Remember to Breathe

Remember to Breathe

*This post contains affiliate links and I may be compensated if you choose to click on them and/or make a purchase*

Breathing is definitely NOT overrated.  I lost most of November to a sinus infection, and while sinus infections are nothing new to me, this one added a new twist: asthma exacerbation.  My “mild” asthma became much less so, and pretty much any type of exertion left me breathless.  This was especially annoying considering I live on the third floor, so just taking the stairs was an adventure.  Add some truly excruciating joint pain to the mix and you may begin to understand why I haven’t been a very happy camper.  Writing and typing are difficult when you have shooting pains in your elbow and your fingers are too stiff and sore to hold a pen.  I have a speech-to-text program that I like to use for “writing” down my thoughts, but even talking was too much exertion for my poor lungs.  So I haven’t been able to get much work done on my book, let alone anything else.

*BreatheAir Purifiers for AsthmaBreathe*

It’s extremely frustrating for me to not be able to do the things I want to do.  I don’t like being told I can’t do something, and my body has been telling me “nope” for several weeks now.  (Yes, I’ve seen a doctor.  Yes, I’m much better, thus why I’m actually able to write this now.)  I’ve been forced to slow down, take it easy, relax… and I hate it.  Patience is not one of my virtues.  But it’s given me a lot of time to think.

*The Power of Breath: The Art of Breathing Well for Harmony, Happiness, and HealthBreathe Better Feel BetterBreathing Space: Living and Working at a Comfortable Pace in a Sped-Up Society*

Obviously, the book I’m writing is much on my mind.  Make that books.  As I do my research and go over my notes, I realize this is a much more ambitious project than I originally thought.  The good thing is that just makes me more excited about it.  The bad thing is that excitement makes the frustration of not being able to work on it worse.  I’ve had to constantly remind myself to just take a deep breath and let it go.

*“Take a Deep Breath” by V Sharp Multon*
from: Imagekind-Artwork from independent artists

Since writing wasn’t working, I ended up doing a lot of reading and listening to audiobooks.  I must admit, I love self-help books.  I love how they can make me think about my life, hopes, and dreams, and get me enthused about them all over again.  One that I recently finished and highly recommend is Jen Sincero’s *You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life*.  I have the audiobook version, which she reads herself.  I really like her style, though it’s quite different from the usual fare.  She can be crass and vulgar (she was in a band called Crotch, that should really explain a lot right there) but to me anyway, that makes her seem more real and approachable.  I’m seriously considering investing in one of her coaching programs.

You can check out some of the quotes from You Are a Badass on Goodreads, but there were two that I want to share in this post:

“Life often turns to shit before it turns to shinola.”

“Birthing your dreams is like… giving birth.  Conceiving the idea is the fun part (hopefully), then you go through insane amounts of fear and excitement and dreaming and planning and vomiting and growing and thinking you’re crazy and thinking you’re awesome and stretching and shape shifting until you’re practically unrecognizable to everyone, even your own self.”

Following your dreams is not an easy path.  As the saying goes, if it was easy everyone would do it.  I’ve never been pregnant, but I’ve been around enough pregnant women to recognize the truth of the second quote.  I know that following my dreams has changed me considerably from the person I was a decade ago.  It’s been a pretty wild ride, but I’m not about to get off the roller coaster.

What I found incredibly interesting and enlightening was the chapter containing the first quote.  By really going for your dreams, you are basically trying to completely change your reality, but your reality doesn’t want to change, so it throws a tantrum like a threenager.  It’s like Murphy’s Law on steroids and crack.  But it also means you’re on the right track.  So the sinus infection, my asthma now requiring a daily inhaler, the joint pain I’ll be seeing a Rheumatologist about in January, all but one of the headlights on my car going out, the flash drive with all my notes and references for the book getting corrupted (talk about leaving me breathless!), my laptop BSODing, my credit score tanking because I couldn’t pay my bills and my creditors were breathing down my neck, and what seems like a million other little setbacks are all because I’m finally on my way to making my dreams my new reality.  I’m going to believe that anyway, it helps me to breathe easier. 🙂

Now, back to MY book.  I think strategic planning is extremely important for any business, but it’s also extremely different for a one-person business than it is for a corporation.  First of all, you ARE your business.  You eat, sleep, and yes, breathe it.  It’s very difficult for an artist to detach themselves from their art, as we pour our hearts and souls into each piece we make.  So you’re not just planning for your business, you’re planning for your LIFE.  Because of that, I will be incorporating not only the knowledge I’ve gleaned from my studies on corporate strategic planning, but also from the variety of self-development and life coaching books I’ve read.  I’ll try to keep my rah-rah cheerleader tendencies to a minimum, and because I always put “none of the above” for my religious affiliation, you won’t be seeing any mentions of a specific religion.  This book is about you, your business, and your dreams.

*Breathing Freely: Celebrating the Imperfect LifeTake Their Breath Away: How Imaginative Service Creates Devoted Customers*

I’m also using the material I’m creating to take a good hard look at my own business.  These last few weeks have given me a lot of time to think and dream and figure out what it is I really want.  I’ll be doing a post about my BIG dream later, but there are three things that I want my business to be about: freedom, creativity, and passion, not only for myself, but for every small creative business.  Painting the Big Picture of Your Creative Business will be all about discovering the passion behind your business and creating the freedom you want in your life.

