Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Eve at Risky Beads!

To thank everyone for a wonderful, risky year...

here's a 15% off coupon valid in all 3 of my shops today! It expires at midnight tonight. Want FREE shipping as well? Then shop at ArtFire and it shall be yours! If you're shopping at ArtFire or 1000 Markets and don't see a piece you want from my Etsy shop, just Email me and I'll move it for you.

No code needed, make your purchase and I'll refund you. ArtFire shipping is already set to zero. If you're shopping at Etsy, please convo first.

Thanks and have a safe and Happy New Year!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Buy This So I Won't-Volume 4 - Working for Peanuts

Well, I skipped last week for obvious vacational reasons, but I'm very excited to bring you this week's and the last 2008 installment of Buy This So I Won't! I was putting a Treasury together on Etsy over a week ago, browsing all over the place, and I stumbled into this shop to get out of the (cyber) cold. If you have a beverage in your mouth right now, this would be a good time to swallow.

This week's selection is workingforpeanuts. Jeanne, the shop owner, has my deepest respect because she clearly values the art of self-entertainment. (Go, Jeanne!) So, with that said, I'd like to introduce you to:

Lena! According to Working for Peanuts, Lena is "dressed for a dinner party. Why don't you invite her to yours? She'll help you with your decor. As part of your centerpiece, or hanging on a Christmas tree, she'll add some flair." Lena can be yours for $27.00.

Well, Lena's Christmas options may have flown up the chimney by now, but there's no reason she can't be someone's New Year's Eve sweetheart!

Now, if you decide to take someone else to your New Year's Eve celebration, then Lena won't be left all alone--not by a long shot. She has a plethora of peanut buddies to hang with, each as unique as she is. Go pay them a visit; trust me, you won't be sorry. I mean, you might snort milk up your nose, but otherwise, you won't be sorry. Yes, they are made out of real peanut shells that Jeanne opens, hollows out, and then glues back together. Talk about up-cycling! Now, you'll think twice about every peanut you eat, won't you? Oh, yeah...won't you please Buy These So I Won't?! Seriously, people. How is anyone supposed to resist her? She can skate better than me!

Oh, and I couldn't close this post without wishing you and yours a very happy New Year!

Abe-Baby New Year

I swear I'm about to click...
Thanks for a great year and here's to a prosperous 2009!

Take care, Lori

Friday, December 19, 2008

Buy This So I Won't-Volume 3 - Signs

Well, boys and girls, it's time for yet another installment of what has become a very guilty pleasure of mine: my weekly waxing about things I want but won't allow myself to buy. This week it's art. My art habit is vast and would be horrifically out of control if it weren't for the fact that I live in a very small apartment that is literally slammed full of everything at the moment. There is no more room on the walls for another piece of abstract art (aka crack cocaine to me). There are probably fifty photographs in my Etsy favorites that I would buy right now if I knew how to mount pictures on my ceiling without killing myself. But this week's fascination is art of a different type; it's an extension, I guess, of last week's pick but it goes a little's signs!

My love affair with signs comes from that same font-tastic place inside me that makes me swoon over walls of over-stuffed bookshelves. I fantasize about building a dream house where all the walls are bookshelves--like in the Clue house-- and they're also all secret walls like in Scooby Doo so that when you lean on them, you end up in a room with more bookshelves! I know what you're thinking...."Oh my god...
and you're right but hear me out. , for

and and I really need to remember those things.

Sometimes I need signs to inspire me, to remind me why tomorrow matters to me:
and why it doesn't matter to others I care deeply about:.

And so, dear reader, I burden you with this task this week (perhaps someone can make me a sign?) to Buy These So I Won't! That's right, I'm asking you to make the first move.

Because if a sign can do it, you can, too!

(And if you do, convo me with the transaction # and I'll give you 20% off any piece in my shop, Risky Beads, because you just saved me some money! Offer is valid at Etsy or Artfire.)

All signs can be found at StencilStudio's Etsy shop! Go pay them a visit! They have many, many more signs that the ones in this post! Have a great holiday!

Until next time,

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Keeping Up With the Trendistas

There's been a trend happening on Etsy the last few months that I really don't like. It typically surfaces in these marketing emails I get every day that advise me how to get someone's 'look' by buying particular items on Etsy. They link back to Etsy's blog and are part of the 'Etsy Finds' series. Here are a few:

12/14/08 Etsy Finds: Get Laurie of Two Trick Pony's Look - Home Decor Edition
11/30/08 Etsy Finds: Getting Susanna Carrillo's Look - Home Decor Edition
11/23/08 Etsy Finds: Getting Kat Heyes' Look - Home Decor Edition
11/16/08 Etsy Finds: Getting Christie Chase's Look - Home Decor Edition
11/9/08 Etsy Finds: Getting Drink and Dream's Look - Home Decor Edition
11/2/08 Etsy Finds: Getting Adelle Robinson's Look - Home Decor Edition
10/26/08 Etsy Finds: Getting Abigail Ahern's Look - Home Decor Edition

I skipped one that was about getting the 'Joni Mitchell' look because that's a little different, and there's no shame in being a fangirl. There are probably even more if you go further back into the series, but I think that's enough of them to get my drift.

