Dec 9, 2009

Last Minute Shopping?



Last minute shopping doesn't have to be a hassle.  At Oracle Gem Designs we have something totally unique and tastefully created in all price ranges.  Our handmade jewellery is popular year round but I've cooked up some amazing last minute deals for the savvy Christmas shopper: 

This Saturday December 12th ALL Gahooletree genuine gemstone birthstone earrings on sterling silver earwires will be reduced by a remarkable 50%! 

This Saturday we're also featuring a large selection of NEW SassyDLite pieces at savings up to 80% off retail. 

AND here's the best news of all.  This Saturday we're offering our unique handmade artisan jewellery at TWO locations within the GTA! 

David will handle our booth at the R.H. McGregor Holiday Arts and Craft Sale, 555 Mortimer Avenue (Coxwell north of Danforth & adjacent to Toronto East General Hospital) from 10 am to 3pm;

AND once again this week I'll be at Beach United Church West, 2002 Queen Street East (between Woodbine and Lee) in the Beaches (10am to 4pm).

We've pulled together our best sellers, many crammed with quality features like sterling silver chains, genuine gemstone & swarovski crystal accents.  Special holiday pricing is well below wholesale so get there early for the best selection.   Hope to see you there!



Dec 2, 2009

London Gem and Mineral Show

On Sunday November 22nd we took the time to travel over 250 kms to London Ontario for the London Gem and Mineral Show. What an exciting array of mineral and fossil vendors were in attendance at this event. The highlight of this show for me was Sumar Minerals who was displaying the most interesting fossils, specimens and mining stuff that I've seen around here!

The selection of local area bead vendors was however very disappointing, further proof that if I must undergo a 500 km round trip just to find a grouping of  bead vendors then I might as well continue the extra few kms to the states where Intergem shows offer a hundred times the selection, better quality, friendlier vendors, no purchase minimums, no sales tax, and incredible discounts on bulk purchases.

A few members of The Toronto Beading Society were displaying their wares at the 2009 London Gem and Mineral Show. By accident I found myself at the Robert Hall Originals booth where I was offered no wholesale discount even after I offered to present my vendor permit. Apparently these folks want to make it as difficult as possible for designers to cash in on the tax concessions to which they are entitled.  When I offered to show them my vendor permit I was advised that I'd have to fill out their tax exemption forms.  We emailed this vendor ten days ago for clarification on their wholesaler dealings and if a response is forthcoming we will advise.

Lots of vendors at this show were however accepting presentation of a valid Ontario Vendor Permit as proof of B2B status by immediately dropping the taxes... but sadly this can't be said of the Robert Hall booth. The Robert Hall Originals site claims to offer wholesale terms. They advertise bead courses for budding jewelry enthusiasts so one would assume that B2B terms form a good chunk of their business model. But perhaps if you're willing to plead and grovel while standing at their trade show booth you'll get the discounts you're entitled to. Dunno!

Blue Sapphire Bead Loft was running a retail special (50% off select semi precious strands) and I was told they offered no discounts on fine beads (their selection of finer cuts was okay but not of outstanding quality). The Blue Sapphire website has no valid email address currently published and there appears to be widespread confusion online concerning the status of a Brampton location (which is apparently now closed).

The Blue Sapphire site claims to offer wholesale terms for shows and some sort of a wholesale database (but if you want to be included there I guess you'll have to phone since their published email doesn't work). I didn't try to call them and at this point I won't follow up to see if their published phone number is in service.

A booth with an interesting selection of gemstone beads was Kulu Trading where they told me all prices were as marked with the exception of a scant discount area. This appears to be an Ottawa based venture and I didn't gather links or contact info but hey guys, I was getting a tad discouraged :(

Such is life in my handmade jewellery world. My American friends always ask why I shop for materials in the states. well, it's a "no brainer".  Now you know why I also like to use a reputable and accomplished bead cutter located in India and why I import 90% of my materials. So, my designs differ from those of other local artisans?  Go figure!

