My Featured Customer – Ana Marie S. and YOU Can Choose King or Queen of Hell!

Jodi here! Ana Marie and I met at VanCon last August.  She is quite an amazing woman who is talented, driven, and inspiring as all hell!  She shares my passion for giving time to charities, she’s an avid Supernatural fan and makes my jewelry sing when she wears it. 

Ana Marie and Her Hubby/Best Friend, J!

Ana Marie and Her Hubby/Best Friend, J!

Take it away, Ana!

Tell us a little bit about yourself, anything you’re comfortable sharing, family, work, philosophy, etc. also, if you have a website or brick and mortar business, please feel free to include that here!

What am I comfortable about sharing?  Hmm… I have been married to my best buddy since 2006 – we got married in Las Vegas by an Elvis impersonator (my idea).  That should give you a good idea about my personality.  My husband is a local musician and we met on the local music scene when I reviewed his band for an online music magazine that I wrote for at the time.  (They did a killer metal version of Billy Jean.)  We knew each other for about 2 years before we started dating, because when we met he had a girlfriend and I had a boyfriend.  But once we both figured out the other was single, we have been together since our first date.  It really is true, you always know when it’s the right person (you just make sense). 

I am a first generation Spanish-American and am bilingual.  I speak with an authentic Castilian accent and visit my family in Spain as often as I can.  I love Spain and it is my dream to retire there, so my hubby had better start learning to speak Spanish a little better than he does now (considering he has 20+ years to learn…) 

I am a big believer in volunteering.  When it comes to charity, I give them my time rather than my money.  I don’t have a spare $25 or $35 to donate, but I do have my free time that I can give – and I encourage anyone who reads this to give up some free time too.  Nothing is more rewarding.  I have volunteered for the Special Olympics, Wounded Warrior and Make-A-Wish.  It’s just something that makes my heart smile; there is no other way to put it.

The Lovely Couple - How Awesome are They??

The Lovely Couple – How Awesome are They??

Do you have creative outlets? Tell us about them and if you have photos of your work, please feel free to share!

 I actually do have some creative outlets.  I like to keep busy, so a lot of my creative outlets lend themselves to personal entertainment.  I make jewelry (easy beaded necklaces, earrings and bracelets) for gifts; I am a firm believer in handmade gifts when I have time to do it.  I crochet, not well but it helps me think and pass the time.  Sometimes I draw – I used to be pretty good, now I am just out of practice.  I enjoy it when I have the time and patience with myself to do it.

I also restore classic cars with my brother when we have time and money.  We have had a love affair with the Ford Mustang since both of us could walk (we have 3 in this household alone). My brother has a ’66 Mustang that we will be working on hopefully during the Fall.  He threw a rod, which is a perfect opportunity to revisit the original 289 block and see what we can coax out of it.  I have a ’68 Mustang; her name is Stella (it’s because she is throaty and sexy).  We took her apart and rebuilt her from 2008 through 2009, 13 months of Sundays – drinking beers and turning wrenches – it was a blast and I still work on her myself.  Right now we would love to find a nice ’64 Falcon and do some fun stuff to it, but I don’t think we can talk our spouses into the expense (well that and the garage space is limited at both our houses).

The Throaty Beauty - Stella

The Throaty and Sexy ‘Stang – Stella

Ana Marie is also an avid runner - here she is at the Color Run - a well-known 5K - one of the many things I admire about her!

Ana Marie is also an avid runner – here she is at the Color Run – a well-known 5K – one of the many things I admire about her!

 What draws you to handmade jewelry as opposed to store-bought, factory manufactured pieces?

Anyone can buy a ring or necklace at the big named stores that are machine made.  Jewelry making is an art.  I like to wear pieces that are one of a kind, that are unique and made with craftsmanship and care.  I want something that when I wear it I remember who made it, that I found it and it was special treat to me; not something to match an outfit that I wear maybe twice a year. 

 What types of pieces stand out to you, for example, wire work, crystals, etc. and why?

