Silvia’s Chalkboard Necklace

Chalkboard necklace by my friend Silvia

My friend Silvia is so talented! She’s evolved her Etsy shop over this past year more into what she’s passionate about and I’m so proud of her for that. She’s focusing more on her zines and unique handmade items that she really passionately puts time and effort into.

So, this holiday season, instead of putting anything and everything she makes into her shop (seriously, listing and photography for a lot of items is a major chore), she’s just listing this adorable and innovative chalkboard necklace. I’ve seen it and it is seriously fab. I think as artists we get so overwhelmed why what we can make to sell that we sometimes forget to keep it simple. Not just in handmade goods but in other creative ventures like blogging. I think if we focus on making things unique and heartfelt, we will have so much more success than if we focus on quantity without direction. I don’t know if I’m making a lot of sense. I just like the idea of getting back to basics and thinking smart with intention.

So hop on over to her shop and check out the chalkboard necklace for yourself and add it to your holiday wish list. She’s offering free shipping and it comes with a chalk pencil all inside a gold pillowbox ready for gifting!

I think I may just have to get one for myself!

Until next time Swellions!


Original ideas are hard to come by

ready for their ring blanks

So last night, I enjoyed myself quite thoroughly while watching the CMT awards (a repeat) and making these little button ring stacks. I have yet to glue them onto their bases, but I plan on doing them this week. Don’t they look like visual candy? I think so.

So, the problem is concerning this project…I have the desire to sell these rings. Why do most people purchase materials to make things anyway? Well, I’m sure there are those people who have rooms and rooms of their creations that they can’t part with, but for the rest of us it is our desire to part ways with our creations and hopefully make some money in the process.

And while I truly love these rings in their color and uniqueness (in my mind), it still kinda bothers me to know that if I do sell them, online in particular, they will more than likely go unnoticed or sit in my shop waiting to be purchased. I know there is something to be said about marketing your work, hyping it up, etc., etc. But I don’t have that much time to devote to that (I’m sure some of you can relate to this as well). I want to put them online and for them to be appreciated and perhaps purchased. The problem is this: there is nothing totally “unique” about them to make them stand out from the Etsy crowd. It is soooooo hard to have an original idea these days, unlike 20 years ago, when something like this would have been purchased immediately for its uniqueness. Is this just me or do you other crafters out there who sale your wares know what I mean? With materials and supplies being so readily available on the internet and stores, and with ideas being so abundant, a basic craft project can be knocked off in no time. It’s so hard to stand out from the rest.

Yes, I could prob. really sit down and hard and think of an idea that would be purchased, but it’s kinda a crap shoot. An item I think is wonderful might not be that way for the next person. And a really good project that is totally original would require a process or style that couldn’t easily be copied. As a lot of you know, once you put it out into the web universe, it is no longer your “exclusive design” becomes something a handful of people or thousands of people want to copy.

Does anyone else know where I’m coming from with this? I’m not meaning to sound all Debbie Downer or anything, it’s just a frustration of mine that I’ve felt for a while.

OK, lunch is over…back to work!

Until next time Swellions!


3 fab Etsy finds!

I’ve always got my eye out for something totally cool and unique and I scouted these on Etsy tonight! I thought I would share 🙂

Love these neon labels from Accessory Queen

In love with these pillows from meringuedesigns’s shop. What can I say, I’m such a sucker for geometric home decor!

How awesome are these rainbow stuffed felted letters
MiChiMa’s shop
? This would make a perfect gift for a little one!

Hope you enjoyed these fab finds too! Until next time Swellions!



Before I get into the photo above, I just wanted to tell you, my loyal blog readers, that since I am doing the 365 project (where I post a photo a day for an entire year), I plan on focusing more time on my photography over the next year. As a result, I will be posting more photographs obviously of myself, but this may mix up the way I do my blog. I will still be posting to my blog, but sometimes instead of brand new content, it will just be my 365 picture along with a brief descriptor. It’s not to say that I won’t be posting craft projects or an occasional topical or inspiration post, it’s just to say that my main focus isn’t coming up with various topics throughout the week to share with you. The 365 project will give you a little better glimpse into me and my daily tasks. I hope this will be a nice change for you and me both. Sometimes it is VERY hard for me to come up with an interesting topic or just post off the cuff. Many times, 11 o’clock comes and I still don’t have a post idea, so this alleviates a lot of stress on my end. I don’t know…this may actually even result in more posts, so we will see where it goes!