Nov 30, 2009

Recent Shows



Saturday November 21st was an interesting day spent at the Orchard Villa Christmas Bazaar on Valley Farm Road in Pickering. Unfortunately the appearance turned out to be a "Value Draining Process". This event is one that I attended three years ago -- when crowds were sizable and the quantity & quality of vendors in attendance was noteworthy. But things have changed considerably (perhaps due to economic downturn but I'm more inclined to view poor attendance as a sign that this event was not advertised properly and it's date is an issue as other desireable crafty bazaars take place on this weekend). Either way, serious changes need to occur before this venue becomes a viable exhibitor opportunity once again.

On the bright side, David helped me and almost everything on display at our booth is now priced. I'm also pleased that I took the time to develop this fresh new assortment of jewelry pieces. None of the items currently offered in my online shops are offered at this year's booth, and this approach will make things so much easier to account for.

This past weekend we appeared at the Brooks P.S. Bake Sale and Craft Show on November 28th.  Sadly this event attracted almost no traffic but we took the opportunity to network there. Sales were few and far between but we took a few orders for custom work so the day wasn't a total loss. We also met some local area artisans who shared their insights on the craft scene and economic conditions here in the Greater Toronto Area.

I view all shows, exhibits and personal appearances as being a worthy investment in my business. Even if the unspeakable were to happen - if we didn't even recuperate the table fee, I'd still focus on the positives.  Every time there's an oppportunity to get out in the community and demonstrate my version of fine handmade goods I'm building my brands. 

The odd slow show should be viewed as a cost of doing business.  Similar to enrolment fees for trade groups and affiliations, show fees are a valid cost of getting your name out there.  These sunk costs can't be avoided. 

So if sales are slow and we're attracting no interest at our booth, we stand in the aisle and hand out business cards or brochures.   Promotion is all about getting Your Name out there and making a good impression.  Doing live shows increases your overall credibility. 

Furthermore, all appearances create a grand opportunity to publish your activities via a blog and site too - thereby establishing an online record of your bona fide artist status.

Nov 18, 2009

Show Schedule

Oracle Gem Designs at Brooks P.S. Holiday Craft Sale!

Find out what Oracle Gem Designs handmade jewelry is all about.  We're planning to exhibit new work this holiday season at these upcoming Toronto area shows:


  •  Sat.Nov. 21: Orchard Villa Christmas Bazaar, 1955 Valley Farm Road, Pickering, ON, L1V1X6 10-4pm Free Admission
  • Sat.Nov. 28: Brooks Road P.S. Christmas Craft Sale, Brooks P.S., 85 Keeler Boulevard, West Hill, M1E4K6 10-2pm Free Admission
  • Sat.Dec. 5: Not Your Granny's Craft Sale & 21st Annual Christmas Artists' Market @ Beach United Church West, 2002 Queen Street East Toronto 11-4pm Free Admission
  • Sat.Dec. 12: R.H. McGregor Holiday Art & Craft Sale, R.H. McGregor P.S. 555 Mortimer Avenue East York/Toronto 10-3pm Free Admission
  • Sat.Dec. 19: Not Your Granny's Craft Sale & 21st Annual Christmas Artists' Market @ Beach United Church West, 2002 Queen Street East Toronto 11-4pm Free Admission
Drop by and say hi! 

Gahooletree and SassyDLite handmade jewelry by Anna Lee Husband of Oracle Gem Designs on exhibit at ThortonView Christmas Bazaar Oshawa

Personal versus online shopping:

  • Free bonuses or other online promotions are not available when shopping in person.
  • At personal appearances/exhibits not every item currently available for sale in our online shops will be on hand.  If you are planning to attend one of my shows in order to examine a particular creation then kindly email me in advance and I'll bring along whatever you're interested in.
  • Sometimes purchasing online via custom request is faster, easier and even cheaper.  Drop me a line for a prompt quote.   
  • To avoid the crowds and get your shopping done from home, just email me with your ideas.  I can usually replicate any design within a day or so (both current and sold items if the materials are still available in our inventory).  I'll reply with a prompt quote and your goodies can be on their way to you in no time.
  • Using our PayPal payment gateway a PayPal account is NOT required.  You may bypass PayPal login.  Payment with any major credit card is fast, easy and totally secure.
  • Buy with confidence because with us no sale is ever final!  This means if you require an adjustment, repair, replacement, exchange or refund just contact me. 