I am in love (and have been for years) with Celtic knot work jewelry.  For 12 years, I have worn a Celtic wheel cross made by a local artist.  I bought a similar piece for my husband for our first anniversary.  I am fascinated by the attention to detail the work requires and how simple it is – the beauty is in the simplicity of the work.  I think that carries over to what I like about jewelry period – something that is beautiful and simple.  It doesn’t have to have a big stone or be made of platinum, it has to be pretty and stand alone as being pretty. 

Is there something specific about Eldwenne’s Fantasy – Quality Handmade Jewelry by Jodi Zulueta that stands out to you? (Don’t be afraid to say no, Lol!)

I met Jodi at a Supernatural convention in Vancouver in August 2013.  I think I scoped out her table for a day and half until I found the perfect thing I could not live without.  It was a deconstructed charm bracelet made with wire.  Every single time I wear it, I get compliments.  It is simple, understated but pretty and unique (and can stand alone).  I have since made several more purchases, some for myself (I can’t help it) and for friends for birthdays and this past Christmas.  Each piece was made with care, each piece was unique and each piece beautiful.  I think what I like most about what Jodi does it that Jodi makes jewelry that makes sense to her – and those that buy from her get that. 

Ana Marie with some guy...can't QUITE place him.  Looks familiar...

Ana Marie with some guy…can’t QUITE place him. Looks familiar…

Jodi here again – THANK YOU ANA MARIE!  What a great interview this was.  Ana Marie and I are trying to figure out if we can get together at the next BurCon, so hopefully the planets will align properly and we can make that happen.

Ana Marie with Richard Speight Jr - lucky ladies!!

Ana Marie with Richard Speight Jr – lucky ladies!!

A couple of vamps with a vamp - Ty Olsson!

A couple of vamps with a vamp – Ty Olsson!

So I bet you’re wondering what the hell (pun always intended) I meant by ‘You can choose King or Queen of Hell.”  I figured it would be fun to let us fans choose, so next week at VegasCon – let’s have some election action! (please note that this is an independent contest that has absolutely NO bearing on the show.  This is strictly for fun and a chance to win a piece of my handmade jewelry).

We all know that Crowley and Abaddon are having a little tiff, so I figured let’s try to sort this out the democratic way.

For $1, you can buy a raffle ticket and cast your vote for either Crowley or Abaddon.  This will go on during the entire weekend, starting on Wednesday night, for those who are VIP pre-registering, all through noon on Sunday.

An hour before the vendor room closes on Sunday, stop by and find out who the fans have chosen to reign over Hell.  I will be selecting a random raffle ticket from the Crowley votes to win a King of Hell necklace and I’ll also be selecting a random raffle ticket from the Abaddon votes to win a Queen of Hell necklace.  It’s going to be a ton of fun!

Ana Marie and Erin with Hell royalty - maybe! YOU decide at VegasCon!

Ana Marie and Erin with Hell royalty – maybe! YOU decide at VegasCon!

At this time next week I’ll be in VegasCon!  I can’t believe how quickly it’s approaching.  I’ve been working nonstop with brand new designs being done daily.  It’s been an amazingly prolific time and I do hope that if you’re going to VegasCon that you come by and see me, just to say hi.

And don’t forget that Kat Sloan and I are running some great promotions – including a meet and greet with the author herself! Come check her out at http://www.katsloan.com and follow her on Twitter via @katsloan7

Kat Sloan's amazing book - Half Blood

Kat Sloan’s amazing book – Half Blood

If you can’t be there in person, you can always come say hi to me virtually through my shop www.eldwenne.etsy.com where you have 24/7 access to everything I make!

Looking forward to seeing all of you!!

One of the brand new designs you'll see at VegasCon!

One of the brand new designs you’ll see at VegasCon!

SPN Bookmarks made of galvanized steel and personalized for YOU at VegasCon!

SPN Bookmarks made of galvanized steel and personalized for YOU at VegasCon!

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My Featured Victim, Er, Customer – Judy G!

Jodi: Judy is quite an amazing woman.

The Lovely Judy G!

The Lovely Judy G!

I did an interview with her in May 2013 – you should check it out

https://jewelrybyjodizulueta.com/2013/05/31/featured-customer-of-the-month-judy-g/

I wanted to do a follow up interview with some fun questions this time around, so, without further ado, take it away, Judy!

