Sunday, December 24, 2006
I just bought the most beautiful custom-made Dupioni Silk handbag for a friend of mine, so decided to make its creator the first featured artist in Art Life Newsblog.
Kelli Denise Coaxum of Kelliope Handmade NYC is a designer I met on Etsy who makes handbags, apparel, and jewelry. Her style is influenced by Coco Chanel, her love of travel, art, and the history of dress. A tiny New York apartment in the Bronx serves as studio from which Kelli conceptualizes, designs, sews, assembles, and ships all of her original work.
I can personally attest to the impeccable workmanship put into her handbags, as the one I purchased shows smooth, perfect seams, holds its shape well, all the zippers match the color perfectly, and the zipper at the top is nicely concealed when closed, giving it a highly professional and polished look. Inside are a number of different pockets to hold keys, notepad, cellphone, checkbook, wallet, and other items, and the purse is lined in bright cheerful yellow chintz. The Silk Dupioni fabric on the outside is a shimmery two-toned blue-green with one thread color for the warp, and the other for the weft.
The friend who will be getting this bag for Christmas is a nurse in a corporate position who often works 14 hours a day and enjoys the finer things in life but doesn't have much time to shop. She was once married to a millionaire and although she makes a good salary now she is not living as luxury a lifestly as she once did, and misses the time when money was no object. I know she will be thrilled when she receives this handbag! It's luxurious and highly functional at the same time; perfect for the professional woman always on the go.
Working with Kelli throughout the design process was a joy; she sent me drawings of the design, made to my specifications, helped locate the fabrics I wanted, and was as excited as I was through each phase of this project.
The finished product cost $75.00 (shipping included), and it was well worth it. When I opened the box the other day and pulled it out I wished I had ordered one for myself. I have been carrying around this brown backpack for about 5 or 6 years and have rarely carried a purse in my lifetime, but I love this one!
See more upscale designs of Kelliope Handmade NYC at:
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Saturday, August 12, 2006
While I was on the Etsy messageboard a few weeks ago I saw a post about a new site for artists to post their wares. Some people were quibbling about how they got notification of it, whether or not it was proper, etc. when I decided to take a closer look for myself, as I'm never one to just dismiss things out of hand. An opportunity is an opportunity, I say, so what did I have to lose? We artists cannot afford to look a gift horse in the mouth, especially in this economy. Times have been lean over the past month and a half, and there seemed to be a sense of heaviness on the forum which descended like a cloud.
Given the current mood of the posters on that particular Etsy thread that night, it seemed as though they'd missed the forest for the trees, and cynicism had overshadowed the prospect that this might be a real opportunity; not merely some shaky deal which was too good to be true. Whether or not there was an agenda I figured it was worth seriously considering because that's not always a bad thing. Sometimes in business the other party's agenda can line up nicely with yours, and when that happens, well then it's cake and ice cream for everybody.
Two of us on that thread went off to investigate what this new site was about and we both saw nothing that could do us any harm, in fact, on the contrary, it seemed as though there really was no down side. As it turned out the listing software was similar to Etsy's in many ways, the thumbnails were even bigger (something that Etsy has maintained would be too much of a hassle to change on their site), and we could link directly so that traffic could go from there to our Etsy sites in order for customers to buy. All this was completely free! But there was still more good stuff in addition to those great features.
As I continued to read their tutorials and operations, I found out that they had a great rewards program as a means to build up the site. This is how it works;
* You get 5 Points every time somebody new clicks on your website or an outside forum.
* 10 Points for any minimum 50-word post in their forum.
* 20 Points to submit each new craft show not already listed on their show calendar.
* 100 Points for adding the first 20 items to your gallery on their site.
* 100 Points for writing a how-to article or craft show review. This article must have at least 2 images and be over 500 words.
* 1000 Points for referring a new website hosting customer. (By the way, their full e-commerce package price is very good; just $9.95)!