Nov 11, 2009

Upcoming Events- Christmas Bazaar at Thorntonview


I'm pleased to announce that I am invited to show my work at the Annual Christmas Bazaar & Craft Sale scheduled for Saturday November 14th at Thorntonview Long Term Care Residence (186 Thornton Road South Oshawa). Thorntonview is situated across from the old Oshawa Civic Auditorium, the former home of our Oshawa Generals.

This event is near and dear to my heart because my daughter Kate resides at this long term care facility where she receives fabulous care and plenty of loving support. So I'm looking forward to another fun day shared with Kate as well as the opportunity to make new friends and attract new fans of my handmade jewelry. All proceeds from this craft sale support the Thorntonview Residents' Council.

Sponsors are asked to provide a donation so I'm designing a special piece that Thortonview will use as a door prize, raffle item, etc.

This venue is warm and intimate, but the beautiful Tea Room located in the new Corbett wing will again be serving hot beverages and delicious festive sweets so please drop by to say hi.

I'm particularly pleased to announce that this year we're bringing a large selection of brand new & very affordable pieces - many items priced at $20 or less!  Shown above are fun and funky bracelets featuring colourful lampwork glass beads embellished with my cold forged brass findings (only $6 each!).  Shop early as quantities are limited.  

Hope to see you there!

Oct 22, 2009

FREE Bonus with ANY Purchase

That's right!  While quantities last receive these adorable brass charms with ANY purchase at Gahooletree Supplies on etsy :)

Made With Love brass heart shaped charms

Seem too good to be true?  Well I must admit this IS a really good deal and there are no strings! Purchase any item from this online bead and finding outlet, and I'll ship your bonus asap!

I purchased these beautiful charms from a recognized eBay Power Seller and then imported them directly from Hong Kong.  When they arrived here in Toronto I was astounded at the gorgeous quality of these beauties.  The stampings are of a very high quality!  I was so happy to have found something this cute because these heart shaped charms work perfectly for my handmade jewelry designs. 

SO I purchased a large quantity of these findings from the same eBay power seller (their feedback score is 20,000 plus) because I just knew that this item would make a wonderful addition to my online jewelry supplies business -- jewelry designers were bound to just love them!

But I've recently been banned from selling these on one of my sales sites because a US based manufacturer insists they hold the copyright for this design.  Being accused of copyright infringement is totally unfair in this instance.  I'm not a US firm and hence cannot be legally pursued in the courts AND I legitimately purchased and imported these into Canada. 

Anyhow, the US based findings co. obviously has gaps in it's supply chain and they're taking their frustration out on anybody they can.  So take advantage of this situation and grab your bonus while quantities last!!!
 

Calling all Copper Wire Artists to Join Us on Ning

Working with Copper Is Fun!



Find more photos like this on Copper Wire Jewelers

Stay Tuned to Win!


ENTER to Win a Christmas Bundle from eSMArts team!

Get ready because we're rolling out the Christmas Cheer...

At eSMArts our team of independant artists and crafters has prepared a Christmas Gift Basket full of unique items to warm your Holiday!

Full details to follow so please check back and be sure to
Enter to Win!
 

Sep 16, 2009

Black Mauve and Grey Bracelet With Lampwork Glass by SassyDLite on Etsy

Black Mauve and Grey Bracelet With Lampwork Glass by SassyDLite on Etsy

Mauve is my pick for accessorizing black & grey this season. Grunge, Goth or Glam... the mauves have my vote!!


Moss Amethyst Faceted Nugget Necklace by SassyDLite on Etsy

Moss Amethyst Faceted Nugget Necklace by SassyDLite on Etsy

So many shades of grey.
Another fashion forward design from the Fall 2009 SassyDLite handmade jewelry collection


Lavish Labradorite Drops by SassyDLite on Etsy

Lavish Labradorite Drops by SassyDLite on Etsy

Grunge, Goth or Glam... another fashion forward design from the SassyDLite Fall 2009 handmade jewelry collection!


