Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Relief

For those of you who don't know, my husband's entire family lives on the east coast. We are so thankful that they are all doing fine, have electricity, and have had mild repercussions from Hurricane Sandy. The same is not true for many others. I have heard stories of families whose homes and vehicles are under water, churches that are completely destroyed, single moms who have nothing but their children left, and on and on the devastating stories go.

Despite being far away, we can all do something to help. From now until Christmas I will donate all profit from jewelry sold when you mention "sandy relief". This includes custom orders! Christmas shopping this year can not only be about a great gift for your loved one but also a gift for someone whose life has been completely turned upside down by this terrible storm. The only exclusions are leather bracelets (the profit from them will still go to buy shoes for children in dire poverty) and the Hope for Haiti pieces (the profit will go to support job training for women in Haiti). Everything else can be purchased to help the people in our own country.

If you have any questions, please comment here or email me - seladesigns1 at gmail dot com. Please take some time to look through my shop - Sela Designs or view my items on Facebook. You can also email any custom orders directly to me. Please share this information with as many people as possible. Every dollar counts!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fall Fever

It's been a weird week - first I was sick and then my husbands car broke down (same bad part 3 times!) so he's been taking mine everyday and we've had a lot of rain. All of these things have led to me and the boys being cooped up in the house all week. We were really hoping to go for a nice "nature walk," as Liam calls it, today but the weather had other plans. I kind of feel like a trapped rat about now.

So, what's a girl to do? I honestly haven't gotten very much jewelry made at all this week. I did a few custom orders and I'm working on a few more, but nothing else. I've spent way too much time trying to order supplies. I really hate ordering supplies because it takes me forever! I always want to order as much as possible so I don't have to pay for shipping constantly, but I seem to forget something every time and then I get mad. I always feel like I have to shop around for the best prices and then end up buying from the same place as the last time. It's a vicious cycle, I tell ya!

Good news is that I'm hoping to get the essential supplies for soldering! If I can learn to solder I think a whole new world of possibilities will open up to me. I'm excited about that. Not sure I can spend the money right now though. Christmas is just two months away and I've set some very high goals of how much money I want to raise for different charities.

Speaking of charities, I recently received a bag full of rubble from Haiti that is intended for jewelry making. I'm so excited about this as my parents and sister spent time in Haiti and know exactly how horrific conditions can be there. I will post more about it as soon as I get some jewelry together. All profit will go to support an organization that is teaching women to make jewelry & give them a sustainable income! How cool is that?! Well, I better get to it...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Mismatched Art Bead Earring Hop

Hello Everyone! Welcome to my blog! I apologize for not having this post up earlier. I spent last night in the ER with 102 fever, severe neck pain & a headache. Turned out to be dehydration & a migraine, not meningitis. Thank God! Anyway...

I only have the earrings I made to show you today because unfortunately, my partner thought this was just a fun way to receive a free pair of earrings and didn't feel the need to reciprocate.

I had this really cool glass art bead that I wanted to use because I had just one so it was perfect for mismatched earrings. My mother-in-law got it for me at a local glass house. I paired it with brass rings & arte metal from Vintaj, one of my own faceted polymer clay beads, adventurine and coffee jasper. I love the look of mixed metals for Fall!

Don't forget to visit everyone else participating in this fun hop:
Lisa Liddy
Charlene Jacka

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Operation Christmas 2012: Leather for Soles

This Christmas I really want to give more than ever to children and families in extreme, dire poverty. Everyday thousands of children are dying due to starvation and disease. There are so many things that these children need, but I've chosen a few specific areas to help with this year. I wish I could help every child and fulfill every need, but I can't. Here's what I can do and what you can be a part of:

The first way to help is through my "Leather for Soles" program. All profit from the sale of my leather bracelets will go to buy children shoes. Shoes? Yes, shoes. Many children live in areas where raw sewage covers the streets. Children walk barefoot through this filth and are at high risk for infection that could lead to them being crippled, diseased and in severe cases can be fatal. In case I'm not doing a good enough job explaining here's a picture:

