Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My own kind of sneak attack.....

Click here to visit Handmade Movement Sneak Attack website

Have you ever heard of the sneak attack? If you are active in Etsy circles, chances are you have. I really like the idea of the sneak attack. For those of you who aren't crazy Etsians, the sneak attack is when a bunch of people purchase items from an Etsy shop with little or no sales. The idea is that you are really making some sellers day. Can you imagine? All of a sudden getting orders left and right? I mean literally? I'm sure it is an amazing feeling.

I have participated in one sneak attack. I bought 3 hand made cards. They were very lovely, and I felt good about making this seller's day. Every once in awhile I visit the site to see who the next "victim" is and check out their wares.

I'm sure everyone has heard of pay it forward. This is something else that Etsians have managed to make their own. They list an item from their shop for just the listing fee (.20) plus shipping, or sometimes they sell it for a price that just covers the materials. The idea here is, that if you buy a PIF item, you in turn do the same thing. List a PIF in your own shop, or do something else to pay it forward.

Both wonderful concepts. I've been thinking lately of doing my own form of the sneak attack. In a way I've already started. When I have a little extra money from sales, I purchase from someone I have gotten to know a little from the various on line venues that us Etsians frequent. So far they have been all soap sellers. Soap is a wonderful treat and generally affordable.

I've been one to hand make things all my life, and I can't believe it has taken me all these years to figure out that I should be supporting the handmade community. I plan on purchasing and making handmade gifts this Holiday season. I'm very excited!

So that is one part of my own little sneak attack, but the real part of my sneak attack is going to be something I do all year long. Every now and again, I'm going to sneak attack my friends, or family. Maybe send some jewelry to a friend I know who is going through hard times as a little pick me up. Or to a friend I know wouldn't buy anything for herself. Or as a thank you for something someone has done for me.

It does feel good to do things for other people, and while I love the thought behind the original sneak attack, I want to make it a little more personal. I want to touch the lives of the people in my life.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Marilyn Monroe

Click here for Etsy listing. (Yes, I must link everything back to Etsy! I really do love it THAT much! :) )

I just finished reading a biography by J. Randy Taraborrelli called The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe. I'm not sure what made me pick it up, I don't have any particular fondness for Marilyn Monroe. Of course I know who she is, have seen some of her movies, and who could miss the onslaught of constant Marilyn Monroe everything from posters, keychains, postcards, t-shirts, books, pictures, etc, etc. I guess I have always thought of her as a ditzy blonde actress who had a troubling personal life.

I think one of the things that sparked my curiosity about her life is seeing so many young starlets imitating her, tattooing Marilyn's face on their bodies, identifying themselves as somehow like her. I guess the real kicker was when I saw a quote by Marilyn on my 16 year old nieces FaceBook.

I mean, if I'm going to quote someone, it's going to be someone I really admire. So, I can only assume that the younger generation really admires her.

After reading the book, all I can say is, poor Norma Jeane Mortensen. She was born to an unwed mother who put her into foster care right after her birth. She stayed there for 7 years when her Mother decided she wanted her back. Norma Jeane's Mother was to be diagnosed as Paranoid Schizophrenic. Her Mother before her also suffered from the same mental illness, as would Marlilyn in later life.

Marilyn's early life entailed her being shuffled around here and there until she married at 17. The only reason she got married is so she wouldn't have to go the state orphanage. Her rise to fame wasn't meteoric, she struggled, but made steady progress in her career.

She is described constantly by those who knew her as absolutely beautiful. Every inch of her, from head to toe. She knew how to turn it on, how to work a room, how to BE Marilyn Monroe. To look at her, you'd think she had everything. But she constantly battled her demons. She battled them unsuccessfully with drugs and alcohol, and in the end she lost her life.

This book gives the reader a peek into what her mental state was like at times. I can't imagine living with what she had to deal with. Abandonment issues accompanied by mental illness, the poor girl never had a chance.

I walk away from this book, not with admiration for Marilyn Monroe, but with a new found respect for what she had to live through. It is amazing she made it as far as she did given what she was up against.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The State Fair of Texas

When I hear the word "Fair" my mind conjures up visions of ferris wheels, livestock shows, cotton candy, children running, laughing and playing. I think of horses, chickens, goats, and pigs. Beautiful quilts, canned goods, and other craft items made by ranchers or farmers wives. I think of the animated Charlotte's Web.

