Monday, June 29, 2009

No See Ums Feeding Frenzy

Every Saturday through out the Summer I sell at the Missoula People's Market and I decided to add a Sunday show in beautiful Seeley Lake.

It is a bit over an hours drive from Missoula. The drive there was just lovely along the Blackfoot river and passing many mountain lakes. I arrived to be greeted by a very welcoming market master named Vicki. The venue takes place on a lovely grassy lawn.

It was early morning and the lawn was dewy. I had no idea that it made a perfect breeding ground for no see ums, also known as biting midges. I saw what I thought were gnats swarming around and just shooed them away.

While I was selling a customer asked "Do you know you are bleeding?". Surprised, I looked in my mirror and my neck and upper chest were covered with blood droplets. I didn't even feel myself being bit.

Well, about 4 hours later my neck, chest, back of the neck, elbows and feet started itching. I even have a bite on my scalp! Huge welts cover me and the pain is like a wasp sting.

One bite would be an annoyance but with so many I feel down right miserable. My sunburn I achieved this weekend is not even noticeable!

I searched online and there were many home remedy suggestions. Last night I went to bed with Vicks Vapor Rubbed smeared all over me. I don't recommend this one. The heaviness of it was unpleasant.

This morning I used Tea tree oil and it was a momentary relief. No real relief from a baking soda paste. Now, with Mom's suggestion I am using a washcloth soaked in apple cider vinegar. There is a bit of a sting but it feels good. The swelling seems to be lessening.

Now, I am off to the store for some Cortizone 10 and Benadryl. I prefer natural products and have some plant based insect repellent but will also arm myself with some Cutter's insect repellent, because, hey, there motto is "freedom to enjoy the outdoors".

Friday, June 26, 2009

My Own Website

A few weeks ago I took the first step towards my own website by purchasing my domain name. Last night I upgraded my shopping cart with Big Cartel and became official.

Learning new things is great for the brain and I am excited about mastering a new skill. CSS, SEO, HTML, much to grasp! I didn't realize that I would need to learn some html language to make my shop look visually nice. So, I will take baby steps with learning html. and all the steps to creating a stand alone website. Makes me appreciate how user friendly Etsy is.

It is such a busy time of year and I was thinking why am I doing this right now while production work is at full throttle. So, it will be small steps and I hope by September to have my shop looking pretty and having all the SEO steps in place. I am so new to the language of computers that I don't even know if I am saying things correctly! Ha ha!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Premio Meme Award

Julie of Julie Magers Soulen has awarded me the Premio Meme Award. I am blushing with this honor! Thanks so much!

It is Julie's birthday today so if you know her you may want to drop in to her blog and wish her a good one. She is such a great gal! Happy Birthday Julie!!

The rules of this award is that I am to give 7 facts about myself and pass it to 7 people. Here we go!

1. I am married to a man 10 years younger than me, I am a cougar! : )
2. I have travel alone cross country many times.
3. I traded my gift shop for a funky, safety orange RV and traveled.
4. I am proud to be part Pottawatomie Indian from Michigan.
5. I sweet talked an Elk that was 8 ft from me once in the woods until he left.
6. I tried to get backstage at a concert in San Francisco to meet David Bowie.
7. I have sold many paintings but designing jewelry comes more naturally.

Now to pass this award along to 7 deserving blog owners (in no particular order):

East of the Sun West of the Moon
Three Peats
The Business of Craft
Primitive Surrealism
Tattoo Dreams
Judith B Designs

Sunday, June 21, 2009

I love my Daddy!

My Dad must have the patience of a saint, he raised four daughters. Never did he make us feel like he wished at least one of us was a boy. As the eldest child I get the privilege of reminding my siblings that I will always be #1 daughter! : )

Dad is a very easy going, happy go lucky, logical, thoughtful man. He is really good at explaining and teaching. Him and Mom are both witty people.

My Pops took us fishing, canoeing, camping. We saw Forts from the American Revolution, The Smithsonian Museum, The Badlands, The Golden Gate was an adventure.

