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!

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!

My Featured Customer of the Month – Carrie!!

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

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

Take it away, Carrie!

The lovely Carrie!

The lovely Carrie!

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

Upstate New York is breathtakingly beautiful

Upstate New York is breathtakingly beautiful

Perfect imagery for the Serenity Prayer

Perfect imagery for the Serenity Prayer

Calming scenery

Calming scenery

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you for reading and continuing to believe in me!

Thank you again, Carrie!!

TorCon Mayhem, Dick Roman Squeezes the Karaoke Party, and Fair Leather Friends

 

Wow.  Just, well, WOW!

 

TorCon came and went in a blast of craziness.

I arrived in Toronto on Thursday to set up for those who were pre-registering for the weekend.  I’m not too sure if I’m going to continue to do that in locations where I’m staying in a hotel in the future.

If you are going to be a part of the pre-registering Thursday crowd and would like first crack at my wares, please let me know.  If the response is large enough, I just may continue to do it.

I’ll definitely be setting up on Thursday evening for BurCon, but not sure about future events. Please let me know.

I digress (as per bloody usual)…I arrived early enough to enjoy a couple of hours of downtime before getting ready for the pre-registration crowd, so I took a stroll around Toronto.

Lots of things to see, I just wish I had more time to do what I really wanted to do – go see that Bowie retrospective!

Was I the only one that thought something COMPLETELY different than what this really meant?

Was I the only one that thought something COMPLETELY different than what this really meant?

 

Evil Dead - the Musical - This BETTER make its way to the States!

Evil Dead – the Musical – This BETTER make its way to the States!

 

A sculpture.  I leave the comments on this one to you.

A sculpture. I leave the comments on this one to you.

Only in Canada

Only in Canada

It was a relatively quiet evening, however, you could most certainly feel the buzz grow.  Everyone’s excitement was palpable.

My table was set up.  My lovely friend Ruthee sent me the most beautiful goddess candle that I proudly displayed on my table.  She is so incredibly talented.  Please let me know if you’re interested in having her make one for you.  You can email me at eldwenne@yahoo.com and I’ll arrange for her to make one for you for $15 each plus shipping.

Set up and ready!

Set up and ready!

 

She also made these lovely gift packaging boxes and envelopes.  Many people were buying my items as gifts, so they were grateful to have gift packaging!  Again, if you are interested, please let me know and I will arrange the order for you.

Some examples of Ruthee's beautiful gift packaging! Contact me if you want to order!

Some examples of Ruthee’s beautiful gift packaging! Contact me if you want to order!

 

I had quite a few new additions that have never seen the light before.  Lots of fun SPN-themed stampings, such as my “I found a liquor store” “And I drank it” pair of earrings.

Also new were my experiments with leather cuffs.  I took leather cuffs and added stampings to both the leather itself as well as including stamped silver plates with sayings such as, “Hello Boys”, “Balls”, “Bitch”, “Jerk”, “Moose”, etc.

I never used leather before so this was a huge leap of faith for me.  And it seemed to work out better than I expected!

I wish I had pictures to share of what I came up with but these literally flew off my table quicker than I could make them!

After spending close to three hours setting up my table, the doors were opened and the rush of people came in.

A lot of people were doing window shopping; budgeting for the weekend.

What caught a lot of attention were the cuffs, the stamps, and of course, anything with a pentagram on it.

Friday morning came and I was raring to go.

More people filed in and circled round my table here and there.  The custom requests started to come in – custom stampings, on both leather cuffs as well as metal stampings.

A lot of time was spent on my feet, hammering away, but I was in the zone!

I was really looking forward to later on in the evening when my friend Shannon would be coming in.

Shannon was rooming with me at the hotel as well as vending next to me in the vendor’s room.

For those who don’t know, Shannon is the brains, brawn, and beauty behind Clifhangers.

Clifhangers are fans of Clif Kosterman, the bodyguard for Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki, also known as J and J.

Shannon designs and sells t-shirts for both men and women, as well as beanies.

