Happy Halloween!

May your tricks be minimal and your treats be abundant.

For you readers who like random pics posted, here's one for ya from my back deck. It's called "Mr. Pumpkin's View." He stares all day into my woods and doesn't seem to mind it. Lately, however, he's been quite bummed because those leaves they are a' fallin'.

Anyway, some store updates: A fellow Etsy member sent me a convo today to ask if I sold pendants by themselves...the answer is YES I do; I just haven't listed any yet. Look for more to come in the near future.

Also, I'm beginning to feel a little better, so I'm hoping to be able to post my first "Sharin' the Love" entry either tomorrow or Friday. The reason for the weekly feature is based on the poll I conducted regarding what would encourage readers to subscribe to a blog. I had 22 voters; each voter could vote for more than one item. As of tonight, the results are as follows:
  • 12 people voted for "Tutorials (banners, avatars, photography, Photoshop, writing descriptions, etc.) "

  • 8 people voted for "A monthly contest"

  • 15 people voted for "Interesting, engaging, and visually attractive blog posts"
To my surprise, no one voted for "A checklist for listing Etsy items" or "A neatly formatted list of 'Etsy Best Practices,' grouped by category." I believe the reason for the low turnout on these two items is because most of the folks that visited my blog may be seasoned Etsy sellers rather than new sellers.

The upcoming feature will combine the tutorials (based on those that others have submitted [I don't want to reinvent the wheel here] or ones that I create) and the use of interesting, engaging, and visually attractive blog posts. My goal is for "Simply Wired: The Blog" to serve as a collection of resources--a "one-stop-shop" to find out what types of information is out there to assist sellers. Along the way, it will highlight some amazing Etsy members and their products.

Improving the Etsy Shop Series
Now that I've opened up my store, I'll be doing most of my changes right on my site. Today's tip was to be sure your Featured Items are ranked appropriately. This one is also finished, as I've been keeping up with my featured items as I list them. The one bit of advice I did get from it, however, is to be sure to have featured items that are in later pages of your items. This will encourage buyers to browse ALL items of your list. Great idea!


Happenings, Updates, Etc.

A short post tonight, folks, as I'm a bit under the weather. I finally posted Reloj on my Etsy site (it's also in my banner, above!), so now it's officially for sale. This one was really a struggle coming up with just the right look for it. After much scrapped wire and a few temper tantrums, I am truly satisfied with it. I hope the wearer who ends up with it will love it as much as I do. As mentioned before, I said that the colors were inspired by the talavera tile in my kitchen, and I posted a photo of it here for ya. Perfect match!

Later this week (hopefully sooner than later, depending on this cold of mine), I'm going to be starting a weekly feature where I highlight Etsy sellers who have "How-Tos" or helpful information for Etsy sellers. The feature will be called "Sharin' the Love." My first two highlighted sellers will be strumpfkunst and ChristinaPerdue.

Finally, I purchased three showcase spots...one for the Storque and two for the main page...hopefully it will lead to some more exposure.


Canyon Drops Earrings

Canyon Drops Earrings
Originally uploaded by Simply Wired
...keeping up with that Southwest theme, here is tomorrow's item. Find them at my shop: http://simplywired.etsy.com. See you there!


Mosaic Brooch Draft

One of my friends asked me to make her a brooch...I've never done one before, so today was the day I finally decided to finish my practice piece. I had the frame already created, but had to read up a little on the "mosaic" technique, as I really don't use it often. What it does is allow you to use a numerous selection of different sized beads to create a "mosaic" woven with wire. You weave the wire and beads around the frame, and keep moving inward until you just start randomly placing whatever piece or size will fit. My favorite part is adding little coils to the piece. Can you see 'em in there? Anyway, the one I'll be working on will be sterling silver, with red garnet and red coral beads. I think the color combo will be gorgeous! (My friend picked it out...she really has an eye for that kind of stuff.)

So, of course since this is a draft there are a few things I would have done differently. For instance, I used 28g instead of 26g wire. Mistake. It's too thin and breaks easily. I also need to be sure I incorporate even smaller beads into the design...I had nothing less than 4mm for this one, and I need to have 2-3mm beads to fill in the small gaps.

