Where I’ve Been

The places where my jewelry has traveled!

The places where my jewelry has traveled!

This has been an exciting first year for me, and following in the footsteps of a few fellow merchants, I put together a map of the locations where my jewelry has traveled.  I’m hoping that 2014 brings even more exciting journeys.

There’s still time to put yourself on the map.  My last shipping dates for Christmas Eve arrival are below:

December 18 – First Class Mail  (Domestic Only)

December 20 – Priority Mail (Domestic Only)

I hope that you all are having a fantastic holiday season!

 

A New Life

Cyber Monday Madness!

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I’m going to be completely honest here; I’ve never been a big fan of Black Friday shopping.  While I love Christmas, the decorations, and finding just the perfect gift for a loved one; I’ve always preferred to handle shopping by a much less frantic method.   The malls are already swarming with people, and the sales have already begun, but I’m just as happy staying away from the malls, and ordering from the comfort of my own home.   For me, it’s about the giving, not the tiredness, the grumpiness and the rush to get something before it’s sold out.   Online shopping was made for me!  Or, rather, for people like me.

Storenvy is a wonderful online Marketplace — or mall, if you prefer — loaded with amazing shops run by creative individuals.  On Cyber Monday, a group of 51 of those shops are participating in an amazing sale; 30% off everything in every participating shop.   You read right: 30%.  Not just the things in the basket in the corner.  Everything.  That’s better than getting that parking spot close to the door!

You can take advantage of these deals by clicking the pretty, colorful graphic above and taking a look at all the shops participating.  One cart, one code, one check out.  Super easy!  StorenvyFlash30

Here are some of my picks:

Want to see more?  Click here and browse all the shops participating.

Happy shopping, and have a fabulous Thanksgiving week!

A New Life

Honored to be Featured!

I’m so excited to be featured on Marella Clark’s (of Just for Littles) blog!  She is one of my best customers, a good friend and an amazing creator of adorable things!

Cyber Monday Store Highlight: A Single Dream

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Stop by and read her blog post, and then take a look at her fabulous shop, where she sells adorable handpainted banks.

Monster With a Cause

Take a look at this adorable monster ornament that has been created by Team Lu & Ed members Cody from Lu & Ed and Danielle from Squshies!  This cheerful little guy is Lu & Ed’s mascot Gabos, made in the style of Squshies felt animal ornaments.  Not only is this a great collaboration between two fantastic handmade artists, Gabos is being sold, in limited quantities, for a great cause: 50% of the sales price of the ornaments will be donated to Drumm Farm, a home for children and young adults in the Missouri foster care system. So your Mon-stor ornament purchase will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside! Once the last ornament sells, we will donate $110 to Drumm Farm to help make the holidays a little more magical for all of the residents!

There will only be ten ornaments created, and once they are gone they are gone! So hurry on over to Lu & Ed and pre-order your very own Gabos ornament!

Gabos in all his sweet, monstrous glory!
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Custom Work

One of the best things about my business, is when a customer comes to me and asks me to create something special for them.  It’s so flattering that they like my style and trust that I can make something that they will truly love to wear.  I’ve  had the pleasure of creating a few custom pieces, and look forward to each new challenge.

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Treble Clef & Crystal Necklace – I really enjoyed working on this one.  The customer requested a copper treble clef wrapped with silver and peacock blue crystals, and also requested a heart at the end, rather than a swirl.  The chain was handmade after I couldn’t find just the right chain to match the piece. 

 

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Moonstone Bracelet – The customer actually selected her own beads and findings for this piece, allowing me my own creative license to put them together.  There is moonstone, pink freshwater pearls and silver flower charms.

 

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Tree Agate Peace Bracelet – This customer had already purchased a purple jasper bracelet (below) and wanted another to stack with it, in green, to match her business colors.  Love it!

 

If there’s something that I’ve made that you want in a different color or size, or simply want to challenge my creativity, please contact me.  I love emails that start with “Can you make….?” 

 

Moving & Growing

ImageAs I approach the end of my first year of business, I’ve been contemplating the direction I want to go with my store.  There are a lot of paths and opportunities, and while it would be amazing to take them all, I need to develop a focus that works best for me, my business and my family.  Where do I see A Single Dream going in 2014?  I would love to have my work in more brick and mortar shops that sell handmade wares.  It would be great to get in on a couple of craft fairs.  I plan to learn as much as I can about my craft, and the business world in general.  Most importantly, I am looking forward to continuing to connect with people who enjoy my work.   I have already begun to list my store with bridal vendor directories like OneWed and Wedding Wire, as I feel that much of my jewelry would be lovely for the bride who chooses to forgo traditional pearls for something that is handmade and unique.

