Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Litha Jewelry on Etsy Review and Interview

Etsy is this wonderful site where people can release their crafty side. They sale things from jewelry, clothing, plush toys, paintings, and many other supplies and decorative pieces that I could talk all day about, but my focus today is on Litha Jewelry created by, Becky Shelton. This wonderful woman just so happens to be my sister and has taken a moment to let me interview her for my blog.
The first thing I decided to do was buy one of her necklaces. I might be her sister, but I have never actually seen these items up close as of this point. I was just going by pictures and information she provided in the bottom of the post. So, after digging through all of her products I found this really cute Bird’s nest necklace with three different color beads in it. It had a matching pair of earrings but I don’t have my ears pierced, though it would have been cute together.
After finding what I wanted I got to pick the wire for the nest and the color of the beads. The creator (Becky) messaged me back instantly (within a couple of hours) and let me know that it would be done shortly. Though I am her sister I still had to pay shipping and handling, no one is exempt it seems. J And about ten dollars later and a couple of days I got this little box in the mail with my new necklace! It was easy and I can only hope everyone on Etsy is as fast and efficient with their work and customer service.
This is my lovely necklace.
Now, never having been on Etsy before I felt a little overwhelmed by all the goodies they have and concerned that I would go shopping crazy here, but you do have to look out for things. It’s best if you read individual reviews on the products you are about to buy, because some products may look pretty but are cheaply built and break within the first few days. Now, that might not be an issue if you’re spending only a couple of dollars, but when it comes to the pricier things be careful.

On with the interview!

Tell us a little about yourself 
Hello and thanks for having me on your blog! My name is Becky Shelton. I'm an accounting graduate who decided to add a creative flair to my life.

What made you want to craft jewelry?
After five years in college working towards a masters in accounting, I wanted a hobby that would let me show my creative side. Accounting is, by it's nature, a principle and rules based system. Creativity isn't really part of it.
I've dabbled in writing fiction, but one day, I started researching the tools and wire types I would need to craft my own jewelry. I visited my local Hobby Lobby and ordered online. When everything came together, I started crafting jewelry pieces. When I saw how much I enjoyed making them, I wanted to share my hobby with others.

Why did you choose Etsy and what do you enjoy about working with it?
From my research, the best markets to sell jewelry was eBay, Amazon, your own website, and Etsy. The first two are great if you already have some popularity and a lot of products. I experimented with eBay, but didn't really get any interest. So, I scratched off both eBay and Amazon. I didn't have the time to operate my own website, but I may come back to that idea later when I get more popular. Etsy was unique among the choices because it has a vast community of make-it-yourself people.
Ever wanted to knit your own tardis? Go talk to the people who make them. Ever wanted to create your own essential oil? Go talk to the people who make them. They won't tell you everything, but they can certainly point you in the right direction.
That is what sold me - the community. People care about handmade objects and making sure that you're happy with what you order.

 What is a piece of jewelry you enjoy making the most?
Blue beaded Bird's nest earrings
Dangle earrings!  Making earrings is like crafting personality into wire and beads. Once you start creating, the personality of the piece takes over and you have to refine it further to get it to really shine. It's really hard to explain, but I do believe that jewelry speaks volumes about people.
In public, I've received the most compliments from my earrings than any other piece of jewelry. Receiving a compliment from a stranger makes my day!

Where do you get your ideas?
I've used YouTube, Pinterest, Google searches, blogs, and other random ways to find ideas that fascinate me. From there, I rework the item into my own style. I believe that there is no such thing as new ideas. We just wrap them up in new ways. Mark Twain has a very good quote on this from A Biography. "There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely; but they are the same old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages."

What routine do you go through for crafting jewelry before you begin?
First thing I do is set up my workstation. I have my computer desk cleared except for my notebook, tools, and ruler. After that, I finish up any projects from the previous day and then get started working on something new. After a while, I get up to let my legs stretch. On sunny days, I take pictures of my finished products. If I have enough good pictures, I work on listing the item on Etsy. For me, the most important part of this process is the setting up in the morning and cleaning up in the evening. This sets the stage for me getting into and out the flow of creating jewelry.

Wire wrapped green bead on copper necklace and it comes with a matching pair of earrings.
What did you name the shop and what's the significance of that name to you?
Litha Jewelry is named after the Pagan holiday. Some Pagans have started calling the holiday Midsummer, but I (kind of old fashioned Pagan) still refer to it as Litha. Litha is a very personal holiday for me. It was the first Pagan holiday where I created my first loose incense (incense you would sprinkle on a charcoal disk). It was also the holiday where I learned the importance of seasonal change. In Louisiana and Texas, June 21-25 (whenever the summer solstice occurs) is usually still relatively mild. This is the time of the year when the sun is reaching its height of power and then slowly loosing it's battle with the night.
Seasonal change is my muse. Every piece that I create will be influenced from different sources and will look remarkably different from the rest. That's my goal and intention. Even items, such as the tree of life, that can be ordered of the same material will be unique and different. No two will ever look alike. And that's exactly what I like about handmade jewelry.

Brass Egyptian Link choker, which has a matching bracelet!
This is another one of my favorites.
Any extra information you would like to share about any up coming products or events?
Two weeks before and after a Pagan holiday, I offer a 20% discount on all of my items. And make sure to like my Facebook Page to stay updated on what I'm working on and any other offers.
I currently also run a haiku and Pagan fiction blog. I believe that the world needs more poetry and fiction written for and by Pagans. If anybody would like to partner with me on these blogs, feel free to contact me.

Thank you for reading,

Friday, July 12, 2013

Review of Diamond Sky by Diana Nixon

Diana Nixon has sucked me into her world from day one of the Love Lines series and I can’t thank her enough to allow me a chance to read and review her work with an ARC.
What I love about her work is that I think it’s fun, fresh, and very creative. The depth of not only her imagination, but her characters are so refreshing. The humor, the heart ache, the love, and the overall whole experience wouldn’t have been the same with any other written characters. So I applauded Diana for continuously making me fall in love with all of her characters throughout all of her books.
With that being said let’s get onto the real reason you are reading this blog post. J The review!
Diamond Sky is a young adult fantasy novel that will push the limits of the Love Lines series to new and terrifying heights. Be prepared to laugh, love, and even yell at your reading device (I did) as you follow along with Eileen, Christian, and Evan (along with plenty of other interesting characters) in their journey to find not only spells to protect not only themselves but their friends.
If you are not familiar with the Love Lines series then you might get a little lost as you dive into the world of Dever, a school for people with certain abilities in any of the seven groups: Feta, Meridin, Venturo, Vero, Embry, Fairey, and wizardy. But it won’t take long to get your bearings as Diana quickly catchs you up to speed on the invisible connections between your cast of characters such as the bonds that tie Eileen to Christian, Amanda, and Evan.
Overall, I would recommend all of the Love Lines books to anyone. It is a fantasy young adult series that has the ability to capture the heart of any who read it and I can see this as being one of those stories that will stay with me for a long time.
I look forward to seeing where her next book in the series will take us. This is the part I hate the most, the waiting! J
I give this book 5 out of 5
Love Lines (book 1)
Songs of the Wind (book 2)
To learn more about Diana Nixon or to buy her works:
Love Lines:
Ebook or Paperback
Songs of the wind:
Ebook or Paperback
From Scratch:
Ebook or Paperback
Diamond Sky:
Links coming soon!

Diamond Sky (book 3)

From Scratch (book 2.5)
And thank you again Daian for the ARC! I look forward to where the series goes from here and any other works you may have hidden away. ;)

-Brenda Franklin
Author of the Pulse Trilogy
and Guardian, A Fated Pairing