I know I promised you a feature on my customer of the month, Melstiel, but we’re running just a bit behind schedule with that, so I will do my best to get that posted next Friday. Today I wanted to … Continue reading
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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!
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!
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:
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!
Phoenix was absolutely beside himself to meet her – she inspired him to start his own food blog:
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!
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!
Some other big sellers of mine were my leather cuffs with stamped plates! Such as this one:
The highlight of my weekend? Meeting YOU!
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
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
There were so many more of you – if you can send me a pic of yourself wearing the jewelry you bought from me to firstname.lastname@example.org, 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
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
There are some friends that I’ve only met online and they’ve been more supportive than people who have grown up with me.
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!
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:
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.
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 commissioned me to make her an “I love Castiel” necklace back at TorCon – she wears it beautifully!
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!
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 also have gift certificates available for sale as well in case you want to get some holiday shopping underway!
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!
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:
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!!