Tuesday, June 29, 2010

MARYBEADZ - Featured Artist on Artfully Crafted Chronicals™

I met Mary Beth over the internet, on Facebook I believe, looking for other crafters to connect with, and I falled instantly for her beautiful creations. A wonderful and gifted artisan, an artist, and a great wife and proud Marine mother on top of everything. Today is my great pleasure to bring to you all her artfully crafted jewelry . I've asked Mary Beth to write a few words , and this is, sweet and simple, the person behing the Marybeadz creations, in her own words :

"I opened up my Etsy shop in Febuary 2010, I make beaded jewelry and accessesories. I am fairly new to making jewelry, I worked as a physician assistant full time for several years. I loved my work I was fortunate to have worked in some very challenging areas of medicine and met some wonderful people along the way. It wasn't until I became ill myself that i started beading. It turned from hobby to now business.
I enjoy learning and trying new designs, I'm currently working on personalized metal stamping jewelry which I'm really enjoying.
I am not much of a computer person so I had to learn all about facebook and fanpages as well as twitter and now my own blog. I never thought i would actually be doing this and learning all these new things but you never know where life will take you.  I have 2 children,( 23,21) and a wonderful husband. I love to cook and bake, listen to Dave Matthews band, strong supporter of USMC (my son is a marine).


Mary Beth Downer"



You can always find Mary Beth and her handmade jewelry on  :

http://www.marybeadz.etsy.com


http://www.marybeadz.blogspot.com


http://www.twitter.com/mbmarybeadz

Crafting ? Selling ? Promoting ? What makes you who you are ?

Today I came across some very good questions in a crafting forum. All of them put together would bring one more question : What Makes You Who You Are ? The questions were :

1. What makes you stand out in the world of handmade?
2. How and why do you choose your materials/content?
3. How do you advertise outside of artfire? What are your future business plans?
4. Why did you choose artfire as the marketplace for your products?
5. How did you come upon your craft?
6. What else would you like people to know? (about yourself, your process, your craft, your inspiration, whatever!)
And maybe the answers will help us  improve our studio, sales, service or advertising. Please share your thoughts and expectations with me, and help us all knowing each other better !

To start with the first question, I think that each and every artisan is absolutely unique, and his/her creations stand out no matter what the craft is or how many are doing the same thing. We can all make jewelry, for example, and we may use the same supplies ( buying from the same suppliers is very probable to happen ) but the final product is just a matter of inspiration and creativity of each and every one of us.

Materials are very important to me : I have to like the color first and the texture. Sometimes I just find something that I love at the first look and then I decide what to make with them, but sometimes I already have in mind my design and then I look for supplies. I love mainly the gemstones and the crystals, but as long as the final product is beautiful, then the materials are irrelevant ( for me, at least ).

Promoting  requires a lot of time and dedication, because networking is the main channel to get views and customers. My favorite sites are Facebook, Twitter, my blog and StumbleUpon.  Another great way to advertise is a giveaway - I love organizing giveaways.

I had stores on several other websites, but I found ArtFire to be the best from all points of view : easy to list, easy to import, easy to promote directly from the store, included blog, widgets to insert, cheap advertising spots and no listing or selling fees. I love the Global Editor and the coupons feature ! Basic stats are included too, so for me, is the perfect website.

Well, I came upon jewelry making when as a stay at home mom I almost drove nuts doing nothing else than changing diapers and cleaning after all my boys. I had to do something else to relax and wash my brain, and all of a sudden an old hobby took over. I remember, as a little girl, trying to modify my mother's jewelry to make them looking better. Now, you have to understand, I grew up in a communist country ( 40 years ago ) where we never heard about crafting supplies or specialized stores. So those were just timid attempts , not knowing that 40 years later I will have my own store.

What I would like people to know about me ? that I craft all my jewelry with lots of love and passion, that I don't list an item unless is perfect, that I love to keep my customers happy and that what I create is coming deep from my soul and is representing me !

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Are you a true Capricornian ? A detailed description of this magnificent sign !


Traditional Capricorn Traits

Practical and prudent
Ambitious and disciplined
Patient and careful
Humorous and reserved

On the dark side....

