Thankful for My Family, the BurCon Experience and Phoenix Wins!

Okay, well first things first – As you all know, I’ve been trying to get to BurCon for quite a while now.  And thanks to my family out in California, Aunt Doree and Uncle Jeff  – my son Phoenix and I made it!

BurCon was an incredible opportunity because it would be my jewelry’s first West Coast exposure in the US.  A completely different demographic that I’ve never had the chance to tap into and meet.

Thanks to my my family’s generosity using my ClickStartMe campaign: http://tinycs.me/9T I was able to fly over from New Jersey to Los Angeles and see a part of the country I’ve never been to. And my son has NEVER  been on a plane or left the tri-state area, so this was a special treat for him as well.

This trip wouldn’t have happened otherwise.  Thank you, Doree and Jeff.  I love you.

My incredibly supportive husband, Merrill, as well as our oldest son David, our younger son, Jaden and our daughter, Raven all are the most amazingly understanding people on the planet and I love all of you so much!

 

Phoenix channeling his inner William Shatner
Phoenix channeling his inner William Shatner
Phoenix spent most of the flight doing his homework, since he was going to be missing three days of school.  Responsible kid - who ARE you?!?

Phoenix spent most of the flight doing his homework, since he was going to be missing three days of school. Responsible kid – who ARE you?!?

What made the trip extra special as well was that one of my cousins from Tennessee, Alexis, and her beautiful son, Zane were going to be there as well – a rare treat getting us together!

Upon arrival, seeing my aunt, my cousin and her baby boy were a heartwarming welcome.

Unfortunately my trip was mostly business, which meant I spent most of my time at the convention working while my family took care of Phoenix.  But we did sneak in some quality time together and will be doing much more of that in the upcoming months, which I look forward to more than anything!

My first night there was spent learning that the rumors of LA traffic are TRUE!  We spent forever on 405N.  It was literally a parking lot.  For those who chose not to turn their cars off while we waited learned the hard way and there were many stalled cars once the lanes opened up again.

I arrived to the convention late, but still had JUST enough time to set up the majority of my wares.  I was very excited about the new coffin jewelry boxes I hand-painted  and lined them up along the front of the table.

My very patient aunt Doree waited until the vendors room closed and we went back to her home in Santa Monica.

The next day I was to get a much earlier start and Doree drove me into Burbank.  It was great!  Almost no traffic!  For me.  After Doree dropped me off, she got stuck in traffic for hours on her way to work.  Sorry!!  I still feel terrible about that.

It was a great day.  Many people stopped by to check out my table and budget the weekend away.  Everyone was trying to figure out where and what to spend their money on.  There was so much great stuff around like a makeup table, movie posters, books, a rare gem jeweler, and CLIFHANGERS!

Yup – I was Clifhanging again!  I had a great table lined up with Clifhanger shirts and beanies (including rocking grey ones!).  My beautiful friend Shannon designed the gear and owns the company with none other than Clif Kosterman – the shirts are amazing, the beanies are rockin’ and you NEED to get the edge and WEAR THE GEAR!

The Clifhanger table - GET THE GEAR

The Clifhanger table – Get the Edge – Wear the Gear

A very happy Clifhanger with her new shirt!

A very happy Clifhanger with her new shirt!

Come visit the Clifhanger page at http://www.facebook.com/Clifhangers

Saturday continued to be pretty eventful for both Phoenix and me.  Doree and Jeff took Phoenix to Disneyland!  How cool is that?!?  He refused to wear the mouse ears, but did get an awesome Jack Skellington baseball hat!

As for me,  I met some guy named DJ Qualls….a few weeks ago I had tweeted DJ asking him to come by my table at BurCon so I can give him something.  He replied back saying he would.  Oh SURE he would!

Would you believe He SHOWED UP?!  I showed him the bracelet I made for him and he asked me to put it on him, gave me a huge bear hug and a kiss.  I hereby declare that DJ Qualls is one of my favorite people ever!!!  What a nice guy!!!

Saturday was when things started to pick up a bit.  More people arrived, the excitement was building.

You think that would be the icing on my cake of a day, right?  Nope.  I had dinner with one of my friends that I hadn’t ever had the pleasure to meet in person.  We’d been friends via internet for years, but never had the chance to sit in a room together.