I sigh every time I see one of these articles. I understand the idea behind them, I suppose, but isn't Etsy about individuality? Don't we want people to come to the marketplace because they can get unique, one-of-a-kind products? Why are we encouraging people to come to Etsy to replicate someone else's style? Granted, there are millions of people who want to do that and who do it everyday; that's why Target and Wal-Mart make millions selling budget home decor products. But is that really who the Etsy customer is?

Let's say, for the sake of argument, that the answer is 'yes.' The Etsy customer isn't this uber-indie pot of a gold waiting for all of us at the end of the rainbow, but rather a 'regular' person who gets excited when she/he sees all of the amazing products on Etsy and decides on her/his own to forget about Target and come over to the Orange Side. Do we really think this customer needs to be told how to emulate someone else's style? If they were smart enough to get to Etsy, I think they can handle their own home decor obligations.

Come on, it's just marketing, you say. Lighten up! And we have the perfect Abigail Ahern look-a-like lamp to help you! Okay, wait just a minute. Let's back up the boat here...

Do you 'just-like-insert uber-cool designer-here' sellers want to be labeled as such? Do you make your pillows and lamps and drawer pulls to be re-branded as a alternative (cheaper or not) to someone else's idea? Um, I doubt it. (Feel free to tell me if I'm wrong.)

I've felt a tide rising on Etsy for the past five months or so, and I couldn't quite explain it, but I think the Orange (sugar-free, blech) Kool-aid is rising above many of our heads because the entire marketing focus is centered around defining the seller and the buyer. Don't smack me, but that's what Wal-Mart has done, right? Think about it. Wal-Mart, to its credit, has become the world's largest retailer by defining the seller...

If you can't sell your goods to Wal-Mart because you can't sell in bulk or at the price point they demand, then you automatically lose out on a huge customer base. If you do sell to Wal-Mart, they become your biggest customer and their demand typically swallows your inventory capacity, making it a challenge to even have product to sell to other vendors. The product you do have left to sell, you have to sell at a higher price to make up for the cut you gave Wal-Mart. Who wants to pay more for your product when they know that their customer can go buy it for less at Wal-Mart? Begin endless cycle...

and the buyer...

If you don't shop at Wal-Mart, you're paying more for almost everything now, considering Wal-Mart sells discount products, groceries, prescriptions, Big Macs, manicures, Starbucks, and eye glasses. As the recession continues, mid-range retailers are filing bankruptcy. For example, Linens-n-Things, Circuit City, etc. Wal-Mart sells electronics and sheets and towels and candles much cheaper, so see ya later mid-range retailer. When will Wal-Mart do my taxes?

Okay, so what does that have to do with Etsy? Well, aren't they defining the seller by narrowing the exposure of thousands of sellers through myopic marketing campaigns and practices? If Etsy consistently arranges the e-windows of it's shop to reflect products that look like they were hand-delivered by the editors of an indi-mag, then isn't that what Etsy is? Are we supposed to sip lattes at a locally owned coffee establishment, flip through the latest issue of a crafty magazine and think, I saw something just like this at Etsy? I thought we were supposed to think just the opposite.

And haven't they just defined the buyer? Why is a buyer going to come to Etsy for something other than what's in that magazine if that's all she knows? Because I left my business card on her laptop when she went to get a refill? Man, don't make me do that. I don't even drink coffee. And what about the live shopping events this month with big names in the crafting and indie-fashion world? You could attend these events and watch what someone else wants to buy.


I need help with a lot of things in life, but I can assure you that shopping is NOT one of them.

Time to start packing my non-trendy orders. Proudly.


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Must Be the Clouds in My Eyes

Maria from silkartfrombrazil is featuring some of the snowman cards my sister and I made together this year. While that is absolutely fabulous in and of itself, the title of the Treasury is an Elton John lyric...that means a lot to me. What a pretty collection!

Thanks, Maria!

Buy This So I Won't-Volume 2 - Coasters

Yikes! I'm a little late with my weekly column, but this week has been a busy one. I promise you, however, that my tardiness in now way indicates a lack of passion about this weeks pick for Buy This So I Won't--Volume 2!

I'm a font fanatic and an imaginary poster child for Wordsmiths Anonymous, so this little morsel from Melanie at Carolina Cottage on Etsy keeps calling my name (in Times New Roman, Helvetica, Georgia...oh, the humanity!).

