Dec 11, 2008

A Pandora Christmas


One of our talented eSMArts artisans, Wilma Travis (a handmade lampwork glassmaker and owner of Whimsey) sent me a few of her latest lampwork glass bead creations the other day and the moment I saw them I knew they were going to be a prominent ingredient in my next pandora stew. Add a few authentic CLIM charms or beads, a heaping helping of murano glass, a touch of sterling charms and maybe even a sprinkling of affordable Tibetan silver et voila! You have a delectable Christmas delight to savour and display throughout the festive season.

The gold beads shown here are from CLIM. Made of the finest quality sterling silver and handmade by veteran craftsmen with over 30 years experience, these lovely creations have a 925 hallmark to represent their sterling silver core. My gold ones also have a quality 14k gold electroplate finish and as depicted here some contain genuine swarovski crystals.



The fun part of a pandora necklace, bracelet or anklet is that you can start with one bead or add as many as you like. The element of fun enters the equation when we personalize our pandora collection to reflect our own unique lifestyle and tastes. What do I mean by that?


Well you can choose from a growing collection of flowers, birthstones, animals, zodiacs and lifestyle symbols to tell your own personal story. In this regard, pandora jewelry (also known as troll, biagi, chamilia or even European beads) is the modern day equivalent of the charm bracelet. The two concepts are quite similar except that pandora beads don't usually dangle and they don't make a noisy nuisance of themselves.

Pandora style beads have a unique 4mm threaded opening that screws onto a snake chain base (usually 3mm snake chain). Most of the pandora style bracelets (even knockoffs) have screw stops placed intermittently that are designed to prevent the charms and beads from slipping all over the place.


Pandora Starter Bracelet with three free beads - Only $15.00 at http://gahooletreesupplies.etsy.com!

Some solid gold, silver and platinum pandora beads sell for hundreds of dollars and the base chains aren't inexpensive either in their precious metal forms. But to get started there are very reasonably priced gold and silver plated chains available such as our "Pandora Starter Bracelet" shown above that includes three free beads for only $15.00.

CLIM pandora beads & charms with 925 sterling hallmark - some have 14kt Gold EP & genuine swarovski crystals
Above all, don't let the cost and rarity of pandora threaded beads limit your design choices. To expand your pandora jewelry collection, consider adding standard lampwork glass or borosilicate beads. Any bead with a 5mm opening will slide over the screw stops found on most pandora style chains. And some of these oversized glass beads (often called troll beads) can be purchased for just a few dollars. So with a little planning you can collect pandora accessories to coordinate with all your fashions.

Affordable Tibetan silver pandora spacers add plenty of bling for small money
At our supplies store GahooleTree Supplies you'll find a selection of quality CLIM beads in both sterling and 14k gold EP. We're also offering affordable tibetan silver spacers and perhaps a few generic lampwork bead sets to complete our sterling, silver plated and gold plated chains. Check us out. We offer a 100% no quibble money back guarantee!

CLIM Horses Horseracing charm - $7.50 at http://gahooletreesupplies.etsy.com

Nov 27, 2008

A Productive Day

one of my donations to the eSMArts team shop - Black Spinel Stunning Simplicity


What an inspired day I've had. David got my flexshaft to work. There must be two moons in the sky. I've been without my flexshaft for months. But we're back in business, buffing, cutting, grinding, drilling and thank goodness I have cup burr capability again.

So I made a few dozen new earwires including a couple of new versions that I've never made before. I'm not certain this newfound creativity is due to any kind of inspiration on my part - more likely that I just can't find my wigjig pattern templates (and I'm too tired and lazy to look for them) so this was a day for innovation. I just can't say enough good things about my Wigjig Olympus! Everything I try to make with the Olympus turns out perfectly.

I just posted these sultry black spinel etruscan inspired handmade chandelier earrings in our new team shop: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=17873404. This handforged design was created by the lovely Jeanette Blix Ryan and was featured in the Fall 2008 Edition of "Step By Step Wire Jewelry". Jeanette has at least one shop on etsy. This is my version of Jeanette's original design. I've created this earring in many iterations using virtually every gemstone. What a delightfully pretty, lightweight and comfortable chandelier this is!

eSMArts logo - etsy Social Marketing Artisans

Yes, remarkably eSMArts team now has its own team shop with proceeds from all sales going to worthy causes. It's so nice to see that several of our team members have already donated beautiful handmade artwork to this team shop initiative. Please take a moment to browse our current items for sale.

