Favorites, in Natural Hues, an Etsy Treasury by Pleasant Peasantry

Thank you Pleasant Peasantry for including my brass Victorian style pendant necklace, Bloom Where You Are Planted, in your lovely new Etsy treasury.

Handmade by 192 fingers and 48 thumbs! An Etsy Treasury by Armored Hearts

Thank you Armored Hearts for featuring my oxidized brass necklace, Peace Comes From Within, in your beautiful Etsy treasury.

Lisianblue


This week's featured Handmade Artists Forum artist is Kris of Lisianblue. Kris hails from Albuquerque, New Mexico and comes from a family full of talented people, from whom she learned many of the crafting techniques she uses today. Her joy of giving and sharing and her love of nature came from her Mother. Her Grandmother taught her to crochet and knit and to never stop learning. Her Father taught her that she could do whatever she wanted to do and to do it well, and the two of them could often be found doing projects together like candle making and soap decorating. Today she makes fine art prints, unique handpainted ornaments, beautiful jewelry and stained glass treasures, but nothing I say here will do her work justice, so I'll show you a few photos of her work instead. 

Stained Glass Art Nouveau Inspired Valentine
Butterfly Fantasy Hand Painted Collectible Ornament
Green Crystals and  Flower Dangle Earrings
More beautiful creations from Lisianblue can be found on Artfire: 
http://www.artfire.com/modules.php?name=Shop&seller_id=19822&op=new&body=1

So You've Been Featured in an Etsy Treasury!

That's music to an Etsian's ears. If you're an artist on Etsy, having a fellow artist include one of your items in their Etsy treasury is one of the highest compliments you can receive. Etsy treasuries are a showcase of some of the finest items Etsy has to offer. 
People who make Etsy treasuries choose a main theme for their treasury and spend a good deal of time hand picking just the right items to fill up their poster sketch. Then they wait patiently for the next treasury to become available. 
Sometimes it can take days to snag a treasury. Considering all the time and effort that can be involved, it's an honor when someone chooses to showcase one of your creations--and it can drive a significant amount of traffic to your shop. 
So suppose you've been chosen to be in a treasury. Hooray!! What a thrill! Now is your time to bask in the glow of the spotlight the treasury curator has provided for you. And after you've spent time admiring your feature, there are some things you should consider doing next:


1. Personally thank the curator for the thoughtfulness of including your item in their beautiful treasury. 
2. Go to the treasury page and leave a comment about the treasury for the curator. The more clicks and comments a treasury gets, the higher its rating.
3. Take a screen shot of the treasury for your blog. Write a little something about how you've been featured, and don't forget to mention the name of the curator. It's only fair to advertise the creator of the treasury, since they are the ones who found your beautiful item and chose to showcase it.
4. Post the screenshot to Facebook. Posting the photo will pique the interest of your friends and fans and encourage them to go see the actual treasury and leave a comment of their own. Be sure to include a working link to the treasury to make it easy for your friends to find it. 
5. Tweet about it. Let your Twitter friends know you've been showcased. Post the link to the treasury and ask that your followers click on the treasury and comment.
6. If you belong to an Etsy street team, by all means, let them know you've been featured. Team members are notoriously supportive of their fellow members and will help you spread the good news. 
7. Stumble it, Digg it or whatever else you can think of in order to get the treasury more exposure. 


Just remember, the more people who see your feature, the greater the exposure for Etsy and everyone involved in the treasury. It's a win/win when you do your part to advertise the fact that your talent has been recognized in such a special way.



Say It With Color!

This is my Etsy treasury, featuring my talented fellow artists from HAFteam and Indiejteam.
Comments cherished! ;)

Team Treasures

My Spring Jelly Beans earrings have been included in this beautiful new Etsy treasury by HaffinaAgain.
Comments Cherished ... ;)

HEARTS AND FLOWERS

My Crimson Summer Flowers earrings have been included in this beautiful Etsy treasury by ParadisePurls.
Comments cherished ... ;)

Spring Jelly Beans Swarovski and Silver Earrings

8mm Peach AB Czech Glass faceted rounds and 4mm peridot Swarovski faceted crystal bicones are separated by sterling silver daisy spacers in these sweet earrings, perfect for Easter and all your Spring and Summer outfits.
Earrings dangle just over 1 1/2 inches from sterling silver ear wires.

