Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Informative Post on Fonts, Pearls, Crystals and Ordering at Joy Belle

This is an informative post. It is a means to share photos of my fonts, design stamps, Swarovski crystals, pearls and to provide any other pertinent information to help you in customizing your hand-stamped jewelry at Joy Belle.

Please read carefully. Click photos to enlarge.

I do not charge extra to custom stamp your jewelry with your preferences. Custom stamping is included in the price of the piece you are interested in; excluding pre-stamped items.


Design stamps are fun little characters, swirls, flowers and many other things that help personalize your jewelry!

LIMITATIONS: Because nickel and steel are such hard metals I can only use specific designs, shown on the silver metals in the image below.
However ANY design shown below can be stamped on brass, copper or sterling, which are softer metals

New designs are added all the time but are costly. If you want a design not pictured I require an extra $5.00 toward purchasing the new design stamp. Individual design stamps can run from $9-$15 each; all I ask is for $5.00 to help cover the cost of adding a new stamp to complete your item.




Please note that most necklaces include a certain number of 4mm crystals or glass pearls.
Extras are $2.00 each.
If you have ANY questions contact me.


Glass Pearls::

 Freshwater Pearls:

various sizes (4mm, 6mm)
Freshwater Pearls WILL VARY in appearance! Each is unique!
Pearls are wire-wrapped on a silver ball head pin by me!
Extras are $2.00 each.


Shown in order from top to bottom:
18" sterling silver box chain
30" solid stainless steel 2.4mm ball chain
18" silver-colored 1.2mm ball chain
30" antique copper 1.2mm ball chain
16" bright copper 2.4mm ball chain

Each listing specifies which chain is included for the price.


I have begun phasing out my sterling silver in favor of stainless steel. Stainless steel more affordable and I have found it looks so much like the sterling but with more benefits.

Stainless Steel...
-... is hypoallergenic
-... does not tarnish
-... does not rust
-... it is a very hard metal
-... has more weight (some people compare quality to the weight of a pendant)

However Sterling Silver...
-... contains a trace of nickel which many people are sensitive to
-... is a very soft metal so it can get bent
-... tarnishes very easily

Ordering is so easy! Follow these simple directions:
1). Find items you want and click "Add to Cart".
2). In the box that says "Note to JoyBelleJewelry" include all relevant information to customizing your jewelry. Each listing has specifics for what can or cannot be customized. Please read all descriptions carefully and leave me directions accordingly per the directions given.
3). Click on 'Pay with PayPal' (you do not need an account)
4). VERIFY SHIPPING ADDRESS! Must be your EXACT city, not a metro city.
7). You'll be redirected back to Etsy and must click on COMPLETE to complete your order.

I will see your order, rest assured. I only message you after you place an order if I have a question.

Have an idea in mind but don't see it in the shop? Message me with your ideas and I will give you a quote and try to make it happen. You never know until you ask and I message within 2 days during the weekday. I try to stay offline during the weekend to be with my family and complete orders from the week.

I do not charge secondary shipping. This means you can order as much as you want, at one time, and only pay one shipping charge (unless shipping to multiple addresses!). Placing a separate order after your first order will incur a new shipping charge.

I also run the shop The Twisted Willows and will combine shipping between the shops. In order to do that you can either checkout, pay and I will refund you. Or you can message me first with everything you're wanting to purchase.

In a rush?! Priority Shipping is $5 in the USA. Etsy is not currently set up for you to choose a shipping option. You must message me before placing your order for me to update your shipping.

Shipping charges account for postage, shipping materials (such as the envelope), ink and paper for shipping labels, etc. The USPS changes their prices and because of this shipping charges are subject to change without notice.

International buyers - there are restrictions on shipping jewelry to many countries. If you want to place an order please visit and calculate your shipping. I will verify once you message me and will update listings with your shipping price. I can only ship Priority International.

Each necklace comes in a plastic zip-top pouch. I can wrap in tissue paper if you need them gift-wrapped.

•*´¯`•.¸.• *´¯`•.¸.•DISCLAIMER*´¯`•.¸.• *´¯`•.¸.•
Each little letter and design is stamped one-by-one by me. Your item may not come out lined up or centered perfectly. Part of the nature and beauty of hand-stamped jewelry is that they are perfectly imperfect. Please understand this before making your purchase. If you want perfection then machine-engraving is the way to go.

