Phew! I Made It!

Alas, readers, another Christmas has gone by. And I made it. All of the shopping, the baking, the planning, the gift wrapping, the get-togethering, and the stressing is nearly over. Honestly, I don't know why I get so busy at this time of the year, it's not like I don't know how to plan for it! However, this one was a bit different, and the reason was my Etsy shop.

Let me just tell you, as mentioned in my previous post, I definitely wasn't prepared for the holiday rush. I really didn't think I'd be a part of it, being a fairly new seller and all! It was exciting though, and it kept me very busy. Luckily, I did have nearly all of my shopping done at the beginning of December, which helped quite a bit. I'll also have you know that at least 60% of my gifts came from Etsy, or were handmade by me. I also received some handmade goodies--a birdhouse, some coasters and some hot pads, and a painting--as well as items that PROMOTE doing handmade activities (a gift certificate from Fire Mountain Gems and a kit to make my own incense!).

In '08 I'm going to be a busy, busy girl. Today I did a bit of shopping for my belated birthday (December 19), and it included some metalsmithing tools--a jeweler's saw, a torch and some solder, a ring clamp, some new tweezers and needle files, and of course some new beads and wire. In late Jan, or perhaps March or April, I'm going to be attending a private session with a metalsmith in State College, PA to learn some additional skills. Most of what I've been doing is self-taught, but from what I've read it seems that once you get into soldering and the like, it helps to do some one-one-one instruction. I can't wait!

Over Christmas I took a little break from the shop, but I still got some orders. I'll be working over the next few days to fill them, as well as try to come up with a few new designs for earrings. I'm also waiting on materials to continue developing my Beneath the Moon necklace and earrings (smoky quartz smooth teardrops are becoming hard to come by these days!). I'm also working on variations of this design...changing up the stones and whatnot. For instance, my up-and-coming "Beneath the Blood Moon" necklace will feature garnet teardrops and freshwater pearls in place of smoky quartz and peach moonstone. I'm hoping for a nice outcome on that one! The garnets I purchased are big and gorgeous and perfect for someone to show off. I'm also going to be doing a made-to-order piece called the Jonelle necklace, made after the person I made it for this Christmas. :oD I haven't talked to her yet, so I hope she liked it! I'll be putting pics of it on my Flickr page soon.

Well, I'm off for now, gotta get to work in the studio. Have a nice breather before New Year's!

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