Monday, March 30, 2009


On Saturday I wrote about my Etsy shop Beadin By The Sea and reaching my 100th sale. By the end of the day I had 102 sales so I reached my goal with some extra padding! I was shocked and excited at the same time because I really don't know why I had more sales last week than I usually have in a whole month!

These are some things I've been doing the last couple of weeks:
  1. Renewed a little more often to get my items to the top of the "heap".
  2. Added more brand new items to keep my shop "fresh".
  3. I have a giveaway going right now which is driving traffic to my blog.
  4. Lowered my shipping slightly.

    Interesting to note:
  1. Stayed off the Etsy forums. I only post there occasionally.
  2. Did not put links to any items on Twitter, but responded to people's "Tweets".
  3. I was not on the front page, never have been.
  4. I was not in any gift guides, never have been.
  5. I was in one treasury.
There are many threads on Etsy that give advice on how to get sales in your shop. I am still such a rookie but this is what I have learned so far:
  • There is no magic formula. You need to figure out what works for your own shop and your individual product. It takes time to experiment with different methods of promotion and even then I find it difficult to know why I've had some success.
  • Learn how to take fantastic photos of your products.

  • Have an excellent quality product that meets or exceeds your photos.
  • Provide outstanding customer service and I mean outstanding.

Now as I look towards another year, I ask myself, "What is a realistic goal for March, 2010?" My answer for this is to double my sales and hit 300 by this time next year. Think I can do it?

This quote seems to sum up what I'm trying to say:

"The great successful men of the world have used their imagination…they think ahead and create their mental picture in all its details, filling in here, adding a little there, altering this a bit and that a bit, but steadily building - steadily building." Robert Collier

Note: The necklace in the photo is a gift for a young friend on mine who is going through a difficult time. I engraved the word "faith" on the back for her but the symbol of the bird can mean many things. Birds have the freedom to soar and be taken to great heights just as we would like to do in our personal, spiritual, and business lives.

Friday, March 27, 2009


Today is what everyone calls my first "Etsy-versary". It is a year ago today that I registered as a seller on Etsy, an online selling venue of everything handmade. I had no idea what I was starting or even if I would sell anything. I must admit I didn't really do my research and began selling on April 5th.

Afer a year of many changes in our family, like moving half way across the country and renovating our new home, I got more serious about my business in early Fall. Following a rather disappointing Christmas, my sales started to pick up the day AFTER Christmas and have been much more steady since. On February 23rd, I wrote about my 75th sale in my Etsy jewelry shop and made a goal to reach 100 sales by March 28th, my one year anniversary. I really thought it was a huge stretch, but after a flurry of sales this week I am soooo close at 99 sales!

I want to thank all my customers who've supported my shop and everyone who has encouraged me along the way, including my blog readers and dear Etsy and non-Etsy friends. Even if I don't reach 100 sales by the end of the day, I am very satisfied in knowing that I've sent my creations to many different parts of the world from Argentina to Paris and it's still exciting every time I have a sale or read glowing feedback from happy customers!

As an incentive, I'm offering one of my best sellers, one free pair of either my Small or Medium Organic Hoops made from Argentium Sterling Silver to the customer responsible, for my 100th sale! This offer ends midnight March 28th, 2009. If you're interested in my jewelry click here for the link to my shop Beadin' By The Sea.

UPDATE AT 8:50AM: I just got my 100th sale already! I thought I'd be biting my nails all day. My 100th customer will be receiving a pair of small hoop earrings. Thanks fellow Etsian, Lisa, from Lucid Moon Studios.!


I was reminded this week of how God's fingerprints are all over our relationships whether it's between family or friends. God uses each of us and is expecting us to make a difference in each other's lives. We are put in situations where we have the opportunity to act or ignore that "still small voice". We get so busy with our "busy-ness" we often sweep away the thought, "Oh I should call____" , you can fill in the blank. One of the many reasons we were drawn back to Anacortes, after moving away for a time, was because of relationships we have here. Since coming back, we have had so many opportunities to serve, particularly in our church, that we feel this is really where we belong.

