper, wire wrapped pendants and beads, and combinations of gemstones with copper components. There are some wonderful pendants created almost totally from copper wire, with small gemstone chips to highlight the shape. There are some lovely copper charm bracelets and necklaces, and drop dead gorgeous drop earrings. And, if you like the more natural look, check out the copper chain maille designs, some with a patina finish that makes it look like an heirloom, or a find from an archeological dig! Want a gift, I love the bookmark, great for a teacher, professor, book club, any avid reader, or as an added touch for a coffee table book. The gemstone heirloom box is a gorgeous brushed finish; give that special someone the ring of her life this year, in this keepsake box!

See some of our teams copper work at flickr. Here you can click on one you like and it will take you to that listing on etsy:

Or see a photo montage on bubble share:

Shop for the "in" metal this season with our esmarts team on etsy!! Enjoy!

Aug 20, 2008

Patina Play

I love patinas. I guess it takes me back to my art school days when I learned my eraser had as much value as my charcoal pencils. Maybe I simply need more practice at only causing the metal patination where I want it – but I love changing the whole hunk of metal and bringing back the shine to only the desire spots. I love playing with patinas.

Part of my admiration of patina comes from the philosophy that it is what the metal wants to naturally do. And part of my fascination comes from the mad scientist in me – playing with the metal, the chemicals, the heat, the timing – all in an effort to get the right patina shade. I love the Webster definition of patina: “the sheen on the surface of an old object, caused by age and much handling” – ah... much handling; I guess it is the mad scientist in me after all!

Simply put – a patina is what most would call “tarnish.” It’s the color the metal will turn in time by being exposed to the elements (air/light), it’s the change you see when the metal “oxidizes.” This can and will occur naturally but artists can also use the patination process to create depth and interest. You can create a patina on metal with chemicals (like liver of sulfur) or with natural substances (like egg yolks). A patina can give a piece character, a personal stamp, and individuality.

I mentioned four items I work with in the patination process:
  • the metal
  • the chemicals
  • the heat
  • the timing
The metal: Silver will take on a greyish-black look when it oxidizes (has a patina), copper and bronze turn a green color (verdigris) when it oxidizes and brass can become darkened or more red/pink looking.

The chemicals: Liver of Sulfur is the most common chemical for creating a patina on silver; there are specific chemicals for brass and other metals too. You can also place a silver piece in a closed bag of egg yolks to create a patina.

The heat: If you are using a chemical to create a patina – you either need to heat the metal or heat the chemical to achieve optimal results.

The timing: Never leave an item unattended (excessive chemicals can damage/pit the surface)! I have had pieces turn black in a matter of seconds and others requiring many patina sessions – patina colors can begin as a goldish color, move to reds/pinks, move to greens/blues and finally to grey/black.

I found this explanation about timing from the website
1. Heat of the solution speeds up the process.
2. Saturation or concentration of solution speeds up the process.
3. Time in the solution determines the colors rendered

With these three points in mind, to stop the patina at a particular point of color means altering one or all of the above.”

Below are some pieces with patinas from the eSMArts team:

Kari Bryde, Novel Approach

Aug 16, 2008

Statement Jewellery

I came across a great article recently about how to wear statement jewellery ‘better’! It was an interview with Hutton Wilkinson of Tony Duquette in Los Angeles. To quote Hutton “…I think ladies should have no fear when they wear their jewellery”. He recommends wearing pieces in different ways – such as twisted or with the clasp to the side. And the most important thing to keep in mind is attitude! Dress for your own pleasure not for your girlfriend’s pleasure. Don’t try to impress.

So, following this train of thought, here is some glamorous statement jewellery by a couple of our talented artisans here at the eSMArts team. And there are a lot more where these came from ;) Enjoy!

Goldfill, vermeil and onyx necklace by Novel Approach Designs

Mixed gemstone bracelet by Gahoole Tree

Bronze multistrand bracelet by Orange Starfish

Purple and silver necklace by DG Designs

Purple necklace by The World of Wezz

Aren't they talented!

Aug 10, 2008

Australian Designer!