Larvikite Double Strand Bracelet by SassyDLite on Etsy

Larvikite Double Strand Bracelet by SassyDLite on Etsy

Grunge, Goth or Glam... another fashion forward piece from the Fall 2009 SassyDLite handmade jewelry collection

ONLY $29!!!!!


Amazing Larvikite Healing Necklace by SassyDLite on Etsy

Amazing Larvikite Healing Necklace by SassyDLite on Etsy

Fall 2009 must have.
larvikite aids weight loss and improves brain function


Sep 9, 2009

TCM Widget

Kate will be so pleased to see that I finally made time to grab the TCM widget. But I'm gonna have to change my layout template for this gadget to fit perfectly because the narrowest version I could find was 300 pixels wide.

Maybe I've done something wrong! LOL because I added this gadget to my Gahooltree blog and it fit perfectly even though that blog has a 3 column layout.


Sep 8, 2009

Please Vote for a Winner of the eSMArts August Challenge

Leather Earrings with Aquamarine, Prehnite, Quartz and Thai Silver


Our etsy street team called eSMArts participated in a fun design challenge last month. The design theme was Nature/Natural.

Above is a studio pic of my Design Challenge entry: black leather fronds embellished with Thai hilltribe silver and featuring prehnite, brown quartz and moss aquamarine gemstone accents suspended beneath my long slimline sterling silver hand forged ear wires.

In our team competition you'll see a picture of this earring sitting atop a knarly piece of bluish green soapstone.

Overall, group involvement in this activity was low :( but please take a look at the entries and cast a vote to help us determine a winner! Here's the voting link:

Poll: (revised 9-7-09) Who Should Win the eSMArts August Challenge? The theme is Nature/Natural

I didn't intend to list this item for sale on etsy right away... but last night Anna, jewelry designer and owner of BellaDonnasJoy of Nova Scotia (a fellow eSMArts team member and etsy seller) brought to my attention that etsy sellers can now rearrange their shops in a variety of new ways to achieve visual appeal... SO, you'll find this creation called Warm Earth Black Leather Earring with Aquamarine, Prehnite, Quartz and Thai Silver now duly nestled within our selection of 'greenish' pieces :)

Jul 20, 2009

VivaLaModa Handmade Fashion Magazine

We were featured in the first issue of VivaLaModa! Viva La Moda is an online fashion magazine whose mandate is to demonstrate how quality handmade and vintage items are truly fashionable.

VivaLaModa magazine

One of my men's items (Ammonite pendant and leather cord) was chosen for a Father's Day feature on page 31 of VivaLaModa's premier issue. Thank you so much Ainhoa for your careful consideration. Keep up the great work with VivaLaModa!

Jun 25, 2009

Glass Menagerie Cupola Blossoms

Apple Blossom Locket Necklace


Inspired by the lovely blossoms that are at last putting on an awesome display of beauty here in Southern Ontario, I'm pleased to announce a handful of limited creations along the "Glass Menagerie Cupola Blossoms" theme.

Shown here is Coral Bells, a whimsical floral earring composed of copper earwires, base metal, austrian crystals and pretty Czech glass.

Coral Bells
My ArtFire studio is located at:
http://www.artfire.com/users/AnnaLee

WildBerry Buds Glass Menagerie earrings
If you're a lover of handmade jewelry, please stop by my ArtFire shop and tell me what you'd like to see added. What colours? what gems? what theme? materials? or components?. We carry a vast array of materials and we'd love to hear your feedback or if possible, present info & pricing on custom creations.

Trumpet Blossom Glass Menagerie earrings



Some of these earrings are shown with sterling silver earwires. Some however, are the modern base metals and patinas.

But because I cannot wear base metal earwires (they irritate my skin considerably) all our base metal earwires may be swapped for sterling at NO upcharge!


