My Featured Customer of the Month – Carrie!!

It’s the last Friday of the month (can you believe it???  This month flew faster than my kids when I tell them ‘bedtime!’)

Carrie is a customer and a dear friend of mine.  She’s a very creative spirit and I’m honored that she took time out of her hectic schedule and raising her two beautiful girls to write a post for me!

Take it away, Carrie!

The lovely Carrie!

The lovely Carrie!

My name is Carrie Anderson. I was born and raised, and still currently live in a historic city on the southern coast of Lake Ontario, in New York State.

Upstate New York is breathtakingly beautiful

Upstate New York is breathtakingly beautiful

Perfect imagery for the Serenity Prayer

Perfect imagery for the Serenity Prayer

Calming scenery

Calming scenery

I’ve been married to my husband for eight years. I’m a stay at home Mom of two beautiful little girls. I’m going through a little rough patch in life right now, and repeat the Serenity prayer daily. It has always been one of my favorite prayers:

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; Courage to change the things I can; And wisdom to know the difference.”

I even have a plaque with this prayer written on it that was my Nana’s, and it’s hung in my kitchen window, just like it was at her house.

Even though I don’t currently have a business of my own. I have recently been inspired by other artists, including Jodi, who has been brave and made that leap to follow their dreams and start their own business.

One of those other artists is my sister Gina. She is a very talented artist and creates lampwork beads by layering, blending and manipulating molten glass  on a mandrel. She started her business http://www.itsmysite.com/gmdlampwork/ years ago. I’m in awe of her work. Her hand crafted beads and jewelry are simply stunning and gorgeous! I’m inspired by these artists that have been brave to take that step and follow their dreams! Maybe I’ll take that leap too!

Currently, my creative outlet is cooking and baking. I especially love creating confectionary treats. And it’s getting to be that time of year, the holidays, that I enjoy baking the most! I love making my Nana’s Italian cookies around the holidays. It brings back fond memories of the huge Italian family Christmas’s at my grandparent’s house. I also enjoy making chocolate treats around the holidays and for special occasions. I make chocolate covered cherries and an assortment of chocolate truffles and other chocolaty treats.

One of Carrie's masterpieces - chocolate covered cherries! DROOLWORTHY!!

One of Carrie’s masterpieces – chocolate covered cherries! DROOLWORTHY!!

When I was younger I enjoyed creating art using all sorts of mediums. I was an art major with independent studies in art and ceramics in high school. I loved painting, drawing, sculpture and ceramics. There is something very therapeutic about throwing on the potter’s wheel.

I also took a course in Commercial Art and Graphic Design at a Technical Vocational school. I love creating jewelry and hair accessories. I recently found some of my first beaded headbands I made around 12 years ago. I used a simple black-combed headband and used wire to wrap glass seed beads around it. I also made one with wooden beads and used hemp to knot the beads onto the headband.

Some of Carrie's handmade beaded headbands - I think she needs to continue to do this.  She's amazing!!  Carrie!!! Etsy is calling you!!!

Some of Carrie’s handmade beaded headbands – I think she needs to continue to do this. She’s amazing!! Yoo hoo!!  Carrie!!! Etsy is calling you!!!

I love handmade jewelry as apposed to store bought, factory manufactured pieces because, each piece is created with heart. Every piece/design is unique. No two pieces are alike. You know the artist spent hours, sometimes days on a piece. From coming up with the design to creating the piece. Pouring their heart and soul into it. Bringing it to life. Also I find handmade jewelry is better made/crafted then factory pieces. Each piece is carefully calculated and put together with love, heart, and soul!

All types of pieces stand out to me. Of course I enjoy jewelry pieces that incorporate lampwork beads into their design, because my sister is a lampwork artist. And handmade lampwork beads by lampwork artists are gorgeous and better looking and better made than the ones you see for sale cheap in stores that are factory made. But currently I find myself loving the earthy/natural flow of jewelry that has wirework, crystals, sea glass, ribbon/cloth and other natural/earthy materials. It gives the pieces a natural, earthy, magical, mystical, organic look to them. And all pieces are unique!