We drove across country as a family many times. Dad was in the Air Force and then worked for IBM. In the 1970's IBM stood for "I've Been Moved" they transferred their employees often. We had a Chevy Suburban and us girls laughed that we were the Beverly Hillbilly's in that big vehicle. I got my adventure for travel from him.

As a teenager I got in trouble in school. It involved me, a cap gun and being off school property. As long as I told him the complete truth he defended me with the school system. He taught me how to fight an injustice even if it was drawn out and uncomfortable.

He taught us girls to not back down to bullies, try new things and laugh at ourselves. Because the rest of the family sure was laughing at us! : )

As a young woman he taught me that even men who work on their cars make mistakes, it wasn't because I was a "girl".

He taught us that self worth and intelligence were not based on our gender or a college degree. He shows by example what integrity is.

As a young woman I learned from him things like "This too will pass". "The political pendulum slowly swings back and forth". "Don't reinvent the wheel". Which the last one I never did grasp!

So on this day of honoring our fathers I want to wish my Dad a very Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to the best Dad ever!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Taos Mesa necklace

Last night while watching a movie I created this funky design. My husband said "Stop working and relax". I told him "I am not working I am playing"!

I am trying to step out of my box and find a direction to further explore. When I was thinking about a design I was imagining if one had no beads and had to gather found items what might they come up. I wanted a primitive feel so I wire wrapped it in a very carefree style.

For more images click here

Thursday, June 18, 2009

SEO and Etsy

Whew! After a week of issues with Etsy and Search Engine Optimization, I am thrilled it has been resolved.

I spent way to much time this week researching what it meant, "googling" my items and shop, playing with tags and titles and not producing jewelry at a high volume.

Under my shop name I have "~Boho Chic Jewelry~" and Etsy had changed it to "Handcrafted Boho Chic Jewelry~". This really bothered me. I want the control of what my shop announcement reads and am glad to have it back!

Now we can all breath a collective sigh and get back to what we love, creating!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Chunky Turquoise necklace set

Last night I was playing around with my photo editing and created my first collage using photos of my Genuine Chunky Turquoise necklace

I then did an experiment and renewed it with this photo as the first picture. It gained many hits and then nothing.

I like to experiment with my photos to see what draws in the shopper. At times I do notice more views when the necklace is on the display verses a close up. I personally like the close up shot myself.

Well, off to mail out a few necklaces! Hope everyone is enjoying there Monday!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Facing ones fear

"Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy."
Dale Carnegie

Life offered me opportunities at an early age in regards to fear and how I would handle it. In my late teens and early 20's life was a challenge and I stepped right up to my fear, examined them and overcame the traumas.

In my 30's I longed for my own brick and mortar store and used lack of money as my excuse. There was a store front location in the town I lived in that I had thought would be perfectfor my shop idea. One day a "For Rent" sign went up. I had $40 in my pocket and decided to go ahead and speak to the owner. He said I was the fifth person on the list for the place and the rent was...

I just knew it was mine! I felt it in my core. I made some shifts and changes and started banking my cash as fast as I could. When the owner called to tell me everyone else had dropped out of line and I could rent the place, I was ready. I took the place and opened shopped!

Well, years later I moved to Montana and started selling my jewelry fulltime. Folks would ask if I had a website and I always said "No, I am not a photographer" "I don't have a computer". I had a variety of excuses.

One day my partner came home with two laptop computers for us. I faced my fear of an online store and here I am.

Recently I have wanted to take my designs a step up. About a year ago an online site approached me about selling my jewelry with them. They are a juried site and gallery quality and I was completely intimated, honored but intimated.

Time passes, I forgot about the opportunity. Still wanting to challenge myself in my designs and chewing on ideas, I received an email from them today.

So, this Summer I am going to purchase some different jewelry making books and decide what direction would be a good fit for me. It is my goal to face the fear of branching out and expand my wings.

I hope in a few months to be introducing you to my new venue.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

One Lovely Blog award

Last week, I heard from Suzanne, at Three Peats, that she had chosen my blog for the "One Lovely Blog" award.

