Setting It Up, BurCon Prep, and It Takes an Eco-Village

LOTS of good things going on!

As you all heard in my last post – I’m officially now in the Teach for America organization – very exciting!

This change will take my family and me down to Nashville, Tennessee this coming summer.  We really look forward to building our new life down there!

I keep getting asked what about my jewelry – oh that’s not changing one iota!  I will ALWAYS have Eldwenne’s Fantasy and it will not be slowing down for anything.  Now I have the opportunity to do both things that I love  – making handmade jewelry and teaching!

Will I still be going to conventions? OF COURSE!  As a matter of fact, BurCon is coming up in just two weeks – GASP!  I’m working my fingers to the bone with a ton of new pieces to bring with me.

A couple of pendants that I’ll be putting onto cords:

A rich purple sphere is wrapped in silver goddess spirals - you NEED to see this in person!

A rich purple sphere is wrapped in silver goddess spirals – you NEED to see this in person!

A royal blue rectangular piece of glass is wrapped in woven silver wire - a very intricate piece!

A royal blue rectangular piece of glass is wrapped in woven silver wire – a very intricate piece!

Here’s an unfinished Supernatural piece I’m working on…it’s a leather cuff stamped with the ENTIRE exchange between Sam and Dean in the episode ‘Mystery Spot’ – you know the scene.  When Sam tries to explain to Dean for the 100th time that today is Tuesday.  And yes, you see YESTERDAY was Tuesday too, Dean doesn’t quite believe him at first.  Until this string of gems:

Mystery Spot themed leather cuff bracelet - Sam Winchester cries his way through sex is now immortalized on your wrist

Mystery Spot themed leather cuff bracelet – Sam Winchester cries his way through sex is now immortalized on your wrist

I’m in the process of darkening the stampings so that the text reads clearer.  I’m also going to embellish it with a charm or two as well.

And of course, I will also be bringing along my one of a kind Supernatural-themed hand-painted coffin jewelry boxes, such as:

Inspired by the episode of the same name - Cas' first episode as a human
Inspired by the episode of the same name – Cas’ first episode as a human
There's no way you can keep calm and carry on while watching an episode of SPN - but you can certainly try!

There’s no way you can keep calm and carry on while watching an episode of SPN – but you can certainly try!

I do hope you’ll be at BurCon, and if so, please stop by my table!  If you mention my blog, I have a special gift for you!

And I’ll be selling Clifhanger gear for my friend Shannon!  Your wardrobe is missing something if you don’t have a Clifhanger shirt.  If you have a shirt, you need a beanie. If you have a shirt and a beanie, then you need a hoodie!  It’s just the way it is, folks.  Clifhangers can go Clif out on FB over at https://www.facebook.com/Clifhangers

Men's t-shirt

Men’s t-shirt

Women's t-shirt

Women’s t-shirt and the best t-shirt I have ever EVER owned

Hoodie - THIS IS AMAZING!

Hoodie – THIS IS AMAZING!

Beanie - I'm buying me one of these at BurCon!

Beanie – I’m buying me one of these at BurCon!

I am the proud owner of a Clifhanger shirt and I can tell you I have never owned a better t-shirt.  It’s the most form-flattering and forgiving shirt you will ever own!

Another new thing you will see at BurCon is the debut of some jewelry sets!

One of my friends, Abby Levine (who is one of the most brilliant and thought-provoking artists I know, by the way, and can be seen here: http://www.abbyart.com) suggested to me that I offer a discount to those who wish to purchase matching pieces of jewelry for themselves and a friend or family member. So I now offer a 25% discount on these orders!

This also got me thinking about making sets in general, as I haven’t really done that in a very long time. So I hereby introduce the first set I’ve done in quite literally years:

Black spheres with silver stars embraced by pewter bead cages.  I LOVE the textured black sphere accents as well!

Black spheres with silver stars embraced by pewter bead cages. I LOVE the textured black sphere accents as well!

Necklace closeup

Necklace closeup

Bracelet closeup

Bracelet closeup

Earrings closeup

Earrings closeup

I’m really proud of this!

To get myself inspired, I dug through some of my older supplies and when I came across these, the design pretty much designed itself.
Some of you will recognize the star beads as those I use in my Across the Universe pieces from my Stellar Harmony  series.  Here are the earrings from that series:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/73127124/across-the-universe-stellar-harmony?ref=shop_home_active

I created a matching set of a necklace, a bracelet, and a pair of earrings – this will also be available in my etsy shop www.eldwenne.etsy.com – so come check it out!
Speaking of etsy, I was contacted by the lovely Brandi LaMere on etsy.  She is the mastermind behind Project Eco-Village.

Project Eco-Village is a self-sustainable eco-village.  It’s going to be a place where families can come to have picnics, learn about self-sustainability, view the many Herb, Flower & vegetable gardens, 3 of which are raised gardens that she built herself this year, 2 raised vegetable gardens and another raised herb garden.

I She also has several raised flower beds and side gardens she had started creating over the last couple of years

Brandi studied Herbology and grows her own herbs, flowers and plants from seed until full maturity.