Thank you again to Van Stewart Bevil the gifted oil artist behind CoastalArtist on etsy: http://coastalartist.etsy.com for providing eSMArts team with awesome artwork for our avatar and team logo. I created our team shop banner and Lois of http://ABeadedAffair.etsy.com volunteered to disperse team shop funds. I want to publicly thank Joyce Bevil of Hobnobbins on etsy: http://hobnobbins.etsy.com for financing our first donation by furnishing one of our team members with a brand new laptop when hers was stolen.

Preparations for my upcoming showing at Thorntonview residence (186 Thornton Road South Oshawa) this Saturday December 29th from 1-4pm are proceeding nicely. If all goes well I will actually be ready for this showing. The pandora bracelets arrived today from Hong Kong along with many of the findings and lampwork beads that I've been awaiting so I'll have a few of those to display this weekend.

To top things off I just read the great comments left on Amy's latest post. Why is it that my airedale terrier gets more comments on her blog than I get on all of my business related blogs put together? Life just isn't fair! Who was it that said never try to compete with kids or pets? Was it W.C. Fields? :)

Nov 7, 2008

Fantasy Dragonfly


I just listed these Turquoise Fantasy Dragonfly Earrings in my SassyDLite online store. Perhaps I'm going through a second childhood. If you're familiar with my gahooletree shop, you'll know that this type of jewelry isn't exactly what I'm known for! But when my daughter saw these earrings she fell in love with them -- and now Kate wants to get her ears re-pierced! That might sound reasonable to most, but our Kate is disabled and she'll have major difficulty dealing with any infections. But I digress. Anyhow, who am I to deny my 27 year old this tiny indulgence?

Dragonflies are so popular right now. I spent an hour yesterday trying to see what types of dragonfly earrings are available for sale online. Although dragonfly jewelry can be found in abundance, I couldn't find anything like my Turquoise Fantasy Dragonfly earring shown above for beauty, quality or value pricing. I'll be listing a complete line of these darlings - each earring pair will be unique and inspired by genuine gemstones.

Someone mentioned being a fan of dragonflies just a few days ago, but I simply cannot remember who it was. You see, to be honest, I ordered these adorable brass wings from Hong Kong by mistake. I meant to order angel wings for use in Christmas earrings. Anyhow, if you're a dragonfly fan and would like to get some of these awesome and fairly unique accents, please email me. I'll set up a custom etsy listing for you on my supplies shop: http://gahooletreesupplies.etsy.com. Would 24 units for $1.99 be reasonable? The matching brass beads (dragonfly tail) are so cool too. I have plenty of those as well if anyone is interested. :)

'till next time,
~Anna Lee H.

Nov 4, 2008

CREDIT CRUNCH SPECIAL at SassyDLite

Credit Crunch Special Free Bonus with every order at SassyDLite

On this historical day, I hope all my American friends made time to vote. Anyhow, this is just a brief post about the CREDIT CRUNCH SPECIAL that is currently running at SassyDLite. Get yours while they last...


Our bonuses are versatile gemstone jewelry staples like the smokey quartz and jasper earrings shown above.


New Boro Chandelier




















Check out all the new vintage inspired modern additions to our SassyDLite collection. For most items we can create complementary or matching pieces.


I'm offering to ship a quality gemstone jewelry bonus to the lucky recipient of these new boro bead chandelier earrings that I just listed. These unique earrings feature the beautiful borosilicate creations of Dan Echeverry of BDBD.


I'm adding new items to this shop every day, like the pastel chalcedony lariat with Stunning Rose Quartz accents shown here:


pastel chalcedony lariatThe pastel chalcedony lariat is a fine example of SassyDLite's gemstone creations. We just cannot offer more carats of fine quality chalcedony (oodles) or more expensive and stunning gem quality rose quartz at these prices.



Tulip Cube Boro Bead Earrings


I'll also offer the buyer of these unique

Tulip Cube Boro Bead Dangles a quality gemstone jewelry bonus.

I donated these unique boro bead dangle earrings to our eSMArts Team Shop that supports worthy causes.

So if you purchase these cute earrings, you'll not only be helping someone in need, but you'll be rewarded by me with an extra special bonus!!!

And at SassyDLite we have lots more fun and flirty designs that feature exquisite gemstones and quality workmanship to stand the test of time. Check us out!
'till next time...
hugs,
~Anna Lee


Oct 29, 2008

Let's Hope the October Madness is Over

Curly and Cute SassyDLite banner ad

When we moved in September I didn't think life could get busier, but it did and I've been woefully negligent about maintaining my blogs. The other night it occured to me that instead of emailing a request for info on gems, I could just post the information on a blog and kill two birds with one stone. So I published a new feature on http://gahooletreedesigns.blogspot.com/ dealing with studio overstock of emeralds that I currently have available for purchase. Sales of gemstone beads and supplies at Gahooletree Supplies has been very strong.