The Wonderful Digital Art of Melanie Morales

Melanie Morales is a fellow Etsian and Facebook friend, and I'd like to introduce you to her beautiful artwork. She is a master of digital art and states that digital art is like any other form or art, it is just created using different tools. According to Melanie, "Art is not about the tools used to create it. It is about the vision, message or emotion of the artists." This unique and personal expression shows through beautifully in Melanie's artwork, and here are three of my favorite pieces currently on sale in her Etsy shop:
Love is Sweet
Lake Fairy
Wisdom
To view more of Melanie's amazing art, click on the title above to see her Etsy shop or visit her blog:
http://digitalartbymelaniemorales.blogspot.com/

Spring Classic Swarovski and Silver Earrings

6mm Rose Water Opal faceted Swarovski bicones and 4mm Rose faceted Swarovski bicones make up these simply sweet earrings. Coiled sterling silver spacers separate the crystals and add extra dazzle. These soft pastel earrings are equally perfect for your own warm weather wardrobe or as a special gift for Mom this Mother's Day.

Earrings hang just over 1 1/4 inches from the tops of the sterling silver ear wires

LTD Beads & Jewelry

This week's Handmade Artists Forum member spotlight is on Joan Langerfeld of LTD Beads & Jewelry of Syracuse, New York. Joan says there is a box in her garage simply labeled, "Joan's Stones". She collected them as a child, which was undoubtedly the start of her love affair with all things beautiful and natural. Joan was educated at LeMoyne College and began her career in the graphic arts, eventually operating a local typesetting shop. Years later, however, she decided to return to where her true heart lies, making her beautiful beaded jewelry. "I've taught beading classes locally and sell my jewelry at local stores and craftshows, as well as on the internet. I love classic designs that stay stylish as well as beautiful eclectic pieces. I prefer to use fully natural materials - gemstones that are not dyed, reconstituted or treated in any way. My creations are made with joy." That joy shines through in Joan's beaded necklaces, bracelets and earrings -- jewelry that reflects her love of nature, beauty and fun. Here are just a few examples of her amazing talent and stunning designs:

Mother of Pearl Triple Strand Necklace in Teal
Tiger Eye and Citrine Handmade Bead Bracelet
For more beautiful creations from the LTD Beads & Jewelry
collection, click on the title above to check out her blog,
or you can visit her shops on Etsy and Artfire:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/ltdbeads
http://www.artfire.com/users/ltdbeads

Jasper and Pearl Pendant Necklace

Beautiful Sandstone Jasper pendant, ovals, rounds and chips take center stage in this stunning necklace. Fanciful Mother of Pearl flowers shine in varying caramel beige shades. Amber freshwater pearls, ivory glass pearls and Czech glass beads in various shades and shapes work together perfectly to fill out the rest of this 22" necklace. 

Thrive Antiqued Brass Pendant Necklace

Beautiful and inspiring, this necklace encourages the wearer and all who see it to "Thrive." A delicate cable chain leads to a dramatic chain in Celtic knot design, leading to the 1 3/8 inch by 2 inch pendant with cut out floral design. Two faceted 6mm tortoise shell Czech glass rounds with brass spacers separate the two chains. 

Necklace is 19 1/2 inches long. Both chain and pendant contain no lead or nickel.

My Irish Eyes Earrings are Featured in This Beautiful Etsy Treasury by LapisBeach

Oxidized Brass Pendant Necklace

Hexagon links on one side and cable links on the other provide interest and style in this oxidized brass beauty. Decorating the cable chain side of the necklace is a caramel creme shell bead surrounded by two butterscotch Mother of Pearl flower beads, embracing 7mm Tiger Eye rounds. Center of attention is a 1 1/4 inch by 1 1/2 inch oxidized brass pendant which reads, "Peace Comes From Within". 

Necklace closes in back with a lobster claw clasp and is 22 inches long.

My Irish Eyes Earrings Made it to the Front Page!

Brass Victorian Style Pendant Necklace

Alternating oval and round brass links provide unique interest to this Victorian style necklace. The one inch round pendant reads "Bloom Where You Are Planted." Brass floral connectors and 6mm copper Crystallized Swarovski Elements pearls add charm and beauty. Necklace is 19 1/2 inches long.

