Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Weekend Sale in My Etsy Shop - May 1 - May 3

10% off everything. In honor of my son's birthday, this will run Friday, May 1 through Sunday, May 3. No need for special codes. If you purchase anything on those days, I will automatically take the 10% off and send you a revised invoice.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Up and Coming Shops - Continued

A while back I posted a request on the Etsy forums for shops with exactly one sale so I could put one of their items in a treasury. Well, that treasury has come and gone, but I haven't finished spotlighting the shops I heard from. I've had to change the name of this series from One Sale Shops to Up and Coming Shops, since they've all gotten more sales! And I'm sure they won't have low sales for long, either.

The next shop on the list is Lucky Star Origami and I'm pleased to see when I check out her shop today that she now has 10 sales! And I can see why. She makes the cutest origami jewelry and miscellany. My favorites are still these little daffodil earrings:
Please check out this shop as well as the shops I featured earlier, who each have five sales as of this writing. (congratulations!)

Dana's Paint N Knit Place (ptdrummajor)
Sugar and Spikes

Monday, April 20, 2009

It's a dog's day

Last week I posted photos of Sammie and Willow sitting on the window seat in my studio - one of their favorite places. When I came in this morning, I was surprised to find not Sammie and Willow, but Buddy, our dog! I guess he thinks whatever is good for the cats is good for him, too. He didn't stay long though, the sun coming in that window can be really hot this time of day. Now he's sleeping in a corner in the shade.

Add Image

Saturday, April 18, 2009

MPBN Great TV Auction

Some members of the Etsy Maine Team have donated a gift basket to the MPBN Great TV Auction. I don't watch television very much, but I do listen to MPBN Public Radio every single day, almost all day long, while I am working. I get my news from All Things Considered and Morning Edition and hear enlightening interviews on Fresh Air. In the afternoon, there are so many diverse offerings from Soundprint to speakers in many different forums. The World gives me a global perspective. And if I can't find something I like on the radio at that moment, I can always to to and download or podcast something I might have missed. That way I can keep up with shows I miss when I'm not in my studio: This American Life, Marketplace and Marketplace Money and my very favorite: Wait, Wait . . . Don't Tell Me. These shows are all very important to me, not only for information but also entertainment. I urge you to check out our donation as well as all the other items donated at the MPBN Great TV Auction. You can bid online at that site as well.

Our donation, shown above, includes some really awesome stuff from some very talented artists: Tie dye socks, visor and bandana, a felted tote bag, note cards, two pairs of earrings, a crocheted and felted purse, a stoneware fish, a decoupage apple, some kid-friendly colored pasta for use in crafts and, last but not least, a Beaded Bouquet, made by myself, which can be seen in between the note cards and the stoneware fish. The entire set can be found at Please be sure to check it and all the other donations.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

my new jewelry stamp

I love getting stuff in the mail and today was a bonus day for me. Not only did I get my new purse today (see previous post) but I also got my new jewelry stamp. It does awesome stampings as you will see below.

My most excellent shawl and purse

I am very excited! I just got my new purse which goes with the new shawl/veil I received the other day and which goes with the jewelry I made for myself to wear to the upcoming Chef's Gala. Please see the photos below. The photos make the the shawl look more pink than it really is. The bag is about one shade darker than the veil and they look absolutely stunning together. I must thank lizzyoos for the scarf and threebridgessewingco for the purse. They are both members of the most awesome Etsy Maine Team.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

One-Sale Etsy Shops

I am continuing my list of shops who only have one sale. The one for today is Dana's Paint N Knit Place (ptdrummajor).

She has some lovely and colorful paintings in her shop. My favorite is this one: Very wise saying.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Haiku Mondays

On the Etsy Maine Team Thread, today is Haiku Monday. Here is mine for the day:

Ode to Sammie and Willow

sleep, change position
sleep some more, clean each other
then sleep in the sun

eat, watch birds, then sleep
then around the house we'll run
bug Mom while she works

chase and eat a bug
and throw it up on the rug
now it's time for bed

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Improved site up and running

Other than the home page, vistors to my site shouldn't notice much difference except for the layout. News and important things will appear on my front page via my blog, so I can get information out quicker. In addition, it should be somewhat easier for me to update when necessary. I've gone through the site to find problems and haven't found any, but please let me know if you find something I missed so I can fix it. Thank you.