Here at SassyDLite, I am very pleased to finally be back at work. It's been a long haul as I'm slowly getting over my respiratory infections (with the help of Ester C, echinacea, quercetin and goldenseal - oh and plenty of rest). During October I got crazy busy creating free bonuses to stimulate sales at SassyDLite. This tactic has made a positive impact on sales.


Yesterday, I created the above banner ad for use over at Lov.li where my activity and dedication has been noticably absent. My shop on Lov.li is http://gahooletree.lov.li/ and if you are a Lov.li member, please make me (gahooletree) a friend there okay? :) I'll do the same for you!


The Cute 'n Curly SassyDLite banner ad above is 500 x 500 pixels so it uploads quickly and I'll use it as a secondary picture image to alert shoppers to visit one of my 'real' online shops. I'll make you one of these graphics for $5.50. Just send the pic files that you want included.


Here's the new etsy store banner for http://sassydlite.etsy.com/:


Colorful Store Banner for SassyDLite on etsy

Someone remarked that this new graphic gives the store a bright fresh facelift. I hope so! And I will try to make time to create more appropriate store banners for my other online shops. Contact me if you are interested in my graphics design services.


'till next time,
hugs,
~Anna Lee

Oct 18, 2008

added newest member stores and blog urls to team blog: http://ping.fm/jQ1Qm

etsy listings feed to Google Base

I managed to successfully upload my listings for all three of my etsy stores into Google Base tonight. There's a very informative thread in etsy Forums:

http://ping.fm/aW4ME

Just follow their step by step instructions. They have an entire blog about it:
http://ping.fm/Nf3BC

Use the www.letset.com google base formatter and download your bulk feed XML file.

You'll need a google login, but beyond that registering your feed file with google base and uploading the file aren't difficult or time consuming at all. If you get a "failed" message, read the info listed beside the error for hints and tips and try to correct the problem, before uploading again.

But if you've set up your Google Base account properly, this system works well. Remember to renew these items each month as they will expire in 31 days!

Hopefully now I'll be able to find my listings in http://www.oodle.com!!!

Oct 10, 2008

S and T Creations - Beautiful Handmade Artisan Jewelry

The delicious jewelry delights of S and T Creations


When style and flair combine with quality and value everyone wins. That's why it's such a pleasure to feature the unique jewelry creations of S and T Creations, a developing jewelry design company located in Jeffersonville, Indiana.

Visit www.SandTCreations.etsy.com!The prolific artistic team of Saundra and Teri of S and T Creations is always busy churning out a seemingly endless array of attractive yet affordable jewelry designs.



Check out the complete S and T collection of colorful, whimsical and contemporary styles that will definitely get you noticed. Order online now and receive free domestic shipping or a handmade collectable bonus gift!

And this design and marketing duo is now making many of their unique and fresh creations available to a wide audience through their new online boutique http://www.sandtcreations.etsy.com/.

The wise value conscious fashionista takes a structured approach to formulating her unique personal fashion style and statement. And the other day I found timely help with regard to this ongoing task in the form of an informative blog feature presented by Saundra of S and T Creations.

Reading Saundra's article I was reminded how challenging looking and feeling like a million dollars gets in dismal economic times such as these. Even if inflation soars and our fashion budget shrinks, we gals still need our secret sources of great fashion finds. Enter S and T Creations...

At S and T you'll find retro, classic, formal and funky so grab a few things to stretch your wardrobe. S and T Creations also has something for everyone on your holiday gift giving list. No matter what your budget or purpose, you'll find fab jewelry accessories available from this team.

For more information about what's new in the world of S and T Creations, please visit their web log.

Sep 23, 2008

Canadian Bead Oasis Show

Phantasea Shells and Snail Beads by Susan Hood of Glass Harp Studio Yarmouth Nova ScotiaWe just attended our very first Canadian jewellery show, which happened to be the fifth annual Canadian Bead Oasis Show held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre September 19 - 21. This bead expo featured over 50 artisans and suppliers and here are a few of the highlights as I see things.
Mid Range Plus Nortel torch
It was very interesting meeting with Nortel Manufacturing Ltd. of Toronto to discuss their quality line of flameworking torches, ArrowSprings kilns, assorted glass, tools and accessories.

We are in the early phases of our research regarding the glass studio that I want to build and these folks have all the tools and advice anyone could want.

