Saturday, December 27, 2008


I have been neglecting my blog for too long now. I am going to start showing some love really soon! I need to update the template and add new links and stuff. Hopefully I will have the time to contribute to it because I am going to be taking a caregiving class in January and will be working, plus I am planning on trying a new craft project-scrabble tile pendants or the scrabble tile size glass pendants. I am not sure yet which way I want to go. I may just try both to see which one I like better. I am still trying to find my niche on Etsy. I am doing okay with bottle caps, but I want to do better than okay. I know there is something out there that will work for me, but it's eluding me! ...somewhere out there....

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Latest projects and news

My supply shop is now closed. I am a little sad, but ready to move on. I have been looking for new ideas for my bottle caps and I came up with a couple of new designs. I made a few "initial" necklaces and I created some girly "attitude" images and made ready to use caps from them.

After stuggling for months with the issue, I have decided not to sell any more celebrity or logo items online out of fear of copyright violations. I cannot afford to get sued over a $2.00 item. You would think that they would appreciate the free advertising, but I guess they see it as making money off of something that they created. I can understand that, too. I am straying away from the "everyone else is doing it, so it must be okay" way of thinking. Let them get sued.

Well, I guess that's it. I am going to try to update more often!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Jewelry making supply clearance sale continues

Wow! A month has gone by since my last post. I have been busy with getting the rest of my jewelry making supplies gone thru, photographed, listed, promoed(is that a word?), and shipped. This week I will be shipping out close to 15 packages. I sold over half of my inventory in the last two weeks, so it's going pretty quick. I was listing stuff today and sold some things within an hour of listing. Whew. I will be glad when it's all gone. I will have more time to devote to other craft projects-soap making mainly. I will still have my other shop and continue with bottle cap creations. So, if you are in need of some great supplies, come on over to my shop! Things are going quick so get it while you can!!!

Friday, May 23, 2008

My newest project-fused plastic coin purse

Okay, so I am unemployed and nearly broke, so I am trying really hard to keep myself amused these days. Yesterday I decided to make a little coin purse from plastic grocery bags that I fused together. I used yellow bags and hand sewed it together with black thread and sewed on a black button. This took me nearly all evening, as my sewing skills are really bad...I think I may take some sewing lessons once I go back to work....Anyways, it was a fun project and I am now using it in my purse to hold my loose change. I also made more shipping envelopes. They are working out great, but take forever to make. Just a little less plastic bags in the landfil....

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Hannah Montana ready to use bottle caps, plus more!

I am now offering ready to use bottle caps in my shop on Etsy, due to customer requests! So, I have been busy working on new designs. I have several sets available including Hannah Montana, Jonas Borothers, Bobby Jack, dogs, happy face and many more. So, come check them out!

I will have to come back to add pictures because they are not uploading right now!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Jewelry supply blowout sale continues on Etsy!

I am still having my jewelry supply clearance sale. Nothing over $2!! Free shipping for purchases $20.00 and over. See my shop header for details. I still have a pretty good selection of beads, findings, charms and pendants. I have more items to list, just need some time! Come on over!

PS Tell me that you saw me here and I will give you a free gift with your order.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

So, what do YOU use plastic grocery bags for???

I never gave it much thought until I read a tutorial on Etsy for fusing plastic bags.
I normally just use them to line my small trash cans. I have used them also for adding padding to shipping boxes.

Anyways, while looking through the tutorial, I was amazed that fused plastic could be used for things like wallets and handbags. Wow! A few hours later I had an epiphany...and thought I could make shipping envelopes from fused plastic grocry bags, so this am I got out a huge pile of bags, my iron, some scissors and a sheet of parchment paper and started cutting and ironing. It took me all morning, but I made 3 different sizes. Small ones, medium ones and sorta medium ones. They seem to be pretty darn sturdy, so I think I will try them out for my next shipment and see what happens.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Below wholesale jewelry making supply sale continues!

My jewelry supply inventory sale continues with most prices below wholesale. Nothing in the shop over $2. Includes findings, glass and plastic/lucite, some vintage...charms, pendants and even handmade paper beads. I have a lot of stuff, so check back often for new listings. I will be working on a huge batch of photos and listings this week.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Cancer Sucks support necklace and other new projects

I haven't updated in a few weeks, so I thought it was time to share my latest projects.

