From my Etsy Shop...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Busy for the Holiday's and... Oooh, look... a Contest... and What's That??? A Sale Too???

I've been quite busy late, and have really been neglecting my blog. Actually, it seems like everything's been pushed aside so I can get my new website going... cleaning, making jewelry, listing pictures. My site has been my priority and it's slowly coming together. It's hasn't been difficult, but it has been a pain at times. I kinda messed it all up today by putting too much CSS code in, but it was pretty easy to fix once I got the hang of it. You can check it out at Ikow Designs. It's up and running, I just still have a lot of blank spots to fill in. If anyone can come up with some ideas for my home page, I would greatly appreciate it. I'll even go one better on that...

For the person who can come up with the best ideas for my home page (content and/or layout), I'll send you a either a pair of my Vision earrings in Argentium Silver or if you don't wear earrings, I'll send you a Vision Pendant on a silk cord of your choice. Cord colors are light blue, black, brown and light purple. When I say ideas, I don't mean just one thing. I mean enough content to make on good dent on the page. =) Submit ideas here by posting it in comments and I'll make a decision... we'll say on December 1st. Of course, I guess how this goes will depend on how many people read my blog. LOL Right now I don't think it's that many. I know websites are a personal thing, but right now, I am just at a loss as for what to put on it.

I've managed to retake a lot a pictures for the jewelry that's on my Etsy site, and hopefully will get them all listed soon. I also have a lot of jewelry that hasn't been listed yet. There's just so much to do, but until the site is at least somewhat in a livable condition, I just can't bring myself to work on other things. I'm hoping by this Wednesday, I'll be able to push the site aside and get everything listed on both locations.

I have managed to wrangle up a sale for both sites. Everything in my Etsy store and my website store are 20% off from now until the end of December. For my Etsy store, follow through with the purchase, but don't pay. I will send you a revised invoice to pay from. Once payment is received, your item will ship. From my website, the discounted price should show up at checkout. Of course this is the first sale I've had since getting the site up, so I apologize in advance if any little buggies show up.

Ok... I'm signing off for now, but hope to be back on here sometime this week.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Making the Time

Oh how I love creating chainmaille!!! I'm especially busy right now on the jewelry end of things and it's hard finding the time to do what I need... better yet what I WANT to do. I work a full time day job and I'm the manager of two softball teams, which are starting their seasons next week. I'm having to organize alot of stuff to get the two teams ready, plus come home, pick up (what needs picking up), cook dinner if Ted's not home, clean that mess up and still have the energy to sit down and do maille. Not that maille takes a whole lot of energy, but usually if I'm tired, I just wanna plop down on the couch and watch something on TV. My addiction calls though and just about every evening, I'm sitting at my desk creating away. I love it!!!

This weekend I'm headed back to The Hideaway for another round. They're having a Customer Appreciation Day which includes vendors, a cookout, horse shoe tournament, two bands, plus a few other things. I'm really looking forward to it... especially since the only thing I'll need to do for my displays is touch up the paint a bit.

I've also signed up to sell at the Honey Bee Festival in Kernersville next month. It'll be great going back there to work. We lived there for 18 years and I do miss it something awful. It's a great little town (that's not so little anymore), where no matter where you go, you see someone you know. I love it like that! I've also been asked to set up at a small wine tasting event, also in Kernersville, early September. It's very small... just a few hours one evening. I need to get more details on it, but I'm also looking forward to that.

A dear friend of mine, Texstyle Textures ( has placed a wonderful order with me. Full Persian Cross keychains... 40 of them. =) Of course, they're not due for a while so I can pace myself to make it a whole lot easier on my time, hands and back.

There's also an Art Studio/store that I've been wanting to get my jewelry in. I've already approached the woman that owns it... now I just need to set up an appointment with her to show her my work. I'm actually waiting on some tags and earring cards I ordered before I do that. I want to look as professional as possible, but still handmade. I think the tags and cards will bring all of that together just perfectly. They match my business cards and banner and will be attached with black ribbon to my bracelets and necklaces. Everything was designed by Tartsie, on Etsy ( The tags and cards are being printed by KittyCrossBones, also on Etsy (

These next few months will be so exciting for me. I love having a purpose! By that I mean, not just sitting down and creating something to list on Etsy in hopes of selling it. I'd much rather create knowing that it's definitely going to someone, or that it's for a show (and more than likely going to sell).

I'm hoping Sunday I can get back on here an do a Featured Artist. It's been a while since I've done one... a looooong while, so I need to make that a priority.

Have a fabulous weekend!

Peace, Love and Happy Creating!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

It's been way too long...

I've obviously been very slack in updating my blog. Seven months have gone by since my last post and time has just flown on by in the blink of an eye. I've been fairly busy these last few months as business has picked up fairly well for me (off Etsy of course).