This coming year, she is going to start selling and shipping out established herb plants, since she starts them under gro-lights indoors.

She has a GoFundMe campaign at www.gofundme.com/473450 for donations to build a greenhouse.

She is a single mother and cannot afford to do it all herself. She also started a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HelpBuildAnEcoVillage.

She has incredible vision.  For example, a full orchard is in the plans for this 5 acres, as well as several more gardens of herbs and vegetables.

So what does this have to do with Eldwenne’s Fantasy, you must be asking yourselves?

Well Brandi took a gander at my hand-stamped jewelry https://www.etsy.com/listing/156168925/vampire-diaries-name-stamp-necklace?ref=shop_home_active and asked if I would be interested in creating tags like my necklace pendants that would allow visitors to view the Herbs and be able to identify them.

Being the owner of a small business, I fully understood where Brandi was coming from and decided to create tags and donate them to her Eco-Village!
Here are some photos of the works in progress:

Some samples of the herb and plant markers I'm donating to Brandi LaMere's Eco-Village

Some samples of the herb and plant markers I’m donating to Brandi LaMere’s Eco-Village

Closeup of a couple of the markers - These will withstand weather and allow visitors to identify what they are seeing in Brandi's Eco-Village!

Closeup of a couple of the markers – These will withstand weather and allow visitors to identify what they are seeing in Brandi’s Eco-Village!

I am not charging Brandi a dime – I believe in what she is doing and admire her vision and hard work.

Knowing the struggle we women have in keeping our small businesses afloat, I wanted to demonstrate my support for her.

I know that every little bit counts and if it saves Brandi some overhead by donating my handstamped tags, then I know I’ve made a difference and have also contributed to her cause.

I have a similar campaign over at Click Start Me – read on to learn how  you can get gift certificates towards my jewelry!

Do you want to know how you can help a woman’s small business get on its feet?

I have a ClickStartMe campaign that has FANTASTIC rewards!

The funds raised by Click Start Me http://tinycs.me/9T will provide the funding I need to cover everything needed to grow Eldwenne’s Fantasy:

– Travel expenses to get to the conventions where I can meet you and personalize pieces just for you!

– Much needed supplies and materials to create new pieces (that’s how my new line of hand-stamped pieces was born – through your generous donations!)

– Educational opportunities to learn new techniques and mediums

– Some venues charge high table fees to vend with them – this helps make these venues more attainable to me so that I can connect with you in person!

I have great rewards in return for your generosity! ALL donations receive a gift certificate worth the amount of your donation at Eldwenne’s Fantasy: http://www.eldwenne.etsy.com INCLUDING CUSTOM ORDERS, by the way!

For example, if you donate $20, you will receive a gift certificate worth $20.

If you donate $25 or more, I will add an ADDITIONAL $25 to your gift certificate!!

For example, if you donate $25, you will receive a gift certificate worth $50! If you donate $50, you will receive a gift certificate worth $75! There’s no limit!! I will always add $25 to all gift certificates on donations of $25 or more!

It doesn’t stop there. I always give rewards to those who share my link with someone who donates!

If you share my link http://tinycs.me/9T with someone who donates, you will receive a gift certificate for $25!

Remember – my gift certificates never expire!! They’re valid until they’re spent! Their value never goes down if you don’t use them right away. A gift certificate’s value is what it is – no fees, no expiration dates – just opportunities to buy one of a kind, handmade jewelry!

Thank you for reading!!

Teaching for America, What Kind of Discounts Move You? Tell Me and Win a Gift Certificate and Do I Need to Start Liking Country Music??

What can I say, it’s been an extremely hard year.

My husband got sick September 2012, I lost my job in January 2013, and we’ve been hit in the gut repeatedly ever since.

And one of our kids was subjected to HORRIFFIC bullying in school to the point where we had to press charges against the kid as well as file a complaint in juvenile court.

No child should ever feel bullied.  EVER.

No child should ever feel bullied. EVER.

While the judge believed us and ruled in our favor, because it was this kid’s first offense he got away with simply an order of No Contact and required anger management therapy.
Our kid still has to look at this bully’s face every single day in school.  They’re not in the same classes, but they’re in the same hallways and the same cafeteria. It’s beyond stressful.
The bullying wasn’t physically afflicted. Let me correct that – the bullying wasn’t DIRECTLY physically afflicted.

A huge part of it was cyberbullying via FaceTime.  Our kid was threatened via FaceTime by this kid that if he didn’t cut his arms up and hold the phone so this kid could WATCH HIM DO IT – that he’d spread rumors about him and his entire family.  Our child succumbed and did what this kid demanded.  It was heartbreaking.

The effects are still just as prevalent now as they were when the bullying happened, and therapy has been in place for our child since last May.

Those three things alone have been more than I can contend with, honestly.

And then I’ve been trying to slowly build up my jewelry business, Eldwenne’s Fantasy by taking it on the road to Supernatural and Vampire Diaries conventions. I still have a long way to go there.   But I am DETERMINED to get this ship sailing! I’m hoping my Click Start Me campaign picks up before it expires on December 30, 2013 (my birthday, of all things!)  To be able to get my business the funding it needs to succeed would be the best birthday present ever.