I made a couple of necklaces in support of my mom who has cancer. I was inspired by the pins and buttons that the nurses wear at the cancer center that my mom goes to here in Tucson.

I also stumbled across some new images for my bottle caps by Jelene at Etsy. I think she made a banner for me in the past because her feedback was in my feedback on Etsy. :)

Her pop art is the cutest thing I've seen in a long time and knew that her images would be perfect for pony tail holders, ready to use bottle caps and necklaces. So I went to work as soon as the images came out of the printer and the photos show what I have come up with.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Jewelry supply sale-below wholesale!

My blowout sale continues in my jewelry making supply shop on Etsy. Nothing over $2, most items priced below wholesale. I will close the shop once everything is sold-will be awhile though because I have a lot of stuff. I am adding new things almost daily, so stop on by!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Homemade Treats for Dogs and Cats

Sigh...yet another home made project...

Home made dog and cat treats, made by yours truly in my kitchen! I am a former Culinary Arts student and have been trained in proper food handling techniques. I am also ServSafe certified. I first made these last summer for my doggies and just recently decided to make more to sell at the local Farmer's Market. I also have some on Etsy. I have made veggie flavor with real shredded carrots and parsley flakes as the main ingredients. I also have meat flavored with bacon bits and chopped chicken and beef. I have large treats as well as small size treats. I created a treat for kitties as well, as suggested by a customer on etsy. They are nuggets with salmon flavor. My dogs love all of these treats and beg for more.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Jewelry Making Supplies-Clearance Blowout Sale!

With a heavy heart, I have decided to close down my bead shop on Etsy. Unfortunatley, it seems that jewelry making supply shops are going in the same direction as jewelry shops, too many and not enough customers. I have been selling beads and other supplies online for about 5 years now, the last two on Etsy and this past year was the worst for sales. I have seen loads of shops open and surpass me in sales by the thousands. I guess I have been weeded out and it is time to move on.
So, I am going to sell off the rest of my inventory at below wholesale prices to move it out. Right now I have about 80 items listed and I have lots more waiting to list, but I need to sell some things first and pay my Etsy bill, then will mass list the rest of my inventory.
I will continue to make bottle cap necklaces and pony tail holders and continue with soap making.
BeadsOutWest, RIP...2003-2008. It's been a fun ride.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

My First *Real* Attempt at Soap Making

Okay, so I finally did it. I finally had enough supplies to make a batch of real soap. I followed a recipe by Delores Boone called "Simply Soap". It consisited of castor oil, coconut oil, palm oil, olive oil, lard(yup, real lard!!), lye and distilled water. I used the hot process method with a slow cooker. I was convinced that I would screw it up somehow or end up in the ER with lye burns. Well, I suprised myself with no burns and a great batch of soap so far. The entire process took maybe two hours including molding. Some of it I scented with lavendar and some with patcholi. Smells awesome. I tried using dye in the lavendar batch, but all it did was turn a grayish color with bits of the color suspended in the soap. Looks kinda cool anyways. The first 5 bars in the photo are lavendar and the other three are patcholi. My drying rack has seen better days, lots of paint!! The rest I molded in a handmade mold-from a plastic container that contained coffee creamer. I lined it with parchment paper and secured the bottom with plastic wrap left over from Halloween. It looks a bit scary but I think I will have some nice round bars once they are hard enough. This batch I left out the fragrance. I will probably use most of it for hand-milling. That is where you take soap that is already made and remelt it and mix with other things to make a totally different bar of soap. I am anxious to get started on that project as well, just awaiting some supplies to come in the mail. I am also anxious to use this in the shower, as I am NOT a fan of bar soap...hate the sticky feeling with it after showering. I may have a different opinion of it fter I use my own soap. I noticed the difference after cleaning the bowls and the pots that had left over soap in them. It lathered really nice and my hands felt smoother. So we will see...

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Bottle Cap PonyTail Holders! Featured item!

I am updating today with a post about my latest favorite project (and I have a lot of favorite projects...LOL).

Today's feature is elastic ponytail holders with an attached unused bottlecap with an image. So far in my Etsy shop I have Bobby Jack the monkey, the Jonas Brothers and Hannah Montana. My daughter's influence is pretty obvious in these creations, don'tcha think??? I also have High School Musical, Minnie Mouse and another set of Jonas Bros made but not listed yet, saving these for shows.