Here’s the view of the other side of the dinner table:

The stunning Julie Anne Rhodes - even more beautiful in person

The stunning Julie Anne Rhodes – even more beautiful in person

We had such a great time catching up and talking about our businesses, our kids, life in general.  Julie Anne is the owner of http://www.personalchefapproach.com – I’m a proud member and her services have literally changed the way I cook and my family eats. If you’re a busy person – and who isn’t – this website will save you countless hours.  Julie Anne has dinner all planned out for you or you can plan it out yourself with her menu builder! Check her out and tell her I sent you!

Julie Anne is extremely passionate about her membership – it’s a cyber family that she cherishes and appreciates so much!

Our selfie:

Julie Anne says hi to all of her amazing PCA members!

Julie Anne says hi to all of her amazing PCA members!

Phoenix was absolutely beside himself to meet her – she inspired him to start his own food blog:

phoenixphenomfood.wordpress.com

Sunday was a huge day because Phoenix would be with me for the day – I barely got to spend any time with him.

Phoenix was jet-lagged and a tad cranky, so I decided to take a break from the table and walk him down to the Random Acts table.  Random Acts is a charity founded by Misha Collins.  They had some cool activities to do at the table, so he decided to write a note in a book to Misha and color a Misha drawing in.

We made a donation and Phoenix’s name was entered into a raffle.  Which he WON!  Phoenix became the proud owner of a Random Acts journal signed by none other than Misha Collins!

Phoenix accepting his prize from Random Acts

Phoenix accepting his prize from Random Acts

Phoenix and Random Acts

Phoenix and Random Acts

Random Acts tweeted him - he was a bit overwhelmed, lol!

Random Acts tweeted him – he was a bit overwhelmed, lol!

So the lesson Phoenix learned from all of this is “get cranky and miserable and you’ll win an autographed prize from Misha Collins.”  YAY!

Then it was photo op time!  Phoenix was getting a trio op with Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, and Misha Collins – WOW!!

When it was his turn, he showed Misha the journal.  I then asked Phoenix if he wanted me in the pic – Misha grabbed me and said, “Of course he does!” and pulled me into the shot.  Then Jared tried to pull my Clifhanger beanie off my head for some reason…I’m sure the photo came out well and we’ll  have it in the next few weeks.

This was Phoenix’s first photo op and he was very VERY happy.

So what were some of my big sellers?  My coffin jewelry boxes were a big hit!

My original coffin jewelry box painted ala the Impala, complete with its own devil's trap under the hood and handstamped license plate!

My original coffin jewelry box painted ala the Impala, complete with its own devil’s trap under the hood and handstamped license plate!

Just add a miniature Crowley!

Just add a miniature Crowley!

Carry on!

Carry on!

Some other big sellers of mine were my leather cuffs with stamped plates!  Such as this one:

Family don't end with blood bracelet - Sam, Dean, Cas, Bobby, Ellen, Jo, Ash, Rufus and Garth

Family don’t end with blood bracelet – Sam, Dean, Cas, Bobby, Ellen, Jo, Ash, Rufus and Garth

The highlight of my weekend?  Meeting YOU!

Ramona with her "Demons I get" "It's people that are crazy" earrings

Ramona with her “Demons I get” “It’s people that are crazy” earrings

I thought she was cosplaying Ruby - does she not have Ruby's face???  She's beautiful!! I think she looks just like Gen!

I thought she was cosplaying Ruby – does she not have Ruby’s face??? She’s beautiful!! I think she looks just like Gen!

Leah was one of the most interesting people I met – she collects quotes and gave me a couple of her faves”

“No artist tolerates reality” – Nietzsche

“Normality is a paved road – it’s comfortable to walk but no flowers grow on it” – Van Gogh

One of my new friends, Leah!  She's sporting an "I found a liquor store - and I drank it" bracelet

One of my new friends, Leah! She’s sporting an “I found a liquor store – and I drank it” bracelet

Here's Leah again with her best friend, Brucie.  Great people!  They're wearing matching "Bitch" and "Jerk" bracelets!

