Monday, November 15, 2010

Handmade Weddings

So, I've got this blog, and I've got all of these ideas, I just have to sit down and write! I am currently fascinated with multimedia jewelry design, but just learning what I am doing, so there are far more knowledgeable bloggers out there. So, I was listening to my Introvert Entrepreneur podcast – and I am just supposed to do it. "Doesn't matter if you're not good enough, or if anyone else might hear…" So here goes:

Weddings – specifically handmade weddings. When I got married, five years ago, I had a horrible time finding anything online about simple, handmade weddings. Apparently the market is glutted with wedding vendors that think you have twenty grand to blow on a dream, fairytale extravaganza. We didn't have that kind of a budget at all, but I did have dreams of a beautiful wedding. My Mom and I had been planning these events, shindigs, parties for family and friends for years. Luaus, birthday parties, sweet 16 parties and three weddings and wedding receptions. I knew we could do it on a bit of a shoestring. I know that the complete cost on my wedding for 150 guests was around $5000. That was a bit over budget, but it included everything from my dress to food, invitations, bridesmaid gifts, the venue, and the most expensive part – photography. That was my splurge, and it came in at around $2K when all was said and done. But I felt the most important thing I could spend money on was preserving the memories of our big day to look back on 20 years from now. Because anyone who's had a large wedding will tell you that it's all a blur.

How'd we do it? Well, with A LOT of help from our friends. We were not afraid to ask for help, and accept gifts. We have a friend that owns a rental company, her very generous gift to us was the use of tablecloths and dishes. For another wedding we planned, the groom had a friend who what a photographer who shot their wedding as a gift. My brother's wedding was catered by a good friend, Tom supplied the food and Jeremy and Kenny from New Century Catering came out and cooked it for his 170 guests. The other aspect – good old creativity, and thinking outside of the box.

I hope to be able to share some of the tips we've learned, the only hitch is, you do have to be crafty. I come from a long line of crafters, so it's in the genes. I remember being about eight and helping tie these little pipe cleaner bride and groom figures on favors for my aunt's wedding with my grandmother and great grandmother….three Jordan almonds, a circle of tulle and this cute little pair. Grandma Peters was a florist in her younger days, my Great Gram made these incredible ceramic Christmas trees out of upcycled costume jewelry; she also sewed like a dream. My Mom sews, knits, crochets, gardens, designs furniture and makes a wicked bow. My sister can draw, paint and arrange flowers. My Dad is a genius. A carpenter, woodworker, an electrician, plumber, he can build or fix anything. I am a paper crafter at heart, I love paint, scissors, tools, glue, beads, baubles and glitter.

So, if you're not crafty, grab a crafty friend and give it a try – you can do it!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Red River Paper Giveaway at Everything Etsy!

It's s super week of giveaways at Everything Etsy this week - Red River Paper giving away a pair of printers and eight $50 gift certificates.  They have beautiful papers to print cards and photos on.  Including great panoramic cards - for those long skinny panoramic photos.  I have some great shots of Joshua Tree National Park that would look incredible printed on these.
Check it out!
Red River Paper giveaway on Everything Etsy

Friday, August 13, 2010

Millefiori - newest obsession

Some shots of the newest creations - I love the look of these Millefiori beads! I recently received a bunch from the bead supplier, and have been creating like mad! Wait until the crocheted necklace gets finished, made with deep red wire and millefiori chips,Swarvoski crystals and a few glass drops. Spectacular! 

Millefiori flowers - linked bracelet

Monday, August 2, 2010

Almost Harvest Time!

My husband and I also have a small business called RheaRange Farms. We are a small producer of local, sustainable food. This is our first official year in operation; we had a few hoophouses in last year and grew much of our own produce. I made a minestrone soup from all of the vegetables I was able to can or freeze last year. Yum! August has got to be one of the busiest times of the year for us because all the produce is ready or nearly ready to harvest. We have over 100 tomato plants in production this year. We plan to wholesale to one of our local produce stands and hopefully find some individuals who are interested in canning. I am also planning on connecting with some other local farms if possible. The Tomatoes are just starting to get some color, so it's going to be a busy few weeks.

I am trying to get some of my newest designs up on the Etsy account and keep up with everything. Here are some of the newest designs:

black, pink and green wire crochet necklace
antiqued brass with teal pressed glass

antiqued copper hoops with turquoise colored beads


trio of small flower drop flowers with crystal centers
crocheted strands with seed bead accents, finished with antique silver. Listed on Etsy with matching earrings for $48

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Christmas in July!

Paisley Sheets - Christmas in July
It's the Annual Christmas in July sale on Etsy - there are deals all over the site. just search for "christmasinjuly" of "CIJ".  I am offering free shipping throughout the shop and a few special deals like $10 this very cool lampwork bracelet - I named it "Vanessa" after my niece who loves lavender. For her wedding, she custom ordered bows for her Bichons from to match the groomsmen :). The bracelet is made up of set of seven beautiful handmade lampwork beads that I picked up a few years ago, loaded with Swarvoski crystals, pewter beads, and some pretty pressed glass beads to finish it all off.

I've got a load of new beads I picked up today, my favorite store, Ben Franklin Crafts had all of their semi-precious stones and Czech Crystals 40% off, so I was able to get some great deals! Stay tuned for what comes out next!