Friday, March 13, 2009

Things I've bought and LOVED on Etsy

I've found that Etsy is a wonderful marketplace for more than just jewelry (like mine - LOL). I've been very happy with my purchases - a handmade jersey shirt, crocheted washcloths and some fabulous "green" dog toys. Here are my reviews for those of you who may be afraid to take the handmade plunge...

Little Bits long sleeve shirt from I LOVE this shirt and have worn it twice already. Hubby likes it, it fits well and it arrived very quickly. I usually wear a size M and it fits true to size. I think that the quality of these pieces is very good and worth the price.

Tug 'o War toys from My chocolate lab "puppy" -- she's a year old and still loves to chew, of course -- loves these toys. They are made with reclaimed tennis balls (check out the story on woofpurrcreations' site) and braided fleece in your selection of colors. Ginger is happy and she is eating fewer of my kids' toys, so we are all happy! Plus, this is a green solution. Everybody can feel great about this one. Customer service was terrific.

Handmade washcloths custom ordered through the Alchemy feature on Etsy from The picture is not of the washcloths (sorry, don't have one), but these little hats are adorable and show how great busymommy is at her craft. I received several washcloths in colors that coordinate with my kitchen perfectly. They have held up and do a great job. This is a very "green" alternative to paper towels! Busymommy's communication was great and her work was fantastic!

These are just a few of the great sellers on Etsy whose work impresses and inspires me!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Free earrings!

To celebrate my first month with a shop on Etsy, I'm running a giveaway for everyone who posts a comment about one of my jewelry items on either this blog (respond to this post) or on one of my spotlights on I'd love to hear thoughts, critiques, whatever. One lucky person will get to choose a free pair of earrings from my store. The giveaway ends on 3/10/09.

You can find all of my pieces on or just follow the link on this page. Happy looking and thanks for a great first month on Etsy!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Signs of spring...

Every spring I get an itch to put away the dark colors of winter and pull out the brights and pastels. I just love color and love to wear it. This must have impacted my jewelry designing recently because everything I made was light, bright and cheery.
One of my new favorites is this loooong copper chain (37") with floating flourite and crystal beads, which I suspended with some fine copper wrapped wire. It was very time-consuming, but the result was just so neat. I love how the open links make the necklace airy and the stones add just the perfect amount of extra color and sparkle. I'm so glad that I had some time to play with wire! I've been obsessed with this type of necklace since seeing one of my favorite actresses wearing them constantly lately.

Baby Turns One!

I took a break from jewelry, work and blogging this weekend to properly celebrate my little girl's first birthday! She was just adorable and loved her "flower cake" decorated with bright, beautiful flowers.

I was able to take pictures with my new camera because our lab *ouch* chewed the other part of the power cord, goodness knows how she found it!

Friday, February 27, 2009

So, the dog ate my camera.....

Well, not exactly. She did chew the USB cord the other night, which is seriously slowing me down in terms of listing new items. I have several new things to list, including some chunky glass bead bracelets, earrings and a beautiful new obsidian and peridot necklace with an intricately wire-wrapped pendant.

Lucky for me, I found the cable I need on eBay and it is on its way to me as I write. Thank goodness for eBay!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Time to search for a new au pair

Well, as a working mom with two kids and a full-time law practice, I need solid childcare and we've been using au pairs for the last three years. It is very afforable and has been a good experience overall. Our son, who is four, has learned so much more about foreign cultures than I ever imagined and both kids become quite attached to the girls.

We are now about six months out from the end of our current au pair's year and are starting to think about reapplying and interviewing someone new. For legal reasons, we use an agency, Cultural Care Au Pair,, and that way we have no worries about visas, taxes or health insurance. The cost averages out to be about $320 per week for 45 hours of live-in care and light housekeeping.

We also register on Great Au Pair,, so that we can informally look through more applications and sometimes you can find your own au pair and then get a discount when they sign on with the agency as a "pre-match."

This is a sad but exciting time, because we hate to even think about losing our au pair but it gives us time to think about what our kids will be doing in the next year and what new and different qualities the new person could add to the kids' experience. Garrett will be getting close to starting school in the next year and Carly will be going through potty training. Wow. Anyway, I'll be sure to give updates on our progress from time to time.
If you are interested in the au pair program, let me know and I'll happily give you more info.

