Monday, March 31, 2014

Snuggle Bunny Buddy

This was a fairly easy project to make, even for my first time. I had been wanting to make these for what seems like forever. I did not have enough of the main color, to make the blanket as big as I wanted, so I added an antique white, then the bunny was done in white, and ears and arms in the main color. I am really pleased with how it came out. This snuggle friend is available in my Etsy store. Perfect gift for a newborn, or toddler, and no loose items for baby to choke on, completely safe. I am going to donate some of my old items, that have not sold, to organizations that take handmade baby items. I just have not found one yet, which is really sad. I shall keep looking, however. I might have to contact my local hospitals and clinics.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

My Custom Made Wedding Anniversary, Mother's Day, and Birthday Gift all in one

When I saw this ring, from Etsy seller, Stones and Gold, I just had to have it. I contacted the seller to see if they would do a layaway plan with me, and if the ring could be made in a 4 1/2. They said yes to both. So, I put it on layaway, and it just came today. I am so very pleased with this, Pink Tourmaline and Diamond ring, in white gold. I have made my own wedding bands in the past, but never diamonds. Diamonds are hard to get, grade, and buy in my opinion, plus to find a white gold setting in my size, well it would all be not worth the work to me to do it. The Pink Tourmaline has awesome color, and a perfect size for me, about 1/2 carat. The diamonds are clear and white, and sparkling. I am very pleased, and excited to show it off.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

I Finished The Fire Dept Blanket/Wall Hanging

When my husband asked me if I could crochet a blanket for the firehouse, I said sure. But he wanted me to create a logo to put on the blanket. I warned him, I had never done that before and was unsure of how it would come out. He said, ok. This was a very timely project, mostly because I didn't have a lot of time to devote to it. It is Red and black, and the logo is black with red writing. After I completed it, I think he was a bit disappointed. He said he thought the logo would have been larger. I made the logo that size for a reason, I told him. 1- it was hard enough to hold the blanket and sew the logo on the blanket, with the size of the blanket, it is even slightly off center because it was hard for my little hands to do that. 2- if you wanted a blanket why would you want a logo as big as the blanket? Why make the blanket then? Anyways I think he liked it, I hope he did. It will be delivered to the fire dept soon. I guess if I do another, I will make the logo a little bit bigger, oh and writing out words with crochet yarn, is not easy either. I think I will offer these logo blankets as a custom order in my Etsy store.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Spring Bunny Painted Napkins

Last week I painted glass bunny plates, this week I painted napkins to match. There are actually six napkins, but I only got two done. That is because it was also art night for homeschooling, and we painted Blue Footed Boobies. I had one plate that I did not like. So, I left it unsealed, washed the paint off, and will redo it. As you can see, I painted both bunnies Sable, I love sable bunnies, and the clouds are slightly different. That was on purpose, lol. These napkins, I believe they are cotton, were found at a local thrift store.  I have had them for a while, unsure what I wanted to do with them.   These, along with the plates, will adorn my dining room table, until Easter, or after even, since they are a Spring theme. I have not had much time to play with my resin, or crochet. So, hopefully one day this week, I will get to that. I really want to finish the blanket I am making for the fire dept.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Vintage Leonard Silver Co. Silver Ice Bucket Server Thrift Store Find

About a week ago, my daughter and I went into the Haven Hospice Thrift Store, in Chiefland, FL. I go in every couple of months just to see what they might have of interest. I found a treasure trove of things on this trip. My favorite, however, was this vintage Leonard Silver Co. silver ice bucket. It was very tarnished, so I could not see any of the markings, or writing on the piece. But, it was heavy, real heavy, so I figured it was real nice. After I cleaned it, and looked up the company, it is most likely brass, with sterling silver plating. I could not find this actually piece, so maybe it is rare too. It is now sitting in my nice, new, China cabinet, which was actually given to me by someone who just wanted to get rid of it. How nice! I found some other odds and ends, as well, but this was my favorite, and I only paid 9 dollars for it.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

2 New Hand Painted Gift Bags for Easter

I got two more gift bags painted, for Easter. He is Risen and the flower adorned cross, are both available in my Etsy store, with free shipping to USA buyers. If you are looking for a more Faith based gift wrap, rather than the Easter Bunny, these are perfect. They can be re-used or framed and hung on the wall. The other bag is one my daughter painted for her friend's birthday next week. We still have to add her name, with micro beads, and she forgot the unicorn horn, lol. We will be giving her a frame in the bag, to frame it after her birthday is over. If you would like a custom bag painted, just contact me through my Etsy store, or leave me a comment here with a way to contact you.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Hand Painted Bunny Tail Glass Plate for Easter or Spring

