Thursday, July 15, 2010

Featured Etsy Seller: Silviasheart

Today's featured Etsy seller is Silviasheart: a gorgeous shop that features beautiful jewelry in creative photography displays. Above is the only piece from her shop she may duplicate for herself, the Green and Chrome Diopside. The shop itself is named after the owner's German Shephard, Silvia, that passed in May 2009.
"I made jewelry much earlier, but after loosing her I just fell apart. My husband Gabriele suggested I pick it back up again to get my mind off of our loss. That is when I really started to learn about genuine gemstones. I just dove into the deep end."

So some expensive tools, a guage, carat scale, refractometer, microscope DVD's and several reference books later, her love became a passion: always thinking of Sylvia. She loves gardening, and finds herself inspired by flowers - which clearly comes across in her pieces and then appropriately photographed against *green* props.

As far as strengths and weaknesses go - her greatest strength in her etsy shop is her passion for further learning and making something that is truly unique. She also enjoys the everyday challenge of learning something new and then applying that knowledge. Conversely - and similar to any other artist, I imagine :) - she considers her biggest weakness to be her impatience with herself. Silviasheart's dream goal would be to have a designer store ask for a one-of-a-kind piece for an outfit or to go with an item of clothing.

She promotes her shop in the Etsy forums, hand out business cards and on she's also on Facebook and Twitter.

She also credits her husband, Gabriele, who she considers to be an incredible inspiration.

"He has spent much time in researching tools and equipment and making special surprise purchases. He has encouraged me in every way to let my creative side out. He will be honest if I ask for a critique and always has great ideas. I wish I had half as much creativity as he has. He should have his own Etsy shop!"

Sounds like a catch!! :)

My favorite piece of Silviasheart is her Citrine Pendant Necklace, $55, pictured above. I'm such a fan of funky, swirled silver pieces like this!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Handmade Recycled Sail Wallets

I thought it would be a great idea to do talk a bit about my famous sail wallets, as I have just sold my 8th wallet from my online Etsy Store! (Yeah, okay, 8 is no 10, but I think it's a big deal. So yay for me.)

These wallets are handmade recycled sail wallets, and are available with custom embroidery numbers of your choice. This assures you that not only are no two wallets the same, but you can really make it "yours" by choosing your color and number! The colors available are red, navy (my favorite, and I think looks the best...) and hunter green, and you can have up to 4 numbers embroidered - you can see the machine in action embroidering a piece of sailcloth, above!

I currently have 3 types of sail wallets available in my shop, to suit three different price points and styles. There is the simple clutch recycled sail wallet, below which can hold a check book or cash, and has 5 pockets to hold credit cards.

Then there is the simple (and most popular!) tri-fold handmade recycled sail wallet (pictured below). I think people like this one because it is the most unisex. It has a see-through (made from racing sail!) pocket for a license, and 2 sets of 3 pockets each on the other two sections, which both pull pack to hold additional stuff. Then, of course, all of it is sewn outside of the larger pocket for cash!

My last eco-friendly wallet was actually modeled after a wallet I bought my brother in Italy. It has some slight modifications, of course, but it is essentially the same. It's a handmade recycled sail bi-fold wallet!. The special sauce? I actually sewed a CHANGE POCKET which is secured by velcro! Amazing!

These handmade wallet styles are all available in my Ash Tree Etsy Shop, with more ideas being cooked up every day. Click through the wallet links to check out some more pictures, or browse through the other great options for handmade nautical gifts.

Have a wallet you'd like to see? I'd love to get some recommendations or even feedback!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Book Review: Crazy Bosses

Crazy Bosses!

Everyone encounters them at some point. Unfortunately, according to Stanley Bing, a certain amount of crazy seems to be necessary to keep management running smoothly. Huh.
Citing ridiculous examples from eyewitnesses, Bing identifies the Five Different Types of Crazy Bosses, outlining both symptoms to identify them by, and then a chart of things you can do (to maintain your sanity) corresponding to level of effectiveness. The 5 types are: The Bully, The Paranoid, The Narcissist, The Wimp, and ultimately, The Disaster Hunter.

I thought this book was funny in addition to being enlightening, albeit in an arrogant way. It gave great insight to the reasonings of those crazy people - and when these behaviors are set next to an explanation, it actually helps you understand the mentality (stress on MENTAL) of these people. Knowing that you are not alone, in addition to trying to find the humor in your situation and gaining the knowledge that you are not alone helps out a lot. One of my favorite points that Bing makes is that a crazy boss actually bands you and your coworkers together, dealing with this insane person.

Bottom Line: Quick, easy summer read. Light and funny, and a great summer or vacation book. If the topic alone doesn't intrigue you, curiosity should! :)

If you've read it, let me know what you think!

Share and Enjoy!

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