Wow - my earrings are the featured item on!

I was surfing around my various sites today when I noticed that my earrings are the featured artisan item of the day on! My jaw dropped and I was overwhelmed with happiness. With all of the hard work I've been putting into my new store and various marketing activities, not to mention designing and making my pieces, this was so validating.

For anyone who is working on internet marketing or an online business like mine, I highly recommend My page views have increased since I joined and even though it is a brand new site, it has a ton of potential. I've been so impressed by how dedicated the creators are to making it user friendly and helpful to the handmade artisan community.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Wire-wrapped ring design - floating bead

I love this sterling silver new ring design. The bead is set high above the ring so that it "floats" and moves to catch the light. It is so eye-catching that when I wear mine, I find myself looking at it constantly. I'll be filling custom orders soon in all sizes, just $10!

Monday, February 23, 2009

From Baby Body to "I'm Ba-acck!"...

As some of you might remember, I went to a little neighborhood Oscar party last night. Lots of fun! I ended up wearing jeans, a sweater that I got for Christmas but didn't have the nerve to wear before and my patent maryjanes. I've been feeling a bit uncomfortable wearing form-fitting clothes since I had my baby last March. I am paranoid about "muffin tops" and that little extra around my formerly taut abs..... *sigh*

Well, after about 14 outfits -- seriously, lost count after 7 -- I landed on a very form-fitting sweater that my wonderful sister-in-law gave me for Christmas. Size medium and not an inch to spare. It was a faux wrap with a plunging neckline, but it was clean and it went well with my stretch jeans *eek*. (I have the chocolate brown version of the sweater to the right...)

I added a version of my new Russian lace necklace (see pic on left) and felt fabulous. Even my husband commented that he thought I may have lost a few pounds! The night was great, I felt semi-glamorous and it was the first time since my daughter was born that I wore something like that.

So, for all of you new moms who wonder when it will happen, just be patient! You'll get back to where you want to be if you work at it. It just may take a little time.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Great new site

I just registered at and it looks like this website will be an amazing resource for all artisans who are committed to making and offering handmade goods!

Oscar party - what to wear?

I have an Oscar party to go to and don't know what to wear. Jewelry? Dress? Jeans with a nice jacket and fun jewelry?

What does one wear to this kind of thing in Albuquerque? I know what I'd wear in Philly...but the East Coast dress code is different. Hmmmmm.

I have so many things in my closet that just don't go with my new New Mexico lifestyle. My suits are too tailored, my dressy stuff is too formal. Even for casual day at my old job, I wore a nice jacket and accessories with jeans. I often feel like I just don't get the dress code. It isn't that people don't dress nicely for work here, but I think that the style is just different from what I'm used to. After a few weeks on my new job, I stopped wearing my big ol' pointy-toed power heels. I now have cute patent leather Mary Janes. Both are nice and professional, but I need to take the edge off....that's tough for a former Philadelphia lawyer...on so many levels.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The economy - a chance to reconsider our careers?

In this economy, a blanket of unease about our employment stability has settled across our nation. I constantly hear the words "if I lose my job" in casual conversation. Job loss numbers are climbing and the stock market can't seem to find it's bottom. People are now seriously thinking about what they would do if they lost a job, a fear that did not strike most of us before.

Maybe it isn't so bad that many of us are taking a moment to think about our careers. When we are comfortable in a job, we may not ask ourselves whether we are truly happy or what may make us feel more fulfilled at work and in life.

In the legal industry, we've been hit with headlines announcing massive layoffs and large firm implosions. Established law firms have dissolved, leaving hundreds of former employees competing with each other for work opportunities in saturated markets. This begs the question: if a lawyer wanted to quit the law, what would he or she do?

For years, I have been told that the possibilities are endless for lawyers seeking a real career change. Really? I think that the answer is "maybe." If you can identify your non-legal skills and package them in a way that translates into a different field, why not? As lawyers, many of us are decent writers, and some are good marketers, negotiators and sales people. Trial lawyers make a living convincing people to buy their story over their adversary's and they need to be able to connect with people and earn trust quickliy to accomplish that. We just need to think as non-lawyers for a minute to see that this career can prepare us for other things.

