Hand-Made for MOM

I remember when I was little, how excited my mother would get over my home made gifts.  She always said that they meant more to her.  I imagine that many mothers feel the same way, and I don’t think that changes as we grow older.  With that in mind, I thought I’d share some ideas with my crafty readers, who might just decide to make their own Mother’s Day gifts.  And if you are reading this and are not crafty…well, I’ve provided some great gift ideas for you as well – all hand made items from Etsy sellers.  Hope you find some inspiration!

HGTV has a great selection of hand made gift ideas, with how-to videos and printable instructions.  The list includes Photo Transfer Pillows, Beaded Wind Chimes, Souvenir Lamp Shade, Mom’s Memory Book, Heirloom Candles, To Mom With Love Bracelet, Mother’s Day Brunch, Fun and Funky Tote Bag, Quick and Easy Flower Arrangements, and a Breakfast in Bed Tray.

Don’t like those ideas? Paint a picture!  Water color paints are easy and forgiving.  If you’re not sure how to get started, here’s a helpful beginner’s guide. 

 Write a poem.  When I was younger – probably 18 or 19, I wrote my mom this LONG poem that recalled memories of all the times I thought of her as a mother in my life…moments when she comforted me, laughed with me, scolded me, disciplined me, loved me, and as I grew older, how she also became a friend to me.  I think it is one of my most favorite gifts that I ever gave her because I put so much time and thought into it.

Let’s let our moms know how special they are.  Show much we appreciate, love and are grateful to them for the nine months of gestation they endured, their guidance and support, their laughter and joy, their tolerance for the possible agony and gray hairs that we gave them,  and all of the years that have followed.  Think about it…if you were or are a mother, what would you want your child to feel toward you?  Turn those feelings into something tangible.

And for those of you, NOT interested in making a home-made gift?  Let someone else do it for you!  Check out Etsy’s Gift Guides and the one specifically geared toward Mothers Day.  🙂  Hope you find something you like!  (Pssst…my Felicitous Green Earrings are in the Everyday $15.00 and under guide on page 8, I’m certain they’d make a mom pretty happy!)

My Newest Creations…

Well, I haven’t been sharing much of my own creations lately, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to share my newest Etsy shop additions with those of you who do not visit the store.  I visit a lot of blogs regularly, but don’t often venture onto my fellow etsy friends’ storefronts!  Awful me – I should probably try to make a habit of visiting their stores at least once a month.  So, here’s my newest additions from Nicole Lee Artistry’s Etsy Store and to make up for my shortcomings, tomorrow I’m going to post some new additions from my fave sellers.  I’ve also got a new artist to debut in the works. Enjoy! (you can click on any image below to learn more about that item)

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And to top it off…

I just got some lovely news from my very first friend EVER on Etsy – marie fly fly.  She said she has seen me “ALL OVER” Etsy!  It was totally news to me, but she said that she’s seen me in the gift guides, in treasuries, and in the Etsy finds news (not sure what that is yet, but I’m gonna find out!)  Oh!  It made me happy and even got a big “high five” from the hubby!  🙂  I went to the gift guides and, low and behold…there I am!  I’m actually on the first page of the “Everyday $15.00 and under” gift guide! 

So, as I like to do, I’ve saved the image for posterity and here it is:march-28.jpg
Good Night All!  🙂  Sweetest dreams!  🙂

New Etsy Shops and Finds

Not too long ago, I was featured on the Cache Valley Boutique blog.  In helping to drive traffic to the blog, I offered to feature some artists in my blog.  After enjoyably browsing their shops and wares, I have created a list to share with you.  Many of the shops have offered discounts and incentives for my blog readers so, when you buy, mention NICOLE LEE ARTISTRY’S BLOG in the “message to seller.”  I’ve noted all incentives in RED.  It is an excellent opportunity to take advantage of awesome handmade items.  Let’s begin.