I was so blessed yesterday when a friend of mine called me to ask if I would just spend some time with her while she went to get her haircut. It just so happened that I needed a haircut too and since coming back I wasn't able to connect with my old hairdresser. We began to talk about how God prompts us to do things and we often have doubts that anything positive will come of it, and we are surprised when He does something great! Why are we so amazed anyway? The Lord is leaving His fingerprints everywhere, we just need to open our eyes and realize that they can be huge and they can be small. They are there when we have open hearts and eyes to see.

I don't really have a specific photo for this post but I came across this picture of my son with his Grandpa soon after we arrived in Kansas. Just classic... a grandpa showing a "city kid" how to fish! Notice the matching hats?

So look around you and see where YOU can see God's fingerprints. Is it in nature? Kids? Animals? Where do you see them? Thank you to Pampering Beki for hosting this each week! Everyone is welcome to join. To see how to join, as well as find links to other Fingerprint Friday posts, visit Pampering Beki's blog.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Or maybe I should call this "hoppy feeling"!. Last week, Rozanne Paxman of Scrap Girls posted a challenge to take a picture of the first thing you see that makes you smile. I had just looked out this old dish I bought many years ago and filled it with Dove chocolate eggs, my very favorite"grocery store" chocolate. I couldn't believe how much better the EGGS taste than the SQUARES for some reason. These are now gone, but I'm going to have to stock up before Easter is over.

If you decide to take part, here is the link to her blog "Life Muses By Ro". Because she is the CEO of Scrap, I felt that I needed to use a few of my Adobe Photoshop Elements tools to spruce up my picture. Check out her site if you are at all interested in learning how to digital scrapbook!

What makes you hoppy, oh I mean HAPPY?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I'm being a little flip with my title because our last weekend excursion there seemed to be anything but colorful. Recently, we bid on and won tickets at a local charity auction, to the Seattle Symphony and a nights stay at the downtown Seattle Sheraton Hotel. I can't remember the last time I've spent an extended time in Seattle even though we live only an hour and a half north of the city. The traffic congestion usually scares us away. Well, we went a couple of weekends ago and it pretty much rained the whole time and the wind blew. The weather did exactly what everyone says it does in Seattle! Our course we are used to it, having lived in this area for years and we know when the sun shines it is a glorious day!

Being from such a small town, I was amazed at all the crowds of people that were outside despite the icky weather. Northwesterners are a hardy lot! If we stayed inside and waited for the sun to shine we would never get out. As we went about and visited the local tourist areas I sought out to find some color. By the way, the symphony was outstanding!

My most colorful photo. Lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, a feast for the eyes on a dreary day.

They still throw the fish up to be wrapped and the guys sing a song at this fresh seafood stand.

Oh, this isn't very clear, but it was great to see Nemo, Dory and Marlin together... but I thought they rescued Nemo from the fish tank?!

Just as we were leaving the aquarium to go home, the sun did make a quick appearance as this state ferry cruised into the harbor.

How, I wish I had taken pictures of the fresh flowers, so many of those. We'll have to go back in July or August when we can take our time and enjoy the summer sun!

Friday, March 20, 2009


Is today really the first day of Spring? I guess it must be because I can hear the birds singing in the woods behind me. Oh thank you Lord for the promise of warmer days ahead.

I wasn't sure what to write about today, but right on my MSN home page, there is a picture of the tulip fields in Mount Vernon, Washington, in a picture essay called "12 Scenic Spots to Ring in Spring". The link is here. The Skagit tulip fields are even listed as "1000 places you should see before you die". I am 10 minutes away from them, wow! So if you ever in this area in the month of April make sure to go see this spectacular site of God's beauty and see His fingerprints all over His creation.

I went through my old scrapbooks and then scanned this 10 year old picture of me and my son in the tulip fields. I will definitely be going this year, as I was in Kansas last Spring (their best season I might add), and I think I need to take an updated photo since my son is now twelve! Yes, I've been back since this was taken but I love the way the human element gives it a sense of scale and shows the wide extent of the fields. This is only one of many tulip farms in the area.

