Jun 16, 2014

The End of a Chapter...

Over the last seven year , I have gotten so much joy from Menagerie Studio.  But, it is time for me to say goodbye.  Menagerie Studio has been fulfilling work that has allowed me to be at home and take care of my family, while making a small income.  While Menagerie Studio has been a lot of hard work, it has also been a lot of fun.

Life brings changes and we all have to make adjustments. My children are grown now.  My husband has finished school and is doing well in his career.  Now it is my turn.  I haven't decided what I want to do, but I have a few ideas that I am exploring.  Menagerie Studio has allowed me to stay at home and take care of my family, but now it is keeping me at home, and I am ready to get out into the world again.

I really don't believe in signs or destiny, but if anything were to change my mind, it would be the last few months.  It really does seem as if the universe is telling me it is time to move on, let go and make a change.  My personality type is ISFP, so I am a very instinctual person, and all of my instincts are also telling me it is time to move on, let go and make a change.

I have already started the process of clearing out my Etsy shop.  Now I need to clean out my studio.  I will still create, but it will be just for me.  Somehow, in the business of creating, I've lost the joy of creating.  I want to get that joy back again.

I haven't decided exactly when I will be closing my Etsy Shop.  I know that I do not have it in me to make another batch of pendants and beads.  So, what is in my shop now is it.  I'm considering leaving my Etsy shop open and using it as a destash shop, when I start cleaning out my studio.  I have lots of magazines that need new homes, as well.

I'm not sure how long I will leave this blog open.  I'm sure I will use it to notify everyone about my destash items.  I may even decide to use it to destash my studio, instead of my Etsy Shop.  I'm still trying to decide the best way to do that.  I would appreciate any advice or ideas for destashing.

It is funny.  Although I am ready for a change, it makes me sad as I am writing about cleaning out my studio and getting rid of things that I've held on to for years, things that I have packed into boxes and moved several times.  But, they are just things and better off with someone who might use them, instead of sitting in a my studio collecting dust.

I have gotten to know so many wonderful people all over the world, because of Menagerie Studio.  It was an unexpected blessing that I will always cherish. I am so grateful to all of my customers who have used Menagerie Studio pendants and beads in their beautiful jewelry designs.  The last seven years have been an amazing experience and I will be grateful for forever.

While saying goodbye to Menagerie Studio is very hard, I'm at peace with it and I'm ready to let go.

Love and Peace,
Martha

Jun 9, 2014

Sale!

I'm clearing out my Etsy Shop and offering 35% off everything currently in the shop - even the jewelry!  Use coupon code:  purge0614




Love and Peace,
Martha

May 26, 2014

Treasury

Today, the family and I relaxed at home.  We cooked hamburgers out on the grill and ate in front to of the TV.  I was playing around on my computer and thought it would be fun to create another Etsy treasury.  





May 23, 2014

Changes

Good news for my customers!  If you haven't visited my Etsy Shop lately, you should take a few minutes to have a look and see some of the changes.  First, I've lowered the prices on my beads and pendants.  This is due to several reasons, but mainly after moving my jewelry from my second shop to my original shop, I deactivated the coupon codes for multiple purchases, so they can not be used on my jewelry.


I still offer a 30% discount, but for purchases over $150.  The details are in my shop policies.  Basically, if you would like to order $150 or more, contact me and I will create a one-time-use only coupon code for you, with the understanding that it is to only be used on my beads and pendants, not jewelry.

Also, in some of my descriptions you will see this sentence:  I can make multiples of this pendant/bead, but the details will vary as is the nature of handcrafted.  So it is now possible if you want to make multiples of a jewelry design for a shop, a show, or as bride's maids gifts, using my beads and pendants.

I wish everyone a happy holiday weekend!

Love and Peace,
Martha

May 21, 2014

I created my first treasury on Etsy:  First Ever.  I had a lot of fun curating the items.  All of the items come from members of the Handmade by Me Team.  I don't know why I haven't ever created a treasury, but I can't wait to do it again - maybe tonight.


Awesome pieces of handcrafted art from very talented artisans!


Love and Peace,
Martha

May 14, 2014

Modern Chic

I woke up this morning determined to get an early start.  I wanted to be in my studio, working by 9am.  What is that saying about best laid plans?  I did manage to get in the studio a little after 10, and I've gotten quite a bit accomplished.

For the last few days I've been working on some new Modern Chic beads and charms.  I don't know why I get so giddy when I get my alcohol inks out, but playing with them makes me very happy.