From a supply point of view, my favourite booth was BEAD IT of Montreal, a firm that has the most amazing selection of extraordinary gemstones I've ever seen like Wonderstone, Thunder Egg Jasper, Yellow Black Agate, Turritella Agate and Lepidocrocite.

Noteworthy too is the fact that these folks actually run a real online store AND they're making an above average attempt to list online most of the fabulous specimens they carry in inventory!
Extraordinary Gemstones from Bead It of Montreal
So needless to say, I'll be frequenting that online boutique and making my fair share of purchases there.

I fell in love with the incredibly beautiful glasswork of Susan Hood of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Susan's booth was laden with her new Phantasea Shell necklaces (see collage above) and a myriad of other perfectly executed and exotic lampwork delights.

The next time I'm in the maritimes I'll definitely want to stop by Susan's Glass Harp Gallery in order to gape at more of her wonderful creations and drink in the artistic vibes that radiate from this glowing goddess!

I invited Susan to join our eSMArts etsy team but alas I fear this gal who is on the road (doing exhibits, seminars and volunteer projects) five and half months of the year is way too busy for our little initiative. :( Anyhow, we'll stay connected via email and I will follow her career with continued awe and amazement.

I also had the pleasure of visiting briefly with Fran Davis of Dragonfire Studio located in Edmonton, Alberta.
Frog Bead by Fran Davis - Dragonfire Beads of Edmonton, Alberta

Fran is in the process of offering her beautiful lampwork creations on etsy. Her new online shop Dragonfire Beads will contain her latest creations along with some old favourites. I hope to keep in touch with Fran via the etsy venue (and yes, I invited her to join our street team too!).

The best assortment of Thai silver was from ANDS Bali Silver Inc. of Toronto, whose website doesn't list all of their large selection of bead, spacer and sterling component inventory. My advice is to email them if you're looking for something that you don't see listed online as they likely do have what you're looking for.

I was thrilled to see Crafts of Tibet's very good selection of hand picked Tibetan ornaments and jewelry items. On my wish list are their genuine Tibetan Buddhist artifacts like prayer wheels, incense holders and singing bowls. Email: richodyuthok [at] hotmail.com.

At Designers Findings of Toronto I bought some unique gemstone specimens, but for flat out gem and finding purchases I'm still a fan of the large InterGem shows like that in Chicago where the number and variety of exhibitors is huge and the deals are plenty.

However with the rising price of gasoline, many of us are looking for online and local purchase alternatives so I'll no doubt continue to keep an eye on the Canadian Bead Oasis Show for contact and supplier info.

One thing that shouldn't be overlooked is the rather large array of local flamework bead makers and handmade jewellery designers who assemble at this expo such as the members of the Toronto Bead Society. It's perhaps possible to acquire stones and findings online and elsewhere but rarely will you find such a diverse grouping of bead makers all under one roof here in Toronto. So mark your calendars for the Spring Show... And just so you won't miss out on the next Bead Oasis Show, here's a handy email list where one can sign up for show alerts.

Sep 10, 2008

Newest gemstones


My gemstone order from India has arrived and some of my latest acquisitions are pictured above. At our SassyDLite shoppe I feature high quality semi precious and precious gemstones in rather modern and sleek pieces that are perfect for everyday, casual and office wear. But at my flagship shoppe called GahooleTree, designs run to the haute posh more ornate, formal, evening and bridal.

Regardless of the design application or sales outlet I operate, I’m a snob about sourcing and supplying exquisite AAA quality in the colour, cut and clarity for all our gems. Shown here are blue topaz, yellow topaz, rock crystal, iolite, apatite and tourmaline. The onion cuts to the right are light amethyst and citrine.

I’ve been asked if I’ll be selling this stock at my gemstone supplies store GahooleTreeSupplies. No, I’ll reserve most of these sparkling darlings for use in my own designs. I’m a gemstone hoarder (and yes, I confess, I’m a gemaholic and gemstone hoarder!) but these specimens are more costly and valuable than most items in my inventory. They are without rival for their brilliance, precision faceting and awesome tones. And I am truly pleased to have found this supplier of such fine quality beads, so these will be used judiciously.


Contact me if you'd like information on purchasing similar custom cut gemstones derived from AAA gem quality rough. I will put you in touch with this quality supplier. For those whose funds are limited there is also a bulk buy group located in the the USA! Through that source you can purchase as little as a few carats at a time.

Above all, expect to see more delicious genuine gemstone handmade jewelry creations from us. What with working on my etsy team stuff, watching way too much Olympics, moving to our new house, and a wee bit of general shirking thrown in for good measure :) I haven’t produced much new jewelry for months. I can’t wait to get back to the bench!