So look around you and see where YOU can see God's fingerprints. Is it in nature? Kids? Animals? Where do you see them? Thank you to Pampering Beki for hosting this each week! Everyone is welcome to join. To see how to join, as well as find links to other Fingerprint Friday posts, visit Pampering Beki's blog.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


My first giveaway/contest was so much fun last month, I've finally gathered my thoughts and put together another one. This one will be drawn April 11th, 2009 at 12 noon and it is open worldwide.

"Island Girl"
This fine silver pendant is handmade from Precious Metal Clay. I use a paper pattern I've drawn, roll out the clay and cut around the shape. The piece is left to dry, sanded and then fired to be 99.9% pure silver. I then give it a patina and polish the high spots. Click on the photo for more details in my shop.

Here are the contest rules to win this beautiful "Island Girl" necklace from my shop Beadin By The Sea :
1. Leave your name and email address or a link to your blog along with a wild guess of where the "Where in the world" photo was taken (shown below).
You don't have to be correct to win! Click on "comments" at the bottom of this post to see the comment box.

2. Come back on the day before Easter, April 11th to see if you've won. You will have 3 days to claim your prize.

Keep those guesses coming and don't be afraid to take a stab at it.


Have fun guessing and try to get outside to enjoy all the beautiful spots in your part of the world!

By the way, if you can't wait for the contest to end, this necklace is available for purchase. Just click on the necklace photo to go to my shop. I'll just have to make another one for the lucky winner!

UPDATE: April 11th
Thanks to everyone for entering my contest. I've picked the lucky winner!
You can read about it by clicking here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


I KNOW a place where the sun is like gold,
And the cherry blooms burst with snow,
And down underneath is the loveliest nook,
Where the four-leaf clovers grow.
One leaf is for hope, and one is for faith,
And one is for love, you know,
And God Put another in for luck

If You search, You will find where they grow
But you must have hope, and you must have faith,
You must love and be strong--and so--
If You work, if you wait, you will find the place
Where the four-leaf clovers grow.
---Ella Higginson

I came across this poem this morning. After reading it, my mind immediately began turning back the clock to summer time over 30 years ago when I was 9 or 10. My friend and I would spend afternoons picking clover in her backyard. I guess it was just something to do on a lazy summer day, but her dad would also pay us by the bucket to pick the white clover out of the grass since it is considered a weed. We always seemed to find just a few four leaf clovers for our efforts. When we did, we would keep them and treasure them by pressing them in the pages of a book. I read this morning that they only occur at the rate of 1 four leaf clover for every 10,000 three leaf clovers although this is very difficult to confirm.

By Irish tradition, the Shamrock or three-leaf clover represents the Holy Trinity: one leaf for the Father, one for the Son and one for the Holy Spirit. When a Shamrock is found with the fourth leaf, it represents God's Grace.

Whether you believe in luck or grace (or both), my friend and I were very lucky to have found so many, and as a Christian now, I can certainly attest to the fact that I have received a great share of God's grace!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Whew that was a tough week! Here's to hoping you get some time to relax and recharge this weekend. Just look to your pet for an example, they are the experts at relaxation!

Friday, March 13, 2009


Our small town. Not only did God go into overtime creating natural beauty here in Anacortes WA, but yesterday I experienced anew why I love to live here and thank God for bringing us back.
Yesterday was a rare occasion when I picked up my son from school. After turning off my car to wait for him, I attempted to start it again and there was just NOTHING. Do you know that sinking feeling that you get when you know something is really wrong and you're really stuck? That's what I felt, and being in the back of the school there was no one around to help me.

The first thing I did was call my husband, but he works an hour away and was in a meeting. The only thing I could think to do was call the guys at Anacortes Automotive where I regularly take my car. And bless his heart, this man drove to the school within 5 minutes and gave my car a jumpstart. I wanted to give him a giant hug right there! The rest of the afternoon was spent dealing with the car and experiencing help from some guys at Napa Auto Parts who went way beyond "the call of duty". I couldn't stop thinking about how, if I was in big Kansas city where I didn't know anyone, I would not have had this kind of service or special treatment.

Thank you Lord for the "angels" you sent to help me yesterday and for allowing us to return to this special community! The way in which God allowed us to come back is a whole other Fingerprint for another day.