I decided on 6 colors from my marbled swatches and divided my beads and charms among them.  Once I had them painted and inked, I decided that they need something else.  An accent or some other little touch of something, so I crackled them.  And, oh my goodness I love them - all except the Marbled Patina.  I did not like the transition between the ink and the paint.  It just didn't work for me.  So, I decided to accent the cracks with metallic copper paint, and loved it.  But they still didn't look right, so I rubbed a little of the copper paint on the sides and that was finishing touch they needed. The tiny flower beads are mine.  I've already got a pair of earrings designed in my head.


MARBLED PATINA W/COPPER ACCENT

MARBLED LILAC

MARBLED SANTA FE

MARBLED GRAPE

MARBLED FADED DENIM

MARBLED RUBY


I have to tell you, these little boogers are hard to photograph.  They are so awesome in person, but I just can't capture it in the photos.  I tried several different backgrounds, even white.  The light grey worked the best.

Did you notice the new bird shape in the Marbled Ruby group?  I'm very pleased with way it turned out.  The hole runs through the body of the bird from side to side.  

Now, I just need to decide which ones to sell and which ones to keep for jewelry making.  I may list some tomorrow or it may not be until next week.  I would love to know what you think.  Which ones are your favorites?

Love and Peace,
Martha

May 8, 2014

New Beads and Pendant .... and some changes

A new batch is finished.  Other than the four Vintage Chic Curved Heart Beads in Distressed Black, all of the new beads and pendants are tinies and itty bitties.  Every bead and pendant in this batch is double sided and awesome on both sides.



Vintage Chic Curved Heart Beads in Distressed Black 


Tiny Birds, Butterflies and Flowers - all pendants

Tiny Crosses (Beads and Pendants)

Tiny and Itty Bitty Hearts (Beads and Pendants)

Tiny Stars - all beads

All of these are listed in my Etsy Shop and available for purchase.  You can see both sides and the hole placement in the photos for each listing.

You will also notice some jewelry in my Etsy Shop.  I have decided to combine my shops and do away with the second one.  Those of you who have more than one shop, I don't know how you do it.  Maintaining and marketing for two shop is more than I can handle.  Plus I had rather have one really full shop than two shops with low quanity.  

You might also notice that the coupon codes are missing from my shop announcement and from each listing.  I made some changes there as well.  I still offer a discount - 30% off for a purchase $100 or more, beads and pendants only - not jewelry.  Because Etsy does not allow us to limit the use of coupons to certain sections or items, you will need to contact me before your purchase to make arrangements.  I will simply send you a coupon code for your use only, for that purchase.

I'm very excited about this new batch.  I hope you love them too.

Love and Peace,
Martha

May 5, 2014

Artist Feature

Traci Zeller of Downtown Glam created these lovely necklace designs, using a Menagerie Studio Vintage Chic Home Pendant and a Vintage Chic Cottage Pendant.



I always love Traci's jewelry designs.  Of course, I'm partial to her designs using my beads and pendants.  I also admire the way she photographs her jewelry, very much.  Her photos showcase the beauty of her designs perfectly.


I'm finishing up a tiny batch of mostly tiny beads and charms this week.  I hope to finish them Wednesday and have photos for you on Thursday.  I also have a small batch of modern beads and charms in the works, but I probably will not finish them until next week.

Have a fun and creative week!

Love and Peace,
Martha

Apr 29, 2014

Goings On...

I've been spending a lot of time the last few weeks working on custom orders.  Which I really appreciate right now, because they are keeping me afloat.  

I have a very small batch of charms and beads that I currently finishing.  When they are done, I think I will work on something a little different for a week or two.  I'll let you know how is goes.

But right now I have lots of beautiful pieces available in my both my Bead and Pendant Shop and my Jewelry Shop.  I added some new simple, pendant necklaces to my Jewelry Shop this morning and I will be adding a few other new pieces this week.



The pink and aqua Crown Necklace is a new piece that I will be adding to my Jewelry Shop this week, as well as some new earrings and some earrings that I redid.




If you are looking for finished jewelry, or beads and pendants to create your own, Menagerie Studio has some great options for Mother's Day.

Love and Peace,
Martha


Apr 24, 2014

Redo

I made this pair of earrings last fall.  But I just haven't been happy with them since I made them.  I used waxed linen cord to string all of the beads together, which worked well, but they didn't dangle and jiggle like I want my earrings to do.  So I decide to redo them last night.

Before:


 After:


I like the after much better and they dangle and giggle the earrings are supposed to, so that you feel all girly and feminine when wearing them.

These are listed in my Etsy Jewelry Shop.

Love and Peace,
Martha