It's very special to get an award for "loveliness" from another artisan whose work I admire, as is the case with Suzanne. Make sure to check out her etsy shop Three Peats!

This is one of those "pass it along" awards which means I need to choose fifteen other blogs to recommend. That's easy! These are blogs that I check at and enjoy every day!

Angi's Worlds
Beholden to Nature
Black Star
Broken Teepee
Busy Bead Lady
Celtic Cat Photos
Dawn Will Break
Etsy PeaceNiks
High Desert Diva
Judith B Designs
Julie Magers Soulen Photography
Christina's Page
The Muddy Moose

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Domain Name, etc...

Monday was a busy day full of marking things off my "To Do" list. Three of the exciting items on my list where to call a travel agent for a ticket home to see my family over the Thanksgiving holiday. Still awaiting a return call! I may get the ticket online but thought I would do a cost comparison and give my money to a local business.

I also got a year membership at the local public pool run by the Parks & Recreation department. The facility is only a few years old and amazing. They even made a river with a current and you can either walk or swim against the current. There is a tennis court and a man made duck pond. I took my first water aerobics class this morning and then swam some laps.

Lastly, I got my domain name registered for three years. Gypsy Moon Designs I am not yet seeing it in the search engines but it is forwarded to go directly to my Etsy shop.

It is a small step towards my own website. There is so much to learn about the internet and I think leaving my domain link here helps somewhat with my google ranking.

The photo on this post are Tibetan Prayer Flags on my porch. A post needs a pic!
Have a super week everyone and fun creating!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Give Love Give Life

Give Love Give Life~National Health Care for Women and Children

Missoula Saturday Market

The wind blustered, the temps where in the mid 50's and it rained. Canopies blowing, pottery breaking and I rocked!

I tell you if you have a canopy it is always worth your time to go to market. I find there are fewer vendors and the customers who brave the weather are serious shoppers.

Friday I found myself in a low mood. On line this week was almost at a stand still. I started questioning my creativity. I have a real love for copper as one can see visiting my shop. Well, I started thinking if I worked in silver it would be better, but my passion isn't with silver.

Today at market snapped me right back into shape! The customers were saying such wonderful things and loving the copper. One of my designs is using locally made Lampwork glass beads and dangling them from copper chains. The folks gobbled them up! It was delightful! : )

Also got to visit with another Etsy shop owner. Deb and John with The Muddy Moose dropped in from Hamilton, MT to check out our market. It was fun to visit in person, they are such a friendly couple. I have bought there lotion bars for myself and as gifts. They are wonderful and smell so good. I like there melon/cucumber lip butter too!

So that was my fun market day! If you are ever in Missoula drop in and say "Hey"!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Spring Fever

The early part of this week has been crazy! I seemed to have so many interruptions and could not get into the studio. Yesterday I had a much needed lunch with my dear friend. She is a self employed attorney and needed the girlfriend time too. We had a lot of laughs and re charged ourselves. So, I thought "Okay I will get home and get creative".

Well, I get home to this mangled package in my box. The package was going to the U.K. and the sweet customer had sent me a message a week ago asking where it was. No getting into the studio, I just had to get it back out to her. So, I payed for it to be Priority Mailed to her. It ate up much of my profit but that is okay. I would rather have a happy customer and good reputation!

So, today, finally is creative time! I start the day with an incredible hike. Wild flowers and snow capped mountains. Just joyful! It gave me spring fever. I have been in the studio then back outside. We are having such mild, sunny weather. My favorite! So, I have decided to just give into the fever and putz around today. A little creating, a little cleaning and a lot of front porch sitting watching the world go by!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Another Google Alert

So, that blogger is re posting my post again and changing the words! I am going to remove past post that mention the photo link I recommended and see if that helps.

It is a shame people entertain themselves by slandering others, especially total strangers.

Makes me nervous to even blog anymore! The blog doesn't allow post and no where is there a place to flag the blog.

I have left 3 messages to the word press owner who runs the blogs. Today I even left a comment on the owners personal blog. I am just going to have to bother the owner daily!
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