First Customer Feature of 2014: Melstiel!!

Welcome to the first post of Down to the Wire for 2014 – whoo hoo!  

I wanted to kick it off with a great interview I did with a lovely lady who goes by the fabulous name Melstiel.  She and I met at TorCon this past October.

Melstiel is probably one of Castiel’s biggest fans and it looks like the feeling is mutual: Image

I’m happy to give her the floor for her to strut her stuff for us today!  Take it away Melstiel!

I am Melissa but I prefer to be called Mel. I am a bionic woman, with a cochlear implant to help me hear better. I identify as pansexual and polyamorous. I am in a family of five which includes my significant other Christopher, my hearing ear dog Rocky, and my two cats, Artemis and Satine.

I work in maintenance of recycled soft goods at a thrift store and take on research and program evaluation contracts from time to time. I have a graduate degree in forensic psychological research and I am taking courses in Case Management so I can get a certificate in that much more practical field. I love cats, ancient civilizations, video games, psychology, sexuality, and art. I am a devoted Superwholockian. 

As you can tell, I am completely enamored with Castiel and Misha Collins. Like Castiel, I am a socially awkward rebel who is fiercely loyal to their friends and feels guilty for mistakes made in life. Misha makes me happy and is just a beautiful human being with a dose of crazy. I did GISHWHES ’13 and look forward though fear doing GISHWHES ’14. Here’s an example of a GISHWHES ’13 item – the objective was to raise funds for the food bank by ‘panhandling’ as a dragon attack victim on a busy sidewalk Image

That was a challenging item for me because of my social anxiety but I persisted. I wish I knew of Misha when I was younger because I was not accepted due to being ‘eccentric’ and he would have been a wonderful role model.

I do mixed media and recycled art under the persona of Felivalkyria, concocted from “feline” and “valkyrie”. My art often has fantastical themes and includes portraiture of animals and people important in my life. I am part of Moods Expressed, a local working group for artists with mental health issues, and we have a website at http://www.moodsexpressed.com . Under Artists/Artisans, you can find me as Felivalkyria (Melissa Pagliaro) and view my art there. I do a few shows a year thanks to the help of Moods Expressed.

I used to write but I don’t so much anymore as visual art is more my discipline these days. I have been dabbling in making jewelry and recently made a Castiel necklace with pearls and cubic zirconia. I was lucky to find a tear drop bead dangle that is similar to the cubic zirconia I used and makes it looks like Castiel’s tie is dangling between his wings! Image.

I am very much someone who experiments with it all – recently, I got a new camera (Panasonic Lumix G6) and my favourite picture that I have taken so far is of my cat, Artemis Image.

I like cosplaying, especially as Cas, and I am always striving to improve my work Image.

 I appreciate handmade creations because they have much more love poured into them than storebought, factory manufactured items. Precious time is spent to create unique and one-of-a-kind items when they are handmade. I like supporting independent artists’ creations as opposed to big corporations which I feel are often detrimental to society. In fact, commissioning one artist’s work has become my yearly Christmas tradition.

 There is something truly attractive about the shiny! That is why I like to work with cubic zirconia. I also love materials with interesting textures like feathers, leather, fur, and velour. I work well with tactile sensations because my sense of smell is nil, having anosmia. I have a penchant for long dangling jewelry because I consider myself feminine.

 Eldwenne’s Fantasy actually stands out to me because Jodi is one of few independent vendors to display their work at Creation cons. 

Jodi here again – thank you so so much, Melstiel!  As some of you may know, my daughter, Raven also has cochlear implants, so both she and Melstiel have something in common – bionic women!

I have to say I love where you’re going with your jewelry – please keep going with it! And all of you really should check out Melstiel’s artwork at  http://www.moodsexpressed.com – use the dropdown menu to select  Felivalkyria (Melissa Pagliaro) and you will be giving yourself a major treat.  

Check out all of her artwork, but especially the Fantasy section – this woman knows how to mix her media and create atmospheres and new worlds.  There’s a piece I was particularly drawn to with two women lounging alongside an eagle.  Also looks like Artemis is making a cameo!  Bravo, Melstiel!!

Is anyone going to VegasCon?  I’ll be there with my Eldwenne’s Fantasy table selling my quality handmade jewelry, jewelry boxes, keychains, and whatever else I can think of between now and March!

Don’t forget to check out my shop at http://www.eldwenne.etsy.com for TONS of new designs added daily including Supernatural, Vampire Diaries, and Walking Dead!!

