Desert Shine Jewelry on Etsy

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Try Something New This Month

One of the things I learned from my show frenzy this past year is that it's easy to get stuck in a rut.  I found myself making the same jewelry pieces in different variations rather than looking around to see what else I could create to keep my shop fresh and new.  When we finished shows for the season, I went into a huge creative slump and couldn't think of anything new to make.

I specialize in wire wrapped and wire woven pieces.  I love wire and working with metal. But I also love beads (who doesn't?) and decided that if I was ever going go get motivated again, I needed to learn some new techniques.  I started with a beaded necklace that I saw in a magazine.  Here's my version of that piece.

 I had so much fun doing this!  It really started my creative juices flowing.   A friend of mine had the cutest pair of earrings that she found in a local garage sale.  So I decided to do a version of those next.   Here they are.

Copper and Button Freeform Earrings

It's amazing how inspiration really jumps out and grabs you when you're trying new things! 

We left Arizona in May and drove over to visit our Son in CA for a month.  While we were there, we checked out an Arts and Crafts Fair in Livermore, CA.  I met some incredible artisans there and decided to give PMC another try.  I'd played around with it previously but really didn't get the concept.  I tried making a PMC button and added it to a leather cord to make a bracelet.  The picture is a little blurry, but you get the idea.  What do you think?

  When we arrived in WA at our Daughter's house in June, she had all of her scrapbooking supplies out.  We started looking through them and I spotted a bin filled with brads and rivets of all sizes and colors!  Before long, here's what happened!

It's so easy to get stuck and lose our inspiration.  We feel comfortable with our niche and it's hard to branch out to try new things.  But there is inspiration all around us and the rewards are so worth it!  I challenge you all to try something new this month.   

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Rockin With Friends

This summer, we spent some time with our long-time friends Gordie and Karen Eslava.  Karen and Gordie are avid rock hunters and Gordie is a talented Northwest Lapidary.  You can find his work at

Gordie and Karen spend time with us in AZ every winter and we visit them in Washington State in the summer.  We've shared lots of laughter and made so many memories throughout the years.  They have a beautiful home on secluded acreage.  Here's a picture of our RV camped there this summer.

 My Husband John and Gordie have been friends since elementary school and whenever they get together, Karen and I are convinced that they forget how old they are and revert to their childhood.  This summer, they spent much of their time playing horseshoes and lawn darts, but Gordie also taught John how to cut and polish cabochons.

Gordie has a great shop.  You can see it in the background of the picture above.  Gordie and Karen have spent years collecting beautiful rock specimens and you can see them displayed everywhere in the yard outside his shop.  If he wants something new, all he has to do is go outside and choose a new rock to play with.  How cool is that?

Here are some pictures of John learning to grind and polish the rocks.  They started with a piece of Jasper.

Once he had the rock shaped, Gordie showed him how to polish it.  Here is his finished cabochon.  I think it looks great!  Can't wait for him to do more.  Good job, Babe!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Living in the Driveway

Did I mention that we're living in our RV in our Daughter's driveway right now?  When we moved to AZ two years ago, we promised our Kids/Grandkids that we'd come up to visit in the summertime.  Since temps can often run 115 degrees in the part of AZ where we live, it sounded like a good plan at the time.  But I'm beginning to rethink that plan.

The first summer we arrived in Olympia a month behind our original plan (My Mom, who lives with us, fell and broke her hip that April).  We were looking forward to spending a quiet summer at my Daughter's home, looking out at the forest across the street from her house. 

I imagine the look on my face must have been priceless when we arrived to find all of the trees gone across the road and heard my Daughter announcing airily "Oh that.  They're building a Win-Co over there."  Our entire summer (Except when we went camping, which was often!) was spent listening to loaders and dump trucks and the never-ending beeping of large equipment backing up.  They started every morning by 6am and often worked until dark.  Geesh!  To top it off, summer never did arrive in Washington last year. (If you live here, you know what I mean!)

So this year, we came a little later, thinking maybe summer would be better this year since we didn't have one last year.  We parked in our usual spot next to our Daughter's driveway and settled in for a nice visit with our Grandkids.  We went camping over Memorial Day weekend with our extended family, had a wonderful time.  And the weather cooperated.  Finally!  A fun summer on the way for sure.

As we drove around the final corner to our Daughter's house after that camping trip, I noticed heavy equipment parked in a vacant lot.  "Nah, couldn't be for anything around us," I thought.  We parked the RV, put out our awning, watched our Grandson play baseball that night, came home and went to bed.

At 7am, the first generator started, startling me out of a sound sleep.  Then a huge rumbling sound got louder and louder until it seemed to stop right outside our door.  I got up and peeked out the window at the huge letters outside our windshield that said "Ditch Witch".  This massive rumbling machine was attached to a truck that said "Directional Boring" on the side.  John went outside to talk to the workers and found out that they are putting in all new gas lines along the street! They've been here now for the past 3 weeks.

I'm thinking now that the AZ summers may not be so bad... 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

MEGA SALE - Promo Frenzy Team Great Deals!

The Promo Frenzy Team is having a MEGA sale. You can find the participating shops here -

Be sure and check out all of the shops listed. You'll find some great items there. Here are a few of my favorites!