Just in Time for St. Patrick's Day: Irish Eyes

Pear-shaped faceted olivine Crystallized Swarovski Elements briolettes are beautifully hand wrapped in luminous, tarnish resistant Argentium sterling silver wire. This tarnish resistance is of significant importance to wearers who want to maintain the "like new" shimmer of their silver jewelry. 

The 15mm x 14mm crystals dangle about one inch from the bottom of the sterling silver earwires. 

Why not treat yourself to a little sophisticated elegance?

Insomniacs Intervention: An Etsy Treasury by HaffinaAgain

Thanks to fellow HAFteam member, HaffinaAgain, for allowing me to be part of her amazing Etsy Treasury.

Featuring Handmade Artists Forum Member: Baublezptoa

Baublez--pretty things of adornment--are made by Carmen Trueheart, using sterling silver, vintage and lampwork beads, and gemstones. This amazingly talented artist hails from from sunny Saint Augustine, Florida and has dabbled in many areas of jewelry making since her humble "hippie" beginnings in Richmond Virginia. She began by stringing beads for necklaces, bracelets and earrings to give to friends and family, but soon began learning about the beads she loved so much--their history, what they meant, and their values. Her lust for learning led her to silversmithing and to her medium of choice now: creating beautiful jewelry made from Precious Metal Clay.
"It is one of the things I love to do, and it is an outlet for my desire to use my hands to create. And of course the positive feedback of someone wearing my creations is a marvelous reward."
Below are just a few of her beautiful works of art, and more can be found here: 
http://www.baublez.themooaany.com




Freeform Boulder Opal Pendant on leather cor
Boulder Opal in a strange shape accented with bali and sterling silver beads and findings.
Strung on a 17" light brown leather cord with sterling lobster claw clasp.

Pendant of Molten Silver of the Moon
Twice fired precious metal clay, with blues golds and black.
Red Jasper with Blackstone and Cross Beads Pendant on Leather Cord
Red Jasper Heart with blackstone beads and cross stone beads,
strung on a tan leather cord with sterling silver lobster claw clasp.

Spring, Greens and Jelly Beans: An Etsy Treasury by knitsbywlsm12

Thank you to knitesbywlsm12 for including my Irish Eyes earrings in your beautiful new treasury.

Bizzarios

Check out the fun and quirky 3 dimensional art from Canadian and fellow Indie Junction friend, Bizzarios. Click on the link above to see more of this very hip and happenin' art form.
SOFT GREEN

Copper Czech Glass and Pearl Necklace

This delicate and feminine Victorian style copper necklace features two pale peach Czech glass rounds, ivory pearls, 4 and 6 mm crystal bicones, and two beautiful peach colored freshwater pearls with a smoke Czech glass round as the centerpiece. Necklace is 17 inches long.

It's Easy to Sparkle: An Etsy Treasury by Aimee's Rock Works

Thank you Aimee of Aimee's Rock Works for including my Spring Song Indian Sapphire earrings in your beautiful Etsy Treasury.

Inexpensive Display Ideas for Craft Shows

I'm always trying to come up with affordable ways to spice up my craft show tables, and I thought I would share a couple of ideas I've come up with over the years.

Earring Displays

Discarded produce boxes from the grocery store, spray painted and covered with a lacy tablecloth make a great tabletop display stand. On top of the draped boxes, I place a cheap, plastic lazy Susan, cover that with a round place mat and top the whole thing off with a pretty wrought iron basket. I hang my earrings on the basket, and it turns all the way around so people can see lots of my earrings in one spot. A small decorative mirror hangs down from the handle of the basket, which is at eye level for customer use.
Another great trick if you have lots and lots of earrings is to take a piece of foam board--I was lucky enough to find a large tri-fold foam board at a local craft store--then cover it in burlap. Simply tug the burlap tightly over the board and glue the pieces in the back. Be sure to try to keep the back as neat as possible, as many craft show promoters are as particular about the backs of your displays as they are about the fronts. Sometimes you'll be placed at a table in the middle of room at a craft show, and the backs of your displays will be extremely noticeable.

I really like this type of display, because the earrings hang snug and secure to the holes in the burlap, and when the display is on a tabletop, your earrings are just the right height for easy viewing by your customers. With my tri-fold display, all I have to do before a show is fold it up so the earrings are on the inside, place it inside of a plastic garbage bag, and I'm good to go! If you're able to keep the board standing up in your vehicle, the burlap keeps the earrings safely in place on the board during the trip.




