Monday, October 13, 2014

Craft Fairs and Booth Displays...Oh My!

 My, things sure have been busy around here.  I am a full time teacher but my jewelry has been taking over more and more of my time.  Business is growing and my enthusiasm for creativity has led me into the world of craft fairs.  I got my feet wet during the summer at a BIG arts show.  I was terrified...I and no really idea what I was doing, I had no real display items and I definitely had no sales experience.
But in I went...and had a very mediocre experience.  I was surrounded by 'professionals' and my tiny table really got lost in the mix.  My nerves meant I became far to reserved to actually drum up trade, and my inexperience led me to drop prices ridiculously low (think no profit low) and it really put people off.

I think I have a stubborn streak in me, however, as I actually felt more determined than ever to make my mark at craft fairs.  I wanted to learn how to do it, how to become a major presence in the sea of artisans selling their wares.  I am not there yet, but I am definitely improving.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Get ready for September with Summer into Fall Bracelets

I cannot believe I am about to say this, but....I'm gearing up for back to school!!!!  That is a double whammy for me as it means we are heading out of the lazy days of summer, and I am frantically preparing to teach my new group of fourth graders who will be anxiously awaiting my brilliance :)

I do love to start fresh in September, a new outfit or two, highlights weaved into my hair and a good cut to see me into the winter....and LOTS of new jewelry!   I cannot say how many times I have worn an old outfit and still had people ask if it was new.  It is usually because I am wearing a new piece of jewelry along with really works.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Summertime Happiness

Captain's Cove Connecticut

I have had a great summer so far.  One of the major perks of being a teacher is the HUGE block of time I get to become a 'mommy' again.  I treasure the time with my kiddos more than anything.  BUT... they are getting older and much more independent.  They no longer want to paint and make clay figures on the deck, or splash around in the kiddie pool to cool down.  Heck, they don't really want me hanging around them too much at all!

So I have had plenty of time to craft my jewelry.

I did get a chance to spend some fun time with the boys when Nana came to visit from England.  One balmy summer day we explored the wonderful Captain's Cove in Connecticut.  It has a very cute boardwalk with tiny booth-style shops and the most delicious fish and chips imaginable.

I am drawn to the sea and being near water never wears thin...even though I live by the coast.  There is something so calming about it  (but I can be terrified of its might too), and the day was blissful.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Red Jade and Tiger's Eye Om Cuff

I arrived home from a wonderful vacation  today and got straight back to 'work' on my jewelry.  I have been using a lot of red Jade recently and I wanted to create something with a Tibetan feel to it.  Reds and oranges/browns were the base colors and I was very excited to incorporate the Tiger's Eye beads.  To find out more about this lovely memory wire cuff, click on the picture or click here.  Then check out other wonderful pieces at Butterfly Warriors Jewelry. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Mothers everywhere will be celebrated very soon.  I have been the proud recipient of many a fine gift from my sons. I cherish the thought behind the gift probably more than the gift itself.  I do, however keep each and every single one...forever!  

Kids are usually on a budget, and as I thought about this celebration of love for Mom, I felt my Mottled Glass collection was probably the most ideal gift.  The glass beads are so amazingly beautiful with colors of the seashore.  The double hearts are a reminder of the love between a mom and child. The matching earrings can also be added for that extra special touch, also.  And best of all, it is at a price-point that children can reach without too much help from Dad.  

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Countdown to Mother's Day Week 7 (I'm a little late!)

Let's celebrate Mother's Day with a blog hop led by a wonderful blogger over at Blue Morning Expressions.  I am late to the party but you can check out all the rules and fun here.  I will be more on the ball next time and link up in time for others to join me.  Meanwhile, take a peek at some of the wonderful gift ideas for those spacial women in your life.

Fundraising: The Salisbury Bracelets

Last week I sat in a meeting with my grade level teaching partners, planning the curriculum and focussing on learning when, out of the blue, one ask me to make a bracelet for a silent auction at a Salisbury Seagulls fundraiser.  The charity was the Leukemia and Lymphoma could I say no?  But...the event was in two days so I had to get moving.