6 Piece Silver Tulip with Golden Pearl Dangle Bead Drop Charm Set  MEGA Sale Grumpy Frog Bottle Cap Necklace (SB 007)  Scrap hair bow barrette - pastel

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Having Fun with In-Home Shows

While we're traveling this summer, I've been doing some in-home shows. I was surprised how many of my friends were willing to do a show for me. And I have to say, we've had so much fun!

The last one I did was hosted by my Daughter Carrie. (We're staying in her driveway in our RV right now.) She wrote up "Jewelry Open House" announcements and sent them to a few people that she doesn't see often, including a card in each that gave the person 10% off any purchases at the show. She posted on FB that she was hosting a show and giving people the opportunity to "See Lynne's latest designs before she leaves town". Then we turned her living room into a jewelry shop. I placed my tables around the perimeter of the room and set up shop just as if I was doing a booth at a craft show.

Carrie asked if I would be willing to do a door prize; of course I would! So she made up entry forms for each attendee to write their name, phone number, email and a box to check if they'd like to be notified of any specials I have in the future.

We had about 10 people come in and out that night and had a great time. Everyone loved being able to wander around the room (sometimes over and over) to look at everything. They especially loved the "10% off everything, tonight only" offer. We had refreshments, we laughed and talked about the items I've made, the origin of the stones I use and about the materials used in my jewelry. I had 9 sales and received 3 special orders that night totaling several hundred dollars.

One thing we didn't anticipate was how many people said they wished "my Mom" or "My friend" could see the jewelry. I overheard Carrie say "well, don't worry, because we're going to leave this all out for a few days; you can come back tomorrow and bring anyone you want." What a GREAT idea! I've had several other people stop by and buy since that night. I know that this idea isn't an option most of the time, but it started me thinking that maybe I should do the same thing at home once in a while.

If you're thinking of doing in-home shows, give it a try. You don't have to put everything on display and can make your show as small or large as you like. It takes some planning and is work, but it can really be fun.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Traveling With Beads

When we retired and moved to AZ, we promised the kids that we'd come back up to WA every summer.  Okay, so that sounded easy.  Until I decided to take my jewelrymaking seriously and start selling.  Now, we have an RV full of beads, display items, wire, our show tent, tables....  My Hubby keeps reminding me that we have a weight limit.  But I've discovered that it IS possible to carry around my supplies and inventory; and still have room for our clothes and food.  THE KEY IS ORGANIZATION!  (I'm yelling that because I have to constantly remind myself that I have to stay organized.)

It's so easy to spread out in an RV when you stay in one spot more than a few days.  For instance, right now, I'm typing on my PC at the dining table.  The computer takes up about 1/4 of the table.  The rest of the space is covered in half-finished projects that I have to complete before Thursday night's in-home trunk show.  Not so organized, huh?  But the good news is that my inventory is organized in clear containers, clearly labeled.  My beads are stored in drawers in a small metal cabinet with locking wheels that I picked up at Ikea.  It's just the right size to fit at the end of our bed and has 6 drawers that are perfect for small containers of beads.  My wire is neatly stored in one of those plastic accordian type file folders.  I love that because I can label the different types of wire and keep them easily accessible.

My wirework tools (torch and related fun stuff) have been banished from inside the RV.  Hubby is afraid I'll catch us on fire....I only dropped a little piece of melted wire on the throw rung once!  Geesh!  The compromise is that I can easily set up a table outside - and he's put everything in a storage compartment that's right up front next to the door.

Pliers, nippers, and anything I use daily is stored in one of those stacking boxes with the handle on
top.  I can pack that with me anywhere but keep it on one of the dinette benches where I work. 

Now...if I could just figure out what to do with this stuff on the dining room table!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Square - Check it out.

Do you have an Iphone, Ipad or Android phone?  Check out the Square!  This great little gadget allows you to take credit card payments.  Signup is free and there are no monthly fees.  There is a 2.75% transaction fee instead, which is much more feasable for those of us who have sporadic sales.  It's a great little tool to have at shows.

You simply download the mobile app, complete the short signup process, link the square to your bank account and within a few days, you'll receive your square in the mail.  It's only about an inch square (hence the name) and attaches to the top of your phone in the headphone jack.

Here's a link to find out more info.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Top 10

Hey, check out our Etsy Promo Frenzy Team's entrys in the Top 10 contest!  Handmadetop10 is having a contest for $450 dollars in ADVERTISING!   Our team has entered and needs your votes!

Click here: and then click on the Etsy Promo Frenzy team box about halfway down the page.

Be sure and vote for us.  We'd love to win!  You can vote multiple times every day. Invite all your friends to vote for our items! 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Time Flies

It's been a while since I posted here.  We've been so busy.  Did 2 shows in March...a 10-day show and a 3-day show.  Great response to both makes me rethink my plans about doing shows.  I may try and do more this winter.

In May, we left AZ and headed north to WA.  We've been here for a couple of weeks now and I feel as if I've been flying around in a tornado.  So many people to see.  We went camping with family last weekend in Ilwaco and spent the day on the beach, playing with our youngest Grandchild.  He's so cute!

I received an order to custom wire wrap 12 stones!  That kept me busy, I'll tell ya...  I finished the last one yesterday and got them all in the mail today.  Now I need to get busy replenishing my inventory.  I plan to do a 4 day show in July at Ocean Shores WA.  Should be fun.