Most people that know me know that I’ve been trying to get into teaching elementary school.

I’ve also mentioned to my friends and family that I’m looking to get out of New Jersey.  It’s just way too expensive to continue to live in a place where it’s just not safe, property taxes are out of control, and being a homeowner is just not what it’s cracked up to be anymore, you know?

I’m sure many of you out there that own homes, at least in New Jersey, feel the squeeze.  And for people like us whose income was slashed to bits are feeling it even more. I’m trying to minimize the stress from as many angles as possible for myself and my family.

And last night, I got a piece of life-changing news.

After an extremely rigorous application and interview process, I’ve been accepted into the Teach for America program!

Providing education equality and my passion for teaching!

Providing education equality and my passion for teaching!

The Teach for America program, in a nutshell, provides quality teachers to underprivileged regions to provide education equality.

I am beyond honored to be accepted into this program, I really can’t articulate how excited I am about this!

The icing on the cake?  I’ll be based in NASHVILLE!  I have a lot of family in Nashville and will be surrounded by wonderful people.  Now I might have to start getting country music savvy, Shannon!

Lots to see, lots to do, LOTS TO LEARN in Nashville!

Lots to see, lots to do, LOTS TO LEARN in Nashville!

We have a lot of family where we are here in the NJ/NY area, but we will be making stops up here at least every month or every other month.

This is the kind of change in scenery that’s going to make a huge impact on us, especially for our child that’s been suffering in their current school.

So the next question everyone has been asking me is, “What about Eldwenne’s Fantasy??  What about your jewelry??”

Well now I have the fortune of doing BOTH things that I love most – teaching AND jewelry! Eldwenne’s Fantasy will be going just as strong (hopefully STRONGER) than ever! I will still do the Supernatural and Vampire Diaries conventions circuit.

Misha Collins checking out my jewelry at a Salute to Supernatural convention!

Misha Collins checking out my jewelry at a Salute to Supernatural convention!

The conventions are on weekends.  Yes, they usually start on Thursday nights into Sundays.
If I can’t take a Friday off here and there, there is nothing wrong with doing just Saturdays and Sundays either.  Those days are incredibly busy and worth it.

And I’ll have the opportunity to meet my beautiful customers, such as Molly!  Isn’t she gorgeous?  My friend, Jenn, commissioned that necklace for Molly’s birthday.  Blue is her favorite color and she wears it well!

Jenn's beautiful little girl, Molly!

Jenn’s beautiful little girl, Molly!

Thank you for sharing Molly’s pic, Jenn – she’s SO PRETTY!!

Now I have the daunting task of coordinating our move to Nashville.

With that on my plate, I need my Click Start Me campaign to be successful now more than ever.
The funds raised by Click Start Me http://tinycs.me/9T will provide the funding I need to cover everything needed to grow Eldwenne’s Fantasy:

–            Travel expenses to get to the conventions where I can meet you and personalize pieces just for you!

–            Much needed supplies and materials to create new pieces (that’s how my new line of hand-stamped pieces was born – through your generous donations!)

–            Educational opportunities to learn new techniques and mediums

–            Some venues charge high table fees to vend with them – this helps make these venues more attainable to me so that I can connect with you in person!

I have great rewards in return for your generosity!  ALL donations receive a gift certificate worth the amount of your donation at Eldwenne’s Fantasy: www.eldwenne.etsy.com INCLUDING CUSTOM ORDERS, by the way!

Gift certificate given for EVERY donation, in the amount of your donation!  $25 or more will receive an ADDITIONAL $25 added!

Gift certificate given for EVERY donation, in the amount of your donation! $25 or more will receive an ADDITIONAL $25 added!

For example, if you donate $20, you will receive a gift certificate worth $20.

If you donate $25 or more, I will add an ADDITIONAL $25 to your gift certificate!!
For example, if you donate $25, you will receive a gift certificate worth $50!  If you donate $50, you will receive a gift certificate worth $75!  There’s no limit!!  I will always add $25 to all gift certificates on donations of $25 or more!

It doesn’t stop there.  I always give rewards to those who share my link with someone who donates!

If you share my link http://tinycs.me/9T with someone who donates, you will receive a gift certificate for $25!

Remember – my gift certificates never expire!!  They’re valid until they’re spent!  Their value never goes down if you don’t use them right away.  A gift certificate’s value is what it is – no fees, no expiration dates – just opportunities to buy one of a kind, handmade jewelry!

Now lastly – I want to hear from you about what kind of discount offers you’d like to see Eldwenne’s Fantasy have for November!

That’s right – you tell me and I’ll do make it happen (within reason, lol!)  If I choose your discount idea, I’ll give you a gift certificate worth $20!!
And I leave you with some pics of the goodies you’ll see at this month’s BurCon in California!!  Yup – I’ll see you all in California later on this month!!  Thank you!!

This is a five inch long coffin-shaped wooden jewelry box that I've hand painted!  TONS more of these coming up!

This is a five inch long coffin-shaped wooden jewelry box that I’ve hand painted! TONS more of these coming up!

