Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Love my hands

This is an update from my previous post as I've not only received several replies via Blogger, but also through email and phone calls. You don't know how much your kindness means to me!

I'll cut to the chase. Due to the increase of pain in my hands, wrists and forearms, the amount of work I still need to finish up, plus additional sales, I had to put my shop in Vacation Mode for 2 weeks. This was truly a tough decision, but a necessary one. If I didn't do this, my timeframe would be so far out there it's crazy to think about. Plus the obvious reason - my health must come first in order to do what I love.

Even though the doc feels it is Carpal Tunnel (I'm thinking it's not), we'll find out for sure this coming Thursday as that is when the test is scheduled. This is one test I would love to fail (I'm not even going to study ;). Obviously CT is not the end of the world, but I would rather it be something else, say like plain old overuse. Either way I know I need to change the way I do things, which is no big deal. Been there, done that. I've come too far to let another medical problem mess with me - hence my name. Just typing this up is killing me.

With much love, appreciation and heartwarming thanks,

Friday, April 24, 2009

Opinions Welcomed

So... I have a question and would truly appreciate your opinions, suggestions, comments, etc. Please feel free to be honest as that is what I'm wanting.

My shop is keeping me extremely busy. Don't get me wrong, I'm VERY happy and VERY appreciative as I love what I do. I'm also dealing with some hand/wrist problems that I thought was just my arthritis kicking up a notch (yes, I know... and I do metalwork - go figure!) Nope, the doc thinks it may be Carpal Tunnel and has set me up for some tests next week and possibly therapy - pending outcome. I already wear braces while I work & sleep, etc., but he gave me 2 new ones to wear that are much better (yep, both hands) .

Anyway, I have many wonderful customers that are so kind & understanding about my timeframe, which went from 5 then 7 and as of last night, 10+ business days for processing/shipping (pending order size). I don't like to have this type of timeframe as I'm concerned about my customers, but I have no other choice as I can only create so much. I do this all on my own and there is only so much time in a day. My main priority truly is the quality/integrity of my work and customer service as I take great pride in what I do.

Here's where I welcome your opinions: Although I have many customers that do not mind the wait, I completely understand those who do mind. So I've been thinking about putting my shop in Vacation Mode for a short period - maybe 4-5 days, but I'll be honest in saying that I hate the thought of seeing an empty shop and think it would truly bother me. I've had some people tell me not to worry about it (easier said than done) and to just leave it open. I really need to decrease my timeframe and am concerned that it will continue to grow.

Additionally, most of my work is made to order. Due to the volume of sales I receive, it is not possible (at this time anyway) to have everything available at time of purchase, but sometimes I have some stock on hand. Plus I take custom/reserved requests for multiple orders.

So, now that I've written a short novel, what are your thoughts?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sapelo Island's Hog Hammock

This morning I read a couple blogs and one of them was my blog buddie Moondoonie. She blogged about a book called Sapelo Island's Hog Hammock. It sounds like it would be a very good book to read, so thought I would pass it on to my fellow blog buddies.

Below is information from the Amazon site where this book is available for purchase:

"Hog Hammock, located on Georgia’s Sapelo Island, is only accessible by ferry or private boat. It is one of the last island-based Gullah-Geechee communities in America—a living connection to West African languages, folkways, and spiritual traditions. With its dirt roads and tin-roofed houses, Hog Hammock is the site of a social hall, two historic Baptist churches, and a former schoolhouse, all built by descendants of slaves. The nearby Behavior Cemetery has burial sites that date back 200 years. Much has been written about the people of Hog Hammock and Sapelo Island, mostly documenting their lives as slaves and then as landowning free people working for millionaires who reshaped Sapelo Island into their own personal retreats. But there is another part of the island’s story, one filled with entrepreneurs, skilled craftsmen, and community leaders, that is told here in Images of America: Sapelo Island’s Hog Hammock. -

About the Author: Michele Nicole Johnson first visited Hog Hammock as a newspaper journalist and described the island as a place so linked to its history one can almost see the footsteps of the ancestors. She now lives in the community, where she is a freelance writer, an artist, and the manager of the Hog Hammock Public Library."

Doing my part to happily support a fellow artist. Won't you do the same?


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Papa's Got A Brand New Bag

Oh yes, I remember that one Nora. One of many James Brown's songs that I love. Speaking of bags...

