It's time to RELAX!

I'm so happy this year that we actually have a fireplace to decorate!
It's very cute, and I love all things that can be made into extra special events, like sitting on the floor. A fireplace surely makes that a much more special occasion. This is our first fire of the season, only because we kept forgetting that we had a fireplace. Yes, it is in the main room, front and center, but oh, I know there is no excuse. We don't have a tree this year, due to space, but this more than makes up for it. When I wake up and see this I feel like its time to celebrate, and when its night I feel warm and cuddly.
The decor:
The garland was on sale 70% off this weekend, thats the benefit of decorating late in the season! The glittery glass ornaments were a gift last year, and they are very special and will always be featured in my Holiday decor as long as I don't break them. They are so big and fragile they scare me. The stockings were decorated by each of us, decorating the others. The cute doll on the mantle is a doll my mother made named 'pepper'- she's the one opening the etsy shop called SewSoft, once she gets back from Prague...right mom? And the wonderful painting on the mantle is a permanent fixture, and is also very special to me. It was painted by Johns grandmother and was a gift to our new family. It's not only an heirloom, but incredibly
beautiful to look at everyday.

I'm an Etsy FIND!

I'm totally thrilled and honored to be 'found'! Etsy decided to write their 'daily finds' email about New Years Eve Glittery things. They chose my Antique Silver Glitter Pop Party Ring (whew!). I must admit, that it is my favorite color glitter that I have for the moment. I even had a serious phone conversation with my sister last week JUST about glitter and my silvery new one. She's a sparkly gal herself, and makes cocktail hats in New Orleans that often (if not always) feature glitttery or sparkly adornments. She sent me some lovely hologram glitter and even black glitter this week as a special treat. See, the love is real. Thank you Etsy, You made my day!
(making my week, month and year is a given)

Click HERE to read the article.
Click HERE to see all the Glitter Pop Party Rings in my shop.


FRIDAY! is that air im breathing?

I'm so happy it's Friday.

You see, Friday itself doesn't necessarily mean anything to someone who works for themselves at home. Most of the time it just means a day that everyone else starts to get happier, and people are in places that I usually am. Like the grocery or the road. Friday usually means only one half morning more of shipping on Saturday and one full day of Sunday where no one is expecting a package from me to arrive. It means that I am nearing the beginning when there was never really an end. Working at home usually means there are no days off.

This Friday though, today, means that I only have a little work to do, and only one half day left for Holiday orders to be shipped. People will start to simmer down in the shop, and I don't have to make anything new until the New Year, if I dont want to. I have made enough 'things' this year I suppose, and I'm so happy that people celebrate things at the end of the year. This allows little ol' me to celebrate too. Finally!

I'm starting to reflect, (and also project), as a lot of people do at the ends-of-years and I can't help but feel like the coming year will be one amazing-something-special-is-going-to-happen year. I don't know why my gut keeps telling me, maybe because I am finally proud of myself I guess, and I suppose it can only get better when I feel this good? I feel like I have been accomplishing things for myself- personally and with the business, and that I shouldn't even have to think about how awesome next year will be. What I will do then, is just enjoy that little jumpy feeling that tells me that things are WONDERFUL right now. I am very lucky.


1.my hand that makes everything

2.my view half the time


Little Update on Holiday Things (vague enough?)

Today is the last day of the fused glass sale!
Okay so you dont have to run, but there are still some lovelies in the shop I must say.
And if you dont need any glass...maybe you just needed a butterfly wing necklace MORE!*

*This is the most popular style this year, (glass style), next to the oval monarch design.

I have been insanely busy with butterflies this season! For the Holidays people are going bonkers for these little peices of nature. I LOVE IT!!!! I am up at night hunched over in my studio mixing and making and finishing and polishing these little delights. They have been made to order, basically because I cant get ahead of orders. I cant seem to make more than I need. But thats fine with me. I have been SOOO happy this season with my etsy shop and 6 craft shows. I feel like Ive worked harder than I ever have, and thats rewarding beyond description. This year, unlike the last two on etsy, I have decided to stop shipping on Dec 21. This is my physical reward, my Christmas present to myself (besides the stationary tape dispenser!!).

a butterfly production line photo

Also, more on 'the shop', among being busy enough to be losing sleep, I have added my newest little lovelies- the Glitter Pop Pendant. TADA!!