The reality for me going to The State Fair of Texas was a little bit different. I'm sure when the fair was founded many years ago, it was much more like the vision I had in my head. While walking around the fair, I imagined what it must have been like for kids out on the ranch to come to Dallas all those years ago to show their wares, to see and be seen. How exciting it would have been. The flashing lights, the cotton candy, corn dogs, popcorn, ice cream. Friends you only see once a year....

To be fair to the Fair, we arrived in the late afternoon and were quickly sucked into the carnival rides. The only animals we saw were the horses in the mounted patrol in the parking lot. There had to have been exhibits and animals somewhere, we just didn't get to see them. I really want to go back and see everything. We'll do a better job of it next time! The parts we did get to do were great.

The first thing we saw was a pond full of swans floating around a pond. Of course the girls HAD to do this.

We teased my husband and oldest daughter that they got "the ugly duckling". It was weird, a whole fleet of swans, and they got the duck!

The Dallas skyline from the top of the ferris wheel.

They had a great kids section in the carnival. My youngest is barely tall enough to ride the rides. This was the first time she was able to ride the cool rides! The girls had so much fun. I have always hated amusement parks, but the smiles on their faces while going on the rides made me smile too. I really, truly loved seeing how much fun they were having. So much that I just might take them to a real amusement park. Someday. Maybe. :)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Custom Hand Stamped Jewelry with Birthstones ~ New Designs!

I have briefly introduced before my new line of custom hand stamped jewelry. I am slowly expanding on it. I have added a few new designs. You can tell the new ones because they are in copper! I usually practice on copper because the sterling sheet is so expensive. I must say that last night when I made these, I was in the stamping zone! I am finally getting the hang of this!

These are 2 1/2" discs in sterling silver with gemstone birthstones. These little discs will only hold 4 characters each.

This design in sterling silver, with 2 1/2 inch discs and gemstones on a 16" or 18" chain is $ 25.00. Additional discs with gemstones can be added for $ 8 a piece.

This pendant is made of two discs stacked together. The smaller disc is 6/8" and the larger 1". I also stamped dots along the edges, it added balance in this particular piece with the top name being longer than the bottom. These could be done either way, with the dots or without. Your choice. I would also add the gemstone birthstones to dangle in the center.

This design in sterling silver, with 2 names and 2 gemstones on a 16" or 18" sterling silver chain that closes with a lobster clasp is $ 35.

This is a 1" disc with 2 longer names stamped on it, and a heart at the bottom. I would add the birthstone gemstones to this as well.

This is a 1" disc with 4 names stamped on it. I made this one for my sister as a family necklace. It has the names of her family and their birthstones on it. This is another example of what I can do on the 1" disc.

Either of these designs in sterling silver, with up to 23 characters and up to 4 gemstones on a 16" or 18" sterling silver chain that closes with a lobster clasp is $ 30.

This disc is 7/8", and works well with longer names. Shown is the disc with lettering. I think with all the extra space this would look really great in silver with a gemstone birthstone and a little sterling silver charm that would dangle in the middle of the disc above the name. Maybe a heart charm? Really cute!

This design in sterling silver, with 1 name and 1 gemstone on a 16" or 18" sterling silver chain that closes with a lobster clasp is $ 25. I can add a sterling charm, which I would have to quote you a price on. I am not currently stocking sterling charms, and will have to order the charm. If you have a certain charm in mind though, I will do the leg work in tracking one down and quote you a price.

Here is a picture of the gemstone birthstones that I have in stock. They measure anywhere from 3.5mm to 4 mm. They are small, but are genuine gemstones. They are from left to right,

January- Garnet
February- Amethyst
March- Aquamarine
April- White Topaz
May- Emerald
June- Moonstone
July- Ruby
August- Peridot
September- Sapphire
October- Pink Tourmaline
November- Citrine
December- Apatite

These hand stamped necklaces make great gifts for mom's and grandma's, for anyone who loves personalized jewelry, and even for yourself! If you would like to place an order, contact me via e mail at and we can get started on your custom piece. Payment can be made by cash, check, or if you prefer to pay by credit card, I can send you an invoice through paypal.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Custom Hand Stamped Jewelry with Birthstones

Click here for the Etsy Listing

I am very excited to finally let everyone know about the hand stamped jewelry line I have been working on. When I ordered the supplies to begin this project I had no clue just how difficult it is to stamp metal in a semi straight line. After many trials and errors, and plenty of scrap copper sheet, I have finally gotten to the point that I feel comfortable sharing my work with the world!