Vintage MetalWorx Aqua Crystal Handmade Earrings







Glass Menagerie Cupola Blossoms - Antique Copper Cutwork


Glass Menagerie Cupola Blossoms pieces are part of my new Vintage Metalworx line - a stunning spring/summer collection with all the value and precision craftsmanship that you've come to expect from Oracle Gem Designs.


Sterling Blossom Necklace

May 23, 2009

Blue Bells from our NEW Glass Menagerie Cupola Blossoms collection on ArtFire

Blue Bells earring

Originally uploaded by cdnallie

This item is NOW available in my Artfire studio for $9 USD!!

As part of our NEW Vintage Metalworx line we're releasing a handful of limited creations along the "Glass Menagerie Cupola Blossoms" theme.

Shown here is "Blue Bells", a whimsical floral earring composed of copper earwires, base metal, austrian crystals and pretty Czech glass.

Our ArtFire studio is located at:
http://www.artfire.com/users/AnnaLee

If you're a lover of handmade jewelry, please stop by our ArtFire shop and tell us what you'd like to see us add. What colours? what gems? what theme? materials? or components?. We carry a vast array of materials and we'd love to hear your feedback or if possible, present info & pricing on custom creations.

Because I cannot wear base metal earwires (they irritate my skin considerably) all our base metal earwires may be swapped for sterling at NO upcharge!

May 14, 2009

Age is just a Number Bracelet


Age is just a Number Bracelet
Originally uploaded by cdnallie

This is my third solid copper bracelet. I want to keep this piece for myself, but it just might get cloned and offered online at some point.

Featured on the tage is a stamped quote from my friend who is always quick to point out that chronological age has no bearing on either a youthful (or conversely ancient) body, spirit or mind.

I'm particularly pleased with the stamp set that I got at Princess Auto for $7.99 CAD and how well it worked here. btw, the text was intended to roam from a straight path! :)

The stamped tag was polished using blue compound/rouge which also came from Princess Auto and works exceedingly well on this copper. I love Princess Auto. They carry inexpensive rotary tool attachments too (which is a good thing considering I broke a few drill bits before I realized I needed to reverse direction! LOL)

In future, I'll try our floor model drill press if I need to drill holes of this size in any heavy gauge metal sheeting. Achieving these four holes took all the patience and skill that I could muster..

Over the past few weeks I've had the pleasure of meeting up a few times with fellow eSMArts member and new friend Beth Ann Russell (Duchess of Wire/Wire Dutchess). We live a few dozen miles from one another but we meet each week in Port Perry at Tim Horton's to hang out, chat about jewelry and discuss our marketing ideas.

Beth Ann (who hales from the states) is teaching me all about HarborFreight, PepeeTools and weird stuff like Renaissance Wax, which apparently might make a good coating for this copper.

Most of you likely aren't bothered by the aroma of oxidising copper, but I have a nose like a bloodhound, and for my purposes, the Renaissance Wax might just do the trick to squelch that irritating odour.

Beth Ann and I plan to take a field trip in early June to MetalsPlus (was The Metals Supermarket) located on McEwen Drive in Whitby to source more metal sheeting. And when I figure out how to rig my hydraulic system up to a punch (for churning out dogtag type pendants) I'll do a blog feature on it. In the meantime, happy creating everybody!
~Anna Lee

May 4, 2009

My second solid copper bracelet


I'm still playing with 2mm solid copper sheeting and here's my hammered solid copper ladies bracelet (shown below Van's mens wrist wrap).

I really get a kick out of working with new materials and this piece (designed for myself) was sheer heaven to forge. I went with another timeless styling and am enjoying this adornment as a staple addition to my jewelry collection. It looks great worn alone but also (surprisingly) stacks well to make a fashion statement when combined with other sparklies. Yep, I love wearing lots of bracelets!

Look for a few solid copper pieces in my SassyDLite shop soon (TBA). Tomorrow I'll blog about my third copper creation. I like it even better than these two. This copper stuff is addictive :)
~Anna Lee

Apr 9, 2009

spotlights on By Hand.Me

On www.ByHand.me you can create spotlights of your favorite items. They can be your favorites, or your own creations - or any combination of items already existing on many commonly used handmade sales venues.