Jul 24, 2008

Amazing Boro Beads

I'm in love with the boro bead creations of Jacquelyn Rice of C.N.Y Glass Studio and this necklace and bracelet ensemble might just become one of my favorite pieces to wear. I searched high and low for the perfect complement for these recent blue topaz finds and I was overjoyed when these three beads arrived from the New York studio. They are precisely what I had in mind.

It's always a joy to develop a personal piece of jewelry. That's likely where I feel most comfortable. I know the customer so well!! So creating this set was pure fun...

Notice how these wacky glass beads unify the color palette in the bracelet. This is my first use of Ranjan's stones from Spectrum Gems in Jaipur (large faceted rondelles of smokey quartz and lemon topaz) which I feel were the perfect foil for the electric blue of the Swiss Blue Topaz faceted dice, faceted nuggets and faceted rondelles from Bead Palace.

In fact, I'm so taken with this type of glossy boro bead, that I just signed up for a weekend lampworking workshop at BeadFX located in Scarborough (eastern Toronto suburb about 30 minute drive from me), where they teach soft glass, but I'm already getting prepared to leap as soon as I can into borosilicates.

A few minutes of online research revealed that boro bead making differs from soft glass primarily due to the hardness of the glass, its coefficient of expansion, need for hotter flame and different annealing. Other than that, these media may be rather similar to work with when hot. So I'm hoping to learn enough basic lampwork techniques this weekend to get me off to a good start. I'm already dreaming of bead designs, color combos, and applications.




















No, I don't have a kiln yet, but I have this stuff. That's our year old airedale Amy guarding disposable tanks of MPS a methyl acetylene that apparently burns hotter than propane. And I have a wee Gentec torch. I've also got an acetylene tank system too with big torches (one of the few benefits of owning my own bicycle manufacturing company) but I haven't found out yet if I need this big equipment for hard glass making.


I can't wait for my lampworking weekend. Suffice it to say that I'm delighted to be learning something new.



Jul 12, 2008

SassyDLite Montage on YouTube




This is a montage that I just made at One True Media. My montage features SassyDLite Spring/Summer 2008 Jewelry Collection.

Elayne from ChezChani just posted info concerning this fab concept on our eSMArts yahoo forum. I'm impressed with this montage feature and I found it was very easy to use. Elayne is one of the talented artisans on our eSMArts etsy team.

Here's my montage with music score on my Facebook.
There is a copy on my YouTube too!

Jul 6, 2008

etsy Social Marketing Artisans group

My venture into the social marketing sphere is progressing well. Several weeks ago I started eSMArts, a group for etsy and other artisans interested in learning and applying the latest ecommerce promotion techniques in order to drive traffic to their etsy storefronts and other sales sites.

I was looking for like minded souls interested in promoting their art to work with me. eSMArts has its own mandatory yahoo forum where all information concerning social marketing is stored and shared. eSMArts also refers to our talented group of artisans who sell online at Etsy.com.

Our global collaborative consists of artists from all media and genres. We have seventy contributing members, 30 auditing members who have yet to establish an online sales venue and more applications arrive each day.

We stipulated from the outset that we were looking for artisans of handmade goods. An etsy storefront wasn't a requirement at first but for administrative purposes we may need to revisit that issue. We may amend membership criteria down the road limiting new entrants to etsy sellers in good standing.

To sell handmade goods on
etsy, either you or a member of your immediate family must be making (or directly supervising the creation of) handmade goods. So that requirement goes without saying.

Etsy (owned by eBay) provides a user friendly shopping cart that accepts PayPal (also owned by eBay - big surprise). Etsy does no promotion however. Listing fees are only 20 cents per item which is great. But unlike eBay, Etsy doesn't even feed products through to google base. So merely setting up a lovely etsy store doesn't mean you'll make any sales. Your items likely won't show in search engines unless they've been promoted elsewhere on the web.

Veteran etsians have known for some time that the only way to crack the promotion problem was to form large supportive groups who cross promote one another. These groups were originally geographically based, hence the term "street team".

The etsy community consists of thousands of artisans from around the world. Check out the hundreds of thousands of wonderfully handcrafted gift items available for immediate purchase at
http://www.etsy.com/!

Etsy's community is a very inspiring place for we creative types - being surrounded by so may creative folks pushes us to achieve more. And I'm noticing that even our newest etsians have made a few sales already. See our gallery of creations.