Image

                                                   Castiel’s Grace Necklace

Image

                  Watch Your Mouth Sunshine Daryl Dixon Quote Cuff Bracelet

February is going to be chock full of great posts including a great feature on my lovely customer Judy!

See ya’ll next week! (Yes, I’m practicing my Southern for my big move this spring!)

Jodi

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!!

The Hoboken Shelter, Nashville in Motion , and ClickStarting Me is Down to the Wire

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Clifhanger table - GET THE GEAR

The Clifhanger table – Get the Edge – Wear the Gear

A very happy Clifhanger with her new shirt!

A very happy Clifhanger with her new shirt!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The stunning Julie Anne Rhodes - even more beautiful in person

The stunning Julie Anne Rhodes – even more beautiful in person

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

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

Our selfie:

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

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

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

phoenixphenomfood.wordpress.com

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

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

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

Phoenix accepting his prize from Random Acts

Phoenix accepting his prize from Random Acts

Phoenix and Random Acts

Phoenix and Random Acts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Just add a miniature Crowley!

Just add a miniature Crowley!

Carry on!

Carry on!

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

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

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

The highlight of my weekend?  Meeting YOU!

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

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

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

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

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

“No artist tolerates reality” – Nietzsche

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

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

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

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

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

Crowley's woman - Elizabeth!

Crowley’s woman – Elizabeth!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you for reading and sharing!

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

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

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

As everyone who’s been reading this blog knows, my family and I have had our challenges set out before us.  Not gonna get into the specifics of it here, but if you’re so inclined, please check my post from two weeks ago: https://jewelrybyjodizulueta.com/2013/11/01/teaching-for-america-what-kind-of-discounts-move-you-tell-me-and-win-a-gift-certificate-and-do-i-need-to-start-liking-country-music/

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some people are only happy when they're unhappy

Some people are only happy when they’re unhappy

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

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

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

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

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

THAT’S FAMILY.

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

THAT’S FAMILY.

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

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

THAT’S FAMILY.

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

THAT’S FAMILY.

People in other countries.  Other states.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Like this lovely lady:

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

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

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

This is one of my favorite pieces!

This is one of my favorite pieces!

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

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

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

Inspired by the episode of the same name - Cas' first episode as a human

Inspired by the episode of the same name – Cas’ first episode as a human

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

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

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

I'll be customizing these for you at BurCon!

I’ll be customizing these for you at BurCon!

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

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

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

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

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

Women's t-shirt

Women’s t-shirt

Men's t-shirt

Men’s t-shirt

Hoodie - THIS IS AMAZING!

Hoodie – THIS IS AMAZING!

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://tinycs.me/9T

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

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

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

– Educational opportunities to learn new techniques and mediums

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My ode to Charie Bradbury

My ode to Charie Bradbury

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

LOTS of good things going on!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Men's t-shirt

Men’s t-shirt

Women's t-shirt

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

Hoodie - THIS IS AMAZING!

Hoodie – THIS IS AMAZING!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Necklace closeup

Necklace closeup

Bracelet closeup

Bracelet closeup

Earrings closeup

Earrings closeup

I’m really proud of this!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I have a ClickStartMe campaign that has FANTASTIC rewards!

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

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

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

– Educational opportunities to learn new techniques and mediums

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you for reading!!

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

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

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

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

No child should ever feel bullied.  EVER.

No child should ever feel bullied. EVER.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Providing education equality and my passion for teaching!

Providing education equality and my passion for teaching!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jenn's beautiful little girl, Molly!

Jenn’s beautiful little girl, Molly!

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

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

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

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

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

–            Educational opportunities to learn new techniques and mediums

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My ode to Charie Bradbury

My ode to Charie Bradbury

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

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

My Featured Customer of the Month – Carrie!!

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

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

Take it away, Carrie!

The lovely Carrie!

The lovely Carrie!

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

Upstate New York is breathtakingly beautiful

Upstate New York is breathtakingly beautiful

Perfect imagery for the Serenity Prayer

Perfect imagery for the Serenity Prayer

Calming scenery

Calming scenery

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you for reading and continuing to believe in me!

Thank you again, Carrie!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So without further ado – take it away Kyra!!

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

photo 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So how did we do it?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hugs for GISHWHES!

Hugs for GISHWHES!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The camel story cracked me up – unreal!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you, everyone!

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!!