Well, that's all for now. I have to get ready for a Halloween party tonight...my costume came from Etsy! I bought these lovely little horns from AbbieRoad. Aren't they adorable? They're only about 2" high. I'm going to be some type of fairy...witchy...I dunno kinda thing. All I know is I can't wait to sport these little guys.


Santa Fe Teardrops Earrings

Happy Friday, everyone! Tomorrow is my day off, but you'll see these earrings in my Etsy shop on Sunday.

Today I bought a new lightbox to use for my photographing. See the following article at: http://www.theswitchboards.com/articles_professionalphotos.html. Very helpful!

I also got some new lamps to use with the lightbox so I can hopefully brighten my pics up a little (without so much Photoshopping!).

Finally, I took the "Handmade Pledge" today. See my banner in the left nav bar, or check out the buyhandmade.org web site. It promotes the shopping and purchase of handcrafted items rather than those that are mass produced. What a great idea!


Waterbound Earrings

Waterbound Earrings
Originally uploaded by Simply Wired
...coming tomorrow to Simply Wired! See you there!

Featured on a Treasury!

Well now, this is quite exciting...I've been featured on ArtisticDetour's "Shop From the Heart" Treasury. Check it out...my "Warmth" earrings are right there in the top left corner! Yeeehaw!

You may have read a previous blog about ArtisticDetour before at this site, as I bought one of her pendants when I first became an Etsy member. If you like what you see here, go to Artistic Detour's Etsy shop!


Festival Earrings

Quick post for today...here is tomorrow's item! I posted these on here before, but in case you missed 'em, you can catch 'em in my shop tomorrow. See you there!


Stay Tuned for Tomorrow's Item - Ocean Storm

I'm really pleased with this one, and have been waiting to put it in my store forever!

Improving the Etsy Shop, Days 9-11

I’m almost caught up! I’m up to days 9-11 of my 30 Days to a Better Etsy Shop. What’s nice is that since I’m just starting to build up my inventory, I can read these tips and apply them as I list items. So, here’s the rundown:

Day 9 was Join a Street Team. Already done! I’m a member of the EtsyBloggers Street Team since September '07. Check out the logo I added on my left navigation bar, too! Days 10-11 were Update Your Tags. I was pleased to find that the reference used for this activity was the Storque’s Guidelines & Tips: Tagging on Etsy. I used these guidelines for tagging my items; hopefully they will bring me some luck in Etsy’s search engine.

Finally, I also worked on my sponsor banner, which I’ll use if I decide to sponsor fellow Etsy bloggers:

I also have a few additional custom orders; updates will be posted here and on my Flickr page:

  • A mosaic brooch that uses sterling silver wire, garnets, and red coral.

  • A 15” necklace that incorporates cat’s eye, black onyx, sterling silver tube beads, and sterling silver wire (I already made one of these, you can see it on my Flickr page (I didn’t post it here because the pic ain’t so hot).

  • An 18” necklace that incorporates turquoise and sterling silver wire (and probably some Hill Tribes Silver as well--I’m gonna love this one!).

  • Bridesmaids’ necklaces, adjustable, that include Swarovski pearls, Swarovski crystals, sterling silver spiral tube beads, and sterling silver wire.

Now, the problem will be keeping up with other items to make to sell on my Etsy page.

Anyway...more products on the way, so stay tuned.


Orange & Copper Skullies Earrings

Coming tomorrow to a Simply Wired Etsy shop near you!

I'm on a Blog Page!

Displaced Moose! listed my Warmth Earrings as one of her favorite items on Etsy. Yay! She has some wonderful items in her shop, I must say...my absolute favorite being her Water Lily Shrug/Wrap. So, visit Displaced Moose!'s blog; you'll love her banner, too.

Many Improvements

Lots of work done over the weekend! I am on track with Christina Perdue's Blog, up to Day 8, I opened up shop yesterday, and yeah! I'm starting to get really excited about this whole shop thang.