My Clifhanger shirt is sooooo well-loved.  I’ve worn/washed/lived in it so much and it looks exactly the way it did when I first got it.

And what I love most about my Clifhanger shirt is that Shannon knows EXACTLY what kind of cut flatters a woman.

The neckline is a modest v-neck, the length is just right – it disguises a lot of things I like to keep under wraps, lol!

Please go say hi to Shannon and Clif at the Clifhangers FB page:  www.facebook.com/clifhangers

Friday night wrapped up in the vendor’s room, Shannon arrived, and we grabbed a bite at Miller’s Tavern.  One of the best burgers I’ve had in a looooong time!

No Salute to Supernatural convention is complete without seeing at least a tiny bit of the infamous karaoke party.

Richard Speight Jr. (Trckster/Gabriel) and Rob Benedict (Chuck/Edlund Carver) were amazing hosts.

Matt Cohen (young John Winchester) was delayed at the airport, so Rob stepped in and rocked the house.

Did you know that Rob has a band called Louden Swain?  Did you know that their music is fricking AMAZING?  I downloaded their latest, Eskimo, and I’ve been listening to it non-stop.

You really need to check them out as well as follow them on Twitter @LoudenSwain1

It was great to see so many cast members get up on that stage and have a good time such as Samantha Smith (Mary Winchester), Jim Beaver (Bobby Singer), Ty Olsson (Benny/Eli), but what had the crowd in a frenzy was when James Patrick Stuart (Dick Roman) stepped up to the mic.

Samantha Smith and Jim Beaver getting their karaoke fix

Samantha Smith and Jim Beaver getting their karaoke fix

James did an incredibly soulful rendition of ‘Tempted’ by Squeeze.  Who knew Dick Roman could belt out a tune?

James Patrick Stuart Tempted the audience

James Patrick Stuart Tempted the audience

We stepped out of the party well before was a respectable time to do so, but we had a big day ahead of us, as the vendor’s room was to open at 9am and stay open until 7pm.  Needed to get some rest and eat our Wheaties.

Saturday morning came and we made our way to the vendor’s room.  I met soooo many fantastic people!

The costumes were incredible, like this leviathan.  I can’t even tell you how many times I had to keep looking up to make sure I was really seeing this!

LEVIATHANS! (Sorry, I was channeling Cas)

LEVIATHANS! (Sorry, I was channeling Cas)

The afternoon became a bit interesting as Misha Collins set up to sign autographs.  Twenty feet away from me.

I had a necklace that I made for him to give to whomever, lol, so after everyone received their autographs, I strolled up to him and gave it to him.
“Wow!  What the hell is it?”  Um, not the reaction I was hoping for.
“It’s a necklace, Misha.”

“I know!  But what the hell is it?”  It was then that it dawned on me that he was asking me what it was made of.

So I explained the materials to him and he seemed to genuinely appreciate it (although he IS an actor, lol!).  He then complimented me on my dress.  That I bought at the salvation army for $2.  I shared that with him and he gave me a thumbs up and some comment about $2 being an excellent ‘price point’ in my wardrobe selections.

I got to meet a bunch of lovely ladies affiliated with Random Acts. From their front page at http://www.therandomact.org:  “Random Acts is a non-profit organization that’s aiming to conquer the world, one random act of kindness at a time.”

I met a woman who was literally moved to tears because she had gone to Haiti and worked on a project with the Random Acts Team.  They had each signed a banner after their project was completed.  She really wasn’t expecting that banner to be hanging on the Random Acts table here at TorCon:

Random Acts is a non-profit organization that’s aiming to conquer the world, one random act of kindness at a time.

Random Acts is a non-profit organization that’s aiming to conquer the world, one random act of kindness at a time.

 

I made a modest donation to Random Acts and received adorable Misha Collins drawings to color in and a cute little froggy sticker!  Here’s what my two youngest. Phoenix and Raven did with the drawings:

Random Acts Goodies!

Random Acts Goodies!

Phoenix's and Raven's Misha colorings.  Please note Phoenix's message, "Don't Fall."