And I leave you with a sure sign of Spring. A photo of the ducks that visit our pond every year. They've returned!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Coming Soon: New and Improved Website

Over the next few weeks you will notice changes in my website ( . I am in the process of changing it so that it will be easier for me to update and so that those updates can come to you quicker. If you have any problems at all during this time, let me know by emailing me at

Thank you!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Jewelry for Myself

It's very rare for me to keep jewelry for myself, and I have finished a set that I will be wearing to an upcoming event. I will be wearing this lipstick red set with a black and white polka dot dress. I have made the necklace so that each of the three strands can be worn separately or together in any combination and the length can be adjusted a bit. The beads I used are Czech glass beads I purchased from Sultry Affair Beads' Etsy Shop.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Okay, you asked for it: My workspace

My fellow Etsy Maine Team member and internet friend posted a request to see people's work spaces, so I've taken up her challenge. Here are two pictures of the area in my office where I do most of my work. You'll see Willow has kindly agreed to pose in one of the pictures. It's a mess, and really needs to be neatened up and organized, but I generally know where everything is.

This is the main area where I make jewelry. The chair is currently facing my computer.

Another picture of the same area, only closer and with Willow looking none too happy to be model.

This is the lovely window seat where the cats spend most of their day watching birds and sleeping in the sun.

Another view of my office, showing the shelves where I try to display jewelry I have already made, as well as a corner of my desk. You can also see just a bit of Willow's cat tree.

Lastly, this is my desk and computer. And Sammie, who, as I type this is using my left arm as a pillow and purring like crazy.

So that's it. Someday when I clean my office, I'll post better pictures.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Story of Willow and Me Jewelry

My son suggested that my first real entry into my blog should be a history of my company. Here are the results:

I have been a “crafty” person all my life. I have tried my hand at many things, from counted cross stitch to watercolor painting. I enjoyed those things (and still enjoy painting), but none were ever more than a hobby and usually only a means for making gifts for others.

And that is the way jewelry began as well. Two incidents with jewelry prompted me to begin making it myself. First, I purchased a necklace from a department store in their “costume jewelry” section to wear to a formal event. It was a beaded necklace and it matched my dress beautifully. Unfortunately, it was not well made and broke half-way through the event. Another time, I purchased a beaded ankle bracelet at an arts and crafts fair which got caught on something one day and broke. I lost most of the beads, but was able to salvage some of them. I then purchased more and tried to recreate the ankle bracelet. After experimenting with different designs and beads, as well as stringing materials, I finally made something I was happy with and that would not break on the first wearing. I had some left over beads and materials and made some other pieces. And I was hooked.

I began buying beading magazines and experimenting with techniques and materials. I made gifts for several people that Christmas. My pieces were a hit! I made more pieces as gifts and began to develop a style. Those who received my gifts or saw the jewelry I made began to tell me I should sell my pieces. By that time, I had been a stay at home mother for several years, having left my job as a paralegal after we adopted our second child. Now that the boys were older and didn’t need me constantly, I had time on my hands and I began to investigate how to begin a business. Finally I took the plunge and on January 1, 2006, Willow and Me Jewelry Design was born. (I have since shortened the name to Willow and Me Jewelry).

I began with my self-taught skills in beading. I tried by first setting up an online store, but without having a clue how to promote myself, that did poorly. I sold some pieces locally and landed a custom order for a wedding that first summer. I then decided I should try selling at craft fairs and began with a large local craft fair that I had attended as a customer for years. I did quite well that weekend and was encouraged to add more craft fairs to my schedule. I am now going into my third full summer season of craft fairs with eight shows scheduled. I have maintained my website for informational purposes ( This year, I have increased my online presence with the opening of my Etsy shop ( and the starting of this blog. I have become a member of the Etsy Maine Team as well.

At first, I relied on books and magazines to learn the skills I needed to make my pieces, but there became a time when I needed to have instruction from a real teacher who could give me feedback. My first classes were in soldering, wire work, PMC and lampworking. I have continued with my PMC work and in March of 2009, I received my
Rio Rewards PMC Certification. I still enjoy beading, but I also love the opportunities PMC gives me for making pieces in the past would only be possible by learning a whole host of silversmithing skills. That is my next goal – to add to my metal working skills.

I named my company after my cat, Willow. When I first began making jewelry as gifts, she was a kitten and would sit by my work area and bat around all my beads, or else she would sleep in my lap or in a bed I made for her. Whenever I would give a piece as a gift, I always signed it “from Willow and Lisa.” It was a natural evolution to go to Willow and Me Jewelry. Willow still spends a lot of time at my work area, either on my desk (still batting at beads) or else sleeping on the window seat or the cat tree in my office. She is smart enough to know when to stay away, for instance when I am soldering or using my flex-shaft.

I have saved some of those first pieces I made and I can see the evolution of both my style and my skills. I don’t think I will ever stop learning new skills. There is always a new technique or a new tool I want to try. As time goes on, I will be sharing some of those here.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Yay to DreaBunny, Maine Team Artist of the Month!

Congratulations to one of my new Etsy friends for making April Artist of the Month on the Etsy Maine Team blog!