My ode to Charie Bradbury

My ode to Charie Bradbury

Another coffin jewelry box that I've hand painted!  These are so much fun - wait until you see the Impala I'm working on!!

Another coffin jewelry box that I’ve hand painted! These are so much fun – wait until you see the Impala I’m working on!!

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!!

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!!

My Featured Customer of the Month – Kyra, and her GISHWHES Exploits!

It’s that time of the month again – no, not THAT time of the month. At least not since I had my hysterectomy (best surgery I ever had, by the way!) too much info – of course! But you kept reading, didn’t you…

Now time to read about one of my amazing customers – Kyra!!

Kyra and I met at VanCon this past August. She liked my hand stamped pieces and commissioned me to make her one of my signature wrap necklaces. A lady with impeccable taste!

Kyra with some chick named Felicia Day...seems a bit familiar to me...

Kyra with some chick named Felicia Day…seems a bit familiar to me…

Not only is this a feature on Kyra, she is also guest poster as well. She did an incredible write-up about her recent experiences with GISHWHES – a must-read!

For those who don’t know, GISHWHES is the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen.  And this is the brainchild of none other than Misha Collins – so you know you’re in for a wild ride.

So without further ado – take it away Kyra!!

My name is Kyra Hall, I’m a writer and am going to college with a focus in early childhood development education.

photo 1

Meanwhile, I work at a playcenter in Bellevue, WA, called Wiggleworks. Perhaps a bit cliche, but I do believe children are the future, and that the written word is one of the most powerful forms of communication we possess.

Aside from writing, I am also adept at making stained glass and dried floral arrangements. I am also an aerial dancer and a scuba diver in my spare time. Most everything, to me, can become an artform.

The reason I find handmade jewelry more alluring than factory made is quite simply the uniqueness, the time and effort that is put into each piece is irreplaceable.

When someone creates something, a little piece of themselves goes along with it.

Store bought items have such a uniformity to them that all of the heart that would be otherwise put into them is lost when sold and pocketed into the hands of thousands.

Instead of a simple exchange from creator to buyer, you get a hundred other factors measured in. It’s messy.

Pieces that stand out to me are stamped pieces, but just because I like rugged/simple things and oooh, shiny!

Crystals also get to me because as they say, there’s some kind of energy that they just seem to have. I enjoy the thought behind that.

The wirewrap necklaces stood out to me. Honestly, though, all of your jewelry is very well done and intriguing. You also really communicate with your customers, something not a lot of people do.

I don’t have any pictures of my actual stained glass because I gave away all of my pieces, the most notable being a mermaid.

There is a Castiel piece I did for GISHWHES. It wound up being done at 3am, and is actually puffy paint, pastel paints, and plexiglass.

Kyra's Stained Glass Depiction of Castiel - it RAWKS!

Kyra’s Stained Glass Depiction of Castiel – it RAWKS!

I did buy a sheet of glass and got a new glass cutter for the task but didn’t have enough time to venture it, as I’m sure most participants found.

GISHWHES itself is like a weeklong sprint. It was my first year this year! I didn’t even know it existed until I saw one of my friends on Tumblr mention it…. Then I started searching the tag and saw so many people looking for others to join their team.

So I messaged someone I thought I might get along with. I registered the day after registration closed for team Mishapocalypse.

By the time GISHWHES started we’d been merged with another team, and were finalized as MishapocalypseLovesScalenebunch with most members being in Tennessee, Maryland, and Canada.

One of my good friends now was in the UK and I was solo in Seattle.

We ended with around 5,600 points, over half of the possible, though nowhere near some teams.

So how did we do it?

Easy… ish. Before GISHWHES started it was important to assess everyone’s strengths and hobbies. We set up a facebook group, exchanged phone numbers, and made a google document for all of the items for us to sign up for and then update when we completed and uploaded them.

Day 1 was the hardest part, because when the list went up, we went crazy. About a third of the items were claimed, some we deemed impossible (like getting Jared to tweet Misha a compliment, or getting the international space station to acknowledge us. I COULD have gotten a CEO to dance to Single Ladies… but he was out of town with his sick family).

Day 1 was a planning day, where the flash mob was planned, I payed my local paper to make an ad for Destiel, we made a twitter clock (and exceeded the required amount of followers in two hours.

I also tweeted Osric about it and he followed us as well). But that wasn’t enough. So I made another facebook group with all of my friends in town that were willing to help me.

Every day I had three to four items planned, and often got an extra two or three in the middle of the night (like sewing teabags together for a bathingsuit that leaked no matter what I did, or duct taping plywood and gloves together for another outfit item).

Kyra's boxing glove ensemble - this is a riot!!

Kyra’s boxing glove ensemble – this is a riot!!

One day after work I drove three hours to the border of Canada to find a camel – only to find that the people not only knew about GISHWHES at the fair where they were, but also had many participants already by there.

That's Kyra. On a camel.  In CANADA.  I'm not sure which is funnier - that Misha Collins had this on the list or that Kyra FOUND one - Kudos, girl!

That’s Kyra. On a camel. In CANADA. I’m not sure which is funnier – that Misha Collins had this on the list or that Kyra FOUND one – Kudos, girl!