This is my first post using Google Chrome, and man oh man, it is so much faster and better than, Explorer and definitely Firefox which has had so many issues lately. Anyway, I got so much done yesterday. I think I met all my goals for yesterday. I am nearing completion of the firehouse blanket, and I can not wait to share it, and offer as a made to order piece in my Etsy store. But, I got to paint, a lot, last night. I typically paint on Monday evenings, but last week due to 4H, was not able to. Caitlin painted a gift bag for her friend's birthday coming up. I did not share it, because I don't want anyone to see it before her birthday. We bought a frame so when she is done with the bag she can frame it. I love these gift bags, that I choose to paint on. They can be re-used or framed and enjoyed forever. One of the things I painted was glass plates. Caitlin, and I, realized that we have tons of Fall and Christmas decorations, but hardly any Spring or Easter. I had seven glass plates, so I decided to do six. These are not for sale, but if anyone is interested I can do a custom order in my Etsy store. Glass is very expensive to ship, and these plates are heavy. You can see my favorite one below. A couple did not come out good at all, and I can just wipe it off, and redo those two.That is the nice thing about acrylic paint, you can just wash it off, and do over. At least until you seal the paint on, lol. None of them were painted the same colors, and all are from the back so you can the cute bunny tails. When you paint on glass plates, or trays, you have to paint backwards. Normally you always paint your background first, and then everything else. With glass you do the opposite. This means, for the bunny tail to show on the side you would eat on, I had to do the tail first, let it dry, and then do the rest. Painting on glass plates is a challenge, I can tell you that. I also got two Easter gift bags done. I will share them in another post, but you can always visit my Etsy store and see them there. My banner will take you straight to my store.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Would It Bother You If You Offered Awesome Prices and Someone Just Bought It To Resell?

Yes, this would bother me.  If I was a wholesale seller, and was still making money, then OK.  But when you hand make your items, and want to offer your customers awesome deals, and someone buys it just to resell it, that just burns me.


So, what got me even thinking about this?  Do I know that this has happened?  No, I do not.  But, I have been doing some research, after an article I read, and it seems people do this.  Why?  Because they can.  Basically if I want to sell my items well below what other sellers will, then someone who never even learned how to crochet, make jewelry or paint, could just take your item and resell it.  Now, this really irritates me because, most of my gemstone jewelry is sold way under what retail would sell it for.  I do this purposely, because one of the reasons I started to make my own jewelry was because of the ridiculous prices that retail charges for simple and common stones.  But, it took me a long time to teach myself to hand set gemstones into semi mounts, and castings, and I ruined a lot of pieces and stones in the process.  So, yes it makes me angry. 

I very often share how I make, or made things, or where I found the pattern at, so people copying my stuff really is not an issue.  But, to just lazily take claim for something you did not make, is just low, in my opinion. 

So, with all that in mind, I have made a few decisions.  One, I have re evaluated my prices on all my items, and adjusted them to prices that I still think are fair, but that will discourage resellers.  Two, I will no longer be doing the auctions on this blog.  I only did one, but it is always my hope that someone who truly loved the piece, but could not afford it would get it, not someone just looking to resell it.  I would rather donate my pieces to organizations that I know.  Three, and this has nothing to do with this general topic but I wanted to announce it, is that all my items are being converted to free shipping.  Free shipping will apply to USA buyers only, and art will still be shipped unframed.  I have almost 150 items in my Etsy store, so if you see something that has not yet been converted to free shipping and you want it, just message me. 

All this may sound over sensitive, but right at this moment, this is how I feel.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Ruby, Blue Topaz, Amethyst, Citrine and Aquamarine Set In Clear Resin

These are the resin pieces with gemstones in them, that I have done so far. Some have been drilled but others have not. Because, I am still new to resin I do a bit of experimenting. For example I love the purple glitter with the Citrine gemstone. But, as you can see the Citrine moved a bit out of the window so it is not exactly where I intended it to be. The lighter colored stones, do not do well with glitter in the resin. I thought it would enhance them but it did not. The light blue stone, which I think is Aqua but could be a pale Blue Topaz, is really quite nice if you can get a good lighted shot. The pudgy pear Amethyst is a really lovely light purple but it kind of got drowned out in the resin. The two blue Topaz I really liked adding just a touch of white acrylic paint to the resin in the final layer to add some dimension, again I am not sure I like the glitter. I think I will do without it next time. On the other hand, the Ruby is in completely clear resin, with no glitter and it is quite lovely, but there are micro bubbles, that I did not eve know where there until I took it out in the sunlight. I think the micro bubbles don't necessarily take away from the piece, especially if you want to make it look more natural, but customers may not care for it. Some of these have been listed in my Etsy store, Melissa's Menagerie of Stuff, and some have not. This week the kids and I are on Spring Break, so I hope to get some more of these completed and listed. Some I list as cabochons, and others I make into finished pieces.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Do You Need A Good Arm Workout? Hope Resin Keychain With Pink Beads

Do you need a good arm workout, for a really good price? Then you need to be drilling your resin manually, using a bead reamer. The other day, I drilled some more pieces and let me tell you my arms got a work out. It is hard work doing it this way. Most people use a dremmel, I like the old fashioned way, lol. Or just like torture. I have been being creative with my resin again. I had this charm, from another project, so I decided to place it in resin. Rather than using glitter, I used pink beads to add the pink color to the piece, and one stray blue bead got in there too. Then I drilled the hole, with my bead reamer, and added the wire wrap bail and the keychain component. This is a reversible keychain, because the other side of the charm has a dove on it. This is available in my Etsy store, which you can access by clicking on my Etsy store banner on this blog. This would make a great gift for any woman who needs a little extra love and hope to carry around with them.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Team All About Blogspot Treasury on Etsy

I will try to feature a team treasury at least once a month, and possibly twice. Treasuries take a long time to put together, so showing them some love is a great motivator to do more. You can view the treasury, and purchase by clicking on this link. If you would like to join the team, All About Blogspot, just click the link. This treasury has the theme, Mother's Day gift ideas. So, if you are not sure what to get Mom this year, check it out. There is jewelry, art, beauty products, items for the home and more too.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

What Have I Been Up To?

