An artisan jewelry journey in color, texture and fun. Beaded jewelry with handcrafted sterling silver is my focus and joy.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A New Treasury!

My Five Peas in a Pod earrings made it to an Etsy Treasury today! It is always an honor for someone to select one of your items to showcase. These are the collections that are selected to be on the Front Page of Etsy when they are especially beautiful. If you've never visited Etsy, you may wonder what that means, so I'll give you the bottom line - FREE ADVERTISING when it happens. you see, when it happens, thousands of people see your item. So thank you, chuletindesigns for including me in your selections.

This particular Treasury is funky enough that it might just make it. Probably because of that strange little doll. A bit creepy, don't you think? In general, Treasuries that are selected for the Front Page are considered the creme de la creme.

To my knowledge, I've never been on the Front Page. Maybe someday.

Friday, November 21, 2008

What a great first day!

I started my new shop today, and right off the bat got three sales - woohoo! As I mentioned before, prices in this shop are set to MOVE some stuff, so it's not like I made a lot of money, but how sweet it is to have a sale...doing the happy dance!

So you know more of what I've added to Ginny's Veranda, here's a mini from the shop:

Drop by and "set" a spell. Who knows what you might find, as I've got lots more in that closet to bring out.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A New Alias

I'm starting a new endeavor on Etsy, much to my husband's delight, who has insisted on a reduction in my "stuff" footprint for some time now. Beginning very soon, I will have an additional shop on Etsy to destash my vintage and antique collection of small items such as textiles, jewelry, pottery, ceramics, paper ephemera....and just cool stuff that I could never throw away, but never quite found a place in our home. If hubby has a hand in this, some of the things that did find a way into our decor may be finding a way out, too.

My new shop will be named "Ginny's Veranda" and this post brings you a sneak peak of some of the treasures soon to be listed, and priced to SELL. Stay tuned.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Artisan Jewelry Holiday Extravaganza

Hey! I'm on YouTube!

Many thanks to Etsy artisan MonaJewels of Bellaire, Texas, who pulled together a wonderful collection of jewelry artisans to celebrate the season. She chose two pieces of mine to include.

Mona host's an on-line radio talk show for independent jewelry designers at called THE JEWELRY CONNECTION -broadcasting every Sunday afternoon at 12:00PM PST, 2:00PM CST, 3:00PM EST. Starting on the 23rd of November, she'll be hosting a holiday jewelry show, exhibiting each designer's work individually and promoting the videos in her broadcast room. There will be Christmas music playing in the broadcast room starting on the 23rd that will continue throughout the holidays to promote all of the artists. On the 23rd she'll be offering a drawing for door prizes so it will be a "Holiday Event" and a celebration of artisans and their Christmas Muse!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Maybe it's my heritage

....but I have definitely fallen in love with vintage German beads! I was minding my own business in a bead shop the other day (yeah, right, Ginny, we all know what that means - you were cruising to fall in love with yet more beads!), when I came across this stunning display of the most yummy colors imaginable. They were all vintage beads from Germany and Czechoslovakia from the 1940s and 1950s, and the colors were really what caught my eye first, and then I noticed all the crazy and fabulous shapes. I could not resist, as the prices were quite affordable as well. Now, I did not go absolutely crazy, and only bought enough for just a few pieces, the bracelet above being one. We'll see if others like the pieces I post well enough to buy....then I can buy some more!

I was wondering why these little beauties appealed to my eye so much, and then I ran across this web article by Dara Spiotto on The Beadin' Path which talks about the colors of vintage beads, and all became clear. Or colorful, the case turns out to be.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Christmas Shopping for the Science Geek in Your Life

Being the quintessential science geek/nerd/dork, I know that those of us who actually own up to that designation can be quite difficult to find gifts for come the holiday gift-giving season. On Etsy, there is a bona fide "Geekery" section, devoted to all things quirky, and it even has a "science" subcategory. A quick perusal brought forth these lovely little gems, most fit for a stocking at least, and definitely all good for at least a smile.

Featured are the following items from Etsy sellers:
Science Nerd Badge from Claire Payne
Red Wine Molecule from Molecular Muse
Yes I know most people do not love rats..... from Gwynstone Originals
Robot Tissue Box from Spaceboyjordo
C-3PO Mouse from The House of Mouse
S. pneumoniae Necklace from Arctida
Don't Blame Me Magnets from RadPanda
The Ultimate Answer Pendant from such pretty colors
Metallic Blue Gems from bugman58
Microscope Necklace from Ball and Chain
Famous Scientists Finger Puppets from Scientific Culture
Calculus Crow Letter Set from colespic
Cuddly Chromosomes from Fur Will Fly
Fossil Ammonite Necklace from North Star Jewelry
Evaporation T-shirt from lkyoto
Cellular Science from electricboogaloo

My personal favs are those famous scientist finger puppets - they even included Rosalind Franklin!