So the other day I came upon Nora's Etsy shop: mia baggali bags and art wear and fell in love with her boho hippie bags - just my style! The one above is my favorite... no, wait... it's the one below. Scratch that. I haven't decided which is my favorite yet!

Nora makes all of her own art wear. Where does her inspiration come from? Here is a quote from her shop:

"Many of these items begin their inception straight from the isles of vintage and used clothing stores. New fabric doesn't always do it for me. It's got to be old and tell a story. I never know what I'll find or how I'll transform it. Each creation is my adventure from start to finish!"

I encourage you to read her entire Profile - it is a good read!

Nora also makes a variety of head wear, like the very cool one above made from vintage jeans.

For the more girly girls, there is this very cute layered tote above. She also makes some pretty cool Scroogies. Scroogies? Yes. Scroogies.

How about a little vintage? Yep. She has that too. Like the adorable very vintage crocheted evening bag above and a variety of other vintage household items.

Going through Nora's etsy shop is a little like going back in time for me. In fact, after reading the following from her Shop Announcement, it took me WAY back: "Much of my inspiration comes from that surreal time when bona fide bell bottoms were ragged, dirty, faded, and torn from years of wear...not from The Gap!"

I wore bona fide bell bottoms and proud of it. The bigger the bell the better. I loved hearing the swishing sound while walking. Drove my Dad nuts. We won't even talk about hip-huggers.

Peace, love, happiness - and boho bags,


Monday, April 20, 2009

Feeling the love

Imagine there's no heaven

It's easy if you try

No hell below us

Above us only sky

Imagine all the people

Living for today...

Imagine there's no countries

It isn't hard to do

Nothing to kill or die for

And no religion too

Imagine all the people

Living life in peace...

You may say I'm a dreamer

But I'm not the only one

I hope someday you'll join us

And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions

I wonder if you can

No need for greed or hunger

A brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people

Sharing all the world...

You may say I'm a dreamer

But I'm not the only one

I hope someday you'll join us

And the world will live as one.

By John Lennon

Just feeling so much love around me that I wanted to share my favorite person and song.
Tomorrow I'll be doing a blog feature on a fellow etsian. Until then...


Monday, April 13, 2009

Beautiful & Functional Handmade Stoneware

I don't even know where to begin with this feature, mainly because I'm still in awe of his work. In fact, it took me forever just to select the pictures from his shop that I wanted to use as he has so many beautiful pieces to choose from. Like the Garlic Baker above, which seems to be a hot item and just one of several designs. He even includes a recipe in the listing. Yum.

Doug Smith is a full-time potter. He obviously knows his craft business well as his work definitely proves it. I came across Doug's shop over the weekend when I spotted him in a front page Treasury. I love stoneware, especially handmade, so I immediately went to his shop. I was floored, to say the least. The colors, designs, variety - so beautiful.

There are bowls, platters and plates. Cups, mugs and ladles. Honey jars, butter dishes and flower vases. Trust me, there's more. Like the Garlic Keeper below, which I bought and can hardly wait to put my garlic in. Don't worry, it wasn't the last one :)

Doug works from his home studio which is out in the country near Asheville, NC where he lives with his wife, Maria and young son, Clay (hmm, "Clay"... wonder where he got that name from?)

You must read his Profile as it is very interesting and well written. Here is a snippet: "This obsession with clay and glazes snuck up on me about ten years ago while I was busy making other plans with my life." And this is from his Shop Announcement: "I use white clay because, like a painter's canvas, it brings out the very best colors from my glazes. I mix my own glazes because the hue and visual texture of a glaze are so important and because I want to be sure my glazes are lab-certified safe for food."

There is so much more that I could say about Doug Smith's work, such as it is not only beautiful , creative and functional, but it is extremely affordable. I would much rather purchase my stoneware from a fellow artist than a store bought piece.

It's like owning a piece of art.

Friday, April 10, 2009

A fun start to my weekend!

See that huge happy smile on the cute clown? Mine is like that right now. In fact, it may be permanent - or at least for a few days. Sure makes it hard to sip coffee like this.

This morning I woke up to my 2000th sale! Wow! I'm deeply touched and over joyed with how well my shop is doing. Although it keeps me quite busy, to say the least, I truly love what I do with all my heart.