I wanted to aim my spotlight on our Aussie team member, Annette Piper. However, due to our time frame difference, she’s way ahead of me! So, since my message needs to be available on Monday, I wanted to be sure I get this finished so it’s there on time for her. Annette’s work has very classic, sophisticated designs. Her pieces will not “go out” of fashion, like some trendy pieces. These designs you can keep and wear for a lifetime or give as a gift and be sure the receiver will be able to cherish the gift and remember your thoughtfulness for years to come.
The most difficult part of this article was deciding what pieces from her etsy store to high-light! So, I had to start with my favorite jewelry, earrings. I love long dangly chandeliers, so I found her Fatima set. Being drawn not only to the length, which she also balanced with width and different sizes of crystals, I absolutely LOVE the color! These faceted apatit crystals remind me of cool ocean breezes. Anyone wearing these will walk into a room and sparkle! Apatite can have a lovely tendency, because of it’s clarity, to blend with many shades of blue and green, including teal and aqua.
She has a timeless necklace made with a relatively new jade, called serpentine jade. Matched with silver rounds, she calls this piece Urania. The beautiful, smooth gemstones, in various shapes, fairly glow when the light reflects off the face. As you can see, these stones are at once both opaque and translucent, depending on the angle and light. This piece is for the self-assured woman, comfortable in any situation, who knows who she is and is proud of herself.
Annette works with pearls, so I wanted to point out what I considered to be a fanciful l bracelet, Lhamu. My first word is simply wow! A four strand bracelet, it contains pearls of various colors and would look simply divine on your wrist this summer. Pair it with jeans and a summer top, and let the pearls shimmer on your wrist. Or, let it glisten, peeking out from under your suit jacket. It is in a fantastic rainbow of soft colors, so you can match this with almost anything in your closet! What a wonderful, timeless gift.

Sekhmet is composed of gorgeous sunstone ovals, set off with
silver beads and small gold spacers. Annette chose only the best
sunstone pieces she could find, I assure you. Sunstone is supposed to sparkle and display inner light and reflection, and these stones definitely do that! AAA quality, whoever wears this will exude confidence and elegance!

Finally, I wanted to go back to earrings and show you a couple of fun, flirty designs. Both Bhavani and Ketu pairs caught my eye.

The Ketu pair, with it’s small, delicate silver chain, sparkles with amusement. Those stones are faceted hundreds of time, and will twinkle as the light sparkles across them. Finally Bhavani has translucent coins paired with silver wire.
Well, I’ve tried to point out some of my favorite pieces from Annette’s gorgeous work, so you could get an idea of how wonderful her designs truly are. Any piece you selected from her store would be of high quality. I hope you enjoyed hearing about our Australian designer! Check out her entire store at

Teri B

Aug 2, 2008

I just can't make up my mind!

I just can't make up my mind! And my husband would say 'That's the truth!" Just like Edith Ann from Lily Tomlin and Laugh In. (And if that doesn't date me I don't know what does!) .

One day I love Swarovski and the next day I love chainmaille. One day I'm in love with jasper and the next day it's back to Swarovski and on and on it goes!

But the really good part of this addiction is that I have loads of things to play with as my addiction to jewelry making grows. I started my business about 5 years ago -- and never realized what it would grow up to be -- and it's not full grown yet. At least, I don't think it is.... I'm expanding my business - both 'in person' and trying to get a store front started on Etsy. Thank heavens for the eSmarts team that I joined. There is a group that has wonderful ideas and can help the rest of us get moving!

I started with some basic stringing -- that's the "gateway" drug they talk about. And then I had to have some wire and after the wire came more stones and more shapes of Swarovski. And then some classes and of course some tutorials -- free and paid ones both!

And now I'm onto the chainmaille.... I've got a lot to learn and it's pretty much uphill all the way. Most people teach for right handed people and I'm the classic left handed person - uncoordinated and backwards all at the same time!!

But I say all this to tell you why I posted this picture today -- it's a blend of chainmaille and some sparkly Swarovski - what more could an addict wish for? The chain is just a basic 2 in 2 but I really wanted the Swarovski to be center stage - and not be overpowered by the chain. And I think that's what I accomplished.
Joella Miller AKA The Always Wired Bead Lady

Jul 29, 2008

Earthy Elegance from Jewelry Elegance by Jill

-a feature by Teri Baskett

Today I want to introduce everyone to Jewelry Elegance by Jill. From her studio in Marietta, Georgia Jill combines a wide range of jewelry skills and techniques in her unique handmade collections. Today copper is finally enjoying its day in the sun as a popular metal; the warm, earthy hue brings out nature’s bounty when blended in this stunning copper and gemstone bracelet.

Jill’s carefully executed wire coils enhance the natural beauty of the gemstones, and add dimension and depth to this bracelet. Serpentine-like curves hold the eye as you look all around the design, finding new details at every curl.

As I explored Jill’s work, I was next struck by her unique take on the traditional chain maille technique! What a beauty she created in gold filled wire with pretty heart swirls wrapping delicately around the wrist in this glamorous bracelet.

Look at the extra element of the gold bead on each ring connection. What a fresh look that’s suitable for day or evening wear. And anyone who sees this piece will recognize the quality and Jill’s obvious attention to detail.

But Jill’s skills and breadth of design doesn’t stop there. She completed a multi-strand in small seed beads in turquoise and brown. Another in color this year, Jill is one designer who tracks the trends and provides fashionable creations for everyone. Yet, this piece isn’t a fad, by any stretch of the imagination.