*Breathing on Your OwnA Deep Breath of Life: Daily Inspiration for Heart-Centered LivingBreathing In, Breathing Out: Keeping a Writer's Notebook *

For me, part of the freedom I want to create for myself and my business is the freedom from worry about money.  Besides the sickness and pain, another thing keeping me from writing is the necessity to try and find ways to make enough money to pay the bills.  Time spent listing items on eBay and Etsy or researching events I can vend at is time spent away from working on my book.  This is one reason I created the Indiegogo campaign, to raise funds so I could work on the book without financial distractions.  The campaign ends today (December 18), and I am nowhere near reaching the goal for the first book, let alone all ten.  So I’ve been looking at other ways to make some passive income, and that’s why I’ve signed up to be an affiliate for some of my favorite companies and websites, like *eBay*, *Amazon*, *Groupon*, *Better World Books*, and *Jo-Ann.com*.  Then I went a little nuts…

*Asthma FreeDarth Vader Breathing Device*

*Asthma For DummiesThe Art of Breathing: Thirty Simple Exercises for Improving Your Performance and Well-BeingThe Breathing BookLet Your Spirit Breathe: Living a Peace-Filled Life*

*Take a Deep BreathWhy Is It So Hard to Breathe?: A First Look at AsthmaBreathing Space: Twelve Lessons for the Modern Woman*

Yeah, I went a little overboard.  You can see them all on the Referrals and Recommendations page (still a work in progress, but let me know if you have issues with any of the links or you can’t find what you’re looking for).  As you’ve probably figured out by now, I am putting an asterisk on either side of any affiliate link.  This ensures that it’s completely obvious that it’s an affiliate link, and also helps me to find them when I’m done writing a post if I don’t put the links in as I go.  And links without the asterisks are non-affiliated.  Anyway, I’ll be seeing how these do and likely will pare them down in the coming months.  I’ll also be doing some specific posts giving more details and reviews of certain products and services, and using some to illustrate some of the other posts I have planned.  Speaking of which, you can get a sneak preview of possible themes by checking out my Pinterest boards.  I’ve been adding products I find on Etsy for each of these “vision boards” in hopes of giving those sellers a bit of extra exposure, plus I may use some of them for illustrative purposes like I did in my last post.  Note that I have no affiliation with these Etsy shops and am not receiving any compensation for sharing their products.  I just think they’re neat and I want to help other artists and small businesses like myself.  Of course, I will add my own products to these boards as I make them, as there are dozens of inspirations running through my head thanks to this process.  “Vision boards” indeed.

*AFI Breathe Spiral Notebook *

I’ve also been looking at other ways to express my creativity and passion.  Several years ago, I set up a Zazzle store that I called Badly Drawn Designs, a play on the Jessica Rabbit quote I play at the beginning of my shows for The Cape Radio and the fact that all my designs are text-based.  I haven’t added anything to it in years, but it’s still generating a little bit of income for me.  I have an Excel spreadsheet with hundreds of other ideas, so I really want to start creating these again, especially now that I have PhotoShop.  Here is my most popular product of all time (42 sold so far!):

*See more Badly Drawn Designs*
*Make your own t-shirts online at zazzle.com*

I’m also using PhotoShop to create images like the one at the top of this post.  The background image is from Pixabay, a site of royalty free, public domain images that can be used for commercial purposes.  I add the word art, using fonts from dafont.com which are also free for commercial use (not all of them are, so make sure you look for ones that are public domain or 100% free).  I really do enjoy playing around with fonts and words, and I’m thinking of creating word art images for sale in my Etsy shop.  These would be digital downloads, so another great source of put-it-up-and-forget-it income.  What do you think of this one?

JustKeepBreathing

You’re probably wondering how this all fits with the rest of my business.  Remember those three words I mentioned earlier?  Freedom, creativity, and passion.  The affiliate links offer me the freedom to work on other things while still potentially generating income, and the companies and websites I choose are ones I am passionate about, related to creativity, or speak to one of my other passions, like helping small business owners and saving the world (even if it’s just *feeding animals at a shelter*… it all adds up to a better world eventually).  Badly Drawn Designs gives me the freedom to create something without having to reproduce or ship it myself.  I’ve always had a passion for words, and playing with fonts and images provides a creative outlet.  I love making jewelry and sewing, but it’s not always possible for me to do so.  And of course, writing Painting the Big Picture of Your Creative Business gives me the freedom to creatively share one of my passions: reworking big business concepts for one-person businesses.

So much of the literature available to us “little guys” seems to be based on our desire to either become one of the big guys or sell our business to them.  But what if that’s not our goal?  A lot of small, creative business people just want to keep their business something they can handle on their own, maybe with a little bit of help now and then, but they don’t have any desire to deal with employees or investors or IPOs.  I am designing Painting the Big Picture of Your Creative Business for the individual artist and crafter who wants to define success on their own terms.  Strategic planning can help you whether you want to make a million dollars a year or just want to help put food on the table.  In fact, I would say that strategic planning is vital to the success of your business, however you define success.  And it doesn’t have to be hard, or confusing, or frustrating.  It can be an extremely fun process!  Plus, you can pre-order today for as little as $5, so what do you have to lose?  Take a deep breath and click that Contribute Now button. 😉

*Breathe for Life: How to Reduce Stress & Enhance Your FitnessBreathe In, Breathe Out: Inhale Energy and Exhale Stress by Guiding and Controlling Your Breathing*

I couldn’t resist adding one last thing… who knew bad breath could be so cute??  🙂

Giant Microbes Bad Breath Microbe

*Giant Microbes Bad Breath Microbe*
from: StuffedAnimals.com























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Reawakening Dreams

I was six or seven when I wrote (and illustrated) my first book.  It was about the first Thanksgiving and had a bright pink laminated cardstock cover.  I think I was in my Strawberry Shortcake phase at the time, so pink was my favorite color.  My teacher entered it in some contest, and I won.  I don’t remember much more than that about it, but it was likely what fueled my early ambitions to be a writer.  Around that same age, I also remember saying I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up.  These dreams lasted until my teenage years when various circumstances made me pack them away, along with my dreams of being an artist.  But these dreams never really died.  I’ve added a few more to the box they’re stored in: life coach, librarian, used bookstore owner, professional cosplayer, fashion designer, world traveler, and a handful of half-formed thoughts of “wouldn’t it be cool if…” and other vague ideas.