Fabulous Font Coasters

set of 4 for $15, 4" x 4"

I'll come clean right now and admit that I have a serious coaster problem. I have an allergic reaction anytime I try to sit a drink down anywhere where there's not a coaster unless it's a sidewalk or something. I probably own more coasters than I do glasses to drink out of. My therapist and I are working on this issue, but the progress is very slow...because she won't let me bring any coasters to our sessions.

Now, if you know someone who would love these coasters, feast your eyes on this little upgrade!

Fabulous Font Gift Set

4 coasters in a nestled in a wood tray, $32

This gift set is the perfect gift for (me) for that hard to buy nerdy, coffee shop, lap-top lizard, kindle-loving person on your list! So, I beseech you, dear reader, please buy this so I won't! My holiday shopping is all done, and I've already bought myself plenty of presents as well, so kindly hustle on over to Carolina Cottage and remove this temptation from my path!

And if you do, convo me with the transaction # and I'll give you 20% off any piece in my shop, Risky Beads, because you just saved me some money! Offer is valid at Etsy or Artfire.

Risky Beads is now burning the candle at both ends--on Etsy and at ArtFire! Shop at my ArtFire store and get 10% off your order and FREE WORLDWIDE shipping! Email me and mention this article to get the discount. If there's a piece on Etsy that you'd like that's not on ArtFire, let me know and I'll move it over for you!

See you next week with Volume 3!

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Nurse Purse gets top billing!

I'm so excited! My Pomegranate Nurse Purse is reviewed today on the awesome blog The Opinionated Parent! You can comment and enter to win one of my Nurse Purses as well, so feel free to jump on that bandwagon if you'd like. It means a lot to me to be reviewed by TOP because I follow their reviews, and they do a great job recommending fun and useful products for parents and children.

I just listed several new Nurse Purses yesterday as well. This one is Forest Cafe, made from a genuine 30 mm tiger eye donut, dark brown waxed cotton cord, and brass and ceramic spacers.

F0rest Cafe Nurse Purse
Pull up a toadstool, dinner is served.

And the other two I listed yesterday are:
Polka Pink Nurse Purse
You, my darling, are spot on.

Olive Oil Nurse Purse
keen and green

The Nurse Purse is an amazing deal for a new mom because it comes with 5 offers from amazing Etsy sellers that cater to moms and babies! There are at least 3 different promo groups running right now, so each purse may have a different group. When you click on a NP, you'll see a description and picture of the coupons and offers that come with it. That's a deal you can't beat and a true olive branch to a new mom who cares about using handmade products with her new baby. Perfect gift for Christmas or a baby shower!

If you missed the article about the inception and production of The Nurse Purse, you can read it here. Hear all about Jenny Nguyen at jennyndesigns and how she's instrumental in getting this product to market! Jenny will be at the craft fair in Austin, TX on Saturday, 12/6/08 if you want to see her and her bags in person! Check out her blog to get the info!

I have more Nurse Purses to list, I just have orders to pack and custom orders to work on at the same time. This Friday started off right! Have a great weekend!

P.S.-FREE SHIPPING & 5% off your entire order at my ArtFire shop until 12/31/08 when you mention RBARTBLOG. Questions? Email me at riskybeads at gmail dot com.

Join the Risky Beads mailing list for secret sales and product previews! You won't be sorry!

:-) Lori

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Not Exactly

Well, today wasn't exactly the day I was expecting to have. I had a doctor's appt. this morning that I had to cancel because the migraine I had last night was worse when I woke up. When it finally decided to disappear, I started packing up orders and answering emails and took my packages to the post office. I came home and listed a ton of items on ArtFire, etc.

I got a huge bead order in yesterday, so I was excited about making new bracelets tonight, but all of a sudden my Nurse Purses have been selling like hotcakes, so I had to make those instead. So all in all tonight in the course of 3 1/2 hours, I made 10 Nurse Purses, 4 Risky KIDS pieces, and 5 new pendants. Two of those are reprises of these two designs that are very popular:

Tomato Soup (above) made from a red agate gogo donut and Oceanic (below) made from a 45mm Amazonite oval donut. The ones I list tomorrow will look a little bit different than these, but not by much.

Then I had to place a new supply order. It seems like I have to do that every day. It's mind-boggling how many findings I go through. And now, I'm going to bed. Tomorrow will be picture taking and maybe bracelet time.

Later, Lori

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Buy This So I Won't--Volume 1-Sweetgum Handbag

Okay, so I've decided to start a weekly column in my blog entitled: Buy This So I Won't. I think the concept behind it is pretty obvious. There are way too many things on Etsy that I'm one click away of buying, and I need to slow my roll in that department, hence, this series. So, without further ado, here's Volume 1 of what I hope will become a truly meaningful part of my week and yours!