Friday, October 31, 2008

All I want for Christmas......

Not exactly my two front teeth (I still have those, thank goodness), but one or some of these delectable vintage enamel floral pins I found on Etsy the other day. These cuties are all so affordable - I think they would make great gifts for anyone with a little fun and funk in their personality. They spruce up a serious jacket, add pizzazz to fabric purses and scarves, and in a pinch, can be turned into artwork (see the post "What the heck").

Well, maybe not ALL I want, but it would be a nice start ^_^

Featured above are:
Ray of Sunshine From curiouskitty
Vintage Blue Poppy from OriginalzbyMernda
Hot Pink Vintage Daisy from chubbybunnyshop
Vintage Huge Red Poinsettia from Kimaroo
Aqua Daisy from withinamilefromhome
Big Red from stephieD
Vintage Enamel Flower from PorkiePieDesigns
Vintage Pink Enamel Flower from VeroVintage
Haskell Look - A Girl Needs Pearls from KarmaRox
Set of Three from jessbobess
Moveable 2 in 1 from VaudevilleVintage1
Vintage Golden Topaz from LifeTravelsDesigns

Sunday, October 05, 2008

What the heck..... this? a trivet? what? Well, it's a nifty little item that I custom-requested from one of the best Etsy artists ever - dottyral. She was so great in pulling together my brain-child. A very fun project.

So here's what it really is. Let's start with the "brain-child." I have forever had an issue with the storage of my pins and brooches - they are awkward shapes, I don't like having them on top of each other to get all scratched, and it seemed like the pinbacks were getting duller and duller. And I wanted something attractive, too, for display of my pins so I would more easily access them and choose to wear them.

Then, last week, I came across these oh-so-cute pincushions in Dotty's shop, and I got an inspiration! You see, Dotty often makes an extra cushion for her pincushions just like the classic "strawberry" on top of the "tomato" that I am sure you are all familiar with. Here, it's the cherry on the cupcake. These smaller cushions are filled with a corundum sand called "emery" that serves to sharpen pins and needles.

Ah-hah, I thought - I need an emery cushion large enough to hold all my brooches! But how do you make a big cushion that won't be all sloppy and heavy? So, I contacted Dotty, and we came up with this idea of a slotted pad, to keep the emery to a minimum, and Dotty figured out how to fill and sew the slots together, creating the pad you see at the top of the page.

When it arrived today, I hopped over to Michael's to get a frame on sale, stapled the emery pad into the frame, and voila - the perfect display for all my pins, with the added bonus of a sharpened pinback every time I put the piece away after wearing.

So you decide: isn't this the greatest idea? I am sure Dotty would make one for you, too. Etsy artists are the greatest - thanks, Dotty!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

I'm so incredibly baaaaaaad!

Seriously...I've been away so long, I'm not sure I even remember how to do this. Jewelry and keeping up with all the lovelies out there has fallen off my radar as my "day job" as been totally consuming. But sanity is all about baaaaalance, so I'm dedicating this blog to sheepishly apologizing for my long absence.

So as I shake the woolies out of my head, and proceed to blog, let me tell you about how not to live your life. Don't wake up at 2 AM thinking about work. Don't consider investing your hard earned dollars in Glaxo-Smith Kline because you're eating your weight in Zantac, because it's generic and OTC now anyway, and GSK has gone on to bigger and better things for better living through chemistry. But for the record, ranitidine is a wonder drug. Just so you know.

So how to live your life? Believing in your gifts, and your integrity, and the wonderful experiences of every day with the people the good Lord places in your path for you to shine His reflection to. In the moment, not worrying about tomorrow.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Oh Lucky Day!

How did your day go today? It was a blessed day all around at our house - even though it was a pretty typical Saturday with chores and errands and whatnot....but we had our family together, and good spring weather, and I didn't have to cook dinner, which is ALWAYS a blessing. I feel very lucky to have the life that I do.

There's an Etsy artist who knows all about lucky days, and feeling lucky in life. So much so that she has created a shop dedicated to making every day a lucky day...Lucky Girl Trading. In her shop you'll find beautiful art glass, dichroic glass, and pieces of Kumihimo and Temari. Both are centuries-old crafts, and she feels that both give her a zen-like tranquility while working.

You can find jewelry full of sparkle or calm beauty. For boys, for girls, for anyone with a yen for her zen.

Her Temari balls are especially fascinating, intricate fabrications of an old stocking stuffed with rice hulls and padded with yarn reclaimed from an abandoned knitting project. This Temari ball has a rattle housed in bottle caps inside, so playing with it, Lucky Girl claims, can become addictive. I think it 's just beautiful to gaze upon.

