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April happenings at Beadmask

Wow, I’ve got a lot going on this month! Some of the highlights include the Beading for a Cure Charity auctions, a  gorgeous new Fae Team Exhibit, vending at the Spring Fairy Festival in Auburn and of course, more school. Reading it back to myself, that list doesn’t look anywhere near as big as it feels… but regardless of how it looks, it’s enough to keep me hopping. Hopefully, some of this will be interesting and exciting to you as well 🙂

This year’s Beading for a Cure auctions have been live for a couple of weeks now.  There are several lovely item listings ending tonight, including a gorgeous bracelet made by my friend Nikia Angel, a beautiful beaded mask, an incredible beaded dragonfly wand and so much more!

The mask that I donated (pictured above) has been listed today, and the auction will end on 4/18. In case you’re not familiar with this charity, Beading for a Cure is an annual art challenge and fundraiser. Participating bead artists each purchase an identical kit and create something with the materials. They can create anything they choose, as long as they follow the same ground rules. Starting in March, the items are auctioned off and the proceeds are donated to the National Colorectal Cancer Research Association in memory of bead artist Layne Shilling, who lost her battle with colorectal cancer in November of 2002. It is an amazing gift of love and talent. This year’s participating artists went all out, so please visit BFAC’s eBay page and show them some love.

Annnddd, the new Fantasy Artists of Etsy (or Fae Team) exhibition is live! These exhibitions showcase the artwork of the team’s talented members, and they’re a real feast for the eyes. The theme for the current exhibition is “Faeries, Elves and Pixies, Oh My!”, and it is truly fabulous. Please take a moment to visit the site, and tell them that I sent you!

Last, but certainly not least, we will be vending at the Spring Fairy Festival in Auburn WA this coming Saturday, April 16th. The event takes place at the Green River Community College in Auburn WA — please visit the website for details and directions (cause I assure you that you never want to get your driving directions from me 😉 Besides an impressive array of talented vendors to shop from, there will be fun workshops, exciting performers, a kid’s corner and a costume contest! It promises to be a fun show — hope to see you there!

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Etsy Treasuries

“It’s not easy being green” Treasury by HandKnitsByMellissa

In case you’re not familiar with Etsy treasuries, I should probably explain that these are little groupings of shop items, which are collected (or “curated”) by Etsy members. They are lots of fun, and usually quite beautiful. Some people create these collections based on color or theme, others use them as a sort of virtual storytelling. These treasuries fascinate and amuse me in the way that they function as sort of a lens into the collector’s imagination.

When I first learned that my work was being featured in Etsy treasuries, I would take a screen shot and post it here on my blog, along with a link to the curator’s shop. I also liked to include links to some of the other featured artists. It just seemed like a good way to say thanks, and to give a little bit back.

“Cinnamon & Spice” by Amanda23

In the past it was sort of a coup to land a treasury, because Etsy could only showcase a limited number of them. So in order for a treasury to be posted, the curator would have to have excellent timing and incredible patience in order to snag that perfect window of opportunity to get their treasury on the site. This changed several months back, when Etsy opened up their “Treasury East” feature (don’t ask me why they call it that — perhaps a more experienced seller can shed some insight). Treasury East allows for unlimited treasuries, so there is no more waiting and pouncing on the perfect opportunity.

The obvious upshot of this is that it’s a lot easier to get a treasury. A more seasoned seller explained that this has a down side in that treasuries are no longer as exclusive. She feels that in the past, her treasuries used to generate a lot more views and sales for the featured artists, but with so many treasuries out there now they just do not get as many views. I can see (and even agree with) the logic in this, but it  does not kill my joy for treasuries …

“If you love me…” by me

They still fascinate me, and I still feel honored (and grateful) when my work is included. I’m not sure if they generate more sales, but at very least it lets me know that people do appreciate my work, which I find motivating and encouraging. However, I seem to get featured a lot more now which  makes it harder to keep up. Plus, if I posted them all on my blog it would be nothing but treasuries, which would be rather dull. Another seller, Orglamix showed me a simple solution — she features treasury screenshots in an album on her Facebook fan page, along with links back to the curator’s shop. Since late October, I have shamelessly copied this idea on my own fan page.