What stands out to me about Eldwenne’s Fantasy-Quality Handmade Jewelry by Jodi Zulueta is that each piece is made with heart. And is unique one of a kind. Each piece has life and soul! I love the wire work and the use of crystals and sea glass and other media. Jewelry is very well made! And there is great attention to detail! I am also a huge fan of the TV series Supernatural, and many of her pieces are inspired by the series. The jewelry I recently purchased from Eldwenne’s Fantasy is Supernatural inspired. I love the bracelet and earrings! They also remind me everyday to “keep calm and carry on”….

Carrie wearing the custom Keep Calm and Carry On Supernatural-inspired charm bracelet

Carrie wearing the custom Keep Calm and Carry On Supernatural-inspired charm bracelet

Companion earrings to the Keep Calm and Carry On charm bracelet - they include a Peace, Love Supernatural charm as well as a Keep Calm and Carry On charm - Carrie wears them with pride!

Companion earrings to the Keep Calm and Carry On charm bracelet – they include a Peace, Love Supernatural charm as well as a Keep Calm and Carry On charm – Carrie wears them with pride!

Carrie gives us another view of the Keep Calm and Carry On charm bracelet!

Carrie gives us another view of the Keep Calm and Carry On charm bracelet! It’s got silver-wrapped sea glass, a pentagram, a red crystal…it’s one of my fave pieces!

Wow, thank you, Carrie!  I really appreciate the kind words!

I’m in love with your headbands, I hope you pick them up again and make a ton more – you’ve got a gift there! Take that leap and just do it!

And her sister’s lampwork beads are amazing, she’s not just bragging about her sister.  I’m saving my pennies so I can grab some of those beads and make some kick-ass pieces.

So what’s coming up on the horizon?  Well, starting this past Tuesday, every Tuesday is Supernatural New Design of the Day!

Each Tuesday you’ll find a new Supernatural-inspired piece in my shop www.eldwenne.etsy.com – how cool is that?

And there are just a week left for you to take advantage of my Celebrate October 10% discount!

If you spend $25 or more in my shop, you will get a 10% discount!  Just use coupon code CELEBRATEOCTOBER at checkout!

Lastly, my ClickStartMe campaign will be coming to an end on December 30.  I’m really hoping I can get closer to my goal so that I can continue the path to building my business to be stronger in the online market as well as bring in the much-needed funds I need to put towards traveling expenses so that I can continue to build my business on the convention circuit.

My ClickStartMe link: http://tinycs.me/9T

Remember the groovy gifts I give for not only donors, but those that share my link with donors!

If you donate – you get a gift certificate worth the same amount as your donation!  So if you donate $20 – you get a gift certificate worth $20 good towards any merchandise in my www.eldwenne.etsy.com shop!

If you donate $25 – you get a gift certificate worth $25.  But wait – I will throw an ADDITIONAL $25 on top of that!  So if you donate $25 or more, I will give you an extra $25!

$25 donations get $50 gift certificates!  $50 donations get $75 gift certificates!!  And so on and so on!

I’m not done yet – did you share my Click Start Me link http://tinycs.me/9T?  Did that person you shared it with donate??  Guess what!  They’ll be getting a gift certificate in the appropriate amount and YOU will get a $25 gift certificate just for being supportive!!

My gift certificates don’t have expiration dates.  They’re valid until they’re spent!

Thank you for reading and continuing to believe in me!

Thank you again, Carrie!!

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TorCon Mayhem, Dick Roman Squeezes the Karaoke Party, and Fair Leather Friends

 

Wow.  Just, well, WOW!

 

TorCon came and went in a blast of craziness.

I arrived in Toronto on Thursday to set up for those who were pre-registering for the weekend.  I’m not too sure if I’m going to continue to do that in locations where I’m staying in a hotel in the future.

