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Posts Tagged ‘Design’

A Happy Memaw

Some women complain about getting older, however I am enjoying life as a middle-aged woman. One benefit for me is that I get to be a ‘Memaw’ to my granddaughters and that is one of the greatest joys in my life. I’m fortunate enough to have two beautiful granddaughters and two more grandchildren on the way. 🙂 The oldest one, Chloe, is 6 years old and the younger one, Missy, is 20 months. My daughter is due to deliver another little girl in July and my daughter-in-law, Tiff, is expecting in November.  I’m looking forward to having 4 grandchildren.

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 Memaw, Chloe & Missy

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There are many wonderful things about having grandchildren. To begin with, when they are babies I get to snuggle them for hours on end. The feeling is somehow different than when my own children were babies. The simple pleasure of holding your child’s offspring is indescribable. Plus, since you’re not the parent there are no other pressing things to do so you can simply enjoy the moment.

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 Snuggle time with Missy

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As they begin to speak it is wonderful to hear them say my name. I was actually going to go with the standard name “Grandma”, but as Chloe began to talk it became “Memaw” and in hindsight I actually like that name better. Missy is just beginning to talk and my name comes out more like “Mawwww”, or more often it’s “uh, oh, Mawwww”. No matter what it sounds like, just knowing that they are calling me brings a smile to my face.

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It is also an absolute blast when they are able to do some of my favorite activities along with me. As you may know, I love making jewelry and Chloe has sat with me at my desk many times and made her own jewelry designs. She is actually pretty dang good at it. 🙂 I’ll be anxious for the others to join us when they are old enough.

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 One of Chloe’s latest designs

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I also enjoy hiking and have been able to do that with both of them.  In the beginning they go along for the ride, but now Chloe is to the point that she is a genuine little hiker.  One side benefit to hiking with a baby on your back is that it certainly adds to the amount of calories you burn.

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 Chloe when she was too young to hike

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 Chloe on a family hike this past summer.

(Missy is on Anna’s back instead of mine. 🙂

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Another one of my favorite activities is cycling.  Yesterday I had the pleasure of riding bicycles with Chloe for the first time. She recently learned how to ride without training wheels and we spent part of the afternoon riding around our church parking lot. I think there are many joint rides in our future.

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 Chloe with NO training wheels–YIPPEE!

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Another activity I often do with Chloe is to cook and bake.  She likes nothing more than to help make some cookies or cupcakes.  I guarantee that when she helps me there are plenty of sprinkles and other decorations on whatever we make.  (OK, I also confess that we sometimes lick out the bowl — What happens at Memaw’s stays at Memaw’s. 🙂 )

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 She LOVES to decorate cupcakes!

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Since I also love playing the piano I’m just now getting them warmed up to that as well.  Chloe can play a wee bit and Missy just enjoys plunking away on the keys.  When Missy is here she often walks to the piano and pats the bench, which means she wants me to sit down and hold her on my lap so she can play a ‘tune’.  I think she may be hooked.

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 Future Pianist

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Yes, getting older means gray hair, wrinkles and more aches and pains, but the benefits definitely outweigh the physical signs of “maturity”. Besides becoming a grandparent I have become more comfortable with who I am, and I am now courageous enough (or maybe crazy enough) to do things I wouldn’t have done when I was younger. You can get away with some pretty eccentric things as you get older.  (like wearing a hat with feathers. 🙂 )

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One ‘crazy’ Memaw

***Photography courtesy of “Poppop”

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Make My Day

Home Show 2013

Home Show 2013

 

As a woman who designs and makes jewelry, I not only enjoy the actual process of creating the pieces, but LOVE hearing that women have enjoyed wearing it.  The message at the bottom of my receipt is “I hope that you enjoy wearing this jewelry as much as I enjoyed designing and making it”. I get great satisfaction when I receive positive feedback from women who buy my jewelry.

 

I've received many compliments on this design.

I’ve received many compliments on this design.

 

One way that I receive this kind of response is at shows. I have many repeat customers walk into my booth and tell me that they were hoping I would be there. They talk about pieces that they have bought in previous years and the compliments they get when wearing them.  They are always excited to see my new designs.