So, this week's item is from SweetgunHandbags in Durham, NC. Kim is my 'neighbor' as my shop is in Raleigh, NC, but I met her when I was browsing on Etsy on October 12 and found this:
Tote Bag: Olive and Gold for $28!

This is the best purse I've ever purchased. Want to know why? Of course you do! I need a fairly big purse because I have issues. I need a purse that is easy to see into and scrunge around in because my purse is sort of like a junk drawer, but I also need interior pockets to protect all the things that I'll break whilst scrunging around. And I need a purse that doesn't show dirt because I'm a clutz. And it needs to look fashionable and pretty and be durable and not cost a lot. This purse is PERFECT! Look at the inside!! It's roomy! I can stash a book and a journal and a package that I'm mailing and protect my sunglasses and cell phone and not lose my freaking lip balm! It's well-made, and that's important because anytime I ask someone to hold my purse, they end up in the ER.

So, why all the fuss about a purse I already bought two months ago? Because there's another one in her shop that's black and gray and just as magnificent and only $28.00 and I want it bad, but I don't need it at all, so I want you to BUY THIS SO I WON'T. Here it is!!

Tote Bag: Black and White Stripes for $28!

The Amazing Inside!
The Amazing Random Staircase View!

Okay, so now you need to go to SweetGum Handbag and buy this bag! Buy it for yourself, or your sister, or your mother, or your aunt, or your friend, or your girlfriend, or a bag lady who needs another bag! I don't care who you buy it for, just buy it so I won't!

And if you do, convo me with the transaction # and I'll give you 20% off any piece in my shop, Risky Beads, because you just saved me some money!

Until next week, Lori
(20% offer valid until 12/31/08)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Unforgettable Audacity of Ice

So, I've working on this for a couple of days, and last night, it all came together. The goal was to learn how to make a video, to make a video version of this, and to start advertising on YouTube. And I figured it out! So now, the very chilly premiere of:

Please let me know what you think!


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Saturday Night Special 11/29/08

FREE EARRINGS W/ EVERY PURCHASE! (pair must be $8.50 or less) Special valid 5 pm - 12 midnight, EST. Go straight to Risky Beads!

Wow! Look what you could get...

Frozen Acorns


Coffee Shop


Cranberry Sauced

or so many others!!!

That's right! Purchase anything from my shop tonight and indicate which pair you'd like in notes to seller at checkout. Don't put them in your cart! Other storewide promotions are still in effect:

►► Canadian/International Flat Rate Shipping!
Canada = $2.00 Everywhere Else = $2.50
All overages will be refunded!

►► Christmas pieces and all holiday cards marked down 20%!
►► Single holiday cards marked down to $1.50! Easy pick up for the perfect gift! Gift wrapping is always FREE!

Happy Shopping!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday thru Cyber Monday

Ah, it's crazy shopping time! Here are the current promotions at Risky Beads:

11/28-midnight on 12/1/08:

Flat rate International Shipping! Buy as many pieces as you want and only pay a flat rate!
Canada - $2.00
Everywhere else - $2.50
Are you a U.S. customer and want free shipping? Use code: BLACKFRIDAYBLOG in notes to seller.

Christmas pieces are marked down 20%!

So are all holiday cards. Individual holiday cards are marked down to $1.50! See I'm Your Snowman and We Merry Men!

Brand new bracelet and earrings added today. More to come...

Holy Guacamole

Bogged Down

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!!!


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Double Agents on Etsy--Those You Know and Some You Don't

First a little context…

In April of this year, I lost my ‘real job’ due to ongoing health issues and knew that I was going to have to figure out a way to make it on my own. My best friend was already scheduled to come visit me the following week and during her trip, we drove down to Charlotte so she could meet my sister and my three little nieces. We had lunch at a Chinese restaurant, so, naturally, there was a fortune cookie waiting for me when I was done. When I finished my lunch, I cracked open that cookie, read the fortune inside, smiled and stuck it in my wallet. When I got home, I taped it to my monitor, and it’s been there ever since. It says:

A Friend in the Market is Better Than Money in the Purse
Words to live by...

