Tuesday, October 30, 2007

treasury poster of handmade earwires in use

OK I know - if I'm not hammering on about my cufflinks I'm promo'ing my handcrafted earwires to all and sundry! But have you seen what people are using them for?

Check this out (and click here to see the original screenshot on flickr).

Using the Etsy treasury poster tool I chose from all the awesome earrings jewelry artists have made using my handcrafted earwires.

Stunning collection or what?

With grateful thanks to
groovyglassgirl, PrettyInPeace, sadieandleo, TheresaJ, michymoo, and abeleeshandcrafted

.... and a huge thank you to Anna for sending me this great photo of an earring she made with one of my earwires. I can't link to her as she's making these as gifts and not selling.

Anna - these are gorgeous!

Happy crafting!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

barley barely risen

So, update for a week of skirts! Good news (it worked - I wore a skirt everyday for a week, except for two hours when I went ice skating with the wee guy) and bad news (read on!).

Week of skirts reminded me that mum does not live by trousers alone, skirts are indeed a viable option for the SAHM-on-the-go, and I do have the wardrobe capability to cope. We managed visits to drop-in play emporia, shopping, a trip to the park, an attempted trip round a pumpkin patch (it was flooded but I was game) and other assorted weekly mummy activities. Check out my flickr gallery, with accompanying wardrobe notes and comments from my fans!

Things I learned
1. I have a lot of almost ankle length skirts
2. maternity tights can be worn back to front (so the saggy pregnancy belly bit is at the back!).

OK - the bad news. Week of skirts was due to be followed up by another exciting wardrobe challenge, but sadly due to ill health it has morphed into "week without wheat" as I suspect I have a wheat intolerance . I'm almost a week into it (relax - I have not been posting any photos, apart from the one on the right) and would kill for a cinnamon bun. Posting all my symptoms and gripes would be TMI here but at last I'm spending less time on the loo .......

My attempts at wheat-free cookery have been er, interesting. On the right I present a wholegrain barley loaf, a solid and dense little number which may in fact still be uncooked at its core, due to the remarkable insulating properties of the dough mix.

I may be less bloated but my stomach hangs heavy with unleavened bread.

Friday, October 26, 2007

small hoops earwires in sterling and brass wire

A custom order of earwires hits the plate after tumbling (plate hand decorated by my lil' sis).

After bending the wire I file the end that sticks in your ear lobe. The tumbling process, as well as adding a polish and work hardening the metal, completes the filing rounding the ends.

I'm very proud of my handcrafted supplies, the earwires are selling very well and are available in copper, brass, sterling and goldfill. The copper ones are the only ones I hammer routinely to work harden and stabilise the design but it is possible on all the others as a decorative finish.

I'm hoping in the near future to compile a showcase of images from some of the very talented artists who have used my earwires in some stunning creations - I was looking thru them last night and was amazed at how creative people can be.

My Etsy shop is now almost totally supplies now. It's a little sad to me but that seems to be what sells well on Etsy these days. I guess since the marketing of the site has been geared so heavily at the crafting community that this should be no surprise. The majority of people who know how to use the site are crafters and usually fellow sellers. Previously most of my jewelry sales went to new buyers, often those who had signed up on the day they made their purchase, but this hasn't been happening in a long time (except my 100th sale was my stamped ceramic pendant!).

Now I read in forums that sellers are being discouraged from revealing TMI in threads and advised not to send any more than a business card and invoice in with packages. At risk of sounding like an old fogey, the little extras were what made buying on Etsy an exciting thing "back in the old days".

Times change.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

my prize woot woot!

my prize woot woot!
Originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama
My prize pack for a competition arrived last week! So exciting! and filled with Etsy goodies ..........

Oh phooey! I can't maintain the phoney excitement. This was my prize for winning the Winter bead challenge which Etsy agreed to sponsor. The competition ended at the beginning of April this year ...... when embarrassingly (not for me) I had just come out of a muting for anti-Etsy forum behaviour.

Quelle horreur! Etsy was going to have to honour its agreement and send moi a prize package.

A month went by with no prize arriving. Another month and no prize, another month then another ..... and you get the picture!

In August I contacted the organiser (another Etsy seller) to find out if Etsy had pulled out of the sponsorship. She contacted Matt at Etsy who swore he had sent out the prizes to me and the other winner.

Neither of us received a package. The prizes were resent.

By the beginning of September neither prize winner had received a prize. Convos were sent. Matt said he would resend.

Meanwhile a Showcase date (part of the original prize package) magically appeared on my Etsy bill for Sept 17th ..... I guess even electronic prize delivery takes it time?

By the end of September a prize package had still not arrived with either prize winner so I contacted Matt directly to spare the challenge organiser anymore embarrassment with having to tell an online selling site that their packages had failed to materialise a second time.

