Mimi and her girls

Mimi and her girls
Mimi and her girls

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Thinking About the New Year

WOW- I can't believe I haven't posted since before Christmas. I'm sure I'm not the only one who got a little busy before and right after the holidays. It feels good to be back to making new designs and thinking about what I'll add to my shop in 2010.

I have been diligently working away in my studio practicing my sawing and piercing so I can add some new and interesting pendants in the new year. I also have a class in January in PMC, very excited about the possiblities there. Mostly I have been trying out new bangle designs. Hoping you'll like my newest which is wire wrapped to make it totally adjustable and give a custom fit to each individual wearer. Check it out by using the link below to the listing in my Etsy shop!

To anyone who didn't get what they wanted for Christmas in the jewelry category- take advantage of the FREE Shipping in the US through January- Worldwide customers, this offer ends December 31.

Stay tuned for new items each week- I have off a whole week from my full time job and am spending as much time as I can making new designs to add to the shop. After all- Valentine's Day isn't far off!

Happy New Year to Everyone


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Is the Christmas Rush Over?

New Patterned Sterling Bangle We are having a huge snow storm here in Maryland today with blizzard warnings, so I finally have time to update my blog and think about what I will do next to keep my shop fun and interesting. I have to say I had a lot of fun and met a lot of really great people on the forums this year. I got lots of great advice on promoting my new shop and how tos for great customer service. All this helped my a lot to prepare for the big "holiday rush" which was supposed to start Black Friday weekend. I must say I was extremely disappointed that all my special offers and incentives seemed to go unnoticed on Arfire, but did seem to make an impact on sales at my Etsy shop http://www.ppennee.etsy.com/

I truly hope Artfire spends some of it's promotional efforts getting it's name out to the people on the morning TV shows and gets some mention in the handcrafted community news. There are some terrific artisans on Artfire.  Artfire seems to be trying to do all the right things to make it easy for us to run an "on line" shop, but if no one knows you're there, all those perks don't make for sales. I have to say, Etsy was a very good venue for me this year and I learned an awful lot there too. Keeping both shops may seem silly, but as I am new to the on line market, I guess I was just looking for the right spot. Giving it a few more months to see what shakes out.

A bit of shop news. I have started making some new pattern design bangles with some really nice pattern wire I ordered. I love fusing fine silver, but thought adding patterns to the mix for stacking those bangles would be fun. So far I have been pleased with the effort. Soldering still isn't as much fun as fusing, but practicing all the techniques is a must to keep you sharp and keep customers interested in your newest projects- at least I sure hope so! Check out my newest patterned bangle and feel free to leave a comment- should I add more? Different patterns? There seem to be endless choices of patterns for sale.

Look for some new items with moonstone and mystic topaz and some gorgeous pearls- I hit the gem show yesterday and found some beautiful lovlies to add to my collection.

I do believe that any type of Christmas rush is over now since the post office told me December 21 was about the last day I could expect a package to arrive before Christmas. I'm hearing from the forums that now is the time everyone starts hitting the "big box" stores and malls for those last minute gifts they need in lieu of hoping they'll get them on time for wrapping and gift giving. So, what to do now? I think it's time to work on my office and get organized for next year. Work on a business plan, get a real budget set up for advertising and purchases of supplies. Best of all, I have a whole week between Christmas and New Years to work on putting designs in my head onto paper, then try them out on copper or craft wire before taking the plunge into precious metals.

Wishing everyone safe and happy holidays. Hope to see you back to browse in my shop if you didn't get everything on your Christmas list or just have a wild urge to buy yourself something to stave off the winter doldrums.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Last Shopping Days Before Christmas Are Upon Us

Posted by PicasaHere we are just 10 more shopping days until Christmas descends upon us- ready or not!  Are you panicked yet? Not me, I'm one of those who gets a real rush being out there the day before- I don't even mind the crowds.
Just for fun, I had to show off my granddaughter's Christmas picture. She is going to grow up one day and wear all her Mimi's jewelry (that's me). Lord knows, it will look much better on her than on me! Oh, and by the way, I have completed all my shopping for my daughter and granddaughter. DH still hasn't given me a list!

I will keep it short and sweet today. Anyone who reads my blog or keeps up with my Facebook site (http://www.facebook.com/pages/All-Wired-Up-jewelry-Designs/143956567263) knows I love making little charms necklaces, some with words, some with birds or flowers, but almost always with gemstones.  I just think these necklaces are a fun way to express youself, your feelings or just something you like.