During the months of May, June and July I was very busy, trying to get ready for a "show" (if you want to call it that). It was for a Summer Bash that was being held at The Hideaway... a small, local bar that caters to the motorcycle enthusiast. My cousin hooked me up with the owner of the bar for their 3rd Annual Summer Bash (Thanks, Kim!!!). She (Billie) had always wanted to have a jewelry vendor there, and fortunately, my cousin had me. =) It turned out very well and my displays, which I made out of motorcycle parts, were a hit. Mostly what I sold was stainless steel, but a few sterling silver pieces went to good homes.

My handle bar and fender displays came by way of Jack at Clayton Auto Air in Greensboro. Big kisses to Jack. He's such a sweetie! And the muffler and seat were courtesy of BMW in Greensboro. Thanks to Richard and the other guys there for letting me scrounge through all your parts. (I hope I wasn't in the way.) I actually have some more parts from the shop that I haven't done anything with, but I fully intend to make something with them.

The best part of putting all this stuff together was using a dremel tool to cut through the muffler. I went through 4 blades cutting that thing apart and still had to get my son to cut through the center pipe with a hacksaw. I also went through 3 drill bits trying to make holes. *Tap first... a good tap, then drill*. LOL It was all worth it though. I think that and the handlebars are my favorite pieces.

The fender... ahh the fender. LOL Tyler had to use the hacksaw on that too. He and Ted actually took turns cutting it in half (thanks guys). It was tough, and I totally felt bad for them while I was standing there watching. =) I was only able to do a base color on them (working at the last minute), so they're not actually finished yet. I have intentions of doing some more painting on them, but my idea of what I want them to look like has changed. I'll probably end up hunting down another one and reworking it, because I'm not too fond of how they look right now. I don't even think repainting them will change my mind. I actually want to change the shape of it, or at least part of it. I see things in my mind and won't stop until I make it happen.

This little piece (my wire tree) is something I made a year or so ago to display some polymer clay ornaments that Ted and I made. Luckily, it's great for hanging pendants from. =) It really doesn't fit with the theme yet (except for the fact that it's wire), but it will. That's what some of the other motorcycle parts are going towards... a base for my tree. Ted put together a make-shift base out of softballs and cloth. It's not that pretty, but it served it's purpose. The tree is fairly stable, but a bump on the table will send it toppling over.

Here's my whole set up under one little tent. It looks a bit crowded, but it really wasn't too bad behind the tables. I say that, but actually when everyone got there (people I knew), they started hanging out at my area. I loved it, but it did get crowded with 4 chairs back there... especially when it started to rain. Thank goodness the rain only lasted about 10 minutes (due to the overcrowding). We did welcome what rain we got though. It was scorching hot out there, very humid and no breeze at all. And of course, after all the sweating, running makeup and frizzy hair from being out there all day long, a lady from Full Throttle magazine came around to take pictures of us for their magazine. I bet that's gonna be a great picture. LOL

I'm actually going back to do another round at The Hideaway next weekend and am really looking forward to it. I'm diligently working on more weaves (I've had to order more rings... YAY) and will work some more on the displays next week. Derek's loaning me his tables again PLUS an extra tent for all the peeps hanging around (Thanks Derek!!!). I think I'm pretty much good to go. At least I'm alot better of than I was around this time for the last event there.

Here's hoping for another successful event!

... and not so much time passing before I update my blog. *snicker*

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Back to the Grindstone

My rings finally came in and I was able to make Ann's bracelet for her. It shipped out yesterday, so hopefully she'll receive it in another day or two. It turned out beautifully (for my first Full Persian) and I was so glad I got the opportunity to make it for her. I had a really hard time finding copper clasps, so I ended up making one and giving her a choice from 3 different styles. Fortunately, she liked mine better than the others, so it ended up staying. =) I hope she truly enjoys wearing it as much as I enjoyed making it.

Now, it's back to the grindstone. I get to continue with the "entering data" part of my inventory. I think it'll go pretty quickly as soon as I get the program down. I already have everything written out on paper, so I don't have to search for info as I enter each one in. Maybe... just maybe, I can get it all done tonight. Wishfull thinking, I know... but it would be really nice for it to happen that quick, since I have lots and lots of rings just sitting here waiting to be made into chainmaille.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Patiently Waiting

I've been asked to do a custom order for a Full Persian bracelet in Copper by a very sweet woman and I'm trying to be patient while waiting for the rings to arrive. It's getting really hard to do, as I ordered them almost a week ago (tomorrow). It's not that they're taking longer than normal to get here or anything, I'm just anxious to get started on it. I do get all excited when I've ordered rings. They're all shiny and pretty when I open them up and having them around means I'll always have something to do. I did have a pretty big order, so I'm hoping they'll be here today or tomorrow.