I'm good at working to a deadline so I headed to my supply shop and found the perfect quartzite beads in the school colors, maroon and gold.  I even found alphabet beads and a charm that would look delightful.  I stocked up an set about creating a nice design.  Wanting to give options, I made three prototypes.  My friend could pick which one and I would make three or four; one for the auction and a couple for her and her family.

My friend, Karen, literally squealed with delight at the sight of the three bracelets and announced that all three were perfect and can I have five more ready for Friday?  It was Thursday, I had no more supplies, and I had a baseball game and swimming to attend with my kids. was for the LLS so I said yes.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Life After Leukemia - A Little Scare

When people talk about finding a cure for cancer, it has many meanings.  My son is not technically cured...he has to be five years clear of treatment before he is declared "much less likely to relapse".  This means every time he gets sick, I have to calmly check in and make sure it is just a 'normal' sickness.

Most times I don't overthink things.  I don't always run to the doctor.  I watch and wait for a series of symptoms to emerge.  If they do, off to to docs we go.  Today was one of those days.  My mommy gut was telling me to stay calm, but the nagging voice in my head was a little louder too.  This got louder as the nurse, having taken the history, asked if we minded waiting until our regular doctor made it in because of all the strange things going on....WHAT?   Um...yes, we WILL wait (and panic a bit).

I must have flashed back the full two and a half years of hospitalizations, radiation and surgeries in the twenty extra minutes we waited.    I remained calm and my son was oblivious...but I was a mess inside.  You see my son's cancer does not yet have a real cure, and he can relapse at any time.  I know that.  He fears it but does not know the facts fully.

The final result was a diagnosis of Fifth's Disease.  I was so happy, I almost hugged the doctor.  The office was being cautious and I appreciate that.  But we need to find that CURE!

To make a donation to my son's Light The Night fundraising page for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society please visit:

To purchase handmade jewelry in support of cancer warriors ($2 of every sale goes to my son's fundraiser) please visit:

Terrific Turquoise Treasury - Featured Curator

How could I resist this lovely treasury when it features my absolute favorite color!  Click on the picture to view the entire treasury in all its turquoise glory.  Many thanks to Wendy Wilson from Shrewsbury Creations for including my turquoise HOPE bracelet in this collection.  Check out her beautiful Polymer clay jewelry here.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Amethyst, Rhodonite and Quartzite Bracelets - Healing and Protectio

The idea for this bracelet came from a customer request.  I have sold many Pink and Purple Bracelets with Rhodonite and Quartzite, but she asked of I could create one with Amethyst as the purple bead.  Of course  was happy to do this and delighted with the result.  Butterfly Warriors Jewelry had a new design! 

The healing properties of this stackable bracelet come from the Amethyst and Rhodonite stones. Pinks and purple tones are highlighted with natural earth-tone beads and gold accents for a stunning effect. The 6mm rhodonite semi-precious stones are interspersed with 10mm Amethyst and Quartzite beads, separated by antique gold spacers. 

Amethyst is a stone known for its protection and healing powers. It also has the power to help with insomnia and headaches. 

Rhodonite is a healing stone and clear emotional wounds for the wearer. Past traumas can be dealt with, and the heart is opened up and healed. Rhodonite nurtures love and brings out confidence while eliminating confusion. 

Rhodonite also aids in bone growth and healing organs. It is used to help those with auto-immune diseases and ulcers of the stomach. It also decreases swelling of joints and promotes relaxation and a sense of well being.

A Beautiful Gift for My Etsy Store

Creative DIY

They say good can come from bad situations and I am a walking reference for proof of this.  Despite having some very major issues with the health of both of my sons: my eldest tried to emerge into this world at only 24 weeks gestation and, after a very difficult bed rest, was delivered by emergency C-section and rushed of to the NICU for breathing complications; the very same child developed bacterial meningitis at the age of 4; and my younger son…well he wanted to trump big brother so he fought leukemia…(yes, they still argue about who had it worse!!!)