What you can redeem those points for are things like;
* Gas cards
* Home Depot, Lowes, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, Barnes and Noble gift cards
* An Ipod
* Craft supplies
These are redeemable at their bumbleBee online stores. They are continuing to add new items and are open to suggestions.
Pretty Cool, huh!
To the right on my sidebar is a link where you can sign up if you're interested. All in all it's a pretty sweet deal for everyone.
The staff person I spoke with initially was Tania; very nice and helpful, and customer service oriented.
If you'd like to see what my set-up there looks like click here; http://craftersbuzz.com/gallery.cgi?GIFTBEARER&cbrewards=GIFTBEARER
If you'd like to check into the $9.95 e-commerce webhosting they provide, then click here; http://pagebuzz.com/account.cgi?&cbrewards=GIFTBEARER
Monday, June 26, 2006
The fourth of July has inspired me to make another elaborate beadwoven necklace. This one has 8 strands of genuine Spinel chips and lots of beautiful bright red coral beads on the centerpiece fringe. It took me many hours of work to complete. The piece reminds me of fireworks. The silver and white necklace I sold on Etsy with a similar look was called Happy New Year; with cascading fringe bursting out of the main core.
This one, called Raspberry Explosion Independance Day Necklace reminds one of jolly rancher candy or raspberry ice; gleaming and luminous, with the look of royalty. Spinel is in the same family as Ruby, and they are not always easy to distinguish even by lapidary experts, but generally Spinel has more pink tones to it and is punchier. It is one of my favorite stones.
Let me know what you think about this piece, and please take a look at my etsy store. For more information about the necklace or to purchase, the listing is at http://www.etsy.com/view_item.php?listing_id=277912
and here is the picture below;
Friday, June 23, 2006
More on Day Lilly Earrings
Yesterday I sold another pair of Day Lilly earrings. It was one of the ones I didn't post here, but I'd listed it on Bead & Button Community messageboard; reddish pink, a little like the reddish one below, but more pinkish and less red. As always happens just as I had begun to think they weren't going to move just last night before I was about to turn in for the night I checked my computer and was pleasantly surprised.
Three more pair are available now and I would like to sell them out and then start on some other types of flowers. I hope someone is reading this blog and will take these little beauties home with them. The right person is out there, someone who loves Day Lillies and loves color. I just know they are.
To purchase the above blue pair , go to this link; http://www.etsy.com/view_item.php?listing_id=265910
I can do most any flower, but this material lends itself to wide petals and roundish flowers better than long skinny ones. To do a daisey or something of that sort I would have to leave more of the background and not cut out quite so much around each petal. Sunflowers would work pretty well, morning glories, panseys, roses, etc...So if you would like to see certain kinds of flowers here's your chance to let your voice be heard. Maybe your mother loves roses, or your sister is just crazy about sunflowers. This could be the next hot thing!!! You never know.
Sunday, June 18, 2006
More Day Lilly Earrings
These are available at my Etsy store;
Lovely purple with jeweltone colored glass beads.
Thanks for looking. Even more coming soon!
Saturday, June 17, 2006
I just recently sold several pairs of Day Lilly earrings, and when they were gone a customer requested that I make more, so I came out with a new and improved version; this time including beads on them and using sterling silver hooks instead of surgical steele. The results are quite striking!