Here’s Leah again with her best friend, Brucie. Great people! They’re wearing matching “Bitch” and “Jerk” bracelets!

Crowley's woman - Elizabeth!

Crowley’s woman – Elizabeth!

I had the incredible fortune of meeting this young woman, Shanaya Fastje.  She is an accomplished author who specializes on the subject of bullying, which all of you know is near and dear to my heart.  I obtained a copy of her book, “Bully in the Mirror” and am sitting down with my son to read it tonight.  If you’d like more information, please read on at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shanaya_Fastje

Shanaya - a remarkable young woman!  She's wearing my Dean tribute earrings (One reads "Awesome" , the other reads, "Pie"

Shanaya – a remarkable young woman! She’s wearing my Dean tribute earrings (One reads “Awesome” , the other reads, “Pie”

Susie and Taylar!  Susie is wearing one of my woven necklaces and mosaic tile earrings and Tanya is wearing my white feather earrings with the goddess Diana symbols!

Susie and Taylar! Susie is wearing one of my woven necklaces and mosaic tile earrings and Tanya is wearing my white feather earrings with the goddess Diana symbols!

There were so many more of you – if you can send me a pic of yourself wearing the jewelry you bought from me to eldwenne@yahoo.com, I’ll publish your photos in an upcoming post!

And next week’s feature is going to  be great! It’s going to be a Featured Customer of the month starring Melstiel!!  Keep your eyes on this space!

As of today, I am 30 days away from the end of my Click Start Me campaign: http://tinycs.me/9T

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

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

I will have exactly 30 days to meet my goal to raise funds which will go 100% towards building my handmade jewelry business:Eldwenne’s Fantasy

If you are in need of a gift idea this Black Friday or Cyber Monday – I have FANTASTIC offers!!!

If you donate $25 or more, you will receive a gift certificate from me worth the exact amount of your donation PLUS an additional $25!! Spend it on yourself AND use it to buy gifts – including custom orders!

If you share my Click Start Me campaign with someone who donates – they will receive a gift certificate in the appropriate amount – and YOU will receive a gift certificate for $25! It’s a win/win that costs you nothing!

My business is a primarily online presence which I am in the process of building in two ways: developing my own domain:www.eldwennesfantasy.com – which is currently under construction. In order to get the domain to a point where it provides my customers with an excellent shopping experience, it will cost me in fees and possibly bringing in developers.

The second way I am working on this is to put money into advertising on both Facebook and on Etsy.

I am also building my brand as I tour the convention circuit for Supernatural and The Vampire Diaries. The travel expenses I incur just in airfare and hotel alone are vast and while I am trying to build a strong presence, I am in need of support to get me to the locations that will be successful for the business, such as the upcoming The Vampire Diaries convention in Florida in a couple of weeks.

The supplies I buy are expensive and the funding will help cover those as well.

If you donate to my campaign, know that you are investing not only in my handmade jewelry business’s future, but you are also helping a woman realize her small business dream.

Thank you for reading and sharing!

And THANK YOU to DOREE, JEFF, ALEXIS, JENNY and ZANE!!  I MISS YOU GUYS!!

Learning to Recognize Truths, Kicking Emotional Vampires to the Curb, and BurCon is ONE WEEK AWAY!

Learning to recognize truths.  Well what the hell do I mean by that one, you’re thinking.  Or not, it’s ok, I can take it – because I CAN RECOGNIZE THAT TRUTH.  Get it?  Not yet?  Let me explain…

As everyone who’s been reading this blog knows, my family and I have had our challenges set out before us.  Not gonna get into the specifics of it here, but if you’re so inclined, please check my post from two weeks ago: https://jewelrybyjodizulueta.com/2013/11/01/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/

As difficult as these experiences have been for us – they’ve been freeing as well. “Sokath, his eyes uncovered!”  Go check it out, Trekkies.

There are people we’ve surrounded ourselves with for years.  Since childhood.  ‘Friends’. ‘Family’.

Bobby Singer had it right when he growled out, “Family don’t end with blood, boy!”

I have people I have known since grammar school, high school, college, etc.  I also have family members that have been in my life since childhood.  And some family members that I’ve been fortunate enough to reconnect with fairly recently.

