Handmade Earring Winner

Who won the Handmade Earrings?

Some people have all the luck!  I have a friend who walks away with hundreds (sometimes thousands) of dollars every time she goes to a casino.  Likewise, Cynthia has now won the handmade earrings for the second time in a row!  Congratulations!  While the earrings aren’t worth hundreds or thousands of dollars (too bad!), I hope she will enjoy wearing them or that they’ll make the perfect gift for a special someone this Christmas.

Lessons Learned

I had very few entries for this handmade earring give away, whereas last time, the give away generated a lot of interest.  It’s hard to know for sure why this is, but I’m thinking it had to do with the busy-ness of getting ready for the Thanksgiving holiday.  People were cleaning their houses and getting ready for guests to arrive.  There was baking to be done, guests to be attended to and then the great Black Friday rush.  Maybe people just didn’t have time to hang out reading blogs.  Next year I won’t schedule a give away at this busy time of year.

If you wish you had won the Lampwork Glass Earrings with Turquoise and Sterling Silver, but didn’t have lady luck on your side, you can still purchase them at Linda Landig Jewelry.   Everything in my shop is 10% off now through Christmas!

We’d love to hear from you!   Have you ever hosted a give away on your blog?  What has worked or bombed for you?  Share your experiences – we can learn together.

 

Orange Lampwork Glass earrings with Turquoise

Lampwork Glass Earrings with Turquoise and Sterling Silver

Shop Handmade For The Holidays

Black Friday – Done

Black Friday has come and gone.  We’ve braved the crowds and perhaps we’ve purchased the electronics gifts we wanted at great discounts.  Whew.  I’m glad that’s over!

Now we can pull up a chair at home, sip our favorite beverage and take advantage of the great online deals being offered for Cyber Monday.    You won’t get pushed and shoved by the crowds, but big companies are still trying to shove you in the direction of their online deals.

cermaic pendant, lampwork glass necklace with pearls, sterling silver
Artisan pendant (by Marsha Neal), handmade glass necklace with pearls, sterling silver

Shop Handmade For The Holidays

I’d like to ask you to consider the value of artisan-made gifts for your loved ones.  Artisan made products make incredible gifts for your friends and family.  Why?  There may be some reasons you have not considered.

  1. The recipient of the handmade gift receives something that was made with heart, skill and passion.  Can you say that about a large scale manufactured product?  Your handmade gift was made with love and it speaks the language of love when you give it to someone you care about.
  2. Handmade gifts are one of a kind or small scale products.  Your friend won’t go out to dinner and find someone wearing the same earrings as the ones you have given her.  The hand-tooled leather journal that you give your brother will be as unique as the thoughts he records in it.
  3. Buying handmade helps us connect to the source of our purchases.  Usually the artist has a story to tell about what they have created.  Perhaps what inspired them or what they learned by making the piece you are purchasing.  The gift you purchase from an artisan is more than the tangible product.  It will always hold the connection you made with the artist and the story they shared about their work.
  4. We all know what tough economic times these are.  When you purchase a handmade gift you are supporting a real person (not a big company) who is trying to make a go of it with the skills of their hands and the creativity in the heart.
  5. You are making not only the gift recipient happy, but also the artisan.  Speaking for myself, I get a happiness boost with every sale.  It’s not so much the money (although that helps-see #4 above).  It’s the affirmation.  I’m like a little kid.  “Wow, someone liked what I made!”  The thought of my jewelry at large in the world, making the wearer feel more beautiful fills me with happiness!  I’ve talked to other artists, from painters to ceramicists to fabric artists.  They all glow with the thought that the work of their hands is bringing joy to others.
handmade pendant and handmade glass bead necklace with pearls

Close up of handmade pendant and handmade glass bead

So please consider shopping handmade this holiday season.  Cyber Monday is a great day to do so online, because many people are offering great deals.  I have everything in my shop marked 15% off and I always offer free shipping and a gift box.  You can browse for all kinds of artisan work at ArtFire.  You can even narrow your search, such as “gifts for men” or “red bracelets” etc.

I also encourage you to visit local art shows and bazaars.  That’s what I’m about to do.  As soon as I hit the “publish” button on this post, I’m heading downtown to a street fair to see what our local artisans have to offer.

By the way, don’t forget to leave a comment so you can be entered in my free earring give away!  Tomorrow is the last day!

Let The Holidays Begin!