All of this has brought me to a bout of Spring cleaning in Fall.  I have marked down a number of pieces that I did not feel reflected the future of my shop.  I loved working on every one of them, and stand by the quality with which they were created, but I am choosing to center my new jewelry around wire and metal work, as well as beaded bracelets.   If you’d like to take a peek on what’s leaving the shop, you can take advantage of the sale prices until the pieces are gone, or the end of the year, whichever comes first.

I hope that you’ll continue to travel with me on this continuing adventure.  I’m very excited to see what the future brings!

A New Life

It isn’t exactly a secret that I love to shop for beads.  It is not only the purchasing and the owning; I love to look at them.  I particularly love beads that I can touch before buying; there is definitely something to be said for that tactile experience. 

Lately, however, I have had this need for something different.  Maybe it’s the Spring weather playing with the creative part of my mind.  I’ve been making my own beads and experimenting with different mediums.  I’ve always found the process of making paper beads to be very relaxing.  It’s something I can do while watching television or listening to an audio book (I can’t ever do one thing at a time). 

Jewelry with upcycled components by A Single Dream

I’ve also been upcycling jewelry.  Finding jewelry that is gently worn, but in need of some TLC is very exciting for me.  Most people will give up on a broken clasp, or an earring that’s missing its mate, or, more commonly, jewelry that is just boring to them or out of fashion.   It’s so much fun to find these pieces in shops and imagine how I can give them new life just by adding something, taking something away, or creating something entirely new.

Have you ever had a piece in your jewelry box that you’ve given up on, but don’t have the heart to give or throw away?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

The Boho Bride Collection

 I’m going to be honest; I have a bit of an obsession with weddings. 

I blame this on Princess Diana.  Some of you might remember that royal wedding, and the stir that it caused, even here in the States.  I got up very early to watch Diana marry Charles with blurry, but starstruck eyes and from that moment on, I couldn’t get enough of the fairy tale.   I begged my mom to buy bridal magazines when we were in the grocery store and when I got my hands on one, I would mark the pages of the things I liked the best.  My ‘perfect’ wedding dress changed every day.

Imagine my bliss when TLC, and other networks,  began airing so many bridal shows.  It is a guilty pleasure of mine.  I don’t ever get tired of watching someone Say Yes to the Dress, and I am completely enamored with everything David Tutera does.

I can’t imagine why it took me so long to bring this love into my jewelry designs, but now that light has dawned, I am so excited to introduce The Boho Bride Collection to my shop.  Some of these new designs will fall into the Traditional category, but I am even more enthusiastic about bringing  gorgeous styles to the less traditional bride;  fun, original and more than a little Boho.

As always, I am more than willing to entertain custom orders, taking colors and styles into account.  Want earrings for a bridal party where half of the attendants are metal sensitive, and one without pierced ears at all?  I can work with that — gladly.

Whether you are married, engaged or still dreaming of your wedding day; do you consider yourself to be a traditional bride?  What sorts of elements are most important to wedding accessories?  Pearls? Sparkles?  I would love to read your feedback!

For the Love of Copper!

Have you ever thought of how the Statue of Liberty looked before she was green?  She was created in France in the 1880’s with an exterior of untreated copper!  Over time, and with exposure to the elements, she has turned to the green that we are familiar with today.  This is the natural course for copper, and anyone with a jar full of pennies can see the stages of this process.
I have read quite a bit from people who are concerned about the natural patina of copper and how to prevent and remove it.
 So, how do you protect your jewelry from this fate?
  1. One of the things that accelerates oxidation is the oils from your skin, so limit the time that you wear your copper jewelry.  ie. Don’t wear it overnight
  2. Wipe the piece down with a soft cloth. (never use anything abrasive, as it will scratch up the copper!)
  3. Use mild soap and water to clean it, make sure that it is completely dry before storing.    Store in a jewelry case or, even better, an air-tight container or zip-lock bag.
  4. If you wish to remove the patina from your jewelry – and you may not, some people love the aged look of copper! – there are several items that you may already have in your kitchen to remove

A solution of ½ cup lemon juice & 1 tablespoon of baking soda

Worcestershire sauce
·      Ketchup
·      Vinegar & Salt
I have also read that you can also use very fine steel wool (#0000) to polish off the patina, but other sources prefer the use of a soft cloth paired with beeswax.   If you are working with ear wires or a piece with small components like jump rings or wrapped wire hoops, clean the piece carefully to prevent bending or crushing.   Copper wire has been hardened, but it is still a very soft metal and should be handled with care.
NOTE: Pearls, painted beads and certain stones should not be soaked in acidic solutions, so please use caution when cleaning your copper jewelry.
Enjoy your copper jewelry, whether you love the patina look, or prefer the brand new shiny penny look.
Which do you prefer?