Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Today I would like to feature an Artfire artist who makes the world beautiful by enhancing the beauty that already exsists.... on your face! Chamoritaessentials makes and sells mineral make-up. I personally am a BIG fan of handmade mineral make-up. It just feels so much better on my skin and looks a lot more natural. It truly enhances the beauty you have instead of hiding it.

The lady who runs chamoritaessentials is named Leonora Gamble. She is married to a wonderfully supportive man and is the proud mother of 4 grown boys ranging from 17-27 in age. She is from Guam but has been living in the United States since 2006. She not only creates the wonderful mineral make-up in her studio but also creates fragrances for both men and women. In her spare time she enjoys reading, going to the beach and spending time with her family.

I sent Leonora a short questionaire to get a little more information about her and the wonderful products she makes. Here are her answers.

How did you first get into your craft?

I always wanted to go into business for myself and have always been very interested in cosmetics, body and skincare. I've always purchased makeup and skin care products but they always make me itch or I break out in a terrible rash or they gave me bad acne. So about 4 years ago I became interested in mineral makeup when it first came out. I bought some but it still made me itch. So, I decided to do some research and discovered I could make it myself. In addition to making mineral cosmetics, I also researched and discovered how to make body and skincare products as well as soap.

Is there any other artist or person in your life that influences or inspires you?

I honestly can't think of any right now.

What are your favorite materials to work with and why?

I would have to say working with iron oxides, with these you can create so many different colors, the possibilities are endless.

Is there anything that makes your creations stand apart from similar ones/your competitors?

I think my ingredients make my creations stand apart from similar products. I do not use ingredients that traditional makeup companies use. Even some mineral makeup companies use ingredients that can make certain individuals react badly. One example, I do not use Bismuth or Boron nitrides in my makeup.

Is there anything else you would like my readers to know about (sales, coupons, other services)?

I am new to selling online. I will soon be offerings discounts, sales on certain products and free gifts. I will also be adding products to my studio.

You can find Leonora's makeup and fragrances in her studio at

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

New pieces!

I have completed a few new pieces! I just got them listed in my Artfire studio but thought I would share pictures of them here anyways.
The first one is a LONG silver toned chain that features handmade lampwork beads made by ME! I made these beads a few years ago but hadn't been able to find the rught jewelry project for them. Finally last night, I felt inspired by a trend. This chain is meant to be worn long and doubled up but it could possibly be tripled up. It's that long. I added some faceted czech glass beads in for color and balance.
The second piece I finished is actually a necklace and earring set that has a very vintage feel. I bought these gorgeous vintage rhinestone spacer beads in Santa Fe NM in November and have been just waiting to find the perfect use for them. I paired them with creme colored swarovski crystallized pearls and POOF! The perfect prom or bridal set for that vintage gal!

E vs. AF View comparison 3-30-10

I haven't checked in on my Etsy vs. Artfire view comparison experiment lately.... let's check it out.
Garnet and Amethyst necklace
Etsy~ 32
Artfire~ 86
Carnelian pendant
Etsy~ 28
Artfire~ 62


Today I would like to feature an artist who is constantly featuring the artwork and items of other artists with her Passion's Picks of the Week: PassionForBeads!

Her name is Sally and she's originally from Hong Kong China. She has lived in Canada since 2001 and has been beading for about 7 years. She a stay at home mom and has two gorgeous boys ages 7 and 4. She first started her online shop in March 2009 and has been focusing on selling jewelry made from swarovski crystal beads.

I sent Passion a few questions to discover more about her and her creative work. Below are her answers.

How did you first get into your craft?

I have been doing a lot of crafts in my life. I do knitting and crocheting dolls, cross stitching, paper quilling, clay... When I first started beading, I just LOVED it! I was doing for fun in the beginning. Then one day a friend of mine asked me to make her a choker and a pair of matching earrings. I started taking orders thereafter. Last year I started selling online.

Is there any particular artist or person in your life that influences or inspires you?

Everyone in my life inspires me! However, my main inspiration comes from beading books.

What are your favorite materials to work with and why?

