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Archive for June, 2008

Who's This Entrepreneur? One in an Occasional Series

June 29th, 2008 at 04:41 pm

What could be better than a satisfying hobby that creates income? The members of the California Crafters Club on Etsy (CCCOE) sink time into handcrafting and offering products for sale. Each of us has a webstore, small business experience and delightful creativity.

We are a diverse and inspiring group of artists and entrepreneurs - please meet one of them!

Ocean Avenue Silks
Ocean Avenue Silks is a woman owned business, producing exquisite small luxuries on a budget wallet. You don’t have to go to Paris (like I did years ago) to choose an original hand dyed silk scarf. So save gas, relax and browse from your own town.

SILK SCARF IN SOFT PLUM


click for more detail
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=11550514


PRETTY CHEAP JEWELRY: Tell me about your product.
OCEAN AVENUE SILKS: My company specializes in making hand painted silk scarves. Each scarf is painted one at a time and has its own unique characteristics.

It is a 3 step process to dye a scarf:

*Stretch the silk tightly on a frame.

*Painting. I use non-toxic DuPont dyes from France, a sponge brush, lots of water, and coarse kosher salt. The salt is actually what creates the patterning on the scarf.

*Steam set the dyes, which usually takes several hours.

My supplies come from Dharmatrading.com and their website has a wealth of information on fabric painting.

PRETTY CHEAP JEWELRY: How did you learn your craft.
OCEAN AVENUE SILKS: I stumbled into silk painting after a series of artistic jobs in the apparel field. Silk painting became a wonderful way to express my love of color. I love the process of painting on silk, how the colors combine so beautifully, the richness of the fabric.

I like to “go with the flow” and see what happens naturally with each scarf. A great philosophy for life too!

BANDANA SILK SCARF IN CHAMPAGNE

click for more detail
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=9490099


PRETTY CHEAP JEWELRY: Would you tell others to start a homebased business.
OCEAN AVENUE SILKS: Creating and selling my scarves has been so rewarding that I would definitely encourage others to start a homebased business! With a caveat! Be realistic. It takes a lot of hard work to start a business, and may take a while to make a profit.

PRETTY CHEAP JEWELRY: Will Ocean Avenue Silks be the same in 5 years, 10 years.
OCEAN AVENUE SILKS: I am still in the early stages of having my own business, and there is so much for me to learn! A long term future goal is to have Ocean Avenue Silks be my main source of income but remain a home based business with one employee (me!).

Regardless of the year, customers should always feel that the scarf they are wearing was made just for them.

ROSE FLORAL SILK SCARF

click for more detail
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=10020950


PRETTY CHEAP JEWELRY: Leave us with something to remember you by.
OCEAN AVENUE SILKS: Claude Monet rang true in this simple quote:
“Colour is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.”

BURNT ORANGE SILK SCARF

click for more detail
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=12473196


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And last but not least! "In honor of being the first featured member of CCCOE, I would like to offer Saving Advicer’s 10% off and free shipping on the purchase of any silk scarf! Put “Pretty Cheap Jewelry” in notes to seller at check-out and wait for a revised invoice."

BLUES AND YELLOWS SILK BANDANA

click for more detail
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=10292438


SAPPHIRE SILK CHIFFON SCARF

click for more detail
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=12463286

Reduce! Medical Costs of Aging

June 24th, 2008 at 03:59 pm

My brother (the geriatic psychology specialist) passed me this common $$ and sense article:

http://online.barrons.com/article/SB121401025091693871.html?...

Now if we could only recycle the years.

Tried Hard for Good Deals on Kids Clothes

June 22nd, 2008 at 03:06 pm

My kids are finally getting a little too old to thrift shop for clothes.

The 10-yo boy cannot wear thrift jeans anymore. There are few in his size or they are hopelessly torn. With the exception of checking the girl's section because he is a very slim, smaller than average size.

The 8-yo girl is still ok with the thrift but is getting a little more sophisticated and enjoys comparing/selecting new clothes now. I am happy to shop with her as it is time to learn/practice how to navigate the retail world.

Her summer shorts/coulottes (what they now call skorts) wardrobe was pretty worn out as most were from thrifts LAST year. Off we went to Target and Penney's...

Shorts and tops were marked down a little at Target. Shorts ~ $7 and Tanks ~ $4. We took 2 shorts. She noticed the stretchy bra/camisoles aisle and was interested. We discussed/tried on one 'bra' and she decided on one camisole instead ~ $7.

Target total ~ $21.