What new and exciting ventures have you gotten involved with since your last feature? How did you get involved and what new things are on the horizon for you for 2014?
For 30+ years (since I was a teenager) I have been overweight and in the last 15+ years I have been the unwilling recipient of various health problems (many of which are made worse because of being overweight). So last summer I made the decision to seek the help of a Bariatric Doctor.  I met with the Doc last August and hopefully if all goes well, I will be having Gastric Bypass Surgery this March to be able to finally lose weight and keep it off.  I am so excited about this new “adventure” in my life. 
2014 is going to be the year I take care of “ME”!!!!
Judy after beginning her journey and losing 18 pounds!  WHOO HOO!

Judy after beginning her journey and losing 18 pounds! WHOO HOO!

 Judy Baby Shirt
If you could have a superpower for 24 hours, what would it be and why?
To be able to pick the correct lottery numbers so to win lots of money to share with and help lots and lots of people. But really any superpower that allows me to help others would be awesome. (Jodi here – Judy – you already have that superpower!)
The Winchesters knock on your door and tell you that you need to evacuate your home immediately because apparently that gorgeous vase you bought from the antique dealer is a cursed object – the last three owners of that vase wound up having an overwhelming urge to sing Barry Manilow songs off key until their eardrums exploded. 
Everything you own is completely accessible but you are only allowed to grab three things and they have to be completely shallow. What would they be and why? And Dean Winchester doesn’t count as one of them! 
My cell phone, my laptop and an extra pair of flip flops.
Because:
cell phone – I can’t seem to live without it (and need to have it ready for Dean and/or Sam when they call me)
laptop – can’t live without it either (I need to stay in touch with the cyberworld and may need it to help   look up info for Dean & Sam)
flip flops – Cause my tootsies always look awesome in flip flops and I gotta look good when I go out on the town with Dean.
Back to semi-serious – I’ve always found that humor has been a great way of getting me through some bumps in the road. What do you do to get through tough times? 
Laughter is def the best medicine.  I do look for humor and sunshine when it’s dark and cloudy.
I rely on my family & friends for the needed support –
My hubs is good at holding me and wiping away the tears.
My sister is my bestest friend – we’ve been through thick n thin together and boy the stories we could tell yah.  Most would keep you rolling on the floor.
My best friend Courtney is the much needed humor for any issue or problem.  She can keep you laughing till your sides burst. (Like when she thought “Keyless Entry” meant her car didn’t come equipped with a key hole.
What keeps,you coming back to Eldwenne’s Fantasy? (And will you come back even after that Barry Manilow question?)
I have returned to Eldwenne’s Fantasy several times because your jewelry is WOWSOME!!! The pieces you make each have their own “spirit”.  They can be statement pieces or pieces to compliment something else.
And the compliments I receive on each item I wear lets me know that your jewelry speaks to everyone.
YES!!! I will definitely come back again and again for more jewelry (Barry Manilow can’t keep me away from my fave jewelry lady.
Wow – THANK YOU, JUDY!!  We’re all so proud of you and look forward to more updates on your journey of doing something that’s incredibly difficult for all of us, but often neglected – taking care of OURSELVES!  Kudos to you, m’lady!!
VegasCon Update
I am now officially in stress mode – I had a dream that I had a dream about VegasCon.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I dreamt that the vendors room was in some god-awful, dark, dank,  basement the size of a closet and that my table consisted of a 3’x3′ desk.  Then I woke up and realized, “Whew!  It was only a dream.”  Only to still be in a dream.  And the vendor’s room was still in a god-awful, dark, dank basement the size of a closet with a 3’x3′ desk.
Then I woke up.  An hour late!!  My boys had to stay home from school.  I can tell you they were SO broken up about it.  It took hours to console them.
Ive been working my tail off with tons of cool new designs PLUS I’ve got some really cool new items that I’ll be selling, like my ode to Bobby Singer – an Idjit flask!
All of my designs are available at http://www.eldwenne.etsy.com
Bobby?  Is that you?

Bobby? Is that you?

As well as some brand new coffin jewelry boxes and more bookmarks and keychains, oh my! And I’m going to be having a MEGA cool contest there!  More details to come!
Tastes Like Molecules...