I like these because they aremade just 'for the fun of it'. I like the sparkle and I like to see what color combinations I come up with. They are like little candies to me, so I want to keep making more.

Back to orders now, a few more days for "the push" to continue. I cant wait to finally decorate for Christmas this weekend! (yeah i know)


BIG SALE! Dec 10-17

Take advantage of a HUGE SALE this week only!
ALL of my FUSED GLASS jewelry is marked down to $13. That means that you are saving $3- $5 on EACH item! I'm very excited about this week!

When you purchase TWO Glitter Pop rings,
I will choose a FREE one to send in your package.

Also, there is a subscriber-only special in the newsletter I've sent out, so please join my mailing list at the top of this page to get your free goodies next time!



Hello Hollywood!

Heres a glimpse of a few new earring designs I've been working on. I hope to have them in the shop next week. Unless anyone wants to volunteer to write a fetching description for me!

These earrings make me think of someone dressing up for a big event. They all have something that make me drool, like the juicy pinks, the sparkle of the silver and crystal, the jewel tones. I had holiday parties in mind when I satrted these, and boy do I want to go to one now!

All of these beads (except the cherry pink ones) are czech glass, picked up on one of my trips to Czech Republic to visit my sister. Now thats a good 'business' trip!


And the winners are....

Hip Hip...HOORAY!

Here are the six winners, chosen randomly from a list of 79 subscribers.







I will be contacting you with an email asking where to ship. I need to send you a PRIZE!

If I dont hear a response in a week, I will choose more!

What am I talking about? Read this entry. For your chance to be entered into my drawings, join my mailing list to the left. Cheers!

UPDATE: All the winners ROCK! They immediately responded with enthusiasm and their shipping address. The goodies will be off to you next week! I've updated this entry with a photo of some of the gifts.


Newsletter Giveaway!

I have, once again, dragged my feet. My toes should be worn down by now.

When you sign up for my mailing list/newsletter, I offer that I will send you an email once a month (ha!) with specials and a giveaway. Now, all you who have joined, KNOW this isnt true. I only send about four newsletters a year (toes wearing off). They do work pretty well, I have to say. People really took advantage of the subscriber only specials (awesome!) and/or at least read the email I sent.

The only thing I really feel bad about is that I havent been sending them one once a month, as promised. This stinks because that means there was no prize drawing!

So, what I will do tomorrow, as I have done in the past, is make up for it.All of those crossed fingers and hopes of winning something FREE, can come true tomorrow!

I will be choosing 6, yes SIX!! newsletter subscribers tomorrow. Then I wont have a guilty conscious, and six people wil have a shiny new handmade item from my product line. OOOH!

Im a little wrapped up in my busy craft show season madness to write a proper newsletter, so I will do what I can in the meantime.

Thank you ALL for subscribing, and if you are reaading this for the first time...sign up now (in the box on your left) and be included in the drawing tomorrow! Easy peasy.

Winners will be posted here (not your full name, dont worry).


Lobster Pot Christmas Tree Lighting TODAY!

Were getting ready for the first OFFICIAL lighting today.
Lopes Square in Provincetown 5 p.m. EST
Be there or be square.
Dad's got the crane ready, hes putting bows on it as I type. This is a photo of the top of the tree, where we will raise it over the tree pyramid and then do a countdown a la new years style. The when the two connect SHAZAM! LIGHT!!!
(I know I didnt post about the building of it yet the whole event isnt over yet!)
Today were expecting 30 mph average winds coming off the ocean (were next to the pier) and a storm bringing rain. Oh boy.
But THATS OKAY! I made cookies!

Hot apple cider will be served by Moi, along with hot cocoa. Well, the newspaper reported that hot cocoa will be served, but I think we have more cider. Its an awesome 60 degrees outside, so cider seems appropriate. (dads good idea)

I also made some special stickers for the event, hoping everyone will wear a little badge of Love.

And my secret little suprise that I still haven't given my family yet....I know its cheesy, but heck I love the Cosby's. (I even said heck to prove it.) I made matching scarves in red and green for the 7 memebrs of my family that will be there. The top little one is for the teeny little 3-year-old that I adore. These were made in about 20 minutes and only came to about $1. each! I got some non-pill fleece which doenst fray at all, and seems softer than regular fleece. I just cut it into strips and scalloped the edges of the girly ones. Nice! So I will give these out and I know my dad will think its great. This is HIS project and I want to make it the best event for him.

