Archive for November, 2012


that finishing touch

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Handmade clasps are a great finishing touch to jewelry designs. They truly make original creations even more special. My Mayan Sun Necklace, show above, is comprised of a completely hand crafted chain…it almost seems a shame to finish it with a plain clasp.

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All of the clasps shown are made with 20 gauge half hard (HH) German silver wire. It is a mix of non-tarnishing alloys that is very easy to work with and wears very well. The first two clasps form an elaborate hook & eye that I like to use in my wire work designs (it is what I used in Mayan Sun). The middle clasp is a nice statement piece for my seaglass pendants which are strung on basic suede or leather cords. The last two form a more simple hook & eye that I like to use with my macrame leather work. It really adds a special flair to the casual bracelet pictured below:

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Here is a link to my Mayan Sun necklace available at my Etsy shop:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/105550465/mayan-sun-turquoise-and-red-wirework

it’s all in the details

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I am getting ready for my first craft show in two weeks and I am finalizing my display. I am pleased with this layout. It will be a small show, so I only need a four feet square table. I am featuring both Mermaid Tears (genuine seaglass pendants) and Betty Bracelets (woven leather with recycled glass.)

I already had the natural wood bracelet and necklace displays, but I wanted my display to have a more shabby look. I chose a vintage lace tablecloth that used to belong to my grandmom as my base. For the seaglass, I found an old pine CD crate, turned it over, and set one of my necklace displays on it. The display is holding neutral suede cords in 2 lengths to accompany the seaglass pendants. I found the beautiful screen display – it is actually an earring rack – and attached the pendants to it with wire. I simply propped this display up on the wooden crate. I finished the display with a vintage light blue Mason jar filled with small seashells and white lights – I love the way the seaglass reflects the lights! Here is a close up of this part of my show setup:

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I kept the display for my Betty Bracelets fairly simple. I placed a wooden necklace display behind a matching bracelet display to add an interesting height contrast and accented them with seashells:

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Since this is a holiday show, I will also be including packaging with each purchase. I found darling little Chinese food takeout containers and small kraft gift bags at my local Big Lots for a great price:

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I also have my essentials packed: business cards, discount cards, merchandise tags, muslin bags, and card swiper:

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The love my square business cards! The shape really sets them apart. I like to have just an image (this daisy design matches my Etsy shop banner) on the front and the text on the back. I ordered these from Uprinting:

http://www.uprinting.com/

As a way of saying thanks, I always offer a discount to my customers for their next purchase. These mini cards make great coupons. I used a Betty Bracelet image for the front and a coupon code and web address on the back. These cards are a special offer for Etsy shop owners from Moo Printing. You can get 100 free cards (note the cards have the Etsy logo on them) and only have to pay $5.00 shipping fee. I was thrilled with both the quality and the price:

http://us.moo.com/partner/etsy-minicard-trial?utm_source=etsy&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=minitrial

I feel it is very important to brand your work. My image is beachy/boho/rustic. I use these simple muslin bags and kraft jewelry tags (tied with thin hemp cord) for a coordinated look. The tags are from Dolphin Beads Designs. You can find a full array of personalized tags and earring cards on their website:

http://www.dolphinbead.com/

I will be trying out my brand new Square card reader. Stay tuned in future posts to see how well it works for me. I am also including a stylus – it just seems like a more professional touch than having customers sign my iPhone with their fingers.

I’ll let you know how I do with my first show! It is tough for jewelry artisans – there are so many out there and it can be hard to distinguish your work from everyone else. I believe that I can have a successful show by setting up a very creative display, adding some little extras, and focusing on a niche market.

island girl style

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Venus Point, my latest Betty Bracelet, is named for a popular surfing & sightseeing spot on the tropical paradise of Tahiti. I found some gorgeous Indonesian recycled glass beads in a feminine shade of orchid pink. The beads are made from clear glass and are then painted to give them a raw, matte translucent finish. I used a dark distressed leather to contrast nicely with the pink beads and finished the bracelet with a pewter hibiscus button. It is a fun, pretty & girly accent! It makes a great holiday gift for any beach bum on your shopping list. Here is a link for more info from my Etsy shop:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/116025918/venus-point-pink-recycled-glass-hibiscus

Shanti,
Erin

surf’s up, santa!

