Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Getting bigger!

Someone very sweet turned 4-months-old just a few days ago!!! And of course that means......... pictures!!!






Don't you just want to eat her up?! She's trying to grab everything, she can stick her entire fist in her mouth and has been EXTREMELY fussy the past couple days. If she hasn't been sleeping she has been crying. Being 4-months-old is so hard!!!
So that explains my absence. Been hard to sit down and type something out! And I've been busy with some fun, new things that I'll share really, really soon!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Favorite Things Swap!


I thought I'd try to get in to this and participate in a swap! What about you?!

Social Butterfly

Zoë is becoming very social! And what I mean by that is that she is easily distracted while eating. It makes nursing her in public a little difficult because she doesn't want to eat. And then she gets upset because she is hungry but still wants to see what's going on around her. It also means that I basically nurse her all... night... long once we are home!

Eh, I don't mind. She's just so darn cute I could eat her up! Here's some pictures I took today:






I love that last picture because she has her hand on her dad's chest like she usually has on my chest, quite possessively I might add! 
Well I am so tired today I feel like I could just fall over right now and sleep for hours! Come on spring!!! 

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Contact Info for Jewelry

Wow- I am so excited about the response I've received about the jewelry! Someone asked how to contact me. You can contact me on Etsy by clicking on 'Contact CreationsByChara' on my shop address HERE. Or you can email me at njeosys at juno dot com (remove spaces accordingly; I do this to prevent spam).

A good idea is to find a picture of hand-stamped piece to share with me if you find one you like! But remember I cannot do soldering. I can use a special jewelry glue however.

Anyway that's about it! I'm so excited about everyone who has contacted me or is thinking about contacting me. You don't know what a blessing this is for me!!! Thanks!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Etsy Here I Come........... Again!

If you didn't know it, and most of you probably don't, I have had an Etsy shop since 2008. And I opened a second one not long after the first. I closed them halfway through my pregnancy with Zoë but just last week reopened the doors. And I have to admit it is a little overwhelming. Mostly because I wanted to revamp it before I got pregnant with her and that is still my desire now but I have so much leftover inventory and it just isn't selling because the hand-stamped industry has EXPLODED. When I started there were only a handful of hand-stamping artists. Now it is everywhere and it is hard to stand out in the crowd.

And that is what leads me to this post. I need and desire your help if you wish to participate! I'm going to be refining my hand-stamped jewelry to more personal and personalized pieces. I will also have birthstone crystals and pearls to add to the jewelry. The great thing about me is that I don't over-price my items. I feel I offer them at a fair price for the material costs and my labor. When I see someone selling a similar piece for DOUBLE the price of mine it makes my heart hurt. I want to tell the buyer, "You know I can make that for half the price!!!"

So how can you help? If you have wanted a hand-stamped item in the past but just never got around to it I am offering customers who customize a piece free shipping AND they get to 'name' their customized piece.

For instance, if you decide you want to customize two domed sterling silver pendants into a "locket" type piece with a birthstone jewel hiding inside I will quote you a price, create it, ship it for free and you will get to name it after someone dear to you (a niece, a daughter, your mother, an aunt, a friend, etc.). So if you have a best friend Suzy and you create a piece you can name that design "SUZY" and credit will go to you for the name. Your design would then be sold in the shop and people could customize it to their specifications.

Or perhaps you want a fun and funky flower shaped sterling silver pendant with your children's names stamped around it in a pretty scrolly font.

Or maybe you'd like a heart shaped pendant that is hammered and textured. Maybe you want a copper AND sterling silver pendant. Maybe you want to layer pendants, etc., etc. The possibilities are ENDLESS and I'd love to hear your ideas.

The main reason I need this help is that I can't afford to buy the silver and just stamp random names and add birthstone crystals. I need real people with real names so I can photograph the pendant without having to keep it forever because no one has two children named Billy and Sue. I hope that makes sense! This is how custom pendants are done anyway but you get the bonus of free shipping and the honor of having a design that you helped create and name. Usually the artist just takes your customized idea, charges you extra for the custom work and names the piece themselves.

