Friday, October 26, 2018

Wow...it has been a while!

by Patti Vanderbloemen

I have not written a post in this blog space of mine for nearly 2 years. Frankly, I am not sure that many people actually read my posts, as it appears that Social Media has taken over the "communication stratosphere".  But, I wanted to share something that is just too verbose to put on a Face Book post.

For the past 6 months, my little family and I have been toying with the idea of moving to Florida. After several scouting trips South, we narrowed down the location to the Tampa area, as my folks lived there for over 25 years and I quite liked it! We closed on our last (I SWEAR-NOT DOING THIS ANYMORE!!) forever home last month, and we will be heading South for good sometime in February 2019.

The good news is that we will be moving less than 15 minutes away from Mom's "old neighborhood" and I am hoping there will be more interactions for her with some of her old friends!

African Turquoise and Carnelian 
It's has been very stressful, to say the least - and the move has not even begun! We have a few more trips planned (including one this upcoming week) - all related to prepping the house for final move-in.  So, my creative time in the studio these days has been extremely limited.

Hammered Copper and Silver Hoops
I am simply peppering this post with some of my latest designs - all favorites!

Patterned Sterling Silver and Blue Chalcedony

Royston Turquoise and Sterling Silver Ring
The administrative details to moving out of state are overwhelming to me - I won't bore you with the details. I have a bit of organizational OCD though, so, what is easy for some, is not for me!
Hammered Sterling Silver Hoops
In moving over 900 miles from here, I am leaving my immediate family members: sister and brother in law, nieces and their spouses, great nieces and nephews, brother and sister in law, etc. THIS has made the decision so hard. But, my in-laws also live in Florida - albeit the East Coast - and it is important to be less than 3 hours away from them now. This constant flying back and forth is a life only for the birds these days.  Life is a balancing act...

Photo Credit via Pinterest 

When we moved into our current home less than 5 years ago, I was blessed to have the studio of my dreams! I even made sure to have a sink in this space! Prior to that, my space was in my unfinished basement-definitely an upgrade.  In my new home, it will be in the garage. However, the garage is actually quite suited to metalsmithing and I will have a/c so I won't faint from the Florida heat! :) Frankly, the heat in Virginia is not much better!

In preparing to move, The Purge has begun...big time. When it comes to my studio and all my materials, I have been separating items that I just don't use anymore: lots, and lots of beads, findings,  a few tools, etc.  I don't know if I should have some sort of destash event on Face book - or just box up the whole lot and give it away to a charitable organization who may benefit from these treasured goodies.  Anyone have a suggestion? Would anyone be interested in a destash event - or - know of a place where I send these goodies off where they will actually be used?  I would appreciate any and all feed back!

There will obviously be a lag time from when I close down my online shop while I move and set up. I hope I still have customers and followers when that time comes...it scares me a bit! (Honestly, it scares me more than just a bit)

But, in the end, this will be my new view from my kitchen....I am hoping it will all be worth it when the dust finally settles!


My best to all who took the time to read this - thanks for stopping by!

XO

Friday, December 2, 2016

Where does the time go?

Standard cliche - but I truly cannot believe that December has snuck up on me yet again. Sigh. Since I have not kept up with my blog, I decided to write a sort of rambling post today and just sprinkle some pictures of recent designs I have made here and there. Some have sold, and others are still available.

Copper Flower Post Earrings
Sterling and Copper Flower Post Earrings 


I had a fantastic Thanksgiving this year! We hosted my sister and her family, and it was truly enjoyable! Although, anytime you add a child to the mix (Gavin is 2 years and 3 months old), it always increases the fun. The past year has held so much negativity, politically speaking, that it was simply refreshing. I look forward to Christmas when my house will hold even more little ones!

Fold Formed Sterling Leaf and Lapis Lazuli Necklace


 
I opened up my own website a while ago, through Indiemade. In the meantime, I have kept my Etsy shop, which basically has the same items. I opened my own website when Etsy first allowed manufactured items, versus handmade. It was hard choice for me, as I am not all that computer literate and starting a brand new site was so time consuming. While there were lots of negatives to Etsy, there were also lots of positives. 

Heavy Gauge Twisted Sterling Silver Bangle

I recently read in a Facebook forum where a woman had an item from her shop "yanked" by the legal team of Etsy, stating the title of her necklace was subjected to copyright infringement.  She has been making this same necklace for years and has sold many. The fact that Etsy can pull an item/suspend it from your shop with no feedback from you really irritates me to no end.


Set of 3 Stacking Bracelets, with Turquoise (sold)
Etsy also has two payment methods for Seller's to offer to their customers - PayPal or Direct Checkout.  With Direct Checkout, the customer simply uses a credit card without going through PayPal. The Seller, however, does not actually receive the funds for a minimum of 3 days. Example: Customer purchases through Direct Checkout on Monday. On Tuesday, IF I REMEMBER, I have to instruct Etsy to deposit the funds immediately. I would receive the funds in my chosen bank account by close of business Wednesday (available to me on Thursday).  If the seller forgets to instruct Etsy to deposit the funds immediately, they are deposited to the seller's account in 7 days. This irritates me! Why should Etsy have use of the seller's funds for ANY amount of time? 

Rainbow Fluorite Bracelet (sold)


Lapis Lazuli and Cloissione Bracelet (sold)
When an item is listed for sale in Etsy, there is a $0.20 listing fee, plus a nominal fee is kept by Etsy if the item is sold. Items are listed for 90 days...they then expire, and the seller has to pay an additional $0.20 to relist the item. It does not sound like a lot of fees...but it adds up!

Sapphire and Sterling Silver Ring


I have had only a few sales on Etsy this past year. So, I have decided not to relist any items that expire. By March, my Etsy shop will be empty.