Tastes Like Molecules…

Pentagrams and Red Crystals Bracelet

Pentagrams and Red Crystals Bracelet

Ultimate Castiel Bracelet

Ultimate Castiel Bracelet

There's Nothing, Past or Present, That I Would Put in Front of You

There’s Nothing, Past or Present, That I Would Put in Front of You

Are YOU going to VegasCon??  Come say hi to me and my friend, author Kat Sloan!  She and I will be hosting some fun giveaways that weekend!!  Come check out Kat’s site at http://www.katsloan.com – her brand new book, Half Blood, can be bought directly from her site and you can read all about her plans at VegasCon, including a meet and greet with her!

Half Blood - The Lycanthropire Saga written by Kat Sloan

Half Blood – The Lycanthropire Saga written by Kat Sloan

Come follow her on twitter @katsloan7 and see her FB page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheLycanthropireSaga/
Thanks again to the lovely Judy G and check back with me next week for yet another fabulous customer feature – Ana Marie S!!  YES – two customer features in one month!  Look out!
Until next week, by ya’ll!

Viva Las Vegas, Partnering with Kat Sloan, and Saying Goodbye to the Hoboken Shelter

Better Late Than Never?

Well it certainly has been a long time.  I’ve spent the better part of January and February preparing for the second Praxis exam I needed in order to satisfy requirements for Teach for America. I was almost sure that I wasn’t smarter than a fifth grader.

I’m happy to report that I passed the exam (with only a handful of meltdowns!) and am now putting my nose to the grindstone to prepare for the next big event I’ve got coming up – the Salute to Supernatural VegasCon!!

I’ll be arriving on March 12 and the convention will be on from March 13-March 16.  This is the first time the Con will be 4 days long, so I’m really looking forward to seeing how it turns out for me!

And as per usual, you’ll find me there selling my handmade jewelry, my custom Supernatural pieces, as well as a pretty damn good supply of custom Walking Dead pieces too!  I’ll be taking requests that I hammer out as you wait, as always!
You’ll find some goodies like:

Large Woven Green Glass Necklace

Large Woven Green Glass Necklace

Lavender Crystal Ring

Lavender Crystal Ring

Pentagrams and Red Crystals Bracelet

Pentagrams and Red Crystals Bracelet

And of course, brand-spankin’ new Supernatural and The Walking Dead designs!

Tastes Like Molecules...

Tastes Like Molecules…

People in Hell Want Slurpees...only Daryl Dixon can say things so eloquently...

People in Hell Want Slurpees…only Daryl Dixon can say things so eloquently…

If You're Gonna Do a Thing...

If You’re Gonna Do a Thing…

Additionally, I’ll be manning the Clifhangers table.  Clif is the bodyguard for Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles.  Clif has an amazing fanbase, affectionately known as ‘Clifhangers.’  I’ll be selling the best t-shirts ever made, designed by the t-shirt goddess herself, Shannon Price.  Come check out the Clifhangers FB page and show some love!  https://www.facebook.com/Clifhangers

What is extremely exciting about this upcoming convention is that I will be partnering up with a very talented woman, Kat Sloan.  Kat is an author who’s written an amazing book: Half Blood – The Lycanthropire Saga

Half Blood - The Lycanthropire Saga written by Kat Sloan

Half Blood – The Lycanthropire Saga written by Kat Sloan

I am going to be designing jewelry based on her book as well as partnering with her at VegasCon to hand out some amazing promotions she and I have put together!

Kat and I will be hosting a meet and greet on the morning of the Con’s opening on Thursday, March 13 at 8:30am.  For more information, please check her page: http://www.katsloan.com/upcoming-events.html – GREAT giveaways exclusively for our guests!

If you’re going to VegasCon and want to join in the fun at the VIP Party, just click on this link: http://www.katsloan.com/vegas-con-exclusive-vip-giveaway.html

Want a wild ride?  Go buy Half Blood! It’s available for purchase on her beautifully-done website: http://www.katsloan.com/shop.html

Kat Sloan's website where you can buy her book; Half Blood, as well as see all of her upcoming events!

Kat Sloan’s website where you can buy her book; Half Blood, as well as see all of her upcoming events!