My Etsy prize eventually arrived October 16th, postmarked the day after I sent Matt my convo (what a coincidence!!). I'm astounded it arrived safely as the packaging was quite flimsy and my surname had been omitted from the address line ... or indeed anywhere on the package at all (so it's a good thing I didn't have to collect from the PO).

So Matt, many thanks for 'keeping the faith' and sending out my prize. I'm soooooo glad it arrived just over 6 months from the end of the competition - with dedication like that I know that Etsy is certainly has our livelihoods (and a new, improved Search engine) to heart.

ra ra Etsy - am being nice and am golden!

Monday, October 22, 2007

blast from the past ...

This song came up on the radio playlist this afternoon as I was driving the wee guy back from a parent and tot skate session at the local rink (FYI the wee guy was awesome in his little skates!). I found myself, with tears running down my face, explaining how the song reminded me of a very dear friend who I used to dance with a long time ago.

There then followed some discussion of why this friend could no longer dance with me. I tried to explain that he was now in heaven (Yes, like Dog Heaven), and after some thought the wee guy pronounced, "Mummy, you can dance with me now."

Andrew, forever in my heart, this one's for you wherever you are dancing now.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

self portrait 18th October 07 - a week of skirts day 3

OK maybe I had better explain!

Last week my wee guy requested I 'dress like a princess' which is code for "please wear a skirt or a dress or anything other than trousers". So I threw on a skirt ........

.... then realised I didn't wear a skirt very often and had no idea what to put with it, what shoes, accessories (jewelry was OK though!!), etc, etc.

So this week I challenged myself to wear a different skirt/outfit every day for 7 days. It is a challenge! I am so used to throwing on jeans, etc that my idea of which of my tops, etc. go well with skirts is nill.

Check out the other 'week of skirts' pics here as I post them

(and PS: this is a work day ie. the wee guy is in daycare, so the look is more thrown together cos I don't have to 'be anywhere'. FYI I'm wearing a really old pre-pregnancy denim skirt, coupled with a Gap vest top and a ratty old Bay cotton knit cardi)
(and that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

introducing the new ebb jewelry line ...

I have had such fun exploring this new medium!

For those of you who are new to this blog, let me explain. I've been trying art clay silver out, and it's fantastic!

My latest endeavour is shown left, a fine silver leaf. For the last few days I've been painting a leaf with the art clay slip paste. Yesterday I fired it, and today incorporated it into a charm pendant.

This ACS stuff continues to amaze me. The clay has picked up every single vein on the leaf faithfully and looks so lifelike.
With the completion of this and the glass cab piece (now named "submersion" cos I just want to dive into the glass) I've updated my website with my new jewelry range.
I'll get round to listing it somewhere sometime so stay tuned (or send me an email ........).
PS: I've got some more leaves on the go for more charm clusters.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

treasury - all things handmade

Many thanks to ndnchick on Etsy (who has some gorgeous season's greetings cards for the upcoming festive season in her shop) for including my sterling earwires in her treasury of handmade supplies.

It is an amazing treasury, both for its content and also its timing. There has been a lot of debate about supplies on Etsy recently, with numerous threads involving whether or not they should stay, debating how much they interfere with exposure for the handmade items, pointing out how much revenue they must bring in for Etsy, etc etc etc. Some threads have become quite heated and been locked for "bickering" while others managed to gain comment and final say from the big guns.

IMO commercial supplies, in the enormous volumes of some shops, do not belong on Etsy, the "all things handmade" site. Apart from making the tagline look a little fluffy, they dilute the exposure of the handmade items in Time Machine, front page, search and categories (the latter two thru imaginative tagging), etc. I really welcome the idea that supplies will be separated eventually, and search will require an opt-in by the user.

However, where does this leave handmade supplies?
Not apparently on the handmade side of the website. I'm not particularly worried about my earwires being 'sent to Coventry' as crafters on the site will know to look/opt in for their supplies, but items such as handspun and hand-dyed yarn and fibre might become invisible to their buyers. Evidently 'true' buyers, ie. those with no seller account, only want finished articles and so would not be shopping in supplies anyway.

Where does this leave the dedicated handknitter looking for a unique hank of spun and dyed fibre for aunty's shawl then? Hmmmm ..........

... and PS: for any of you reading this and thinking, "How did I miss all of this action?" - it's your forum, use it to stay in touch/enfranchised with the website you sell on.
It really is a "use it or lose it" scenario.


or try UEN to stay current (though the Storque is starting to pull its weight too - put the news section on RSS feed to your Google Reader to stay up to date)

Friday, October 12, 2007

fools and bairns ....

.... shouldn't see things half started.

Almost there for an art clay silver piece to hold the delicious shoozles fused glass cabachon.
This is my first attempt at building a bezel cup in this way. I'll be firing it tonight so hopefully will have some good results to post later!