♥ Joy Belle ♥

If you are confused or have any questions do not hesitate to message me. I work Monday through Friday in my shop, mostly in the evenings. I will try to get back with you within 2 days.


I have had quite a few blog posts rolling around in my head lately and was going to post one tonight. Until I got a message from my niece tonight telling me there was an emergency and to call my brother. My grandma was found in her home having passed away. She could have passed that day or several days before. My grandpa has dementia and thought she was sleeping. My aunt called the police to check on her (she lives several states away) since she hadn't heard from her in several days and they found her.

Unexpected death. This was my mom's mom. She was a hardcore, work-until-I-can't-work-anymore feminist who wasn't ever supposed to pass. I have no idea why she died or when. But I do know there is a time for all of us to go. It's just unreal for a death to happen unexpectedly. Morbidly enough I thought her husband (who is seriously ill) or my other grandma would have passed first before this bulldog of a woman.

I can't say I was terribly close to my grandma or her kids (other than my own mom of course). But I know what it feels like to lose my mother and more than anything I hurt for her two remaining children and step-child who are beyond devastated. And she always sent my kids birthday cards even though she's only ever met Elaina. I was hoping to see them when they moved closer in just a couple weeks to show off my babies since I can't show them off to my own mom.

It's just really sad and I don't know how to process this. My initial reaction telling Daniel was try cry and I did but then I got "all business" and jumped up saying I needed to call my sister. And I do have a funny part to tell about this and I know my mom and grandma, rest their souls, were probably laughing at us down here.

It is hard to get a call out of our house on the cell phone but the only way I can use long distance is to use the cell. So I go into the furtherest room at the back of the house and hold up the phone looking for bars, just like in the movies. I dial, my sister answers and I proceed to tell her what happened. My poor husband told me if this wasn't so devastating he would've been laughing. I think it's good to laugh, even when death is involved. It's good to live! So here's what happened:

ME: "Julie? Grandma died."
JULIE: "What happened? You're breaking up!"
ME: "Grandma was found dead in her home."
JULIE: "I still can't hear you. Grandma what?"
ME: "She's dead."
JULIE: "She what?"
ME: "Grandma is dead."
JULIE: "I still can't hear you..."
ME: "DIED. Grandma DIED!"  (Daniel says I was shouting at that point)
Finally got a strong signal and she heard me.

Oh technology. Even with all our advances we still have so many problems. I can only imagine Daniel listening in from the other room trying to stay composed and respectful which makes it funnier. Reminds me of the end of the movie Steel Magnolias when the ladies just break up in laughter at the end of the funeral.

My prayers are that your soul is resting in peace, Grandma.
And that you're finally home with Jesus and your daughter.

Friday, May 20, 2011

I do NOT think...

I have kind of put baby's birth on the back burner of my mind in the sense that I'm so focused on other things right now. So focused on my Etsy businesses and just being downright fatigued all day long that I have forgotten  three appointments! Yeah I'm a little spacey lately. But I have dreams almost every night of her birth. Of being caught somewhere in which I have an unexpected and unassisted birth (birth her by myself) or a surprise breech or even just a peaceful and painless water birth. There have been many, many different scenarios. The worst was being caught in public in labor and having everyone around me freak out, calling 911 and EMTs holding me down and making me go to the hospital and feeling absolutely powerless. My mind is subconsciously working through different scenarios; the good, the bad and the downright ugly.

But I do have "plans" for Izaria's birth. By a plan I do not mean that I have a little schedule of what is going to happen and when. I simply mean a list of ideals or preferences, both in non-emergency and in the case of emergency. That is what a birth plan is, after all. It isn't a time sheet of what IS going to happen but just a list of preferences.

I plan to not have drugs this birth. I plan to be in the water. I plan to give birth at a birth center rather than a hospital or home. I plan to not clamp the cord or have ointment in my baby's eyes. And so much more. Basically I plan to arrive at the birth center, be quiet and alone with my husband, daughters, midwife and deliver my baby... and shortly afterward go home. I plan all of this based on countless hours of research (researching both sides of each argument for each and every thing).