Please follow Kat on FB  https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheLycanthropireSaga/

Her  Twitter is @KatSloan7

Please drop by and tell her I sent ya!

What’s After VegasCon?

After VegasCon, life will become quite a blur of activity.  For about 11 or 12 days my daughter and I will be in Santa Monica visiting family, then after being home for about say, 2 days or so, I’m back on a plane going to Nashville for a job fair with various principals from the Nashville board of Education.  Teach for America will have circulated my resume and this will be my chance to meet and hopefully get hired by one of the great school districts.

After several days of being home from the job fair, it’s back to the convention circuit and this time it will be Washington D.C. – very cool!

For five weeks starting on June 1 I’ll be in Nashville again beginning the “Institute” portion of my life with Teach for America.  This time will not only be spent immersing myself in TFA philosophies and techniques, but it will also be my chance to search for a place for my family to settle in.

At the end of July, we’ll be officially moved into Nashville.

Saying Goodbye to The Hoboken Shelter

All of these upcoming events mean that I have to end something that has been a part of my life for a long time – teaching art at the Hoboken Shelter.

I handed in my resignation this past Monday with a very heavy heart.  My last class will be taught on Monday, March 24.  The people that I’ve met throughout my time at the Shelter have become an extended family to me.  I have people who are no longer guests of the shelter and still hop on a bus from out of town and come into class every Monday night – that means more than you can possibly imagine.

Everyone I’ve met has wound up teaching me so much about life, about spirit, and how creativity really has no bounds.  I’m taking these experiences with me to Nashville and will ensure that my students benefit from all of this.

If you’d like to volunteer at the Hoboken Shelter, please contact the shelter at http://www.hobokenshelter.org

Next week’s post is going to be another AWESOME feature with my customer Judy!!  We’ve met her before, and you’re gonna love her even more after this next post!

See ya’ll then!

Two Days to Goal, The Walking Dead is Ruining My Life, and to All Those Who Have Screwed Me Over in 2013- I THANK YOU!

Today marks two days left before my Click Start Me campaign comes to an end.  I’ve made $200 of my $5,000 goal…I want to thank all of you who have donated and supported my campaign.

The campaign is needed in order to grow my handmade jewelry business, Eldwenne’s Fantasy. Eldwenne’s Fantasy has two specific components; an online presence via my etsy shop: http://www.eldwenne.etsy.com and I travel all over the country (and to Canada) selling my jewelry at Salute to Supernatural conventions, where I specialize in making custom Supernatural-themed pieces for you.

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 – if it’s good enough for Misha…

I'm in good company here...

I’m in good company here…

With just two days to go, I’m trying to rally the troops – if you could please share my link for my campaign – http://funding.clickstartme.com/project/help-fund-my-handmade-jewelry-traveling-business/

You’ll be helping me jumpstart my dream by providing the resources to grow Eldwenne’s Fantasy into a healthy, flourishing business where I can provide you with quality, handmade jewelry.  My jewelry is original, one of a kind, and also inspired by the hit show Supernatural.

Let's pay some respect to Kevin Tran - aka Kevin Fricking Solo!

 

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

Family Don't End with Blood - Bobby Singer, you've never been more right.

Family Don’t End with Blood – Bobby Singer, you’ve never been more right.

 

I love working with wire and glass to create ethereal, one of a kind pieces

I love working with wire and glass to create ethereal, one of a kind pieces

Making ordinary materials extraordinary

Making ordinary materials extraordinary

And now a new fandom has wormed its way into my life – The Walking Dead.  SERIOUSLY??  Screw you Netflix, The Walking Dead, Norman Reedus, crossbows, the whole shebang! My husband and I have made it our mission to catch up on the entire series.  We’re 4 episodes shy as of this writing.  We only started watching it about a week and a half ago.  Yup.  This is serious, personal, and now the jewelry ideas are brimming.  Watch this space for my The Walking Dead inspired pieces!! AMC – bunch of jerks.  THANK YOU AMC AND FRANK DARABONT – WE LOVE YOU!

The Walking Dead - aka my new life-ruiner.

The Walking Dead – aka my new life-ruiner.