Lighting

For a little extra sparkle where I need it, I use a handful of mini LED flashlights. My flashlights have little straps on them which I attach to a pretty recycled wrought iron bird cage I found in a thrift store. I painted the cage black to match my earring baskets. Because the bird cage is round, I can hang the flashlights to shine anywhere on the table I want them to, and they give off just enough light to give select pieces of my jewelry that little extra pop and pizzazz. The batteries in the flashlights last around 12-16 hours, which will give you the light you need for a two day craft show.

So now you know my favorite economical craft show tips. If you have any of your own that you'd like to share, I'd love to hear them!

Disrespect or Patriotism?


Fans at a Blackhawks hockey game in Chicago don't have to feign interest in the National Anthem, because they're part of the performance. But once again, the discussion has cropped up of how patriotic--or disrespectful--Hawks fans are. At many public events, the National Anthem has become simply routine and largely ignored, something you just have to wait through to get to the main event. It is not like that at a Chicago Blackhawks home game. In Chicago, it's not just the tradition before the event, it's an integral part of the game. 

The crowd has been cheering during the anthem since game 3 of the 1985 Western Conference Finals versus the Edmonton Oilers, but the real tradition began when Wayne Messmer sang the anthem in 1991, just after the start of the first Gulf War. Even Wayne Gretzky wasn't sure the game should have been played that night. But after that game, and in regard to the cheering during the anthem, he said, "But the overwhelming sign of patriotism, the appreciation of one's country ... it gave me goose bumps." A fan was quoted as saying, "I don't think the anthem is something that always has to be taken in some sort of solemn reverence. I cheered during the anthem because I love my country."

The cheering has only gotten louder since that game. Hands go over hearts and tears have to be fought back as the cheering reaches its crescendo at "And the rockets red glare."  "I love hearing from veterans that I brought tears to their eyes," says Jim Cornelison, who has been performing the anthem for the Blackhawks on and off since 1996. "It's one of the best parts of the job."

U.S. military veterans are invited to stand beside Jim during the anthem. It's also tradition for fans to scream and applaud loudly and for players to reach over the wall and bang their sticks on the ice as other military veterans in attendance are announced to the crowd.

The emotion and appreciation on the faces of the vets is all that needs to be said about the patriotism of a Chicago Blackhawks hockey fan.

Czech Glass Chain Earrings























These dramatic earrings feature 8mm faceted Vitrail AB Czech glass rounds dangling from intricately woven 2 inch long gray metal linked chains. Ear wires are hypoallergenic stainless steel.

Shopping in the Garden: An Etsy Treasury by Vintage Scraps


Thank you to Vintage Scraps for including my Dainty Delights Earrings in this beautiful new Etsy Treasury!

Sunshine Award!

Thanks to Zur Designs for nominating me for this special award!


Rules for accepting this award:
* Put the logo on your blog or within your post.
* Pass the award onto 12 bloggers.
* Link the nominees within your post.
* Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
* Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.

I nominate the following blogs for the Sunshine Award:

Spring Showers, Frozen Flowers

Artshus by Violet

Violet of Artshus by Violet is a sweet and talented Aussie who lives in Sydney and enjoys making the most out of life. Happily married, with three sons and a daughter, Violet loves people, collecting vintage hat boxes, watching "Chick Flicks", enjoying a good cup of coffee and creating beautiful works of art. Her artistic talent lies in many areas from making gift tags to painting. She is a valued member of the Handmade Artists Forum and I'd like to share a few of her creations with you.





These beautiful shoe paintings are just a small sample of Violet's many talents. To see more of her creations, visit her website: http://www.decorativedelights.com/

Summer Flowers Earrings

Summer Flowers EarringsThese earrings feature 21mm x 23mm frosted crimson trumpet flowers, clear berry Lucite daisies, antique brass daisy bead caps, frosted daisies and clear red glass beads. Antique brass leaf bead caps, spacers and iridescent red AB Czech glass rounds sit atop the flower. Earrings dangle 2 3/4 inches from the tops of the 20mm by 40mm brass kidney ear wires which are lead and nickel free.

I'm proud to be featured in this beautiful Etsy treasury by Paradise Purls