It’s time to unpack the box.

Heart-shaped box of dreams

From KinkySpot on Etsy

I’ve always been a big proponent of following your dreams and working to make them come true.  While many of my dreams have had to be put on the back burner for health or financial reasons, they’re still simmering.  I’ve talked about my mental health issues a few times as well as my belief that if I can follow my dreams in the face of them, anyone can.  So I’ve decided to unpack five dreams from the box: writer, teacher, life coach, world traveler, and Director of the Rewondered Creativity Center (more on that later, since I apparently deleted the original post about it).

Never let it be said that to dream is a waste of one's time, for dreams are our realities in waiting. In dreams, we plant the seeds of our future.

From VinylMasterpieces on Etsy

I’m writing a book to teach other creative solopreneurs like myself how to use strategic planning for their very small businesses.  I’ve spent the last couple of weeks looking over my notes and finding a few more resources to explore.  As the book has started to take shape in my mind, I’ve realized that it’s not just a business planning book but also a life planning book.  Which is fitting, as I believe most artists, especially those operating a one-person business, have difficulty separating themselves from their work.  We put pieces of ourselves into our art and our business and personal brands are irrevocably intertwined.  So our dreams for our business are also our dreams for ourselves.

Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.

From StandardStamp on Etsy

Now, those who know me well and/or have been reading my blog all along know that the universe loves to laugh at me when I make plans.  So me writing a book about planning might seem a bit oxymoronic (or just plain moronic).  But strategic planning is a bit different (in my not so humble opinion, at least) than just “making plans.”

Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans

From SoulfulSayings on Etsy

Don’t let the term “strategic planning” scare you.  The title of my book is Painting the Big Picture of Your Creative Business because that is what you’ll be doing while you create your strategic plan.  I had also considered calling it Dreaming Your Plan, Planning Your Dream as that is another apt description.  Strategic planning is a process of dreaming big, deciding what you really want and care about, creating a vision for the future of your business (and your life), and then figuring out how you’re going to make it all happen.

Dream your biggest dreams then wake up and chase them like crazy

From WallDecalsAndQuotes on Etsy

November is National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo.  While this book is not a novel, I do want to use the idea behind NaNoWriMo and make a pledge to write every day this month.  This will include blog posts like this one as well as the updates for those who choose the In the Loop perk from my Indiegogo campaign.  I want to have the first part of the book done before the end of the year so that you will be able to use it when you do your planning for 2016.

A book is a dream you hold in your hand

From ATArtDigital on Etsy

That tells you a little bit about my dreams of writing and teaching.  Life coaching appeals to my cheerleader side, sharing my positivity and enthusiasm while helping you to ignite yours.  So I’ve included perks where I will personally help you work through the material I’ll be providing.  Perhaps I’ll even dress as a cheerleader for those that choose the Face Time perk. 😛

I am and always will be the optimist. The hoper of far-flung hopes and the dreamer of impossible dreams.

From SonnetDreamArt on Etsy

I’ll be expanding on my idea for the Rewondered Creativity Center in a future post, as it is part of my own strategic plan and big picture vision for my business.  So that leaves world traveler.  I’ve never been outside the United States, though I’ve been to 80% of the states and lived in eight different ones.  Thanks to The Cape Radio, I have friends from all over the world, and I’ve always dreamed of visiting them.  I don’t even have a passport yet, but I have looked into what it would take for me to travel to Australia and will be putting a portion of my product sales and proceeds from my Indiegogo campaign into a savings account for that trip.

Adventures are calling and I must go

From FebruaryLane on Etsy

Which dreams would you like to reawaken?  Which dreams are you living right now?  Have you even figured out what your dreams are?

It’s time to wake up, and start dreaming.

Don't quit your day dream

From maybesparrowphoto on Etsy

 

 

Resolutions: The End of the Campaign and What’s Up For the New Year

My IndieGoGo campaign ends tonight at 11:59pm Pacific time, or 2:59am in my own Eastern time zone.  As I write this, I am $60 away from reaching my goal.  So I only need 12 people to each toss in $5 and we’re there!  This is exciting, and I’m biting my nails as the hours tick by, wondering if it’s actually going to happen.  Or you all can really shock and amaze me and double my goal, so I can double all the rewards!

This campaign has been such an amazing show of support for me and my business.  I am eternally grateful to everyone who has made a contribution, shared my links over and over again, and cheered me on.  The last few months have been a bit of a rough road for me, but you have kept me motivated and reaffirmed that I am on the right path.  I’m thinking of making a sign for my studio that lists all the contributors and says “These people believe in you, don’t let them down!”  Whenever I get discouraged, I can look at it and remind myself why I need to just keep going. 🙂

So I guess if you want your name up on my wall, you’ve got a few hours left to make a contribution. 😉  Don’t forget that every $5 contributed = one entry into my drawing for your choice of a full costume (City of Heroes, SCA, or other cosplay), a Rewondered wedding dress, or a $500 gift certificate for my Etsy shop (more details here).  I can’t do the drawing unless I reach my goal, but we are so close… I am confident that we can make it happen!

Now you’re probably wondering what I’m going to do after the campaign ends and what I’m going to do with the money.  I have been spending it as the campaign has progressed, buying supplies to make the items for my Five X Fifty promotion, to have products available for sale at Birka, and to create the City of Heroes inspired costume pieces.  I’ve taken advantage of some great sales to make the money stretch as far as possible, and my studio is a total disaster with piles of fabric, supplies, and finished (or half-finished) pieces obliterating any glimpse of the rug underneath.  So first up on the agenda is cleaning up and reorganizing!

