So let me say this up front - those that sell their handmade goods full time and make a living at it are my HEROS.  I would love to make a business out of my hobby, but I have dabbled enough to know it's a lot of hard work.  For now keeping things at a hobby level is best for me.  But what to do with the things I have made, and how to make room for new projects?  I needed to find a way to post things for sale online in a way that wouldn't cost me more than the materials involved.  When I first started out I tried Etsy, but never got many sales there.  It takes constant resisting, a solid customer base, and lost of promotion, which I couldn't quite get my arms around.

My friend Sandi suggested Indie Made, which has no listing fees but instead has a monthly fee.  I like how one place can be a gallery, blogging platform and store front, but I didn't want to leave behind my trusted Blogger.  It's where I started and where I am super comfortable.  Plus, the time management issue I have meant that I paid for 6 months of Indie Made before I even listed 1 item.

So now I am trying Square.  It's the same Square as the point of sale (POS) credit card readers, and I have found them to be a straight forward and reliable company.  It costs nothing to open your store and list items, and listing are indefinite.  They take a percentage of sales, and the money is in your account in about a day.  Right now I am posting necklaces made with (mostly) my own beads on stretchy rubber cords.  My plan is to give 100% of sales to my daughters school - seems like a win win for a part time entrepreneur.  You can find my store HERE, or click on the picture below:

I made a little comparison spreadsheet if you would like more details:

I am a big believer in wearing jewelry (and clothes :-)) that make you feel good, or powerful, or have a memory of somewhere or someone that makes you feel great.  And if you feel good, you look good, and then you can go out and do good.  So when Lori announced a blog hop for awareness jewelry I was in!  We could choose any color or cause, and any word we wanted.  I chose yellow and brave.  Isn't this bead bean by Swoondimples awesome?

Yellow is often associated with cancer awareness, but what yellow ribbons have meant to me, my whole entire life, is the waiting for and then the welcoming home of military deployers.  When I was growing up, it was for my dad, who was in the Navy.  Then through my own Air Force career, it was for friends and coworkers.  And then in 2008-2009, it was for me.  Coming home after a year away, and seeing yellow ribbons all up and down my street was amazing, and still makes me misty eyed as I think about it.  So many of the folks waiting at home are the moms.  My mom, my aunts, neighbors and friends stepped in to help out Greg while I was gone, so this is for them!

So why did I pick what I picked to go with my cool bead bean?  The inspiration were the yellow polymer beads with pink flowers from a mixed set my Mom gave me (naturally).  I picked the pink coral because it's beautiful, delicate, but also sharp if you are not careful to treat it right.  The chain is to show even more strength and togetherness.  The clasp naturally a heart.  Because that's why those we love hold down the home front.

You can see the other great participants here:


Millican (hostess) (bead artist)

Candida Castleberry
Joan Williams
Mary  K McGraw
Chris Eisenberg
Melissa Trudinger
Veralynne Malone
Rebecca Anderson
Charlene jacka
Susan McClelland
Sandi Volpe
ME!!----------------------------------------> Elisabeth Auld
 Gail Vanderster-Zwang

I feel like I have been in a bit of a rut creatively, and my inventory of craft fair merchandise is gathering dust.  This necklace has always been a favorite - love the green and turquoise color combo - but has never sold (obvs) and is chunkier than I might wear myself.  So the other day I cut it apart and pondered what I could do to update the look a bit.  I like the green of the crystals but maybe not so many, I loved the focal, but the beautiful turquoise of the lap work disks is a little lost when strung like above. Put all those ideas, some hemp twine, some leather, and an experiment in wire wrapping leather and you get this:

There were leftover beads, so I tried to use hemp and the remaining two glass disks to make matching earrings.  I wanted to be able to wear this set in other than beach locations, so I ditched the hemp twine and wire wrapped the earrings in a favorite, single-piece-of-wire technique:

A couple weeks ago we got to take an epic trip to Germany and France.  I was looking up something before we left, completely not related to beads, and came across a blog post on a BEAD DISTRICT in Paris.  Well that definitely went on my list!

The first place we tracked down was Maison de Perles et de Fanfreluches.  It was spectacular, and so fun to paw through.  I tried to stick to treasures that were different from what I already had or had seen in the US (this is but a small sample :-)).  

Since it was near my birthday, Greg and the kids picked out some great glass focals when I wasn't looking :-)

We decided to try and find another shop, and once we got the right street and number we convinced ourselves that it must have gone out of business.  Then we walked literally 3 feet further down the street and there it was: Matiere Premiere.  I picked up two grab bags - don't you love the frosted glass elephants in the second bag?

The shop had tons of charms and metal pieces, so I picked up a couple of favs.  I HAD to get mini Eiffel Towers while bead shopping in Paris, right?

Now that we're home, these new fun beads have been inspiring me.  I took the rose gold mesh beads (in the dead center of the first picture) and added cobalt blue disk beads that I made myself.  I have been wearing a lot of blue lately, and I love how the mesh beads and chain make this bold but not too (if you know what I mean :-)).

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