Yet I am an exceedingly lucky mom.  Both my sons are healthy now and I have experienced so much generosity, kindness and caring from such a diverse group of people, even people who have never met any of this crazy family, and it truly humbles me. 

One such person is Etsy shop owner, Regina Gold.  I have never met Regina, nor had I visited her shop, Gold Puff before.  Yet, after me posting on the discussion forum asking for design advice, she sent me a beautiful logo made especially for Butterfly Warriors.  She told me that my son’s story had touched her and she wanted to donate her talents.  Regina’s shop is not a design shop.  She is not promoting anything for sale.  She is just an incredibly creative person who did something so good. 

I even had the nerve to get picky about the color of the ribbon!  Yep, I am that person (sometimes). But the reason is because I never want my mission to be forgotten.  I notice I am becoming more involved in other illnesses.  I am painfully aware of the horrors of autoimmune diseases: my mom has Lupus, ME and Fibromyalgia.  I have ME. But I still try to focus most on raising cancer awareness.  Also, my donations from each sale go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, so it makes sense to be clear about the main focus. 

So Regina was a superstar and gave me an orange ribbon.   I have to say, I love having such a beautiful logo for my Etsy Store, but it is so much more meaningful because it came from the heart.  Someone took the time to show love for all the warriors, and that is not lost on me one bit.  So here it is, the new logo for ButterflyWarriors on Etsy.  Perhaps Regina has a new calling and should open a shop selling them…I would be a customer if I had not already been gifted such a treasure. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Summer Freshwater Pearls

I fell in love with freshwater coin pearls as soon as I laid eyes on them.  The shape…the velvety look…the fact they were not perfect!  I knew I had to do something that maintained their natural beauty as well as show them off.  I decided to keep this bracelet very clean.  No fancy frills, I just had the pearl coins do all the talking.  I added detail by breaking up the pearls with copper beads.  Their colors were a perfect match…I really couldn’t have been more pleased. 

While copper and rich velvety colors don’t usually scream ‘summer’ to me, I feel this bracelet can be worn all year and especially in the summer.  Summer means bare feet, natural sun kissed faces, beach hair and casual style with a touch of flair.  Imperfect, copper freshwater pearl coins are a perfect natural element that combines sophistication with beachy. 

Some wonderful Etsy finds that would compliment this bracelet are:

Sunday, March 30, 2014

My Accidental Bracelet Design

I am a summer lover. Once spring arrives I get all excited for the colors I love most; blues, turquoise, and greens.  I also love being able to wear white without feeling silly, (I know that is my own perception of things but I never wear white in the winter comfortably.)

My love of 'easy' led me into the world of memory wire bracelets and I have a passion for them  They look like multiple bracelets, but don't wiggle around or take ages to put on.  They also keep their shape so well...told you I like 'easy'.

This particular bracelet happened by accident...literally.  My beads spilled and the colors went together so well, despite being a pile on the floor,  and my next idea was hatched.  The only part I actually 'designed' was the addition of silver beads.  I selected silver glass beads to work alongside the rest of the glass beads already chose by default.  I usually like contrast (metal beads with wood, or glass etc.) but this time I felt there was enough going on already.  What do you think?  Perhaps I may use this design in another color too...

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Ukanite Bracelets: Promoting Balance

I have used Ukanite in my jewelry because it is such a beautiful and versatile stone.  It has many benefits for the wearer, and the colors draw the eye as pinks and greens pop! I have created stackable stretch bracelets and can add charms as desired.  While I show silver charms, this stone works well with other metals such as gold, bronze and brass too.  