Pessimistic and fatalistic
Miserly and grudging

Your element: Earth
Your ruling planets: Saturn
Symbol: The Goat
Your stone: Garnet / Onyx
Life Pursuit: To be proud of their achievements


The sign of the high roller, Capricorn is regarded as the zodiac’s top, but also quiet, life and business achievers. But, there are two very different types of Capricorns. The first is represented by the mountain goat, always climbing higher and higher; never content until reaching the top. The second is the garden goat, with little adventurous spirit or ambition-happy to remain within a small domain, refusing to budge unless it is pushed. Either type of Capricorn, however, is patient and persevering. They reach their goals because they know the longest journey commences with a single step and that the first step is always the most difficult.
The one thing a Capricorn must always try to do is balance work with play; otherwise they can become too one-sided and work can replace true personal emotional fulfilment. Continually climbing the eternal mountain of success, Capricornians rise to the occasion when faced with a new task or deadline. Even if something comes to a grinding halt, their ambition to reach the ultimate keeps them moving forever onwards and upwards (prompted by the strict influence of ruling planet Saturn). Although conservative and cautious, Goats are willing to try unusual approaches on their road to success in business or in love. Romantically, they desire a permanent relationship with someone who'll give them the affection they crave (and often neglect to give themselves!)

The rulership of Saturn - the planet representing responsibility, structure and hard work - ensures that Capricorns in their truest of expression, are ambitious, practical and superb organizers. Although many Capricorns are borderline workaholics, this doesn't necessarily make them dull or gloomy! They have an offbeat sense of humour, which seems to erupt at the most unexpected moments. Their motivating force in life is success, money, status, authority and - although many might not admit it - love. By nature Capricorns are cautious when entering a new love relationship, but once they feel 'safe' with their partner, the cool exterior melts away to reveal a sensitive and loyal heart beneath. As a friend, Capricorns can be relied upon to provide the strongest and most sympathetic pair of shoulders in the zodiac...

The sign Capricorn is one of the most stable and (mostly) serious of the zodiacal types. These independent, rocklike characters have many sterling qualities. They are normally confident, strong willed and calm. These hardworking, unemotional, shrewd, practical, responsible, persevering, and cautious to the extreme persons, are capable of persisting for as long as is necessary to accomplish a goal they have set for themselves. Capricorn are reliable workers in almost any profession they undertake. They are the major finishers of most projects started by the 'pioneering' signs; with firm stick-to-it-ness they quickly become the backbone of any company they work for.

Capricorn make of themselves, resourceful, determined managers; setting high standards for themselves and others. They strive always for honesty in their criticism of self, they respect discipline from above and demand it from those beneath them. In their methodical, tough, stubborn, unyielding way, they persist against personal hardship, putting their families and/or their work before their own needs and welfare to reach their objectives long after others have given up and fallen by the wayside. In fact when practical ability allied with the drive of ambition are required in employees to make a project succeed, Capricorn are the people to hire. They plan carefully to fulfill their ambitions (which often include becoming wealthy), they are economical without meanness, and able to achieve great results with minimum effort and expense. Because of their organizing ability they are able to work on several projects simultaneously.

They have a great respect for authority but may not, if they reach high rank, be willing to listen to other opinions on things they are directly responsible for. As the ranking authority figure in a given situation they expect their underlings to be as self disciplined as they themselves are, and to perform every task undertaken to the highest standard.

They are, nevertheless, fair as well as demanding. Among their equals they are not always the most pleasant of work fellows for they are reserved and too conservative, valuing tradition more than innovation, however valuable the latter, and they are often humorless. There is also a tendency to pessimism, melancholy and even unhappiness which many Capricorn are unable to keep to themselves, especially if they fail personally. In the extreme this trait can make them a very depressed individual; ecstatic happiness alternating with the most wretched kind of misery which is so subconsciously buried that he or she should seek help if such emotions become frequent. For the above reason, capable Capricorn should spend many hours in meditation, gathering the strength to control such inner emotions.

The swings in mood are not the only reason some Capricorns deserve the adjective based on their name - capricious. They can be surprisingly and suddenly witty and subtle for the quiet, reserved individuals they seem to be, and they also have a tendency to ruin things by unexpected and utterly irresponsible bouts of flippancy. In certain individuals in whom the characteristic is strong, the temptation to do this has to be resisted with iron self-control. Another unexpected quality in some Capricorn is an interest in the occult which persists in spite of their naturally skeptical turn of mind.