I love crystals, especially those swarovski crystals. I just fell in love with them at first site. They are so beautiful, shiny, sparkly and most importantly they make my jewelry look beautiful!

Is there anything that you do that you think makes your creations stand apart from similar ones/your competitors?

The jewelry I make is unique and not everyone can make it. I have customers who make jewelry too. One of them says she buys from me because she thinks my jewelry is beautiful and she cannot make it by herself.

Anything else you would like my readers to know about (sale, coupons, other services you offer)?

You can find me on:






I do feature artists on my blog and its called Passion's Picks, a weekly free promotion! If you would like to learn more about Passion's Picks, here's the link

Be sure to check out Passion For Beads on Artfire!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Featured Studio piece 3-29-10

Today I would like to feature a cute little bracelet that I strung on silk thread. I love pearls, faux, swarovski or freshwater. I found these lovely dyed blue freshwater coin pearls on a bead hunt one day and just HAD to have them. I paired them with some small white freshwater potatoe pearls and some sterling silver spacers to make this lovely wrista adornment! $25

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Today I am featureing the Artfire artist Buttonwilloe. Her name is Linda but most people call her Button, She has been married to her husband Richard for 37 years! I first met Button on the Artfire forums. I discovered she is an avid animal lover. Her dog, Tinkerbelle, is a service dog that visits the elderly. They bother REALLY enjoy bringing sunshine and happiness into the lives of others. She also enjoys playing the guitar.
Button is a polymer clay artist in the true sense of the word. She creates the most adorable figurines for ornaments, jewelry, cake toppers... you name it!
I sent her a little questionaire to inquire a little further about her and her artwork. Below are her answers.

How did you get into your craft?

Ever since I was a little girl I loved playing with clay. Way back in the 1970's I began sculpting little bears and other animals. I enjoyed giving them as gifts to friends and family. It made me so happy to see smiles on their faces. With encouragement, I started my business in the early 1980's doing local craft shows and festivals.

Is there any particular artist or person in your life that influences or inspires you?

I am inspired by the sweet faces of babies, human and furry.

What are your favorite materials to work with and why?

I love working with clay because it is so flexible and versitile. It thrills me to start out with a lump of clay and see it transform into a recognizable object. It's the perfect medium to create anything from figurines to abstract art and jewelry. It's about as limitless as one's imagination.

Is there anything that makes your creations stand apart from similar ones/ your competitors?

I really believe our gifts and talents are God given. Discovering them is an adventure. All my creations are original designs. I love it when an idea just pops into my head. I really strive to make pieces that will bring a smile to someone's face.

Anything else you want my reader's to know about (sales, coupons, other services you offer)?

I'd love for you to visit my blog ( where I love to share inspirational stories and photos of my furry babies. I enjoy having caption contests for funny pictures of Tink and Buddy. I love reading all comments. Here is a post of a very funny one : I also sell at local craft shows and festivals and have a shop on Etsy and Zibbet.

To see Button's colorful and adorable creations, you can find her at

Featured Studio Piece 3-28-10

I would like to feature a lovely pair of earrings from my studio today. I don't make a lot of earrings for some reason and I am kind of hoping to change that in the near future. These earrings are called "cascade" because they have three lengths of yellow gold toned chain each displaying a copper wrappe briolette. They are in the warm colors of orange, red and pink. Theses colors are proveded by using blood quartz, pink chalcedony, and carnelian faceted briollette beads. They are hung from hand made copper wire earwires. A stunning adronement for any lady! $25

Friday, March 26, 2010

New piece from Fools and Jewels Studio

I got a creative twitch last night and created something using vintage rhinestone jewelry bits and pieces. In the design world right now its called "upcycling". I love the idea of taking something that is old and unusable and remaking it into something beautiful and wearable.
I have had these gorgeous pale blue rhinestone fans for a while now and just didn't quite know what to do with them. Last night, I found another stash of swarovski crystallized pearls and some rhinestone spacers that I bought in Santa Fe this past Thanksgiving. They are vintage beads as well. Hmmmmm....
And thus this lovely bracelet, earring and necklace set were born. I used silver toned artist wire instead of sterling sine the old rhinestone bits are not sterling silver. I wanted it to all look like it belonged together. I think this would make a magnificent "something blue" set for a bride.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Congradulations to Lilishop for being my very first featured Artfire Artisan! Thank you to Evelyne for being such a good sport and going first.