If you are going to be a part of the pre-registering Thursday crowd and would like first crack at my wares, please let me know.  If the response is large enough, I just may continue to do it.

I’ll definitely be setting up on Thursday evening for BurCon, but not sure about future events. Please let me know.

I digress (as per bloody usual)…I arrived early enough to enjoy a couple of hours of downtime before getting ready for the pre-registration crowd, so I took a stroll around Toronto.

Lots of things to see, I just wish I had more time to do what I really wanted to do – go see that Bowie retrospective!

Was I the only one that thought something COMPLETELY different than what this really meant?

Was I the only one that thought something COMPLETELY different than what this really meant?

 

Evil Dead - the Musical - This BETTER make its way to the States!

Evil Dead – the Musical – This BETTER make its way to the States!

 

A sculpture.  I leave the comments on this one to you.

A sculpture. I leave the comments on this one to you.

Only in Canada

Only in Canada

It was a relatively quiet evening, however, you could most certainly feel the buzz grow.  Everyone’s excitement was palpable.

My table was set up.  My lovely friend Ruthee sent me the most beautiful goddess candle that I proudly displayed on my table.  She is so incredibly talented.  Please let me know if you’re interested in having her make one for you.  You can email me at eldwenne@yahoo.com and I’ll arrange for her to make one for you for $15 each plus shipping.

Set up and ready!

Set up and ready!

 

She also made these lovely gift packaging boxes and envelopes.  Many people were buying my items as gifts, so they were grateful to have gift packaging!  Again, if you are interested, please let me know and I will arrange the order for you.

Some examples of Ruthee's beautiful gift packaging! Contact me if you want to order!

Some examples of Ruthee’s beautiful gift packaging! Contact me if you want to order!

 

I had quite a few new additions that have never seen the light before.  Lots of fun SPN-themed stampings, such as my “I found a liquor store” “And I drank it” pair of earrings.

Also new were my experiments with leather cuffs.  I took leather cuffs and added stampings to both the leather itself as well as including stamped silver plates with sayings such as, “Hello Boys”, “Balls”, “Bitch”, “Jerk”, “Moose”, etc.

I never used leather before so this was a huge leap of faith for me.  And it seemed to work out better than I expected!

I wish I had pictures to share of what I came up with but these literally flew off my table quicker than I could make them!

After spending close to three hours setting up my table, the doors were opened and the rush of people came in.

A lot of people were doing window shopping; budgeting for the weekend.

What caught a lot of attention were the cuffs, the stamps, and of course, anything with a pentagram on it.

Friday morning came and I was raring to go.

More people filed in and circled round my table here and there.  The custom requests started to come in – custom stampings, on both leather cuffs as well as metal stampings.

A lot of time was spent on my feet, hammering away, but I was in the zone!

I was really looking forward to later on in the evening when my friend Shannon would be coming in.

Shannon was rooming with me at the hotel as well as vending next to me in the vendor’s room.

For those who don’t know, Shannon is the brains, brawn, and beauty behind Clifhangers.

Clifhangers are fans of Clif Kosterman, the bodyguard for Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki, also known as J and J.

Shannon designs and sells t-shirts for both men and women, as well as beanies.

My Clifhanger shirt is sooooo well-loved.  I’ve worn/washed/lived in it so much and it looks exactly the way it did when I first got it.

And what I love most about my Clifhanger shirt is that Shannon knows EXACTLY what kind of cut flatters a woman.

The neckline is a modest v-neck, the length is just right – it disguises a lot of things I like to keep under wraps, lol!

Please go say hi to Shannon and Clif at the Clifhangers FB page:  www.facebook.com/clifhangers

Friday night wrapped up in the vendor’s room, Shannon arrived, and we grabbed a bite at Miller’s Tavern.  One of the best burgers I’ve had in a looooong time!

No Salute to Supernatural convention is complete without seeing at least a tiny bit of the infamous karaoke party.