Some of these ‘friends’ from grammar school, high school, and college – not one single phone call.  Not one single email to say, “Hey, how are you?”  I have actually gotten a couple of snarky emails from so-called friends with hints of jealousy that I lost my job of all things.  Seriously.  They’re upset that I lost my job, but not because I’m unemployed.  They’re upset because they’re still employed. Nuts you say?

This is where I began to learn how to recognize the truth.  It only took me 4 decades.

So I hadn’t heard from pretty much anyone after I lost my job.  Two months later, I emailed one of these ‘friends’, giving her the benefit of the doubt that maybe she does care, since she used to email me multiple times a day every day when I was working.

Now that I wasn’t working in an office (but working my ass off on my jewelry), maybe I was out of sight/out of mind and it’s an honest mistake. I recognize that truth.

She replied a couple of days later and it kind of sent me reeling.  Her remark, “I’ve been so busy with holding down a full time job and doing homework with my son every night”  took the wind out of my sails.  OUCH.

I have never not worked from the time I was 16 years old.  I never lost a job before.  I never collected unemployment before.  So she’s pissed that not only does she have a job BUT she has a child that she has to help do homework??

Talk about your first world problems…about 18 different memes just came to mind, if only I knew how to make those damn things…

Your heart may belong to a vampire - but an emotional vampire will drain away your soul

Your heart may belong to a vampire – but an emotional vampire will drain away your soul

What bothered me most of all was something else she had written.  She wrote about how she thinks she has what my husband has because of a few nightmares she had.  That was the moment I finally recognized the truth.

For anyone who has suffered from depression or has loved someone suffering from depression – you all know you do NOT compare yourself to the one suffering.  It’s insulting.  Demeaning.

My husband was hospitalized at one point because of his struggles with depression. It’s not the blues, it’s not ‘oh I’m having a bad day/week’,  it’s debilitating.

But this isn’t new for her.  I should’ve expected it.  This is the kind of person where if you have a headache – she’s got brain cancer.

If you stubbed your toe – she’s got an amputation scheduled.

Some people are only happy when they're unhappy

Some people are only happy when they’re unhappy

Do I need this emotional vampire in my life?  NOPE!  Why?  Because I can finally see the truth for what it really is.  No more excuses being made for other people’s behaviors and shortcomings.

The family members that we just reunited with not too long ago?  They can’t do enough for us.  Even if we go for a length of time without emailing, I know in my heart that I am as much in their thoughts as they are in mine.  There’s no question.

Last night we had a horrible time with our van.  We went out to Staten Island and while making a turn, our wheel fell off our van.  Yup – just fell off.

Trying to make light of it, I posted a pic of the mishap to Facebook.  I have family that I’ve not seen in the longest time over in Brooklyn and they messaged me last night to make sure we were ok.  They have an 8 year old and a 1 year old at home and they were ready to come pick us up and take us back to Jersey City.

Same thing for family in Jersey City that texted me to come into Staten Island and pick us up.

THAT’S FAMILY.

I have friends that I’ve not seen in years who messaged me to make sure we were ok, even though there was nothing they could’ve possibly done, they wanted us to know they were thinking of us.

THAT’S FAMILY.

And the friends that I’ve made in my handmade jewelry journey – I’ve only met them a short while ago and I feel as if I’ve known them forever.  And they’ve been more of a friend to me than most have been my entire life.

I LOVE the fact that many of my customers that I’ve met at the Salute to Supernatural conventions and Vampire Diaries conventions friend me on Facebook, take the time to email me and actually become friends with me.

THAT’S FAMILY.

There are some friends that I’ve only met online and they’ve been more supportive than people who have grown up with me.

THAT’S FAMILY.

People in other countries.  Other states.

What has this all taught me then?  That I choose who I want to surround myself and my family with.  It has nothing to do with blood lines, legal documents, just because we’ve known each other X amount of years, etc – IT’S SPRING CLEANING  FOR THE EMOTIONAL CLOSETS TIME, GANG!

I've seen the light!  Recognizing the truth, trusting your instincts - who would've thunk??

I’ve seen the light! Recognizing the truth, trusting your instincts – who would’ve thunk??

