Archive for March, 2013


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One of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite movies, Almost Famous, is “To truly love some silly little piece of music, or some band, so much that it hurts…” And this quote pretty much sums up how I have felt for the past 22 years about my favorite band, Pearl Jam. There was quite a bit of buzz over the Internet this past weekend about PJ. First, Mike Einziger, lead guitarist of Incubus, tweeted to his followers a picture of him accompanying Eddie Vedder and Einziger’s girlfriend in a recording studio with the caption,”In the studio with my girl and Eddie Vedder, recording strings for Pearl Jam’s new album.” This tweet was first picked up by famed LA radio station, KROQ. The accompanying story was that Eddie and Mike were recording strings for Pearl Jam’s new album. This story was then picked up by several other rock music sites all over the Internet. The next day, the music magazine, SPIN, posted a clarification from Pearl Jam’s representative that Mike’s girlfriend, Ann Marie Simpson, an accomplished violinist, was actually the one who was contributing to the new album. Mike Einziger also tweeted the same clarification. Boy, am I glad we cleared that up, but I think we need to focus on the important fact at the center of this whole misunderstanding:

PEARL JAM IS FINALLY BACK IN THE STUDIO WORKING ON THEIR LATEST ALBUM!

So today’s life lesson for me is to focus on what is truly important and let everything else take care of itself. In my last post, I proudly shared the newest edition of my family, Chase the Weimaraner puppy. Having a puppy is a huge adjustment and I am making sure I spend the appropriate amount of time with him to get him acclimated to his new home. As a result, I have had to readjust the schedule for my business, Serendipity Blu. I originally planned to have at least 75 items in my shop for the summer season and to schedule at least two craft shows for the summer. I committed to two shows in Cape May, NJ in July and August, but I have no additional inventory other than what is listed in my Etsy shop. I had to decide what is more important: making new inventory for my shop or start to prepare for the shows. Since my shop is hovering around 50 well assorted items, I decided to focus on creating my craft show inventory, and I am proud to say, this week I crafted 10 new Betty Bracelets! I am also proud to say that Chase has yet to chew up the leather cord.

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I should probably also post on the importance of not spreading any unsubstantiated rumors, since that is how my story began. But I must be honest…I love the Philadelphia Phillies almost as much as I love Pearl Jam. So when people assume that Chase is named after Chase Utley, even though he is not, I usually do not correct them. (Yes, Chase is posing with a Phillie Phanatic toy!)

Thanks for stopping by!
Erin

my new favorite diversion

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Sometimes life gets in the way of your goals. I find it is always best to let life just happen and go from there, especially when life means a new puppy!

I would like to introduce all of my readers to Chase. He is a six month old Weimaraner my family adopted last week. He has only one eye (due to an infection when he was only a few days old) and some health issues, but he is still quite spirited and doesn’t let it keep him down. I think we can all learn something from that. He is also such a sweet little guy!

I must admit that I have been slacking on my business planning and goals this past week because I have been spending time bonding with Chase and getting him used to his new surroundings. But look at that face…can you blame me? And, by the way, he also finds leather to be very delicious – so I need to find a puppy-proof spot to weave my Betty Bracelets and Beach Bum Chokers!

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more posts on both the business and the creative sides of crafting. Thanks for stopping by!

Peace, love, and puppies!
Erin

new beach bum necklaces

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I just listed some beautiful new necklaces for spring and summer. They are hand-woven leather in a fun choker length at 16 inches. They are also very eco-friendly as they are created with recycled glass beads. I call them “Beach Bums” because they can be worn all day at the beach (sand & salt water proof!) and take you into a breezy summer evening, whether you are wearing a flirty little dress or jeans & classic white shirt. Here is a sampling of the new collection:

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Bali Bliss

This curvy bathing beauty is quite the stunner with super chunky (14-15 mm) marbled recycled glass beads from Ghana in gorgeous ocean hues of cobalt blue and seafoam green! The beads are accented with smaller (10-11 mm) Indonesian recycled glass beads in a matching shade of seafoam. They are wrapped in deep distressed brown leather, woven using a double overhand knot technique and finished with a simple toggle closure. Very boho beach chic! The full listing can be viewed here:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/77134246/woven-leather-necklace-blue-green?

Bermuda Sands

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This delicate beach beauty begins with honey brown distressed leather, woven in a basic square knot pattern. It is complemented with soft, shimmering 8 mm petal pink Indonesian recycled glass beads and a Thai Hill Tribes silver flower pendant. It is feminine, fun and flirty, just like a perfect island bloom! More details can be viewed here:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/92822797/woven-leather-choker-pink-flower-bermuda?

This collection ranges in price from $36 to $39 USD. This price includes free 1st Class USPS delivery with confirmation for US customers. I also have a special offer for my blog readers of 15% off your entire order through Nerd Wallet Indie; please click on the link to the right for more details. The entire Beach Bums collection can be viewed here:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/serendipityblu?section_id=10580286

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your browsing!

Shanti,
Erin

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I just listed some fresh new Betty Bracelets just in time for spring! These two toned bracelets were suggested by my friend Kim who owns Three1Seven Designs, an amazing cottage chic shop. The first one, Playa Bonita, features super chunky frosted white beads accented with smaller petal pink beads. The flamingo toggle adds a fun accent to this flirty bracelet!