I'm almost finished with inventory. Thanks to Ted, I was able to get all of my supplies counted pretty quickly. Now it's just a matter of getting them all into the computer. Of course the data entry will have to wait once I get the rings, but I don't mind pushing it aside. =) You never realize how many supplies you have until you have to take inventory. Jewelry, I pretty much knew because I look at it every day. It is a bit different seeing it all on paper though and I'll probably pass out when the total cost of it all is figured up. My Polymer Clay supplies were crazy. LOL I have tons of PC in all different colors, glitter, pigments, vases coming out the yang... it's nuts. Even if I do run out of rings to do chainmaille, I can't ever say I don't have anything to do. LOL

Ted changed my Godaddy account last night, so I should be able to work on my website soon. He had to change it over so I could use templates instead of HTML. I'm excited about that too. I'll finally have another outlet other than Etsy where I hope my work will be seen. I do like Etsy, but it just so crowded... especially the jewelry side of it. Etsy does have alot of great people, Street Teams and wonderful art, so even after my site is up, I'll still stay at Etsy. I've met too many wonderful people to leave, plus our Freethinkers team is just getting started.

It's taken me just about all day to get this post written. I have some time on my hands throughout the day, so I figured "why not". I did just check the mail and my rings came... YAY! They're all so pretty! That's at least enough rings to do four bracelets and a couple pairs of earrings. I can't wait to get home and start...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

It's Tax Time

I haven't been doing much creating since the weekend... I'm trying to get ready to file taxes. This will be the first year I'm filing for my business and I'm kind of at a loss as to what I need to do. I'm trying to research as much as I can on the internet, but I'll end up calling my Accountant in the end to get specifics. The biggest part of what I need to do is inventory and I am SOOOO dreading that. My boyfriend installed an inventory control program on my computer, which will help out tremendously... it's just going through everything to see what I have. He's not even sure that filing this year will be a good idea since I am still in the start-up phase. I guess he's trying to tell me that I'm still just a bit unorganized. LOL

As soon as I get all this tax stuff done, I'll be ordering some more rings and getting back to creating chainmaille. There's a ton of weaves I want to try, but I can only do one at a time. I actually have the rings to do the Jens Pind's weave sitting right in front of me. It's all too tempting to just drop the tax stuff right now and work on it, but I really do need to wait.

I have a little special going on for those who actually read my blog. If you purchase any jewelry piece off of my Etsy store, enter BLOGSPECIAL in the Notes to Seller and I'll give you a 15% discount on the listed price. If at all possible, convo me BEFORE you add it to your cart and tell me BLOGSPECIAL and which piece you wish to purchase. I'll then change the listing price just before you purchase it. This will save on sending a revised invoice to you. Either way is fine though... just remember BLOG SPECIAL. =)

I have featured another Freethinker Artist, Le Chat Noir Studios, over to the right. Please be sure to stop by her shop and check out her fabulous art dolls.

Til next time...

Peace, Love and Happy Creating

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Out With The Old... In With The New

Wow! I can't believe it's 2008. I had a very busy end to 2007... making jewelry as gifts, trying to find time to wrap everything and getting the house cleaned up for my folks. I made Ted's mom a 20 gauge Byzantine bracelet, my dad got a 16 gauge Byzantine bracelet and my mom got a 9 row 4-in-1 weave bracelet. I saved my mom's bracelet for last because I knew it would take the longest. Little did I know it would take me almost 13 hours to make it. Yes... I stayed up all night making, because of course, I waited til the last minute to do hers. As they were showing up, it was being put into the tumbler. How's that for perfect timing. LOL Unfortunately I wasn't able to take pictures of it, but the next time I'm down there for a visit, I'll get plenty of 'em.

I got a few new toys for Christmas... one being my new laptop. It's so awesome and beautiful! And it's so wonderful not to have to use my son's to run my shop. It was a royal pain trying to get him off long enough for me to get anything accomplished. I have lots of new programs to play with and lots of new stuff to learn. I want to say "hopefully I'll have enough time...", but I'm actually hoping my jewelry business will pick up so I won't have time to mess with anything else. =)

I've listed a few new things on Etsy since my last post. I do believe they're all earrings too. Not that I mean this in a bad way, but they are less time consuming than bracelets and necklaces. I can get more created and can still tear myself away in between to do other things around the house. Once I set out on making something, I'm pretty much glued to it until it's finished. That's NOT good for the others that live with me and depend on me. LOL But I do enjoy it, no matter what I'm making. Chainmaille is so relaxing... it's almost like I'm meditating when I'm creating. I just zone in to the piece and forget about everything else around me.

So here's the earrings I've made... The first pair, The Vision, is of my own design and I think it's truly beautiful. The second is a mixture of chainmaille weaves (Byzantine and 3-in-1) and the third pair is the Shaggy Loops weave. As usual, if you'd like more information on them, just click on my shop above.