 

My booth at the Apple Harvest Festival

My booth at the Apple Harvest Festival

 

I also receive feedback from my online Etsy Shop customers . After making a purchase they are able to rate the product and write a comment. Reading the comments on my feedback page  always brings a smile to my face. I love hearing that my customers are pleased with the quality of the jewelry and that it brings them some enjoyment.

 

Holiday Home Show 2013

Holiday Home Show 2013

 

All artisans long to hear this kind of feedback from their customers, so when you buy something that is handcrafted, be sure to let the artist know how much you like it. It will make their day 🙂

To read some of my reviews, click HERE

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WORKING 9 – 5

Some of my jewelry designs have been working very hard from 9 to 5.  These pieces not only look pretty and help women to express their own unique style, but they perform a much-needed task.  They help women do their job and look beautiful while doing it. These designs actually get women in the door.  What kind of jewelry can do all of this?—-a unique and handcrafted necklace lanyard.

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Celtic Knot and Byzantine Lanyard

Lanyards are beautiful, but are also very practical. You can wear your lanyard at work and when you step out of the office, you un-clip the ID badge and you have a beautiful necklace and an eye glass or sun glasses holder if need be! Then, back at the office you clip your badge right back on and you’re ready to go back to work.

The number of lanyards I’ve sold has been unbelievable.  I’ve sold lanyards with gems, pearls, butterflies, hearts and various other focal pieces.  Some have been very colorful and others more subtle.  I’ve had several women request slight changes to a particular lanyard to make it perfect for them.  I’ve had one design in particular that has been extremely popular—my Celtic Knot Lanyard.  It’s a fairly simple design, is somewhat classic and since it is all silver and it goes with almost every outfit.  I’ve added many variations on this design, but the original one has outsold all other lanyards.

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Celtic Knot Lanyard

I’m happy that my line of necklace lanyards has been selling well and I also like knowing that my necklace lanyards might possibly make a woman feel a bit more beautiful as she works 9-5.

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Peace Sign Lanyard

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Tree of Life Lanyard

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Lacy Byzantine Lanyard in Antique Silver

Click HERE to see my entire line of lanyard necklaces.

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Jewelry may seem like a frivolous commodity to some. Sure, it can add bling to an outfit, but it can also make a woman feel happy and can be a wonderful gift for someone special. At times a gift of jewelry is the perfect expression of love.  This was the case with a recent custom order.

 

I enjoy designing custom pieces and like to hear that the recipient of the jewelry was pleased with the outcome.   I recently received a note from a customer that expressed such gratitude for a special order item that it brought tears to my eyes.

 

A woman from the Middle East inquired about a possible special order after viewing my jewelry on ArtFire.  Her Grandma lost a special necklace many years ago and she discovered it was similar to my Celtic Knot design.  The customer sent me pictures of her Grandma wearing the original necklace.  I was able to make a few adjustments to my design and the finished product looked very much like the one she had lost.  The customer was thrilled and planned to give it to her Grandma for her birthday.

 

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Click HERE to view Celtic Knot Necklace

I received an email several weeks later telling me how much her Grandma liked the necklace.  She was extremely happy to have received it and knew it was given out of love.  My customer had even received a call from her Grandpa to thank her for bringing so much happiness with the gift.   He said that the Grandma felt like the luckiest woman on earth to have been given this necklace by her granddaughter especially since she ordered it from half way around the world.  Yes, the Grandma likes the necklace, but the love behind the gift is what she treasures the most.

 

I was honored to have been able to help this young woman show love to her Grandma in this way.  I like knowing that I had a small part in bringing so much joy to a sweet 80 year old woman.  I have always loved making jewelry, but that note made me love it in a new way.

 

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The perfect ‘flapper’ necklace

(Click HERE to view this necklace

in my Etsy shop)

 

There are many rewarding aspects to being a woman who designs and creates jewelry. It’s great to be able to make custom pieces to go with particular outfits. My friends often notice my jewelry and their comments are very helpful.

