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)