 So here's the ta da-  for anyone following me on  either spot, 20% off any charm necklace from now until December 21. Just mention you saw my blog post or read it on FB and I'll credit you back the difference. Unfortunately I have to cut it off the 21st since my post office told me I'd already be pushing it after the 18th for first class mail. If you'd like to use the savings and put it toward expedited shipping we can do that too- then I, and you, can push the envelope a little.
Happy Shopping!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Fine Silver is My Passion!

I am just so excited about all the great things you can do with fine silver wire. I guess one of the things I love most is no PICKLE. I know, the pickle is a German Christmas tradition. Well, I am half German, so I have nothing against pickles. I just always forget to turn on the little bitty crockpot with the pickle solution in it until I have already soldered something. Then I worry if it's going to work if I wait to long after. With fine silver all I do is quench, forge, texture, then tumble. Even better, if I want to change the shape a little, like my new organic links bracelet, I can get out my trusty silicone coated round nose pliers and go to work reshaping and changing the look totally. Fine silver is very soft until you work harden it by forging and tumblng. Another great thing- it's almost pure silver (.999). Unlike sterling (.925) there is no copper which is the major culprit in tarnishing. Not that I am not good about keeping my silver in platic bags to slow the tarnishing process, but let's face it, when a girl gets a shiny new bracelet- she wants it to STAY shiny for quite a while before she has to polish it up.
I know lots of metalsmiths who are not quite so smitten with fine silver. It's too soft they say. If you visit my shop at http://www.ppennee.artfire.com you will see lots of fine silver bangles, earrings and bracelets. I haven't listed too many necklaces yet since they usually go on a sterling chain. Trust me, I test drive all my jewelry before I offer it for sale. I work a full time job in sales. I am in and out of my car all day long, in and out of my trunk picking through boxes and papers, carrying things in and out of offices. I wear my bangles and bracelets daily-no problems. The only recommendation I make is to please let me make a bangle that fits! A bangle is supposed to slip on without a lot of resistance going over your hand. You shouldn't have to twist and push to get it on or off. This type of on and off abuse will eventually ruin the shape of even the thickest sterling bangle. Can you tell I really believe in my fine silver items?
If anyone is ever interested in finding out more about fine silver and all the wonderful things you can do with it, please don't hesitate to send me an e-mail and ask away!
Come visit my shop and check out just a few of the really nice pieces made with fine silver. Today I am highlighting my new listing, an organic link bracelet- quite a lovely piece if I do say so. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=36640455
Have a fabulous weekend and Happy Holidays to everyone.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Getting Ready for Christmas

I have finally started decorating my houe- a week after Thanksgiving! I still have no Christmas list done, but have been perusing Artfire and Etsy like a  crazy woman looking for ideas. I have become the gift guide queen. Made some new friends via an Artfire blog, twitter, FB post in the forums and now have lots of people to follow, check out items in their shops and hopefully get some great gifts for my family and friends. Thanks to PhiLoSoDesigns for starting that great thread on Artfire.
I keep adding new items to both my etsy and artfire shops. Still waiting for that Christmas shopping rush I keep hearing about. Added some great new holiday earrings and a bracelet I love. Does anyone else have shops with items they almost hope don't sell? I may be crazy, but there are a few items I really feel like I should keep, but know it's just not good business!
Just started reading the new Patricia Cornwall book, The Scarpetta Factor, think I may actually finish it this weekend- always a fun read! I am buying books this year from WalMart on line, they have had some amazing deals.
Weather man is calling for our first snow today so I created a pair of earrings that reminded me of snow and ice. With the holidays coming I am really looking forward to snow- ice- yuk- not so much! Check out these earrings, leave a comment, I'd love to hear what winter items you love.Snow and Ice Earrings

Monday, November 30, 2009

Cyber Monday- Last Day for Discount and Coupons

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoyed great times with their family and friends. Abundance is sort of the main theme for Thanksgiving, so we probably all overate and will be dieting for the next 2 weeks getting ready to enjoy those same relatives Christmas goodies. Weight Watchers here I come!