I can do just about anything you see in other hand-stamped shops except soldering. I cannot solder metals together yet as I do not have the tools or the funds to get soldering equipment. One day I would absolutely love to learn to solder! But that day is not today.

Here are examples of items currently in my shop that I've priced as low as I can possibly go (sterling silver is not cheap). I'm clearing current inventory to make room for the new and improved pieces that I hope some of you will help create!!! Look at how awesome my new camera is at capturing how gorgeous these pieces really are, too:



This LUCKY pendant is the only one not on clearance in the shop because I created it for St. Patrick's Day.

*Eternal Love is an OOPS piece*

I have copper, sterling silver and I can get gold-filled. I can mix metals, I can layer pendants. I have design stamps and can stamp designs and "pictures" into pendants. I have circles, squares, stars, hearts, "guitar picks", etc., etc.

Oh, so here are the links, by the way!

Creations By Chara
Chara's Creations

The second shop is just random jewelry that I've made. Some pieces are priced as low as $1.50 because I just need to clear out some space! I also have new plans for that shop. My favorites are the amethyst pieces and skeleton key necklaces!

A third shop is also in the works that is not jewelry but I still need quite a few more things before I want to reveal it. I will, however, reveal the name. It is called What Girls Are Made Of. Anyone who does graphic work- I AM looking for a banner and avatars if someone can help me out. I can't spend money on anything right now but can do store credit instead if that interests you.

The legal mumbo-jumbo:
*Please note you only get the honor of naming a design if you design it AND purchase it. If you do not wish to make a purchase but would still like to come up with some design ideas you are more than welcome! All rights would belong to me, the artist. I cannot compensate anyone for their unpatented ideas.*

Saturday, February 13, 2010

One Year Ago Today...

...I took a pregnancy test and it came up positive! My sweet little Zoë was a tiny little embryo and is now this kicking, laughing, beautiful chunk. I found out the day before Valentine's Day that I was pregnant with her and she is definitely the best little Valentine I could ever ask for (well, other than her sisters; it's all equal when it comes to them).

Zoë means LIFE and she is definitely full of life. She knows what she wants and what to do to get it (read: cry). She loves to be involved and a part of whatever is going on around her. She can be very serious and watchful, too!

I'm very blessed to have the three most beautiful girls!

Valentine's gifts! LOVE the wrapping, too. ;-) They don't seem to mind! They opened theirs early since Daddy wasn't going to be here for Valentine's Day.

Fast asleep in the car, wearing her pink jacket from Michaelle!

This is what they were doing today- having "lunch" with their toys. Love how Z is looking over at me, too!

Getting so big!

*I realize my first sentence can be confusing. Read it along with the post title. I am not saying I am pregnant now. Just reminiscing about finding out a year ago about Z!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Motherhood is so glamorous!

So I was thinking about how glamorous motherhood makes me feel and thought I'd share!

1). Unwashed, unbrushed hair is the new trend! Seriously, try it out some time. Or if you're about to have a baby it might be inevitable unless you are absolutely beyond desperate. I've had moments of desperation where I push Z into Daniel's arms the moment he walks in the door and run upstairs!

2). You smell clothes to see if they can last another wearing before being washed. Hey, I KNOW that I'm not the only one who does this! I have caught my own husband sniffing his clothes just to "make sure". When you are doing a dozen loads in a week you have to start making everyone wear their pajamas and jeans another day before the wash.

3). Puke. Spit up. Down your shirt, between your breasts. 'Nuff said.

4). The days where you have the unwashed hair from #1 and you can't seem to find a moment to pee or brush your teeth or even eat anything beyond a handful of cookies from the cookie jar because that is just what is available and accessible.

5). Speaking of cookies from the cookie jar... your diet has just gone to H-E-double hockey sticks.

6). You cannot even recall the last time you put on some mascara and lip gloss. In fact... where is the lip gloss?! Oh yeah, your child ate it.

Being a mom is so very glam!

But I don't think I could trade it in for any great hair do, fabulous makeup job or even a daily shower. The toothless grins, the spontaneous "I love you!", the homemade cards and scribbles are so worth it. Besides, one day they'll be all grown up and you'll have all the time in the world to get all glam and clean............ that is until the grandkids come over and #3 happens.