Their intellects are sometimes very subtle. They think profoundly and deeply, throughly exploring all possibilities before deciding on a 'safe' alternative. They have good memories and an insatiable yet methodical desire for knowledge. They are rational, logical and clearheaded, have good concentration, delight in debate in which they can show off their cleverness by luring their adversaries into traps and confounding them with logic.

In their personal relationships they are often ill-at-ease, if not downright unhappy. They are somewhat self-centered but not excessively so, wary and cautious around people they do not know very well, preferring not to meddle with others and in turn not to allow interference with themselves, thus they tend to attract people who do not understand them. Casual acquaintances they will treat with diplomacy, tact and, above all, reticence. They make few good friends but are intensely loyal to those they do make, and they can become bitter, and powerful enemies. They sometimes dislike the opposite sex and test the waters of affection gingerly before judging the temperature right for marriage. Once married, however, they are faithful, though inclined to jealousy. Most Capricorns marry for life.

Their occupations can include most professions that have to do with math or money and they are strongly attracted to music. They can be economists, financiers, bankers, speculators, contractors, managers and real estate brokers. They excel as bureaucrats, especially where projects demanding long-term planning and working are concerned, and their skill in debate and love of dialectic make them good politicians. They are excellent teachers, especially as principals of educational establishments where they have the authority to manage and organize without too much intimacy with the staff members. If working with their hands, they can become practical scientists, engineers, farmers and builders. The wit and flippancy which is characteristic of certain Capricornians may make some turn to entertainment as a career.

Possible Capricorn Health Concerns...

Capricorn governs the knees, bones and skin, so its subjects may be liable to fractures and strains of the knees and other defects of the legs. Skin diseases from rashes and boils to leprosy (in countries where that disease is prevalent) are dangers, and digestive upsets may be caused by the tendency of Capricorns to worry or suppress emotions. Anemia, Bright's disease, catarrh, deafness, rheumatism and rickets are also said to threaten the natives of this sign.

LIKES

• Reliability
• Professionalism
• Knowing what you discuss
• Firm Foundations
• Purpose

DISLIKES

• Wild Schemes
• Fantasies
• Go-nowhere jobs
• Ignominy
• Ridicule

The color of choice for Capricorn is BROWN and most dark colors

BLACK ONYX

The beautiful Onyx is your starstone. Onyx is a type of agate (cryptocrystaline Quartz) that is recognized by the alternating, parallel bands of black and white. It is used for the carving of cameos, (a figure carved in the white layer which stands in relief against the black layer). If the white layer alternates with a different color then the agate is given different names: if red it's carnelian-onyx, if brown it is sardonyx, and if the second layer is of the pale shades that characterizes common chalcedony it is called chalcedony-onyx. A solid piece of pure black Onyx is dyed. Agates are not always dyed black unless it is called Onyx, (Agate is frequently dyed red, green, blue, etc.)

Detailed description provided by :
Astrology Online ( http://www.astrology-online.com )
Universal Psychic Guild ( http://www.psychicguild.com/horoscopes_explained.php )

Capricorn Jewelry Finds







Sunday, June 20, 2010

Back on business after a long break

Good morning my friends ! It's a lovely Sunday morning, and I just had my coffee outside listening the cirpings and enjoying the fresh morning air ! Later, would be a stupid suicide attempt to stay outside in the tremendous heat. I know I've been gone for a long time and I apologize for that, but I'm coming back with new listings and items and my focus will be only the ArtFire Studio. I put on vacation mode the Etsy store for now, keeping it just to purchase materials and supplies. I will also have great sales and discounts, and a great full of surprizes giveaway is on it's way :) so stay tuned.
An update on my 14 kittens - 5 of them have been adopted by my great neighbors, 8 found their place in a shelter, and one is on my backyard, as a free and happy kitten with his mommy !
And last but not least, a very special thanks to my dear friend Leta who was so worried for me and found the time to write me several times asking what's up with me ! Leta, I'm fine and I'm back ! And darling, get ready for that giveaway !!!!