When I opened my shop in August of 2007, I didn’t know much about anything except that I was nervous and excited and wanted to bead my brains out. My learning curve was beyond steep as I wasn’t familiar with selling online, much less with Etsy. I spent many an evening wandering into the forums lurking for an answer I needed. Slowly but surely, I figured things out, but I would be utterly disingenuous if I didn’t mention all of the help I got from Etsy suppliers all the way. They were my first lifeline on Etsy and the lucky recipient of my life savings that I was spending on beads and findings. At first, I was asking the basic and frequently annoying questions like, "Can you tell me why there are 985, 746 treasuries right now?" and "You can actually print shipping labels right out of PayPal? No way." As time went on, my questions became more frantic, “Hey, um, it's me again. Do you have just one more of that black bead you had last week that you said you were almost out of but I’m really hoping that you’re not because I dropped the last one in the sofa and I can’t find it?” And of course the much more common refrain of, “Um, I just placed a huge order with you, but can you hold it because I just realized that I need more stuff, but I have to go work so it won’t be until tonight that I can give you the rest of that list?” Their patience with me was (is) beyond astounding.

(Yes, Virginia, I’m high maintence.)

And then as I began to get into the groove of what I was doing, I was able to rely on several of my suppliers for advice on a whole range of issues like what type of pliers they recommended after mine broke in half in my hand and how to handle wholesale requests. By the time Christmas of 2007 came around, I had good working relationships with several suppliers and it proved fortuitous when my shop began to get busy or when I needed something in a pinch for a last minute bulk order. I realized very quickly how important my relationshps were with them; they mean as much to me as my customers. They are several Etsy suppliers that I absolutely cannot do without.

(Dear Etsy,
This is why I need the ability to sort my purchases by seller, not just by date. Thanks.)

But aside from the stalwart Etsy sellers we’ve all come to love, there are those lurking amongst us who are suppliers of a different breed. They are the double agents I speak of, and I’ve chosen to blow their cover today so you too can know who’s hiding in the bushes and how I found them. Much like the beautiful damsel who hangs on the arm of a tuxedo-clad spy as he wanders through a gala event with a deadly ink pen in his inner pocket, all three of these suppliers were unknowingly equipped with their own secret strategy…

# 1: The Treasury

First up is Deb Babcock of Blue Sky Pottery. About a month ago, I clicked on the Treasury link and a new one was seconds from opening up. I panicked because I was just killing time and yet, there was an open Treasury staring at me. Holy Opportunity Knocking Batman! So, I decided to make one called ‘Teal Tummies.’ The concept was anything teal that could be on or hold something that might go in your tummy. I filled up the Treasury and one of the items was one of Deb’s rice bowls.

I notified everyone who I’d put in the Treasury. Deb replied to thank me and said that she’d love to trade with me if I was ever interested, so I quickly went over to her shop because I love pottery, and Deb’s work is so fanciful, I could stare at it all day. It took me about five minutes to decide what I wanted, and BAM! Deb is now a double agent. I traded a couple of pendants for four little trees that she made for me, and they became the Whooville Tree Lot. Here's one of the four the trees we planted. Cranberry Scone...

(Never underestimate the power of a Treasury.)

#2 The Free Gift

Next up is one of my busiest double agents whose cover is pretty much already blown. In May of this year, I bought this tote bag from Jenny Nguyen of jennyndesigns.

I absolutely love this bag. The fabric is luxurious, the design is wonderful. I adore it. But along with my order, Jenny sent a teeny tiny little tote bag, a little paisley guy with only one strap. I hung him on my router antennae and started filling him with all of the business cards I was amassing from fellow Etsyians.

In July 2008, I had an idea about how to expand my nursing necklace product line. It dawned on me that the moms who were buying nursing necklaces from me are also very, very busy moms and were no doubt running out of the house at the last minute with baby to pick up siblings, run errands, get to work, etc., and I could see these mothers nursing away from home later in the day and realizing that they forgot to put on their nursing necklace when they left the house. So, I decided to design The Nurse Purse to address this problem. But I’m no seamstress, and I needed someone to make the ‘purse’ for me, so I thought and thought, and then I glanced up at the teeny tiny tote hanging from my router antennae and thought this thought, “Hmm, that’s a teeny tiny tote, and I need a bunch of very different and pretty teeny tiny totes….” I contacted Jenny to see if she’d be interested in designing and producing the purse for me, and the rest is history. The final product looks nothing like the teeny tiny tote, but The Nurse Purse has been a huge success, and is now sold in an online boutique as well! Below is the Contextual Nurse Purse, just one of the over thirty Jenny has created for the line.

word to your mother

(A free sample might get you further than you ever imagined.)

#3 A Gorgeous Color Palette and Stunning Product

In September of 2008, The Nurse Purse was selling well, and I was constantly on the hunt for specific and small gemstone donuts to use for the purses and was started getting frustrated when there were certain ones, like peridot jasper, that were really hard to find. I would end up buying large grab bag lots for the two or three that would be in there and that got expensive and tiring. Lime green is one of my favorite pendant colors and one of my best sellers, and I wasn’t about to give up, so I gave up looking for gemstones and decided to look for a different material altogether: glass. I remembered seeing a shop months earlier that made stunning glass discs and with only a little bit of searching, I found it again: Blue Seraphim. Jenn makes the most beautiful glass discs out of German and Italian glass, colors that I could stare at all day long.