Once your spotlight is saved, you can view it the dropdown under "My Stuff" in your ByHand.Me account. Beside each saved spotlight is an world/globe icon that allows you to invoke several spotlight layouts (like the mini shown here) and their corresponding html for pasting into various web applications.

Mar 17, 2009

Create Your Own Free Spotlight on www.ByHand.Me

"Spring is in the Air!"
I just had a wee bit of fun creating my first free spotlight on http://www.byhand.me/ When I get more time I'll create themed spotlights for mens/unisex, bridal, luxe gemstone supplies etc. These mini showcases can be used to highlight a team too and apparently if the final result is outstanding or noteworthy it might get noticed and perhaps be 'picked up' and promoted by other users. So what are you waiting for? Get going and spotlight something!

I haven't figured out yet how to capture an image of the spotlight so you'll just have to click the title of this article or click here to view it.

BTW, eSMArts now has its own "Clubhouse" on this venue too so please join! http://www.byhand.me/index.php?option=com_groupjive&action=gj.core.groups.showgroup&groupid=91

Feb 18, 2009

Jannadu - artwork of Jann Alexander-McCullough

Red Rock Watch Bracelet for BBW by Jannadu

Jannadu: new online boutique!


My friend Jann Alexander-McCullough of Glendale Arizona is the talented artisan behind Jannadu and Phoenix Rising Glass Art studio on etsy. Jann has been an artist all her life and has been trained in most all of the traditional mediums but watercolors is her favorite.


Pet Portraits by Jann Alexander-McCullough


I'm intrigued by Jann's pencil drawings. Her pet portraits are wonderfully lifelike and affordable. Contact Jann for your custom pet portrait! Jann's paintings and artwork have received acclaim but lately her passion has turned to glassmaking.

Jann recently opened an online boutique which features a few of her fine arts pieces as well as unique handmade jewelry designs for the Rubenesque & Lovely Women of the World. Her big, beautiful women's bracelets will be adjusted to 9" and up per your specs prior to shipping.


The term "Rubenesque" refers to the pear-shaped woman of ample bust, plump cheeks, soft-full lips, and a healthy profile of alluring curves and crevasses. The full bodied female form was popularized by the works of renowned oil artist Peter Paul Rubens. Today the popular acronym BBW (big, beautiful woman) has a similar meaning.


Wire Wrapped 28mm x 40mm Faceted Lapis bracelet by Jannadu shop on etsy

Jann is currently exploring a variety of jewelry making techniques and materials including precious metals and gemstones to showcase her unique handmade glass creations. Rich color, wonderful texture combinations and unique materials are the hallmark of Jannadu handmade artisan jewelry.


Turquoise and Sterling Bracelet - for BBW

Check out the Jannadu shop on etsy: http://Jannadu.etsy.com and there's more information on Jann's blog: Art & Artists - Me and My Friends. This artist loves custom commissions, so feel free to contact Jann today to get your personalized jewelry adornment project underway!

Feb 14, 2009

Nest and Gemstone "Egg" Family Pendant

Wire Bird's Nest and Gemstone


I wish I had managed to grab decent photos of this nifty little nest pendant and necklace before it shipped but these pics will have to suffice. The gemstone "eggs" (peridot, citrine and white topaz) represent the birthstones of children. Here the "eggs" are nesting atop a gem encrusted base of black garnet, green tourmaline and african amethyst in this sterling silver handmade nest pendant.

Nest pendant from Gahooletree/Oracle Gem DesignsThe customer felt his wife would like bright silver wire in this family pendant so the nest base was encrusted for contrast and effect.

This particular pendant and necklace would have been stunning if finished in an oxidized silver patina (for even more contrast and dazzle).


I hand form each nest to customer specs. Copper, sterling or 14k yellow gold fill wire form the nest. In this case, I added a woven bail.


