Are you in North Carolina and want to see Shore Debris in person? My jewelry is available at this Sanford location:

Divine Designs by Nancy, 92 Amarillo Ln

You can also find my jewelry in this Southwest Florida gallery:

Elizabet Bryant Art Gallery, 200 West Dearborn Street, Englewood, FL 34223

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

This week's favorite... a bit of Faerie...

Browsing on etsy the past couple of weeks, I keep coming across these cute little faerie doors from

Doing so much work in my garden recently, I can just picture one of these doors in my garden, sort of behind a hosta and against the brick facade - or maybe up on my front porch, to the side of a wicker planter?

LovingLee is from the great state of North Carolina (just like me) and has a wonderful shop announcement. She describes imagination and love as two of the most important ingredients in any craft.

And following her lead, we will close the day with: "Live the magic."

Monday, June 29, 2009

I made my first sale on Etsy!

I was so excited when I made my first sale at my etsy store:

I had an e-mail that I didn't know what it was from, an immediate payment, and a great feeling. I was thinking - Wow! I'll finally have some sort of feedback rating, too. I package the item nicely, ensure it is all set, print the mailing label, e-mail the customer the tracking number, and wait...

Weeks go by... I double check to make sure it was delivered, and yes, two days following the shipment, the package was delivered. I hem and haw, considering whether or not to e-mail the customer and make sure everything was ok. Getting on the computer, I decide to look at the customer's profile. The customer has a positive feedback rating, all from other sellers... I click on the "feedback left for others" link and come to find out, this buyer has never left feedback for anyone. At least I can sit and know that my item was not bad in comparison to other sales....

Now I sit here wishing I never had that sale - turning that great positive into a negative... Without that sale, I'd show up on etsy's "Undiscovered" page, but alas, now I must live as someone who's had a sale, but didn't sell something good enough for the buyer to want to leave feedback.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Shopping on Etsy... Product Review #2

So, would you think to find handmade dog toys on etsy? It never would have occured to me.

I was trying to participate in a shop critique thread (even though I did a critique on three other shops, I never was able to get mine critiqued... ho hum...) when I ran across a crotched dog toy maker. Now the newest addition to my family, Libby who was adopted from Carolina Animal Rescue and Adoption, has made me a complete sucker for all sorts of cute dog toys... although the neighbors think I indulge her "come and get me" games a little too much.

Anyway, here is the Ice Cream Cone toy I bought for Libby. And there are more dog toys available in this store:

It arrived in a regular large envelope with 2 crocheted toys and a couple of dog treats. Packaging was minimal - which is what I like because I hate having to throw away lots of that stuff. The price was great for what you get - at Walmart you can hardly get one toy for the price of the two that were sent to me.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Website Grader, again...

Well, I tried the website grader on this blog... 6th percentile :) Not so great, eh? I guess it is like growing up - must take baby steps to make it big.

And now I'm not as impressed with the whole grader. It looked like a whole scam thing for getting you onto their own e-commerce and blog websites versus where you are already.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Bad Craft Show Experience...

Ah, if I only knew these rules before I signed up for that fair!

Here's a link to some good pointers:

Brought to us by the lovely owner of

It is geared toward the papercrafters, but since I was at the same show, I can verify that this list of tips applies to all crafters. One good thing did come out of this horrible 2.5 week long fair - I met the extremely nice owner and creater of Cinnamon Spice Papercrafts. She is the one who pointed me in the direction of etsy - mentioning the crafting-only selections, the great people willing to help you and point you in the right direction, etc, etc. She also pointed me toward Vista Print (an online printing solution for just about anything you may need for your business) and the fact you can get many free items from them :) - Let me know if you see my purple P.T. Cruiser running around Raleigh and Fayetteville with my big Shore Debris magnet!

If accidentally find yourself in a bad craft show, I wish you the luck to meet someone who can turn the whole experience into a positive for you, too.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Tidbits on making your website better...maybe :)

I've been soaking up all the information I can from the etsy community forums and ran across this neat piece of info:

This is a report tool that "grades" your website on its set up, announcement line, how google finds it, etc, etc. So my grade came to be in the 67th percentile... but it also told me all of the etsy buttons like add to cart, the etsy logo at the top, etc were not attached to anything and bringing my score down. It also said my score was brought down because I have too many pictures.... so maybe it is not the best tool in the world, but it seemed neat at the time. (That could also be because it makes about the same amount of sense to me as Google Analytics.)

I did notice at the end of the report that apparently I do not show up on any google search at all, so I guess I need to figure that out by the end of the week, huh?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Great Shop Names (2)

While browsing an online forum, I ran across another great shop name: A Stubborn Woman

I was reading this forum and saw a posting that had a statement about optimizing website stuff and ended with "[comma] StubbornWoman." I was just getting ready to get on my high horse about egotistical "men" until I realized that was the username, not something the other user was calling her out of spite.

If you think it's cute, too, check her out here:

She has a lot of crocheted hats and such which really aren't for me because I don't like to go anywhere that it gets lower than about 65 degrees :) She also has some really neat amulets that she has made with copper wire.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Younger siblings and how they can surprise you

When I left home for college, I was 17 and my little brother was 15. I stood about 6 inches taller than him and out weighed him by about 40 lbs... that's still how I remember him. Now, although he's closer to 6ft, I still outweigh him, but everytime I visit I feel like I'm meeting a stranger. Why does my mind always go back to the person that was much smaller than me 10 years ago instead of the mature young man who is there today? And why do I almost want to gag when I think of the term "young man"? Is this something all older siblings experience?