It’s sooooo liberating.  I now can recognize the truth. See things for what they really are. They don’t seem like friends or don’t seem like family BECAUSE THEY’RE NOT.

Listening to that good old gut instinct is so freeing. So if I were to leave one word of advice behind –  it would be to always ALWAYS trust your feelings.  You feel that way for a reason.

You will feel so much better for being honest with yourself and taking action to make yourself happier.

The floodgates of creativity have been unleashed as a result of my recent introspection:

Family don't end with blood bracelet - Sam, Dean, Cas, Bobby, Ellen, Jo, Ash, Rufus and Garth

Family don’t end with blood bracelet – Sam, Dean, Cas, Bobby, Ellen, Jo, Ash, Rufus and Garth – who would YOU put on your own Family bracelet?

This is a piece I did with just that in mind.  Included on this piece are all of the Supernatural characters  – related by blood or by circumstance – that are family.

If you were to make a bracelet like this with people from your life – who would make the cut?  Think about that!

I’ve taken the reins and am forging ahead.  Too many new and exciting things to look forward to.  No need to waste my energy and time on people who are simply just not worth it.

So BurCon, Salute to Supernatural is coming!  This time next week I’ll be in the vendor room working my fingers away at custom orders for the amazing fans I’m going to meet – exciting!!

I’m going to have my amazing 9 year old son, Phoenix with me – please be prepared to laugh.  He is everything short of a stand-up comedian.  And an excellent cook, by the way. If you read his blog –  phoenixphenomfood.wordpress.com you’ll know that already.

The Phoenix is coming to BurCon - prepare for belly laughs!

The Phoenix is coming to BurCon – prepare for belly laughs!

What I’m looking forward to most of all is that I’m going to be with my Aunt Doree.  Really looking forward to being able to spend quality time with her, my Uncle Jeff, my cousin Jenny, and her pet snakes (they’re gorgeous!).  My cousin Alexis and her beautiful little boy Zane are coming in as well – whoo hoo!

It’s going to be a great time creating a lot of fun memories.  And hopefully I’ll be creating some of those memories for YOU!

Like this lovely lady:

She wears it well - Melstiel wearing a custom-ordered I love Castiel necklace - LOVE IT!  One of my favorite pieces!

She wears it well – Melstiel wearing a custom-ordered I love Castiel necklace – LOVE IT!

She commissioned me to make her an “I love Castiel” necklace back at TorCon – she wears it beautifully!

This is one of my favorite pieces!

This is one of my favorite pieces!

I’m really super proud of this piece – it’s one of the coolest things I made there!!  I loved how the texturing came out.

I LOVE the fact that she asked for the large wing. I originally wanted to use a different charm but Melstiel insisted on the larger one – and she was 1000% correct – just look at it!! And what Melstiel doesn’t realize is that I’m going to be asking her to be an upcoming Featured Customer of the Month – so Melstiel, if you’re reading this, message me on FB to let me know if you’re cool with that! Nothing like putting my friends on the spot, lol!

I have so many new pieces that are going to be coming your way next week at BurCon – I have gorgeous handpainted coffin jewelry boxes inspired by Supernatural like one that is painted like the Impala (with a devil’s trap when you open the lid!), keychains, and Eldwenne’s Mystery Hex Bags!

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!

The Hex Bags are going to being a blast – you won’t know what’s inside!  It could be a necklace, a bracelet, a keychain…who knows??

I'll be customizing these for you at BurCon!

I’ll be customizing these for you at BurCon!

I’ll also have gift certificates available for sale as well in case you want to get some holiday shopping underway!

You name the denomination!  It can be from $5 to $5,000,000!  (Well a girl can dream, right?!?)

You name the denomination! It can be from $5 to $5,000,000! (Well a girl can dream, right?!?)

I’ll also be selling the most awesome t-shirts, hoodies and beanies – Clifhanger gear!!!

My beautiful friend, Shannon designed these groovy wearables and I’ll be doing her and Clif a favor and manning their Clifhanger table at BurCon!

Women's t-shirt

Women’s t-shirt

Men's t-shirt

Men’s t-shirt

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!

If you’re a Supernatural fan, then you’re a Clifhanger – simple as that.  Clif Kosterman, Bodyguard4JandJ is the man who keeps Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles safe and sound.

