Sunday, March 4, 2012

I'm back...with new beads!

I had a pretty amazing trip and bought soooo many new beads and cabochons. This is the most I've bought at one time in quite a while! I found such amazing new stone and I cleared out some vintage items too.

Sadly, even before I left I knew I was coming down with something. Sure enough, I was sick for the last week and a half, though it seems to have finally receded.

In the meantime, I've been working as hard as I could on new listings! I'm a little over halfway through now. Here are a few of my favorites:

14 mm round rutilated quartz round beads on eBay

Gorgeous faceted ametrine beads on eBay

Vintage reproduction offset leaf beads on eBay

One of my favorite purchases--shiva eye shell beads, on Etsy

So many beads, so little time! I'm nearly done with the sorting, but I'm still trying to get everything listed. I still have a huge set of vintage brass stampings, more vintage reproduction beads, and some semiprecious beads left, as well as a huge selection of new semiprecious stone cabochons.

Stay tuned, there's lots more to come!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

In which I pop up just to say goodbye for a month

I can't believe it's been almost a month since I updated!

During that time I restructured my entire eBay store, relisted hundreds of items with new photos, had a very small flood in the basement, and a few other minor but inconveniencing things occur. Plus the holidays and visitors get the picture!

I don't think I've ever been so busy with my business before. I've gone a little crazy trying to keep up with the regular business while updating my whole eBay store. I have taken 4000 pictures in under two months.

Now that it's all finished, I am running away for a month on a business trip. I'll be buying all sorts of new and delicious fabulous beads and cabochons. I am planning on making this my most splendiferous trip yet--I am so excited about what to buy!

I probably won't have time to update this blog until I get back, but you can always follow me on twitter at @laurelmoonjewel and I also update my Facebook fanpage at Laurel Moon Jewelry & Beads while I'm gone.

I hope you all have a lovely beadful winter--see you at the end of February!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Wishing you all the very best holidays ever--full of all the things you love most!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The importance of objects

It's been another busy month for me. I've been trying to get all sorts of listings done and expand my selection in different ways.

I've almost gotten to the point where I can relax. Just two more large sets of listings and I could take a small break.

Only the universe has other plans, apparently. Yesterday I received a phone call that I did not expect; something that might mean restructuring my entire eBay store.

Later that day, I ran downstairs to look for a bag, and I found a leaking pipe instead.

It could have been much, much worse. It hadn't been going on long, and the damage was limited to a small area. Sadly, it was a small but vital area, where I had artwork and mementos stored along with my jewelry boxes. I moved things last night and called the plumber, and then went and ran a necessary errand, trying to keep a brave face.

Today the plumber arrived, and the news was very good. The repair was swift and easy, and it's all done. So tonight I braved the mess again, wanting to organize things.

Each new ruined thing was a wave of sadness; each salvageable thing a small victory. I found that more was ruined than I had originally thought; I found things which somehow were protected by a lucky coincidence like a plastic bag inside a box. Posters and artwork and beautiful paintings by my great-uncle were destroyed; photographs from my late grandmother's house were miraculously preserved, having perched on top of a ruined album that took the brunt of the water. The strange twists of fate were illuminated as I opened each box.

Now it's just a matter of drying out the ruined jewelry boxes and paper. I think most of it can be recycled, at the very least. I am borrowing an industrial dehumidifier from my sister, who has weathered several floods. We'll wrestle it into place tonight and hope for the best. It could have been so much worse and I take comfort in that.

I'm just trying to look out on the pond today and feel peace.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

So. Much. Brass.

I just bought a new set of brass stampings. Pendants, charms, components, links, name it.

There are zodiac signs, reindeer, teddy bears, turtles, bulls, Scotties, flowers, cats, saddles, tennis racquets, and seals.

I spent today taking 280+ pictures. Yes, you read that correctly. And then, because I just couldn't stop there, I edited them all, cropped them all, saved them, and then uploaded them. So tomorrow all I have to do is write the listings. New listings take a lot longer than existing listings, but hopefully I will be able to share these all by the end of tomorrow, or at least Thursday night.

After that, I will be tackling the huge job of the new semiprecious cabochons. whew!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

New and fabulous beads and cabs

I'm back from my last buying trip until February, and I really outdid myself this time. Waaaay outdid myself. I could barely lift the bag, honestly.

But that's a good thing, right? Wait until you see these yums.

From left to right: sage amethyst briolettes, fossil coral, lodalite, faceted lodalite, sunstone, fossil coral, rhyolite, amethyst, GARNET EEEEE LOOK AT IT SO HUGELY WIDE, rutilated quartz, amethyst

I also picked up many more beautiful vintage reproduction beads:

I adore these gorgeous jewel tones so much--so beautiful and vivid and the amazing floral designs are scrumptious!