Over the next few days I will be listing several on my Etsy store site; Reddish-orange, Bright Red with Yellow and Black Edges, Purple with Yellow Centers and White Streaks, and Cornflower Blue with Green Edges. These new earrings sell for $10.00/pair with a shipping fee of $1.00 if you are buying from the U.S., and $2.00 international shipping. Below is an example of one pair;
See these earrings at http://www.etsy.com/view_item.php?listing_id=261893
Monday, June 12, 2006
This contemporary Tribal style necklace symbolizes the many muses we take with us on our path each day, the hearts of those who love us and inspire us tucked away for safe-keeping as amulets for good luck.These people who add something to our lives, believe in us, give us the incentive and the confidence to know that we can conquer all of life's challenges, provide us comfort when times are hard, and rejoice with us during our windfalls.Packed with brightly colored gemstones; 16 supremely facetted smokey quartz hearts dangling fron sterling drawn cable chain, are combined with carnelian roller beads, bronze-greenish pearls,light orange pearls.White quartz, bone tubes and rhondelles, grey moonstone, facetted carnelian briolettes, light orange pearls, bronze-greenish pearls, and bali sterling silver beads adorn the strand, strung on .019 soft-flex beading wire.The hook is a sterling lobsterclaw and the sterling chain extender has one silver pearl atop another matching smokey quartz heart, providing a broad size adjustability.Measures 17 1/4", and extends to 20 3/4".Truly one of a kind!
$120.00 plus $4.50 Shipping
***Shipping includes insurance.***
To purchase and/or see other pieces I have available please see my etsy store;
...And thanks to all who have inspired me!
Thursday, June 01, 2006
Come See Me...and all sorts of neat stuff!
I just realized that because my ETSY store address was my very first post it was hidden from view unless one happened to look at my list of articles very carefully on the sidebar.
I recently linked to a blog ring for Etsy sellers in case anyone would like to check that out in either direction.
The ring link is located on the sidebar on the right, just below the links which say editme. There's a box with an X inside. You still can click on it and it will work, but I just couldn't figure out how to get that nice button to show up.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Staying up until 3 or 4 in the morning for the past week, I've been preparing a cute but time-consuming creature for the upcoming Co-production Contest being held on ETSY on May 22nd, and making new jewelry for the Georgia Microenterprise Network show, held last night.
The show went relatively well but admitted vendors late to start set-up, and was cut short by one hour, something many of the vendors were not too happy about. The customer base was really good, but the time-frame between 5 and 7:00 P.M. over the dinner hour and the bar probably was a distraction from the handcrafted items. We all could have made better sales had the show run from say, 9:00 A.M.- 6:00 P.M., and alot of us did express that sentiment to the management on the feedback form provided. Apparently there was a middleman company in charge of booking the hotel space for the show and the time-frame was not made clear in the initial contract, so our show had to break down at 7:00 and be out of there before 8:00. It seemed that the hotel did offer some leeway in the end, as the next party didn't come in until 8:00 to use the room.
The National organization, Association for Enterprise Opportunity was there as well as a co-sponsor. To find out more about them go to http://www.microenterpriseworks.org or contact Katie Igrec Lima at (703) 841-7760 Ext. 38. Her e-mail is email@example.com
One of the highlights of this event was its glossy Microenterprise Fair 2006 Business Directory (in which Giftbearer is listed on page 15), designed and laid out by Jones Creative, LLC. Photos were printed in black and white, but the listings were professional-looking and easy to locate with all contact information on each business included. Each of the vendors in the directory have been through one of the Microenterprise classes offered by their respective County affilliate.
The agency I took my Business Plan Writing course from several years ago was BusinessNOW, the affilliate in Dekalb County. I would recommend this agency to anyone wanting to develop an official business plan or who might like to apply for a small business loan in the future.
To find out which organization offers these and other related business development services in your area you can contact the Association for Enterprise Opportunity listed above or if you're a Georgia resident contact GMEN at http://www.georgiamicroenterprise.org
of which Patricia C. Williams is the Executive Director.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
I will be selling my work at the Georgia Microenterprise Network Conference/Show on Wednesday, May 17th from 5:00-8:00 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta, 265 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta, GA. 30303.
Vendors will be located in the Centennial Ballroom III and IV (Ballroom Level).
For more information about attending, please contact:
GMEN Micro Fair Coordinator
This will be a great opportunity to network, get some valuable business information, and come home with a wonderful original piece of wearable art.
