Tuesday, July 1, 2008


In addition to adding new items daily to my etsy shop to realize an increase in sales, I've also begun some networking efforts. One of these efforts was joining a Yahoo group called Unique Women in Business. Together, we're a group of women each with our own business. We are women who want to sell more. The members have businesses ranging from handmade goods (several with etsy shops), to direct sales (Avon, Tupperware, Pink Papaya), and boutiques. Members of the group support each other by purchasing products from each other. We can send emails about sales, specials, shipping deals, freebies, and samples. The only requirements are that new members make their first purchase from the member who referred them and that each member makes at least one purchase per month from another member--no minimum purchase amount. I joined in mid-June, became official by buying from the group's founder, and had at least four members (maybe more!) purchase jewelry from my etsy shop. I am definitely looking forward to the coming months as more new members join. Drop me an email or comment here if you'd like to join our supportive group of shoppers. If you join directly through our Yahoo groups website, please let them know that you were referred by POLISHED. And, as far as first purchases go, I have lots of items that are $10 or under--including shipping.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


I love making fruit-inspired jewelry. I'm not sure why, but maybe because they're a combination of nature and food...and I always crave their sweet flavors. I've already made earrings fashioned to look like oranges, berries, and pears. I've been wanting to make some apples for months, but I can never find the right beads. Today I gave up on traditional red and decided to use some beautiful honey toned faceted glass. Voila! Golden Delicious Apples. Tasty, don't you think? These earrings are the newest addition to my etsy shop of handmade accessories. http://polishedtwo.etsy.com

Monday, June 2, 2008


What a great day! One of my creations was included in two etsy treasuries in one day. YAY!
Both curators chose my "Bartletts" earrings that are fashioned to look like market-fresh pears in a delicious yellow-green.

Sunday, June 1, 2008


My favorite crafty magazine is Craft: -- its so meaty and chock full of modern, fun projects, often with an eco conscious. Many of the crafts recycle common household items to create something newly useful or just plain cool. I was excited to find out that reps from the magazine would be in Austin for a party at The Work*Shop on Sunday, June 1. Better yet... an on-site PROJECT!

In addition to many wonderful hosts and special guests (Jenny Hart of Sublime Stiching, DIY personality and knitting rock star Vickie Howell, and vinyl accessories designer Jenifer Nakatsu Arntson of Arntson Designs, among others), the party involved delicious treats, tons of doorprizes, and a chance to express some creativity amongst fellow crafters with the sample project: button bracelets.

To make this project, we covered a wrist-size piece of elastic with the colorful buttons of our choice. Our project tables were spread with supplies, including thousands of buttons--one of my very favorite crafting supplies! I settled on a vintage-styled color scheme of aqua and orange, the same colors in my mid-century modern style home. After making my bracelet I considered the fact that I don't really have much in my wardrobe to match this cute new piece of jewelry... all the more reason to go SHOPPING!

Many thanks to Rachel Jane Hobson of Average Jane Crafter for a great time and a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon with friends.

Monday, April 7, 2008


When I first started making jewelry about 10 years ago, it was all because I'd lusted after some gorgeous necklaces in an exclusive boutique. They were beautiful combinations of semiprecious stones with painted floral pendants. I wanted them--every last one of them. They were like nothing I'd ever seen before at department stores or other boutiques I'd shopped in. The problem was that they were waaaay out of my price range. As someone who's been "crafty" ever since I can remember, I left the boutique thinking "I can make them!"

I researched the supplies until I found a source and took lessons in jewelry making from a friend. I read every jewelry magazine I could get my hands on. I spent a lot of free time in the jewelry aisles of craft stores and browing the selections at my local bead shops. Since that day, I have spent the past decade amassing thousands of beads, learning new jewelry-making techniques, and experimenting with color, mixed metals, and styles of the past and present...but I always come back to the pottery shards.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


It all started with birdy necklaces--the ones with two birds building a nest together on a pewter tree branch. Then I had to make bird earrings--flying swallows with Czech glass flowers to give them a bright shot of color. I have now moved into bird hair accessories. Cheep! Cheep!