The foundation of the creation is the birthstone "eggs". At Oracle Gem Designs / Gahooletree we always incorporate genuine gemstones not crystals. But these cute pendants look fabulous with freshwater pearl "eggs" too.


Matching chains in copper, antique copper, antique brass, sterling (bright or oxidized) and 14k yellow gold fill are available and I often like to add mom and dad birthstones (near the clasp) to round out the "family" theme.

Whatever gemstone "eggs", nest wire and chain you choose, these family pendants make adorable and thoughtful gifts that will be cherished always. This particular item is sold, but please contact me for a prompt free quote. Wire nests are also available in brooche, ring, earring and bracelet versions.Nest earrings at SassyDLite

Feb 12, 2009

One World One Heart Contest Winner!


The 2009 One World One Heart blog participation event has at last come to an official close. I used a random number generator to pick from the 237 comments left here and the winner of these handmade copper earrings is:

Elizabeth from New England, USA who maintains Thoughts from an Evil Overlord blog. Elizabeth is an avid blogger and #211 on the One World One Heart donor list!

Check out Elizabeth's interesting blog which is crammed full of rich content for more information about her life and passions.

I'll be contacting Elizabeth by email with this news later today!

Thank you so much to all who entered my giveaway.
Until next year....
hugs,
~Anna Lee H. in Toronto

Feb 3, 2009

One World One Heart Giveaway Contest

One World One Heart logo

The 2009 One World One Heart blog giveaway event is a chance for bloggers from all over the world to meet, mix, and mingle. It also gives us the opportunity to win prizes from each other!!! If you love prizes, and would like to be entered in my giveaway please leave a comment here!

Very last minute (oh if I could only clone myself) I've decided to offer these unique handmade earrings as the SassyDLite entry in the 2009 One World One Heart blogging event. Next year, I promise I'll be ready for this event with amazing entries.


Funky Copper Dangly Hoops by SassyDLite - OWOH GiveAway Item


I'm also offering a different giveaway item on my other jewelry blog, so visit Gahooletree Designs blog http://gahooletreedesigns.blogspot.com/ to enter that contest too!

To be entered into the giveaway for these earrings, leave me a comment, being sure to give me a link to your blog or your email address in the comment so I can contact you if you're my winner! You have until Thursday, February 12th at 11:59 CST to leave a comment here with the requested info in order to enter the drawing. I will then use a random number generator to choose the winner!

My entry this year is a funky pair of oxidized copper dangly hoops with gem grade citrine, australian sapphire and moonstone treasures. They measure 2 inches in length and the earwire is antique copper. Good luck and I look forward to meeting tons of new bloggers!
hugs,
~Anna Lee H. in Toronto

Jan 19, 2009

Burning More Stuff

rosy ball end copper headpins by SassyDLite


The other day I finished an order of 26g fine silver headpins for a valued customer and while I was in the burning mode/mood I tried my hand at the copper headpins just for fun. Above is a picture of the result.

My friend Jamie of http://creationsbyJAE.etsy.com and I have been discussing these wonderful rosy ball ends on copper headpins. We've been trying to figure out how to achieve this. I found quelching in cold water works and apparently other approaches to achieving this effect exist.

Today I picked up some Oatey solder paste flux that makes melting larger gauge copper wire much easier. Warm vinegar and salt helps remove some firescale and burn residue (from coated craft type copper wire) but down the road I'll prepare the Prips flux recipe and try that too.


26g fine silver ball end headpins available at www.gahooletreesupplies.etsy.com
I'll continue experimenting with other quelching baths, and treatments, but for my own personal use, the results obtained thusfar will suffice!
until next time,
~Anna Lee

Jan 8, 2009

Bubble Bath Day



I've come to know many artisan entrepreneurs who, like me, push themselves to the outer limits of their physical and emotional endurance in order to see their businesses succeed. Some of them may read this post. Well today is national Bubble Bath Day! What better excuse to pamper your weary body and mind than by taking a few minutes to soak in a great bath?


Why not rejuvenate today with a soothing soak using your favorite aromatics or make your own? There are hundreds of recipes online for everything from handmade body scrubs to personalized bath oils using your own mix of essential oils.