I will also be finishing up my Five X Fifty promotion in the coming weeks and apologize that I fell so far behind on it.  I’ve been creating as the whim carries me, when I wasn’t working on orders, and I have several completed pieces but not necessarily five of any one type of thing so I can do a Five X Fifty post.  So part of my reorganizing will be seeing what I have done and what I still need to make to complete the five.

Birka is January 25th and 26th, so the majority of my time this next month will be spent creating products for sale there (and some of these will likely slip into the Five X Fifty).  I also need to finish photographing my patterns and get them posted in the photo album on my Facebook page so people have some idea of what I am able to make for custom orders.

I’m hoping to have the first of my own City of Heroes costumes done by my birthday (February 10th).  Once the current Five X Fifty is done, I’m going to start a new one featuring items inspired by CoH.  So one might be Belts, another might be Gunslinger pieces, another might be the five pieces that make up an entire costume.  I know I won’t get it done in 50 days, but definitely by the end of the year there will be 250 City of Heroes inspired pieces available in my Etsy shop!

My other long-term goals include getting at least 1000 items up in my Etsy shop, revamping my website once again, and finding at least one “live” event each month to set up a booth at and sell my items in person.  If you know of any events, shows, fairs, festivals, conventions, etc. that you think I should sell at, let me know in the comments or email me.

My short-term goal is to find some lunch.  😛  Today’s agenda is mostly getting things set up for tomorrow night, as I will be sleeping as much of the day tomorrow as possible so I can stay up for my 24-hour New Year’s Eve Marathon on The Cape Radio.  It begins at 7pm Eastern time on December 31st and goes until I fall over or DJ Logos takes over at 7pm Eastern time on January 1st.  This is the fifth year I’ve attempted to broadcast live for as many hours as possible over New Year’s Eve and Day, and I’m planning to break last year’s record of 21 hours.  So today I’m setting things up to work on to keep me awake, clearing space so my husband has a place to hang out with me, and otherwise getting ready for an all-nighter.  I’m considering doing something for each hour I’m on the air, like listing new items in my Etsy shop or posting pictures of what I made the previous hour on my Facebook page.  Tune in to find out what I decide on!

And if I do reach my goal for my IndieGoGo campaign tonight, I’ll hold the drawing for the costume/dress/gift certificate live on the air… let’s say during my midnight Eastern time talk break? 🙂

So here are my resolutions for the new year:

  • List at least 15 new items each week in my Etsy shop
  • Sell at one “live” event every month
  • Complete my current Five X Fifty and another City of Heroes inspired one
  • Double (at least) 2012’s sales
  • Create something new every single day

2012 has been a pretty good year for me, and I’m looking forward to making 2013 even better!  What are you planning to do to make your 2013 your best year ever?

City of Heroes Costume Inspiration and a Chance to Win

I love making and wearing costumes.  I have loved costumes for as long as I can remember and as a teenager I dreamed of opening my own costume store someday.  I’ve always planned to expand my business into creating items for cosplayers and I’m finally making some headway toward that goal.  I’ve already introduced my Straitjacket Hoodies, Tu-Tus, and Freaky Fleece Hats, but I have several more projects in the works.  Today I’m going to talk about my plans to create “real life” pieces from the City of Heroes costume creator.

One thing I loved about the costume creator in City of Heroes was the vast variety and endless combinations.  You weren’t limited to the standard spandex and cape with your underwear on the outside.  And as time went on even more costume pieces were added.  I am especially fond of the Steampunk and Gunslinger packs, and was over the moon when I was finally able to create the vision I had for One Hit Wonder’s costume from the beginning, which included the fishnet stockings and flames pattern on her skirt that I wasn’t able to do when I first started playing the game.

One Hit Wonder's costume

One Hit Wonder’s costume

So what’s really great about my idea to attempt to recreate pieces from the City of Heroes costume creator is that not only can City of Heroes players cosplay their characters, but people who never played the game can use the pieces to create their own costumes, or even just wear as everyday clothes!  Check out some of the costumes I made for my characters in this album on my Facebook page.  As you can tell, I enjoyed coming up with new outfits for my character Stacey to wear when she went to the Pocket D to hang out at a Cape Radio show.

To give you a few other ideas of what types of costumes I am planning to be able to make, I went through and created a few “basic” outfits in grayscale.

Barbarian costume

Barbarian costume

Cheerleader costume

Cheerleader costume

Club Dress

Club Dress

Genie costume

Genie costume

Gunslinger costume

Gunslinger costume

Retro Sci Fi costume

Retro Sci Fi costume

Schoolgirl costume

Schoolgirl costume

Steampunk 2 costume

Steampunk 1 costume

Steampunk 2 costume

Steampunk 2 costume

Steampunk 3 costume

Steampunk 3 costume

Steampunk 4 costume

Steampunk 4 costume

Valkyrie costume

Valkyrie costume

Witch costume

Witch costume

These are just a few of the pieces I’m going to be working on in the upcoming months.  I’ll mostly be making items I can model myself to begin with, so I’m working off the female model here, but there are plenty of nifty ideas for the guys too.  And of course, if any of these give you ideas for something similar, I am happy to do custom orders.  I’m also working on some ideas for period garb for SCA events, as I’ll be a merchant at Birka in January, so there’ll be another post soon with more details on those designs.