So if you're feeling lucky, or maybe more importantly if you are not, drop on by Lucky Girl Trading to find out more about why she's feeling so lucky in her life, and see if you might be interested in procuring a bit of her lucky feelings for yourself. Try her blog, too, for more on a lucky life.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Ooooh, Shiny!

I have a confession for all of you out there that appreciate my work.....there are more out there like me, maybe even, dare I say it? even more talented than me but with the same aesthetic and motivations as me. And by that I mean pretty shiny rocks woven together with beautiful, artful wire, with a focused eye on color, texture, and wonderful geometry.

And I've found one to share with you - Etsy artist Yazmin Wickham of A Pretty Rock . Yazmin creates one of a kind or limited edition pieces of jewelry, which she brings to life with carefully selected gemstones, mineral stones and freshwater pearls. Her collection is meant to lend affordable, quality elegance to all. And boy-oh-boy does she deliver!

These Fresh Cut Earrings - OMG - how do I keep these out of my head so I don't accidentally re-create them?! They are so beautiful, with the greens and blues that I love, and the wire-wrapping that I find so fun to do. And she has done such a wonderful job of photography on her pieces - I am so envious!

And just to prove how in sync our design sensibilities are, here is a bracelet of amazonite Yazmin has created that would be a lovely match to my Caged Blossoms Necklace below - a coordinated set from two different shops - who knew?

There is no reason why every woman shouldn't have A Pretty Rock in their life (or three or five I say)! Drop by her shop to see for yourself, and take some time at her blog for more. Oh, and did I mention that A Pretty Rock offers gift certificates, too? Hint hint hint, all you gift-givers out there!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Spring Spring Spring!!

I am so ready for spring....the redbuds and mountain laurels are exuberantly fuschia and violet, the coreopsis and primroses have started to peak out along side the roads, the days are growing longer and warmer. And my brown and black clothes - they are so last winter. I want color. I want pink, green, bright blue and yellow. Are you feeling the same? Are you yearning for the garden? I think I might have found just what you need to push you into the next season - an Etsy artist with a fine eye for color and texture - one of the beadweavers of whom I am so in awe - Cigarboxbeads. Check out her Cottage Garden Bracelet with a click on the image above.

Or try out her Twisted Garden Path Choker, braided into one "beauteous strip of color."

The founder of this shop is a retired Home Ec teacher, who loved what she did, but now loves what she's doing now.

Beadweaving is her joy, along with knitting, crocheting, sewing AND being with her twin grand daughters. Not at the same time though, they love to 'help', according to their grandmama! They do have 'crafting time' every day that she watches them, so she hopes she is instilling the love of creating in them. At the very least, she is creating memories for them that will last their lifetime. What greater gift?

Cigarboxbeads became a non-stop beadweaver when she purchased 3 vintage cigarboxes full of beads at a flea market---about 20 years ago. She is still using those beads, plus a 'few' more she can not help but purchase! I know how that goes!

She also knits, sews, crochets, decoupages and lots and lots of other stuff so some other goodies might show up at her shop, Cigarboxbeads, as well, along with beads! Check out her blog, too, for info about her creative life and her features on other Etsy artists.

And summer is just around the corner (especially here in SA, where it shows up about May!) - so have some lemonade!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Erin go bragh

Ireland forever....on March 17, everyone can catch a little o' the Irish and have a bit of levity in the celebrations of St Patrick's Day. Wearing of the green is de rigueur of course, and how better to grab a bit of extra luck than to wear shamrocks on your wrist? This sweet little concoction of green glass and silver wire in the form of earrings and matching bracelet comes from Etsy artist Jonquil Thiessen, aka Thumbelina Creations.

Jonquil Thiessen is a stay-at-home mom of three boys who loves to be creative in many different ways. She loves to sing, knit, crochet, draw, scrapbook, write music, and make jewelry. She would feel lost if she wasn't able to be creative.

Her creative side really shows through with this set she calls "Dragonfly" - how pretty for the summer, in such a beautiful citrus-y palette of colors.

She started young, singing in church and at weddings at three years old. Music and art have always been her passion. She took art classes and music lessons all through school and college.

During college, she met her husband, Keith. They have been married for almost ten years. He also enjoys music and encourages her to further her interests. (Or maybe, she says, he justs puts up with it.) He does say sometimes that she has too many hobbies. I think this is a pretty common complaint from spouses of crafters!

Jonquil's favorite medium is ... well ... she claims it's hard to pick a favorite. She likes jewelry, but is considering opening a knitting store as well. I love this wire wrap ring of amethyst - so regal and so affordable! Take a click and see!