Fresh out of college, I was blessed to represent one of the world's finest cosmetics and perfume manufacturers and that early training spoiled me. By the way, I wanted to be a scientist, so don't even ask why I was sent to Cosmetology School in the first place :)

But long story short, to this day I remain addicted to the sheer decadence & joy of indulging in great cosmetics, skin care, perfumes and body products.

It's fabulous sampling world class toiletries when they're being provided free of charge. But now that I'm back in the real world and have to buy my own, I make wise investment choices concerning these luxury items. Especially given that over the intervening thirty years retail prices of luxury toiletries have skyrocketed. So these days I tend to hoard them more than I should.

Take for instance these great bath bombs. They soothe the skin and bubble away for up to ten minutes in a warm tub giving off a delightful essence and contributing to an absolutely wonderful & relaxing tub experience. I found them online at $12 for a set of 6. But I paid $5 each at a resort spa. So I've hoarded them. Well guess what? Today I plan to use them just to celebrate National Bubble Bath Day!


If you can't afford a full fledged spa experience, what about lighting a few cheap candles and just soaking in epsom salts? To be honest, nothing soothes my aching fibromyalgia muscles better than plain old epsom salts, available in bulk at the drug store for just a few dollars per gallon :)

To maximize your feeling of wellbeing, don't forget to round out your bubble bath ritual by slipping into your favorite chenille socks, fluffy slippers, comfy robe etc. You'll be glad you did!

And I'll just bet you have a refreshing facial mask hidden somewhere in your vanity too. Well? Make time to pamper your complexion too!


Or better still, why not share a relaxing few moments with your significant other, a glass of your favorite libations and an hors d'oevre tray for even more enjoyment and rejuvenation?

Get crackin' and go splash in the tub!

It won't take long and the rewards will be many! I promise...



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Jan 6, 2009

Mens/Unisex Creations From SassyDLite

Unisex/Mens Creations from SassyDLite

One side of my jewelry business that has always been rewarding is creating mens and unisex styles. Maybe these items move well because I know so many guys! But their clean lines coupled with my fascination for rare mineral specimens & crystals, unusual artifacts and uniquely rugged pendants make them very popular with men, youths and women alike.

Clockwise from top left in the above collage, there's a Tibetan carved horn pendant that is truly wonderful in appearance, size and weight. The pendant is embellished with handformed Tibetan silver and is ornately hand engraved. This item is currently for sale at SassyDLite (http://www.sassydlite.etsy.com/).

Another material that I'm just mad about for unisex and mens styles is ancient desert glass fragments from Afghanistan. I've wrapped this wonderful artifact with black leather embellished with Thai sterling silver nuggets and findings. The desert glass fragment has been immaculately polished and naturally "sand blasted" on its profile so there are no sharp edges! Truly a wonderful designer look for your significant other.

Middle shot is an oxidized (dark patina) sterling silver lariat with blue kyanite and lapis gemstones for only $25! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=19384330. The Deep Waters lariat is perfect for youths as it closes between 14 and 16 inches, but I can create this item or something similar using different gems in larger sizes upon request.

Black onyx has always been a favorite gemstone of mine and most of my black onyx inventory sells out fast. This traditional Y-style black onyx necklace features Thai sterling silver, blue peruvian opals and sterling silver closure.


There's also a new Australian Boulder Opal slab on black leather just listed!

Next, the dark green kyanite rough crystal I encrusted with fine silver and suspended from a black leather cord for a very clean designer look with youthful and masculine appeal.

The ammonite (snail shell fossil) pendant is sterling silver encased and quite durable. It's suspended on a thick black leather cord. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=18560864 Ammonite fossils are timeless and rather expensive keepsakes that easily coordinate with practically any wardrobe.

Finally, the light green kyanite rough crystal on black leather cord is an item I donated to our eSMArts team shop and at only $20 this item won't be around long. All proceeds from our team shop sales support worthy causes, so please check out the many items donated by my talented teammate artisans. Please consider making a purchase from the eSMArts team shop! We really need your support!