For some reason I think shoes are important. I know food is important too and I'll get to that in another post.
Leather bracelets are $18 each. They are top quality, Italian leather. Every leather bracelet purchased will buy 3 pairs of shoes for children in need. Three pairs of shoes! What better gift to give someone for Christmas than a gift that keeps on giving?
 Single strand bracelet

Double strand - not to be confused with a double wrap bracelet :)
Triple wrap bracelet
I also have a double strand in cranberry (not pictured). Clasps are available in brass, silver or copper. You can also get an extra long bracelet for a double ($23), triple ($28, pictured above) or quadruple wrap ($33) . You can order by emailing me seladesigns1 at gmail dot com, through my etsy shop, or message me on facebook. I accept cash, checks and paypal.
My goal is to raise $1,000 to buy shoes for children this Christmas! That would be about 277 pairs. It may seem like a lofty goal, but together I think we can do it. Please share this information with as many people as you can. Comment or email me if you have questions. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

The weekend

Well, after a jam-packed week, we had a weekend filled to the brim. Sometimes I wonder why we always try to fit so much into such short amounts of time but then I realize that it's just the way I am. A full and active (I'm not talking about exercise here though I wish I was) lifestyle is ingrained in my character. I honestly can't handle sitting around with nothing to do for more than 1 day, 2 max. Anyway, here's how it went down:

Friday was Bill's birthday and I had a surprise getaway planned. First I had to do dishes, fold about 10 loads of laundry, bathe the kids, get everyone packed and have myself looking decent all by 1:00pm. Good thing I only had to pack for one night! The plan was to drop the kids at my parents, pick up my nephew and drop him off by his Dad, deliver jewelry to the new gallery I've just joined (Purloin Studio) and then get to downtown Milwaukee by 5:30pm to pick up our concert tickets! Whew!

Everything pretty much went according to the plan. When I got to Purloin Studio I met the owner, Susan, who was very sweet and happy to see my work. As I was unpacking she encouraged customers to get the first look at my jewelry. One lady was thrilled with the Tagua necklaces and trying to decide which one to purchase. That was so encouraging for me since this is the first gallery I'm selling at. It's always awesome to see other people enjoy your work.

We headed downtown, got our tickets, had a great dinner and went to the concert. We saw NEEDTOBREATHR. We had no idea they were so popular - the place was packed! The band was unbelievably talented but the overall show wasn't what we expected. It's weird to me that a so called Christian band never made mention of God when they had ample opportunity. I had hoped for more. I know even more that I'm not just a "music person" - I am a worship person!

Saturday we got to sleep in! Bill said that was the best gift he had ever received. We did a little shopping and headed to the Milwaukee Public Market for lunch. I stopped in Anthropologie and fell in lust over everything in there! Oh man, it's all so lovely. One thing I dislike is that although the jewelry design there is amazing almost everything is made of plastic beads - I just don't like that. And that was it for our 24 hour getaway. We were happy to get our babies back - they had a great time at grandma & grandpa's house.

Sunday afternoon we went to some friends' house for a harvest party with everyone else from church. The hosts are some of the coolest people we know - a retired couple, Tony & Paula, who make everything from scratch and build amazing things. Tony built a log cabin that is stunning, a covered wagon and beautiful benches for us all to enjoy. We had a great time! Pictures below (first - Liam riding in front with Mr. Tony, second - Dad, Bill, Liam, Me and Mom, and third - Liam driving the tractor):

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Buried in Tagua & Copper

It has been a crazy week so far - I've barely come up for air! I am working on a bunch of stuff for an art gallery, Purloin Studios, that I am going to start selling at. I'm excited for this opportunity and it's a great time of year to start at a new gallery.

I've been working every spare moment - late nights and early mornings. Yesterday, my Dad even came over for two hours and helped me pound and cut copper. Two hours of his time is like four of mine! I'm always very thankful for his help.

I just received a new shipment of tagua. All of the colors are beautiful! I wasted no time and dove right in. Liam even made a design or two - he loves tagua. I hope to finish some necklaces tomorrow, take pictures and get them in my etsy shop soon.

Here's a picture of the tagua and my Dad working away in my disastrous basement.