Richard Speight Jr. (Trckster/Gabriel) and Rob Benedict (Chuck/Edlund Carver) were amazing hosts.

Matt Cohen (young John Winchester) was delayed at the airport, so Rob stepped in and rocked the house.

Did you know that Rob has a band called Louden Swain?  Did you know that their music is fricking AMAZING?  I downloaded their latest, Eskimo, and I’ve been listening to it non-stop.

You really need to check them out as well as follow them on Twitter @LoudenSwain1

It was great to see so many cast members get up on that stage and have a good time such as Samantha Smith (Mary Winchester), Jim Beaver (Bobby Singer), Ty Olsson (Benny/Eli), but what had the crowd in a frenzy was when James Patrick Stuart (Dick Roman) stepped up to the mic.

Samantha Smith and Jim Beaver getting their karaoke fix

Samantha Smith and Jim Beaver getting their karaoke fix

James did an incredibly soulful rendition of ‘Tempted’ by Squeeze.  Who knew Dick Roman could belt out a tune?

James Patrick Stuart Tempted the audience

James Patrick Stuart Tempted the audience

We stepped out of the party well before was a respectable time to do so, but we had a big day ahead of us, as the vendor’s room was to open at 9am and stay open until 7pm.  Needed to get some rest and eat our Wheaties.

Saturday morning came and we made our way to the vendor’s room.  I met soooo many fantastic people!

The costumes were incredible, like this leviathan.  I can’t even tell you how many times I had to keep looking up to make sure I was really seeing this!

LEVIATHANS! (Sorry, I was channeling Cas)

LEVIATHANS! (Sorry, I was channeling Cas)

The afternoon became a bit interesting as Misha Collins set up to sign autographs.  Twenty feet away from me.

I had a necklace that I made for him to give to whomever, lol, so after everyone received their autographs, I strolled up to him and gave it to him.
“Wow!  What the hell is it?”  Um, not the reaction I was hoping for.
“It’s a necklace, Misha.”

“I know!  But what the hell is it?”  It was then that it dawned on me that he was asking me what it was made of.

So I explained the materials to him and he seemed to genuinely appreciate it (although he IS an actor, lol!).  He then complimented me on my dress.  That I bought at the salvation army for $2.  I shared that with him and he gave me a thumbs up and some comment about $2 being an excellent ‘price point’ in my wardrobe selections.

I got to meet a bunch of lovely ladies affiliated with Random Acts. From their front page at http://www.therandomact.org:  “Random Acts is a non-profit organization that’s aiming to conquer the world, one random act of kindness at a time.”

I met a woman who was literally moved to tears because she had gone to Haiti and worked on a project with the Random Acts Team.  They had each signed a banner after their project was completed.  She really wasn’t expecting that banner to be hanging on the Random Acts table here at TorCon:

Random Acts is a non-profit organization that’s aiming to conquer the world, one random act of kindness at a time.

Random Acts is a non-profit organization that’s aiming to conquer the world, one random act of kindness at a time.

 

I made a modest donation to Random Acts and received adorable Misha Collins drawings to color in and a cute little froggy sticker!  Here’s what my two youngest. Phoenix and Raven did with the drawings:

Random Acts Goodies!

Random Acts Goodies!

Phoenix's and Raven's Misha colorings.  Please note Phoenix's message, "Don't Fall."

Phoenix’s and Raven’s Misha colorings. Please note Phoenix’s message, “Don’t Fall.”

Richard Speight Jr. was in and out of the vendor’s room plenty of times and I finally had a chance to give him the necklace I made for him.  It was very graciously accepted – super nice guy!

Sunday was a complete and total whirlwind.  Vendor’s room opened at 9 or so and was open until 6.

Basically we were expecting to hear crickets in the vendor’s room since the Js were in the building.  Between photo ops and autograph sessions, were people really going to be coming in to see us?

Well, they did!!