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Santa is on his way! He has his longboard ready and is planning to hit all of the major surf spots near the North Pole as he begins his epic ride. Here is sure to surf Sola Beach in Norway:

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https://www.etsy.com/listing/113943648/sola-beach-limited-winter-edition-blue

He will also be stopping at Toro Beach in Sweden:

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https://www.etsy.com/listing/113942720/toro-beach-limited-holiday-edition-green?ref=v1_other_2

He’ll also be heading out to Ollie’s Point on Iceland:

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https://www.etsy.com/listing/114609831/ollies-point-limited-edition-frosty-aqua

And his final stop will be White Point in Nova Scotia:

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https://www.etsy.com/listing/113944252/white-point-limited-winter-edition-icy

In honor of Santa’s annual ride, I am offering 10% off your entire purchase this holiday season at my Etsy Store, Serendipity Blu. Simply use coupon SURFSANTA10 at checkout:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/serendipityblu?ref=si_shop#

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Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and a Holiday Season filled with peace, love, and joy!

~Erin

Meet the two newest Betty Bracelets in my Etsy collection!

This is Baja Sur Trio. The name was inspired by the soft desert tones of sage green, honey gold, and burnished copper. The accent button is a very unusual Thai Hill Tribes copper starfish. It has been oxidized to give it this great finish. Surf’s up on the Baja Peninsula!

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This is Kuta Sunset. Anyone who has been lucky enough to visit Bali knows that the town of Kuta on its west coast is famous for its party atmosphere, its amazing breaks, and its breathtaking sunsets! The vibrant jewel tones of sapphire, blue violet, and deep pink of this trio were inspired by this stunning view! It is completed with a whimsical dolphin artisan pewter button. Feel the spirit of the tropics!

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All bracelets are made with deep brown distressed leather from India. The larger of the three bracelets is made with recycled glass beads from Indonesia. The design is a variation of the classic macrame square knot. The photo below shows a detail of the pattern. I’ll be using this design more in the spring. The smaller accent bracelets are made with Japanese seed beads and are woven using a basic three cord braid. I made the wire clasps myself with non-tarnishing German silver wire. The bracelets can be worn in the ocean worry free. Each trio retails for $32.00 (this price includes USPS Priority Mail shipping with delivery confirmation.)

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Here is a link to Baja Sur:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/115414728/baja-sur-green-recycled-glass-starfish

Here is a link to Kuta Sunset:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/115412864/kuta-sunset-blue-recycled-glass-dolphin?ref=v1_other_2

Shanti,
Erin

treasure hunting, part 1

I have confessed this in a previous post…and I will reiterate here…I am a bonafide jewelry junkie…but not of the little blue box variety. I am also an intrepid traveler and, through the years, I have acquired a few wearable keepsakes to elicit fond memories of those journeys.

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I have been fortunate to travel to Thailand, not once, but twice, to study Thai Massage. I spent most of my time in Chiang Mai, a very bohemian city in the northern, mountainous part of the country. The piece pictured on the left is an antique spirit lock I purchased in a boutique called Sipsong Panna. It is an splendid example of Hill Tribes silver. The Hill Tribes are a collection of nomadic tribes living in the areas surrounding Chiang Mai. Silver jewelry is handmade by the Karen tribe using traditional methods passed down through generations. A spirit lock is a popular motif; it is traditionally worn around the neck to lock the soul (which, in Hill Tribes cosmology, tends to wander) of the wearer into his or her body to maintain physical and spiritual health. When I wear this piece, I tend to feel the same serenity I experienced in my visits to the many Buddhist temples in this beautiful, exotic country.