I kind of petered out on this in mid-November, simply because my world got very very busy. I was finally able to catch up this morning, and I’ve added 45 new treasuries (some of which are showcased in this post) in my Facebook album. These are the treasuries which have featured my work – along with a few that I have curated myself – since I slacked off. A few of these treasuries now have blank spots where items have sold, simply because I waited so long to get the screenshot. Hopefully, I’ll do a better job of staying on top of these in the coming year — silly as it is, I really do appreciate the inclusions and I take pleasure in this small gesture of gratitude.

Many thanks,

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EtsyRain’s Spring Craft Show

Please stop by and visit me at EtsyRain’s spring craft show at the Intiman Theatre on May 8th. It’s the day before Mother’s Day, and you’re sure to find some great gifts for Mom – and yourself! Check out the press release for more info:

SEATTLE, April 22, 2010EtsyRAIN announced today that it will host its second annual Spring Craft Show from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 8, 2010.

The EtsyRAIN Spring Craft Show will be held in the lobby and the fountain courtyard at the beautiful Intiman Theatre, located at 201 Mercer Street in Seattle.

Arrive early for swag bags:

The first 50 customers through the door will receive free swag bags full of handcrafted items by Seattle-area artists.

Support local artisans and crafters:

Choosing to support our area’s small businesses helps in so many ways! Buying local is more than just the hottest trend. From reducing your carbon footprint to keeping your hard-earned dollars right here in Seattle, purchasing locally produced items benefits our city and our planet!

Spring Craft Show benefits local charity:

In the spirit of keeping it local, EtsyRAIN has chosen a Seattle-based charitable organization to support at its spring craft show.

Lifelong AIDS Alliance  is a group that strives to create “a world without HIV or AIDS, where every person living with illness is treated with dignity and respect.”

Representatives from Lifelong AIDS Alliance will be at the show, sharing information about their organization, selling raffle tickets for gift baskets filled with EtsyRAIN member merchandise, and collecting donations of canned food.

Admission to the event will be a suggested donation of $1 that will go directly to Lifelong AIDS Alliance or a canned food donation for their meal delivery program.

About EtsyRAIN:

EtsyRAIN is a local collective of over 700 artisans and craft makers from all over the Puget Sound region who operate online shops on the international handcrafted shopping site called Etsy ( EtsyRAIN’s mission is to create a local creative community that nurtures, supports and educates artists who currently have or are interested in opening their own independent e-commerce shops on Etsy.

The group’s website features an event calendar of local craft-related events that is quickly becoming the “go-to” place to find out about crafty happenings in the Seattle area. Check it out to learn about all things crafty going on locally, such as classes, shows, application deadlines, networking events and more. You can even create an account and post your own crafty events!

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Spring things…


Ok, I admit it … I am a bad blogger. I try, but as I mentioned at the end of last year, when I’m in school it can be pretty tough to find the time to post here. Spring quarter began a few weeks ago, as evidenced by the tumbleweeds blowing through this blog. On the plus side, I am taking fewer classes this time around. Last quarter I took a very full course load, and while I really enjoyed the classes, I found that it put quite a damper on my creative time. I also realized that my creative time is necessary, not only for my business, but for my sanity. So, a moderate course load should afford me more time to focus on being creative, gearing up for the upcoming show/festival season, and maybe even listing a few things on Etsy again.

Speaking of which, I got an Etsy convo yesterday letting me know that one of my little leaf barrettes has been featured in this sweet little “Leaf” treasury, which was curated by
NutfieldWeaver. It’s a precious reminder of spring, and the beauty of simple things. Look at how many artists were inspired by the quiet beauty of leaves!

There are lots of great items in this treasury, but a couple of my personal favorites include this goat’s milk maple leaf soap which was made by Lost River Rags, as well as this stone ware oak leaf trio from Lynn Cardwell Pottery. I’m inspired by this collection of goodies, and I’m always thrilled when my work is included in a treasury … makes me feel like maybe I’m doing something right, and I oughta keep trying ;o)

Thank you NutfieldWeaver, for including my little leaf barrette in your beautiful treasury! I have a lot of fun making these hairsticks, and having them noticed like this makes me want to take advantage of my new found studio time, and make a few more!