I made these sweet "tweets" as bobby pins that can be pushed into a messy ponytail, especially when you need a funky party accessory for a night out. You can also use them to pull your bangs over to the side (my personal favorite) or push a cowlick behind your ear. When you don't want to adorn your 'do with these feathered friends, they can also be perched on the page you've just finished as a sweet bookmark--or perched on your collar as an alternative to a brooch.

Monday, March 24, 2008


I am still on the earrings kick. Still have dozens of ideas to turn into real, wearable earrings. Arrrgh! I wish I did not need to sleep.

Friday, March 21, 2008


I'm still making earrings. Whooooooooooooooeee... Here are the orange ones I've been making (while consuming lots of Clementine Cuties, my favorite oranges).

Thursday, March 20, 2008


I've been on an "earrings" kick lately, busting out new earrings every evening, taking photos, and loading them onto my etsy site. I've been to three wonderful bead shows over the past two months and picked up lots of gorgeous Czech glass--both vintage and new beads. I have spent the past week making different combinations with glass, brass, and gemstones and loving every one of them. I must have found my muse during South by Southwest as I am anxious to create, create, create. Perhaps I need to get out and see new live music more often!

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Just one more cool thing about South by Southwest (SXSW): Elijah Wood as DJ for the Bust Magazine party in Austin on the afternoon of Saturday, March 15. I went for the crafts. I went to say "Hey!" to Jennifer Perkins, my fave DIY show hostess. And I went to see what music Elijah would bust out of his iPod. The bonuses: free drinks, free tote bags, and more free drinks. I love this town!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


On Tuesday, March 11 we went out for the evening to see a few bands--none we'd ever heard of, but we were open to seeing what was on the venue for a South by Southwest (SXSW) party at The Beauty Bar on 7th Street in downtown Austin. Upon arrival, the inside stage was between sets so a DJ was spinning a very cool mix of tunes. (I guess I don't get out much in the club scene because I'd never heard Dolly Parton's hit "9 to 5" mixed with a beat as a dance tune, but it was pretty cool to hear that song and reminisce about the movie.) When the band was ready and came on stage, they pretty much knocked our socks off. They played this music that I'd never thought I'd own up to liking--something like a blend of the Black Crowes, Jim Morrison, Led Zeppelin, and Blue Oyster Cult--and seemingly straight out of a time warp from the 70's. The guys all had Jesus hair and tight 70's pearl snap shirts and they rocked it out like they owned the hippie rock movement. The band, Scorpion Child, is one I'd definitely go see again--possibly even with my parents (Gasp!). For some reason, I think they'd dig their classic rock vibe, as long as they're wearing ear plugs to tune down the volume.

This is the greatest thing about South by Southwest... Heading out for the evening with an open mind and stumbling upon something super sweet and memorable in your own backyard--a band that you never knew existing, but have to definitely go see again. I have Scorpion Child on my "must see" list for 2008.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


I love living in downtown Austin. Every spring we are the host city to South by Southwest (SXSW), a huuuuuge convergence of interactive, film, and music professionals and one of the largest conventions in the state. As the host city, we get to partake in thousands of free events--free live music, free parties, and free schwag.

On Sunday, March 9, Etsy was here to host an event called the People Powered Party at the Tap Room. I knew I couldn't miss out on the opportunity to "hang" with Etsy, as well as the other hosts--Moo and Threadless. The party started at 9 pm, but the line probably started before 8 pm. By 8:45, it was down the sidewalk and starting to wriggle around the corner. I wasn't sure if it was an indication of the hosts' popularity or the event notices mentioning free drinks.

My companions and I found a great spot for people watching and let the night happen. I left some of my handcrafted etsy flyers in the ladies restroom, which was eventually taken over by the men who didn't want to wait in line for the men's bathroom. (Grr!) As the night progressed we were tagged with meta tags (descriptive stickers), given Moo samplers, and met Etsy's very cool communications director, Matt. We passed out a lot of business cards and had a great time. I'll be looking forward to Etsy events each year as SXSW rolls into town.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Today I found a new magazine to love. This one is called Good and I found it while browsing the reading materials in an airport store, looking for an interesting periodical that I don't already subscribe to. Not only did the pink cover make me pick it up, but the great photo of the cow and the headlines had me sold, too. I read it cover to cover on my flight, absorbing its goodness and feeling the need to subscribe. Its even printed on good paper--paper I want to save and reuse in craft projects. Another good thing about Good--the subscription cost ($20) is donated to the charity of your choice and the magazine reports back on the goals and contributions to each charity. How good is that!?! This magazine is full of good stuff.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Bargain of the Day: Rx Glasses for $8