My newest project is a tire garden. I had old tires donated to me, which is a bit tricky because they are all different sizes. I had to prop some up to make it more level. Now I just need three more cans of paint, one more board, and start filling with dirt. Three tires already have stuff planted in them. I will show the final result, when it is finished. I am still working on the crochet wall hanging for the fire dept, here where we live. I have not decided, yet, how I am going to do the logo. I have never crocheted a logo before, so it could be interesting. I took about 400 pictures yesterday, of my resin pieces, and jewelry. I got some really good shots. I did get to sand some of my pieces, to last night, and will have new pieces in my Etsy store soon. That is what I have been up to. How about you?

Monday, March 10, 2014

Tip Top Amusement Park Photography

I am now an active member of the blogging Etsy group called, All About Blogspot. That is pretty straight forward, don't you think? So, today, I am sharing an item from a fellow member, Alew Photography. I remember, when I was a kid, every year at the end of Summer there was the Fair. I loved the Fair, the smells, sounds, games, shows, but most of all I loved the rides. I don't ride anymore, at least not rides that spin a lot, lol. But, when I was a kid you couldn't keep me off them. This photograph is a picture of a fair ride, one I would probably ride again and again, all day long. Especially on bracelet day, oh the best day of all. If you would like to purchase this, or check out her other work, you can visit ALew Photography on Etsy.

Friday, March 7, 2014

3 Day Auction Starts Now

Straight from my Etsy store, and up for auction is this beautiful pink and white baby girl cocoon. This is for a newborn up to three months. No buttons or zippers and baby stays warm and safe. It has been stored in a zip lock bag in a smoke free home. We do have dogs, but it is sealed in the bag so no exposure. This was listed for 20 dollars in my Etsy store, at a sale price, 30 dollars regular price. I pay shipping fees. Auction Rules: Bid increments are 1 dollar Starting bid 4.99 US dollars This item can only be shipped to US First person to bid opening bid and then it goes from there All bids are to be left in the comments Auction will be closed at 9 PM Eastern time on Sunday March 9, 2014 If you win I expect you to pay All payments through Paypal only After auction closes winning bidder will be announced and contacted by the email they leave with their bid When you bid you must leave a way to be contacted or your bid is invalid Highest bid wins!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Night Owl in Tree Painted Resin Heart

I was so excited today to give painting on the resin another try. I will tell you how I came up with this almost finished piece. First I mixed the resin, and added a tiny bit of black acrylic paint to the resin. I used a toothpick this time rather than squeezing a drop in. Even a drop was too much and it changed the property of the resin. After mixing it, it was this awesome smoky color, like when it just starts to get dark. Then I added the owl sticker to the resin, and let it cure 12 hours. If you use silicone molds the resin cures much faster. This was a silicone mold, my others take a full day. Then I popped out the cured piece, that is the very first picture.  Then I painted on the tree trunk, branches, leaves and moon.  I tried brown paint, but that did not show up well enough, so I ended up using black paint.  You can see the results in the bottom two images.  After I let it set a few days, I will seal it with a spray sealer, and then add a glaze over it.  Last but not least I will drill a hole and it will become my newest Christmas ornament.  It will be available in my Etsy store, with all my other cool resin pieces.  I made some more resin with gemstones too, but have not shared those yet.  So, watch for them soon.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Auctions are Coming to This Blog!

So, I have been thinking of ways to increase my traffic, and sales, and I am going to be starting some auctions on this blog.  I will advertise the auction on other sites, but the actual bidding will take place here. Here is how it will work:


Every other Friday, I will share an item, from my Etsy store that will be auctioned off.  All bids will be low, with one dollar increasing increments.  Shipping and handling and all info will be listed.  If you are the winner a Paypal invoice will be sent to you from me.  When you bid, you must leave a legitimate Paypal account email address.  If you bid and do not pay for the item, I will block you from all future auctions.  Bids are to be made in the comments, and the auctions will run until Sunday night at 9PM Eastern time, at which time I will close the auction to bidding and contact the winner.  The winner will have three days to respond to me with payment, or to arrange payment.  I will ship to USA, Great Britain, and Canada.  Canada and Great Britain bidders need to have a verified Paypal account.  If you have any questions please ask them in the comments, before you bid.

I hope this will be fun and a great way to get exposure to my Etsy store, and this blog.  First auction starts this Friday, March 7th, 2014 at 9 AM.  All times are Eastern time and the clocks do spring ahead that weekend, so keep that in mind. 

EZwhelp.com

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Contact me at melissaruede@yahoo.com for advertising spots, or to ask about Crafting for Moms.