Fresh Salsa

In doing just that, I realized that she might be able to help me solve my problem, so I contacted her to see if she could make her discs a little bit larger for me so that I could use them with my nurse purses. She said she’s give it a whirl, and my struggle to find lime green donuts was over. So Jenny and Jenn, unbeknownst to one another, are the double agents behind this particular Nurse Purse: In the Right Circles.

She knew where she came from and where she was going...little one in tow.

(All the time and energy you invest you in product and your shop...yes, it's worth it. )

So for all of you out there who sell supplies on Etsy, who drop dead every night after sealing package after package after package, who have address cross-checking nightmares dancing in your head, I thank you because you truly helped make my shop, Risky Beads, what it is today. And to those of you who collaborate with me on the twelve hundred ideas I have in my head, I thank you even more. The fact that you actually listen to my plethora of ideas at two in the morning is a service in itself. It's physically impossible for me to list every supplier who has helped me during my fifteen months on Etsy, but you know who you are. And if you're not sure, just check your convo ratio...yeah, that's me.


P.S.--And for those of you who, like me, survive on the supplies you get from Etsy suppliers, I've gathered some super-fab discounts for you below! Please pay attention to the codes, terms of the discount and special instructions, and please contact the supplier before you purchase regarding how they want you to handle the transaction. There are so many listed here, it was too cumbersome to list each seller's special instructions. All shops are listed in alphabetical order under their section.

And now, on with the goodies:

blueseraphim FREE SHIPPING CODE: frshp11 ENDS: 11/30/08
dbabcock 20% OFF YOUR ORDER CODE: risky20 ENDS: 1/15/09

amylynnesbeadmarket 50% off entire shop due to store closing! No code needed!
Beads2string 10% off & FREE SHIPPING CODE: riskybeads ENDS: 12/20/08
blacksheepbeads FREE SHIPPING CODE: riskybeads ENDS: thru 11/23/08
byjanelle 10% off order (excludes Swarovski) CODE: d10 ENDS: 11/30/08
humblebeads FREE GIFT CODE: risky08 ENDS: 12/5/08
Lululalaland FREE SHIPPING on orders of $50 or more CODE: rbblog ENDS: 12/31/08
macksupplies FREE SHIPPING on orders of $15 or more CODE: free shipping ENDS: 12/6/08
rjbeads FREE SHIPPING w/ no minimum CODE: No Risk ENDS: 12/02/08
yadanabeads 10% off (not incl. shipping) CODE: Lori10 ENDS: 11/30/08
yndigo1 FREE Shipping on Orders of $10 or more CODE: RiskyPromo ENDS: 12/1/08

adelehartlep 25% off reg. priced item CODE: riskybeadsblog ENDS: 11/30/08
evonnewee FREE SHIPPING on first class mail only CODE: FS-Risky ENDS: 12/31/08

ArtisticEphemera A FREE PDF Digital Collage Sheet titled "Ephemera Heaven" with a purchase of $5 or more CODE: RISKYBEADS ENDS: 12/31/08
schOOLLOcker 15% OFF $40 PURCHASE CODE: Risky Beads sent me! ENDS: 12/15/08
StarttoFinish $5 off an order of $20 0r more CODE: Risky ENDS: 12/31/08
StarttoFinishsupplies (on Big Cartel) 10% off entire purchase CODE: Risky ENDS: 12/31/08
theSupplyPantry offer cancelled as shop is temporarily closed.

Enjoy these great offers and check back for more articles about running a business on Etsy!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Audacity of Ice in Five Acts

My Death of a Snowman series began in 2007 when I made Chilly Snowman and then realized that even snowmen leave survivors behind. I re-tooled the series in 2008 when some big silver bead caps that I could find absolutely no use for and was about to destash suddenly looked like my great-grandnanny's hairdo that she always referred to as her 'bird's nest.' The series is complete now--physically and creatively--as many of these beads are no longer available and because Act 5 is far too historic for me to ever meddle with.

The Audacity of Ice In 5

Act 1

and we begin where all tragedies always the end...
Behold the circle of ice.
R.I.P. Chilly Snowman

Act 2:

Like Father, like daughter. Trickle and Cicle have met the same fate.
The circle of ice is never-ending.

Act 3:

Upon learning about the slow, tragic death of his brother and his shimmering nieces, Chilly’s older brother, Skate, took it hard. He blamed himself, spending his days clinging to curbs and gutters, slowly glazing over until his crusty exterior was impenetrable. One evening a Cadillac made the unfortunate mistake of getting a little too close and paid the ultimate price.Skate knew he was in trouble, destined for a life as black ice.