And now, as we all prepare to kiss (or kick) 2013 goodbye, I took some time to reflect on the year in general.  As most of you know, my husband got sick in September 2012 (and still is.)   I lost my job on January 23, 2013.  I’ll never forget that day for as long as I live.   It was quite literally the end of an era.

I spent the past 20+ years of my life on the corporate treadmill, terrified of jumping off.  We couldn’t afford for me to not continue to work in the financial industry.  But my former job took that choice away from me.  As I left the human resources office, I called my husband, got into my car, and by the time I met up with him 20 minutes later, already had my plan formulated to start a new life for all of us.

So while losing my job was definitely not something I planned on, not something I was happy about, it was definitely something that needed to happen in order for me to take my life by the reins and move forward.

Within a short period of time I was able to start doing flea markets and eventually my first Salute to Supernatural convention.  That was a life-changing event for me if there ever was one.  The convention showed me that my jewelry is desired, wanted, even demanded! The wonderful people I met encouraged me to plow ahead and make a name for myself in the convention circuit.

This year I was able to sell my handmade jewelry at NJCon, VanCon, TorCon, and most recently, BurCon.  Each of these events were a success for me and allowed me to learn how to do things better. If I can continue to do this, it would mean the world to me.  Thank you all for being so incredibly supportive!

We had setbacks.  My husband got sicker.  Our 11 year old was so severely bullied we had to take it to court.  Things spiraled out of control.  The saying is to “roll with the punches.”  Nope.  I’m putting my arms up and swinging back. Rolling with the punches got me 20+ years of my life being thrown down a corporate toilet.

The universe has thrown some balance into my life and allowed me to pursue my other dream – to become a teacher.  Through an extremely arduous application and interviewing process, I was proudly accepted into the Teach for America program!

Providing education equality and my passion for teaching!

Providing education equality and my passion for teaching!

The organization has made it possible for my family and me to have a brand new life.  We will all be moving to Nashville, Tennessee by the end of July 2014! A brand new environment will help us all thrive.

Another eye-opener this year has been that I definitely needed to pare down the baggage in my life.  You’ve heard the rant before – when things are going well, cheerleaders are in your face.  When things start to fall apart, ‘friends’ and ‘family’ kind of take several (many?) steps back in the opposite direction.  Run to the hills. Start judging and blaming.  The few times you do wind up hearing from them is for them to have the balls to actually try to one up me on the crap things that happen scale.

Seriously, there are so many people, just in my life alone, that thrive on “wow, your husband’s sick? I had a nightmare and think I may have the same problem your husband does.” “You lost your job? Wow. Sucks. Sorry it took me so long to write, but I was busy working a full time job.”  Yes, I’ve gotten emails like that.  That last gem was written about a month after I lost my job.

As a result of these things (and many others that I really don’t think I’ll post here – yet!), I’ve decided to remove those people from my life equation.  Wow, that felt GOOD!

This pretty much describes exactly how I feel!

This pretty much describes exactly how I feel!

2014 is a clean slate, a fresh start and any other cliche you can think of. It’s been liberating, honestly.

So to those of you who have screwed me over, went out of your way to kick me when I was down, to judge me, my family, I want to thank you.  Without you all showing your true colors, I’d be jumping right back onto that corporate treadmill going nowhere exceptionally fast and setting myself up for continued failures. Thank you for revealing who you really are and I thank the universe my eyes were open enough to finally see things for what they really were.

In 2014, I will be doing the things that make me happy for the first time ever.  I think I’ve earned that.

Goodbye 2013 and Happy New Year to you and your loved ones!

Goodbye 2013 - Hello NEW LIFE!

Goodbye 2013 – Hello NEW LIFE!

T-Minus Ten Days, Christmas Crunching and Habla Espanol?

Today marks the beginning of the 10 day countdown to the end of my Click Start Me campaign.

It will end at 4pm on December 30, 2013.  My birthday, of all things.  The campaign has been wildly popular in terms of views – Click Start Me has put me FIRST on their Featured Projects page – come look!! http://crowdfunding.clickstartme.com/projects/featured-projects

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

VERY exciting!  Not only that – my project was awarded the “Most Popular Projects” badge because it’s made it to the first page of the “Most Popular Projects” search results!

Two great honors from Click Start Me!

Two great honors from Click Start Me!