Thanksgiving

I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving holiday with family and perhaps friends, as well.  We just had four of us around the table, but it was a lovely meal and a nice visit.  The roads were pretty slippery on Wednesday when I picked up my daughter, but  by Thursday the roads were wet or slushy, so my dad could get here without trouble.  My son lives in eastern Washington (across the Cascade Mountains).  He stayed safely there and celebrated with his partner, baby son and friends.

Everyone is full after our Thanksgiving feast.

Holiday Sale and Shows

I’m busy getting ready for the Winter Fine Arts and Crafts Show, which will be on the weekends of December 4th-5th  and December 11th -12th, in Olympia, WA.  My online shop will be closed those 2 weekends, as I’ll have all my jewelry with me at the show.  The shop will re-open during the week between the two shows.   Don’t forget that everything in my shop is 15% off now through Cyber Monday, (November 29th).  I just added this bracelet today.  It is normally $30, but is marked down to $25 for this sale!  The colors are so exquisitely lustrous and subtle.  I just love them!  This would make an especially good gift since it would go with greens, browns, mauve, gray or blue.  It is both practical and classy.

Handmade Pearl and Sterling Silver Bracelet by Linda Landig

Shell Pearl, Freshwater Pearl and Sterling Silver Bracelet

Handcrafted Pearl and Sterling Silver Bracelet by Linda Landig

Earring Give Away

The free Earring Give Away continues through Monday.  All you have to do to enter is leave a comment  after this blog post.  You may increase your chances by blogging about the give away or posting it on Facebook.  Then come back here and add another comment sharing that link.  For more details and to see the earrings I am giving away, click here!

Thanksgiving Greetings

I’d like to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.  I truly appreciate each of you who take the time to read my blog, or visit my Facebook page or my shop.  I feel humbled and grateful that I am able to share my musings and creations with a wider audience than just my family and local friends.  This has been an amazing journey for me- from the time I first put a saw to metal or strung my first bead up to starting this blog.  Life is so full of surprises.   I look forward to seeing what comes next!

15% Off Jewelry  Sale and

an Earring Give Away!

I hope you share laughter, good food and fond memories tomorrow.  And when the dishes are put away, the big meal is digested and the next day dawns;  it will be the infamous Black Friday.  I am celebrating with two great offers for you! 

1.   I will be giving away a free pair of Earrings on Cyber Monday.  All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog.  To be entered twice, post a link to the give away on your Facebook page or your blog.  For more details read Earring Give Away.

2.    I will have everything in my shop marked down 15% from Black Friday through Cyber Monday.  I always offer free shipping and your jewelry arrives in a lovely gift box.  This is a wonderful opportunity to select truly unique handcrafted gifts for the special women in your life.  The gift of artisan jewelry  speaks volumes about the care you took in selecting a unique and creative gift.   

Here’s a peek at two of the newest additions to my shop.

Faceted Lemon Quartz Teardrop Earrings
Faceted Lemon Quartz and Sterling Silver Earrings
Turquoise and Black Lampwork Earrings with Onyx and Sterling Silver

Lampwork, Onyx and Sterling Silver Earrings

Cyber Monday Earring Give Away

Earring Give Away

Here’s a holiday gift for someone lucky!  Could it be you?  I will be giving away a pair of earrings on Monday Nov. 29th.  Monday is the biggest online shopping day of the year, but here’s a chance to get a gift for yourself without needing to shop at all!

The Earrings

These earrings feature beautiful orange lampworked (handmade) glass by Beads and Botanicals.  These beads are fashioned from ginger and pumpkin colored glass with tracings in jet black.  They are annealed for durability and softly hand faceted.  I paired them with rounded  turquoise tubes and sterling silver accent beads.  They are strung on sterling silver wires that have been gently hammered into a graceful paddle shape on the ends.  This slightly elongated shape is thinning and flattering to the wearer’s face.  These are lovely earrings that you’d be proud to own or give as a gift to someone special.

Lampwork earrings in orange with black accents and turquoise
Orange, black and turquoise give away earrings.

Here’s How It Works

The earring give away will last from the time this post is published, until 10:oo a.m. PST November 29, 2010.  Each time you leave a comment you will be given one chance at the earrings.  You can increase your odds by leaving a comment on each of the blogs I post from today through Nov. 29th.  Only comments left on blogs posted  today through Nov. 29th will be entered in the contest.

You may also gain additional chances to win the earrings by posting a link to this give way on Facebook or in your blog.  After you have done so, just leave another comment here letting me know what you have done and including a link to your posting.