Plans change and I think my mind playing out different scenarios is just giving me a glimpse of other ways the birth could happen and how I would feel or react to it. I think it's important to be open to things happening another way, such as not having a water birth with Zoë as I had wanted. Am I okay with that? Yup! Her birth was beautiful. However with Zoë I did accept a shot of some kind (Stadol or something similar) and wasn't okay with that. It doesn't take away pain. Seriously ask anyone who has had it. I have never had someone say their narcotic (Stadol, Demerol, etc.) brought them relief; just made them feel drunk, stupid, weak and dizzy and unable to focus properly during contractions; the pain was still there and not dulled in the least.

Sometimes it takes doing something you don't like to get an idea of what you might like. Many times women who've had traumatic birth experiences look to alternatives like unassisted birth, home birth, midwifery care, a new OB, etc. because they find themselves victimized during what is supposed to be the most beautiful and sacred moment of their life. Birth does matter.

And I just had to take a moment to say that - just because I am pro-natural birth and pro-midwife and pro-homebirth and birth centers does NOT mean that I think I am better than you if you are going another route. I simply mean to share what I feel for MY birth experience. And I do not intend to generalize as our birth system is highly complex with a myriad of issues on all ends of the spectrum.

Of course this isn't directed at anyone at all. I really am not thinking of any individual person as I type this. I just had to get it out because I do talk often about birth and the last thing I want is to make anyone feel isolated or judged. And also I will probably be writing a lot more about my views on birth in the upcoming weeks as her birth month draws closer. So please keep an open and patient heart with me. My only goal is to clear my mind, get myself geared up for her birth, surround myself with positivity and prayer and hopefully empower you in your journey as well, even if it is a tiny bit.

And just to add this in because I have a feeling someone might ask, "How WOULD you feel if you ended up having a cesarean because you're so set on not having drugs and doing things naturally?":

If I end up having to have a cesarean I want to feel part of that decision (unless of course I'm unconscious and it's the only sensible thing to do!). Which is why it was important for me to choose a birth place that has a very, very low cesarean rate. My midwives at the birth center don't have narcotics or epidurals nor do any of them perform cesareans (they are not surgeons; OBs are). Therefore they only transfer in a true emergency or at the parents' request. Their cesarean rate (AKA transfer rate to the hospital for a c-section) is less than 2% compared to over 35% at area hospitals.

I feel comfortable knowing that I will be transferred in a true emergency and not because I'm on their clock. I have preferences for a cesarean if that is what happens, such as double-sutures and having Daddy stay with baby the entire time if they are breathing well, etc. just as I have preferences in a no intervention vaginal birth. I feel that I have put myself in a position of least intervention which drastically decreases the risk of needing a cesarean and in an environment that is favorable to having a quiet, peaceful birth where I can take my time and be taken care of. However if the need for a cesarean would arise from that place of peace where the midwives are very keen on detecting problems and only transferring in an emergency I would be all aboard to save my child's life and even my own life if it was that dramatic.

There is always a way to have a voice in YOUR birth, no matter how the birth plays out.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Inspired Birth

There is a giveaway going on for a free copy of the book Inspired Birth by Birth a Miracle Services!!! I'm so excited to be entering to win this book as a hopeful Childbirth Educator and Momma and Christian!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

On My Mind; A To Do List

Okay I feel like I have a lot to do. I still have 20 weeks to finish preparing and am not in a huge rush at the moment. But I need to get my To Do's down and sort through my jumbled thoughts.

For Elaina and Abigail:
-Finish painting Abigail's dresser drawers and desk
-Finish painting the trim in both girls' new rooms
-Hang wall decor
-Order replacement windows
-Move the rest of furniture to 3rd story rooms
-Paint Elaina's dresser knobs pink

For Zoë:
-Move her things into the big girls' old room when they're out
-Move her to a Big Girl bed
-Mud holes in the walls, sand, touch-up and hang her decor

For Baby:
-With Zoë out of nursery begin painting nursery (WHAT COLOR?!)
-Purchase glider (it's my 'guilty want' this pregnancy!)
-Schedule 3D sonogram for mid-to-late July if we have moolah
-Install infant seat (early Sept)
-Pack bag (early Sept)
-Get bassinet and other gadgets put together

I'm sure there's more but those are the main things on my mind right now.