***Do try to get at least 10 minutes to yourself everyday, Mommas!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Kid Quotes

Last night Daniel led Elaina in prayer. He said, "And Jesus, please heal those that are sick!" Elaina solemnly repeated, "And Jesus, please peel those that are sick!"

The other day I was telling Elaina how much I miss being a kid and that she should enjoy being a kid because adults have to do everything (thinking about paying bills, doing all the cleaning and shopping, etc.). And she pipes up, "Oh yeah! When you're big you have to wash your hands, get your own snack and get your own water!"

Hmm... if only that were all! Ha ha!

My girls have been such big helpers lately. Elaina has started doing some chores and is eager to help because I'm huge on positive reinforcement. They help and I gush because too often I find myself saying, "No!" or find myself having to correct them. I know too much can be detrimental so there are times where a polite, "Thank you" suffices. But there are times when I just give them the bubbliest praise. I absolutely love the look on their face when they know Mommy is proud of them!

*ahem* Anyway, back to my story! So one day I go grocery shopping and when I get home Elaina and Abigail are emptying bags and helping me put cold things in the fridge!

If you know me you know that I get completely engrossed in what I am doing and may not notice the things going on around me. So I'm really into putting pantry items away when I notice that some things are missing. I start looking everywhere for the food. I open the fridge... lo and behold there are cans of tomatoes and boxed popcorn in the fridge!

So the moral of the story is that if you ask a toddler to help you put groceries away and you can't find something........ check the fridge!

I had to go through my Facebook statuses to find some of these and jot them in here so I could remember. There are so many things that Elaina and Abigail have both been saying and doing but I just cannot find the file in my brain. I really want to make sure I get these memories on here more often.

What have your little chickens been up to?
(*chickens is my pet name for kids)

Friday, February 5, 2010

One of these days!


This is so not like me to be such a slacker in the blogging department! So much to say and so little time. It's already past midnight here but I had to give a quick update on the happenings here.
-Zoë has really found her voice this past week! She has been screeching up a storm and she really sounds like a little girl when she does it. She does this funny thing after a cough or sneeze that is so ladylike that almost sounds like "Awww".

-She is also a spitter! She loves to spit. She'll stick out her tongue and drool will start flying. It's really quite cute! All of my girls are noisy babies. I thought before she was born that she might be the quiet one. Um, no! She also does this funny thing where she'll whine herself to sleep as loudly as she can. So loud you cannot hear to talk!

-Still bed-sharing! I'm hoping that once it starts warming up outside we can start transitioning her to her room if she's feeling up to it. It's so cold in our house that our body heat keeps each other warm at night. 

-I am SHEDDING! Like crazy. At this rate I may not have hair next month. Absolute craziness! I hate it. I have to clean out my brush every time I use it.

-I've lost a few pounds and am so close to pre-pregnancy weight (pre-pregnancy with Zoë anyway!). I'll be happy losing 40-50 lbs. I'm taking it 10 lbs at a time and not really over-thinking it. The 30 Day Shred hasn't been touched in a couple weeks now. I really need to find the time to do it because I know I'll see better results.

-I reopened my Etsy shops: HERE and HERE. Getting rid of current inventory so I can start fresh and new. I started another shop but it isn't open yet and won't be until I make some money first (ooh, surprises!!!). I want to continue making jewelry but not just hand-stamped items. I'm actually interested in learning on new techniques and new styles of jewelry. I want to really do a whole revamp on my shop. If you decide you see something you love, you live in the USA and you follow my blog LET ME KNOW at checkout and I'll ship to you for free (refund via PayPal). My pictures totally suck but the items are actually very pretty IRL! Pictures don't do them justice.

That's all for now lovelies! Keep checking my giveaway blog!!! I just put up some Cowgirl Chocolates to giveaway. Spicy chocolate? Yes! Also a giveaway for a pearl necklace, a Vital ID bracelet for your child and all sorts of other goodies!!! Go check it out. Enter! I've won a few giveaways myself (will post when I get the items in the mail) so don't think, "Oh I won't win!" because you might!!!