Another day I drop to the dog park to pitch a quoit in my finest medieval garb.

By Thursday, I was a little depressed. Teammembers kept dropping things they were going to do, and two dropped the scavenger hunt entirely.

I picked up a few of their impossible items…. And wound up driving another three hours in the middle of the dark last minute with a friend who happened to have a steampunk outfit because she happened to find a public park with an actual steam train in it.

But that was Saturday, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Thursday I went into Seattle and got four signatures for a petition to pave California’s beaches.

Some other Seattlite GISHWHESeans reported the Pike’s Place Market police to be a little unhappy at them being there…. But when I went around with my (not exactly welcomed) petition, I got hugs from them for another item… breaking the world record of hugs! For which I got 36, and my team surpassed the amount possible for a team.

Hugs for GISHWHES!

Hugs for GISHWHES!

I also took off my shirt for a bit of a risky “Sock Monkey Apparel” display. Then I grabbed my friends, shoved them in my car, and we raced off to my old junior high to have a pool party in a dumpster. We didn’t beat the sun, though….

Just when you thought 'dumpster' and 'pool party' couldn't be used in the same sentence!

Just when you thought ‘dumpster’ and ‘pool party’ couldn’t be used in the same sentence!

Kyra - you wear it well!  However, I don't think I can look at my son's sock monkey quite the same way again, lol!

Kyra – you wear it well! However, I don’t think I can look at my son’s sock monkey quite the same way again, lol!

Friday was my last big day. Considering I worked every day, I think I did really well.

Friday was my bungee jump day. I met other amazing GISHWHEseans there, one who had had an accident in a plane and was afraid of heights. She told us that without us, she wouldn’t have made the jump. But she did, and I am so proud of her.

I actually wound up going first for everyone else. Haha!

And once the timer went up on the GISHWHES home site, it was all back to normalcy and everyday work. We laughed, we cried, we were all friends by then. None of us were ready to say goodbye.

And none of us can wait to do it all again.

Jodi here again – WOW, Kyra – your experiences sound like a Dali painting. Or a typical day in my house.

The camel story cracked me up – unreal!!

Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us! It makes me want to join in the madness next time!!

As all of you know, while I’m In addition to my etsy shop, I am trying to establish my jewelry on the Supernatural (SPN) and Vampire Diaries.

In an effort to try to build my business, I have a Click Start Me campaign http://tinycs.me/9T

The Click Start Me campaign allows me to help cover my travel expenses and get my business to the point where it’s self-sustaining and enough to support my family. And it also is a way I can give back to YOU – for every donation, you will receive a gift certificate towards my shop!

The gift certificate will be worth the exact amount of your donation! And it doesn’t stop there. If you donate $25 or more, I will add an ADDITIONAL $25 to your gift certificate! For example:

If you donate $10, you will receive a gift certificate for $10.

If you donate $25, you will receive a gift certificate for $50

If you donate $50, you will receive a gift certificate for $75, and so on and so on!

And you know what totally rocks about my gift certificates? They NEVER EXPIRE! They’re valid until you spend them, so you’re not put into a time crunch to use it or lose it!

I now offer incentives for SHARING my campaign! If you share my Click start Me link with someone who donates, YOU will get a gift certificate for my shop for $25!!

I also wanted to remind you that I am having an amazing deal the entire month of September – if you go to my shop http://www.eldwenne.etsy.com – I am offering FREE US SHIPPING!! Just use coupon code FSSEPT at checkout in order to receive your free shipping!!

Just a few days left, so jump on the ship now!

Thank you, everyone!

Happy Autumnal Equinox, When Imitation Really Isn’t the Sincerest Form of Flattery and TorCon Crunch Time

The Autumnal Equinox is here today!  For those on the Pagan path, it is known as Mabon. Mabon is the day where the day is perfectly balanced between daylight and night.  It’s a time to pay respect to the harvest.

Most of us, I assume, are not farmers.

It’s not just about produce, my friends.  What we cultivate in our lives, be it gardens, spirituality, our bonds with our family and friends, as far as I’m concerned, are all points of reflection as we wind down the Wheel of the Year towards Samhain.

We did an early celebration last weekend by walking through my favorite place on the planet – Stokes State Forest, and took awe in nature’s beauty.

Salamander enjoying my husband's Pink Floyd cuff

Salamander enjoying my husband’s Pink Floyd cuff

Every living thing we encountered was something to be marveled and appreciated.  Listening to the sounds of the forest was soothing.

My son, Phoenix, calming down poor salamnder after trippy experience with my husband's Pink Floyd cuff

My son, Phoenix, calming down poor salamnder after trippy experience with my husband’s Pink Floyd cuff

Can you find the critter in this pic?   An adorable tree frog clings to his tree, praying that we leave him in peace! (We did).

Can you find the critter in this pic?
An adorable tree frog clings to his tree, praying that we leave him in peace! (We did).