Evelyne says all her friends and family call her Lili, which is where her shop name came from. She is 23 years old and resides in Belgium. Recently, she graduated from school and is currently working in interim jobs as a social worker.

I asked Evelyne some questions about herself, her craft and her studio. Here are her answers:
How did you first get into your craft?
I've been fascinated with glass craft for a long time. A couple of months ago I heard about something called the "Hot Pot". This is a kind of box that you can put in your microwave to fuse glass with. I looked up some info about it and viewed almost every movie there is about it on Youtube. I was immediately sold. It's not expensive compared to other tools for fusing glass. It's easy and quite safe. I do not regret my purchase for a moment! I've made over 30 creations now and many more to come! I love the fact that you never truly know what your glasswork is going to look like. It's always a bit exciting.
Is there any other particular artist or person in your life that influences or inspires you?

My boyfriend... I know it sounds terribly corny... but it's the truth. He could sit next to me, watching the microwave for hours. He gives an honest opinion about my work and he encourages me to make more pieces.

What are your favorite materials to work with and why?
Glass! You never really know what you are going to get. I love the way it melts, starts to glow, forms shapes.... and there are so many different varieties.
Is there that you do that you think makes your creations stand apart from similar ones/ your competitors?
I put my heart and soul in it. I try to make it as perfect as possible. If you buy one of my pieces of jewelry, you can be sure that it's a work of love.

Anything else you would like my readers to know about (sales, coupons, other services you offer)?
I only just opened my Artfire shop. That's why I'm offering a 10% discount on all items until March 31st! This weekend I will add many more items to my shop!

You can see Lili's lovely glass fusion jewelry pieces at

E vs. Artfire experiment Comparison 3-25-10 3:30pm

OK. I have bumped both threads now and still have not made any sales. Checking in with the view comparisons on the two previous pieces and looking at the third just to see if the "promotion" I am running has in fact increased traffic.

Garnet and Amethyst

Etsy~ 26 Artfire~ 79

Carnelian pendant

Etsy~ 24 Artfire~ 48

Vintage rhinestone and briolette pendant

Etsy~ 8 Artfire~ 36 today, exactly the same as yesterday.


Featured Studio piece 3-25-10

I would like to feature not a single piece today, but a whole lot of them. I am of course talking about one of the fabulous grab bags I offer in my studio!

Today's grab bag feature is my "Steampunk" grab bag. I make these lovely pendants/charms out o Easy Cast resin and encase many different types of things. In this grab bag I use gears, cogs, and any other watch parts I can get my hands on. On occassion some scrap wire or other machinery makes it in as well. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and no two are alike. This grab bag gives you 4 pieces for $25.

Artisan Karma

I have decided, since I had such a good time raving and featuring cleangreenbunny a while back, that I want to make this a more regular thing. So, I am going to be featuring other artisans here in my blog. I'm not sure if it will be one a day or one a week or one every few days but I want to pass on the promotional karma as it were. So... I have posted a thread in the AF forums and am hoping to get a line up of artists started. Wish me luck! Here we go!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Piece in progress

OK. So, i donated three pieces to our local art gallery to auction off at their annual wine tasting and art auction. All the profits go to the gallery so they can remain open and continue to show local artist's work. I currently have a few pieces in the gallery so I figure this is a wise donation. I got free tickets in return for my donation to the auction. This is great since I attended last year and had a great time.

I bought these great, huge, blingy earrings while I was on vacation and I plan to wear them to this event. But I decided I wanted to "advertise" my own jewelry as well. So, I began working last night on a necklace to wear with my big rhinestone earrings.