OK, back to the photo, I’m not particularly feeling festive today. The closest thing to it was accidentally wearing a drab blue/green shirt and eating a clover-shaped cookie.

This was taken at my new friend Patty’s house, who is much more festive than me (she wore a “Whose your Paddy” shirt…cute). It’s the closest thing to home I’ve experienced since I’ve been here. Her family calls me “Kentucky”, which I really don’t mind. Her husband and her have a daughter who is kinda becoming my surrogate neice since I’ve already started spoiling her with gifts. Hee hee.

We met (Patty and Sylvia and I) tonight to discuss the Etsy logo I designed for our Central California Etsy Chapter and what we plan on doing on Friday night at our official Etsy meeting. It was nice.

Please check out Patty’s “Knick Knack Patty Shak” shop here. I’m particularly fond of her latest creation…chalkboard glasses…so cool. Check out Sylvia’s “Chebang” shop here. I just love the artwork on her pendants (so quirky, vintage and cool) and her color choices in her feltwork!

If you haven’t gone to the cookie party site to vote for your fellow Swellion Donna Bush today, please hop over there and do so! I’m sorry if this is starting to sound like a PBS/NPR fund drive, I just really want her to win!

Until next time Swellions!


The Swell Shop is open for business!


Hey guys! I just opened a shop on Etsy filled with colorful, artful digital prints of some of my favorite craft supplies (I’m betting they’re some of yours too!). Right now I only have 7 images up in my shop for purchase, but I plan on putting more up as time allows. I will in the next few days also be offering some specials, so keep your eyes peeled for that. Setting up one of these shops isn’t a LOT of work, but it is time consuming and not something you can just do on a whim. I had to research professional phtoography sources, create a banner, research prices for photography, and now I have to actually think about colors for photo backgrounds, etc. I think so far that the shop looks pretty vibrant and colorful and I plan to keep it that way. I am a busy gal as most of you guys prob. already know. My mind is racing a mile a minute and since I love photography and it is relatively easy to organize to sell, I figured it would be a good item for me to sell on my etsy shop. I may in the future sell some other stuff, but for now I’m going to try to stay focused just on the photography and see where and if that takes me anywhere! I’m hoping. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

I’ve been wanting to open up a shop for a while, but I’ve not just sat down and focused on it. I did reach out online, since I’m new to the area and found out that several ladies wanted to create a Central California Etsy group! So, now I’m on board with that as well. I hope to get involved and get to know some of those ladies! That should be super fun to interact with some other creative people in the area.

Please hop on over there and check out my shop and send your friends over there if you think they might like my stuff. Please feel free to send me any suggestions or ideas you have for future photos as well!

Oh, and on a closing unrelated note, Britney Spears is the new face of Candies. Check out the video below of her Candies shoot as well as scenes from her Circus tour, which starts tomorrow in New Orleans. I really wish I were lucky enough to go see it. I’m betting it would be a blast! Her costumes look pretty over the top as do the props. I signed up on the Candie’s site to win concert tickets in L.A., but yeah, I’m betting that’s going to happen.

Until next time Swellions!


Things I’m diggin’ on Etsy

Hello all. I’ve had a somewhat productive evening…in the process of planning a special Christmas project for my friend, with my mom’s embroidery help, finishing up some graphic design magnet projects, and trying to solve a beading dilemma! I stay very crafty!

I have been thinking about what gifts I really want to get for folks this year and I’m thinking that I would like to make handmade gifts as much as possible. I always have this intention, then end up spending so much more on non-handmade gifts that it isn’t even funny. Such is life, I guess. I’ve been perusing around Etsy and saw a few things I wanted to share. If you are interested in some totally unique gifts, I suggest going there to find them for that special someone. It’s so cool that there is an online marketplace like Etsy that puts you in touch with artists from all over the world. I always say this, but MAN! What did we do before the internet??

Anyway, here’s some of my favorite finds I spotted tonight on there…

Cool, colorful belt buckles from Fosterweld’s Shop. Also check out there awesome cuffs as well!

Loved these clever darts from Something’s Hiding Here

I think these rings from Nina Gibson Designs are a great concept realized!

ToyBreaker makes the most beautiful ties I’ve ever seen. Love the copper color on chocolate brown!

This little neon Polaroid ring from NB’s Closet makes me giddy.

Hope you liked these gift ideas! Until next time Swellions!