Phoenix’s and Raven’s Misha colorings. Please note Phoenix’s message, “Don’t Fall.”

Richard Speight Jr. was in and out of the vendor’s room plenty of times and I finally had a chance to give him the necklace I made for him.  It was very graciously accepted – super nice guy!

Sunday was a complete and total whirlwind.  Vendor’s room opened at 9 or so and was open until 6.

Basically we were expecting to hear crickets in the vendor’s room since the Js were in the building.  Between photo ops and autograph sessions, were people really going to be coming in to see us?

Well, they did!!

I took a quick break to grab some lunch for Shannon and me (to eat while we sat in on a bit of the Js panel!) and who do I run into?  Jim Beaver.

He was such a NICE guy!  Very sweet as I shook his hand and introduced myself.

I also ran into Rob Benedict and Richard Speight Jr (who remembered my name, astonishingly enough!).

He thanked me again for the necklace and Rob turned to me and said, “Wait – you gave me one at VanCon!”  I said that was right and thanks for remembering.

I have never met such nice actors before in my life.  The SPN crew is a bunch of genuinely nice people who seem to really appreciate their fans.

I’ve been asked why I give pieces of jewelry to the actors.  I do that because they give me and my family a lot of enjoyment on SPN.  And because of SPN, I have a career doing something that I love doing.  How can I not give back? I’ve made jewelry for a very long time.  But SPN has given me the inspiration and opportunity to make this a CAREER.  It’s a thank you to the SPN world.

I was sad when it ended, but thinking about everything keeps a smile on my face.

Like how TorCon was full of surprises.  For example, does everyone remember my lovely guest blogger, Kyra who had written about her GISHWHES exploits?  Well I had the pleasure of meeting her mom!

Her mom was super sweet and I loved spending time getting to know her better.

And my friend Rachel Cree-Lowe sent an ambassador, lol!  Bonnie came over and said, “Our friend Rachel wanted me to tell you she said hi” – I nearly fell out of my seat!  Rachel – that was AWESOME!

Those that couldn’t make it but were there with me in spirit like Ruthee (the goddess extraordinaire), Kendra, Doree, my husband, Merrill, our four kids David, Jaden, Phoenix, and Raven, David’s beautiful girlfriend, Vi, all made the weekend so special and I really felt like you were all there with me.

Getting to meet and to talk with so many of you is what I love doing most at these conventions.

My inspiration to keep going comes directly from YOU.  When you come to my table and ask me about my work, it really makes me feel great about what I do.  It’s not about who buys from me; it’s about the appreciation and the time you take to look at my work.  It’s seeing the admiration in your eyes when you hold up one of my pieces.

I wish I had the opportunity to take pics of all of you – I know I missed many of you.  If you bought a piece from me, PLEASE send me a photo of yourself wearing it so that I can properly feature you!

The lovely Carolina who had me make a Non timebo mala bracelet

The lovely Carolina who had me make a Non timebo mala bracelet

Maryam with a spider web necklace

Maryam with a spider web necklace

Lexie with a Hello Boys bracelet

Lexie, Cas cosplay maven, with a Hello Boys bracelet

Kristi made a point of coming to see me - thank you!! It was great to finally meet you!

Kristi made a point of coming to see me – thank you!! It was great to finally meet you!

Manon and Sarah - Manon brought the lovliest stone and asked me to create a pendant out of it for her!

Manon and Sarah – Manon brought the lovliest stone and asked me to create a pendant out of it for her!

Stella showing off her vampire charm bracelet!

Stella showing off her vampire charm bracelet!

Tatjana (if I got your name wrong, please let me know!) - she had me make a bracelet with a G Clef and blue roses - I love it!

Tatjana (if I got your name wrong, please let me know!) – she had me make a bracelet with a G Clef and blue roses – I love it! And that’s Misha Collins in the background signing at the table.

VERY determined young ladies.  Stefanie (r) took a BUS to get to an ATM so she could pay for her "Sam and the Honeys" custom stamped necklace! Her very cool friend, Gina, is on the left.