That's not all. I also received a message that I was in a fun and awesome Treasury titled: "I love balls" - you've got to see it! I would post a pic of it, but I've never figured out how to do a screen shot - even though I've been told a million times, it doesn't work for me - doh!

I'm also excited about adding more 14k Gold Filled findings, like my new clasps below that I offer with and without the eye link (I'll have more styles added soon!)

That's all for now as I need to go get a napkin to clean up my coffee dribbles.

Hope you all enjoy the weekend!


Monday, April 6, 2009


The look on this little critter pretty much says it all for me: "CALGON!" Don't remember or know about those old Calgon Take Me Away commericals? Click on the Calgon for a snippet.

This weekend was a VERY busy one for me as I ended up working all weekend. Plus my shop exploded with sales so it looks like I'll be busy until the cows come home. Have you seen them yet?

Oh, here's one more oldie but a goodie commercial for the road: Would you like a nice Hawaiian PUNCH?!

See you next week.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Love Barbara's Feet!

Oh gosh, the first step is always admitting to it... I have a foot fetish!! There, I said it and I meant what I said.

The other day I came across the cutest little feet EVER (and then some!) on Barbara's new Etsy shop "Barbies Best", but she is not new to her craft at all. In fact, Barbara has done it all, sort of: sewing, candles, macrame, tole painting and pretty much whatever is popular at the time. In the 1970's, she even owned a shop in Ohio that sold local handcrafted items on consignment and taught some classes as well.

Barbara discovered polymer clay 3 years ago on a TV show. She finds the clay very soothing to play with. In the beginning she was covering everything she could find with the clay - eggs, vases, wine glasses, candle holders, bowls etc. After watching a show about beads, Barbara was hooked - "Instant gratification. I love the colors, shapes and feel of beads." The details in her creations show how much she loves her work. Like the Red Hat Charm above - love it!

Barbara sells her handmade creations in bead shops and thought she would give Etsy a try. This is how it all began, in her own words: "I was showing a friend some bracelets I had made with my beads and she suggested I take them to the local bead shop and ask if they would sell them for me. The regulars in the shop loved them so much that the owner instantly agreed to take them in on consignment. Every time I walk in the shop I am swarmed to see what's new. Since then I've showed them to other beads shops that now sell my beads. The gals who hang out at the bead shop give me most of my inspiration. I watch what they are making and they always have ideas for me. I also look at patterns on clothes, other jewelry and pictures of just about anything in magazines."

Barbara & I are practically neighbors. Well, sort of. I live near Lake Pleasant and she lives in Lake Havasu City, AZ - a "boating and tourist town where Flip Flops & sandals are the most common footwear as the summer temperatures are usually pushing 110."

I asked her how she came up with those adorable little sandal feet with the perfect little pedicures and here is a snippet of what she said: "One day last spring while I was hanging out at the bead shop I noticed one of the girls wearing a very cute pair of sandals and another one had on a T-shirt with flip flops on the front. The lite when on in my head." The rest is history. You have to see the variety of these adorable beads/charms! There are different sandal styles, colors, etc. She also has a variety of other fun handmade beads.

When she took her little feet to the bead shop, they sold like sunblock on a hot sunny day at the lake! A best seller. Her second most popular beads are the skulls with red rhinestone eyes. She plans on listing more of those soon. I cracked up when she told me what her hubby said: he "wants to know what I do with the rest of the body once I shrink the people and use their heads and feet." Guess only time will tell Barabara ;)

My name is Rocki. I'm a feetaholic and I don't want a cure. I love Barbara's feet!

Now run to her shop and pick up a pair for yourself.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Thar's gold in them hills

Gold Rush - Wild West Series

I was going to blog about a funny/scary little thing that happened to me the other day, but I'll save that for next one as I need to get into the studio.

As you can see, I've been on a gold streak. I've added several more 14k Gold Filled findings to my shop - and there is more to come soon!

Small Organic Wrapped Hook & Eye Clasp

Wire Wrapped Twisted Bail

I'm now making wire wrapped bails. I have more designs on paper and in my head, but there is only so much time in a day and I'm STILL searching Etsy for a shop that sells TIME!

That's it. Just a short & sweet ... okay, shameless little plug, what can I say?

Happy Wednesday everyone!