Ukanite is a semi-precious stone that  can draw negative energies from the body and help to connect the mind and soul. It is thought to provide support for those recovering from a long illness or surgery. Ukanite promotes balance in all aspects of life and allows the wearer to feel more centered. By releasing energy blockages, Ukanite can encourage the wearer to live in the present and move on from the past. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Faces of Silver Treasury - Featured Curator

I am very proud to be featured in this beautiful treasury.  There are so many beautiful items.  Click on the picture above to visit the treasury.  Please show it some love and check out the curator, Ninu Milu and her beautiful shop.  She has a collection of unique bag-dolls, cell phone cases and covers for iPads that are so cute.  Her inspiration comes form Koeshi dolls.  They are well worth a look.   

Friday, March 21, 2014

For the Love of Memory Wire Bracelets

This emerald green and aqua memory wire bracelet really sparkles.  The light and dark greens are the perfect compliment to one another and the clear glass and silver elements add contrast.  I really haven;t mastered the art of photographing these pieces as the true brilliance of the sparkle really doesn't come out here. 

I love wearing memory wire bracelets.  They are so incredibly easy to put on and take off.  I'm all for easy anything!  I love how memory wire bracelets can be created using a multitude of beads making every one of my designs totally unique.  Sometimes I add dangles at the ends to give that little extra bling...and I know a lot of people like charms and things that jingle-jangle around as they move. Sometimes I just feel the bracelet is enough in itself, or the stones used are natural and look better without adornments, letting their natural beauty take center stage.  

Thursday, March 20, 2014

White Wood and Leather

Although my main focus is on bracelets, I have ventured into the realm of necklaces and earrings.  In a real breakaway from my norm, I decided to experiment with leather necklaces.  I love wearing these kinds of things, usually with some kind of chunky adornment.  I had some beautiful wooden beads that were not quite right for bracelets.  They were, however, perfect for my necklace.

The result was a summery white on white necklace that will be a stunner this summer.  It is a one-of-a-kind piece as I only had a few white wooden beads.  That makes it extra special, of course.

I added a lovely nickel-free silver toggle clasp with a 'beachy' rope design.

I'm seeing this piece on a beach with a sun-tan...but a white bikini might just have to be bought to go with it perfectly!  Of course a baby blue sundress would look fantastic with it also...or a simple t. shirt and many possibilities.

I just see it looking so good here....

                                                                   ...or maybe that's just me wishing for some sun!

Spring Is Here!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Gypsies Crafts & Treats: Featured Etsy Shop: Butterfly Warriors

So many people are getting behind my mission: to raise awareness and fight cancer.  When Team Superman Sammy walks at the Light The Night event each November, we have a sea of orange shirts in support of my little hero.  We raise thousands of dollars.  We remind people how important it is to be cancer aware and to help find a CURE.  That is why I continue to create handmade is a therapeutic, creative and soul satisfying venture that happens to be another avenue to fundraise.

Imagine my sheer joy when a fellow blogger and fantastic crafter asked me if she could feature Butterfly Warriors on her blog.  I am honored and grateful that she wanted to promote my cause and, most importantly, raise cancer awareness.

Please hop on over to Gypsies Crafts and Treats to read more.  Don't forget to check out some of the amazing crafts and treats on the blog too....I got a little giddy of the St. Patrick's day cupcakes :)  Just click on the picture below and happy reading!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Turquoise Jewelry

I have noticed how popular turquoise is during the summer.  I have to confess, I am a sucker for this color and have more turquoise and aqua jewelry than anything else.  In fact, I am drawn to this color for clothes, bags, shoes, and general knick-knacks.  No, I haven't painted a room in this color (nor will I ever), but it is definitely a favorite of mine.

The bracelets above have turquoise match with antique bronze.  This is quite a dramatic combination that is softened by the heart charm.

Then there are the silver and turquoise combinations.  The bracelet featured below is very simple, but the Bohemian silver barrel adds a statement.  This could, infect be worn by both men and women.

My favorite version of the bracelet is with the silver butterfly charm. The silver adds brightness and feels so summery.  I added Tibetan Silver barrels which continued the Bohemian feel.  Even the silver butterfly is engraved in a similar style. 