Now, about that chance to win… my IndieGoGo campaign ends on December 30th and as of the writing of this post, I am $210 away from my goal.  So I decided to add a little incentive… if I’m able to reach my goal, I will draw a name and that person will get to choose between a full cosplay outfit, a Rewondered wedding dress, or a $500 gift certificate to my Etsy shop.  And if I’m able to raise at least $1210 in the next three days, I will double all the rewards and pick two winners!  How do you get your name into this drawing?  First, each $5 contributed will get one entry into the drawing (in addition to the perks already outlined in the campaign).  This includes everyone who has already made a contribution.

You will also get an entry for sharing the following image:

If you click on the image, it should take you to the image on Facebook, where you can click Share and post it on your own page/profile.  If you don’t have Facebook, you can share the link to this blog post, but please come back and post the link to your share in the comments here so I can keep track… if I don’t know you shared, I can’t enter you into the drawing!

Unfortunately, I can’t hold the drawing if I don’t reach my goal, so please make a contribution and share as much as possible.  We may only have 3 days left, but we can totally do this!!  Thank you so much for your help in spreading the word! 🙂

Tuesday Top Ten: Favorited Items December 18th-24th

I know it’s Wednesday, not Tuesday, but I was on vacation and I’m pretty sure everyone can forgive me for not posting my weekly top ten on Christmas day.  I had a lovely time visiting friends and celebrating the holidays, but I’m happy to be home again, especially with the storm that’s supposed to dump a foot of snow on us tonight.  Don’t think I’m going anywhere for awhile!  So I’ll be concentrating on getting the rest of my Five X Fifty items posted, cleaning up my studio and the rest of our rooms, and spending some time with my husband while he’s on vacation.

So that’s my coming week, let’s talk about the favorites in my Etsy shop from last week.  There were 15 items favorited, three of which got more than one.  Of the ones favorited once, three were repeats from last week: Mood Ring, Silver Key Simple Charm Necklace, and Hot Pink Beaded Charm Bracelet; and three were from the Day 18 Five X Fifty: Brown Ball Hair Pins, Gold Shell Hair Pins, and Brown and Black Paw Hair Pins.  So that leaves us with six with one favorite:

Candy Cane Christmas Ornament Earrings - Handmade by Rewondered D225E-55516 - $9.95

Candy Cane Christmas Ornament Earrings – Handmade by Rewondered D225E-55516 – $9.95

Steampunk Style Silver Gears and Wrenches Robot Clockwork Necklace - Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00187 - $32.95

Steampunk Style Silver Gears and Wrenches Robot Clockwork Necklace – Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00187 – $32.95

CGolden Bumblebee on Gold Chain Simple Charm Necklace - Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00605 - $6.95

Golden Bumblebee on Gold Chain Simple Charm Necklace – Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00605 – $6.95

Painted Wooden Rose Simple Charm Necklace on Silver Chain - Your Choice of Colors - Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00848 - $7.95

Painted Wooden Rose Simple Charm Necklace on Silver Chain – Your Choice of Colors – Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00848 – $7.95

Fancy Silver Master Key Pin - Handmade by Rewondered D225P-00006 - $8.95

Fancy Silver Master Key Pin – Handmade by Rewondered D225P-00006 – $8.95

Eyeball Snap Barrettes - Handmade by Rewondered D202B-00005 - $6.95

Eyeball Snap Barrettes – Handmade by Rewondered D202B-00005 – $6.95

*

Then we have our top three:

#3

Autobot or Decepticon Transformers Glass Pebble Ring with Adjustable Band - Handmade by Rewondered D225R-00007 - $5.95

Autobot or Decepticon Transformers Glass Pebble Ring with Adjustable Band – Handmade by Rewondered D225R-00007 – $5.95

*

#2

Cat Key Simple Charm Necklace - Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00855 - $8.95

Cat Key Simple Charm Necklace – Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00855 – $8.95

*

#1

Spiderman Glass Pebble Ring with Adjustable Band - Handmade by Rewondered D225R-00009 - $5.95

Spiderman Glass Pebble Ring with Adjustable Band – Handmade by Rewondered D225R-00009 – $5.95

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The past week was pretty hectic, trying to get everything done and shipped by the deadlines and prepped for leaving town for four days.  But from what I’ve heard, everyone who received an item I made was very pleased with their gifts.  I’ve already mentioned my plans for this coming week, but it will also be the final push for my IndieGoGo campaign which ends on December 30th.  I’ve reached 70% of my goal and getting that last 30% would be awesome.  Of course, doubling it so that I can double all the rewards would be even more awesome!  I have a couple of ideas for a last minute push, just need to hash out the details before I make any announcements…

Five X Fifty: Day 18 – Hair Pins

Slowly but surely getting caught up.  Don’t know if I’ll be able to get all 50 up before Christmas, but hope to have them done by the end of my IndieGoGo campaign at least.  As they say, the best laid plans… or is it just me who always has things happen to disrupt my long term plans?

Anyway, let’s have a look at my new hair pins.  I made a bunch of these for the craft fairs, so there will be more added in the future, but for now I’ve got these five up in my Etsy shop.

Brown Ball Round Button Hair Pins - Handmade by Rewondered D202P-00005 - $4.95

Brown Ball Round Button Hair Pins – Handmade by Rewondered D202P-00005 – $4.95

White 'Rope Coil' Round Button Hair Pins - Handmade by Rewondered D202P-00004 - $4.95

White ‘Rope Coil’ Round Button Hair Pins – Handmade by Rewondered D202P-00004 – $4.95

Black Round Button Hair Pins - Handmade by Rewondered D202P-00001 - $4.95

Black Round Button Hair Pins – Handmade by Rewondered D202P-00001 – $4.95

Gold Shell Hair Pins - Handmade by Rewondered D202P-00002 - $4.95

Gold Shell Hair Pins – Handmade by Rewondered D202P-00002 – $4.95

Brown and Black Mini Paw Hair Pins - Handmade by Rewondered D202P-00003 - $4.95

Brown and Black Mini Paw Hair Pins – Handmade by Rewondered D202P-00003 – $4.95

Any of these can be chosen as your free item for a $5 contribution to my IndieGoGo campaign.