Here are some of my autumn-inspired pieces, all of which are available at http://www.eldwenne.etsy.com

A ring gorgeous crimson red and gold glass bead wrapped in silver - inspired by the fallen leaves

A ring gorgeous crimson red and gold glass bead wrapped in silver – inspired by the fallen leaves

Elegant, simple, yet sophisticated

Elegant, simple, yet sophisticated

Beach stone wrapped in woven silver goddess spirals on an umber organza cord

Beach stone wrapped in woven silver goddess spirals on an umber organza cord

Amber mosaic tile wrapped in silver, framed with thick silver and embellished with a crystal and pentacle drop

Amber mosaic tile wrapped in silver, framed with thick silver and embellished with a crystal and pentacle drop

Burnt orange and brown feather earrings with ruby Swarovski crystals on chains earrings

Burnt orange and brown feather earrings with ruby Swarovski crystals on chains earrings

Goddess spiral glass wrap bracelet in browns, golds, and wines

Goddess spiral glass wrap bracelet in browns, golds, and wines

And don’t forget, all September long I am offering FREE SHIPPING TO THE US with coupon code FSSEPT!! I hope all of you find something to reflect upon and appreciate today! Now on to something I really DON’T appreciate (yes…rant…slowly…building…look out…danger, danger, Mr. Robinson…)

Remember the old, trite expression your mom always told you when your little sister kept mimicking your every move? “Dear, it’s because she looks up to you!  Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”

Maybe the imitator’s intent is to flatter, but to the imitatee whose hard work is being ripped off, capitalizing off my hard work – It’s rather insulting.

I spend HOURS each day reading and researching how to build my brand and how to make my mark unique and standout. This is on top of spending inordinate hours honing my craft, learning new techniques, scheduling events, creating the actual pieces, etc. It’s a labor of love because I do look at my business as if it’s a living, breathing thing that needs to be nurtured, cared for, and encouraged; like a child.

I’ve always been extremely open to giving advice, being a shoulder to lean on, and mentoring people. I’ve always done this and continue to do this all the time. If someone asks for help, I’m there with bells on. I just find it distasteful to blatantly use the same design elements, tag lines, and discount offers (at the same TIME as my offers, no less, with practically the same coupon code!!). I worked very closely with a graphic designer to develop my own unique flavor:

MINE MINE MINE!!! No, I'm not territorial...really!  Well..maybe a tad...

MINE MINE MINE!!! No, I’m not territorial…really! Well..maybe a tad…

If I had been asked, I might’ve been able to offer advice, to help them develop their own sense of self that worked more fittingly with their products. In the world of the creative, one would think that the journey of finding one’s niche, building one’s own identity would be relished and devoured to the point of coming up with some kick-ass stuff.

I refuse to change my brand just because others have decided to take my hard work as their own. I still believe that my brand is a strong one and even though there may be a slew of copycats out there in the creative world, I refuse to let them bring me down.

And now that my rant for the week is over (for now!), let’s talk about the upcoming Salute to Supernatural event that’s coming up next month – TorCon!!

I’m super excited to be going – I’ve been told that TorCon is going to outdo VanCon by a longshot – so I’ve put my nose to the grindstone and have been delving even harder into broadening my horizons from a design standpoint.

Hand-stamped pieces are getting to be more sophisticated, as I learned how to do some great texturing effects, like on this piece: I will be ready, willing and able to take on most stamping requests, so if you’ve got a stamping need, I’m your woman! The pieces can be anything you want!!

While I was asked to do a ton of SPN-related pieces, I also was asked to do a ton more of personal, non-SPN pieces as well.  Stamping allows me to customize something specifically for YOU! So don’t be shy to ask me for anything!

Rev up the impala with this necklace!

Rev up the impala with this necklace!

Every driver's motto

Every driver’s motto

Additionally, I have so many new pieces waiting at the helm to be revealed and I look forward to sharing them with you!  Many more wrap-necklaces, wrap-bracelets, one of a kind rings, earrings, etc are all going to be waiting for you!! While I gear up for TorCon, I am still in need of support.  I have both a Click Start Me campaign as well as a Go Fund Me campaign. I started with the Go Fund Me campaign a while back and then discovered Click Start Me, which has been much more visible. Go Fund Me link is: http://www.gofundme.com/EldwennesFantasySPN Click Start Me link is: http://tinycs.me/9T Both campaigns offer the same kick-ass incentives! For each donation, you will receive a gift certificate worth the amount of your donation! The gift certificates never expire, so no time crunch to use ’em or lose ’em.  They’re good until you spend them!  They are good towards all jewelry in my shop http://www.eldwenne.etsy.com

Gift certificate given for EVERY donation, in the amount of your donation!  $25 or more will receive an ADDITIONAL $25 added!

Gift certificate given for EVERY donation, in the amount of your donation! $25 or more will receive an ADDITIONAL $25 added!

If you donate $25 or more, I will add an ADDITIONAL $25 to your gift certificate!  For example: A donation of $10 – you will receive a gift certificate worth $10! A donation of $25 – you will receive a gift certificate worth $50!! A donation of $50 – you will receive a gift certificate worth $75!!! And so on and son on…. If you can’t donate, I’d really appreciate it if you spread the word by sharing these links – it’s not just about getting me to TorCon – it’s about helping a woman jumpstart her small business.