A friend recently sent me a link to a site where she said I could get prescription glasses, complete with lenses and ready for my eyes, for eight bucks. It sounded too good to be true. She had complimented a cute guy's trendy frames while standing in line for coffee and he told her about the site. Well, for eight bucks--I was willing to give it shot. I needed a spare pair anyway. I have now ordered three different pairs and sent the link on to everyone I know that's visually impaired. Shipping was about four dollars--for a total of 12 bucks--for a complete pair of glasses. (And the shipping cost didn't go up when I ordered two pairs at once.) I won't even go into the stories I've heard from others about how much they usually pay for glasses, so this is definitely the deal of the day. At this price, you can get a pair to match every outfit in your closet, and even consider donating some to charity! Check out your options at: http://zennioptical.com/cart/home.php

Friday, February 15, 2008

Featured Artist / Etsian: Dawn Houser

I have THOUSANDS of rubber stamps. I kid you not. I don't use them much anymore, but I used to collect, buy, use, design, and sell them when I was in high school and I've never been able to part with my huge collection. It is nearly 20 years later and most of them are still boxed up. I have pulled a few out now and then, but I always tell myself that I can NOT buy ANY MORE STAMPS. I broke my own rule when I went to the Stitch fashion and craft event in Austin. I stopped at Dawn Houser's booth and snatched up several packs of the stamps she designed for Inkadinkadoo, including this set with an Asian theme, as well as some holiday stamps. I could not resist her style, and ended up adding about 10 new rubber stamps to my collection. (Aaack!)
I later found Dawn on etsy, the site where I sell my jewelry. Her etsy site [http://dawnhouser.etsy.com/] includes some of her hand knit items, gorgeously eclectic aprons (Oh! I wish I needed an apron!), and sometimes some of her art or collage materials are available. (My wallet is thankful that her rubber stamps have not shown up on etsy.) Dawn also has a wonderful blog about her life in San Antonio as an artist, mom, thrifter, baker, knitter, crafter, reader, and pet lover. Through her blog [http://dawnhouser.blogspot.com/], I discovered that she's also designed stationery for Crane's. I purchased several boxes of these lovely papers for holiday gifts. I hope to one day meet Dawn in person at one of her open studio tours in the Alamo City.

Monday, February 11, 2008


I had a random thought while I was eating my dinner tonight: My mom is the best! At Thanksgiving she makes a pie for every person who requests one, making sure everyone has their favorite. My favorite is her apple pie. But that's not what this blog is about. This past Thanksgiving, I was trying not to eat the high cal indulgences that the holidays revolve around and was having a bit of anxiety about being around eight different pies and being able to say, "No, Thank You." Knowing this, and indulging everyone with their own pie, my mom made me "Too Good to Deny Pumpkin Pie" from the Hungry Girl website, my go-to source for recipe swaps and tips on healthy restaurant options. This pie was DELICIOUS. And pumpkin is a vegetable, right? So, can I get my "five a day" with five servings of pie?!? OH MY! ...So, my random thought came to me tonight because I wish I had some pie. 133 calories per slice pie. Or any pie. http://www.hungry-girl.com/chew/chewdetails.php?isid=1261


I can easily say that I'm not a super sports fan, especially when it comes to televised sports. When the "super" Sunday comes around at the end of football season, its a given that I'll be at my parents' house snacking the day away on the game day buffet and wishing I was at home crafting. Knowing this about me, my mom came up with a craft project for us to do while the game was on this year. I couldn't have been happier! It was a project she'd seen on one of Martha Stewart's television shows, which usually intimidates me because Martha's crafts tend to require precision, skill, immense patience, and a laundry list of exotic supplies. But this project involved stamping, a craft I mastered back in the 90's. The project was simple and I was impressed with the results. We made kitchen towels stamped with an apple pattern--using a real sliced apple. The materials included cotton towels (we used rectangles of muslin that mom hemmed), apples, acrylic paints, fabric medium for the paints, and a paintbrush. You just slice the apple, apply paint, stamp on the fabric, let it dry a bit, then draw on the seeds and stems. Voila!

