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Archive for January, 2012

$5 and Pick Up? Plus FREE Ring

January 27th, 2012 at 01:39 pm

We are finally beyond the grade school Valentine Day parties where you make 30 little cards with a treat and pass out to the whole class. Yay!! We all remember those fondly from our childhood, so don't think I wish them away. I'm just glad to resign from that particular craziness.

Seems I still have a sugar rush, because I plan to give my kids a little happy surprise perhaps that morning before school. Oh, not sugary anything, but warm and fuzzy something.

A few weeks back at JCPenneys I saw lots of those fuzzy slipper shoes on sale left over from Christmas. Lots of colors, lots of furry types, lots that I would love to lounge around in. But I passed them up that day. Not on the WE NEED list.

But I looked them up on-line in case there any left for giving my kids on Vday. As I suspected, lots left and now they are practically giving them away!

These are $6 and no charge if I pick up at the store:


There are also a $5 pair like this:


OK, how easy is that?

Now it is a matter of saying 'I love you' to my sentimental, surprise loving husband. I am so practical and am surprising him with a travel umbrella from REI. He wants one that will stand up to winds, and REI is very good about standing behind their equipment for many years. I better pull out some slinky thing to wear with that when I give it to him!

Let me leave you with a special offer...

FREE Amethyst Ring with purchase of any 3 things from Pretty Cheap Jewelry (shown below). Faceted amethyst on adjustable sterling silver band. Don't forget it is the February birthstone!



Thoughtful greeting cards ($3.50 ea), glamourous hand beaded gloves (kids and adults) and many other original designs to choose from. THANK YOU for patronizing a small MADE IN THE USA business.

Still Cutting and Pasting

January 25th, 2012 at 10:02 am

This Sunday I'll have a table outside the door of our local art gallery in the harbor. As a member of the art association, this is a benefit and costs me nothing. The fiscal return on the time is not much (sometimes not anything!) but having my handmade original jewelry and cards for sale more often in front of real live people is one of my small business goals this year.

Two more collage cards are now online at Pretty Cheap Jewelry. Surprise! The citrus card is getting way more attention than the rhinestone nose!

You Are Beautiful Brunette Hair

Send an uplifting message to your beau on Valentine's Day!

You Are Beautiful Blond Hair

Anonymous face and a diamond watch, what else do you need?

More free fun and one of a kind wares if you add yourself to my email list (left sidebar) for freebies and special offers. Thanks to all!

Scissors and Oprah Mash Up

January 23rd, 2012 at 02:00 pm

One of these days I'm going to have a grown up party where each guest gets a sharp scissors, glossy used magazine, and bottle of rubber cement.

They will be seated around a big table, h'ors douerve and drink in hand with the goal to CUT AND PASTE UP. Perhaps the party will have a theme such as someone we know's impending wedding. Or get well to a common friend's illness.

And let the hilarity follow. Look what you can do with an old magazine, a blank card and some imagination!

BARK WOOF EXACTLY

Attentive pup tells it like it is. I cut this little terrier from the latest issue of Oprah's magazine folks!

ORANGE YOU GLAD I DIDN'T SAY ...

Shy smile under a diamond studded star will get you results on Valentines day!

LAUGH SERIOUSLY

Can you believe this shoe?! (Also from 'O'). Bold but never rude.

Some of these now on my website if you can't resist for $3.50 ea. See them HERE

Cost? Almost nothing. I use a pack of commercial blank buff cards and envelopes (about $5 for 25 from Michaels). A special glue (not water based) gives the best results such as rubber cement.

Can you imagine what I might do with a Consumer Reports magazine? Sierra (Club magazine)? or Discover? Check back cause I'm still at it!

What do you have in your mailbox? Get your scissors out and have fun!

Score: Card Making 1, Yoga Pants 0

January 17th, 2012 at 02:09 pm

A great tip to save money? Leave the less critical shopping at the bottom of the To Do list. Obvious, but maybe a good habit to internalize.

For example? On the extra day off I had on my To Do list:

--Buy milk and school lunch provisions
--Special trip to the health food store
--Unpack and try out brand new slow cooker
--Make cards with dried flowers readied long ago
--Finish treasure chest necklace
--Stop in the local art store (check my jewelry stock)
--Trip to outlet mall for yoga pants

Now a day off is one of the scheduling rarities good for wading through an outlet mall! And I really have put off purchasing but would LOVE some long lasting black stretch pants (the pairs I have are 5 and 10 years old). But instead of rushing around trying to do it all, and undoubtedly shortchanging my kids necessary attention and time, I prioritized the list like this:

1. Finish treasure chest necklace. All that was left was adding leather cording to complete the piece. I'd bought the leather earlier on a trip to JoAnns with a coupon when my daughter was in ice skate lesson. Finishing the necklace was a short project.

