EBSQ Holiday Showcase 2012

Happy Holidays!

Enchanted Holly by Melanie Pruitt  Christmas Bauble by Christine Striemer

Home for the Holidays by Ann Ranlett Rudolph and Pengy by Sherry Key

Christmas 2012 by Valerie Jeanne Red Barn by Christine Striemer

No Galaxy is too Far Away by Amanda Makepeace Packages Galore by Carolyn Schiffhouer

Near San Luis by Christine Wasankari Hot Toddy by Windi Rosson

Santas Little Helper by Ann Ranlett Christmas Tree by Carolyn Schiffhouer

Vintage Christmas Charm Bracelet by Lisa Wiktorek Winters Light by Christine Wasankari

Sparkling Snow ACEO by Carmen Medlin Glacier by Windi Rosson

Don’t miss out on more wonderful holiday art. Check out the Tis the Season Art Gallery on EBSQ.

Featured above are: Christine Wasankari, Ann Ranlett, Valerie Jeanne, Christine Striemer, Amanda Makepeace, Melanie Pruitt, Sherry Key, Carolyn Schiffhouer, Windi Rosson, Lisa Wiktorek, and Carmen Medlin.


EBSQ Facebook Artist of the Week: Lisa Wiktorek

Who and where are you?

Lisa Wiktorek of Chesapeake VA.

How were you introduced to Facebook?

My teen daughter introduced me to Facebook! I realized I could make a separate page for just my Jewelry and did just that!

Any tips for other artists starting a Facebook Page?

I think beautiful pictures make all the difference. I also think you should have a direct link from your photo to the item in the store its being sold in, such as ETSY or eBay.

What’s your favorite Facebook Page feature?

I LOVE that I am able to right click and “copy” the web address of my jewelry item in the store, and “paste” it on my FB page! The main picture and store link pops up!

What’s coming next from your studio?

I am working on Travel and Flower themed Altered Art Charm bracelets. I have been working on triple strand bracelet designs as a different twist to my bracelets.

Team EBSQ-Etsy Featured Showcase: Shades of Autumn

Autumn, in all it’s glorious colors, never lasts long enough. Maybe that’s why so many artists are drawn to capturing it’s intensity before Winter takes hold. We hope you enjoy our showcase this month featuring this wonderful flames of color!

Final Bows by Elizabeth Fiedel Poppies by Jeanne Forsyth

Orange Shell Turtle by Sherry Key Evening Show by Jeanne Forsyth Sweetgum Fall by Amanda Makepeace

Down the Yellow Path by Barbara Haviland Pumpkin Festival 2010 by Sherry Key Holding On by Amanda Makepeace

Evening Show by Jeanne Forsyth Mt Charleston Sunrise by Muriel Areno Aztec Diva by Sherry Key


Featured above are: Sherry KeyAmanda Makepeace, Jeanne Forsyth, Barbara Haviland, Elizabeth Fiedel, and Muriel Areno.

Next month’s theme: Winter Wonderland

Are you an EBSQ Artist with a shop on Etsy? Why not join the EBSQ-Etsy Steet Team;)

Guest Post: Handcrafted vs Mass-Produced

The following is a guest post by EBSQ Artist & Jewelry designerJulianne Carson

Why should you buy hand-created jewelry online instead of shopping at a department store or national chain jewelery stores where you are able to touch, examine, and try on the jewelry? I think you will pleasantly surprised at the unique jewelry designs and consistent high quality you’ll find, not to mention better pricing.

Handcrafted vs. Mass-Produced

The majority of jewelry you’ll find at your local department stores have been mass-produced, whereas the jewelry you’ll find from an online jewelry designer is more often than not, handcrafted. While some people don’t appreciate the quality and value of a unique handmade piece of jewelry, others appreciate the time and artwork that goes into the piece. There are many reasons to buy handcrafted jewelry versus mass-produced jewelry. The main reason being that when a jewelry product is mass-produced, the biggest concern for the manufacturer is their bottom line. How much money will each piece cost them and how low can they get their costs? This could mean the compromise of quality materials and assembly, which means you need to ask yourself if the metal is sterling silver or nickel, or, are the pearls on this necklace real? However, when a designer is constructing their jewelry designs by hand, they have complete control over each piece, its quality and materials, and each piece is approved by the designer because it was crafted by their own hands. When I create jewelry, I only use quality materials and inspect every element thoroughly before shipping the finished pieces to my clients.

Does buying more expensive handcrafted jewelry online mean greater savings?