I guess I am glad Cyber Monday is finally here. Managing disounts, coupons and all that was fun for my first ever sale in my two shops, but today is back to my day job. I have added so many new things, including great pearl earring in silver and gold fill, charm and gemstone necklaces, a terrific pearl and gemstone bracelet. I love hearing back from customers when their purchase arrives and they are so pleased.
 Fine silver bangles have been really popluar, especially when they're discounted. Come visit my shops and check out some of my newest creations. Think about all the women you buy for and have fun shopping.
Visit me at http://www.ppennee.etsy.com/ or http://www.ppennee.artfire.com/ and check out one of my newest listings http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=35528602

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Looking for that special gift???

Are there any brave men out there looking for that special gift for their best girl? Heck, are their any women out there looking to treat themselves to a spectacular necklace they can be proud of? Here it is folks. An absolutely gorgeous AAA Swiss blue topaz surrounded by white topaz, blue topaz, green garnets, apatite, iolite, rose quartz, Swiss blue topaz faceted rounds and Swarovski crstal AB rondelle. I fused, forged hammered and textured the fine silver teardrop link and jump ring then wire wrapped each individual gemstone and attached it to the jump ring. This gemstone cluster reminds me so much of the ocean with all the beautiful shades of blue and green and the white froth on the waves, it has such a restful quality but still makes a real statement.
This is just one of the many items I am designing for the upcoming holidays for gifts and just because you love to have something beautiful.
I spent the day sketching, wireing, hammering and generally being the elf for Santa. Tommorrow, it's back to reality and the day job. But I had so much fun, I decided to offer great discounts to everyone who comes to my Etsy or Artfire shops for Black Friday weekend. On Artfire, I will have two coupons, 10% off any purchase up to $50, another coupon is for 15% off any purchase $50 and over. Free shipping worldwide for the entire weekend. All jewelry will be packaged in a lovely organza pouch and boxed in a holiday gift box suitable for wrapping. I am also offering to ship directly to your intended gift ricipient- just send me the address in note to sellers and I will ship on the date you request. Remember to leave enough time for your gift to arrive for the holidays. Please visit me now to browse and come back to shop for all your holiday jewelry gifts. At Etsy http://www.ppennee.etsy.com/ and at Artfire www.ppennee.artfire.com.
In between cleaning for holiday guest and getting pies baked and appetizers ready, I'll post some more specials later this week.

Gearing Up for Black Friday Sales

I have to say that I am finally getting excited about Black Friday shopping day sales. Mostly because I am having one and I think I have covered all my bases for variety, values, special one of a kind items and best of all no shipping fees.
I guess I am a little torn because Black Friday means Thanksgiving is over, all my out of town family will leave to drive home and, OMG Christmas will be here before I know it. I admit, I am a bad store shopper. I have to have the absolute perfect gift for everyone on my list, I wander around forever and don't find it. So, I am one of the Cyber Monday superstars. I can surf to my hearts content and find just the perfect size, color or new gadget for everyone. I hope someone out there thinks like I do and comes to visit one of my shops and finds one of those perfect gifts. Nothing would make me happier than knowing I helped someone cross a name off their list with the perfect gift. Just so you have an idea, I am posting a link for one of my new charm necklaces. Check out my shop announcement for all the sale details and specials. Hope to see you there. P.S. If you see something I have marked as one of a kind, please let me know- Black Friday starts at 12 midnight and there will be people up and shopping then- don't miss out on something you really love.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Some Special Deals for Black Friday Weekend

I have finalized my Black friday weekend specials, at least in my head and on my shop announcement. Now all that has to happen is for me to let everyone know where to find the great deals I am offering. So off to blog, twitter, facebook and all the great places people chat about anything and everything. So, here, goes: First- Free Shipping Worldwide- anyone, anywhere gets their stuff mailed free. Think about how much you can save just buying only from sellers that ship free. No gas money to go to the store, no fighting crowds, just click and pick.
Now for the Ta Da- drum roll please: Anyone who spends under $50 gets 10% off, $50 and over 15% off. So, if you buy 2 items that total $50, you get 15% off, if you buy one item for $25 you still get 10% off. No matter what you buy you can save money. I know 10% doesn't sound like much today, but think about how much you save in hassel and frustration just not waiting in lines and fighting sale crazy shoppers at discount department stores!
I want my customers to have fun shopping and save some money. Look for gifts for special people, including yourself, check out all my affordable "stocking stuffer" and holiday earrings. Gifts for all ages from pre-teens to that special grandmother or aunt who "only wears pearls". One of my favorites for wearing with just about anything is the charm and gemstone neclace. Check it out, maybe it will make your wish list, or maybe it's just the right thing for that awesome BFF. Check it out at http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=31289744