Sunday, January 27, 2008


Is it a waste of a day to have an entirely "free" day and not make ANYTHING? It's Sunday, its after 9 pm, and I have wasted an entire day on the computer instead of in my workspace creating new stuff. I practically wasted away all of Saturday, too, with the exception of making a few new pairs of earrings for my etsy shop and taking photos of my latest jewelry, like these black rose earrings. The worst part of wasting these precious days away is that it was a beautiful weekend. We had gorgeous weather after a full week of rain, fog, and no sun. I should have been riding my bike, walking around the lake, or hiking in the greenbelt and absorbing some of the sunshine. But I just discovered Flickr...and there went my entire weekend! I uploaded photos, organized photos, joined groups, shared photos, searched other peoples photos, commented on their photos, and read comments that people left on my photos. In fact, its not quite bedtime--so I have another hour with Flickr before my weekend is over and I'm stuck in a different chair staring at a different computer.


This week was dreary, cold, and rainy for five days straight. There was no sun in sight and a definite chill in the air. What a great time for staying in and crafting! I dug back into my grandmother's button collection and made a new batch of colorful vintage button magnets--great for dressing up the fridge and posting my collection of lists. Making them is a process very similar to making the button rings. I just dig through the jar of buttons looking for interesting shapes and colors, then I start stacking them in various combinations. I put them together with a super strong adhesive, let them dry for a few hours, then use the adhesive to attach a strong magnet to the back of each stack. Voila!

Thursday, January 24, 2008


A few days ago, these colorful buttons were trapped in an antique canning jar begging to be released. (See my post a few days ago.) Sure, they had storied pasts on old cardigans that traveled the world, on button-down shirts squeezed in the back of someone's overstuffed closet, or hidden for years at the bottom of grandma's sewing box.

After scoring this jar of stories at an antique mall in Wichita Falls, I couldn't help but dump the buttons out on my parents' dining room table to sift through them and see what pretties I could make. My sister and I made stacks and glued them together with a super strong adhesive. Then I put the stacks on adjustable ring bases, upcycling the old buttons into unique vintage button rings.

There are too many rings here to keep them all for myself, so as soon as the sun comes out and the dreary weather moves out of town, I'll be outside taking some well-lit photos and adding the bling to my etsy shop. I can't wait to share these with everyone!

As a side note, when I dumped out the jar there were a few interesting goodies in there that were not buttons, including a thumbtack, some marbles, a few beads, and a few bolts. Not one to let anything go to waste, I used the thumbtacks and marbles to make some mod-looking tacks. These beauties will dress up my otherwise boring bulletin board. I made them by stacking a few buttons, much like the rings are made, and topping them off with a brightly colored marble--giving it a bit of a "handle." [See top three pretties on the right in the photo above.] The whole stack was then glued to the flat-top of the thumbtack. Voila!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


I've only been back from our road trip for a full 24 hours and I'm already itching to do more treasure hunting. The problem is, my treasure hunting locally is never as fun as being on the road. I love stopping in small towns and discovering their thrift stores and antique shops. Last weekend the hunt was on as I brought along my handy-dandy Blackberry. Ah, technology... As my husband did the driving, I did the researching on the upcoming towns that we'd be driving through with a quick Internet search. For example, my search for thrift stores in little Evant, Texas yielded this awesome find--the Agape Thrift Store located in the town's main square off US 281. Their prices are super cheap and what could be better than a store with proceeds benefiting a charity?!?