Act 4:

Chip, Chilly Snowman's one and only son, took his father's melting hard, but he was determined to make something of himself, so he slowed his roll and stayed away from any reindeer games in which he might inadvertently be used as a weapon of mass destruction.

Act 5: The Final Curtain

For Frigidette Snowman, life had been all about her snowbabies and her gran-snowbabies, and now the only one left to keep cold was little Chip. But Frigidette had been through warmer times, so she plowed ahead, rolling all the way to the nation's capitol to make a personal plea to President Snowbama for Federal Ice-istance. President Snowbama's compassion was snow-verwhelming. Frigidette was immediately approved in exchange for being a permanent snowperson at the White House two months out of every year.

As a result of his SnowGrammy's love and dedication, Chip got a full scholarship to SnOhio State, and every December when he's cramming for finals, he keeps the news on hoping to get a glance of his grammy standing proud behind a reporter with frostbite.

and scene.

Refreshments are available in the lobby. It's been a pleasure.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Weesf on Marth Stewart!

So...I'm a die-hard believer in cross-promotion. In July 2008, when I was preparing to launch my Nurse Purse line, I reached out to several Etsy shops that sold unique products for moms and children in an effort to give them some exposure and my customers some awesome offers. I was in the forums one day out of boredom, and I saw Nicky from weesf in a thread. I fell in love with her shop the moment I saw it and sent her a convo offering her a spot in my promotion. Nicky's artwork is original handcrafted paper art. Each piece is cut by hand, and so no lasers or special dies are used.

I'm a fanatic about artwork for children. I decorate imaginary children's rooms in my head every time I see a talented artist. And yes, I tend to prefer The Peanuts and The Muppets over real people, but anyhoo....

My favorite pieces in Nicky's shop are On the Farm and the utterly adorable Monkeys on the Moon because come on, they're monkeys in spacesuits!

(Look at their little flag! It's so ap-peel-ing. *ducks tomatoes*)

Nicky also does an adorable line of alphabet artwork. Here's a little sample brought to you by the letters F and H.

When the first round of Nurse Purses sold out, I let everyone know they could stay in if they wanted to. Nicky immediately sent me a huge stack of coupons, and she's been on board ever since.

Nicky sent me a convo yesterday and told me that she's going to be on the Martha Stewart show on Monday, November 17, 2008! So please be sure to look for Nicky and her amazing artwork! I'm so excited for her! She deserves it!
ETA: Here's Martha's website. Click on Monday and watch the clip. You can see Nicky's hands at the very end!

Bring your flag little monkeys!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A great feeling!

Admittedly, it's probably sort of the first step into a wormhole to blog about someone blogging about you, but I can't resist it today. I sold one of my Nurse Purses to a mom the other day, and today she convo'd me on Etsy and let me know that (1) she loved the Nurse Purse and, (2) that it worked! Her little one is no longer pinching her while he's feeding. I hear that from moms now and again, but what made THIS feedback so awesome was that she also blogged about it, and in doing so, included a picture of her sweet little baby holding onto my necklace!

Awwwww, now I'm all smooshy emo for the rest of the day. My cats are hiding because they're afraid I just might put bonnets on them, stick them in a double stroller and take them to the park--which is just silly because they know I haven't finished making their bonnets yet.

bwahahaha ha.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Top 5 Talking Points the Obama Campaign is Ignoring

5. Where is the emphasis on the real skinny (and I mean skinny) behind McCain's health care plan? Why don't I hear Obama or Biden or an ad running every 5 seconds reminding me that McCain's 'tax credit' for an INDIVIDUAL is $2500? A $2500 tax credit for health insurance in an unregulated industry is supposed to buy me what? A coffin?

4. Who cares about George W. Bush anymore? The man's life is an Oliver Stone movie while he's still in office. Everyone who understands that link, understands it. Why aren't you zooming in on McCain? McCain has nothing positive going for him except martyrdom and name recognition. That's it. He's not a scholar or a gentleman. People who have respect for our military THINK before they send them into harm's way. McCain is standing in front of bused in crowds chanting, "Fight, fight, fight!" We need to, "Think, think, think!" If you want to compare him to Bush, that's your analogy right there. We've had 8 years of arrogance; we don't need 4 years of impulsive rage on top of it.

3. Remember Fantasy Island? Remember Mr. Rourke and his little sidekick 'Tattoo?' Remember his constant alarm, "De plane! De plane!" Okay, here's the new alarm, "De-meanor, demeanor!" Run this ad: (insert male announcer and not that Amityville Horror creepy chick that does McCain's ad. Every time she talks, blood starts running down my walls.)