Anyway, Steps 5 through 8 are going to be easy…because Step 5: Improve your Banner and Avatar is already finished, and Step 6: Update your Descriptions is going to be CAKE because I only have one item (Item #2 will be added in a few hours)! Plus, Step 7 is the other half of my items, which are yet to be listed, so I’ll just have to be sure to follow my own standard format when listing.

So, that brings me to Step 8: Update Your Message to Buyers. This is important for me because I haven’t really added anything to my message except “Thanks for your purchase!”, as I’m not really sure what this message is supposed to entail. So, my new one will be added as follows:

Thank you for your purchase from Simply Wired Custom Jewelry! Your item(s) will be sent to you within two-three days after your payment clears. All jewelry is shipped via USPS First Class Mail with Delivery Confirmation (unless shipped internationally), and will arrive in a lovely gift box perfect for gift giving (to yourself or to others!).

To check the status of your order, go to Your Etsy : Purchases and refer to the “status (from seller)” column.
Finally, I updated my business card, which has taken me forever to find the right cards for my printer! I finally found them…the Avery 8869s…which allow you to print to the edge (very, very important for my graphic design style) and only prints out eight cards per sheet. I’m pretty pleased with the final result; I printed out a set and the edges were very, very clean. At any rate, here’s the image I’m using for the card:

Next, I need to work on the other side, which will probably include a discount code for new customers who acquire my cards at craft fairs (thanks to all of those lovely Etsy sellers who offer to distribute these freebies!). I’d really like to include a set of earrings with each card, but my poor hands won’t work that fast.

Last but not least, I updated my blog banner! I'm quite pleased. Stay tuned, in a few hours I'll be posting a new item, plus posting tomorrow's item here.


Black & Silver Skullies Earrings

Coming tomorrow to my Etsy shop, just in time for Halloween shopping!


Simply Wired Custom Jewelry Creations is Finally Here!

Phew...finally. It took a while, but I posted my first item! Yay! I listed my Warmth earrings today, and for the next two weeks (excluding weekends), I hope to post something daily. This is such a relief, and it was really fun to see my item come up on the first page! Anyway, you can get to the shop by using the left menu, or you can go there really fast by going there now. I hope you enjoy my stuff. If you have comments, questions, concerns, or suggestions, feel free to leave a comment here or convo me.

Etsy rules,


Improving the Etsy Shop, Part 4

I'm still playing the slow catch-up of the 30 day plan, but hey, since my shop isn't up and running yet, I should be OK eventually. Today's activity is to update my profile. Here's where I am so far:

I'm Chelsea, the creator of Simply Wired Custom Jewelry. By day, I’m an instructional systems designer, and when I find time outside of being a workforce professional, I’m a jewelry artisan. Wire and gemstones are what continuously draw me in…the combination of the two is electrifying. At the beginning of this side-profession of mine, I was searching for something to keep my hands and my brain creatively occupied. I started to explore different types of beads and techniques, and when I saw what could be done with wire, that’s when I decided it was for me.

Nature, art, music, people, emotions, weather, and my day-to-day surroundings inspire me. Within my portfolio, you’ll find creations comprised of sterling silver wire, in many cases oxidized. I also favor the look of copper, so a few of my recent pieces incorporate its basic, earthy glory. Weaved, enclosed, or entwined among the wraps you’ll find many types of gemstones, my favorites being turquoise, carnelian, and amber. Metal has also been calling my name as of late, so stay tuned and watch me grow. I promise I will keep trying to improve!

None of my designs would have ever come to fruition without an incessant desire to learn from established professionals. Continuous reading, researching, and enrolling in online classes have enabled me to develop my own personal style, which I attribute to Lisa Niven Kelly, Kriss Silva, Sharilyn Miller, Mark Lareau, Linda Chandler, and Christine Ritchey.

Finally, when I’m not working on jewelry, you can find me working on my musical career, where I’m a vocalist for a little project called The Simple Groove. You can also find me spending time with my wonderful husband, my two St. Bernards, and my two cats. The free moments that are left are spent reading, baking, and watching my backyard birds from the comfort of my living room.


Back in the Shop

Well, I've been doing that day job career thing since last weekend, and all week long. I traveled to D.C. for work...I left Sunday night, but Saturday was pretty much spent packing and preparing my house for house/dog/cat sitters. So, this weekend was generally shot as far as getting anything done Simply Wired-wise.