After Christmas, I’ll also be doing some posts detailing a list of products you can choose from for each of the contribution levels.  Uh oh, there I go making plans again!  😛

Five X Fifty: Day 17 – Fancy Ribbon Necklaces

Today is the last day to place an order in my Etsy shop to guarantee it will arrive before Christmas.  Of course, you are welcome to order at any time, I just can’t guarantee I’ll be able to get it in the mail by Thursday (the day USPS says is their deadline for First Class Mail to arrive by Christmas).  Some items may still be ordered through the 19th, such as these Fancy Ribbon Necklaces and most of my Simple Charm Jewelry.  And anything that is one of a kind, since those are definitely already put together.  Sorry, but custom orders are not likely, but feel free to email me at rewondered@gmail.com and ask, or I can make a .pdf card for you to print out and give your gift recipient until the item is finished.  I’ll also be out of town from December 22-25 (yay, vacation!) so I won’t be able to do much of anything with the shop during that time.  I’m still pushing to get as many of these Five X Fifty products and posts up as soon as possible.

So without further ado, let’s take a look at Day 17’s Fancy Ribbon Necklaces:

Silver Saxophone on Blue Fancy Ribbon Necklace - Handmade by Rewondered D225F-00001 - $11.95

Silver Saxophone on Blue Fancy Ribbon Necklace – Handmade by Rewondered D225F-00001 – $11.95

This item can be chosen as your free item with a $10 contribution to my IndieGoGo campaign (plus you’ll get a $10 gift certificate to spend in my Etsy shop).

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Silver Mermaid on Blue-Green Fancy Ribbon Necklace - Handmade by Rewondered D225F-00002 - $11.95

Silver Mermaid on Blue-Green Fancy Ribbon Necklace – Handmade by Rewondered D225F-00002 – $11.95

This item can be chosen as your free item with a $10 contribution to my IndieGoGo campaign (plus you’ll get a $10 gift certificate to spend in my Etsy shop).

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Gold Princess Crown on White Fancy Ribbon Necklace - Handmade by Rewondered D225F-00003 - $8.95

Gold Princess Crown on White Fancy Ribbon Necklace – Handmade by Rewondered D225F-00003 – $8.95

This item can be chosen as your free item with a $10 contribution to my IndieGoGo campaign (plus you’ll get a $10 gift certificate to spend in my Etsy shop).

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Brown Cross with Gold Star on Brown Fancy Ribbon Necklace - Handmade by Rewondered D225F-00004 - $12.95

Brown Cross with Gold Star on Brown Fancy Ribbon Necklace – Handmade by Rewondered D225F-00004 – $12.95

This item can be chosen as your free item with a $15 contribution to my IndieGoGo campaign (plus you’ll get a $15 gift certificate to spend in my Etsy shop).

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Silver Bee on Yellow Fancy Ribbon Necklace - Handmade by Rewondered D225F-00005 - $9.95

Silver Bee on Yellow Fancy Ribbon Necklace – Handmade by Rewondered D225F-00005 – $9.95

This item can be chosen as your free item with a $10 contribution to my IndieGoGo campaign (plus you’ll get a $10 gift certificate to spend in my Etsy shop).

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Don’t forget, if I am able to raise double my goal, all rewards will double!  The $5-$35 contributions will become two free items and twice the amount of gift certificates, the $50 contributions will become $420 in gift certificates, and the $100 contributions will become two City of Heroes inspired costumes.  If just 13 more people get a costume (or subside one for me, getting autographed photos of me wearing it) we’ll just be $5 shy of making it a very Merry Christmas for everyone involved.  So please, go make a contribution!  🙂

Tuesday Top Ten: Favorited Items December 11th-17th

Time for the Top Ten items that were favorited in my Etsy shop over the past week.  Except there’s one little problem… 19 of my items were each favorited once, so this is more of a Top Nineteen list!  In fact, it will probably just be easier for me not to number them, and just post the pictures, which you can click on to go to the listing for more information.

Today is the last day to place your order to ensure delivery before Christmas, and I am no longer able to guarantee custom orders will arrive in time.  However, I am happy to make a .pdf card that you can print out to give your gift recipient which will explain what gift is on the way.

And of course, there are always gift certificates, though I recommend you make a contribution to my IndieGoGo campaign so you can get the free item as well.

So there’s still hope for you last minute shoppers! Check out these items that other people liked last week and see if any would be good for your gift recipients…

Mood Ring Emoticon Glass Pebble Ring with Adjustable Band - Handmade by Rewondered D225R-00008 - $5.95

Mood Ring Emoticon Glass Pebble Ring with Adjustable Band – Handmade by Rewondered D225R-00008 – $5.95

Hockey Wine Charm Set of Four Wine Glass Markers - Your Choice of Team Colors - Handmade by Rewondered D643W-00006 - $14.95

Hockey Wine Charm Set of Four Wine Glass Markers – Your Choice of Team Colors – Handmade by Rewondered D643W-00006 – $14.95

Fire or Three Color Mohawk Fleece Hat - Handmade by Rewondered D201H-00002 - $27.95

Fire or Three Color Mohawk Fleece Hat – Handmade by Rewondered D201H-00002 – $27.95