So, I'm off to work on a few more things for the day and will certainly report back on everything. Oh yeah, you can watch us live here from a webcam! Click HERE to watch, then click on "Chamber of Commerce" camera icon. Be patient with it too.

Some computers have to install a viewer, but if you want to see us.....


*see my craft show line up in the left column*

Quick Look

Here's a little peep into my mid-November morning here...BRRR!Oh the LEAVES! Trees are so wonderful, until the leaves come off.
It's still pretty though.

Today will go something like this: drink more coffee, eat more food, tidy up studio, head to post office to ship orders, rake the leaves, rake some more, finish wholesale order of butterfly wing necklaces, work on new craft show mirrors and garlands (to be posted about soon!), rake some leaves, head back into studio to do more packing for shipping tomorrow, load the kiln with new suncatchers, work on fun project in studio until bed time. Looks like a boring day, but I think it sounds just delightful!


Lobster Pot Christmas Tree

It's November and time to build the "tree"!
I will be away this weekend with my family to build our annual Holiday Tree made out of Lobster traps! Its an art project/ holiday decoration that my dad started a few years ago. It sits in the center of Provincetown, MA about 17' tall.

We start by lugging traps from lobstermens yards or winter storage area (we need about 80?), build it, cut and paint planks for sturdiness, tie it together with 'plastics' (zip ties), string lights, add bows, decorations, buoys on top, the whole nine yards- I mean two miles.... of ribbon! I want to get into the details of it all, since i think its a pretty BIG deal. I'll save it all for the new photos after this weekend.

I have to go pack, but heres some photos from last years build. Hopefully I will have some stories after the weekend about holiday cheer and not-too-sore muscles.

Have a great weekend!


November Special on Lavender!

Hello all!
My lavender supplier made a big oopsie, and now I can have a lavender sale! Ive got about 50 pounds of lavender to share with you at a discounted price. This is a different kind of lavender that I normally sell, so I am eager to share it with the world, and then buy more!

Click on the photo above to direct you to the lavender part of my shop.

Happy sachet making!
What do you like to make with lavender?


NEW DESIGN! yes i'm screaming!

I'm thoroughly excited to show off a few of my newest butterfly wing pendant designs. Its a full wing set into an aluminum disc. I LOVE love this. I gave the inside a brushed finish, so under the wing there is a ton of depth when the light shines on it. Its a very hip design, I might say. I have finally found a way to use the shape of the wing in my jewelry. Wings have so many pretty frilly edges, or organic shapes to them, that I just haven't been able to preserve with the silver designs. So here they are, my newest.......I've got two sizes in my shop, both at the same price. They cost me almost the same to make, but I really need/want to offer different sizes. Do you think having different sizes at the same price a problem? Will buyers be confused?

Also, I am offering this style with an unfinished black ribbon. No chain this time like the others. I am trying something new there, to see what people need. Would you want a chain to be included, or the option to buy in addition?


Shiny and New

I just wanted to point out that I updated the face my blog today! All the links on the left are current, the news is NEW and Ive added my other sisters shop link- superduper. I moved things around, removed things that were stale and whooosh! Shiny and New.

Its looks fresh to me, and I hope you enjoy the changes.

Photos are courtesy of my talented sister April Popko, who lives in Prague. These images are part of her photographic series of "doorways" that shes been working on for a few years.


My First Attempt! (or second)

I started experimenting with pmc 2 months ago. It was a gift from my dad, who often finds a fun new project to try- and suprises his daughters with a little doo-dad or entire kit. Its amazingly generous and quite fun when that happens. This project was a kit and I was lucky enought to get a torch too, even though he knows I have a kiln.
PMC is precious metal clay. Its 99.9% fine silver particles set in a binder so that you can sculpt with it like clay. Once sculpted, you fire it either in a kiln or with a butane torch and the binder burns out. Its awesomely fun. I first made hearts for all my girlfriends back in August. That was my first attempt. But I had a time limit and they were all pretty straight forward. I learned how it felt to cut and sand the pmc then, and get a hang of the firing process.
Last night I made something new!
I had a little more freedom with my assignment this time. I wanted to make real butterfly wing impressions into the clay. I documented a few of the many steps that this medium requires.