I took a quick break to grab some lunch for Shannon and me (to eat while we sat in on a bit of the Js panel!) and who do I run into?  Jim Beaver.

He was such a NICE guy!  Very sweet as I shook his hand and introduced myself.

I also ran into Rob Benedict and Richard Speight Jr (who remembered my name, astonishingly enough!).

He thanked me again for the necklace and Rob turned to me and said, “Wait – you gave me one at VanCon!”  I said that was right and thanks for remembering.

I have never met such nice actors before in my life.  The SPN crew is a bunch of genuinely nice people who seem to really appreciate their fans.

I’ve been asked why I give pieces of jewelry to the actors.  I do that because they give me and my family a lot of enjoyment on SPN.  And because of SPN, I have a career doing something that I love doing.  How can I not give back? I’ve made jewelry for a very long time.  But SPN has given me the inspiration and opportunity to make this a CAREER.  It’s a thank you to the SPN world.

I was sad when it ended, but thinking about everything keeps a smile on my face.

Like how TorCon was full of surprises.  For example, does everyone remember my lovely guest blogger, Kyra who had written about her GISHWHES exploits?  Well I had the pleasure of meeting her mom!

Her mom was super sweet and I loved spending time getting to know her better.

And my friend Rachel Cree-Lowe sent an ambassador, lol!  Bonnie came over and said, “Our friend Rachel wanted me to tell you she said hi” – I nearly fell out of my seat!  Rachel – that was AWESOME!

Those that couldn’t make it but were there with me in spirit like Ruthee (the goddess extraordinaire), Kendra, Doree, my husband, Merrill, our four kids David, Jaden, Phoenix, and Raven, David’s beautiful girlfriend, Vi, all made the weekend so special and I really felt like you were all there with me.

Getting to meet and to talk with so many of you is what I love doing most at these conventions.

My inspiration to keep going comes directly from YOU.  When you come to my table and ask me about my work, it really makes me feel great about what I do.  It’s not about who buys from me; it’s about the appreciation and the time you take to look at my work.  It’s seeing the admiration in your eyes when you hold up one of my pieces.

I wish I had the opportunity to take pics of all of you – I know I missed many of you.  If you bought a piece from me, PLEASE send me a photo of yourself wearing it so that I can properly feature you!

The lovely Carolina who had me make a Non timebo mala bracelet

The lovely Carolina who had me make a Non timebo mala bracelet

Maryam with a spider web necklace

Maryam with a spider web necklace

Lexie with a Hello Boys bracelet

Lexie, Cas cosplay maven, with a Hello Boys bracelet

Kristi made a point of coming to see me - thank you!! It was great to finally meet you!

Kristi made a point of coming to see me – thank you!! It was great to finally meet you!

Manon and Sarah - Manon brought the lovliest stone and asked me to create a pendant out of it for her!

Manon and Sarah – Manon brought the lovliest stone and asked me to create a pendant out of it for her!

Stella showing off her vampire charm bracelet!

Stella showing off her vampire charm bracelet!

Tatjana (if I got your name wrong, please let me know!) - she had me make a bracelet with a G Clef and blue roses - I love it!

Tatjana (if I got your name wrong, please let me know!) – she had me make a bracelet with a G Clef and blue roses – I love it! And that’s Misha Collins in the background signing at the table.

VERY determined young ladies.  Stefanie (r) took a BUS to get to an ATM so she could pay for her "Sam and the Honeys" custom stamped necklace! Her very cool friend, Gina, is on the left.

VERY determined young ladies. Stefanie (r) took a BUS to get to an ATM so she could pay for her “Sam and the Honeys” custom stamped necklace! Her very cool friend, Gina, is on the left.

Max with my signature wrap necklace - wearin' it with 'TUDE and I love it!

Max with my signature wrap necklace – wearin’ it with ‘TUDE and I love it!

Joy wearing a one of a kind silver bracelet!

Joy wearing a one of a kind silver bracelet!