By the way, the first photo is Mount Baker. I drove up to a place called Cap Sante and took these this pictures this morning. If I turn about 180 degrees I see the view that's in the second photo of the marina, the city and the San Juan Islands in the background. Just breathtaking! My son sees Mount Baker from his classroom everyday. Talk about temptation to daydream in class!

So look around you and see where YOU can see God's fingerprints. Is it in nature? Kids? Animals? Where do you see them?Thank you to Pampering Beki for hosting this each week! Everyone is welcome to join. To see how to join, as well as find links to other Fingerprint Friday posts, visit Pampering Beki's blog.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Yup, that's me. I attempted to take a photo of the full moon last night with my little point and shoot camera. We had a rare clear sky and I could see it poking through an opening in the trees. This photo really doesn't do it justice, because well, I'm an amateur. The funnier picture may have been me in my PJ's and slippers standing out on the snow covered deck at 10:30 PM in below freezing weather! Brrr...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I received a blog award yesterday which got me to thinking about this blogging life. Before I started a blog, I didn't even know what one was. I might have stumbled upon a few in my net surfing while researching different topics, but never thought much about how much a person's heart and soul is poured into it. Blogging is its own little world, a social network of people who link their lives through their daily writings that I had no idea existed. I think that's why we bloggers treasure your comments so much. We like to know that we are providing interesting, relevant content and most of all to be acknowledged that someone is actually reading it!

When I started selling my jewelry online, I kept hearing, "You need to start a blog to drive people to your shop and so they can get to know the artist behind the product". Well, since then I believe it has become more than that to me. I've met some wonderful people, some of them who faithfully read my blog and leave comments. I look forward to their posts and seeing what is going on in their lives. When I started, I vowed to never post pictures of my child, my husband or myself, and I haven't done much of it yet, but I may dare to venture into that territory just because all of the people I've met so far are so sincere.

Now, for the "Love ya "award. GinabeeCreations and Musings gave this to me saying that my blog is interesting to read, thanks Ginabee!

Now I'll pass it on to two fellow bloggers who have blogs that are a great read and always leave me with a smile on my face:
1. Sharla of Beaded Tail
2. Beki of Pampering Beki

One more thing...A Photo Meme:
A while back I was tagged with a photo meme by Beaded Tail and Sally's Cards. I was to go to the sixth picture folder and find the six picture. This is what I found and actually blogged about it before, but it's worth posting again. When I lived in Kansas City for a year and half, the weather really intrigued me and I frequently shot pictures of the sky. This was a day in June around 5 pm when all of a sudden a beautiful sunny day turned into a very nasty rain storm. You can read about it if you click here. This is one is a series of photos I took of the deteriorating weather.
Here's to happy blogging, whether you're a reader or a writer!

Monday, March 9, 2009


Today, since it's Motivational Monday I thought I'd show you a knitting project that I finally finished after 2 1/2 months! I finished steam blocking it yesterday and laid it out in the dining room to dry. This morning I went to take a photo of it for my post and surprise, surprise a naughty cat was sitting smack dab in the center of the table! Thanks Ace for making my photo more interesting. Now, shoo!

Here it is below, sans Cat, and the original photo from the book shown in blue. The pattern book is by Norah Gaughan Collection Vol.3 for Berrocco Yarns. I used Berocco Pure Merino which is so soft you wouldn't even think it is wool. I did make the sweater 2" longer than the pattern and had to resize it between a small and a medium because of my yarn tension but that's a whole other story (and why it took so long!).

And now, I'm going to sew on the buttons and wear it because look at what it's doing outside!

I know finishing a knitting project is not going to "save the world" but hopefully you'll be inspired to pick up something that you haven't quite got around to finishing yet.

Here's some quotes on Persistence:

B.G. Jett: "If the word quit is part of your vocabulary, then the word finish is likely not."

James Whitcomb Riley: " the most essential factor is persistence - the determination never to allow your energy or enthusiasm to be dampened by the discouragement that must inevitably come."

Saturday, March 7, 2009


As the snow is gently falling outside and we are getting ready for Spring forward on our clocks tonight, something just doesn't seem right! It should feel like Spring! It's time to put our turtleneck and sweaters away and put on some short sleeves already.