Magical Imaginative Treasure Chest Necklace


A little charming treasure chest (lid opens) hangs from a doodle chain dotted with sparkling crystals. Pure fun. Special order only.

2. Buy milk and school lunch provisions AND 2a. Special trip to the organic food store Since I wanted to proceed with #3 below, and hoped to make healthy trail mix for lunches, I combined the two tasks. Our health food store is not open Sundays so I rarely get there (once a year!?). But for once I made a leisurely, if quick trip to get dried papaya which my girl LOVES in trail mix (not easily available at a good price except at the Farmer's market) as well as date nuggets (also hard to find).

3. Unpack and try out brand new slow cooker I requested and received it from my family this past year, and decided to start with something big! Lasagne! It's a recipe that you don't have to cook the noodles. I made it once before in my old 1970s era model and it came out great.

4. Make cards with dried flowers prepared long ago It's best to devote a block of a several hours when making cards. Maybe I prefer a long session because I am fanatically neat and don't have room to leave the project out anyway. Soooooo, everything came out onto the table: flowers, glue, cardstock, and BIG books to press them overnight. Results? (wish the photos were brighter! They are much nicer in person)

BEAUTIFUL

A goblet holding ferns, white yarrow blooms and rosemary sends a beautiful message for any special accomplishment. Give it on graduation or engagement. I free hand cut the vase from scrap paper, and use plants and flowers from my yard.

SURPRISE

A vase of white yarrow blooms and rosemary sends a fun message. Great for a birthday or 'thinking of you'.

THANKS

Say thanks eloquently with a dried flower bouquet in a 'cut crystal vase'. I free hand cut the vase from a nostalgic rose pattern scrap paper. Plenty of detail with ruby geranium, tiny pink wildflower stalks, and rosemary sprigs. Order HERE

That's as far as I got with the To Do list. So what's missing?

Stop in the local art store (to check my jewelry stock)

Trip to outlet mall for yoga pants


I'll just have to squeeze a few more weeks or months out of the clothes I have. Or wait for another day off and a new To Do list!

Thanks for your reads Tweets and time ...

Double Duty Wed Eves

January 12th, 2012 at 02:22 pm

Wednesday nights are for ice skate lessons, and have been for the last 3 years. Being a diehard creature of habit, I do as always and hang out in the rink for what has become a 2 hour commitment wearing a winter coat, gloves and scarves. Think: being in a refrigerator for a couple hours.

Some parents read, some bring laptops (the rink has WiFi!), some make jewelry or sew (guess who??).

About a year ago a fitness club opened in one of the empty storefronts in the rink center. A few months later parking in the lot seemed to be getting tighter at the time of our ice lesson.

By the end of 2011, it was certain. Parking at the time our ice lesson was full because of a ZUMBA class over at the club. I watched once in the window, about 100 people were dancing away, Brazilian music and spanish lyrics blaring.

One of the moms (who's kid was also at ice lessons), in fact was going to the Zumba. I didn't really think about it much until a second mom remarked to me that it would be such an easy time to get in a work out for her.

OK !! That's all it took to plant the idea in my head. I WANTED to get a little more active beyond walks at work during lunch and an occasional weekend trail hike or bike ride.

BINGO !! They let me take 1 class free to try. NICE. Then the cost for the class turned out to be extremely acceptable. This club offers a punch card for 10 classes/$60. EASY! No sign up fee, no monthly fee.

There I am now on Wednesdays. 3 classes down, 7 to go. And renew?! I plan to for a couple more punch cards.

And maybe then a used Wii Zumba game??
Anyone out there with one and how is it?

Thx, The Frugal Artisan

Valentine Scroll Heart Earrings

Delicate gold shapes with a lustrous pearl drop now on sale for $5 only from Pretty Cheap Jewelry here

Officially Now the Home of the Hand Beaded Glove and Guitar String Bracelet

January 9th, 2012 at 02:38 pm

With the knowledge of about a 6.5 to 7 on a scale of 10, I track the visitors to my website with respect to time of day, item clicks and especially search terms used to find me.

It's RIDICULOUS how many ways folks (badly) spell jewelry by the way. 'Jewlry' 'Joolery' 'Jewlery' and more. Fortunately, they still find me.

Besides the key term 'cheap' (which is NOT what they actually WANT in jewelry, it's low price for good quality but which is the way folks will search and which is why I named myself PRETTY CHEAP JEWELRY), the next most frequent way I get found is by the key words:

GUITAR STRING BRACELET

-and-

KNIT GLOVES

Hmmm. I've noticed the first over the past couple years and have sold out of my stock just recently. It took me a while to develop the design, and my guitar string bracelet style is maybe the only feminine type out there. I use a fringe of mixed beads and charms wired onto the band. The beauty of the design is that any color scheme can be chosen, rich or casual look depending on the materials, and I am very very happy to be able to use any small quantity of beads left from previous projects (NO WASTE!)