Saturday, January 19, 2008


Some things in life are treasured in my book. Time with family, time off from work, time to be crafty, time with my friends, time to eat a home cooked meal... I am having a treasured weekend. My husband and I are in Wichita Falls visiting my new family--my mother and father-in-law, aunt, uncle--on a long holiday weekend. The drive to Wichita Falls is a long one, but we have learned to make it a treasure hunt along the way, taking our time to visit antique stores and resale shops in the small town squares along the way. My husband has the treasures that he hunts for and I have mine and we make our way through the narrow aisles of the overstuffed shops hoping to score riches for our various collections before we jump back in the truck and head further down the road. While we haven't scored many thrifty treasures so far this weekend (there's still tomorrow!) compared to other trips we've been on, we've had some quality time together with family, and that's pretty golden. Oh, I did score this fab old jar of vintage buttons in a barn in Bowie, Texas today--but would have missed out on it without my mother-in-law along for the ride. I walked right past it, but she saw high up on a shelf and remembered how much I looooove vintage button jars. Score!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


I was so excited to look down at my calendar today at the office and realize that we're exactly two months away from South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin. While I'm not a part of the music industry, I am a music fan and this conference brings 100's of bands to town. The best part of this is that they converge not only for industry showcases, but also for unexpected shows all over town, like the time I saw Nickel Creek play in the alley behind a little folk art store. In fact, SXSW will always hold a special place in my heart because I met my husband three years ago during SXSW. It doesn't get much better than this. So begins my countdown to South-by.

Monday, January 7, 2008


I love to cook, but on weeknights it has to be something EASY. Nothing's easier than relying on my crock pot. Today's recipe is for Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken and it has two ingredients. How's this for easy...
Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken
  • 4 Frozen Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Bottle of BBQ Sauce


Place frozen chicken in crock pot. Dump BBQ sauce in pot. Turn on low. Come back 8 hours later and serve.

My favorite EASY side dish is sweet potatoes. I put two of them in my little crock with a tablespoon of water at the bottom and turn it on low. Four hours later, they're cooked so their insides are so smoooooooth and creamy that no butter is necessary. TaStY! Serve the chicken and potatoes with something green, like steamed asparagus. This is a homecooked meal in 8 minutes or less (other than the crock time while I'm at the office). EASY!

Thursday, January 3, 2008


Lately I've been a little obsessed with vintage buttons. A few weeknights ago, I dumped an entire jar of them on the countertop, dug through them one by one looking for fabulocity and coordinating colors, and came up with lots of delicious combinations. Then I put them on rings--awesomely kitsch vintage button rings. Oh, the novelty! This week I will start showing them off in my online shop and hope for potential buyers since I cannot possibly have these all to myself! Want one? I've got lots to share.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


After a day back at the grind, how could I resist spending my evening adding new earrings to my online shop (look to the right, eh!) and taking the Etsy survey. (Would you like to participate in the survey and enter to win one of their five $100 shopping sprees? Click on...) As for the earrings, I had fun using some wonderful vintage German glass beads that I found while browsing Wimberley Market Days. They were in a basket outside of a little shop and they caught my eye immediately. They've been in my bead collection since summertime, but I brought them with me for our New Year's Eve in this beautiful Hill Country town and made lots of inspired glass earrings while my husband was fishing. I realized today while bathing in the glow of artificial lighting and a dirty computer monitor that a day of making earrings and watching deer in the yard is better than any day in the office...but don't tell my boss I said that.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


My, how times have changed... How long has it been since I hoped I'd have a wild plan all lined up for New Year's Eve. This year's plan was less of a "plan" and more about the wildlife. My husband and I spent the extended holiday weekend in Wimberley, Texas. He tried to catch smallmouth bass in the clear waters of the Blanco River and I tried to catch deer in the camera lens as they pranced through the neighborhood. I also had the pleasure of seeing ducks cross the road to get to the river, turkeys hanging out in someone's front yard, goats gnawing on someone's grass, and lots of cows. When I wasn't lost on the winding roads and trying to find my way back to the delightful town square, I was making some new jewels to share with everyone and catching up on my magazine reading. We ended up spending NYE night playing Scrabble, drinking champagne left from our wedding, and eating the top of our wedding cake as first anniversary tradition dictated. [It was still surprisingly delicious, by the way!] This is my new idea of fun. Not exactly wild, but what can I say. Anyway, I won the game and victory made the evening even more fun. Teeehee! Best wishes for a safe and prosperous 2008.