These were suprisingly easy to make and they hold up well. They have been tested on my daughter's hair. I have finally found a glue and sealer that won't run the image colors that are printed from my printer. Yay!!! (See my previous post below about glue)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Kinds of Glue That are in My Craft Box, What's in Yours?

Oh my goodness...two posts in the same week! Yay!

Okay, so I know glue isn't all that exciting to talk about, and some of you crafters may know about these products anyways, but I just realized the other day that I have 5 different kinds of glue in my craft box and one bottle of paper glaze.

Three of the five are Aleene's products. I have Tacky glue, Fast Grab tacky glue, and jewelry super glue. I also have basic white school glue, and Martha Stewarts decoupage glue and sealer. So, what do I think of these products? Tacky Glue works pretty good, but not on slick surfaces, the glued stuff comes off very easily after the glue is dry. Seems to me that Tacky Glue is just glorified school glue, but that is just an opinion. Fast Grab works very well on slick surfaces and dries fairly quick and plays nice with Aleene's Paper Glaze. I like it and I think this will be my glue of choice with my bottle cap creations. Martha Stewarts glue is not all has a brush attached to the lid, which I liked, but this glue was very runny and made a mess. It also ran colors from stuff printed on my ink jet printer. So, no I don't like it. Sorry Martha. Aleene's jewelry super glue works great also, sticks well to metal, but it has a strong odor that burns my eyes sometimes. So, I only use this occasionally and with a gas mask. No, not really, but may be a good idea...Last but not least is Aleene's Paper Glaze. what can I say? Does not run ink jet colors - actually highlights some colors that make them stand out. Seals very well too. Very happy with this glaze, despite the fact that it is a little pricey. I will probably buy my next bottle at Michaels with a 40% off coupon....shhh...don't tell anyone.Oh and I forgot one other product, which is Triple Thick Glaze. I use this on my paper creations to give them a nice shine and a hard finish. I really like it and the best thing is it doesn't smell!! Just slightly...
So, this was my exciting opinions about the types of glue/glaze in my box. What's in your box?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Handmade Soap...(from a kit, that is)!!

Yay! I finally did it. I have wanted to make soap for many months now and I did last week for the first time. I bought a kit at Michael's (with my 40% off coupon)that contained two clear plastic pump bottles, liquid concentrate and thickener, dye, fragrance, glass marbles and silk flowers. There also was a pound of glycerine soap and molds for bars. I made the liquid soap first, which was so easy! All I had to do was add warm water to the concentrate, add thickener and fragrance. Then added some marbles and silk flowers to the bottle and filled it with soap. Viola! Instant soap! It smells lovely and makes a pretty addition to my bathroom. As you can see, I have used quite a bit of it already. The bars were a bit trickier to make, the glycerin cooled pretty fast after melting, so I had to reheat a couple of times. I also learned that a little dye goes a long way. The purple bar was the first one I made and it turned out way too dark. I also made a pink bar that I let my daughter use in the shower that also tuned out dark. The green bar turned out real nice, the color was perfect and the pink flowers set it off nicely.

As for the kit, the directions were simple enough to follow, but I think tips about using too much dye and how quickly the glycerin cools would have been nice. They also did not label ANY of the items in the kit. I assumed that the powdery stuff was the thickener and the bottle of stuff was liquid concentrate. I had to look closely to see what color the dyes were. Ah well, I bought the kit for practice anyways and too see if I would like making soap. So, I came to the conclusion that I did like making soap and I will be making more in the future. I want to make my own concentrate if possible and add moisturizers to it because the stuff in the kit seemed to dry my hands a bit. I love the silk flowers and marbles inside the bottles. It's so pretty. I also want to try cold-process soap with lye, but I need to purchase equipment first. I checked out a couple of soap making books from the library and saw a LOT of soap that I want to try. I just need to find a supplier and get busy. Michael's doesn't carry a whole lot of soap-making supplies and neither does JoAnn's. I don't know of any local suppliers, so I guess I will have to purchase online. Any Tucson folks know of any suppliers here in town? I know there is a candle making supplier, but that doesn't help much.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Featured item!'s been over a week since I updated. I have been busy with preparing for an upcoming craft show and others in the future and filing my taxes. I did it myself online using Turbo Tax and it was extemely easy...