Two Color Mohawk Fleece Hat - Handmade by Rewondered D201H-00001 - $24.95

Two Color Mohawk Fleece Hat – Handmade by Rewondered D201H-00001 – $24.95

Silver Skull Post Back Earrings - Handmade by Rewondered D225E-55504 - $8.95

Silver Skull Post Back Earrings – Handmade by Rewondered D225E-55504 – $8.95

Ghost Post Back Earrings - Handmade by Rewondered D225E-55501 - $8.95

Ghost Post Back Earrings – Handmade by Rewondered D225E-55501 – $8.95

Black Spider Ring with Adjustable Band - Handmade by Rewondered D225R-00001 - $3.95

Black Spider Ring with Adjustable Band – Handmade by Rewondered D225R-00001 – $3.95

LGBT Pride Rainbow and Gold Pendant Necklace Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00364 - $29.95

LGBT Pride Rainbow and Gold Pendant Necklace Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00364 – $29.95

Rainbow and Button Rain Clouds Handmade Bracelet by Rewondered D225B-00014 - $29.95

Rainbow and Button Rain Clouds Handmade Bracelet by Rewondered D225B-00014 – $29.95

Blue and White Snail Enamel Simple Charm Necklace on Silver Chain - Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00978 - $7.95

Blue and White Snail Enamel Simple Charm Necklace on Silver Chain – Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00978 – $7.95

Red and Yellow Snail Enamel Simple Charm Necklace on Silver Chain - Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00928 - $7.95

Red and Yellow Snail Enamel Simple Charm Necklace on Silver Chain – Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00928 – $7.95

Silver Key on Silver Chain Simple Charm Necklace - Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00512 - $7.95

Silver Key on Silver Chain Simple Charm Necklace – Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00512 – $7.95

Pink Hearts and Silver Music Note Love Song Necklace - Handmade by Rewondered D225N-10311 - $12.95

Pink Hearts and Silver Music Note Love Song Necklace – Handmade by Rewondered D225N-10311 – $12.95

LGBT Pride Rainbow and Gold Necklace - Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00299 - $21.95

LGBT Pride Rainbow and Gold Necklace – Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00299 – $21.95

One of a Kind Blue and Copper Beaded Charm Bracelet - Handmade by Rewondered D225B-00010 - $34.95

One of a Kind Blue and Copper Beaded Charm Bracelet – Handmade by Rewondered D225B-00010 – $34.95

One of a Kind Upcycled Hot Pink, Black and White Beaded Charm Bracelet - Handmade by Rewondered D225B-00009 - $39.95

One of a Kind Upcycled Hot Pink, Black and White Beaded Charm Bracelet – Handmade by Rewondered D225B-00009 – $39.95

Turquoise Heart Charm Bracelet - Handmade by Rewondered D225B-00008 - $36.95

Turquoise Heart Charm Bracelet – Handmade by Rewondered D225B-00008 – $36.95

Pink Butterflies and Cthulhu Necklace - Handmade by Rewondered D225N-99213 - $23.95

Pink Butterflies and Cthulhu Necklace – Handmade by Rewondered D225N-99213 – $23.95

Purple and Silver FIND Necklace - Handmade by Rewondered D225N-99244 - $23.95

Purple and Silver FIND Necklace – Handmade by Rewondered D225N-99244 – $23.95

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Quite the eclectic mix there, huh?  And I need to redo the photos for the last two (and several other listings) but I had wanted to get the items up so I used what photos I had.  That’s another project to add to my Massive To Do List™!

I’m going to be working on adding more items up today too, so keep an eye on my Etsy shop throughout the day.  Oh, and “Order by December 18th” really means order by the time I get up on the 19th to process those orders and get them in the mail.  So you really have until about 7am eastern time on the 19th. 😛

Five X Fifty: Day 16 – Upcycled Skirt Bags

This Five X Fifty entry is kind of a cheat, since I made these adorable upcycled skirt bags for my last 50 New Products in Fifty Days, but I never actually got them listed in my Etsy shop.  Until today!  So that totally counts, right?

These bags are a perfect example of rewondering: taking something unwanted and making it into something new and useful.  Made from girls’ skirts with ribbons for the straps, they’re a fun and playful way to carry around whatever you need to carry.  Each bag is one of a kind, so you’ll be the only one who has it, and people will comment on what a cute idea it is (at least they do when I carry one).

Purple and Pink Paper Doll Upcycled Skirt Bag - Handmade by Rewondered D201P-00001 - $19.95

Purple and Pink Paper Doll Upcycled Skirt Bag – Handmade by Rewondered D201P-00001 – $19.95

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Tan Corduroy Upcycled Skirt Bag with Embroidered Details - Handmade by Rewondered D201P-00002 - $19.95

Tan Corduroy Upcycled Skirt Bag with Embroidered Details – Handmade by Rewondered D201P-00002 – $19.95

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Leopard Print Small Upcycled Skirt Bag - Handmade by Rewondered D201P-00003 - $19.95

Leopard Print Small Upcycled Skirt Bag – Handmade by Rewondered D201P-00003 – $19.95

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Glittery Denim Upcycled Skirt Bag with Embroidered Ribbon Strap - Handmade by Rewondered D201P-00004 - $19.95

Glittery Denim Upcycled Skirt Bag with Embroidered Ribbon Strap – Handmade by Rewondered D201P-00004 – $19.95

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Purple, Black, and Lime Green Plaid Upcycled Skirt Bag - Handmade by Rewondered D201P-00005 - $19.95

Purple, Black, and Lime Green Plaid Upcycled Skirt Bag – Handmade by Rewondered D201P-00005 – $19.95

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Any of these bags can be chosen as your free item with a $20 contribution to my IndieGoGo campaign, or ask me to try to find a skirt in the colors, size, or style you like best.  I’m hoping to make up a bunch more of these as I get my hands on more skirts.