I took a selfie with some guy named Ty...

I took a selfie with some guy named Ty…

I know there were MANY many more of you, so sorry that I missed including your photos.  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE contact me at eldwenne@yahoo.com with your pics – I’d love to show you off!

My ClickStartMe campaign is running out of time…I’m going to be trying to get to many of the future events such as Las Vegas, Washington DC, and of course VanCon and TorCon for next year.

I’m still offering an amazing set of incentives!  For those who donate, you will receive a never-expiring (good until ya spend it!) gift certificate good towards any merchandise in my shop www.eldwenne.etsy.com that will be equal to your donation amount.

Are you donating $25 or more?  Well then you’re going to have an ADDITIONAL $25 added to your gift certificate value!

Are you sharing my ClickStartMe link and someone you shared my link with donated to me?  Well then they get a gift certificate in the appropriate amount and YOU also get a gift certificate worth $25!!

You can’t lose! If you can please share my link: http://tinycs.me/9T I’d greatly appreciate it!

TorCon Preppin’, Off the Cuff, and Help!

I leave for Toronto this coming Thursday – I am STRESSED, lol!!

There are so many things I need to take care of before I go, including adding more new pieces.  I’ve got a-plenty new pieces that haven’t been seen yet, however, I NEED MORE!

I came up with a lot of new pieces that dared me to expand my horizons and experiment with materials I’ve never used before.  Like using ribbons:

Rich chocolate brown ribbon paired with waves of silver wrapped with goddess spirals, deep green and carnelian

Rich chocolate brown ribbon paired with waves of silver wrapped with goddess spirals, deep green and carnelian

I needed more supplies, so I went on a run for some.  And I fell in love.  With leather.  I saw it out of the corner of my eye.  It kind of crooked its finger at me, beckoning me to come forward.

I did.

It was a gorgeous leather strap that could be used to make a cuff bracelet.  Its skin was smooth, just begging to be stamped.  The potential it had – infinite.  Wire.  Cords.  Beads.  Plates.  It was too much, I had to touch it.

I picked it up and it said, “You like?”

“I like.”

“Take me home?”

I looked at the rack.  There were a ton more of them.  I scooped ALL of them into my basket.

I heard a muffled noise from the bottom of the basket – “Hey!  I thought we had something special!”

Now the guilt came crashing over me.  “It’s not metal.  It’s not wire.  It’s LEATHER.  HOW COULD I BETRAY MY PRECIOUS SILVER?!?”

Apologies ran through my brain on overdrive.

I went home and immediately set up to work.  I created a phenomenal “Hello Boys” stamped onto a silver plate and attached it to the band.

A bracelet even Crowley could love. Or spontaneously combust.

A bracelet even Crowley could love. Or spontaneously combust.

I then stamped the band with some gorgeous markings.  I LOVE the effect the stampings have on the leather!

I went on to create a bunch of new pieces, I hope I have the chance to show them to you in person at TorCon!!

Brotherly love, immortalized in leather and silver

Brotherly love, immortalized in leather and silver

TorCon is literally days away and I’m so super excited that I’ll be there to meet you in person!

I’m trying really hard to get out to the other conventions that are happening in December up through March 2014.  You can help me with my small business AND get some great perks out of the deal!

If you go to my Click Start Me campaign – http://tinycs.me/9T check out the great incentives I have for you!

If you donate, you get a gift certificate equal to your donation amount good at my shop:  www.eldwenne.etsy.com!

You think that’s good?  Well if you donate $25 or more – I will add an ADDITIONAL $25 to your gift certificate!

If you can’t donate but want to share my link and someone you share my link to donates – YOU BOTH WIN!  You will receive a gift certificate for $25 AND the donor will receive their gift certificate in the appropriate amount.

It’s a win/win, you’re supporting a small business, and helping me get on my feet.

I hope to see you at TorCon and if you are a blog reader of mine, mention that to me at the con – I have a special gift for you!!!

Thank you all!!