Anyways, just wanted to update with a few favorite items from my shop. Right now I have two sets of Easter egg magnets listed in my shop, made by me with recycled paper. I have a couple of earlier posts about my paper creations. These were so fun to make and paint. I made a bunch as promos and hoping to get them out soon. I am hoping to post a more interesting topic soon...

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Thoughts on Selling...or not

Okay, so I am seriously disappointed with my jewelry sales on Etsy as I am sure is the case with lots of others. I was reading a blog today by another Etsy seller(jewelrybytara) who made some excellent points about internet selling. Instead of whining and looking for symapthy from other people about the lack of sales-especially in the forums, which is REALLY annoying me, it's time to re-evaluate what you are doing and what you are selling or not. Instead of taking the time to write and whine in the forums...try using that energy and time to improve your products, come up with better descriptions, photos, and so on. So, that I what I am going to be working on for the next several days. I have bracelets that have been sitting in a shoebox for over a year and can't sell them, so I am taking them apart and selling the beads. This is really killing me, but this stuff is taking up space and I have to let go. I have probably hundreds of pairs of earrings that I may do the same thing with, or maybe I will save them for craft shows. The jewelry I have listed now on etsy I will just let run until it expires and will not relist. I am hoping that my key chains, magnets and bottlecap items will start moving. I will also be introducing more of my items made from recycled paper. I redid my Flickr folders and have one especially for my paper stuff. Once most of my jewelry is gone off the site and into my supply shop, I plan on starting other crafts, such as candles and soap, maybe mosaics. I have come to realize that there are too many jewelry sellers both online and at craft shows/farmer's markets. I am still trying to find my niche and what people will buy from me other than supplies. I love making things and the satisfaction that comes from someone oohing and ahhing over my stuff and buying it. Another thing that worries me is the state of the economy here in the USA. I am praying that we don't end up in a recession. People are struggling with high gas prices and the housing boom appears to be heading down the tubes as well. A major mortgage company here in Tucson shut down over the summer leaving lots of people without work. So, if people are broke, there won't be anyone to buy our crafts. So, this was just somethig that was on my mind and thought I would jot some thoughts on the subject.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

New recycled paper projects and zipper pulls

I have been a little busy with new stuff. I made a few bottle cap zipper pulls. I also made a new batch of paper "pulp" and made a bunch more easter eggs that will be magnets. I also made a couple of flowers that will also be magnets, a big heart that I think will be for display for my upcoming shows and made another pencil holder. I need to get some glaze so I can finish it. Oh and I got real creative and made a saguaro cactus...kinda reminds me of a pickle, though. LOL This will probably be a magnet as well. I need to get more magnets too. I have more ideas for decorating pencil holders other than painting flowers on them, which by the way is the ONLY thing I can draw. I can only make one at a time because I am using a heavy glass container as a mold and it takes forever to dry, like a week. I am looking for plastic things to use instead, but haven't found anything yet. My photos show the stuff that I have done already, just waiting for the rest of the eggs, flowers and beads to dry. Ho hum...

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Lucite/Plastic Beads

This is just some free writing about lucite. I was racking my brain to come up with something to write about to update. I thought, well what the heck, I'll ramble about lucite! I was never a fan of plastic beads until recently. Lucite is so pretty! I have some lucite beads that look like they could be gemstones! The blue ones remind me of sodalite. I have seen a lot of flower type lucite beads and whatnot lately on both Etsy and eBay and they seem to be very popular. I have to clue as to what to do with the large fancy ones that can be stacked on top of other flowers. I look at them and think..."huh"? You gotta be kidding... I have stumbled across some really cute plastic charms, like cats, hearts and even some cute striped round beads that I may consider buying. I made some basic heart earrings for Valentine's Day and added white pearls to them for extra color and have them listed on Etsy as seen in the Etsy mini over there>>>>>>>>.

I made another pair of earrings and a necklace from the same hearts and hoping to sell them at upcoming shows.

I also learned an interesting tidbit about Lucite beads. Apparently they are cut from a huge mold and aren't pressed, so they don't have a seam.

Bakelite was used for beads around the 1920's and became obsolete after WW2. I am sure these are highly collectable and pricey. I wouldn't know the difference between Bakelite and Lucite. Maybe I will do some more research when I am bored on a Saturday afternoon...