Today I came to the realization that so much has changed... and somehow he is more mature and further along in life than I am. And I mean lots more mature... read this: and compare it to my tongue in cheek ramblings...

Yeah, I got a college degree and got married, but here I am, living in my first house, just stopped working 1 April 2009, trying my had at being a full-time crafter, I have an engineering degree that I am not using, and have no direction at all that I am headed right now.

Now there's my brother... little brother... has a master's degree in computer engineering, just bought his second house, does consulting work on the side of his day job, has numerous website ventures, and is now writing a blog that is light-years ahead of my maturity level.

My family would argue that my time in the Marine Corps (5 1/2 years) and going to Iraq and all sorts of things bring on maturity. I don't think so - I think the military is social retardation... and social retardation to the extreme when you deploy. In Iraq, you get out of bed, you go to a bathroom (port-a-john) that someone else cleans for you (contractors). You go to breakfast where someone else (contractor) cooks for you. You drop off your bag of laundry and get a tag so you can come back and pick it up tomorrow morning (contractor). You go to work. You go to lunch that someone else (contractor) cooks for you. You go back to work. At least one person in your building has a care package full of candy - you dig into it like little kids. You go to dinner that someone else (contractor) cooks for you. You go to shower realize you are out of shampoo and go back to the office to dig through the 5 ft by 5ft pile of shower stuff that has been sent over to Iraq by well-meaning groups (but I guess they don't realize how much they are really sending to Iraq) and pick out a bottle that will work for you. In the evening you sit down and watch a bootlegged copy of some movie on your friend's laptop. Around midnight, you realize you are still hungry so you go back to the chow hall for yet another meal cooked by someone else. Absolutely no responsibility except doing your job.

Well, time for me to go to bed.

Shore Debris has openned its doors for business!

Ok, so it has been out there for a couple of weeks, but not many people know... and after my latest virtual lab, I feel like I know more of what I am doing!

Please visit at and feel free to give me pointers, what you like, what you don't like, etc, etc :) I like to hear all.

Oh and if you want to buy something, mention this blog and you'll get 10% off your purchase. (Put "Blog" in your comments to seller.)

Have a wonderful rest of your Saturday!

Creating a store name...

Do store names interest you? Especially when you think they are neat or sort of tongue in cheek or a complete play on words? Well, they do me...

My grandmother Rita, you can meet her on Facebook - Rita Cochran, is our name person. The first store she wanted to name was She'll Shell (looks almost like shell shell, but is She Will Shell as in She will shell for the rest of her life)... We found out a couple of years ago that does not work since shell gas owns all names of anything even resembling Shell for the name. Oh, well.

So that is how we got to Shore Debris... most of our items are made from stuff washed up on the beach, so figured it was an appropriate title (also courtesy of Grandma). She's always coming up with great lines and has this wonderful string joke I'll share another day. The latest card idea she had was a sea shell... you could see that it had been cracked and the animal was working on putting it back together, but before it was completely fixed, this shell had rolled up on the shore. Our card would read: "Can see you're on the mend"

Now my dad every once in awhile comes out with a zinger, too. Usually he's more talkative after a beer or so, but a couple of years ago when my Aunt Lori was trying to figure out what to call her jewelry business, my dad popped in with "BCF Designs. " Of course all of us are pondering what on earth this could be... It sounds like really neat initials, but not anyone's in the family. It stood for "Beckett's College Fund." (Beckett is her son.) We all thought it was quite entertaining.

In the past few days, I have run across another store name that I thought was neat (and would make the rest of my family jealous). It is "Just for the Shell of it." A real nice lady owns it and is on etsy at She sells trinket and jewelry boxes, wedding accessories, and other sea shell themed items.

As I find more neat names, I'll pass them along...

Shopping on Etsy....

I have found my new obsession.... purchasing items on etsy.

And to think my husband was happy that I had just given up my e-Bay obsession. Have you never heard of etsy? That's Ok, I hadn't either until about 2 months ago - I was working a booth at what was supposed to be an Artists' and Crafters' tent at a local fair (was a major bust because the organizers FORGOT to mention to the crafters who had signed up that they didn't sell all the booths by the deadline, so they openned it up to flea market vendors). There was a papergoods lady sort of behind me in the tent that showed me etsy... an online venue for artists, crafters, their supplies, and unique vintage items only! So unlike e-Bay, you don't have to sift through the trash in order to get to the good stuff... and selling handmade on e-Bay is hard since "most" everyone on e-Bay is looking for a deal or steal only (I'm guilty, too.).

So in the process of setting my own etsy shop up, I have managed to find all sorts of cool items and sellers on etsy and want to share them with the world :)

So the first product I want to share with you is from: These guys specialize in both seeds and unique vintage glassware and pottery.

I have bought their Heirloom Fruit Seeds for the SunBerry plant. They were a great price, too - only $1.50 and they sent a pack of pepper seeds as a free gift. So much more exciting than going to Lowe's and getting your seeds. At first I was sort of disappointed in the price for shipping - $1.99 (Being an avid online purchaser and single-handedley attempting to keep the post office affloat, I have a pretty good idea where shipping prices should be for any given item.) But reading their profile more, I saw that they charge the same shipping for your first 10 packets of seeds - now that is very reasonable. I just should have bought more seeds!

It arrived in the mail in a standard envelope (the same size all your bills arrive) so I didn't realize I had gotten them already. Inside the envelope there was a nice handwritten note about both of the seeds (handling, planting, etc) and the seeds were wrapped in a bit of bubble-wrap.

I'll take a picture of the plants in a few months and let you know how the berries are!