Here is one in blues--
GUITAR STRING BRACELET


The second frequent search term landing visitors at my website is more of a surprise. Seems so general, and that there would be SOOOOO many others out there. Yet my knit gloves are different, hand beaded antique style, yet brand new. Or fun and happy kid styles, like these:

Kids Flower Power

Sparkling cuffs and bright yellow flowers hand sewn on pure white lightweight knit gloves. Happy hands for kids! See here for more info.

So!
I plan to make more guitar string bracelets in 2012.
And watch here for new glove designs.
Thanks for the read, tweets and your time ~
The Frugal Artisan

Make Me an Offer!

January 5th, 2012 at 02:55 pm

Time to clear inventory in my jewelry and crafting stock. My goals include to design and produce fewer higher end pieces in 2012, though still some fun jewelry that sold well in 2011.

The discontinued stock includes many original designs at 1/2 price (see below). What do you think?

THREE FEATHER BARRETTES - BIG BEAUTIFUL HAIR ACCESSORIES



Each of these barrettes is made from completely humane, naturally shed feathers that I've collected in the environment. Not only are they much longer lasting than hair crimp feathers, the style is BOLD ORIGINAL and UNIQUE. No one else has anything like it, everyone else will ask where you got it!

PRICED HALF OFF $4.25 ea

See bottom 3 items here for more detail and to order.

**ASK ME FOR A SHIPPING REFUND ON A SINGLE ORDER FOR ALL 3**

More sales coming, check back soon!

Perfect Ending

January 4th, 2012 at 11:32 am

As Saturday of last weekend approached we had our usual busy afternoon of dance and figure skating lesson schedules. But wait!! It was the last night of the year!

My husband was away at his mother's for the night ... 100 miles away. It was just me and 2 kids.

What to do? My younger child lives in a fairy tale. She is crushed (or at least highly disappointed) if the Christmas tree isn't up by a certain date, if the Hannukah candles aren't lit all the nights, and if WE DON'T STAY UP TILL MIDNIGHT NEW YEAR'S EVE.

Oy.

I looked at local offerings, only one was available for kids. Although it was a reasonable deal ($15 tix for a live comedy show where we have been before and enjoyed) it was extremely likely already sold out. And I really wasn't keen on going out so late. With kids.

So we improvised. And had a most satisfying FRUGAL'est party ever. HIP HIP HOORAY!!

See the party details below, but please allow me the privilege of showing some of what's on CLEARANCE at Pretty Cheap Jewelry so far (more to come):

Rosette Earrings Dramatic Blue and Red

Inspired by a county fair ribbon, I've handmade wire rosettes in navy blue wire. The color is set off by blood red wire on a black glass drop, and a cut red glass bead above. CLEARANCE $5. Order here or click to see more details.

Kid's Gloves Silver Heart on Black

Little hands will love the sequin silver hearts. Cute row of green buttons add playfulness. Fits about 5 year to 10 year old. Half off at $7. Order here or click to see more detail.

Gold ZigZag Earrings

Striking gold wire lightning shapes end in milky white cut stone briolettes on these modern, natural earrings. 12K gold filled flattened french hooks. Half off at $7.50. Order here or click to see more detail.

Gold Abstract Flower Earrings

Whimsical lines and curves in gold wire remind me of spring. A bit of peach coral, white glass, mint green wire, and clear crystal add to the design. Big handformed hammered 14K gold filled french hooks. Order here or click to see more detail.

And now the party scoop!
First: Invited one of her ice skate friends over who also did not have a special thing planned. These two were perfect match for a midnight soiree together!
Cost: $0

Second: Stopped at the video rental store with them both for a little entertainment. We miss SO MANY movies over the year it's easy to pick something. If you think I am stuck in the past, FINE!! YES I go to a LOCAL INDEPENDENT video store IN PERSON!! And just to add fuel to the fire, this place has a "Rent one/Get one Free". We picked out "Rio" and "Mr. Bean's Holiday". Both very easy watching and I approve wholeheartedly.
Cost: $5.

Third:Order pizza delivery. So you think this isn't special? We order pizza maybe twice a year. MAYBE TWICE A YEAR. How about you? Our homemade pizza is SO MUCH BETTER and we regularly make gourmet style with exotic cheese and toppings. Not to mention I bristle at the cost and less healthy aspects of the delivered stuff. Needless to say, it was FUN and convenient and added a festive party feel. I had a coupon for buy one/get one free from another LOCAL INDEPENDENT business NATURALLY!!
Cost: $23 for two pizzas

The end? I snoozed starting about 10pm, my older went under the covers shortly thereafter, and the two girls whispered and giggled keeping each other up until ten minutes before midnight. They awoke me, my son joined us (he set his watch alarm!) and we all WHOOPED IT UP for about 30 minutes with Dick Clark and little champagne flutes of Martinelli!

YAY for pleasing kids and greeting 2012 with a positive safe outlook!