The difference between eSMArts and perhaps many of the other etsy "street teams" is that we are not merely a chat group. Each member of our team is 100% commited to promoting the endeavours of our team. We feel that fully participating in one street team is more than most artisans can handle. For that reason membership to eSMArts is limited to those who do not already belong to other etsy groups.

Our eSMArts etsy team members are currently moving through the intial setup phase of building etsy storefronts, learning more about taking quality photos to display their art in the best light, setting up online web logs (blogs) and doing online networking.

We've gone through a few growing pains, but I'm full of pride when it comes to my new team. I'm increasingly proud of their willingness to help each other and the hard work and time each member has invested is already paying off. Our
team blog is taking shape too.

If you're interested in working with us, if you'd like to sell your handmade goods online, or if you're currently an etsy seller who doesn't belong to other etsy street teams, click the link in the sidebar to the right. Come see what the excitement is all about. We'd love to work with you!

What happened to my blog?

Everything was working fine. I edited the html on all pics to include anchor text and links to the various items as featured for sale online.

Things appeared to be great for several week. Then, today I'm browsing my sites and lo and behold, many of my pics aren't showing up. Blogger has removed anchor text and linking code from several images.

Is this why veteran html users leave blogger?

So I'm fixing things up, reinserting pics and adding linked text within text paragraphs. Now things look corny. But let's hope I don't have to go through all this a third time or I'll consider switching to a more sophisticated blogging platform. You know what they say about busy people - we rely on using the right tool for the job. And right now hassling with Blogger's predefined structure is getting in the way of my creativity & productivity.

May 19, 2008

Chic Hats and More


This sweet crocheted flower from Chic Hats and More is only $2, yes just $2 to spice up your little girl's wardrobe. Shown here on a chic crocheted cloche, these handmade lovelies are simply adorable. I wish I had a toddler or grandchildren!


It isn't every day that I come across a storefront containing so many delightful handmade items that I can't pick a personal favorite. But at Chic Hats and More on Etsy there are so many lovely gift ideas that I had to showcase several finds. Check out these adorable Japanese slippers for your toddler. There are cute Winnie the Pooh slippers too.


David likes these fabulous John Deere tractor slippers. If like me, you come from farm country (have you ever attended the International Plowing Match?) well these are a must have for your grandson or best little guy.


Check out other items from this fabric artist like the oh so cute Chic Bubblicious Crochet Purse!



Maybe you're a hard working mom without the time or skill to devle into anything too crafty. Well check out the great handmade products on Etsy. Click on any of these pics or the link above to view this seller's online storefront.


My point here is that you don't need to run yourself ragged at local craft fairs or fight the crowds at those exhausting Christmas bazaars to acquire gorgeous, unique handmade gift items! Just a few clicks while you're still in your pyjamas (enjoying your toast) and these goodies will be on their way to your door!

May 14, 2008

My Fashion Finds/Purchases: TATAMI Sandals by Birkenstock

Tatami's Leyla slip on sandal in blackThese are the amazing Tatami sandals, a birkenstock company. Tatami makes a supportive footbed that's perfect for my high arches. These awesome fashion finds also come in a wide range of sizes often including an array of *narrow* widths. All this is very important to my tender tootsies because without adequate support my feet slip all over the place in most sandals. This slippage can actually leave my bony soles bruised. My feet are narrow and I like to feel cradled in my footwear.

A few years ago, one of my arches started to fall causing incredible heel pain that lasted for a year or so. Eventually I had custom orthotics made and I'm supposed to wear 'em all the time. But geez, from time to time I want to sport a fashionable footwear accessory that keeps me cool and looking somewhat pulled together... Enter Tatami sandals.

Last year I made my first purchase from Tatami's Akari thong in EspressoBaumhouse.com in Germany and I was delighted with the overall shopping experience. But before plunging into the import mindset, I ran all over the metro Toronto area trying to find high end supportive sandals that had any flair. I was severely disappointed with what was available in my retail shoppes. When I could find a retailer who actually carried quality sandals, either they were designed for the geriatric set or the sticker shock and I mean $300 to $500 per pair was more than my heart or pocketbook could bear.

Then I found Tatami online, a division of Birkenstock and my love affair with these quality clogs and sandals began. I purchased the Akari thong last spring (in Espresso brown as shown) along with boiled wool/felt clogs that I always wear around the house as slippers, an outdoor leather clog and another sandal that doesn't have this footbed. My husband David grabbed a few pairs of sandals and clogs too. He likes Birkis, Birkenstocks and Papillios but he has no arches and a very wide footbed.