Check-in Sunday night was absolutely horrid. I stayed at a ratty hotel that had stains all over the floor and on the ottoman in my room. Let's not discuss these details any further. The coworker who I was traveling with called our admin assistant the next morning, and the wonderful chick that she is came to our rescue by getting us set up in an Embassy Suites [sigh of relief]. What we were trying to do with the original hotel was stay at a place where it was fairly close to our meeting site. We'll learn next time, as apparently the Embassy Suites is our company's hotel of choice. If you've never stayed there before, there's really, truly no need to stay anywhere else. Ever.

Anyway, next week things may slow down a bit, so I'll get back on track. Until then...keep on keepin' it real...



Improving the Etsy Shop, Part 3

So I'm at day 3 of improvements already. Tonight's is easy:

Update your sections.

I'm going to keep it standard, based upon the products that I have, which are necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. But, I want to add something clever to the categories, just to make them a little different than these one-word descriptors. So, I'll be using the following:

  • Adorn my neck with marvelous!
  • Decorate my wrist with spectacular!
  • Embellish my ears with dazzling!
There, that should do it. I'm sure there will be much more difficult tasks to come.

In other news, I have to travel to D.C. next week for work, so that puts a damper on the shop opening. Sigh. Oh well, more to look forward to when I return. Last night and tonight I started taking some pics and working out the settings for my new camera. I put a few of the pics here; let me know your likes/dislikes.

Canyon Drops Earrings

Warmth Earrings

Festival Earrings

Reloj Necklace

Funny how a new piece of equipment can totally mess up a whole process. With the old Kodak camera ("the brick"), I had everything all set--lighting, settings, exposure, etc. With the new Canon, I had to go through the process all over again. Plus, because of all of the new and improved settings and adjustments that can be made, it took me twice as long (please note that I'm not complaining about my new camera, I love it!).

The photos are still coming out a little bit gray, but I attribute it to the fact that I only have one lamp shining in the lightbox. My Photoshop skills can handle this for now. I need to get two more lamps, but I just haven't been to the store yet to find the ones that I need. In addition, I also need to get full spectrum bulbs, which I think will make a world of difference.

Anyway, that's all for the night. Long day tomorrow, as I have a deliverable that's due for my day job.

Hugs 'n stuff,



Improving the Etsy Shop, Part 2

As mentioned in yesterday's blog, I'm following a fellow Etsy blogger in her quest to help everyone improve their shop in 30 days. For me, today is Day 2, and the corresponding assignment is:

Update Your Shop Announcement

Since mine really isn't an update, I'll be creating mine. Hmmm...let's see. In a very small amount of text and real estate, I need to communicate to a potential buyer just how much they'll ROCK in my wares. I also want my potential customers to visit this blog and my Flickr page so they can see works in progress and get the general dirt on little ol' me. So, here goes my first attempt:


Making You Beautiful, One Wire Wrap at a Time

A special welcome to you, beautiful Etsy buyer. Here you will find wire jewelry that I've twisted and wrapped into wearable art, all by hand.

Browse my selection of necklaces, bracelets, and earrings for the perfect accessories to your wardrobe--the kind that you just can't find on major merchandisers' counter displays.

I also do custom work, so convo me and we can discuss your unique needs. I love to make things as wonderful as you are!

Updates and other Simply Wired Custom Jewelry happenings are available at http://simplywiredcustomjewelry.blogspot.com/. Photos of custom work and works in progress are available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/simply_wired.


So, there you have it. More to come...maybe later tonight. We'll see.




Busy Weekend

Good grief, things have been crazy. As I mentioned in a previous post, life just sometimes takes over. I did get a few components done on my Talking in Circles in necklace; however, I was working on a coiled jump ring this evening and I got one right, but the other one decided to give me grief. As a result, the tools were put away. I hate when that happens. It's almost like having to start over, with no direction on where to go next.