He’s also an incredibly generous soul who cares a lot about the Supernatural fans. Let’s show some Clifhangin’ support and buy the best t-shirts, beanies and hoodies you will ever lay your eyes on!

Come check out the Clifhangers page www.facebook.com/Clifhangers

I wanted to remind you that there are just a little over 30 days left for my Click Start Me campaign and I need your help promoting/sharing my Click Start Me page:

http://tinycs.me/9T

The funds I raise with my Click Start Me campaign go towards the following:

– 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 all for reading!  I hope to see you all at BurCon next week!! Until then, remember to trust your instincts!!

My ode to Charie Bradbury

My ode to Charie Bradbury

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!!

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!!

In the Thick of Things and Salute to Supernatural VanCon – HERE I COME!

One of the most important design decisions I make with each of my handmade jewelry pieces is ensuring there are interesting contrasts.  One way I like to achieve this is through varying line thicknesses with wire.

 

Green glass tile ring wrapped with three different wire thicknesses

Green glass tile ring wrapped with three different wire thicknesses

I’ve explored this design element to a degree that I thought was rather thorough, until I found a wire that blew my mind – 1/4 inch wide silver wire.

As soon as I picked up the spool, my mind raced with all of the design potential – it was insane!

Even as I write this new ideas are popping into my head and I’m getting cracking at them as soon as I post this!

Here’s a peek at just some of the pieces that were born lately:

Rutliated glass with thick silver frame necklace

Rutliated glass with thick silver frame necklace

Side view of rutilated glass with thick wire frame
Side view of rutilated glass with thick wire frame

 

Gray agate ring with thick wire band

Gray agate ring with thick wire band

 

Beach Stone Wrapped in Thick Wire Frame and Hand Forged Hammered Silver Links Wrapped with Lavender Crystals

Beach Stone Wrapped in Thick Wire Frame and Hand Forged Hammered Silver Links Wrapped with Lavender Crystals

It’s been so much fun exploring the potential of the new wire.  I’m currently working on a woven bracelet with it – I’m looking forward to sharing the results soon!

Now for my incessant need to tie in my Supernatural obsession – NEW SUPERNATURAL JEWELRY!!!

I’ve been working very diligently, getting ready for the Salute to Supernatural VanCon 2013!!!  I’M GOING!!!  Thanks to my generous GoFundMe friends, I am now able to embark on one of the greatest experiences in my handmade jewelry career.  I will never have a larger audience than at VanCon – thank you all so much!  I’m still in need of support, as this is the most expensive convention out of all of my traveling needs.  I have more information on how you can be a part of my journey, read on!

To help defray the hotel costs, I tried to find a couple of people who were willing to be roommates with me at the hotel where the convention is taking place.  I was very fortunate to meet two fantastic ladies who are on board.  Initially we connected in order to help defray the hotel costs, but the three of us really clicked and look forward to spending time together at VanCon – so I’ve made some great friends.  We’re already talking about making this an annual event for us.

In getting ready for the convention, I really needed to boost my inventory.  I wanted to make some SPN pieces to celebrate being in the mecca of all that is SPN – Vancouver.

Some of the pieces that I’ve been making are heavily focused on stamping – which I am really getting the swing of and enjoying tremendously.

Team Free Will - Sam Dean Cass Hand Forged, Hammered and Stamped Necklace

Team Free Will – Sam Dean Cass Hand Forged, Hammered and Stamped Necklace

 

Team Free Will Sam Dean Cass Hand Stamped Oval Bracelet

Team Free Will Sam Dean Cass Hand Stamped Oval Bracelet

All of these pieces are available in my etsy shop: http://www.eldwenne.etsy.com

In preparing for Vancouver, I do still need some help from my GoFundMe friends.  The traveling expenses have been a heavy burden…any sharing of my GoFundMe link would be most appreciated – and now comes with special offers!

I’m now offering a special discount to anyone who shares my GoFundMe link: http://www.gofundme.com/EldwennesFantasySPN

If you share my link, just send me an email at eldwenne@yahoo.com and show me how you shared it, and I will send you a coupon code for 10% off any item in my shop on etsy http://www.eldwenne.etsy.com (not including gift certificates).