Friday, November 13, 2009

Gearing Up for Black Friday

I'll bet there's a lot of people who get up early and go out for all the deals at the discount department stores on Black Friday. I'm not one of them. I think it's a little scary. I just read the front page of aol for all the uncovered deals at all these stores, but what struck me was the Walmart story about increaseed precautions because an employee got trampled last year. I know in this economy it's important to look for deals and shop around, but what's the actual cost if someone is injured in your persuit. I hope everyone that goes out early to shop will be mindful that not everyone in those crowds is young and nimble, and, if you miss that deal, there will be another one sometime before Christmas actually gets here.
Now, if you want deals, check out my artfire and etsy shops over the long weekend. I am offering free shipping worldwide, special "holideals" for each day  starting Friday, and, if you happen to be one of my blog readers, you will receive something extra. Not telling yet, but it will definitely be a savings you will love.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bogger Button from Artfire

Love the gorgeous artwork on the blogger buttons. I hope someone uses mine to come visit and see my new silver earrings listed yesterday!

My daughter got engaged today. Now I have to start considering dates, venues, catering. The lsit goes on and on. She is engaged to a man currently in the marines, he had 2 tours in Iraq, now on his way out of the marines. Lucky me, I sure wouldn't want her moving all over the country. I would miss her and my granddaughter.

Thanksgiving and Black friday are looming. I have lots of family coming from out of town and love all the hussel and bussel, but with my jewelry making "non studio" I have to clean up my creative mess and get ready for relatives to take over my creative space. Guess I'd better get in gear and create now for happy shoppers on Black Friday

Monday, November 9, 2009

More Holiday Shopping and Preparation

I received 2 great items from Canadian Rockies Art studio from my trade week. A gorgeous handcrafted sterling heart "amore" pendant and a pair of hand forged silver fringe earrings. The earrings are on as I write! Also received some great Bali beads and some silver heart clasp from Texas destash. What a haul today.

As I wait for the holiday rush to start, hopefully before Black Friday, I am adding some lucious gift items to my shop and also some affordablly priced stocking stuffers. Todays shop highlight is one of my charm gemstone cluster necklaces with a very lovely vermeil lotus bud and some crystal clear gemstones clustered around. Check it out http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=33937534. Pink amethyst, purple amethyst, white topaz and green amethyst , all nice pastels to wear with sweaters and tops this fall and winter. All stones are wire wrapped in 14k gold filled wire and hung on a unique mirror link gold filled chain. Great gift for that special lady (put it on your wish list and slide it under his drink at dinner) or even a special treat for yourself for a holiday party.

Check out some of the holiday sparkler earrings - most all under US $25.00 some under US $20.00. You can never have too many pairs of earrings to mix and match with holiday outfits.

Did some of my own holiday shopping today for the granddaughter, she get most of the attention until after Thanksgiving when i have to start thinking about adults. Sorry, big people just aren't as much fun to buy for as little ones. I got monkey jammies, and a cute bathrobe and funny books today. I had to stay out of the toy section, no more room in the house.
Trying to plan already for Thanksgiving and out of town guests. I sometimes wish my family didn't think I was such a good cook and would volunteer to bake pies, make the mashed potatoes or broccoli casserole. It will be fun, but now I'm off to start cleaning so I don't have everything to do the week of Thanksgiving. Oh, yes, I will clean again, and again- but the big stuff has to get done first.2009-11-09

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Getting ready for the holidays

I thought I would never find the time to start a blog. Then I decided that blogging gave me a way to think on paper. Getting ready for the holidays is both fun and exhausting. Since I work full time, I have to squeeze in "creative time". This weekend I had all to myself so I created away. Made some great stocking stuffer earrings which I listed on Etsy and Artfire. Scetched out a few bangle bracelets I want to start on today. I made lots of fine silver charm bangles, but decided I needed a bangle that someone could add or take off charms depending on their modd, occassions or just for fun.
I participated in Artfire's first trade and stay. What a hoot! I got sop many gorgeous things I was just amazed at the quality and variety of products produced by fellow artisans on Artfire. Trading was fast and furious- like negotiating at a market in Italy or Mexico, so much fun.

Check out my newest listings at http://www.ppennee.etsy.com/ or http://www.ppennee.artfire.com/ lots of great earring stocking stuffers, new charm necklaces and very shiny silver bangles. All just in time for the holidays.