This is such a huge honor that so many people are interested in my dream of making my handmade jewelry on the convention route a success.

I’ve received a few donations from very generous people and I cannot thank you enough for that!

My goal is $5,000, of which I have raised $100.  I have just ten days to try to achieve my goal and then my campaign will be closed by Click Start Me– if you can share my links in the hopes that it will reach someone that will make a donation, I would be greatly appreciative.

As a matter of fact, if you share my link with someone who donates, YOU will receive a gift certificate worth $20!

So far from my goal - help spread the word?

So far from my goal – help spread the word?

To get an idea of where the money will be used, the money is needed to go towards jewelry making supplies, traveling expenses, and materials that will allow me to develop new techniques and enhance my existing ones.

For every donation you make, you will receive a gift certificate equal to the amount of your donation – my way of thanking you for your generosity and believing in me!

You'll receive this in the amount of your donation. If your donation is $25 or more - your gift certificate will have an extra $25 value!

You’ll receive this in the amount of your donation. If your donation is $25 or more – your gift certificate will have an extra $25 value!

If you donate $25 or more, I will add an ADDITIONAL $25 to the value of your gift certificate!  So if you donate $25, your gift certificate will be worth $50!  If you donate $50, it will be worth $75!  There’s no limit!

So if you’re suffering from gift-givers block, the gift certificate comes in super handy!  I guarantee that every gift certificate will be emailed to you within 2 hours of donating or if you purchase a gift certificate directly in my shop at www.eldwenne.etsy.com.  Emailing is free, of course – no shipping charges!

But if you want more bang for your buck, donating via Click Start Me gets you more, since I’m adding $25 to every donation $25 or greater : )

If you want a hardcopy certificate, today is the last day to guarantee Christmas delivery within the US.  I will mail to wherever you like via Priority mail (additional shipping charges will apply).

I can personalize with a message for free as well.

Like many others, I’m still working on my Christmas crunch – just when you think that list is finished, you remember someone else.   It never ends!

Are you in the Christmas crunch?!?

Are you in the Christmas crunch?!?

I hope that I can help you out of your Christmas crunch – I’m ready, willing, able, (desperate?!?) to make your Christmas gifts a reality!  Don’t hesitate to contact me!

Now an update on my impending move to Tennessee and Teach for America – I’ve recently learned that I will be expected to get an endorsement in English as a Second Language instruction for elementary school.  This is incredibly exciting for me!

Providing education equality and my passion for teaching!

Providing education equality and my passion for teaching!

What this does mean, however, is that I need to cram 6 college credits of Spanish between now and May 2014 – which is going to be QUITE the challenge.  And expensive as all hell.  Gotta figure that one out.

I took Spanish in high school.  30 years ago. I remember one very important phrase, “Donde esta el cuarto de bano?” I’m sure I spelled most of it wrong, but the gist of it is, “Where is the bathroom?”

We’re in the process of looking at places to rent down in beautiful Murfreesboro, trying to figure out where Raven is going to be (mainstream versus auditory/oral program), and preparing for a trip to Nashville this coming April for a job fair.

Gorgeous shot of the Rutherford County Courthouse

Gorgeous shot of the Rutherford County Courthouse

The job fair is going to be super exciting because I’ll be meeting representatives from schools all over Nashville looking to hire.

A lot of new changes are coming up very fast for us.  I’m trying to keep up with all of it!

And I hope that all of you try to keep up with me and my newest adventures in making my handmade jewelry accessible to the masses and bridging the gaps in education inequality through Teach for America!

Remember to come to www.eldwenne.etsy.com for all of your handmade jewelry needs, including some kick-ass Supernatural pieces that I will custom make just for you! I’ve created a contact form that you can use right from this post to get a hold of me also!

Red Glass Encased in Woven Silver Necklace

Red Glass Encased in Woven Silver Necklace

 

Silver Goddess Spiral Ring

Silver Goddess Spiral Ring

 

Clear Glass Goddess Spiral Frame Necklace

Clear Glass Goddess Spiral Frame Necklace

 

My Eldwenne's Fantasy Mystery Hex Bags are always a very fun gift option! Each bag is $16 and contains a fabulous piece of jewelry, keychain or bookmark!  If you want it to be SPN-related, just let me know!