These earrings were acquired on a trip to Bali, the Island of the Gods. This land is unlike any other. Citizens of Bali treat everyday as if it is a celebration. Their architecture is orate, even on the most humble of buildings; their rice paddies are among the most beautiful in the world; their traditional dances are performed daily; and their fragrant frangipani are blooming everywhere! They are also skilled craftspeople – I purchased these gorgeous filigree earrings in a little village called Celuk. All of this exquisite detail is crafted by hand – just amazing! When I wear them, I feel beautiful…just like hands that created them and the land that inspired them!

The necklace on the right was purchased, not in Southeast Asia, but right here in the United States. In 2010, I was able to go to New Orleans for Jazzfest. On my first day there, I was amazed to see jazz musicians playing on street corners, along with locals & visitors dancing right on Royal Street! I immediately fell in love with the vibrancy of the French Quarter, the beauty of the Garden District, and the onslaught to my senses that is Jazzfest. Five years after Katrina, the city was still rebuilding, but the spirit that is NOLA was strong. I purchase this strand of freshwater pearls from a local artisan at Jazzfest. I love the exclusive fleur de lis design – a symbol, originally of Paris, and now of NOLA. When I wear this necklace, I am reminded of the resilient and dynamic residents of this unique city.

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These delicate silver wire earrings were purchased on a recent trip to Savannah. I happened to stumble upon an art fair shortly after my arrival. I loved everything about Savannah – the charming antebellum architecture, the yummy cuisine, and the artistic spirit. The main college in town is SCAD – Savannah College of Art & Design – and galleries and artist co-ops abound. I often adorn myself with these wearable pieces of local art.

In contrast to the quaintness of Savannah, Atlanta is a thriving metropolis. I just visited this city in September for a music festival. One day I decided to ride the metro and see where it would take me. I ended up in a lovely little town 6 miles east of Atlanta called Decatur. Every cafe, pub, and boutique in the main square is independently owned – so refreshing! I stumbled into a shop that only sells locally made art and crafts and I immediately fell in love with this simple burgundy pendant. It is a copper disc that was stamped with an Eastern pattern (think henna tattoo) and oxidized to this rich color. Such a great piece!

One of my favorite places to visit is Playa del Carmen in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. I have been there several times, and I am not sure which enchants me more – the bright shining Mexican sun or the sparkling turquoise of the Caribbean Sea. The bottom necklace, purchased on my second trip to PDC, is reminiscent of its vibrancy. The rich Mexican amber perfectly complements the bright turquoise beads and rich brown leather. Muy colorido!

Thank you for indulging me in my trip down memory lane. I hope this post has been an inspiration to get off the beaten path of t-shirts and snow globes when shopping for the perfect memento of your next trip.

I am going to conclude this raid of my jewelry box tomorrow with other treasure that have sentimental value for other reasons…

Betty is slang for a female surfer. The Betty Bracelets are my updated version of the great surfer-style bracelets I would adorn during my youth at the Jersey Shore. The design begins with super soft distressed leather woven in a classic macrame pattern. Recycled glass beads add a colorful yet rustic accent and a beach-inspired button anchors the design. These are fun, chunky bracelets and they are perfect for layering.

Each Betty Bracelet is named for a famous surfing spot. The hibiscus bracelet, Bonzai Pipeline, is the fabled break on Oahu’s North Shore. The mermaid bracelet, Cloudbreak, is a popular surf spot in Fiji:

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Recycled glass beads from Indonesia are made from molten fritters of colored glass, creating a soft beach glass effect. I source my beads from a small Indonesian-owned company that believes in sustaining green principles and supports the ecosystem by using discarded items such as bottles, jars, and windows as crude materials. Each bead is individually handmade using centuries old techniques passed down generation by generation. The end result is an amazing piece of eco-chic jewelry!

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REcologie, an amazing green boutique in Larchmont, NY, carries my Betty Bracelets and well as my Mermaid Tears Seaglass Pendants:

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The entire Betty Bracelet Collection can be viewed (and purchased!) here:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/serendipityblu?section_id=11479392

Shanti,
Erin

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