In anticipation of warmer days ahead, I was inspired to incorporate leaves and flowery blooms into some new necklace designs. I noticed that I had three times as many earrings in my shop, Beadin By The Sea, as necklaces. I do sell more earrings online and a lot more necklaces in person. I'm still not sure why this is so, but I do know that I wear more necklaces in the spring and summer because I'm not so covered up.

Since I enjoy digital scrapbooking so much, I thought I'd share some new necklace designs I've been working on in a scrapbook page format. I'm still having fun fusing fine silver wire and since I have a fascination with leaves I've stamped them as well. All of these necklaces feature either a petal shape or some sort of leaf in my anticipation of warmer, greener and more flowery days ahead!

Enjoy the longer days, and Spring will be here before we know it!

Friday, March 6, 2009


A couple of days ago, I wrote a post on the ups and downs of online selling. I'm not sure what prompted me to write it because I've been pretty happy with the way things are going lately in my online shops. Selling jewelry, helps me fulfill this "need" in me for creative expression.

My very wise sister in law wrote me an email in response to my post that had so much truth in it and made me think a little further about how creativity is God's Fingerprint.

The desire to create IS a God given passion. He gave ALL of us the freedom of expression and different talents for bringing ideas about as a tangible thing for the world to see. Wherever we look, there is evidence of this creative expression that God gave us. Some of us paint, write, dance, sculpt, sing, craft; I could go on and on. As creative people we feel so conceited to say, "I have a God-given talent" but really it is about bringing glory to our Creator when we use it. God's fingerprint is on all the creative work we do, not ours.

PS. This is a photo I took of my son, 8 years ago before the days of digital cameras. I forgot how cute he was and so creative. Wonder where he got that from ;)

So look around you and see where YOU can see God's fingerprints. Is it in nature? Kids? Animals? Where do you see them?Thank you to Pampering Beki for hosting this each week! Everyone is welcome to join. To see how to join, as well as find links to other Fingerprint Friday posts, visit Pampering Beki's blog.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Just a quick thought today about selling online. As most online sellers will tell you, this sort of small business definitely has its ups and downs. A sale can come at any moment, anytime of the day and the only sign of it is a message in your inbox. How do you keep your emotions on an even keel when you may have a flurry of activity and then nothing?
There are days that you have a sale or two and you are ecstatic with excitement that someone actually likes your "stuff" enough to pay money for it. Then there are days when you think you may never sell another thing and you keep checking your shop to make sure it's not invisible and the worst part, start doubting your talent! How do you keep going when you are always on this roller coaster ride?

Here's how I handle it:

  1. I've always had a need to create things since I was a small child. If I don't have a project going I feel like something is missing or "off". I will keep creating whether my jewelry sells or not. I love to explore different jewelry techniques and mediums and I'm always trying something new. The main reason I sell is because I just don't have enough arms, ears and necks to wear it all at once!

  2. The second thing is Customer Feedback and this is a BIG deal for me. I usually fret when I send a package off, hoping that my customer will love it as much as I do. I was so excited last Monday, when my Etsy friend and talented jewelry artist, Shi, of Shijewels, loved the ring so much that I made for her, shown above, that she raved about it on her blog. You can read about it here. That one really made my day. And then, I found out that earrings I sold to a gal on Friday are going to be for her wedding. How cool is that? She even said she is going to send me a picture of herself with the earrings and the dress.

So that's it, that's what makes it all worthwhile for me. How about you?

Monday, March 2, 2009


I thought I'd let my cat Ace make another appearance today to show us what DETERMINATION looks like. No matter how many times I tell him "NO!" or place him back down on the floor he just can't get enough of trying to grab a bite of my yarn while I'm knitting. It gets to the point where I place myself in a very awkward position and then I wake up with a pain in my shoulder like I did this morning. I am so close to finishing my sweater I am DETERMINED to finish it no matter how much he torments me!

Ok, this is what finally GIVING UP looks like, thanks Ace!

Alexander Graham Bell:
What this power is, I cannot say. All I know is that it exists...and it becomes available only when you are in that state of mind in which you know exactly what you want...and are fully determined not to quit until you get it.

Have a great Monday!