I tried to find some info today, but most of what I found on the net was for shops that carried lucite beads. Didn't help much. Drat.
By the way I have some lucite available in my supply shop BeadsOutWest!
Editing to add a nice tidbit about Bakelite from
Bakelite is a plastic which was made around the time they were making things out of a plastic called catilin. It was used for a variety of things from jewelry to utensils and handles on dressers and appliances. It is very collectible. To tell if something is made of bakelite you can rub your thumb against it and you will smell a certain chemical smell.
Awesome! Thanks so much.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Etsy Supply Street Team sale this week!

Etsy Supply Street Team is having a sale! Just type in ESST in the search box and get ready to feast your eyes on some of the BEST Supplies being sold on Etsy!

Sale starts January 16, 2008 and runs through midnight January 20, 2008.

My sale is free shipping for any combination of purchases $5 and over to anywhere. Please wait for me to send a revised invoice from PayPal BEFORE paying.

Monday, January 14, 2008

First Farmer's Market Experience!

On Sunday the 13th, I participated in my first Farmer's/Artisans Market show here in Tucson at Civano Nursery. The weather was perfect, temps around 70 and sunny. I met a few other artisans who were great! There were other jewelry sellers, natural soap, photography and fresh fruit and vegetables and others. Sales and traffic were a bit slow for all of us, including the nursery. My guess is that people were out doing other things since the weather was so nice. Despite the sucky sales, I went home semi-satisfied and the best experience was that my ego was stroked by a lady who gushed over my cha-cha bracelets and the guy in charge of the market, Ken, had nice things to say as well. I really needed that because I am constantly questioning whether my stuff is good enough or not, since so many people look and walk away. I don't know if my prices are too high or too low, too ugly or funky, or?? It's tough to sit there and watch other people get sales, especially when I need the money so much. This is my only source of income at the moment and I really want it to work. I will probably do the market again as long as the weather co-operates. I am considering doing other markets, but it depends on how much the fees are. My project for the week will be checking on prices for other markets here in town. I am not selling anything on Etsy, so I need to get my stuff out of the shoebox and in the people's faces. I am not ready to give up yet, I just need to find the right niche and the right place for my stuff. I am considering trying other crafts since there seems to be an influx of jewelry makers and sellers. I want to try candles or mosaics, but this will be much later in the year. I need to have cash to buy all of the materials that I need, plus instruction, as I have no clue as to what I will be doing. :) Here's to better sales in the future!!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

No "new" projects...

Still working on bottlecap necklaces, I've made about 20 so far. I am preparing for a small farmers market show that I am doing tomorrow. I had to make my displays from stuff that I had at home. Hopefully I will start earning enough money to buy real displays, tables and an easy-up tent... But they look nice, so no biggie. I'll take some pictures and post them. I listed two of my bottlecap necklaces on etsy, here is one of them: Well, gotta run, I need to find a cover for my table for tomorrow.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Another new project...

Bottlecap necklaces...

I purchased a sheet of images from Saven Sense on Etsy and created a couple of necklaces for my daughter. I am having a bit of trouble with the ink fading/running when I apply sealer. I used Aleenes Paper Glaze and Triple Thick Glaze on top of that and I came to the conclusion that the Triple Thick stuff is too strong for ink even with a coat of paper glaze, so I will have to leave the Triple Thick off. I worked on these today and they made me crazy. I have a few other images that I thought I took pictures of, but I guess I will do that tomorrow. I am doing a small show on Sunday and I want to bring some of these with me, so I will be busy again tomorrow. Work, work....hopefully all of my hard work will pay off, soon I hope! :) I am a starving crafter at the moment!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

My latest project...

I have made some Easter egg shaped magnets to sell at future shows....this is just a few of them.
Wow!!Another item in my line of recycled paper creations!
I started making things from shredded paper over the summer and I am trying to come up with new things. I had a huge pile of junk mail, reciepts, papers from both my school and my daughters and ran it all through my shredder and made a mushy pulp like clumpy clay stuff and started making things. I have made snowman ornaments, pins, magnets and earrings....beads...bowls molded from two liter soda bottles and plastic bowls...I made a pencil holder for my the easter eggs...I have also molded some flower forms and will make magnets out of those, too. Also working on hearts and cactus!! Additional pics can be seen at:
I am proud that my junk paper isn't in the landfill. My mom shredded a bunch of her old checks and that batch of paper was part of the stuff that my biz card holder bowl was made from. Kewl!!