I actually ordered the wrong sizes last year, but Baumhouse accepted our proof that the shipment was being returned and they proceeded to express post the correct size items which arrived in a week or so. So we love the customer service we get from Baumhouse. Tatami's Allesia thong in Taupe

The other day I also ordered these wild things...the Alessia thong in taupe with crazy fringe! And at the top I'm showing the Leyla slip on sandal in Black that I can't wait to wear too. Can a girl ever have too many fab sandals? I think not.

May 9, 2008

PhonyArt Isn't Phony At All

Finally, I've found something worthy of a blog post. It's the fresh work of a new artist from my own backyard, from Toronto! Everyone (especially if you're a big, bold beauty like me) should check out the blog called Fat and Feminine in Toronto. Besides running a very cool blog, this jewelry artist creates chic modern metal wearable The Full Pallette by Phony Art on Etsyartwork. I've pulled at random this piece called The Full Pallette available from PhonyArt on Etsy.

My mom is a gifted oil artist, and somehow I feel this tiny, simplistic piece would be meaningful even to her critical eye. I wish I had created this awesome pin!

Support an independent artisan and remember to buy handmade for unique, truly one of a kind heirloom collectables. PhonyArt isn't phony at all and her prices are insanely low so grab these unique collectables while they last...

You can purchase this item (only $46!) directly from the artist by clicking on the pic or links above. They'll take you directly to the PhonyArt storefront on Etsy which is a showcases the collective work of tens of thousands of artists located worldwide.

May 8, 2008

Gemmy Trillion Cuts of Prehnite and 14k Gold Fill Spirals and Wires


IMG_3536_edited-1
Originally uploaded by cdnallie

This is my second blog post being created directly from my Flickr account. You just need to "grant access" to your blog from within your Flickr profile. Then when you're viewing your pics, click on the "Blog This" icon to easily create a new blog post entry.

If like me you own multiple blogs that you've added to your Flickr profile, just choose the appropriate blog name from the drop down list that appears! Totally simple and awesome. Wow such a time saver that I never knew existed!

As an experiment a few minutes ago, I decided to upload to flickr a few new pics of my recent work. These Swirly Mint Dangles feature gorgeous gem quality trillion cuts of prehnite that dangle freely below dainty 14k gold fill spirals and earwires.

Prehnite is a gemstone that I've absolutely had a love affair with for some time now. It is rare to find gem quality prehnite beads in any shape, let alone trillions that I received from Courtney of Passementerie. Thank you Courtney!

Again, this is a one of a kind offering. I have no more of these amazing dainty green stones, so grab this while you can by purchasing through the above link.

May 2, 2008

Hammered silver twigs

It's been a busy week attending to business with my recumbent road bike company, Oracle Cycle Works where we've got production going on and I'm also delving into a new project. For more info please see my Oracle Cycle Works blog.

On the jewellery design front I'm working on luxe gemstone items for the Gahooletree store (see the gahooletree designs blog. But I squeezed in time to develop these lovely hammered silver twigs featuring juicy micro faceted beer quartz onion cuts. Simplicity and elegance.

Apr 29, 2008

Reorganizing my Studio

Well I have 'bit the bullitt' and begrudgingly decided to reorganize my studio. Recalicitrant isn't a word I use to describe myself, but geez I am being totally recalcitrant about making this change. You know in a former life I was dubbed the 'ambassador of change' at a major Canadian corporation... so what is going on with me these days? It must be old age. I'm so stuck in my ways about the layout of my creative workspace - not my usual flexible resilient self at all. Or maybe my resistance to this change has something to do with being born in the Year of the Dog and you know what they say about teaching old dogs new tricks...

So David went out and bought me two wonderful caddies in which I can likely store most of my gemstone inventory. I pulled them apart and stacked one on top of the other to save space, so now I have a tower of 16 drawers. But that's about as far as I got...

As soon as I placed the first colour of gemstones into a drawer I felt lost. How can I create when all my materials are stuffed away out of view? This getting organized could very well have a negative impact on my creative process. Heaven forbid! I'll post updates as this project takes shape.

On to the actual update. Due to the rising prices of precious metals, I'll be introducing more copper, brass and other base metal alternatives here at SassyDLite. I recently found these brass stampings and brass findings that will work nicely into boho luxe pieces. Baser metals doesn't mean we have to cut back on style! Drop me a line with comments. I'd like to hear what materials, colours and styles you're looking for this season.

At Gahooletree, our move towaAriana Braceletrds greater reliance on luxe gemstones is underway. The Ariana bracelet features 160 carats of genuine gemstones in an eye catching palatte appropriate for year round use. This is a very comfortable piece of wearable artwork. Stay tuned for more news and updates.