This gorgeous necklace can be a staple component of your wardrobe. I can see this under an open blouse, with a suit jacket for fall and winter wear; yet it would look equally lovely with summer jeans and tops! The turquoise color really pops between the brown, and the many strands Jill created add texture and dimension.

Jill also has a very light, flirty look to some of her work. I wanted to share her Drop Earrings, made with shell beads as an example of what I mean. The small Swarovski cubes really enhance the color of the shells. What fun---imagine these dangling from your ears, swinging lightly as you move!

Jill has many other bead designs in her store and even more are shown on her website. She has a gorgeous gray ocean jasper large coin pendant, surrounded, again, by several strands of various gray stones and beads. But this time, her strands include various sizes and shapes of stones. I think this highlights the way these would appear in nature. Not all stones would be round, or flat, or square, or, well, or anything. By mixing and matching shapes and sizes, this multi-strand commands attention, and announces its presence anytime it’s worn!

I have one final piece I want to talk about and that is another wire piece. Jill has really outdone herself, combining a typical fiber craft, crochet, with wire and beads. She calls this her beadhive design and I love it! She’s used carnelian stones, metal leaf charms, and other chips and stones. However all of these have been added while she crocheted fine wire. The result is a broad choker, with nice cone finishing detail at the lobster clasp. Wow everyone with this beadhive design.

Jill’s online boutique “Jewelry Elegance” on etsy features many of her creations at Jill gladly accepts custom orders so feel free to convo her for a prompt free quote.

Visit Jill’s blog to learn more about this fascinating artist’s work and inspirations. Often this intimate peak into the studio environment allows us to connect with a designer and his or her work in a whole new way!

Teri Baskett is a contributing editor and Team Blog Manager for eSMArts (etsy Social Marketing Artisans Guild) a global multi media collective of independent artisans. From her base in Jeffersonville, IN, Teri designs unique handmade jewelry collectables. Teri’s gemstone jewelry collections are available for purchase at

Jul 27, 2008

Twitter Tips , Should You Tweet?

Do u tweet? Should u tweet? And, what the heck do I mean by "tweet," and why am I using the letter 'u' instead of the actual word you?

Tweet is a new verb we may very soon see listed in the Webster Dictionary and refers to the act of posting on Twitter, a social network which is sort of a cross between myspace, instant messaging, and blogging. Members "follow" one another, and on their Twitter page they are asked "What are you doing?" They have a maximum of 140 characters available to answer this question (thus requiring tweeters to sometimes use "u" versus "you").

As you post on your Twitter page, you can also read posts from those you are following, so it is a fun way to get to know others as well as keep track of current friends and family members. It can also be very addicting because it is so quick, easy, and fun to boot. In addition to Tweeting on your computer, you can also take it mobile using your cell phone or black berry.

Other than the fact that it's fun, Twitter is a great tool to help market and promote yourself and your work:

  • Have a new item just added to your Etsy shop? Tweet about it and include the link, which Twitter will automatically change into a tiny URL so you don't waste too many character spaces on it.
  • Just posted a blog entry? Wait, don't add it over there just yet. Instead, create a Twitter feed so that every time you have a new blog entry published, it automatically gets fed into your Twitter page.
  • Once you have your Twitter feed set up, pop over to your Facebook account and add Twitter as one of your feeds there as well.
  • Finally, search for others on Twitter who have similar interests. For example, I write about jewelry making as well as make jewelry, so I searched using the keyword "jewelry" and found some great people to follow who eventually started following me.
Any time you have news, especially related to your business, tweet about it to help get the word out in just a matter of minute!

(If you are interested in following me at Twitter, you'll find Twitter along with my other social networks linked on my blog's About Me page.)

Jul 26, 2008

How did I get started?

I've been making jewelry now for a couple of years, but only in the past 5 or 6 months have gotten much more involved in it. As I explored different medium such as beads, wire wrap, metal clay, metal smithing I began to feel very excited. I've done crafts all my life, but I really felt like working with metal would allow me the creativity I've been looking for. I've never thought of myself as especially creative. I can follow any pattern out there but other than changing colors, fabrics etc, I'm not really good at making up my own patterns. I can't even draw! Now that I have started working with wire and metal I find myself working out designs in my head all the time. For example, my daughter sent me some black and white beads and asked me to make her a necklace from them. First of all, they are HUGE beads. They are 25mm round beads with black and white swirly pattern on them with 18mm solid black round beads. But I've been thinking about them in the back of my mind for the past couple of days and all of a sudden a picture of these big silver hammered square spiral links popped into my head. Now, obviously I can't take credit for "inventing" the link, I must have seen something similar in the past. But the magic for me is that the vision of the necklace developed in my mind. How cool is that? Never before, with knitting, sewing, quilting, cross stitch, anything at all, did that happen. This medium seems to have released something in me. I see ideas for new ways to combine things all the time. I've been using beads in the past few weeks that I have had for months and could not come up with anything.