My Eldwenne’s Fantasy Mystery Hex Bags are always a very fun gift option! Each bag is $16 and contains a fabulous piece of jewelry, keychain or bookmark! If you want it to be SPN-related, just let me know!

 

Let's pay some respect to Kevin Tran - aka Kevin Fricking Solo!

Let’s pay some respect to Kevin Tran – aka Kevin Fricking Solo!

 

Thanks everyone and have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS/YULE/WINTER SOLSTICE!!

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

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!

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

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

Most of us, I assume, are not farmers.

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

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

Salamander enjoying my husband's Pink Floyd cuff

Salamander enjoying my husband’s Pink Floyd cuff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Elegant, simple, yet sophisticated

Elegant, simple, yet sophisticated

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rev up the impala with this necklace!

Rev up the impala with this necklace!

Every driver's motto

Every driver’s motto

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

drunk bee

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

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

MedievalWire Necklacephoto 1photo 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

photo 1Goddess Spiral Silver Ringphoto 3photo 2photo 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

The boys own my jewelry,  you can too!

The boys own my jewelry, you can too!

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

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

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

I learned that from the...

I learned that from the…

Dean's Catch Phrase

Dean’s Catch Phrase

photo-15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gift Certificate for www.eldwenne.etsy.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Going Au Supernatural Part Deux, No Bathroom Issues, and the Joy of Epiphanies

Well hasn’t this been quite a weekend…I ventured over to the Hanover Marriott, located in Whippany, NJ, to vend at the Salute to Supernatural Convention.

I never did an event of this scale before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  One thing for sure, I didn’t expect Misha Effing Collins coming over to check out my wares.

The below photo: My starstruck daughter, Raven is beside me, my 8 year old son Phoenix is next to Misha, and my unimpressed husband, Merrill, is standing behind Phoenix.  Said unimpressed husband did ask for, and receive a fistbump from Misha so that he could walk around saying he was “touched by angel.”

 

Misha

I was very fortunate to have the best vendor neighbors, hence, no bathroom issues (refer to previous post).  One of my neighbors was a fabulous gothic horror writer, Ms. Eve LeStrange. (Her husband, George, was gracious enough to take the above photo of Misha!)  I purchased both of Eve’s books: ‘Widdershins’ and its sequel, ‘Solitary Fire’.  I started reading ‘Widdershins’ and I’m HOOKED!

If you want to get to know Eve LeStrange a little better, please do go to her website: http://www.evelestrange.com

My other neighbor, Shannon, produces incredible T-shirts for us Clifhangers – fans of Clif Kosterman, the bodyguard for Jared Padaleckicki and Jensen Ackles – the main stars of Supernatural.

Clifhangers can follow Clif on Twitter via his handle @bodyguardforJandJ

As soon as Shannon’s website is up and running I’ll make sure to post it here because I have to tell you – I have never worn a more flattering, well-designed  T shirt. She also sells beanies!

Selling face to face to my target audience – I was in HEAVEN.  I was surrounded by like-minded people who appreciated handmade jewelry.  I did very well and I LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT!

As I was completing a transaction for one of my wire-wrapped geode necklaces it hit me.  Hard.  Why am I NOT doing this on a full time basis? The epiphany hit me like a freight train (please excuse the trite expression but seriously, I had to sit down when it occurred to me!!)

With that being said, I’ve decided to aggressively pursue the convention circuit!  I’ve even been asked by Creation Entertainment to join them as a vendor for their upcoming Vampire Diaries convention in Parsippany, NJ this July!

I will also be doing the Supernatural Conventions in Toronto in October and in LA in November.

So it was an incredibly profound experience for me on many levels.  But the most amazing part of it all was that I realized that I was finally in my element – being my own boss producing  jewelry I am extremely proud of, meeting fantastic people from all over the world.

The little Winchester Sandwich didn’t hurt either (psst – I’m wearing my Clifhanger tee):

Sandwich

So a HUGE thank you again goes out to my fave neighbors, Eve and Shannon!

If anyone sends a little love to me via a convo at my etsy shop: http://www.eldwenne.etsy.com – you’ll get 20% off discount code!