I've been really thinking about expanding my business and selling different things, and I've decided to try selling a new category of merchandise. Semiprecious stone cabs, present yourselves front and center:

This is a small selection of what I bought. So many delicious stones here--quartz stalactite, rhyolite, Botswana agate, bloodstone, rutilated quartz, chaorite, fossil coral, and more. I can't wait to start listing these!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I'm off..., not my rocker, off for the weekend!

My dear friend's birthday is this weekend, and I'll be visiting her so I can join in on the celebrations. And also indulge in a quick buying trip! I can't wait to get more awesome beads and cabs.

It's nice, being able to take a long drive here and there. I find that having a nice block of time that is just me and my thoughts and my music can be really energizing and inspiring. October was a mad scramble, and November was pretty busy in a different way, so I'm really looking forward to having a nice little weekend vacation.

Have a lovely weekend, and I'll see you next week!

Here's a picture of my pond from yesterday to tide you over:

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Jewelry for Mom

My parents stayed with us this weekend, and my mom reminded me that I hadn't made anything out of the pendant she'd bought from Nawbin earlier this year. It was made of Tiffany Stone set in sterling silver, and it's been sitting on my desk for months.

I always like consulting with the person the jewelry is for, so it was great to have her opinion and incorporate the beads she wanted. Here's the final piece:

Even more fun, I got to repair a vintage piece! My mom loves this bracelet, which she got from her mother, and wore to prom:

I've always loved it, too. The band is so clever; it's incredibly comfortable to wear, doesn't pinch at all, and opens and closes so beautifully and smoothly. Plus, it's incredibly flashy and fun.

Sadly, I didn't have the exact vintage crystals to match, but I did have other vintage crystals that were the same size. They aren't AB coated, and they're a slightly different cut, but I think they still had enough light and facets to do the job.

Interestingly enough, it turns out the band was made in Japan:

The original beads are Swarovski, of course, that divine bicone/round hybrid that I adore. It was marvelous fun to make the bracelet whole again; it was missing nearly twenty of its sparkling baubles, but tonight it looks great again.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Jewelry Sale This Weekend!!

This weekend only, I am offering 20% off in my Laurel Moon Jewelry Etsy shop! This is the discount I usually give to family and friends, so this is a very special deal. It expires Monday night, so hurry over to my shop and pick out your favorite treasures! All of my jewelry items come with a gift box.

Just use the coupon code CYBERMONDAY and you'll receive 20% off your entire order!

Owl necklace in my Etsy shop

Celtic heart earrings with silver hooks and Swarovski crystal beads

Horse necklace in my Etsy shop

Stop by, and don't forget to use CYBERMONDAY to save 20%!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

5 Best Business Purchases I've Made

We all buy things for our businesses. In fact, it seems like a business always needs something! There are always expenses. Sometimes the things we purchase end up being useless; sometimes the things we purchase help us far more than expected. Below, a list of the five best things I've purchased for my business.

1. A good camera. I've used two cameras for my business, a Sony DSC-F717 and a Sony DSC-H9, and both have been pretty reliable. I've been using the H9 since the first week of August, and I've already shot 7500 pictures, most of them for eBay or Etsy. I need to have a good camera on hand at all times, or at the very least a scanner, but I prefer a camera for the depth of the shots. Changing my pictures from scanned images to camera shots really opened up my business and gave customers a much better idea of the appearance of the beads I sell.

2. A cart. I bought a cart in 1999, and it's been my trusty companion ever since. I bought a medium-sized cart, one that can convert between two-wheels and four-wheels, and I use it all the time. Whether it's hauling jewelry and displays for an art fair, or beads and cabochons for a bead show, or even helping me move inventory around in the basement, it is absolutely indispensable.

3. A computer. Buying a new computer last year was one of the best investments I've made. My old computer could not keep up with my Photoshop needs; I often edit a couple hundred pictures at a time, and I needed the processing power. Now that I have the new computer, I've cut out time here and there, and those seconds really add up at the end of the day. It's made me more efficient!

4. Organizers! I've purchased three "mini stackables" from Best Craft Organizers, and they really are fantastic. I'm even considering a fourth!

Before I bought these organizers, I wasted time trying to find backstock in various containers. Now that I have these organizers, I can find what I need easily, and it keeps all of my listed items neatly sorted. With their vast array of sizes and inserts, they really make it quite easy for us beaders to store our lovelies.

5. High speed internet connection. For nearly three years I struggled with a cellular line based internet connection that was unreliable and very slow. I had no idea how much it was impacting my business until I went back to a cable internet connection. Now that I have an internet connection that can keep up with my needs, I can list much more quickly, and I don't have to worry about losing my connection for hours upon end.

What are the best purchases you've made for your business?