VERY determined young ladies. Stefanie (r) took a BUS to get to an ATM so she could pay for her “Sam and the Honeys” custom stamped necklace! Her very cool friend, Gina, is on the left.

Max with my signature wrap necklace - wearin' it with 'TUDE and I love it!

Max with my signature wrap necklace – wearin’ it with ‘TUDE and I love it!

Joy wearing a one of a kind silver bracelet!

Joy wearing a one of a kind silver bracelet!

I took a selfie with some guy named Ty...

I took a selfie with some guy named Ty…

I know there were MANY many more of you, so sorry that I missed including your photos.  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE contact me at eldwenne@yahoo.com with your pics – I’d love to show you off!

My ClickStartMe campaign is running out of time…I’m going to be trying to get to many of the future events such as Las Vegas, Washington DC, and of course VanCon and TorCon for next year.

I’m still offering an amazing set of incentives!  For those who donate, you will receive a never-expiring (good until ya spend it!) gift certificate good towards any merchandise in my shop www.eldwenne.etsy.com that will be equal to your donation amount.

Are you donating $25 or more?  Well then you’re going to have an ADDITIONAL $25 added to your gift certificate value!

Are you sharing my ClickStartMe link and someone you shared my link with donated to me?  Well then they get a gift certificate in the appropriate amount and YOU also get a gift certificate worth $25!!

You can’t lose! If you can please share my link: http://tinycs.me/9T I’d greatly appreciate it!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So without further ado – take it away Kyra!!

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

photo 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So how did we do it?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hugs for GISHWHES!

Hugs for GISHWHES!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The camel story cracked me up – unreal!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you, everyone!

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

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

Most of us, I assume, are not farmers.

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

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

Salamander enjoying my husband's Pink Floyd cuff

Salamander enjoying my husband’s Pink Floyd cuff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Elegant, simple, yet sophisticated

Elegant, simple, yet sophisticated

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rev up the impala with this necklace!

Rev up the impala with this necklace!

Every driver's motto

Every driver’s motto

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

drunk bee

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

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

MedievalWire Necklacephoto 1photo 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Goddess Spiral Inspiration and VanCon – ALMOST HERE!!!

The goddess spiral is a motif I use in many of my pieces, if you’ve noticed.  It’s a symbol that is used in so many different belief systems and cultures.

There is no one solid definition of its meaning because it is so ubiquitous.  Its meaning varies depending on the person.

It can represent the cycle of life or infinity or energy, I could go on forever.

When I design a piece using the goddess spiral, I use it as a representation of feminine energy.

The symbol radiates the warmth and power of the goddess to me.  I use it to infuse this energy into my jewelry.

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Silver Hammered Goddess Spiral Ring

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Goddess Spirals in Silver with Copper Bracelet

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Goddess Spiral Ring in Copper

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Goddess Spiral Wrap Ring

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Goddess Spirals on Sea Glass Necklace

You can see many more pieces that were inspired by the goddess spiral in my shop at http://www.eldwenne.etsy.com

But if you really want to get a GOOD look at these pieces, and many more, come see me at VANCON!

A week from today (or yesterday for gold pass patrons!), you will see me in the dealers room selling my handmade jewelry!

I’ve been working away with so many SPN-inspired pieces!  And I will be taking requests – I will custom make anything you are looking for, like the pieces I have here. I wanted to show some love for our favorite bad guy, Crowley:

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His favorite greeting

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His majesty, the King of Hell!

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The catch-phrase to end all catch-phrases

You know what I’m really looking forward to more than anything at VanCon?  Meeting all of you!

I love spending time with everyone that visits my table.  I feel like my table is my home, and you’re walking into my home and sharing a part of me, I get to know you, and I truly feel enriched by everyone I meet.

It’s a blessing to be able to do this and meet you face to face.  I hope that your VanCon memories include me, as I know that my VanCon memories are going to be all about the fantastic people I’m going to meet – you!

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

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

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

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

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