MY BOYS – Custom Cards, Prints and Designs for ANY Occasion…even Web Banners!    Announcements, Thank You Cards, Save the Date Cards, Business or Pleasure –  you’re sure to find something!  Lots to choose from and custom designs are welcome.  Here’s a personal message from Holly, the mind and crafter behind the MyBoys store…”I will soon be adding a personalized stationary line! This line will feature monogrammed stationary with both simple and funky designs. As with all my products, I love to do custom orders, so if you have something specific in mind, just let me know!  Thanks, Holly”  BONUS FOR NLA BLOG READERS: Free shipping on orders over $50  Here’s a selection of what you’ll find at MyBoys Shop,

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DaisyWares  – Hand Made Vegan Jewelry & Vegan Beauty Products.  DaisyWares uses NO animal by-products and donates 10% of all sales to the Animal Place in Vacaville, CA. They are a wonderful organization that rescues abused farm animals. How nice!  DaisyWares is also a proud member of Vegan Etsy.  BONUS FOR NLA BLOG READERS: 10% off anything in the DaisyWares store and Buy one get one free on the children’s jewelry section! (Children’s section only)  Check out these great items in DaisyWare’s Etsy shop:

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Montagyoo:  Colorful and original photos and collages.  The beautiful colors and images she has will catch your eye, tug at your heart strings and definitely elicit some emotions.  Many of the images in Sara’s store make me reminisce of places I’ve been before and bring back some good memories.  Perhaps it will do the same for you! BONUS FOR NLA BLOG READERS:  Sara will send you a FREE 4×6 photo print (randomly of her choosing) with all orders that are accompanied with mention of NICOLE LEE ARTISTRY’S BLOG in the “message to seller.” 🙂

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kishcrafts – Totally unique and amazing polymer clay creations in the shapes of many, many items, but mostly foods and sweets!  Whether you’re looking for unique gifts for others or something special for yourself, trust me when I say, this is a fun shop to look at!  You’ll be amazed at the teeny, tiny creations and the incredible details in the art!  The food creations look mouth-wateringly real and will make your taste buds definitely perk!  Almost anything listed can be made into earrings, pins/brooches, cell phone charms, rings and necklaces and custom designs are welcome, so let your imagination run free!  Here’s a personal note from kishcrafts…”I am so proud to be one of your spotlight artists. Thanks again for taking the time to feature me and my little sweet treat creations!! I would like to welcome all of nicoleeartistry’s blog readers to pop on over to my etsy shop and take a look around. If you see something that catches your eye, I would be more than happy to offer you a 10% discount on any 1 item in my shop.”

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julscrafts: A very sweet, stay-at-home MOM who enjoys making a variety of crafts.  You never know what you might find in her store, but she has a lot of beautiful dried floral arrangements that would warm any home.  She also has a collection of unique destash.
BONUS FOR NLA BLOG READERS:   20% off your total order when you mention NICOLE LEE ARTISTRY in the “message to seller.”  The more you buy, the more you will save on shipping costs also!

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Wings of Healing:  Offers some awesome images in the form of post cards, greeting cards, or amazing framed art for your wall.  Most images have a lovely description or story to accompany it, so you get to learn about the images as you shop.  BONUS FOR NLA BLOG READERS: Greeting cards – Buy One Get One Free AND FREE SHIPPING on Matted photography in the United States!  Here’s a personal note from Nicole at Wings of Healing:  “I hope that you enjoy the scenes you are about to partake of.  Scenes that I hope will bless your spirit and soul.  Take the time to rest and don’t overdo it. Surround yourself with a plethora of peace, whether it be your own backyard or even scenes and music in your office or car. Thank you.  Sincerely, Nicole (Nikki)”  Wings of Healing – an enjoyable read and quite enjoyable to the eye:

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You can also visit her website at: http://www.wings-of-healing.com

And lastly, BUT DEFINITELY NOT LEAST…

The White Lye Soap Co. – offers handmade soap, bath and lip luxuries using the cold process method of soap-making.  All White Lye Soap Co. bath and body delights contain fresh botanicals, luscious fruits and veggies, and many other delightful additives.  They have a wonderful selection of goods for many occasions and I think you’ll see…
you’ll also find some truly delightful gift ideas as well!

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SHOW AND TELL FRIDAY

Today, I just thought I’d share some things with you.  I took a picture of my desk (where I’m at 90% of the time), my supplies, some items that I got in Smicksburg when we were home, some pieces I got to create in the soldering class I finished this past Wednesday, and other random things.  I guess you could just call it…”SHOW AND TELL.”