Hope to see you there!
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
On Sunday, Apil 9,2006 I spent 3 exciting hours at the Atlanta Dogwood Festival, held annually in Piedmont Park. Ranked in Sunshine Art Magazine as the 16th top arts festival in the country, this festival features a whole array of different mediums from sculpture, to jewelry, to fiber, ceramic, to woodwork, to all types of painting/drawing/mixed media.
One of my favorites there was Sandy Atkins-Moran (Genesis Designs) of Carrollton, Texas whose hand-sewn one-of-a-kind art jackets set her apart from other clothing designers in that she uses a unique combination of fabrics in quilted freeform style such as silk, ultrasuede, cotton, and heavier patterned cloth. Some of her jackets had wisps of colorful threads dangling from certain sections of cloth like fringe. The colors tended towards purples, greens, and golds, but she is able to do custom work as well using colors chosen by the customer.
I definitely have one of these on my "to buy" list, and after I told a friend of mine about these so does she!
She does not currently have a website but she can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in purchasing or would like to see her at a show and check out her work in-person.
There was lots of beautiful jewelry there including some lovely bone hearts a little bigger than a silver dollar in circumference and about a 1/2 inch thick (I wish I'd gotten the contact info for those but was hard-pressed to see everything in 3 hours) with sterling silver balls set in them and nice bezel settings with tiny, luminous cabachons of ruby, chrome diopside, (and what looked to be fire opal in one of the pendants).
One man who made giclee prints from his watercolor paintings of cats, fish, and other animals in warm, rich colors, stated that this was an excellent show each time he'd gotten accepted and that one year he'd made enough for one year and into the next!
At a ceramics booth whose trademark look was pieces which had bright pinkish purple matt glaze, there were at least 6 people waiting with money in-hand to pay for items priced at least $30.00 apiece.
It was definitely a buying crowd, and I wish I had beed able to come up with the $350.00 entry fee. For those of you who might be interested in doing this show next year, go to http://www.dogwood.org
to get on the mailing list and obtain an application. They're asking that people inquire in August to get an application for the 2007 show.
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
New Line of Jewelry (Softies)
I alwys enjoy doing crossover pieces and developing new lines of jewelry that combine the features and benefits from more than one medium. This new line is one that combines crochet and beads. On Etsy I noticed that yarn/knitted/crocheted stuff has its own huge following. The jewelry category there is so large that one really has to come up with something new and different to make a mark. This Flaxen Crocheted Cuff is the first one in the line, made with mohair. Stay tuned for more of these in different colors and various embellishments, and let me know what you think.
To purchase or to place a special order, go here; http://www.etsy.com/view_item.php?listing_id=125025
Saturday, April 01, 2006
Friday, March 24, 2006
I watched Dr. Phil today and he had several women entrepreneurs on his show. The topic was that they had a dream to sell something in their own business and their husbands weren't too sure they were being realistic.
I was very happy to see that instead of shooting these women down, Dr. Phil had two experts on the show who had written a book about opportunities in this area of interest for stay-at-home moms to get a business off the ground.
He had them do focus groups on the viability of these ideas and the result was encouraging.
He also showed footage of several woman entrepreneurs who had appeared on his show in the past who now were making big money.
I never would have thought of him as a possible person to pitch my wares to or that he would be particularly into grass-roots Etsy type stuff, but this is good to know.
Dr. Phil might be a possible talk show host to include in a next round of gift baskets.
I signed up on his site and posted something on his messagebord describing Etsy and why this is a good option for stay-at-home moms and people who otherwise cannot work a regular job.
He had suggested one woman sell her huge inventory on Ebay, so I thought to myself, he could be plugging Etsy one of these days like that as well.
If any of you would like to post on his messageboard or contact him, his web address is http://drphil.com/
I also said that if he was reading my message that it would be great if he would do a segment about etsy, as there are alot of undiscovered artists here who should be discovered.