My own recent musings on this subject made me think -- what else could I do if the worst happens? I thought about my skills, not in terms of what kinds of legal work I do, but what sorts of business or other skills I might have. I realized recently that over the course of years practicing law and doing charitable work, political work, and running an occasional (very small) business on the side, that I've developed pretty strong sales and marketing skills. Who knew? I didn't, until I stopped thinking like a lawyer selling my legal skills and started thinking like an objective business person.

In addition to identifying skills that you have already mastered, think about what you might need to develop to move into your dream non-law job. Right now, I'm working on my jewelry making hobby. I'm learning new skills and how to market products that I've made. It's fun and it comforts me to know that I actually could do something else if I had to. I don't have any plans to leave the law any time soon, but I no longer feel like it is impossible for me to do anything but legal work.

So, if you are feeling uneasy and you wonder what could be in store for you, be proactive. Take a look at all of your skills, including those that you may have developed outside of your career. Also, be honest about what you love to do. That will help you figure out what skills you may need or want to develop in your spare time to pursue your other passions. It never pays to push yourself beyond your current career label. At minimum you will meet new people outside of your profession who could truly help your business development efforts as a lawyer!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Beyond the basics

So, I've been thinking about expanding what I make to include different kinds of things. I have lots of ideas that are sort of simmering in my brain. One idea that really intrigues me is the concept of recycling old costume jewelry..... you never know, I may just be putting my toe into that water soon.

I'm also starting to make wire wrapped rings. So much fun! I'll upload a few of my designs soon. So far, I've gotten compliments. Now to iron out the details....

I'd love to hear ideas for new kids of projects and I'm really interested in offering something on my Etsy shop that is high quality but maybe a little less expensive.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Marketing on the Internet

So, one of the biggest challenges of my new business is trying to market it during my so-called "free time!" I started this adventure because I was using my free time to make things. Although I love marketing in some ways, especially when I really believe in a product, I sometimes wish I could just sit and create. Isn't what this is all about anyway?

I've had a few successes. First, my friends have been incredibly supportive of my new endeavor. They are so sweet to compliment my new designs and encourage me every step of the way. They are a great source of potential referrals and that has already started to pay off! Second, I am hopping around on the Etsy forums and adding my thoughts when people are soliciting opinions. That has been great in two ways. I learn wonderful things from generous people and sometimes people visit my site and "heart" it (bookmark it) for later. Finally, I wear my pieces and I ordered business cards for those times when people stop and say -- "I love your necklace/earrings/etc." Now, I can hand off a business card and tell people to check out my shop on Etsy.

None of this takes too much time away from my kids or my law job and I know that consistency in these things will help to move my business forward.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

One of my favorite new "findings!"

I love wire guardians and am using them in many of my new pieces. They protect your beading wire from wear against the clasp and make your ends look more finished.

(Find these at

Welcome to my adventure!

This adventure really started in the summer of 2007. My husband and I had started talking generally about the idea of someday checking out of the East Coast big city lawyer scene and moving back to New Mexico, where he grew up.

Then, the craziest things started to happen. We paid off most of our law school loans. My husband miraculously found a wonderful job opportunity in New Mexico. I was pregnant with our second child and said, why not? We packed up, sold our house (yes, in this market!) and moved a month later.

The move has been great for us. While we still both have legal careers, we see our kids more and now I have time to scratch that creative itch that has been bugging me for years. A few months ago, a friend showed me how she makes her incredible beaded jewelry. I had made jewelry before, in metal shop as a kid and later in college. However, I was mostly self-taught and my stuff looked it :). Now I had the tools (literally and figuratively) to pursue this passion and soon I was addicted.

My friends have been incredibly supportive and several people suggested that I start selling my pieces. Where it will lead, who knows? Etsy gave me the opportunity to list some of my jewelry in a comfortable environment and now I figured I'd blog about it.

Check out my store with all of my latest creations at