The boys enjoying the handmade jewelry I gave them for their beautiful wives

The boys enjoying the handmade jewelry I gave them for their beautiful wives

Misha Collins shopping around at my table at a Salute to Supernatural convention!

Misha Collins shopping around at my table at a Salute to Supernatural convention!

Thank you and I look forward to hopefully seeing you at TorCon!!

Prepping for TorCon, Being Anti-Trendy, and Who Wants to be my Featured Customer of the Month?!?

TorCon – the final frontier.   These are the voyages of the blue-haired one-boot wearing jewelry designer…

Sorry for the cheese, I was just really struggling with an opening line.

So as you can tell from the title of this post – TorCon is happening and I’m busy as a bee (btw – bees never really looked too busy to me- they look more like drunken little things and their flower-hopping is the equivalent to a pub crawl).

drunk bee

Anyway, I thought a post about my prepping process might be a tad interesting.

The first thing I always do is take an inventory of the pieces that I have on hand to see where I’m short, for example, I have close to 150 necklaces but only 35 pairs of earrings.

MedievalWire Necklacephoto 1photo 3

That at least gives me a push in what area to work on.

Then I take a good look at the designs of the pieces that I have.  Do I have a decent variety?  Or do I have the same design done to death on most of them?

More often than not I find that I need to push my creative boundaries and challenge myself with a new design element or technique.

Once I find that I need to change things up a bit – the motivation bug bites (not the drunken bee sting) and I start reading tons of materials on new weaving techniques that I haven’t tried or have only tried once or twice.

Another thing I’ll do is dig into my older supplies to find mediums/stones/crystals/etc. that I haven’t ever used or haven’t used in a long time.  Sometimes just looking at the supplies makes 1,000 ideas pop into my head all at once!

The one thing you will NEVER see in my shop or at a convention – trends.  Call me weird, call me crazy, call me anti-profit – I REFUSE to make pieces that are ‘the latest thing’ or ‘in Vogue’ or whatever.  That’s not why I make jewelry.

My jewelry – each and every piece – is about creative expression. Uniqueness.  You’re not going to see pieces that look like something store-bought where everything is so perfect that it looks as if a machine made it.

You’re going to find pieces that have very human elements.  You’re going to see that one of the rows in a weave may be slightly crooked.  You’re going to see asymmetry.  Because it’s about demonstrating the humanity in the work.  I don’t want to emulate a machine, I am producing what my hands produce.

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I can’t tell you how many people tell me how my work is so different than most and I find that to be such a tremendous compliment.

I’ve gotten the snide remark here and there as well.  “Oh, your stuff is, um – different.”  Damn straight.

I don’t mind getting the odd negative reaction.  It means that I’m getting honest responses from people and I value that.  And as an artist – I like to think about how Andy Warhol recommended to others to not worry about the content of the criticism, but to count the number of responses you’re getting.  Kind of like being the kid starving for attention, so you’ll take the negative in with the positive, lol! Attention is attention!

I digress (as per usual).  This is my long-winded way of saying my designs are my designs and not remixes or replications of what you will find everywhere else.  Why come to me then?  What makes my stuff attractive if you can buy the same stuff somewhere else?

Yes, I’m a business and I do need to sell my pieces.  But I’m an artist and my jewelry is my art.  And my art is all about individuality, uniqueness, and wearing my heart on my sleeve, er, wrap necklace.  You get my drift, I hope!

I mean, if it’s good enough for Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki (yes, the boys are holding Eldwenne’s Fantasy jewelry that I made for their wives), then you’re in great company!!

The boys own my jewelry,  you can too!

The boys own my jewelry, you can too!

Even Misha Collins enjoyed perusing my table - and remembered my work!!

Even Misha Collins enjoyed perusing my table – and remembered my work!!

What I do love to make a lot of, especially when I’m gearing up for a convention, is a lot of Supernatural-themed pieces.  Now that I’ve gotten a great response with my hand-stamped jewelry (Son of a Bitch necklace, anyone?), I want to take it to the next level and make new SPN jewelry that mixes hand-stamped with wire-wrapping and see how far I can push the design elements.

I learned that from the...

I learned that from the…

Dean's Catch Phrase

Dean’s Catch Phrase

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Like a bracelet stamped with ‘Moose’ and hammered away with a beautiful texture, holes punched around the perimeter with gorgeous crystals dangling from it.  How cool is that?

If there is a Supernatural idea you would like to see me create – let me know!  I’d love to make it a reality for you!

As you all know, I feature a customer of the month for the last week of every month.  If you’ve bought a piece from me, I’d really love to feature you.  I just need you to send me a pic or two of yourself wearing my pieces – eldwenne@yahoo.com.

I’ll then send you five questions where you’ll have the opportunity to talk all about yourself, promote your own business, shout out to whomever you want to, and talk about what handmade means to you.

It’s a great way to connect and I look forward to hearing from you!

So I’m off to now work on more for TorCon.  I do hope to see you there – if you’re going, please stop by and say hi!  I really love meeting all of you.  It helps inspire me to continue to do what I do, and I hope it brings you closer to enjoying handmade art.