For more of Thumbelina Creations, drop by her shop, and visit her blog to find out more about her and the Etsy artists she has chosen to feature.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Why Hallmark is so last century

Okay - I've got a twelve-year-old at home. And when things I say or do are absolutely unacceptable to her standards (like every five minutes), she tells me, "Mom, that is sooooo last century." Cracks me up. But seriously, why oh why would anyone buy mass-produced stationery items, when they can gocco? Gocco, you say, what the heck is that? Well, it's a wonderfully creative and unique way to screen print that is being adopted by a number of papiere artists, especially the wonderfully talented Etsy artist My Cat Lulu. Such beautiful cards, with that unique edge that tells the recipient that you really do care to send the very best, because you've selected something handmade, not something made for the masses.

How you can you pass by custom thank you notes for the special day of love?

How about choosing to express your love of animals?

And lastly, don't forget the opportunity to make your purchases do more than pad the corporate about making purchases that give back? The peace cards below are dedicated to have 50% go to Amnesty International.

Do take the time to be totally 21st century, checking out My Cat Lulu's shop and her blog. Au courant, bebe.

Peace out, y'all.

Friday, February 01, 2008


Relatively new to the blogging challenge, Etsy jewelry artist Purrfectlydevine brings beaded creations to her Etsy shop when she's not working hard at her career in special education and spending time with her husband and three kitties.

Classic designs with beautiful bead choices and affordable prices means there's "something for everyone" at Purrfectlydevine. Check out her shop and her blog, too.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Seeds of Glory

I am always amazed by the talents of those jewelry artists who choose as their medium seed beads. If one were to look at just a single seed bead, it would seem so humble. Tiny and cute, perhaps, but very underwhelming. How can this tiny blip of a thing be a part of any substantial beauty? But oh my, in the hands of a master weaver, these tiny bits of glass and color are transformed into swoops and collages of wonderful texture and form. As much as I stretch in my artistic pursuits with gemstones and silver to achieve texture and celebration of color, I stand in awe of the weavers.

One such master is Ann Burke of My Fair Lady on Etsy. A member of Etsy's street team Etsy Beadweavers, she is a crafter of works extraordinaire in seed beads and gemstones. You name a weave, a technique applicable to the palette of seed beads, Ann Burke can give you a beautiful expression. She also loves gemstones, and uses them with a talented eye to balance and rhythm.

So many pretties to see, you must take a trip to visit Ann at her shop in Etsy, and find the time to find out more about her on her blog, where she delves into her art and writes features on other Etsy artists. Her jewelry is truly inspired.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Calling All Sweethearts

Okay, I've got some probably less-than-welcome news....Valentine's Day is right around the corner. Now, you can always postpone thinking about this and go with the last minute grab some flowers-n-candy, whatever sparkly thing the local chain jewelry store has on special, and ho-hum your sweetie again. OR, you can take a little time, find that one-of-a-kind something that speaks your heart's sentiments or appeals to the interests of your sweetie's heart.

While visiting the Etsy shop of Pamela E. Miller, creator of art and jewelry, I found that she expresses her creative philosophies quite eloquently:
I feel that creating art is a way of sharing your soul with others. As you will see in my artwork: sometimes I am very flamboyant and always colorful, sometimes confidant and peaceful, other times angry or chaotic. I think all of my emotions; passions come out in my works.

What better approach to finding that special gift than to look to others with the special gifts of transforming passions into art? Pamela's artwork includes colorful seascapes, vibrant cityscapes, stunning abstracts and fairies/fantasy art. Trained at the Maryland Institute of Art, Howard Community College and Capital College, she has exhibited at the Chesapeake Gallery in Prince Frederick, Maryland, and DMG Artwork in Annapolis. She also has jewelry for sale in her shop - fun creations full of color and fanciful wirework.

So take a little time as you shop for your beloved, and consider shopping for an art piece that speaks to you from Contemporary Original Art by Pamela E. Miller, finding more about her and her inspirations on her blog. I'll leave you with a piece she calls "Huge Happiness" - may you be blessed with some this week.

Monday, January 07, 2008

The Whole is Greater than the Sum of Its Parts

Some people live disjointed lives, little bits here, little bits there, nothing really bringing everything together.

Not Kathryn Short. A photographer and all-around artist, she attended the Maryland Institute College of Art as a photography major. Kathryn now teaches art and photography at the high school level (bless her heart!), but also enjoys bookmaking and knitting.

So now Kathryn loves to knit and crochet, take photographs while walking outdoors, craft small books for collecting thoughts, and anything else that keeps her hands busy. And she has pulled it all together in a single Etsy shop, Purple Snowpeas. You can follow along with her on her hikes, as she captures hauntingly beautiful images, keep your head and hands warm on your own hikes, and journal along the way.

How balanced is that?

Learn more about Purple Snowpeas on her blog, too.