The days that I want to wear a new design I get ready in an unusual way. Most women get dressed and then choose their jewelry, right? Not me–at times I decide what jewelry to wear and then find clothes that will go with it. It may be a bit odd, but after all, I am a ‘walking billboard’.

I often get orders for pieces I’m wearing. For instance, I recently had some women over for dinner and we agreed to all wear black….anything from pj’s to a formal gown. I chose a flapper outfit, and after donning my dress, feather headband and black boa I looked in the mirror.  I tried to picture which necklace would best compliment the outfit and instantly thought of one that I had made earlier that day—a long pearl necklace with a bit of a tassel.  It must have been the right choice because one of my guests liked it so much that she ordered one.

Not it’s time to get back to work and design something new for the ‘billboard’.  🙂

 

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Ideas for my designs come from various sources. At times it is something that spontaneously develops in my mind whereas at other times it may be something I see and then work into a new design. The other evening, a necklace someone was wearing on tv caught my eye and I immediately thought of many different variations on the design. This happens frequently, but unfortunately I often forget about it by morning. This time I could not get the image of the necklace out of my mind.

In the morning, I sat down at my workbench and began to experiment to see what developed from the ideas that were floating around in my mind. The final necklace turned out to be one of my all-time favorites. It is a three tier pearl necklace with a teardrop pearl gracefully hanging from each tier. I like it so much because it is simple, yet dramatic. It’s elegant, but at the same time, slightly sexy. I’m so excited with how it turned out that my mind is now overflowing with many different variations on the design—so many I would never be able to make them all.

It gives me great satisfaction when one of my designs ‘feels right’ to me and I get flooded with ideas for other pieces that will have a similar feel. The only problem with being this excited about making jewelry is that I have to make myself put down the pliers long enough to do laundry, clean, and other necessary tasks.  I’m sure that I will finish all of these chores at a fairly fast pace because I’ll be anxiously looking forward to spending time at my workbench working on the new pieces. (a.k.a. ‘having fun’)

I’m very fortunate that I enjoy my work as much as I do. Not only do I get to work in my pajamas many mornings, but I’m doing something I love to do. It doesn’t get much better than that. 🙂

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The 4 P’s

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I sit here at my workbench in a quiet house on this cold winter evening with my dog laying on the floor beside me, and I realize that I am content.  It is partly because of 4 elements……PJ’s, pearls, pliers & Pandora.

I was able to enjoy an early dinner and then slip in to my PJ’s.  I don’t know about you, but there is something extremely soothing about hanging out in pajamas.  They are soft, warm and extremely comfortable to wear.  Working at home affords me the luxury of often beginning my work day in my pj’s and slippers, but I also enjoy lounging around in them on certain evenings as well.

As for the Pearls, that happens to be what I’m working with this evening.  I’m experimenting with new designs and happen to be using beautiful, white Swarovski pearls.  I tried on a new necklace  to see how it looked — as I often do after finishing a necklace.  This particular piece was somewhat formal and I couldn’t help but chuckle when I looked in the mirror and realized I was wearing a very formal pearl necklace with my black pj’s.  The really funny part is that it looked kind of cool to me.  

The Pliers are, of course, the tools of my trade.  I thoroughly enjoy designing and making jewelry and am sometimes the happiest when I have pliers in my hand.  My workbench is often littered with various types of pliers/cutters/tools along with various stones, pearls, chain and findings and to some it may look like a disaster, but all I see are limitless possibilities in the designs I could come up with.

The 4th P is my Pandora radio.  For those of you not familiar with this, it is a website with various radio stations that you can customize to your liking by indicating which songs you like or don’t like.  I often listen to classical piano on the evenings that I find myself with an evening to myself, but tonight I felt more like JJ Heller.

So, here I sit with my formal pearls adorning my comfortable pj’s, with pliers in hand and soft music floating all around me………..life is good.  (and I’m coming up with extremely exciting designs.)

Oh, I should mention one other crucial piece in this ideal setting—-a glass of Merlot wine.  It doesn’t start with a P, but it goes well with pj’s and pearls, don’t you think?  😉

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