Apr 15, 2008

Custom earwires - cool finishing touches

I've been searching and searching for cool earwire components to use in my jewellery designs, but nothing I'm seeing at the supplies outlets really grabs me. From time to time, I've seen exquisite earrings (usually from European designers) with fab earwire components, but where are those exotic findings being sourced? It's literally driving me insane. Then I had an epiphany... why not start making my own handcrafted, unique wires.

With a few trials, I came up with this idea. It's a sterling silver hand knotted Teal Breeze Knotted Dangleearwire supporting yummy aqua apatite faceted onions and a tiny sky blue topaz. The sterling silver wire (22 gauge) was wrapped tightly to form this knot. The final product was oxidized (I use liver of sulphur) and then I like to polish the relief for effect.

Shown below is another style of the knotted earwire. That's summery lemon chalcedony with apatite. Now these are 2 very fun and flirty examples of the hand knotted earwire in application, but the same styles will work well on my luxe earrings.

Last week for example, I gave birth to the Earth and Sky Chandeliers - an ornately wire wrapped luxe earring with over 45 carats of gorgeous gemstones. For that design, I waEarth and Sky Chandeliers truly in need of an appropriate sterling earwire. I settled for a stock bali sterling silver french hook that isn't totally in keeping with the feel of this piece.

Anyhow I am pleased with how the Earth and Sky Chandeliers turned out. They're currently listed on my flagship shoppe called http://www.gahooletree.etsy.com/ and this creation has caught the attention of enough readers that I was featured on Talent Database the other day as an emerging designer! Whoopee!!!

I'm enjoying the opportunity to showcase my work online. These blogs, online shoppes and websites are a wonderful record of my work, my online portfolio as it were. And it's becoming an important part of my creative process to document my accomplishments and progress in this regard.

Summery Lemon DropsThe coolest part of this earwire development process is that I can now expand upon this base and create more styles. And perhaps this 'need' to develop high end findings will force me to get out the torch.

But before I get to that I suppose I need to reorganize my workspace and create a true soldering and metalworking bench area. And before I do that, I absolutely must clean up my studio. Things here have gotten way too crowded and disorganized :)

Apr 8, 2008

Great Supplies Store

I've been meaning to do a write up on a great new jewellery supplier I ran across a few weeks ago, BobbiThisnThat on etsy. Bobbi carries wonderful jewellery items at fabulous prices and she is extremely adept at dealing with special requests like those from cranky, overworked designers :(

I bought high end fancy Bali sterling silver toggles like the Dragonfly Toggle shown below. Bobbi sources her finds directly from Bali to ensure you're getting a fair price. I also grabbed up some of Bobbi's fancy czech beads, fancy 26g vermeil headpins - you know, hard to find stuff that I'd been searching all over for.

And one great thing I absolutely must comment on, is that this is a Canadian outlet... just down Hwy. 401 from me. Come to think of it, I've already placed five orders with Bobbi and many of the components I received will be worked into luxe pieces to be Visit www.BobbiThisnThat.etsy.comfeatured in my flagship store Gahooletree.

Bobbi's online store is extremely popular with Etsians the world over and she's making record sales due in no small part to her broad offerings of quality components at very fair prices. She provides lightning fast shipping too! Check out ALL of Bobbi's goodies at http://www.bobbithisnthat.etsy.com/ today!

Mar 18, 2008

Welcome to SassyDLite Jewelry Blog


Welcome to the blog regarding our latest gemstone jewelry brand, SassyDLite. I've been creating artisan jewellery for a few years and some examples of my work are available for purchase under the GahooleTree label featured at http://www.gahooletree.etsy.com/. I am trying to get into the habit of regular blogging for the Gahooletree label and that blog URL is http://www.gahooletree.blogspot.com/ also maintained here on Blogger.


But a few days ago I opened a new storefront on Etsy in order to feature fun, fresh and flirty jewelry for girls, teens or simply the young at heart. The rantings on this blog will center around our newest brand, SassyDLite, its product development and design issues.




Featured to the left is the sleek "Fresh Turquoise Stix" earrings for only $9!!! It is hard to find a hand crafted, handforged sterling silver earwire for only $9 not to mention one which has gemstone and sterling embellishments.



Check back to discover more affordable jewelry finds to be featured at SassyDLite online. My sketch book is crammed with new design ideas so over the coming weeks we'll offer tons of great things on SassyDLite.

Feel free to contact us for custom work or if you have questions. There is additional contact info at the Oracle Gem Designs main site.



Thanks for your interest and don't forget to subscribe to this RSS feed to keep up to date!