I'm 20 weeks and we're halfway to meeting Izaria!!! I am absolutely stoked. One fear I had before the sonogram was placenta previa. I had never had this before and I think the reason I was worried about it was because I knew having it (and it not correcting itself) could mean the end to the natural water birth I'm envisioning for this baby's birth. Placenta previa is when the placenta completely or partially covers the cervical opening and it can pose risks such as pre-term labor and there is a slight risk to baby because if the placenta detaches early (higher risk of that happening with previa) it could mean baby doesn't get oxygen. Having placenta previa is an immediate ticket to the O.R. for cesarean delivery and I thank God for the technology we have for women who do have placenta previa so their babies are born alive and well! But I must admit my relief for not having a previa.

We found out the placenta was up high and in the front. What I'm loving most this pregnancy so far is how much I can feel her so early on because it isn't immediately in front and center of my belly like with her big sisters. Movements with them were so inconsistent these earlier weeks. I feel Izaria all the time!

Zoë is starting to pat my belly and say "Baby" and she even kisses my belly. I'll ask her where the baby is and she'll pat my belly (or sometimes my breast, ha ha!). I showed the older girls birth videos online as they are interested in being at the birth and I wanted them to be prepared. Well Zoë can't stand to be left out of anything so she toddled over and watched the videos as well. I think that is when she got that babies can be in tummies because before that when I'd try to tell her about the baby it was like the lights weren't on upstairs. It just didn't make sense to her.

But now she's all about the belly. I was trying to get Zoë to say baby sister's name today and it came out "Zah-ruh". She mostly just says the sounds rather than the letters. So darn cute! When she tries to say Izzy it sounds like "Zizzzzzzy" (one long "z" sound with a vowel in there somewhere).

I'm nervous about Zoë's reaction when baby Izzy is actually here though. If her big sisters try to cuddle on my lap Zoë screams at the top of her lungs, starts crying and pushes them away. I've been trying to ignore that behavior and calmly tell her it is Elaina's turn or Abigail's turn to sit with Mommy so she gets used to others having my attention. Plus I want time with my big girls, too!

I have to remind myself that Elaina was the same way (minus older siblings to push out of the way). She was on Momma and with Momma all day and everyday. I remember fretting over how she'd react when Abigail arrived but she did great. I'm praying Zoë is ready!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

And Baby is a.......................................

The day is finally here! I can tell you what we're having!!! By the time this post goes up (I'm writing this Saturday night and scheduling it to post on Sunday afternoon) we'll be cutting up a cake that has either blue or pink frosting in the center for my mom-in-law's birthday. So when we cut into the cake the family will get to see if baby is a boy or a girl!!! I'll post those pics or vid later (probably a vid).

Okay blah blah blah!

Just get to the good stuff!

What did you have for lunch today?

I'm really tired... and hungry now that I asked about lunch....

Okay so most of you just scrolled down to the picture immediately anyway..... I know it was YOU!

Here you go.................

Surprised? Shocked?! We were! We ALL thought baby was a boy! For the few who voted GIRL you were spot on! Four girls. I'm just beyond shocked, ha ha!

I think her name is.....................

.......Izaria Jewel.

Izaria is from the Hebrew name Azaria which means "Whom God has Saved". I just didn't want two "A" names in the family (we have Abigail) so I switched out the "A" for an "I" because I'm cool like that. Her name would be pronounced i-zar-ee-uh. Her nickname would most likely be Izzy or Iza (short "I" sound on those; not long like the given name).

Our children's middle names are always after a family member but with a little twist to be unique; Elaina Joi (different spelling), Abigail Lynn (after mom-in-law Lindee) and Zoë Beth (after aunt's middle name Elizabeth).

Daniel is the one who came up with the middle name because I wanted to use either Sue after my mom's middle name or Ann after my sister's middle name but they just didn't fit smoothly. Then in a light-bulb moment - he suggested my sister's nickname. Brilliant! (My sister is Julie Ann and we call her Jewels all the time.)

Daniel is still sitting on the name because he can't just commit to something in the spur of the moment (seriously... like ever! Unless it has to do with [good] food or wrestling or the Chiefs). But I'm pretty sure that is going to end up being her name! Will let you know when he finallllllllllly commits!

A namesake. A name. A GIRL! Ahhhhh! I just can't believe it. I'm getting a 3D scan just to be sure (I do this EVERY pregnancy because I'm never convinced, ha ha). And not because I don't want a girl but because I am a planner and NEED to be 100% sure or at least 99% sure.

I'm rambling. I'm excited! Okay go on your merry ways!