A Fabulous Friday Find

I haven’t felt in a bloggy mood this past week and I didn’t realize why until I visited this great blog…How About Orange. I heard about this on some other blog or site and it’s a wildly popular blog for crafters and home decorators. After looking at it I can see why. It’s clean, concise, not overly wordy or overly personal (I like blogs that are personable but not overly heart wrenching…I myself don’t like divulging too much). I feel like I, in a way, have lost touch with what I wanted my blog to be (I know it can be anything I want it to be), but I lost touch of the fun aspect I wanted to bring to it.

One of my very favorite things is seeing new stuff in the marketplace and I’d really like to start sharing more of these things on my blog. Sometimes as a basic post, sometimes as something I expand upon more. Today, I wanted to share some great wares from the Drink and Dream Shop on Etsy.


As you know I love vintage ads, puns, pop culture icons, so I was delighted to see all of these in her shop.

I love, love, love this old acne ad turned pillow. I have always loved the cutout head look and this one is just funny and a true conversation starter…Who needs another coffee table book when you got this?

These Johnny and June shades make me smile. What a fun statement. I also noticed she had Elvis/Priscilla shades and shades with the Ramone’s as well. What a great way to dress up your windows!

Oh and these just made me laugh. Now there is no reason to not be able to your Salt and “Peppa” apart…so clever. My only question is this: Where does this leave Spinderella? She’s always gets the raw end of the deal.


So, Swellions in an effort to get back to my roots I want to start sharing more of things I find that I love. Check back to see more in upcoming posts!


joy is moi

Typing this tonight sans glasses. Got an eye exam today and they took them away from me, gave me contacts (they are soaking now), and told me they would be ready for pickup on Monday. I can deal with wearing contacts, but an all day wear wears on my nerves…dry eyes. I guess I could easily solve this problem by getting eye drops, but I can’t handle the general annoyance and irritation. I used to actually…wore hard contacts for 5 or so years of my life non-stop…when I first got contacts my freshman year of high school, I somehow magically thought they would help me get a boyfriend. My plan didn’t work and I continued wearing the contacts way into college in the hopes that my prince would come. Didn’t.happen.

I totally love the glasses I have now and think they represent me and my style. I just hate having to part with them, even for 2 days.

Well, the bed calls. I have hopefully some craftiness ahead of me tomorrow in the form of some necklaces, a lanyard, earrings, etc. I also have some ideas for an etsy shop up my sleeve that would be very easy…I need the simplest thing I can sell online and I’ve decided to sell digital prints, so keep your eyes peeled.

Until tomorrow, Swellions!


Etsy Window Shopping


I decided to browse Etsy for a while. I am in absolute love with the creativity that comes out of that site! It’s not only great to see creations, but it is inspiring as well…I get so many ideas to add to my list. Have I mentioned that I want to do resin jewelry at some point (not that it hasn’t been done already, but I just want to see the possibilities of it with my photos). I’ve dabbled around with Envirotex Lite some, as seen here, but, I digress.

Etsy is just so freakin’ cool and I pulled some of my favorite and most clever finds I found while browsing. I hope you like them too!

Speaking of resin, Stoopidgerl’s Shop is filled to the brim with all kinds of colorful and funky resin creations. I really dig this 80’s flashback necklace and the supercute candy sprinkle ones as well. Also, how freakin’ cool is this print?

Always a sucker for soaps, so bologna sandwich soap by Simply Soaps cracked me up. Love the shape and the kitsch factor and it even smells like pink grapefruit (which I love as well).

This ribbon wand made me drool as a child. Actually, I purchased one like this (at a store) last year for my neice. Had I known I could get it from the Ribbon Wand Shop, I would have been all over that!

Love daytime soaps or pop art? This pop art soap opera wristlet by Smitten Originals will be right up your alley. You can start some serious drama (mama) wherever you go!

The coffee lover in your life will love this coffee corset. How super cute would it be to wrap around your cup of joe? JennGee has definitely made the perfect coffee accessory.

I just adored this porcelain octopus necklace at Poopsie’s Shop. The other super fun jewelry designs in porcelain on this site(some with rhinestone bling) will be sure to make you smile.

I came upon these great recycled phone wire bracelets by Courtney Watson yesterday on Flickr. At only $3 a pop (what a steal!!), they would make the perfect stocking stuffer or gift for all your girlfriends!

And finally, if you know me, I love anything that pertains to pop culture, so this fabulous Patsy Cline cd case struck a cord with me. From Artyfakt’s Shop, This would be perfect for that music lover in your life or just as a cute tote to bang around in.

What cute stuff have you found on Etsy?