This particular pendant is for my sister. Her birthday is next month, and I got a handle on stamping just in time. I hope she likes it!

I am now inspired to carry on further with the custom hand stamped jewelry, and have a few other designs in mind. I'm off to create!

Friday, September 18, 2009

A sneak peak......Updated!!!

Everything is officially updated and listed on Etsy! Whew!

Here is the link to the listing on Etsy Copper Flower Earrings

Here is the link to the listing on Etsy Silver and Gold Wheel Earrings

Here is the link to the listing on Etsy Sapphire Drop Earrings

Here is the link to the listing on Etsy Victoria Earrings

Here is the link to the listing on Etsy Swingin Circles Earrings

Here's the link to the Etsy listing Tiny Bubbles Necklace

Here is the link to the Etsy listing Red Berries Earrings

The sun came out today for the briefest of moments. I got a few good photos. I'll be updating tomorrow with links to the Etsy listings for all of my latest creations!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Kreative Blogger Award

My first blog award! Yay! To be honest, I'm not entirely sure what I'm supposed to do with it. But I feel very special indeed! I received the Kreative Blogger Award from my good friend Cassie over at Foodie With Little Thyme.
I hope you get a chance to check out her blog. Great, easy to follow recipes. She presented me with this award before I left for Vegas, and I had to ask her what I was supposed to do with it! Turns out it is pretty easy. I list seven random things about myself, and pass the award on to seven other bloggers. Asking that they do the same.

1) I am very near sighted and wear big thick glasses. I know I look better when I wear my contacts, but they are uncomfortable, and I'm just not that vain anymore!

2) I love, love, love, did I say love? Step aerobics. Every Tuesday morning I drive 2 towns over to take a Master Step class just because I like the instructor.

3) My other love besides making jewelry is reading. I am never without at least one book that I am reading. I am currently alternating back and forth between Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, (even though I've read it before) and a Marilyn Monroe Biography.

4) I love Star Trek. But not the original series.

5) I hate taking product shots.

6) I live in Texas, but don't say y'all.

7) My dream vacation would be to go to England and tour all the old castles, see Buckingham palace, The Tower, the crown jewels, all of it!

Now for the hard part. I've just recently started blogging, and I'm really starting to get into reading other peoples blogs. I am following several, but there are a few that I have learned are always interesting and I quite look forward to reading them.

1) It's a Lovely Life...

2) DeShawn Marie's Handcrafted Soap

3) Nova Design

4) Bella Bijou Jewellery

5) From Japan With Love

6) Happy Cloud Moments

7) Mu-Yin Jewelry

8) Crafty Maria Design

And there you have it. My favorite Kreative Bloggers. Including my friend at Foodie with Little Thyme. I know I was only supposed to do seven, but I have eight favorites, and I just couldn't make the decision to give one up! I hope you get a chance to check out all of these awesome blogs.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Viva Las Vegas!

Well, I survived my less than 48 hours in Las Vegas. It was wonderful to see all my siblings and my mom. We really did have a great time. The only thing I was lacking was stamina! I am ashamed to say that even my mom stayed out later than I did! But in my defense, I was fighting against a two hour time difference.

I arrived at about 4:00 on Friday afternoon. My sisters Katie and Alyssa (the birthday girl!), along with my Mom, and my sister Alyssa's friend Rhonda picked me up and we went straight to our rooms at the Luxor. We stayed long enough to have a cocktail, and then decided to go see The Beatles Love Cirque De Soleil show. The first mistake we made was thinking we could walk to the Mirage from the Luxor. Turned out it was a 4 mile walk. Who knew the Las Vegas strip was so long?