I guess the moral of my story, as such, is that everyone needs to find what excites them. It may not even be a craft project. It could be anything, in and field. Just find what brings you joy. We all need joy in our lives.

I haven't given up all my other crafts, but they are what they have always been, hobbies that I love to do. In designing and creating jewelry I have found my passion and I hope my future.

Thanks to the eSMArts Team for giving me voice. I'm sorry I missed my "official" day yesterday but I guess it wasn't meant to be yesterday, it needed to be today. Check out my other musings on Michele Cook Designs Blog and let me know what you think.

Crafty Princess Joins Forces with eSmart!

Before I start blogging away here as one of the newest members of the eSmart Team Blog, I thought I better step up and introduce myself. My name is Tammy Powley, and I am a writer, teacher, and designer. You may know me from my weblog, Crafty Princess Diaries, or from my Jewelry Making site, where I've been writing and designing jewelry for about ten years.

After opening the Crafty Princess Etsy Shop, where I sell jewelry making supplies, fine silver metal charms, and the occasional finished piece of jewelry, I discovered the eSmart Team and decided to take the plunge and join up in order to help promote my shop as well as get the "true" Etsy experience.

The nutshell version of my life story is that I have a day job where I teach college English, and when I'm not grading papers, I'm crafting and writing about it. Though much of my writing and designing work has been on the Internet, I also have a number of jewelry making books published.

You can read more about me as well as listen to an audio introduction at my weblog, the Crafty Princess Diaries, which I update just about daily.

Jul 24, 2008

Creative Chaos

Looking around while sitting at my computer tonight in the midst of my beading projects and supplies and answering email, I realized it was probably time to clean up my work area. My goodness, if Mom saw this mess she would most certainly remind me of my teenage bedroom.

So, I role on over to the working part of my desk and look around. Watermellon tourmaline in the process of be made into focal pieces, Akoya pearls looking for ideas and sitting with some beautiful real sapphire and ruby beads. Somehow, they need to go together. 100 inch fresh water pearl strands everywhere. Copper wire, silver wire, a mess of tools, several unfinished and finished projects, a cat hair roller??? Not really sure why that is there. Oh yea, gotta get rid of the cat hair on the black velvet stand. Hmmm.

Straighten,, what a pretty amethyst....wonder if I have other stones to blue, yah, I know I have london blue. Now where did I put that....

Cleaning, what cleaning....leave me alone, I'm creating.!
That of course was the end of my straightening for the night but here's what came of my cleaning spree. You'll have to tell me whether I should have kept right on cleaning.....

9x7 mm Peridot, White Topaz, Amethyst, London Blue Topaz and a Pink Spinel in Sterling Silver bracelet. Adjusts up to an 8" wrist.
Look for this and other chaotic creations in my etsy shop A Beaded Affair and while you are there check out all my favorite shops and visit all the creative, talented and maybe not quite as chaotic ladies and gentlemen of the eSmarts Team.

Jul 23, 2008

Talented Artists are Everywhere

Storm over Atlanta, GA

Last night the rain poured, lighting struck a zillion times. The news channel said to stay home if you didn't have to go out. Homes were burned to the ground after being hit by a lighting bolt. The trees in my backyard were doing their poetic dance with the wind; practically bowing down to the storm. It was beautiful in that frightening kind of way. I could feel the hairs standing up on the back of my neck. The doorbell rang, the dogs barked and I about jumped out of my skin. It was my new friend Elise. We were to go to our first meeting of our newly formed beading circle. We stood in the my kitchen and I received 2 phone calls from my family saying it was really bad out in the storm. Elise and I looked at each other and said, "you ready to go?". And we were off! There's not much that can stop you from doing what you love!

We arrived at our destination 20 minutes late. Neither of us had met our hostess before. We were greeted like we were old friends meeting up again. Within 10 minutes there were 5 of us. Chatting like teenagers and showing off our treasures. Beautiful free form Peyote bracelets. Incredible Sprial necklaces still in progress. Precious Metal pendants, goregous strung necklaces; I was in my own heaven! I can never remember that saying, something about hell or high water, but you know what I mean. There was nothing that could have kept me from missing out on this bead circle.

As we calmed down a bit and decided what we were each going to work on; the chatting continued. We learned a little about each other and set up a meeting for the next 2 months and whose home and what they would teach. Like little children, not wanting it to end, we each slowly headed towards our cars. With long goodbyes and see you soons, we were on our way.

Elise and I were so deep in conversation about how well our first meeting went that she drove right though the light, with someone watching over us, all was safe! I don't know about everyone else but for a few hours last night I felt young again, excited about new friends and basically giddy over being surrounded by some very talented artists. I would highly recommend forming a beading circle in your town. Sharing time with friends is one of the greatest gifts I know.

Take care, Auggie Queen-Parker