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FP Anyone?


Woot – my work was included in another treasury!

As much as I enjoy it when someone chooses to feature my work, I think that one of my favorite things about these treasuries is simply seeing how (and why) different people make their selections…
 Some of the treasuries that I’ve seen combine items that I’d never imagine together, but they totally work (like this one, which includes items found using the search term “wicked”). Others connect diverse works by using themes or colors.  
This treasury is in the latter group – the curator (Flahwiz) selected items done in soft lavender. I love her choices – the pieces in this collection blend and compliment each other nicely,but they still stand out as separate and unique works.

Thanks Flahwiz!  I really appreciate that you included my work, and I hope this act of consideration comes back to you tenfold.



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Love is in the air


Over the last 6 months I’ve started listing more of my work on Etsy . As a frustrated eBay veteran, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the Etsy community. I’ve met some of the coolest customers there, and I’ve been very impressed by the way that the sellers seem to support one another.

I’ve often wished that I could find that kind of creative community in real life… So I was delighted to learned about a “team” of local artists called Team EtsyRain. It’s a Seattle based group of Etsy sellers that aims to support each other locally and virtually. I recently joined, and I’m excited to be a part of it.

This treasury showcases the work of this talented and diverse group of artists.  Check out the  hip, eco-friendly clothing at RevivalInk, and the original upcycled cuffs at TrilbyMade. If it weren’t for this treasury I might not have discovered Nikki Wheeler’s gorgeous fiber art, or SilentGoddess‘ original jewelry designs.

I encourage you to explore the featured artists’ shops. Maybe you’ll find the perfect Valentine’s day gift – or even something special for yourself. Many thanks to onawhimm , who curated this fabulous collection!

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A Fantastical Winter Wonderland Treasury


One of my masks was featured in this stunning winter treasury. It’s filled with fantasy themed items in wintery shades of blue and white. What perfect timing, since it’s the winter solstice!

Everything is really lovely, and it was hard to pick favorites. Some of the items that really caught my eye include the Snow Crystals Wall Quilt by threadsofmagique, and the Ice Dragon Pendant by flyttamouse. The colors in this Pegasus and Unicorn print were so spectacular that I had to check out delarenaissance’s shop – she does beautiful work!

The treasury was curated by merigreenleaf, who creates fantasy inspired art and accessories. Please stop by and take a look at her wonderful things.


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Holiday Shipping and Gift Certificates!

Just a quick reminder ~ the USPS says that if you want your packages to arrive by December 25th, they should be shipped by  December 21st (which is also the winter Solstice).

If you’d like to avoid shipping and shopping hassles all together, gift cards are a great way to go. They allow your loved ones to choose just what they want, and best of all it spares you from dealing with crowded malls and congested traffic. I’m now offering these in both of my Etsy shops.

You can print them at home or if you prefer, I can personalize and mail it for you… Did I mention that I’m a calligrapher?

These are available in multiple denominations in my mask & jewelry shop, which showcases one of a kind beaded jewelry and original leather masks… Aannd, you guessed it! You can also find gift certificates in my bead and jewelry supply shop, Treefrog Beads, which focuses on vintage and unusual materials. This is an awesome gift for your favorite bead addict 🙂

Whatever you choose (and however you celebrate) I hope that you find a way to avoid the stress, and enjoy some  time with the people you love!

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Cobalt Holiday Treasury

I’m a little behind in posting about this treasury (forgive me, it was posted while I was working on my finals!). It’s expired now, but I at least wanted to post this screenshot so you can see how lovely it was.

This shade of blue is such a dramatic color, and so perfect for the season. All of the selections are wonderful, too – my favorites include the goose feather headband and that striking cobalt brooch sitting just to the left of my mask.

It was curated by Paleodeux, who obviously has a great eye for color and texture. Please take a moment to visit her Etsy shop, which features beautiful repurposed vintage jewelry.