Although I am glad we walked, because if we hadn't, we would have missed this:

Ok, I know no one else gets it. It's a terribly fuzzy picture. It's an inside family joke. When my mom decided to stop dyeing her hair, my dad started calling her the skunk. We had a great laugh over this poor lady's hair, and just had to take her picture so my dad could see that there are more skunk like hair do's out there.

We also saw this on our walk. Sexy.

We finally arrived at our destination, and saw a fabulous show. The Beatles Love Cirque De Soleil. Wow! It was absolutely fantabulous! The Cirque shows are always artsy fartsy, and I don't always catch everything that is being conveyed. I am a Beatles fan and consider myself to be familiar with a lot of their songs, but I didn't realize until this show how dark some of them really are. Or perhaps the director of this particular production just interprets them that way.

At any rate, it was a show worth every penny. The only thing that really mattered to me on this whole trip was that my sister got to do what she wanted to do, and that she had a good time. She loved the show, and her and her friend practically shut down the gift shop because they spent so much time checking out the merchandise.

After Alyssa purchased the Beatles hat, it didn't leave her head for the rest of the trip. It really was a cool hat and it looked great on her.

This post is getting very long, but I do have one more thing I want to share.

Only for the tremendous love I have for my sister did I go see the Bodies exhibit. Click here to view The Bodies website The Luxor also had a Titanic exhibit that I would have rather seen, but as I said before, it was all about Alyssa. And Alyssa wanted to see the bodies!
It was interesting and informative, and really creepy all at once.

The remaining time was spent with family and friends, cocktails and karaoke. No, I didn't sing. At least not on stage. I was perfectly happy singing along at our table. It was a whirlwind trip, but I am glad that I went. And glad to be home!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Facebook Fan Promotion!

I am leaving tomorrow afternoon to fly to Las Vegas to meet my mom and two younger sisters. My youngest sister is turning 21! Wow! What a way to celebrate. In a way it will be like my own giant 21st birthday celebration that I always wanted but never had. The only difference will be is that I'm actually 36, and I don't think I can party the way I did when I was 21! At any rate, I will give it my best shot.

This will be the first time I have been away from my girls. They are 7 and 4. I know they will be perfectly fine with Dad, and will probably have way more fun with me gone. I just can't help but worry about going so far away from them. I'm such a baby! My husband travels four days a week, every week, and I can't leave for two days? I know, I know, everything will be just fine.

So, I leave you with this.........

Tiny Bubbles by AmyNicoles on Etsy

This is my give a way for September! This one is going to be super easy to get an entry to win. All you have to do is become a Facebook Fan of Ruby Mountain Beads. You'll find my Facebook badge to the right of this post, click on it, and it will take you directly to my Facebook Fan Page.

After you have become a fan, leave me a comment on this blog. Already a Facebook fan? Want extra chances to win? Refer a friend! For every friend you refer, you and your friend receive an entry to win. Again, leave me a comment with your friends name so I know they are a fan.

Of course I will give you an extra entry if you follow this blog or follow me on Twitter (my Twitter badge is on this blog!) as well.

Be sure to leave me a way to contact you if you win! Contest ends 9/28/09. The winner will be announced on Tuesday the 29th! I'll be back soon with pictures from Vegas!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Labor Day Sale in both shops!

Big, Big, Big! Labor Day Sale! I will be offering 20% off in both of my shops! Just put "Labor Day Sale" in notes to seller at checkout. I will refund your $ back to your paypal account the same day!

For jewelry making supplies, visit Ruby Mountain Beads .

For artisan jewelry, visit Amy Nicole .

The sale is officially running now through the end of the 7th. I hope to add some more goodies to both shops tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Some help please!

I am trying to get an idea of what kind of jewelry people prefer the most. Would you take a moment to answer my poll questions to the right? Your input will be invaluable! Thank you!

Update: A friend of mine said her favorite category wasn't in the poll. Jewelry that coordinates, but isn't matchy, matchy. I'll add it as a separate option and tally it with the other votes. Thank you so much for all your help. Things look pretty even right now. I'm interested to see the final results!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

And the winner is!!!!!!

Congratulations to Andrea Hatfield!!!!! You are the winner of my first giveaway!!!! Contact me with your address so I can send you your earrings!!!!

If you didn't win this time, watch for details to enter my next give a way. To be announced soon!!!!!