At Penneys the 'come on' was -buy 1 full price girl item, get one 88cents. The full price items of course were double what they should be ($25 for pants!). Most of the summer things were sale priced at $10 already.

It took lots of comparing and deciding. Three trips to the dressing room later we chose-
1 nice loose capris (price marked $25 but scanned at $5!)
1 leggings $16.99 (too high!)
1 jeans for 88c (since we took the leggings at full price)
1 khaki shorts $10

Penneys total $35

Number items both stores 7
Total spent both stores $60

So about $10 per item. This is not really a good deal imo. But happy to have quality time with little girl, start her learning/looking at retail clothes. She is skipping around in her new duds too Big Grin

Surprise! 'Who else' was Florence Nightengale?

June 19th, 2008 at 02:57 pm

Surprises delight in all kinds of ways! First, take a look at the surprising re-use of a sparkling vintage rhinestone bracelet I remade into part of an elegant evening clutch.







Specially features: garnet colored jacquard designer sample fabric, fully lined, velcro closure, vintage one-of-a-kind rhinestone bracelet handle.

I am allowing special order only on this item at an introductory price HALF OFF before it sells at a summer festival. Get it now for $18.00 but hurry offer expires Sunday 6/22/08.

Email prettycheapjewelry@gmail.com or private message me here to arrange purchase through my shop Pretty Cheap Jewelry
http://www.prettycheapjewelry.com

Thanks and have a beautiful day.

Florence Nightengale founded the Elizabeth Arden cosmetic company, coined the term 'make over', and produced the first makeup containing no toxic ingredients.

From the 1930's through the 1960's, Elizabeth Arden was considered the most exclusive cosmetic brand, with celebrated clients such as Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth II, Marilyn Monroe, Jacqueline Kennedy, Marlene Dietrich, Joan Crawford, Wallis Simpson and Mamie Eisenhower.
Read more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Arden

Letterboxing...or Geocaching on a Budget

June 17th, 2008 at 01:49 pm

Staying home, or near home for vacation because of gas prices?

Here is a fun, inexpensive, educational and all around wholesome thing to do this summer!

Letterboxing. Folks all over the country have placed little 'treasure' boxes outdoors in secret places and you are able to go on a treasure hunt to find them. The idea is to find the box, put a stamp or mark on the log in the box, and leave it for the next treasure seeker.

Go to the website to find hidden caches near you. The site gives an over view of the game, and a list of the letterboxes with clues on their whereabouts.

http://www.letterboxing.org

Some caches are easy! My 10-yr-old nabbed his first one yesterday. Some are more complicated and you might need a compass.



Letterboxing is similar to geocaching, a more sophisticated treasure hunt set up by those using GPS units.

We left a few trinkets in the box as well, ie a marble, eraser, etc. Have fun and good lettering!

Cache for $35

June 15th, 2008 at 08:40 pm

Scored at Susies Deals - 9 things for about $35.50!

1 jeans capri
5 tops
1 sweatshirt
2 kids tops

my clothes budget is sooooo small, partly because I'll shop at the Thrift and pay full price at Susie's ocassionally ($5.99!). They have a website with locations if you want to go (mostly in the West).

http://www.susiesdeals.com

Ironic Front Page

June 12th, 2008 at 06:47 pm

Anyone else notice the front page of the LA Times today?

Column One. This column is usually a special interest report and today it is about extremely high end retirement communities. "Paying in Gold for the Golden Years" about select places where you get a chaffeured Cadillac to shop for groceries, or a dog walker will take care of your mutt. Some resident is quoted about living on "a cruise ship without the water".

Then a little further down the front page...

Fame without Fortune. An article about how Ed McMahon, among other celebrities, are irresponsibly missing payments on homes, loans, etc. Failing to plan for the unfamous times no doubt.

Anyway, I haven't read either article in detail yet, and of course the news (and all media) are fairly subjective and incompletely unbiased.

I've noticed many conflicting stories like this in the newspaper, magazines lately. Might blog it more often.

Had time to read the whole thing. Additional portions of the articles:
The expensive communities are home to those like high retired government officials (cabinet members), retired prestigious college professors (Stanford), and the like. Assisted care and nursing care are extensions of the services. These are not really outrageous in perspective, some who planned for retirement well and have thousands in monthly dividend or pension income are very pleased with the arrangements.

The other article on the st*pid celebrities sums it up by explaining the mentality of fame obscures common sense and planning for the inevitable future fall is forgotten. Not to mention the agent, publicist, manager, and other stupid expenses the celebrity agrees to.