I am trying to get to as many conventions as possible in order to build my business so I have a Click Start Me campaign http://tinycs.me/9T

The Click Start Me campaign allows me to help cover my travel expenses and get my business to the point where it’s self-sustaining and enough to support my family.  And it also is a way I can give back to YOU – for every donation, you will receive a gift certificate towards my shop: http://www.eldwenne.etsy.com.

Gift Certificate for www.eldwenne.etsy.com

Gift Certificate for http://www.eldwenne.etsy.com

The gift certificate will be worth the exact amount of your donation!  And it doesn’t stop there.  If you donate $25 or more, I will add an ADDITIONAL $25 to your gift certificate!  For example:

If you donate $10, you will receive a gift certificate for $10.

If you donate $25, you will receive a gift certificate for $50

If you donate $50, you will receive a gift certificate for $75, and so on and so on!

And  you know what totally rocks about my gift certificates?  They NEVER EXPIRE!  They’re valid until you spend them, so you’re not put into a time crunch to use it or lose it!

I also wanted to remind you that I am having an amazing deal the entire month of September – if you go to my shop http://www.eldwenne.etsy.com – I am offering FREE US SHIPPING!!  Just use coupon code FSSEPT at checkout in order to receive your free shipping!!
Thank you for reading and I’ll see you at TorCon!!

VanCon 2013: I Cut Off DJ Qualls’ Head, Dick Roman in the Elevator, and Rude Jewelry Sells Well

I need to start this post with several huge acknowledgments. I’ve said this so many times already but I need to express how genuinely thankful I am to everyone who contributed to my Go Fund Me campaign. You got me … Continue reading

My Featured Customer of the Month – Robin L.!!!!!

I know everyone is waiting for an insane update on my VanCon Experience – and while I’m getting that ready for you, I want you to show some love for my featured customer of the month and friend of mine, Robin!

Robin and I met while I was selling at a flea market in Bayonne, NJ.  This woman pulls up a chair to my table and her ever patient fiance, Jason, sits with us and gives feedback on which pieces Robin chooses.

It’s a hoot seeing these two together, they complement each other so well, and you can just tell they love each other so much.

They’re planning on being married in the summer of 2014 – I can’t wait!

Robin and Jason travel a lot and like to collect found objects as souvenirs.

One day at another flea market, Robin and Jason came by with TONS of sea shells, stones, corals, you name it.

Robin really knows what she wants; she’s very particular and sees potential in many things to have artistic qualities.

For example, here’s Robin wearing some of the pieces I created for her using her found items:

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Robin’s here to tell us in her own words about herself

Hi, my name is Robin.  I graduated college back in 2007 with a BA in psychology, but I always enjoyed taking art classes for fun. I am engaged to a wonderful man that I have been with for 9 years.

I also enjoy making jewelry.  Back in college I used to take jewelry and ceramic classes.

I have always preferred handmade jewelry over store bought.  I don’t only enjoy handmade jewelry, but handmade anything, for example, in Pennsylvania in the Amish country where everything is handmade – I love that stuff. I love it because it has its own sense of quality you know;  time was put into the work that was done and it was done with care.

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In that sense it seems to make the product of greater value. Plus, with factory pieces, so many are made of the same thing.

With handmade, every piece is uniqe in its own way.

The wire work seems to be my favorite medium because of how many different designs you can make just out of the wire, any which way you turn it.  It can turn into a whole different looking piece but with the same formula.

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Just the care that is put into each piece you can tell that it was made by the heart, and a passion for the work.

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Jodi here again – wow, thank you, Robin!  It’s people like Robin that keep me going – she has a genuine appreciation for the work it takes to make my pieces.  She’s a staunch supporter of my work – just recently she called me, so excited, because she was on the bus and saw someone wearing one of my pieces.  That is one of the greatest compliments I could hope for.

Not only having someone interested in my work, but EXCITED enough about it when they see others wearing my work as well!

Thank you, Robin, I am fortunate to not only have you as my spokeswoman, but as my friend.

As usual, I need to throw in a Supernatural reference – so I’m not even apologizing for that anymore because you’re probably reading my post for it, lol!

As you all know, I was in Vancouver this past weekend.  A FULL account of my weekend will be unleashed next Friday, I PROMISE.

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I do have to say that it was an amazing experience.  Many of the actors and production crew of Supernatural are walking around with my jewelry – it was INCREDIBLE!

The Vancouver convention was financially JUST under what I needed to break even, but in terms of actual sales – well I kicked ASS! Unfortunately, traveling to the other side of North America ate into my profits. Had it been a local event, I would’ve been financially very successful.

I learned so much and have a much better understanding of my audience and how to travel smarter.

In order to keep up the momentum, I need to get to the Toronto convention in October.

Would you please consider donating to my Click Start Me campaign: http://tinycs.me/9T

I need help garnering up the funds to cover my travel to Toronto – I have so many people expecting me there, it’s going to be a major success – if you share my link, please let me know so that I can give you a discount towards my jewelry! If you donate, you know the drill – I give you a gift certificate for your donation amount PLUS an additional $25 – THANK YOU FOR BELIEVING IN ME!!!