I have many other turquoise items in my store.  I will probably add many more...I just love the color too much not to.  Stay posted for some really lovely summer jewelry that will be featured soon.  
In the meantime, let me know what your favorite colors are for summer accessories. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Getting Ready To Photograph My Jewelry...Supplies

The messy business of creativity!

When I begin to take my photographs, I like to gather an array of items that could potentially be useful.  While I do have my own workstation for crafting my jewelry, I don't really have a specific place to use for photography.  My budget is very limited so my main tools are:

  • My iPhone5
  • A table near a window with relatively good light
  • Morning light for said table placement 
  • White poster board
  • A glass bottle
  • Shabby Chic jewelry display shadow box
  • Necklace display
  • Bracelet display
  • Scarfs
  • Flowers of various types
  • Tape and pins

My favorite pins

I have used wooden backgrounds in the past.  Unfortunately, I don't own wooden furniture in the style I like to use for my I cheat!  I print pictures of the wood I like and use that instead.  No one seems to have noticed yet!
A clear case of fake wood!

My shadow box/jewelry display case serves as a great background also.  I can use my favorite 'Leukemia Orange" pins to dangle jewelry from; I can use the burlap as a background; or I can use the wood of the box itself, as I did with the Mother of Pearl Silver Loop Earrings below. 

Ready to use

Mother of Pearl Silver Loop Earrings
The final picture 

The final product really depends on several factors.  I have to time my shoot just right for the lighting to work.  Using natural light only is quite a challenge but it does keep costs down and I like the look of natural lighting more.

I am sure I will find more fun ways to photograph my jewelry.  I often use the plain white background  for pieces to make them really stand out.  I like to try other things, however...and find my creative juices flow when I try out new ideas and staging for my pieces.  

Using flowers as a background

The glass bottle

Just white!

Moonstone Bracelets

I enjoy creating items out of interesting stones.  This pair of bracelets is made from peachy pink moonstone.  Moonstone has many properties that make this jewelry wonderful to wear.  In India, Moonstone is regarded as 'dream stones' with the power to bring the wearer beautiful visions as they sleep.  Arabic countries regard Moonstone as a symbol of fertility.  Other cultures regard Moonstone as 'Lovers' Stone', keeping one's feeling of love and happiness safe.

This peachy pink moonstone is thought to stimulate the mind, calming and soothing any anxiety the water may feel.  It supports the heart and sends out loving energy.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Superman Sammy Bracelet

Before I begin blogging about all my creations, I felt is was important to showcase the talents of my sons.  The bracelet pictured above was designed and created by my nine year old.  He selected the beads and decided how it was going to be put together.

At first I was very concerned about the beads selected.  The color combination was a little unsettling to me and I questioned the choice.  My son stood firm and told be to, well, back off!!!  So I did and merely acted as a guide in threading needles for the elastic.  The rest was all Sammy.

During treatment, Sammy could not hold a pencil properly without help; the chemo had affected his motor skills.  That seemed like such a distant memory as I watched the bracelet grow with each carefully sewn bead. And what a beautiful bracelet it turned out to be!  I posted it on my Facebook page and within three minutes it was!

Sammy was very happy to have created something that someone wanted, and even happier that he made money for his cause.  He now makes these bracelets to order...yes, he is the one making them...and you can find yours right here.  

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Chunky Monkey

This is one of the early items to appear in the first incarnation of my shop.  It was designed and created by my son, the cancer warrior.  This bracelet trio is mine; I sold similar items based on this design.  It was very popular as a summer item.  I eventually ran out of fun beads that worked for the piece and so The Chunky Monkey was retired.  I'm often asked to do more and have created a couple that were not posted in my shop.

Sometimes these items did not work out.  Although the bracelets are created with a mish-mash of random beads, they only work if the right beads are selected.  Then, the way the beads are threaded on the elastic had to be right or the whole thing just looks odd and imbalanced.

I wanted you to see the original work that began my journey in jewelry creation.  Please let me know if you have any questions...what do you think?  Should I reinstate The Chunky Monkey in the future?