When you buy from an online jewelry designer you are paying for the jewelry and for a very small percentage of their overhead costs. An online jewelry designer such as myself doesn’t have nearly as much overhead as your local department store.
Keep in mind that jewelry designers such as myself have to pay for their website store front, advertising fees and materials to make their jewelry. Most of my friends who are jewelry designers as well, work from their home, so they are using their home utilities and they don’t have to pay for studio space. When you look at working from your own home vs. store front space, the difference in rent is huge.

Local department stores that sell jewelry have to pay rent for their location, which is usually their most expensive overhead cost, plus  salaries for their employers, advertising costs, licensing fees, utilities, wholesale merchandise, and the list goes on. In addition to these overhead costs, the merchandise itself is shipped and passed through many hands before it reaches the retailer. The manufacturer has sold their merchandise to a wholesaler, who then sells the merchandise to the retailer, who then displays the merchandise to sell to you, the customer. In many cases, the prices are more than doubled at each stage, starting from the manufacturer.

As for your savings, it just makes sense to support local jewelry artists and people who offer hand-made goods. When you buy your jewelry from an online jewelry designer, you know that you are getting a customized, high quality piece of jewelry. You will find that materials and assembly aren’t compromised, and the amount of money you are paying for your jewelry is much closer to the actual cost of making the jewelry. Yes, your online jewelry designer is making a profit because it is their business. However, they aren’t selling their jewelry to anyone before it reaches you. You might be paying more for handcrafted jewelry, but you are paying for quality work direct from the creator instead of price inflation, your local department store’s rent, and subsidizing advertising costs on an ad you probably never even saw. Additionally, when you buy direct from the creator, you are guaranteed a truly unique piece of jewelry that will serve as a keepsake for years to come.

When you buy from a small online jewelry business you are going to receive the personal attention you deserve as a customer. Your contact is usually directly from the designer when you place an order. I love that when you deal with a small business you aren’t treated like a number in a huge array of orders. Unlike a large business or department store, a small online business offers great customer service, which will result in a higher customer satisfaction. When you are buying unique handmade jewelry that will serve as a one-of-a-kind accessory for your jewelry collection, you want the personal attention that a small business can give you. In addition, you will probably find out about the designer’s background, or exactly how each piece of jewelry was made, which adds character and greater personal value to your purchase. Custom orders are a common service through online jewelry retailers.

There isn’t a better place to buy unique handmade jewelry than directly from the jewelry designer. You will find the quality and value you are looking for in addition to a truly unique piece of jewelry for your collection.

When we take a look at the recession, I think that a lot of us have had to watch spending and do more with less, myself included. I have to watch how I spend that hard-earned money and I understand the importance of “good” deals.
I could run to a department store and get a couple of things versus purchasing one handmade or local item. When I think about it, are the department store goodies as special and unique as that local handmade treasure? For me, the answer is an absolute NO. I want that one special item. I also want to know that I am making a difference to the person I am buying the item from.
I totally support buying local, handmade items because I want to make a change, not just for myself, but for my fellow artisans who are devoting their time to making beautiful works of art to support their families. I have heard every reason why many people still go for the quick, cheap, and mass-produced stuff that is most commonly manufactured in other countries. As we saw in some children’s jewelry produced in China last year with compromised materials, it can even be lethal! On a personal note, mass-produced work is simply not the right choice for me or my family.
My hope is that I can get a message out to my friends, and they in turn pass the message on that supporting local artisans selling handmade items can slowly, but definitely make a world of difference in our economy. It could also help change spending habits.

Would it really make a difference? YES! Please support original artists and artisans selling handmade this holiday season.

EBSQ Artist Julianne Carson of Hippie Chic Jewelz has been creating handmade jewelry from her studio in Texas since 1995.

EBSQ Blogger of the Week: Lauren Abrams

This week’s EBSQ Blogger of the Week creates magic with her polymer clay and if that wasn’t enough, she also is a skilled Trompe L’oeil painter! I feel blessed to have such a talented artist in my midst.

Who and where are you?

I’m Lauren Abrams and I live in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.

Polymer Pendants

How did you get started art blogging?

I started blogging in the last year or so to try to connect with other artists working in polymer clay. In fact, that’s the name of my blog “Find my way with Polymer Clay”….I know of others who work in this medium and I love their blogs. Some of these bloggers post work by other polymer artists, and of course, their own work. I’ve found that people who work with this relatively new medium are very generous with advice and inspiration.