I will assign each comment a number (in the order received) and the winner will be determined by an online random number generator.  I will post the winner’s name on Monday November 29th. Please check back on the 29th to see if you were the winner!   The winner will then need to contact me so I can get their address and send the earrings to them.   So start your comments now!  I’m really looking forward to hearing from you!

Lampwork beaded earrings with sterling silver beads and ear wires

Orange lampwork earrings with turquoise and sterling

Will you be the lucky winner?

Monday Meanderings: Let It Snow!

{Monday Meanderings: Musings & Observations From Beyond the Bead Studio}

We don’t get a lot of snow in the Pacific Northwest (at least not west of the Cascade Mountains).  So when it does start falling, we get all excited! School is often delayed.  Children stare out the classroom windows, longing for escape.   Driving becomes dangerous, because people here are unaccustomed to driving in the snow.  There are usually lots of fender-benders.  But I am  retired now and I no longer have to venture forth unless I want to.  So I stayed home today and took some photos to share with you.  I hope you enjoy them.

Fresh snow fall on the last of our mums

Fresh snow fall on the last of our yellow mums.

Three red and Orange leaves in the Snow

Autumn leaves in the snow.

Fresh Snow Fall on Lavender Beauty Berries

Lavender beauty berries capped with fresh fallen snow.

Chochi, our rescue dog, sitting in the snow

Chochi; surveying the snowy scene.

Snow in the woods behind our house
A snowy path through the woods behind our house.

(My apologies about the date stamp in the pictures.  I didn’t know it was on when I took the photographs).

Holiday Shopping

Black Friday and Cyber Monday

We’ve all heard of Black Friday.  It’s the Friday after Thanksgiving and its the biggest shopping day of the year. Stores offer great discounts and attractive sales to lure in the shoppers.

But have you heard of Cyber Monday?  It is the biggest online shopping day of the year. And like brick and mortar stores, online shops offer their best deals of the year.   Cyber Monday appears to be a growing phenomena.  People have grown weary of crowded malls and the unimaginative gifts one finds there. Stress-free internet shopping opens up such wide possibilities.  Even if you live in a small town, you have a world of possibilities at your fingertips.   Plus, you can shop in your jammies and save on you gas bill!

 

Peer Review of My Shop

I’ve been busy getting ready for Cyber Monday, too.  I have nearly 50 earrings, bracelets and necklaces in my shop now.  Everything over $24 is on sale with the coupon code GRATEFUL and every item in the shop arrives in a nice gift box with complimentary shipping.  Who doesn’t love no-cost shipping?

Since this will be my first Cyber Monday for my new shop at ArtFire, I decided to get a peer review of my shop.  I put out a call to other ArtFire artisans to stop by my shop and give me feedback regarding quality of photographs, selection, pricing clarity of descriptions etc.

Five or six people offered reviews.  No one had any suggestions for improvement.  One person said that in her humble opinion my shop was “perfection”.  That’s so sweet to hear, but really, just about anything in life has room for improvement.  What do you want to see in my shop?  Do you have ideas for how I can take it to the next level?  I’d love to hear from you in the comment section or via email.

Shell Pearl Earrings

Shell Pearl Earrings in Mauve and Light Sage-Green

Shell Pearl Earrings with Bali Silver Spacers and Sterling Silver

I just added these to the shop last night.  These classy earrings would be equally at home with a sweater and jeans as in an office environment.  I love the soft color combo with the luster of the shell pearls.

Pretty Pairs

Holiday Preparations

I’ve been working hard to have a full jewelry shop by Thanksgiving and I’m also working toward the goal of creating enough beaded treasures to offer at the Winter Fine Arts and Crafts Show the first two weekends in December.

Earrings

Earrings make a good holiday gift, it seems to me.  What do you think? One size fits all and they are usually in most people’s comfort zone price-wise.  I’m still curious to get feedback from readers regarding their favorite type of jewelry gifts for the holidays.  Let me know your favorite colors as well.

 

Ceramic earrings with radiant green heart designs

Handmade Green Ceramic Heart Earrings with Sterling Silver Ear Wires

 

I bought these little green ceramic dangles when I was in La Conner last week,  Aren’t they cute!  I knew they’d make sassy little earrings!

