Friday, March 25, 2011

Jewelry for my garden, from GardenJewels on Etsy

A few weeks ago I was blog hopping around, and stumbled across Garden Jewels Blog - she was hosting a giveaway of her pretty stained glass wind chime, to celebrate the Spring Solstice.

I see a lot of giveaways that I don't enter, because if it's not something I would use I figure let someone else win - but this one....soooooo me! Sunday morning I awoke to Julie's email letting me know I had won, and my new wind chime arrived yesterday and is now hanging in my gazebo! Love it!

Please visit Julie's Etsy Shop: GardenJewels where she has many more beautiful creations!

Meanwhile, more orchids are opening up:

Monday, March 21, 2011

Petite Pretties - Sometimes Simple is Beautiful Too

Earlier, I wrote about my expanding complex, multi-stone cluster earrings. This weekend I decided to go in completely the other direction, and remember that many beautiful gems need almost no dressing up to make a statement by themselves.

Particularly with a nice larger stone (10mm or more), a little accent of silver is perfect. I'm not one to wear longer earrings to work either, but I only leave the house with naked ears if I'm going running, so I was inspired by some of my stones to create the following, which I'll add to the shop this week.

Nice big juicy deep red garnets:

Funky Rutilated Quartz:

Mystic Blue Quartz:

And beautiful Clear Crystal Quartz:

Yes, these were all pictured outside - I haven't abandoned by interior pictures but the smaller earrings just get dwarfed with too much of a setting I find - also the weather was soooo perfect this weekend I used it as an excuse to spend more time on the patio!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Spring Blooming in the Garden - Anticipation

Many of my orchids call this gazebo their home - either hanging in it on lined up on the shelves. Almost every plant is teasing me with new spikes waiting to bloom. Some are ahead of the others so I wanted to start capturing them. Perhaps 2 or 3 more weeks and they will all be showing off for me nicely.

My 4ft tall plum vanda in the back has two spikes now. The large oncidium hybrid at the front put up 5 (I had this one indoors last year but the smell is a little overpowering - one of not many smelly orchids!)

This little pair of phals have never bloomed before - I've had them for years so I'm very pleased to see what they can do - worth the wait:

Big pics will come when they are all blooming...

Here's a close up of the "smelly oncidium". Looks like I didn't save its tag when I repotted it so unfortunately I don't have the exact name.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Photographing Jewelry - for my Etsy shop

Ask any Etsy seller what they struggle with the most? PICTURES! And not just lovely, clear, representative, focused, accurate pictures, but that small thumbnail that appears in the results list of shoppers that has to make you click!

Taking good pictures of jewelry presents its own challenges. Tinkering with camera settings, lighting options, composition... it's this last category that I'm working on lately - how to display jewelry in a way that is both accurate and enticing, and competitive against all the other listings in any category.

One thing I've noticed lately in some other shops, is the use of layers or contrast in the background, so I tried that with a few recent shots. I'm also experimenting with interior light - daylight bulbs - to allow myself more control of the light source - the sun here is very hit and miss and only "perfect" for a very short window on my patio.

Here are some new samples:

I've had trouble capturing these Iolite earrings for some time - I'm not convinced this is a good shot, but I like it for now while I experiment more.

For these garnet earrings, I like the layout, but I can't get the lighting right - gonna have to play around with this one some more.

Ah now bracelets and necklaces are made for draping - this one I'm quite happy with (for now!)

Of course, these and all my others are currently in my Etsy shop:

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Creative Marketing - would you vote for me?

Heartsy is a new site that popped up recently that has the Etsy forums buzzing a little. Much like Groupon, shops submit offers for a group discount (certain number of deals at a certain price, pretty nice discounts). Heartsy pays the shops, then passes the discounts onto the shoppers Then shoppers buy the coupon/discount, come to your shop and hopefully fall in love!

It's brand new so there's no added fees, the discounts are passed in full to the buyer, so it's a great deal.

I've submitted my shop, and put up the requested pictures of some items - it's all anonymous until/unless I'm selected, but I do need a few more votes to be featured!

Click here to go to one of my shop items on heartsy - please pick "Yes, Definitely!"

I listed up the following 4 pictures on the site. If enough people "Definitely" want a deal from me, they will offer it on the site and work with me to set it all up. I love the marketing aspect of running my shop, so this is a fun experiment and I hope to get picked!

A couple of the pictures I loaded up you have seen before from my january posts, here are a couple more I selected to show:

Wish me luck (and thank you if you voted!)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


I received a couple of gem orders this past week - mainly to replace existing stock for some popular designs, and also some for new ideas. I couldn't resist laying them together, being all shiny and decadent and stuff!

More often than not a new pair of earrings is inspired by the stones themselves, and sometimes the gems are nice just to gaze at for a while, before the work, enjoy!