For this piece I decided I wanted to go the upcycled vintage route. I have a lot of miscellaneous vintage jewelry bits and pieces that have been waiting to be used. I decided to use three fancy silver toned links form an old necklace. They have blue rhinestones on them. Then I decided against the vintage faux pearls I had in favor or using some remaining swarovski crystallized pearls instead. Then I took apart an old vintge earring to use the AB crystal beads on it. So far, I am liking the design. I am hoping to finish it up either today or tomorrow. The picture above is of the piece thus far. I used silver toned artist wire instead of sterling. Sterling silver was too bright for the rhinestone links.

Experiment update 3-24-10 12:39pm

So, I have posted about the special I am running in both my shops on my Facebook page. I put links for both shops in the status post. This evening I plan to Twitter both shops equally with the special as well.
Let's see how the views are stacking up.
Garnet and Amethyst piece
Artfire~ 75 Etsy~ 26

Carnelian pendant
Artfire~ 46 Etsy~ 22

I also added one more piece to my Etsy shop that is also listed in my Artfire shop. I am just doing this to offer a little more variety to the experiment and see if adding a new piece and then offering a special would increase it's views.
On Artfire, its been listed since March 9th and has 36 views. I listed it on Etsy yesterday and it has 6 views so far.
Let's continue to see how this goes.
I need to add my Etsy shop to my Google Analytics today too.... just to see how they compare.

Featured Studio piece 3-24-10

Today I would like to feature one of my resin based pieces. This lovely bracelet is a steampunk inspired piece using multiple cast resin pieces. I use Easy Cast resin and various molds and am willing to encase pretty much anything that will stand still. In this case, I used gears, cogs and other miscellaneous watch parts. I then drilled holes into the them and used my wire skills to link them together. This fun bracelet is a chunky, steamy bauble that any gear head is sure to enjoy! $25

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Upping the anti on the experiment

OK... I've started my promotion of both my Etsy shop and my Artfire studio by offering a free gift. I will be offering a free pair of matching earrings for every pendant and necklace purchase made in either of my shops. On Artfire this is clearly marked in my studio by lovely little "free gift" banners on each listing picture. In my Etsy shop it is placed up in my shop announcement. I have started a forum thread for the specials in the Contests and Promotions section on Artfire and in the Promotions section on Etsy. Let's see how it goes.
I'll try to bump the threads in each forum area at least once a day.
I will be posting any sales resulting from these specials as well as continuing to post my view comparisons.
Here we go!

E vs. AF View Comparison 3-23-10 4:43pm

Etsy~ 24
Artfire~ 73

Etsy~ 21

Artfire~ 45

I rest my case. Etsy may be in the public eye more but it certainly does not show in the views. Artfire has better SEO and it shows.
Now, I plan to take this to the next level. Promotion. Will promoting both sites equally make a difference in the data? Hmmmmm.... let's find out. ;)

Featured Studio piece 3-23-10

Today I would like to feature a ring from my studio which has been featured elsewhere as well. This past November this piece was photographed and featured in the magazine Bead Trends. It a very simple and lovely design. A simple copper wire ring made by making a swirl pattern and then wrapped in smaller gauge copper wire. I used one of my favorite gemstones to adorn it: Jade. The green of the Jade perfectly compliments the bright shine of the copper. $20

Monday, March 22, 2010

E vs. AF View comparison 3-22-10 12:30pm

Etsy ~23 Artfire~ 69

Etsy~ 20 Artfire~ 41

Featured Studio piece 3-22-10

Back again with the daily featured studio pieces! Today's piece is a beaded piece that I strung using silk thread. It combines the lovely pale pink of these freshwater pearls with the stunning green of aventurine. In between I have done some lovely sterling silver spacers. Topping the whole piece off is a gorgeous silver flower toggle and bar clasp meant to be worn in the front or even to the side. A truly gorgeous necklace worthy of a spring queen! $50

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A pause on featured pieces.

I am in MT for my grandfather's funeral service until Sunday. I will continue featured studio pieces blog entries when I get to a place that has wireless internet service.