 

Green swirl disc earrings

Green Glass Earrings with Circular Patterns and Gold Crystals

 

Staying with the theme of sassy and green….how do you like these?  Believe it or not, I got those two types of green beads at separate occasions, but when I saw them together, I knew it was a marriage made in heaven.  I love how the circular patterns echo each other.  Both the upper and the lower beads are very unusual–which is, of course, why I chose them!

 

Classic silver gray earrings with sterling silver ear wires

Silver Gray Shell Pearl, Mother of Pearl and Sterling Silver Earrings

 

These have been in the shop for about two weeks now.  What I like about this pair is how versatile they are.  They’ll go with everything and can be dressy or casual, depending on what you wear them with.  The silver sheen on the shell pearls is just gorgeous, too.  OK, do you want to see one last pair?

 

Black and Beige Lampwork Earrings with Hematite

Lampwork Earrings with Hematite, Crystals and Sterling Silver

 

I just made this pair last night.  The lampwork glass is by Jenelle Aubade of  Radiant Mind on Etsy.  These beads are so gorgeous, with tracings of onyx black glass over a sand colored slightly speckled surface.  I love these beads so much that I have them in three sizes, so be prepared to see more of them!  I paired them with hematite to make casual, chic earrings.

I hope you enjoy your weekend and don’t let errands eat up all your time.  Find some space for fun.  We’re going to an October Fest at a friend’s house.  Bottoms up!

 

Teal We Meet Again

A few weeks ago I bought a strand of glittering bronze crystal roundels.  Although they are dark in color, these babies really sparkle.  I was anxious to use them in a necklace.  Usually my design process starts with a cool focal bead and I create a necklace or bracelet that will show the focal off to the best advantage.  This necklace, however, started with those crystals.  I quickly decided to pair them with bronzed espresso-colored cubes and dark sage-green one-cut seed beads. It took me three tries before I discovered the right pendant to go with the necklace.  First I tried wire-wrapping a dichroic glass bead.  I wasn’t happy with the quality of my wire-wrapping, plus the bead looked lame in the necklace.  Then I tried a gold Venetian glass bead.  Nope.  Lastly, the one you see below:  teal with slightly raised bronze cross-hatching.  Perfect.

Bronze crystal necklace with teal colored lampwork pendantBronzed crystal necklace with teal lampwork pendantThat’s all for today–Teal we meet again!

Monday Meanderings: Snow Geese

{Monday Meanderings: Musings & Observations From Beyond the Bead Studio}

Art’s Alive Festival

On Saturday, my friend, Rose  and I headed about 125 miles north to the small waterfront  town of La Conner, WA to visit their 26th annual Art’s Alive Festival.    In past years, this festival has drawn about 2000 visitors to view art in about 17 different galleries in and near La Conner. Many of the galleries feature  regional artists demonstrating wood carving, watercolor painting, weaving or silk painting.  Rose and I got a lot of our Christmas shopping done–knowing our gifts will be delightfully unique and will support independent artists, not huge corporations.

storefront in La Conner, WA

Serendipity and Snow Geese!

Rose was driving and I had drifted off to sleep, (I am so not a morning person!).  We were about 20 minutes outside of La Conner, when suddenly Rose said, “Oh, look!”.  And there to the left of us was a huge field teaming with hundreds and hundreds of snow geese.  We joined other cars that had pulled off to the side of the road.  Serious birders and photographers had out their single lens reflex cameras with giant lenses attached.  I was just thrilled to have my new compact camera in my purse.  Some women told us the birds had just arrived about 15 minutes ago. It was an amazing sight.  The field, which turned out to be part of the Skagit Wildlife Area, was a sea of white.

A field of Snow Geese at the Skagit Wildlife Area Nov. 6, 2010

White snow geese near La Conner, WA

Back home, I did some research and learned that from November through March each year, thousands of Snow Geese come to western Washington to fatten themselves before the long Spring migration to northern Canada. The Skagit Valley (which includes La Conner) is a major wintering place for the snow geese.  The estuaries and moist farmlands provide the nutrition the birds need to survive the bitter arctic temperatures where they breed, and it is here where they find their mates.

Four flying snow geese near La Conner, WA

Quick Facts:

Here are some quick facts about snow geese (from Nature Photography):

  • Weight: Males – 6 lbs Females – 5.5  lbs
  • Average speed:  50 mph
  • Migration distance: 3,000 miles
  • Wing span: 35 inches
  • Diet:  shoots, roots, grass, bulbs, insects, berries, grains, aquatic plants and invertebrates

"Honk, honk!"