Onward!

For the past few months, I have gone crazy using Pattern Sterling Silver wire. I am a lover of texture, and this wire is amazing,

Patterned Sterling Silver Bangle
  

Patterned Sterling Silver Earrings

Patterned Sterling Silver Earrings


Some of the wire available is square - this is some thick wire! Not always easy to manipulate, but I was determined!

Pattern Sterling Silver Earrings - Square Wire (sold)

Pattered Sterling Silver Earrings - Square Wire (sold)

Pattern Sterling Silver Hoops (sold)

Triple Hoop Earrings with Pattern Sterling Silver Wire

I have also enjoyed playing with stamps. I do not have a proper anvil, but I did recently purchase a 12" piece of railroad track that has significantly improved my stamping.  That long, flat surface of hardened steel is so much better than my little 3" x 3" bench block.

Tiger's Eye and Garnet Stamped Sterling Silver Necklace



Artisan Glass Cabochon and Stamped Sterling Silver Necklace


I have not participated in a craft show for several years now - my chronic spine and neck issues just cannot handle all that stress.  So, I have relied solely on online sales.  My sincere gratitude to my online customers.  I had the best November sales EVER - and Miracle Horse Rescue received every last dollar! This warms my heart --- the support of handmade and ultimately, the equines of MHR!

Justice!

Stephanie (R), Me,and Dusty!

Luna and Millie
One last plea...if you are so inclined!  Here are the residents of Miracle Horse Rescue under the wonderful care of Stephanie and Rob Pierce.  The horse of your choice would love to receive a Christmas Card to decorate their barn this season!


If you are still with me here ... THANK YOU! And as always, thank you so much for stopping by! I wish you all Peace during this most special Holiday Season!

XO
Patti

Thursday, November 24, 2016

BLACK FRIDAY SALE!

Okay ... so I lied on my last post and have been lax (again!) at updating this personal space of mine. Sigh.  First of all... I have so very much to be grateful for, and I wish you and yours a heartfelt, peaceful, and Happy Thanksgiving!



I am also having a quick BLACK FRIDAY sale in both my online website (here) and Etsy (here). Receive 25% off your total purchase (minimum purchase of $30.00) through Friday evening, November 25th (11:59 PM).  Use coupon code THANKFUL at checkout.

Remember - all proceeds are donated to Miracle Horse Rescue!


Have a wonderful day!  And if you do dare to go out among the masses on Black Friday...please be safe!

XO
Patti

Monday, October 24, 2016

Bracelet Giveaway Winner!


Last week was oh-so-special to me!  I spent the week at Miracle Horse Rescue - and created memories that I will hold dearly for the rest of my life!  Many, many heartfelt thank-yous to Stephanie and Rob for sharing their home, 6 dogs, 3 goats, and all those glorious horses with me! I will blog more about that later! :)

Today, I am announcing the winner of this bracelet, created with an Artisan Lampwork focal faceted fluorite beads, and handmade sterling silver bead caps.

Many thank-yous for all of the lovely comments - I truly appreciate it!



The winner is...

Sue Pompetti

Sue - please email me (pattivan@verizon.net) and I will mail out your bracelet via snail mail! :)

Thanks for stopping by today!!

XO

Patti

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Grrr....and a Giveaway!


I had the most beautiful artisan-made lampwork focal bead and I cannot for the life of me figure out the maker! I have a bit of OCD when it comes to organization (that would be an understatement), so I am a bit mad at myself for misplacing the artist's card.

I have a hard time designing with this shape bead - too many options! I could easily see it hanging vertically as a necklace focal, with a tassel of beads or chain, or simply strung in a necklace (horizontal) with like beads. But, I was in the mood to make a bracelet.

I dug forever (truly) to find beads that went with the beautiful colors in this focal.  I found the TINIEST faceted Fluorite beads - purchased back in the day when I thought  2 mm was more like 1/2 an inch! :) The beautiful pinks, purples, and greens of the lampwork worked perfectly with these gemstones.

I carefully cut and forged two sizes of bead caps from both plain and etched sterling, soldered together some extender chain jump rings, and tumbled the silver, oxidized, buffed, and tumbled again. I then spent quite some time stringing three strands of these teeny beads (oh my eyes!!) to make a multi strand bracelet. 


The focal bead is complete with "stringers" of clear glass wrapped around the bead added for texture. It was not until I was editing the photos that I saw the problem... and I cried a little. This is where the "Grrr" comes in from my title of this blog post!


Can you see the issue? I cannot see it with my naked eye - I had to put on my Optivisor's, and even then, I could not see it.  But the camera does not lie!


One of those "stringer strands" of glass has chipped. The bead is not sharp anywhere - but it is there, and I cannot sell it knowing there is a flaw. As I have had this focal bead forever, I don't know when it became chipped. The chip on the exterior of the glass does not impede its purpose - it looks fabulous...even on my freckle-filled arm! And, well, I spent hours on this bracelet - I just do not have the heart to take it apart!


So, I am going to give it away!


Statistics:
  • Bracelet measures 8 1/2" in length
  • Adjustable to fit wrist diameter from 6 1/4" to 7 1/4"
  • Genuine faceted Fluorite Gemstone Beads (triple strand)
  • All metals used are sterling silver
  • Handmade bead caps and chain
  • Sterling Silver Lobster Clasp
  • Sterling silver beads and wire guards
How Enter - 2 Chances to Win

1) Leave a comment on this blog - equals 1 entry.

2) Share this blog post on Face book - COME BACK HERE and leave a second comment on this blog post - equals 1 entry.

I am traveling out of town from Monday - Friday of next week and will pick a winner when I return.

I sure hope someone out there wants to give this bracelet some love!! Thanks so very much for stopping by!  

XO
Patti