E vs. AF Views 3-18-10 8:28am

Garnet and Amethyst
Artfire ~ 40
Etsy~ 16

Carnelian cabachon
Artfire~ 15
Etsy~ 14

Interesting results.... wonder what would happen if I started promoting both sites with my Facebook and Twitter? Hmmmmm.... next week I will add that twist to the experiment.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Featured Studio piece 3-16-10

Today's featured piece is a LARGE necklace I made while selling at a craft show this past November. It is composed of three different sized copper wire wrapped paisley tear shapes with garnet and freshwater pearls. It is attached to atiqued copper chain and adroned with some garnet coin shaped beads. This piece is fairly large (the quarter is for size reference) and is a real statement necklace. $100

Monday, March 15, 2010

E vs. AF comparison 3-15-10 4:10pm

Etsy~ 11 Artfire~ 14
Etsy~12 Artfire~33

Featured Studio Piece 3-15-10

Today's featured studio piece is a personal favorite of mine I call Garnet Bubbles. Its a smaller, more dainty pendant made from copper wire with both green and red garnet beads. The circular shape of the frame and of the beads make it look like a bunch of bubbles trapped in copper. $25

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Featured piece 3-14-10

Today's featured piece is something that is quickly becoming a new jewelry trend: chainmaille. I started playing with the idea of chainmailling many years ago. I am a Renaissance festival nerd and attend several a year all dressed in garb. I looked at how thw chainmaille armor was constructed and wondered if I could do that as well. This bracelet is the fruits of that labor. I made a brass wire chainmailled diamond shape and decided to simply add a length of chain to either side creating this stunning bracelet. $30

Saturday, March 13, 2010

E vs. AF Comparison 3-13-10

Artfire ~12

Etsy~ 10


Featured piece 3-13-10

I am on a mini-vacation this weekend so featured pieces might be getting into my blog a little later than usual.

Today's featured piece is made from copper and brass wire, wrapped around a swarovski rhinestone and adorned with different gemstone briolettes. I then used a brass colored chain to dangle it from, completing the piece.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Comparison so far.... 3-12-10 1:30pm

Thus far....


Artfire ~4
Hmmmmmm.... so far so good....

View comparison 3-12-10

OK.... Garnet and Amethyst piece
Artfire~ restarting at 0 views
Etsy~ since I just listed it over there 1 view

Carnelian copper wrapped pendant
Artfire~ restarting at 0 views
Etsy~ since I listed it over there 1 view

Let's wait and see how the views grow.

Etsy vs. Artfire

OK... so on the Artfire forums lately I've seen a lot of posts about how people like Artfire better but aren't making enough sales to close down their Etsy shops and how Etsy just gets more exposure and is better known than Artfire etc. Well, even though I had closed my Etsy shop because I hadn't sold anything on there in 6 months, it got me to thinking. Is it really true? I am skeptical for many reasons but the biggest one is that the handmade jewelry market is super saturated so where I list is a moot point. However, reading all these posts and opinions and debates really got me to thinking about it.

So, I have decided to do a little experiment. I have re-opened my shop on Etsy with only a small amount of items (2 right now but I'll up it to 5 over the next couple of days) and I am going to see if a) I make a sale and/or b) my views on Etsy really surpass my views on Artfire. I am glad I kept my handle over there so re-opening is simple. I am capping it at 5 items since that will only cost me $1 in listings.

I'll keep you informed of any developments and how the views stack up thus far. The pictures are the two pieces I have listed today.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

So you wanna learn to do wire work?

Well, everyone has to start somewhere right? First thing is first, what tools are you going to need?

When I first started wire working, I had a very basic set of tools. I bought a very cheap set of "jewelry making tools" at a local Michael's craft store. I quickly discovered they were not the right kind of tools when I saw that the pliers I purchased had teeth. Teeth on plier are great if you are using the to loosen nuts and bolts or grip something. But they mar and scratch your wire when making jewelry. So, I ditched my beginner set and bought a better one. The pliers I purchased the second time around had no teeth and were made specifically for jewelry making.

The first pair of jewelry pliers a beginner needs are a plain pair of needle nose pliers with no teeth. They are a simple but essential part of wire working.

The next set of pliers you will absolutely need to do simple wire work jewelry are bent nose pliers, again without teeth. These are excellent for holding jump rings andother wire pieces in place with one hand while you work on the piece with the other hand or another tool.