Kimonofly Pendant

Any tips for other EBSQ art bloggers?

I try to post as often as possible, which is usually when I’ve done some work I’m happy with, or have been mentioned in someone else’s blog or an Etsy treasury. My goal is to post every day lol…

Brass and Polymer Bangles

What’s your musical inspiration of choice when you’re working in your studio?

My ipod contains pretty much nothing but classic rock…a guilty pleasure when I’m working.


What’s coming next from your easel?

I’m almost finished with a brand new studio space. It’s been in the works for a few months and I’m just now moving supplies in and setting up work space. I’m very excited…in all my years as an artist, this is my first real studio that I’ve been able to design from the floors(literally)on up…and I’m thrilled.

I’ve just recently joined the instructors at CraftEdu.com and I’ll be teaching some polymer classes as well as the trompe l’oeil painting I’ve done for over 25 years.  It’s an unusual teaching platform, with slideshow and text, narration and a forum site where students will be able to interact with the instructors. They’ve just launched a closed Beta and hope to work out any bugs and get it open to the public very soon.


Thank you Lauren for being an EBSQ Blogger of the Week!

If you are an EBSQ Artist and would like to be considered for Blogger of the Week just add us to your blogroll. I’m searching EBSQ profiles weekly for links to artist’s blogs. If you aren’t an EBSQ Artist, what are you waiting for?

Join Today!

EBSQ Blogger of the Week: Vickie Miller

This week’s EBSQ Blogger of the Week is another amazing jewelry artist, specializing in lampwork beads and pendants. I find her work so bright and refreshing, it’s like an embodiment of Spring!

Who and where are you?

My name is Vickie Miller and I’m a glass beadmaker and jewelry designer from Camano Island in Washington State.

Hearts Delight, Lampwork Glass

How did you get started art blogging?

Over the years as I’ve followed the blogs of some of my favorite artists I’ve found it fascinating that these creative and talented people were people just like me. They made me feel as though they really wanted to share and connect with me personally and allow me a glimse of their day to day existance. By sharing their photos they invited me into their homes, and introduced me to their families and friends, and they also shared other interests they have outside of their art. I came to realize that I wanted to share in this way also. To show people not only what I do, but that I have a life in addition to my art. I love it when people stop by my blog and leave a comment. It makes me feel approachable as a person and not as just the art they see on their computer screen.

Caribbean Rhythm, Lampwork Glass

Any tips for other EBSQ art bloggers?

I would recommend regular updates to your blog. Even if it’s only a few sentences. Show photos of not only your finished art but maybe the process of you creating your art, steps along the way, or photos of your studio or supplies that you use. People like to have a peek inside your life. Treat them as if they
were a visitor to your home.

Hollow Cone Pendant, Lampwork Glass

What’s your musical inspiration of choice when you’re working in your studio?

Ahhhh, what music inspires me? It could be anything from vintage rock…Foreigner, Elton  and Fleetwood Mac, to contemporary jazz…..David Sanborn and Wynton Marsalis……to Christian artists such as Mercy Me, Jars of Clay, and Amy Grant.

Flip Flopped Feet, Lampwork Glass

What’s coming next from your easel?

What’s coming next from my “easel” or “torch” in my case? I would love to try some of the newer silver laden glass that’s been developed in the last couple years. There are so many beautiful choices I just don’t know where to begin.


Thank you Vickie for being an EBSQ Blogger of the Week!

If you are an EBSQ Artist and would like to be considered for Blogger of the Week just add us to your blogroll. I’m searching EBSQ profiles weekly for links to artist’s blogs. If you aren’t an EBSQ Artist, what are you waiting for?

Join Today!

EBSQ Featured Gallery Video- Artist Made Jewelry

Self adornment – we love it. One of the oldest and most popular types of self decoration is the wearing of jewelry. Some of the most special pieces are individual and created by hand. Handcrafted jewelry is not only an expression of the artist but of the wearer. A beautiful ring or simple pendant can speak to the feelings of the one who made it and how the person who wears it sees themself. Whether created in silver or gold; plain or sparkling with gems and stones, artist made jewelry is that often anonymous coming together of personalities that is unique.

Featuring artist-made jewelry by:

Lauren Cole Abrams

John Biagiotti

Stephanie D’Aigle

Vicky Helms-Kostka

Christina A Kapono

Robin Cruz McGee

Sholeh Mesbah

Vickie Miller

Carmen Trueheart

Terah Lyn Ware