we were highlighted!

Etsy has their own blog, The Storque .

From here, you can find your way to an article on just about anything craft, vintage, handmade, or Etsy related. It is updated frequently, and even includes some nifty articles for Etsy sellers on how to best promote and arrange their shop for optimum exposure and sales.

A selection under the "Shopping" categor
y of articles includes "Etsy Finds". The admin behind Etsy shop for you! They find what's hot in Etsy shops, and bring it forward in this column for you to see.

Yesterday's column was all about accessorizing yourself... Access Yourself

Check it out, and scroll on down to the belts, bracelets, and shoes section, and there you will find...emmsgems!

Oh, and if you love this stacked bracelet, I'm sorry but it has since sold. However, emmsgems has oodles of other bracelets and funky jewelry!

At this time, I am unable to find an exact number of total shops on Etsy. But I can say this, shop numbers are in the hundreds of thousands. And if you like numbers, here are some more:

The shop with the most sales (not including findings and beads): The Black Apple (art prints) has 24, 177
#2 is Dennis Anderson (bath and body) at 19, 139

Sales for the Etsy world in June 2009 were $12.8 million

1,315,547 new items were listed in June 2009

How a Bead Becomes a gEM's - Part 3

Colour scheme selected, pattern worked out, and approximate number of beads necessary to create a finished necklace of 16"-17" have been counted out.

Now it's time to string! Or assemble the necklace.

On necklaces like this one, I recently switched from dacron as a stringing material, to silk. Silk has a beautiful, and flexible drape...no kinks will happen here!

When I used dacron, I finished my ends by melting them with an open flame. Now that I use silk, I have switched to Crazy Glue Gel (silk turns to ash when it is close to flame).

Other string materials include tiger tail, Beadalon, hemp, waxed linen, leather, fishing line...

As almost all of my creations use natural stone, variations in size, colour, and shape can occur. I try my best to weed out "mis-matched" beads from a piece. This can involve stringing a few beads, and then holding it up to check the position of the beads relative to the other beads. It's like painting a wall, and stepping back to check out how it looks.

When I make earrings in particular, I am careful to get the beads as similar to each other as possible - as similar as nature can make them, and that sit in my collection. The beauty of natural materials is the uniqueness of each bead!

A few other things that I should tell you about how I string beads:

*I use beeswax to prevent from the end of the silk from fraying while sliding beads along it

*I don't use beading needles. I have tried many over the years, and I just end up frustrated. I am very skilled at manipulating the beads (even seed beads) in between my thumb and index finger (multiple beads at a time). The beeswax also provides a slightly stiff end, which is easy to use.

*I drop finished, but not yet clasp-ed up, pieces all the time

The Scribble Group

This spring, a collection of artists, with Etsy and a love of handmade in common, combined their creative minds to create One Of a Kind Art. The completed OOAKs are being listed for sale on Etsy, under the seller name, TheScribbleGroup , with all proceeds going to charity.

*Sales from the months of July, August and September are being directed towards Jay and her team of Groovy Boobie Girls, for the 2010-60km Weekend to End Breast Cancer

Not only did I have a hand in creating a 9 of these master pieces, I have had a sneak peek at the progress. I can't wait to see all of the finished "Scribbles"!

Each piece is created in 3 steps. After completing a step on 3 pieces (each artist had an opportunity to be either the first, second, or third contributor), the contributor forwards the pieces to another assigned artist.

3 steps. 3 artists. Completed piece!

At any one time, 27 or more pieces of art were zipping around the Canadian landscape via Canada Post.

The woman behind the Scribble Group concept is the talented emmarts, a generous woman with a passion for art and learning. Please check out her etsy shop here: Tickle Your Senses

Contributing artists are unveiled as their pieces are listed, but I can't forget to mention two other people who have made this possible.

Bovine Bubbles and Hogwash



Scribbles make great gifts!

A Little Gem

In this first post, of random little gems, I want
to make sure that you know of the following:

an alternative method to cooking corn on the cob!

Corn on the cob, a summer staple in many homes! Boiling up a big pot of water on the stove, and dropping in the fresh corn ears, is quite possibly the most common method. With some forethought, you can cook them on the BBQ - husks included - if you soak the entire ear first. You can also grill up a husked cob.

But what do you do if the grill is overflowing with other summery goodness, and the weather is hot and sticky, and turning on the stove is the last thing that you want to do?

Loosely wrap a husked ear in wax paper, and mircrowave it! In our microwave, we give each cob two minutes. Yum! Perfect and juicy!

*take care when unwrapping each cob, as steam will escape

How a Bead Becomes a gEM's PART 2

In our first, How a Bead Becomes a gEM's piece, I showed you where gEM's are created. Now I'm going to take you further in to the creation process.

gEM's contain any combination of the following ingredients:

semi-precious gemstones
wood beads and/or pendants
sterling silver

And sometimes any of the following ingredients may become an integral part of a gEM's:

fresh water pearls

I have a huge selection of semi-precious stones, in a variety of shapes and sizes, in beads and pendants. My favourite stone is turquoise, in all of its colours: blue, green and yelllow. A close second for me is carnelian (most often found as a firey orange colour).

So the pendant, or focal bead has been selected, and now the search continues for just the right extra pieces: some wood, and a stone. Glass is used sparingly.

Once the pieces have been selected, I begin to lay out a pattern on my bead board. I start by placing the pendant in the center of the bottom, and then placing the next largest bead. Other beads fall in to line, and I may discover that the left side of the board, and the right side of the board no longer match. I may shuffle the bead order around, creating 2 different patterns, or I may even add or remove a particular colour/style from one side.

On a rare occasion, I may leave the bead placement on the board, and walk away, to return to it later with fresh eyes. Patterns are evaluated for weight and balance, of not only colour, but texture as well. As they say, Rome wasn't built in a day...

I love doing this!

In my short time as someone who sells their craft on-line, I have only done this twice...and I have to say, it makes me feel good.

I love packaging an item up, and sending it off as a gift to someone other than the buyer.

I feel like I'm part of a secret club, or like I am in on a big plan. Very covert.

I am in the middle of packaging up a bracelet and a pair of earrings as a birthday present. The buyer asked me to exclude any pricing information, and address the package to her mother, as it was a gift for her birthday.

My jewelry already comes wrapped up in tissue, and is slipped in to a silver bag, but I love to add a gift tag, or some special tissue paper.

I also love that people are comfortable to let me in on the plan. It's me that goes further and asks if they would like anything special on a tag/card. So far I have sent a Christmas gift (ordered from overseas, and mailed to a local address) and this B-Day gift.

So don't forget all of the other occasions when a funky emmsgems bracelet is the perfect gift, or maybe a pretty pair of earrings is what your friend needs to brighten her day.

*I'll even add confetti if you will take the heat for the clean-up
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