"John McCain is worried about Barack Obama sitting down with evil dictator's without preconditions? John McCain can't even sit down with Barack Obama without...." (insert debate montage of every childish and disrespectful smirk, eye roll, and face pull McCain made.) "If John McCain can't control himself in a debate in the United States, how can we trust him to lead this nation?"

Because honestly, McCain, with all due respect, you've been in public life and on TV long enough to learn how to control yourself. You're going to look at Putin's 'ugly head' the wrong way one day and it's curtains for us. You looked into Putin's eyes and saw 'KGB;' we look into yours and see 'PTSD.' (Respectfully, you really need help.)

2. The pie analogy. Let's bake a real pie here because everybody loves pie. Let's look at the pie the McCain/Palin are baking for you. Do you want a bite of it? You're not sure? Why not? Is it because you don't know which piece is yours? Are you white or black, rich or poor, Christian or Satan, gay or straight, pro-America or anti-America? Are you pro-gun or anti-gun, sweet or bitter, short or tall, a domestic terrorist or Joe the Plumber? Gee, your piece of the pie is probably too cold to eat now, isn't it? Next time, come to my house. The pie will be warm and you can have WHATEVER PIECE YOU WANT.

1. Taxes? Taxes, really? You're going to let this be about taxes? Why aren't you running testimontial ads right now that say:

"I'm voting for Barack Obama because I'm not an idiot. I refuse to accept the fact that my tax dollars are good enough to fund a represhensible war and yet are somehow not good enough to provide health care, education, and decent roads and bridges for me and my family."


"I'm voting for Barack Obama because he understands that a we can fight and win all the wars we want to 'keep us safe,' but if there's no 'us' when we're done, then what's the point?"


"I'm voting for Barack Obama because the Alaskans that CAN see Russian from their house have never actually SEEN Sarah Palin or a dentist or running water."

OR, and finally...

"I'm voting for Barack Obama because it's time to move forward and leave division to the math teachers."

I feel better now.

Peace out, Lori

You can still sign up for my blog giveaway through midnight on Oct, 31st. Go here!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Red, red, red!

I got an accidental Treasury today! I was just popping in to look at the lists and a new one was just about to pop up, so I grabbed it! You can see it here. Here's a screen shot because it will expire after a while.

There's still time to enter my giveaway as well! Just go HERE and leave a comment to enter!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Blog Kickoff Contest!

Well, I finally dusted this place off and am looking forward to using it to feature some of my favorite Etsy sellers as well as a lot of my own creations and ramblings. Follow along because there will be sale codes and contests and all sorts of nifty things along the way! And to kick it off, the first giveaway is from my shop, Risky Beads. It's a murano foil glass pendant perfect for autumn.

It's called Heartlight.

whenever you lost your way
you could feel her pulling you back

The pendant is 35mm wide and is strung on 18" of black leather cord and gold organza ribbon, cords finish with antique copper fold over and lobster clasps. It's a $19.00 value in my shop. The pendant will come packaged in on signature Risky Beads cardstock bearing its message.
The contest will run from now until the end of October. If you'd like to enter, all you need to do is go to my Etsy shop, Risky Beads, and comment below with a name of a piece that you like. That's it! I'll select the winner from a random draw on November 1st! Have fun and thanks for stopping by!

:-) Lori
ETA: 11/1/08 Commenting is closed. Winner will be announced this weekend! Thanks to everyone who entered.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Begin the Begin

I finally decided to use this little piece of cyber space that I reserved for myself about a year ago. More to come very soon...giveaways, contests, lots of rambling opinions, blah, blah, blah!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Venue Details

Hi! You can get Risky at the following venues:

ArtFire: free shipping and no account needed! I also have a few destash items from my jewelry studio for sale in this shop. Also, the Rapid Cart widget on my blog is run through ArtFire.

Etsy: largest inventory. If you'd like to purchase a piece and want it moved to an alternate venue to get free shipping or to checkout without an account, just email me.


Enjoy, Lori

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Advertise on this blog!

Give your shop some inexpensive and great exposure by advertising on my blog! Please email me an ad no larger than 200 x 200 or I will make a one button (frame) ad for you free of charge.

These are promotional rates...they won't last forever!
One week: $2.50
One month: $7.00

Email me if you're interested and I will send you a PayPal invoice for the amount. Thanks, Lori

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Open Your Heart--PRIZE REDEEMED!

If you're a Risky Beads mailing list subscriber and today is Friday, 1/30/09 or later, and you found this, you probably just won it. Email me at riskybeads [at] gmail dot com with your name and address to confirm that you're the first to find it and it's yours!
Someone got here first and claimed the prize!! Thanks for peeking in! Stay tuned to this blog for the huge giveaway kicking off on Sunday! 11 sellers are pitching in!