This is the first step, where I sculpted the clay into a wing formation. I pressed this wing into the caly, and the fine butterfly wing powder stuck to it.
It looked gorgeous just as it was, but would be fired off. This is a photo of the five pendants I worked on. The clay dried really fast, so i had to keep dusting it with water while I was working with it. Once it dries, I sand and refine the piece even further. This is the step that I find most important, while its dry and before its fired. You can get a lot done in this stage. Once its fired, its real, solid silver, and is harder to then sand or alter.

Here is everything I sculpted on the fire brick. The left side is already torched/fired and the right side is thoroughly air-dried, waiting for its turn.

This is a photo from August, while I was firing the heart shaped pendants that I made. It's not generally safe to photograph and work a torch, so don't try that, ever.
Here are all the butterfly wing 'stamped' pendants just after they cooled off from the torch.

The next step is to take a wire brush and brush off the film from the binder that I burned out of it. Once you run the brush over it you can immediately see the silver shining through. You can later give it a high polish, patina, or other finishes if you want.

Here are the almost finished pendants! They just needed a jumpring, which i gave a hammered finish to, then strung onto a chain.

Here it is! My newest Butterfly Wing Imprint- Fine Silver Necklace. Im so happy with myself.


Featured Shop: Whimsy & Spice

Homemade Cardamom Marshmallows

Whimsy & Spice was founded in 2008 by the husband and wife team of Mark Sopchak and Jenna Park, who combine their skills and more than 12 years of experience in culinary arts and graphic design to produce a distinctive line of handmade sweets.

These sweets include Hazelnut Chocolate Whisky sandwich cookies, Rose & Black Pepper thumbprints, Homemade Chocolate Marshmallows and Honey Lavender shortbread cookies, to name a few.

Coconut Five Spice White Chocolate cookies

I can't get ENOUGH of this photography!! I have never tried this product and I'm endorsing it.

This should tell you something about my last posts' tips. Product photography is the difference between yummy and I NEEEED this..NOW. This looks like it was shot for a magazine, a menu, something for real. The thing is, everyone on Etsy is for real, or trying to be, but getting it to appear that way is really tough. If you are trying to get great photographs and just can't seem to get the results you want- try, try again. I, personally, had to fiddle with my camera and some free photo programs for months before getting a look I liked. You can also hire someone to do this for you if you have a product that you can make multiples of. This way you only need to make great images once over, and reuse them. If you constantly have a new, unique item- you will need to find a set-up, or photography system that will allow you to get the right images every time.

Pumpkin Ginger Sandwich Cookies

Consistency (in photography) is another reason why this shop is SO gorgeous. I saw an image/product that I liked, drooled a little, and clicked onto the next- and viola! MORE goodness. I just kept clicking away and all items had the same serene, gourmet, delicious-just-baked-I-need-to-be-wearing-a-robe-drinking-hot-cocoa-being-pampered look.

Whimsy and Spice classic sampler box

Another great thing I found in this shop, is a picture of their packaging. It shows me that they care about presentation, and I am more likely to purchase from them, than someone who will wrap their cookies in a paper towel and bubble wrap. I could visualize myself shipping these off to a friend as a gift. Another gorgeous photo.

Congratulations Jenna and Mark!


Quick Look

I've got a few posts lined up for you! I just have to write them you see....
I want to tell you about what I've been up to- it seems I'm always busy, but I just never put it together that I have actually been taking a lot of photos of it all!

Here's what I was doing today, for instance:

This is one of my studio tables, where I was taking new product shots of my butterfly wing necklaces. This is actually where I take ALL of my product shots. Its just on a board that I can move around with white printer paper on top. This way when the paper gets dirty or wrinkled I can discard it and get a new sheet. There are several pieces in a little pile, so the background of my photos is opaque white. The light is always form the natural daylight, which, of course, poses problems when it's a crappy day or dark outside. Also, now the leaves are turning orange, casting an orange glow onto it all.
Heres how the photos came out after I touched them up a little:
What do you think? I needed new photos for my necklace listing, which didn't, in my opinion, have enough examples of how your necklace may turn out. Now I think having extra photos may persuade someone a little more to buy it. If you can't touch an object before you buy it, you need a lot of photos, or really great photos, and both is best. This is what I'm working on!