I have the items for Day 17 and Day 18 done and photographed, just need to edit the photos, list them in my Etsy shop, then come over here to make the posts.  Let’s see how much more I can get done before my body insists I need sleep… 😛

Five X Fifty: Day 15 – Christmas

I had meant to get this post up yesterday, since it was 12/12/12 and there’s the whole 12 Days of Christmas thing and instead of five items I have twelve, but it didn’t happen.  I was busy all day yesterday working on new items, relisting old items in my Etsy shop that had been removed because I took them to the craft fairs instead, and photographing these twelve items.  By the time I started to list them, it was already nearly 11pm and my bed was calling me, so I gave up and got the listings done this morning instead.  So my whole “12” theme may not make sense today, and the special I was running yesterday is technically over, but because you are reading this blog and have been so patient with me, I’ll let you in on a secret:  I have not yet deactivated the 121212 coupon code, so you can still get 36% off your order if you place it before I get up tomorrow morning at 7am eastern time and turn the code off.  Here’s your chance to get your holiday shopping done at a great discount!  You’ve only got 12 days until Christmas… ooh, there’s that number again!

With less than two weeks to go, it’s time to get into the Christmas spirit, and I don’t mean the ones behind the bar… though if you want to indulge, I’m not going to stop you.  I might ask you to share, though!  But before we get too tipsy, check out these festive necklaces, earrings, pins, and hair elastics!

Bronze Angel on Black Cord Simple Charm Necklace - Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00792 - $7.95

Bronze Angel on Black Cord Simple Charm Necklace – Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00792 – $7.95

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Red Christmas Ornament Necklace - Handmade by Rewondered D225N-24243 - $7.95

Red Christmas Ornament Necklace – Handmade by Rewondered D225N-24243 – $7.95

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This necklace has matching earrings:

Red Christmas Ornament Earrings - Handmade by Rewondered D225E-24243 - $8.95

Red Christmas Ornament Earrings – Handmade by Rewondered D225E-24243 – $8.95

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Christmas Ornament Earrings - Your Choice of Color - Handmade by Rewondered D225E-55514 - $5.95

Christmas Ornament Earrings – Your Choice of Color – Handmade by Rewondered D225E-55514 – $5.95

These come in a variety of colors, in either a matte or shiny finish:

Color Choices: Christmas Ornament Earrings - Your Choice of Color - Handmade by Rewondered D225E-55514 - $5.95

Color Choices: Christmas Ornament Earrings – Your Choice of Color – Handmade by Rewondered D225E-55514 – $5.95

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Bubble Christmas Ornament Earrings - Your Choice of Color - Handmade by Rewondered D225E-55515 - $7.95

Bubble Christmas Ornament Earrings – Your Choice of Color – Handmade by Rewondered D225E-55515 – $7.95

These also come in a variety of colors:

Color Choices: Bubble Christmas Ornament Earrings - Your Choice of Color - Handmade by Rewondered D225E-55515 - $7.95

Color Choices: Bubble Christmas Ornament Earrings – Your Choice of Color – Handmade by Rewondered D225E-55515 – $7.95

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Candy Cane Christmas Ornament Earrings - Handmade by Rewondered D225E-55516 - $9.95

Candy Cane Christmas Ornament Earrings – Handmade by Rewondered D225E-55516 – $9.95

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Scribble Christmas Ornament Earrings - Handmade by Rewondered D225E-55517 - $6.95

Scribble Christmas Ornament Earrings – Handmade by Rewondered D225E-55517 – $6.95

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Gingerbread Man Pin - Handmade by Rewondered D225P-00009 - $5.95

Gingerbread Man Pin – Handmade by Rewondered D225P-00009 – $5.95

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Santa Claus Face Pin - Handmade by Rewondered D225P-00010 - $5.95

Santa Claus Face Pin – Handmade by Rewondered D225P-00010 – $5.95

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Reindeer Hair Elastic Ponytail Holder - Handmade by Rewondered D202E-00009 - $4.95

Reindeer Hair Elastic Ponytail Holder – Handmade by Rewondered D202E-00009 – $4.95

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Candy Cane Hair Elastic Ponytail Holder - Handmade by Rewondered D202E-00010 - $3.95

Candy Cane Hair Elastic Ponytail Holder – Handmade by Rewondered D202E-00010 – $3.95

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Red Jingle Bell Hair Elastic Ponytail Holder - Handmade by Rewondered D202E-00011 - $3.95

Red Jingle Bell Hair Elastic Ponytail Holder – Handmade by Rewondered D202E-00011 – $3.95

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I also have a bunch of other Christmas themed handmade necklaces…

I still need to update pictures of some of my older items that I relisted.  It’s amazing how awful those early pictures are!  It took me entirely too long to figure out how to use my camera, and I could probably still use some more lessons, but I’m much happier with the ones I take now and will be updating all those old pictures as soon as I can.

Hopefully seeing all these fun Christmas designs will get you into the holiday mood… and the holiday shopping mood! 😛  Don’t forget, you can use the coupon code 121212 and get 36% (12+12+12=36… get it?) off your order until I wake up tomorrow morning and turn it off.  And if you really want to go on a a shopping spree, head over to my IndieGoGo campaign and make a $50 contribution so you can get a $210 gift certificate to spend in my store… with that coupon code you can get about $328 worth of my products for that $50!  Just choose “other” for your payment method when you place your order in my Etsy shop and leave me a note in the comments section that you got a gift certificate on IndieGoGo, and I’ll verify everything and send you an invoice for anything over the amount of your gift certificate.

I’m currently $405 shy of reaching my goal on IndieGoGo, and $1405 short of doubling my goal… remember if I can raise double my goal, I’ll double all the rewards, so please share this link: http://www.indiegogo.com/rewondered2 and you might just get to go on another shopping spree in my Etsy shop! 🙂

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go work on getting Day 16 up…

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