My desk…it’s not the most well composed place, but I decided not to move anything for the picture.  THIS is what I looked at when I got up this morning.  I do straighten and clean it regularly, but it always gets back to this.  On this lovely combo, care of IKEA, I have beads, beading supplies, my lucky bamboo, a card from my hubby, a singing dog from my hubby (on top of monitor), my laptop and a clay pot that I keep pens/pencils/tape/hole punch/ and my beading tools in:
My Desk  When I am seated at my desk, this is what is behind me…(my supplies).  A very kind woman, Sylvia, who works with my husband gave me most of what you see.  When I started making jewelry and my husband talked about it at work, she decided to give me “a few beads.”  Haha!  Boy, was I surprised and excited when this all came home!
Supplies (you know you love the purple carpet – giggle — we did NOT pick it and we will be moving next year, so we will just replace it before we move.)

Let’s see…more peeking into my life.  When we were in Smicksburg, I bought two things that I love.  I have been needing a funnel and found a lovely collapsible funnel, but I also have been wanting to try making doggie treats and I found this adorable tiny cookie cutter for when I try a recipe.  As you can see, it is the same size as the treats our doggies love.
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Next up is my packaging…I sent some items out recently and packaged them in some lovely, pink bubble wrap padded envelopes that I found at A.C. Moore.  They were cheaper than the post office envelopes (and I think they are nicer), so that is what I’ve been using for the outside packaging.  I print out labels onto some adorable note paper that I found and I tape them on to add prettiness.  I’ll post pics of the inside another day:
Package

As I said, I recently finished taking a soldering class (my very first one!).  I was so excited to learn new skills.  We had two projects to complete – a bracelet and a pendant.  Mind you, they are “firsts,” so they are not perfect, but they are perfectly wonderful in my eyes!  I was even able to get an extra pendant from my cut out.

img_1584.jpg pendant from cutout
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and here are some close ups of the bracelet
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And here is what is on my desk right now…I made some new earrings and just listed them in Etsy, and I’m trying to think of what I can do with these adorable glass lemon beads.  I like the blue with them, but not sure…any thoughts?
New Earrings–>Lemon Drop Earrings lemon beads<–Lemon Beads

I’m in THREE BEAUTIFUL treasuries!!!!

Yippee!!!  This is so exciting!  I hope it helps drive sales!  Yippe!  Yippe!  YippEE!!!

 Here’s what got featured in the treasuries (Pretty, pretty, pretty!) 

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Here are the treasuries, care of excely , CurlyGirlCrochet  and Rittenhouse.  Thank you so much!  They are absolutely gorgeous!  Before they die, you can view them by clicking on the images.  When they die, the images will stay for posterity!  :O)

and the landslide brings it down treat yourself orangeyouinlovewiththeseshops_by_rittenhouse.jpg

The Hooters are a Hit!

My little Hooters were sold when I logged on this morning, so YIPPEE!!!  I’m so happy!  It was an eventful evening too, as Anthony and I got locked out of the house – I’ll talk more on that tomorrow – but it was really getting hilarious when the locksmith told us he thought he locked HIS keys inside HIS van!  Oh yeah…fun!

I went to my class tonight – very exciting!  My small jumprings are all soldered together!  One step closer to a complete piece!  I’m going to go get a bastard file at Home Depot so I can work on my S-Hook at home before our next class, which is two weeks from now.  It will also be our last class.  :O(  But, the good thing is that I’ve LEARNED how to solder my own metal and I am soooo excited about that!

I’d write more, but I’m tired.  I’ll close with pictures of my two latest necklaces.

img_1141.jpgimg_1098.jpgNighty Night!

Little Hooters

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I just love these little guys!  I just finished them and I’m in the process of listing them in my store.  I think they are sooooo cute and not only fashionable, but simply adorable!  And I just love saying “little hooters” too…Ha hah!  Maybe it’s just me but it makes me chuckle every time I say it.  “little hooters.”  :O)

 I’m up to 62 hearts!  That’s more than yesterday and I think I’m well on my way to reaching my goal of 200 by the end of March.

It’s Day 4 of my 30 Days to a Better Shop project and my task today was to update my profile.  After some consideration of what changes I should make, here is the transformation:

MY OLD PROFILE:
Hi! I’m Nicole Catroppo. I am the sole artist of Nicole Lee Artistry.

I was born and raised in rural Pennsylvania. I’ve always been an intelligent(yet at times lacking common sense) bubbly girl with lots of personality and high energy. I went to college, got married and had begun what I thought was going to be the rest of “my life.” Then, “life” changed dramatically – with a series of challenging events that proved to be the most emotionally difficult span of time I’ve ever had to deal with. I endured a lot, but I have since learned to see it as a blessing in disguise because you cannot know the good without knowing the bad. During those times, I was taught a lot about life, love and true happiness, and it blessed me so much more than I ever anticipated. Overcoming the tough times reinforced what a strong and resilient person I am, allowed me a new perspective and new lease on life and ultimately started me down the path that has led me to REAL love, balance, personal happiness and Etsy!