The third tool that you will need is a good pair of round nose pliers. These are used to make jump rings, twists, turns, or other rounded shapes with your wire. I have two pairs of these that I use, a smaller pair for small twists and shapes and another pair of larger ones that have multiple sizes for different size round shapes.

And last but definitely not least, every wire work jeweler needs a good pair of wire cutters. I use a pair of flush cutters. Flush cutters ensure that at least one side of the wire you are cutting with them will be completely flush. Now, a word of assurance and warning... you will go through wire cutters. You will wear them out and need to buy a new pair. If you are like me a good pair will last you maybe two years before they need replacing. I've tried sharening a pair or two before.... sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

And there you have it. The tools you will need to begin working with wire to create unique and lovely jewelry.


Another of my best friend's favorite stone, the bright and cheery orange and red of carnelian is definitely enchanting. Orange is the color of happiness and red is the color of passion. This stone truly encompasses both.

Often considered a stone of protection, carnelian is actually a red form of chalcedony. It was worn in ancient Egypt to still anger and jealousy. It also counteracts negative thoughts.

Carnelians are most often worn by those who are a bit more timid to promote courage. It brings out self confidence and can also attract people to you. Its also said to promote sexual impusles. RAWR. ;)

I normally use carnelian in cabachon form. I think this is the best way to see its agate like variations, which I find VERY appealing. I also use small carnelian beads to enhance the look of paler stones, like moonstone.

Featured Studio piece 3-11-10

Today's featured studio piece is a very simple little flower. This stunning copper wire rose ring turns lots of heads. Its one of the few pieces I make using a jeweler's vice to create. It is multiple layers of small gauge copper wire, braided and twisted to form this delicate little rose. I also make them with a small focal bead at the top of the rose, though I have long since run out of that style and have yet to get around to making more. Perhaps that will be on my agenda for today! This lovely ring can be yours for just $10 plus shipping costs. I can also make them in brass, sterling, or color coated copper and in any custom size!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Metal magic #1

I'd like to blog today about how the metals a designer chooses to use can also effect how a piece of jewelry feels. Gemstones are not the only minerals out there with supposed "magical" properties. Metals do too!

I'd like to talk about my favorite metal to work with, COPPER! I spent a portion of my childhood in the Rocky mountains of MT in a city called Butte. Butte was a mining town... and what did they mine? COPPER! My mother always loved copper so I grew up seeing a lot of it. Its bright orangey color just sparkled to me. When we moved to northern MN, I missed seeing copper everywhere. The only place it was displayed was my mother's kitchen then.

Copper was regarded and linked to gods and goddesses of the sky and/or heavens in many ancient cultures. It was said to be a link to the divine.

Its also a known conductor of electricity. Many people believe that wearing a copper bracelet or other jewelry piece can ease arthritis and other aches and pains. When worn for its healing powers, copper piece are said to be worn on the left side of the body for those who are right handed or on the right side of the body for those who are left handed.

Copper is also supposed to attract love to its wearer.

I use a lot of copper in my jewelry designs. It is a soft, easy metal to work with especially in wire and sheet form. If I am going to be doing a piece in sterling but want to do a mock-up first, I will often do it in copper. There are several examples of my copper pieces pictured here.

Whatever your reasons may be, copper is definitely a metal worth wearing!

St. Pat's Day AJDJSS Treasure Hunt!

Hey there! I belong to a few guilds on Artfire now, including the Artfire Jewelry Designers & Jewelry Suppliers Guild. And we are doing a fun little treasure hunting promotion right now! I'm reposting these link to the AJDJSS blog and to the thread in the promotions forum on Artfire.

Featured Studio piece 3-10-10

Today I would like to feature a piece that I just listed to my studio last night. I created it back in November while spending an evening on the couch watching WWII in HD with my sweety (he's a history buff especially WWII). When I had finished the pieces, I showed it to him. He told me it was neat. It reminded him of a bright saxophone and jazz music in a smokey bar. And it does look like that to me, so I named the piece "Jazz night". It is made from a copper wire frame wrapped with red colored copper wire and decorated with brass and plastic round beads. I then put it on a brass colored chain. It costs $30.