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https://www.etsy.com/listing/123970350/macrame-leather-bracelet-white-pinkh

This next bracelet, Washout, features icy pale green (think vintage Coke bottle) super chunky beads accented with smaller blush peach beads. The delicate color combination is reminiscent of sorbet. It is completed with a fanciful white-washed dragonfly toggle.

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https://www.etsy.com/listing/125313080/macrame-leather-bracelet-mint-peach

These next two bracelets feature brand new recycled glass tube beads in bright jewel tones! The first, Ipanema, features gorgeous purple beads accented with a lovely tropical hibiscus toggle.

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https://www.etsy.com/listing/125315116/recycled-glass-bracelet-purple-hibiscus?ref=v1_other_1

The last bracelet in this spring roundup, Montauk, features shimmery vibrant teal beads accented by a sassy sunflower toggle.

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https://www.etsy.com/listing/125314169/woven-leather-bracelet-teal-sunflower?ref=v1_other_2

Thanks for stopping by…please enjoy your browsing and feel free to contact me if you have any questions!

Shanti,
Erin

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I am planning on participating at two craft shows at Cold Springs Village in Cape May this summer. I am very excited – and a little nervous! – since this is my first “real” craft show outing. I participated in a house party this past holiday season, where 5 of us from my South Jersey Etsians Team set up tables at our Team Captain’s house for a fun grassroots craft fair. It was a great experience and a perfect trial run to see how my display works. The photo above shows the setup I used to display my Betty Bracelets – beachy macrame pieces accented with recycled glass beads.

WHAT WORKED

I really like the light wood T-bar displays – the color complements, rather than overpowers, the brown leather, and the natural texture of the wood works well with the rustic style of the jewelry. I basically placed a bracelet display in front of the taller necklace display for some interesting height contrast. I think the contrast worked well also. I also love the look of the casually strewn seashells to complete the beach theme.

WHAT CAN BE IMPROVED?

While the display is visually appealing, it was not as welcoming as I would have liked it to be. I packed so many bracelets in the display that most potential customers were afraid to remove any to try on for fear of a bracelet avalanche. Also, all of the prices were listed on tiny tags on each bracelet. Many potential customers prefer to shop at their own pace and often do not like to ask for assistance until they are ready to purchase. Even though I did list all of the prices, they were not as easy to read because of the tightly packed issue.

The simplest solution was to purchase more T-bars. I now have four (2 necklace and 2 bracelet) so I can display fewer pieces on each. I also found some other great display ideas that welcome the client and encourage trying on my jewelry.

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This half moon display allows me to showcase 2-3 unbuttoned bracelets, which will definitely encourage potential customers to try them on. I also like that the natural wood matches my other displays. I purchased it from the Etsy shop Notable Notions for $8.00 with $4.95 shipping. Here is a link to their website:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/NotableNotions

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I just love these two latest editions to my setup! The mini chalkboards are such a fun way to list prices – plus I don’t have to bother with all of those tiny tags! I want to keep it simple with these Cape May shows and price my bracelets with only 3-4 options, based on the size of the beads. With these signs and the extra T-bars, I can segregate the bracelets by price, making a very easy and enjoyable shopping experience. Four of these chalkboard signs are available from the Etsy shop, Braydens Grace, for $18.00 with $4.00 shipping. For an extra $5.50, you may also want to order the wipe-off chalk pen – less messy than regular chalk!

http://www.etsy.com/shop/BradensGrace

I am introducing a line of children’s bracelets – Lil’ Betty’s – at both my Etsy shop and the craft show. I was originally going to put them in a basket, so little hands can have fun sorting through all of the pretty colors, but I found this gorgeous squamosal clam shell and thought it fit the bill perfectly. It is about 8 inches wide by six inches deep and is quite heavy, so it will not topple over in wind. Check out the ruffled detail on the underside:

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I purchased this beauty from the Etsy shop Seashells by Seashore. The price tag seemed a bit hefty at $20.00 with $10.95 shipping, but was actually quite comparable for this size seashell.

http://www.etsy.com/shop/seashellsbyseashore

SERENDIPITY BLU IS IN THE PINK!

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I have gorgeous 2 inch square business cards that I absolutely love, but they are small and I was concerned they would get lost amongst everything else on my display table. I was going to order my regular design in a larger 3 inch square, but then I found these hot pink merchandise bags I purchased as a closeout a few years ago. I thought it would be fun to match the larger cards to the bags for the summer shows rather than stick with my signature aqua blue. I chose this design, which is actually a variation on a promotional magnet I recently designed. I especially love the vintage typewriter print on the back of the card! I purchased these from my usual vendor, Uprinting, and I was just as pleased as I always am with their quality and service.

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I glued seashells onto wooden clothes pins to act as anchors for my cards so they will not blow away in the ocean breeze. I plan to put 3-4 small bunches of cards around the table to encourage more customers to help themselves.

I am hoping these enhancements to my setup will encourage more serious browsing and potential sales. Keep you posted!

Thanks for stopping by!

Shanti,
Erin

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