So this week I think I'll be at a point where I'll have some items to add to my shop. I'll have about three necklaces and several pairs of earrings, which will enable me to post consistently for approximately two weeks. In preparation for my store opening, there are a ton of other things to do, such as photograph my items, write their descriptions, figure out pricing, etc. It's a ton of work! At the same time, lots of shop information needs to be completed. Luckily, Christina Perdue's blog is helping a bunch of folks out, including me. She has this excellent plan where she's going to spend the next 30 days giving us all tips on how to update our shops. While she provides the tips, she's going to be doing the same thing.

To get me started writing and documenting what I'm going to do with Simply Wired Custom Jewelry , I'm going to post my information here, and then I'll move it over to the shop when I'm ready.

Alrighty...here goes her #1 item: Set goals both monthly and long term for your shop and business.

Mine are as follows:


  1. Open Etsy shop
  2. List at least one new item per day (weekdays) after opening until inventory runs out
  3. Create new items while listing so that number of items in my shop is approximately 30 (may stretch to November)
  4. Update blog every day
  5. Sell at least one item before the end of the month

Long-term (within one year)
  1. If sales continue to be a success, purchase a Simply Wired Custom Jewelry domain name
  2. Begin metalsmithing techniques, and take a class if one is available near me
  3. Submit my work in a jewelry contest
  4. Evaluate success and determine if Simply Wired Custom Jewelry can become a significant portion of my income; if so, begin business plan for brick and mortar store (may extend beyond one year)

Nighty night, folks. I promise I'll also include some other fun stuff mixed in with "the biz" posts, including pics of pets, corners of my home, etc.



It's Here!

My camera is here! I'm still learning how to use it, but I'm quite proud of this macro shot I took today of one of the flowers on my deck. Oh, how I'm going to love photographing the jewelry. I didn't get the chance to try it yet because I need to move my lightbox outside, etc. But hopefully tomorrow I'll get some time.

I also got a photo of this little guy, who's hanging out on the railings of my deck. He wouldn't turn around for me, and then I kinda blew at this web to get him to move around a bit and he ran away and hid. I'm totally not a spider fan, but I am a fan of webs, so I have to make the trade. No sense in photographing them if their eight-legged little habitants can't get credit for 'em [shudders while thinking about the spider].
Another thing that I did today was clean my copper jewelry with lemon juice. It really works! Reloj and Egyptian Goddess are super shiny, waiting to be worn. I can't wait to photograph them for my Etsy shop!

Anyway, more to come in the next few days folks, I promise.

Click-click-click-click-click goes the camera,


The Smell of October

I caught it today after I walked down my driveway, returning from a quick trip to the store: October. Breathing in, the crisp air burns from the golden sunshine that rises later and sets earlier, reminding us that our summer has had its finale. If you know me, you know that I'm not really an autumn fan; I'll take spring and summer forever. But for those few weeks in October, as the leaves glow orange, red, and yellow amidst their lack of light, and pumpkin patches bear their signature fruits, I take it all in.

In my little nook of the U.S.--Western Pennsylvania--the leaves are not quite turning yet. From my deck at the back of my house, my view is covered in trees, all trying to hold on to their green while their neighbors slowly transform. Soon, they'll give in, and the view from my sliding glass window will be adorned with nothing but color. Even my birds know that fall is upon us; their numbers are dwindling, hopefully because they've discovered the birdhouses my husband and I built for them.

This morning I began the fall scrub-down of my house, which is why I'm late on posting and why I'm delayed in jewelry making. I need to get things in order on the homefront in order to let my creativity flow without interruption. Halloween will be here soon, and I'm doing a revamp of all of my decor (mostly because my house is in the process of a complete transformation). Tonight, because of my completed missions today, I was able to finish Reloj (yeah!) and get busy with Talking in Circles (see my previous post on these for details). With my camera arriving tomorrow, I hope to get things photographed, descriptions written, and open that store soon...but I'm patient. It will come. Until then, I'm going to let the chill of the air creep in when it can, let the leaves begin to color my backyard, and get ready for All Hallow's Eve. All is good.

Look how the sun has painted the trees
All these colors never known to them
Colors never known to their leaves
I'd like to sing like that
--Chris Pureka, "Compass Rose"