In my Etsy store, I like to specialize in fine jewelry made of gold, silver, precious and semi-precious stones, but also occasionally dabble with other materials that strike my fancy.

I was totally self-taught until now. I am presently taking a class to learn metalsmithing. It’s very exciting, but now I am going to work even harder at getting sales because I need to earn the money to purchase tools and supplies to be able to continue what I’m learning after the class ends.

In my shop, custom orders are available. If you have a request or an idea just email me. I LOVE custom orders because they are personal and the process becomes emotionally rewarding for me when I know the person and/or the occasion the jewelry is for.

Handling: Each of my pieces was created with a piece of my soul, so I package them with tender loving care. Each of my items comes complete in adorable gift boxes, cushioned in tissue paper. If you have a special request for packaging, after you place an order, I am happy to do what I can to oblige – just email me.

Shipping: I ship all orders out within 24 hours of receiving payment and package all pieces carefully, so you can rest assured that your jewelry will travel both promptly and safely.

MY NEW PROFILE:
Hi! I’m Nicole Catroppo. I am the sole artist of Nicole Lee Artistry.

I was born and raised in Western Pennsylvania, in a small town near Pittsburgh, called “Ford City.” More specifically, I grew up in the village of Brick Church, which is a charming, rural community full of warm-hearted, friendly, generous people.

I am an intelligent (yet at times, definitely lacking common sense!) bubbly girl with lots of personality and high energy. Years ago, after college graduation, a profession under my belt and marriage, I had begun what I thought was going to be the rest of my life. Then, “life” changed dramatically – with a series of challenging events that proved to be the most emotionally difficult span of time I’ve ever had to deal with.

I endured a lot, but I have since learned to see it as a blessing in disguise. I appreciate the good so much more now that I know what is like to experience the bad, also knowing that it can always be worse. During my struggles, I was taught a lot about life, love and true happiness, and the trials blessed me so much more than they could ever hurt. Overcoming the tough times reinforced what a strong and resilient person I am, allowed me a new perspective and new lease on life and ultimately started me down the path that has led me to REAL love, balance, personal happiness and Etsy!

In my Etsy store, I like to specialize in fine wire-wrapped jewelry made of gold, silver, precious and semi-precious stones, but also occasionally dabble with other materials that strike my fancy.

With regard to wire-wrapping, I am totally self-taught. I have, however, reached a point where I want to create more, so I enrolled in a soldering class two weeks ago. The new knowledge and skills I am gaining are very exciting! Once I finish my classes and purchase the tools and supplies I need to work from home, I will be able to offer completely original gold and silver pieces that I personally create from the raw materials. Until then, I hope to earn the money I need to do that through Etsy.

I am inspired by everything I see and experience. I’m sensitive to all that surrounds me, so I the variety of inspirations are endless – color, light, movement, emotions, people, relationships, nature, patterns, or even energy… and so much more!
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So, that’s it…for now it works.  I will probably refine it again and again, but I’m happy with it.  I also added shipping destinations to my profile, which I’ve been meaning to do.  Tomorrow I have to add the small mention of “see my profile for shop policies” to each item’s listing.  Ugh!  But, I want to be thorough, so I’ll do it.  :O) 

I’m going to close with my little hooters one more time.  Nighty Night OWLS!!!

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Hello world!

Hi to all! I’ve never done a blog before, but I recently started an Etsy store and have been hearing a lot about blogging.  I’m looking for ways to market my shop and I also want to help other people out like other have helped me. I’ve been told about the power of blogs, so I thought I’d give it a try. I hope it generates more business for me and for others. I’m not have exactly sure what I’m going to do with it yet, with regard to theme or topics, but I’m sure that will develop in time.

A little about me: I live near Baltimore, Maryland, but am originally from a small town near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania called “Ford City.” More specifically, I grew up in the village of Brick Church, which is a charming rural community full of warm-hearted, friendly, generous people.

I moved away from Pennsylvania when I got divorced and although that divorce started a chain of difficult events, I have reached what I believe to be the light at the end of that dark tunnel. I have found love, contentment and happiness and have begun to work from home, doing what I love – being creative! Alleluia for that!