I'm doing everything right, it's the economy st*pid

June 11th, 2008 at 07:05 pm

After months of distilling and exercising no cost internet marketing venues, I am pleased with these successes:

...my last mailing list post got almost 200 views (there's only 125 on the list so I know it got passed around a little)

...selected items in my shop have over 500 views (particularly ones that were part of a promotion)

...dozens of additional new contacts are being requested in my flickr (photo sharing) and twitter (networking) sites

But it is frustrating to see no new sales from all the buzz.

Patience, everyone's pocket money is going into their gas tanks.

JC Penney $10 This Time

June 10th, 2008 at 05:22 pm

I used the $10 for anything at JC Penney on a new shower curtain for the kids bathroom.

Glad to get a better, longer lasting one already marked down to about $16. Sorry it was just a quilted white fabric, not more wacky fun for a kids bath.

Also forgot the fabric curtains are best installed with a liner, so I purchased one for $4.

Hmmmm, spent about $20 plus tax, less the $10 coupon. Bleh, means it was $10 out of pocket.

I have sewed shower curtains and liners in the past, but didn't have time or motivation this time. Probably will do it next time since the replacement buys me a couple years.

And the old one? It is earmarked to move to the new weekend house (we are building in the country). A few weeks away from final approval! Another few weeks away from livability. The bath needs a shower curtain or we are not going to be getting clean!

Back Yard Harvesting

June 9th, 2008 at 01:22 pm

The garlic was ready yesterday, enough to last months. A little broccoli too (no pic). Celery is going to seed (will probably harvest the seed).



Up next?
tomatoes
nectarines
apples
grapes

and a BIG sunflower my kid planted. Love that one and might do a whole row next summer.

5 + 1 tips on Saving Money on Gas

June 7th, 2008 at 10:11 pm

Below is an entry I made on my mailing list group. It contains interesting info sent to me via email 'supposedly' originating from a refinery worker. Might be urban legend, but seems some elements might be truth. And probably contains enough thoughts to help with the cost of gas.

http://groups.google.com/group/prettycheapjewelrymailinglist...

The first tip is a ringer, must advise.

Yet another inexpensive marketing site found - Kaboodle

June 6th, 2008 at 03:25 pm

The LA Times reported yesterday of the rising popularity of the social shopping site Kaboodle.

I am going to give it a try; opening an account and making a little list of some of my items while keeping the sales pitch very light hearted.

Anyone else out there familiar with this site?

Silly Twitter

June 4th, 2008 at 03:35 pm

Have you heard of Twitter?
http://www.twitter.com

It sort of a sound bite blog site. You enter one or two sentences and others 'follow' you. Or you can 'follow' others. It seems originally meant for family and friends to keep in contact via text messages, or instant messaging (I don't do either).

If you do a search for 'bargain' or 'frugal' there are folks posting coupons and good stuff constantly (I follow a few).

Any tips on best use of this site for posting my small business greatly appreciated! I have been on it a couple days and am learning the ropes.

BTW, I am completely not responsible for any time sink on your part if you end up twittering.

Bye Bye Butterfly Pin

June 3rd, 2008 at 06:45 pm

A smart shopper picked up this item from my internet shop yesterday, marked 1/2 off!

Fringed Butterfly Pin




Other items are getting loads of views, so I must be doing something right Smile

I kneaded this...

June 2nd, 2008 at 03:57 pm

Sad News To Report

Please join me in remembering a great icon of the entertainment community. The Pillsbury Doughboy died yesterday of a yeast infection and trauma complications from repeated pokes in the belly. He was 71.

Doughboy was buried in a lightly greased coffin. Dozens of celebrities turned out to pay their respects, including Mrs. Butterworth, Hungry Jack, the California Raisins, Betty Crocker, the Hostess Twinkies, and Captain Crunch. The grave site was piled high with flours.

Aunt Jemima delivered the eulogy and lovingly described Doughboy as a man who never knew how much he was kneaded. Doughboy rose quickly in show business, but his later life was filled with turnovers. He was not considered a very smart cookie, wasting much of his dough on half-baked schemes. Despite being a little flaky at times he still was a crusty old man and was considered a positive roll model for millions.

Doughboy is survived by his wife Play Dough, two children, John Dough and Jane Dough, plus they had one in the oven. He is also survived by his elderly father, Pop Tart.

The funeral was held at 3:50 for about 20 minutes.

If this made you smile for even a brief second, please rise to the occasion and take time to pass it on and share that smile with someone else who may be having a crumby day and kneads it.