The raised bezel cup is fine silver but the rest of the piece (and the holes) is
art clay silver.

Update: the piece got fired last night. Since the clay shrinks 10% and the bezel ring doesn't, some infilling work on the reverse of the piece was required. Again that was fired last night leaving an interesting hmmmm 'organic' look to the reverse. I now have to polish the bezel area and set the glass (fun I hope) then complete the polishing. It will probably have a couple of hours in the tumbler later today.

I'm hoping to update this thru flickr or edit my blog post thru the day and tomorrow. Stay tuned!

... and don't forget the
etsy glass street team sale on this week. 20% discount on purchases from members - click on to their website for details!

and PS: i'm appalled at how old my hands look in close ups!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

blue lampwork cufflinks

.... and these beads are probably my most favourite. I'm a real sucker for blues and these swirly blue lampwork ones from rufusandroxy certainly do it for me!

... and PS: rufusandroxy belongs to the Etsy Glass Arts team who are celebrating their 1st anniversary this week. Participating shops in this amazing street team are giving 20% discount on purchases until Oct 14th. Head on over to
their website for further details (hint: take your wallet with you, you won't regret it!)

Monday, October 08, 2007

carnelian cufflinks

carnelian cufflinks
Originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama
I finished another batch of cufflinks today.

Once they come out of the tumbler I'm a bit more convinced that they do indeed look like a professionally put together article of adornment for a gentleman, and that someone might want to wear them.

This pair is my favourite (or one of my favourites - I'll try remember to blog about the other fave tomorrow but it's late tonight!). The amazing blood red stone is carnelian, wrapped in sterling silver. This was a request from the buyer and they've worked out very well.

If you hold the stone up to the light it glows! I would certainly notice a pari of wrists sporting these dramatic pieces.

I'll put a link of where to buy them once they are out on sale!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

My Celebrity Look-alikes

My cool celebrity look-alike collage from MyHeritage.com. Get one for yourself.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

the visitors

the visitors
Originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama
guess who came visiting right into the heart of the townhome complex this morning?

the wee guy and i spotted them as we ate our breakfast. i dashed (quietly) upstairs for the camera serenaded with squeals of delight from my little nature watcher.

even when i opened the door to the deck to get a better view the deer still grazed on nonchalantly. they slowly plodded their way round the corner (to the really steep bit of landscaping beyond the house) and disappeared from view.


Wednesday, October 03, 2007


In no way am I a natural mother. I put it off for as long as possible, believing that I really was not up to having children. Babies definitely "creeped me out" or held very little interest.

Then I reached 33 years old. Then I started to wonder. The question wasn't "Do I want to have a baby?" as I had expected it would, but rather, "Would I regret not trying?"

Another birthday arrived, in the middle of packing for a job secondment in Canada. We arrived at the beginning of September 2001. Ten days later my husband left for the airport to fly to Dallas. He missed his flight due to US immigration hassles and tried again the next day. He didn't fly. That day made history.

I realised that the most important thing in the world to me was family, my family - not a research career, not academic recognition, not a big salary but my family.

Just over a year and a half later, the wee guy was born (unnaturally as you can see above). He's now an eager, opinionated, energetic pre schooler who runs me ragged each and every day. I still feel no closer to being a natural mother at all.

Yesterday he really p*ssed me off big time while we were having 'coffe and cookie' in a cafe, and I lashed out with, "You stupid child!" Then I remembered a post from a friend (I hope she considers me a friend - she's been thru a whole pile of carp recently on the big orange E and is bravely sharing her experiences) in her blog about her childhood and instantly regretted my choice of words. It's hard to stay rational when you are faced with completely illogical behaviour and reasoning day after day. Sometimes I sleep well and can cope, other days I announce to my little travel companion that, "Mummy is feeling grumpy today, please have your listening ears on." How is it that every other mum out there seems to be mellow, sweet, quiet and wholesome? How come they never raise their voices or have grumpy days? What are they taking? (I want some too!!) Are they even human?

So what is being a mother? Is it a natural skill or instinct or is it learned? I'm still clueless apart from knowing it involves sleep deprivation, altered bodyshape, boobs, encyclopaedic knowledge of nonsense songs, spill-proof fashion sense, etc etc etc.

PS: a big thanks to the very kind lady in Starbucks that afternoon who actually came over to me to tell me I was a great mother, that she had been enjoying watching me sing silly songs with the wee guy after the "stupid" incident. I could have hugged you there and then!

Thank you.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

just off the cuff

...... another batch of cufflinks to wire and another batch of aching finger ends to deal with

(I love my work though!)

Spot the new carnelian squares at the front. Mmmmmm!
ebb and flo by pomo mama design click to shop pomo mama design online!