But the gift certificates are special too – don’t forget that with every Go Fund Me donation, you will receive a gift certificate worth MORE than your donation amount! So if you donate $25, you will get a gift certificate for $50! $50 donations receive a gift certificate for $75 – $100 gets $125, and it just keeps getting better! And they never expire!!! They’re valid until you spend them, so there’s no pressure to use them by a certain date.

Donating to my Go Fund Me Campaign is not only about getting me to Vancouver – it’s about jumpstarting a woman’s small business. It’s about believing in what I do and giving me a tiny boost to realize this dream that not only will provide quality handmade jewelry to the masses, but help me provide for my family and build my business to the point of being self-sufficient.

Remember to swing by Go Fund Me at http://www.gofundme.com/EldwennesFantasySPN and check out what special offers I have for you in exchange for jumpstarting a woman’s small business! THANK YOU!

 

Wedding Season, Supernatural Overdosing and Did I Just Become the Avon Lady?

Try to wrap your brain around that title for a moment…I’m still trying, actually.

Being unemployed (in the traditional sense) has been a blessing in so many disguises.  There’s so much clarity that I now possess, or at least now have access to, that simply wasn’t available before.  And no thanks to immersing myself in some Sam and Dean ala Supernatural…sigh….that really does the brain (and eyes!) some good.  All eye-candy aside – the writing on that show is fantastic and does actually expand my brain cells a bit.  Mix that up with the newfound clarity and some wonderful things happen.

So with that let out to dry, let’s talk about wedding season for a moment, shall we?

Having planned my own wedding all those years ago, I still look back to that time with great fondness.  Yes, really.  Both my husband and I had a total blast calling the shots since we paid for everything ourselves.  Very few people dared to challenge us since they knew our retort was, “Oh, you think we should do X?  Are YOU paying for it?”

It was glorious!

What I spent a lot of time fretting over was the bridesmaids’ gifts.  Being a jewelry designer, you’d think I would’ve just cranked out some pieces and called it a day.  Can you believe I didn’t even make their jewelry??  I was too busy controlling, er, WORKING with the DJ to get the music just right.
Looking back I do regret not making their gifts.  To (over)compensate, I came up with a fantastic offer.

Wouldn’t it be the nicest gesture to show your bridal party that not only here is the jewelry that you better effing wear on your special day, but have them CREATE it themselves?  Throw them a jewelry-making party with the jewelry hostess with the mostest.  Sorry, I truly couldn’t find something less trite.

I will go to your home or venue, sit down and design the pieces right then and there with your bridal party.  I’ll teach them how to manipulate wire, how to use the tools, how to create a working design that will last far beyond your wedding day.  It’s fun, it’s the whole chick-flick bonding thing, alcohol can be added to the mix for some interesting design inspiration, and it adds another fond memory to planning your wedding.

And the bridesmaids will forever be talking about how fun it was to create something and flaunt it to the masses.  A special keepsake.

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A wire forged piece can be a fun activity

With that in mind, I’m now offering a whole new line of JODi (Jewelry on Demand) parties:

Children’s parties where I come to the home and using your chosen theme create charm bracelets or necklace/earring/bracelet sets.

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Charm bracelets are so versatile and customizable – perfect for kids!

Wedding entertainment – I will go to your wedding with a table set up for your wedding guests to enjoy some jewelry making.  Their favor from your wedding will be made by their own two hands.  The components will be items of your choosing that have significance, be it found objects, color themes, etc.

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Found Objects are great ways to create an elegant yet simple design

The old fashioned jewelry workshop – I will go to your home and do a wire jewelry design instruction workshop.

So with all that in mind, I realized, wow – I’m going to be spending an awful lot of time in people’s homes – have I just become the Avon lady??  Not to worry – I’m not handing out crappy lipstick samples.  Just don’t step on the rug in bare feet – you might step on a Swarovski here and there…

Anyone interested in having a jewelry making bash for your princess or to thank your bridesmaids, or to get me into enjoy your wedding while I entertain your guests with some fab jewelry making activities – you can contact me at eldwenne@yahoo.com.

If you mention ILOVEYOURBLOG in your email to me, I’ll knock 10% off the price of the package!