Monday, January 31, 2011

Excellent tutorial to make a kindle cover from Chica and Jo

My mother bought a Kindle for my 13 year old son for Christmas. She mentioned that I should get a cover for it, as teenagers are not known for being exceedingly careful with things with a delicate screen. It turns out, a decent Kindle cover is not cheap!

While killing some time browsing around the internet, I came upon a tutorial for the absolute coolest Kindle cover ever at a super-fun blog called Chica And Jo!
 You can find the tutorial HERE.

It not only protects the device, it can be folded up in such a way that it works as a stand for the Kindle.. So you can read it hands-free. And most exciting of all, the directions looked pretty simple. I am about as far from a seamstress as they come! In school, I always got a "needs improvement" on my report card for "listens and follows directions," and as an adult with a sewing pattern, I haven't gotten much better.

My first attempt was not so good. I made it way too skinny to fit the Kindle inside. I had to start over from scratch, being sure to cut to the correct measurements and being extra sure to use the correct seam allowance. The pattern does not allow for much leeway in the seam allowance department-- just a touch too big on the seam allowance and that Kindle is not going in there!

My second attempt turned out very nice, and became my son's Kindle cover. He was thrilled, and I was very pleased with myself. So then I made one for my horse-loving mother, in horse print fabric. It's fun, it's easy (after you do it once), and very functional. I swear if I knew anyone else close to me that had a Kindle I'd be making more!

Without further ado, here are pictures of my finished covers:

If you make one, I'd love to see it.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Opened an Artfire shop

I've only just opened my Etsy shop, but I have been looking around for an additional place for my items to be available. Many artists recommended Artfire, so I decided to give it a try. I opened a basic account for now, and if I see that I have a nice flow of traffic and a good amount of sales, I'll be upgrading the account to a paid one.

HonkusGrogana @ Artfire

If you are an artist or crafter and you are interested in opening a shop at Artfire, you can do it by clicking my referral link below and you and I will both get our 3rd month free.

My Surprise Swan

The swan first. This was such a pleasant surprise! A gentleman contacted me about my cherry ring. He wanted to know if I could make it a bit more substantial in size for a man's hand. I told him that I would be glad to do that. He also mentioned that he loved fleur de lis jewelery, and asked if I could make a fleur de lis ring.

So I bent and twisted, but what happened was not at all a fleur de lis! Instead, I ended up with a graceful swan! I just love it, nobody else has it, and it was such a complete accident!

Now to come up with a fleur de lis...

                          Click the picture to go to the swan in my Artfire shop

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

If we all could have a power nap

... The world would be a better place!

In the daytime, I'm office diva extraordinaire, which is my preferred way to say that I answer phones, mail things, file papers, and type a lot. I'm lucky enough to live very close to the office, so every day at noon I race home. There, I can enjoy a salad and some hummus toast while watching Judge Mathis and enjoying the company of my incredibly cute husband, Jimmy. The one and only drawback-- no time for a quick nap!

Today I had to stay at the office for lunch hour. (This happens from time to time in a one-vehicle family.) I heated the Ramen Noodles that I had hastily thrown into my bag this morning, and found myself with some extra time on my hands. Nap time!

I set the Naked Alarm Clock for 15 minutes, relaxed on a comforter that I keep folded under my desk, and off to sleepy land! Let me tell you, I woke up feeling like a new person. Everything they say about power naps is true! I feel like new person!

Now I need one of THESE! (taken from HERE

I will leave you with this:
 Top 5 Things to Say When Caught Sleeping At Your Desk

5. “They told me at the Blood Bank this might happen.”

4. “This is just a 15 minute power nap they raved about in the time management course you sent me to.”

3. “Whew! Guess I left the top off the Whiteout. You probably got here just in time.”

2. “Did you ever notice sound coming out of these keyboards when you put your ear down real close?” And the NUMBER ONE best thing to say if you get caught sleeping at your desk…

1. Raise your head slowly and say, “…in Jesus’ name, Amen.”


Monday, January 24, 2011

My first "craft show" = fail? Not at all!

My very first attempt at selling my jewelry was at an elementary school's fall festival. A friend of mine had posted on her facebook page that her daughter's school was looking for artists to have tables at their fall festival. Booth fee was only $20, and she said there is normally a very large turnout.

Terrified to do it on my own, my friend Carolyn and I split the booth fee and shared a table. She was selling beaded jewelry and I was selling wire name pendants. I thought it would be a good venue for the name pendants, as young girls do seem to like them. I think I sold 3, and Carolyn sold one item, a watch, which she discounted drastically from the price that the she would normally have asked.

A few things were going on here.
  • The crowd did not come prepared to spend large amounts of money. They need items at a low price point.
  •  The festival had been rescheduled from a previous date, and was now held on the same day and time as a big-deal college football game
So, while the amount of money I made at the festival barely covered my half of the rental fee and my lunch afterward at Taco Bell, the experience taught me something, and I am grateful for it. Next time I do a school fall festival, I will be sure to bring lots of eye-catching but inexpensive things that Mom & Dad will not say "no" to.

I'd be remiss if I did not mention that it was a beautiful day, which I got to spend outside talking with lots of nice people, hanging with Carolyn, and getting some exposure for my craft. I also learned that my daughter, Sid, is an outgoing little sales girl, bringing over girls, two at a time, "Do you like my necklace? Come see, my mom can make one for you, too!"

Fail? Nope! I had a great time and learned something, too! Win!


Welcome, and thank you for stopping in!

My name is Holly and I love making jewelry! I started making wire name pendants when I was 15 years old, working for a wonderful couple that leased a shop at Six Flags over Georgia. I did this for several summers, and it was something I really enjoyed. After that, I made pendants for family and friends, but had never considered selling my pretties.

I have a regular daytime job as a legal secretary at a small law firm, and my husband, Jaaxx, and I have an online store called JuicyLiquid where we sell the liquid that goes into electronic cigarettes. Fortunately for me, both of these jobs can be quite fulfilling. I work with wonderful people at the law firm, and I get a good feeling when I can offer help or even just a smile and a kind word to people who are down and out. I am sometimes moved to tears when someone who purchases e-liquid from us writes to say that they haven't smoked a tobacco cigarette in a year, or their grandmother quit after smoking for 40 years. But for the most part, Jaax runs JuicyLiquid. Certainly I help, but he does the bulk of the work. And as much as I don't like to think about it, my boss at the law firm won't be around forever.

One day I posted pictures of some of my jewelry on my Facebook page, and my friends really liked my stuff! I was getting tons of messages from friends there, asking if I could make them a ring like that, could I make a pendant with their daughter's name on it, could I make this one in blue? I couldn't believe it. But yes, I could do these things, and I did. That is when I decided that I'd like to take a shot at opening up a small online shop, doing a bit of consignment, and attending some craft fairs.

I'd like to share my journey here, as it happens. The excitement, the disappointment, the things that work for me, and the things that didn't turn out so hot. I also would like to share about the actual making of jewelry, and other artists who touch or inspire me. I'd also like to share other things, at times, that make me smile or laugh. I want to meet lots of fun people.

At this point, I am unsure of how my story will go. It is my hope that it will be a long and successful story of how a 30-something artist, wife and mother of two, came to be making beautiful jewelry and selling lots of it.

Thank you for visiting here! I hope you will come back and share in my journey. I would love to hear your comments, suggestions, and experiences.
My online store, Honkus Grogana, can be found HERE.