Thursday, March 8, 2012

Learning to Fly - On the Fly

I've been trying for a while to figure out the best way to build my creative business, and I've learned there are always going to be a few bumps along the way! It's a long process, and of course, marketing is the biggest key (and obstacle!) to your success... 

Long story short, I discovered these great E-books by Kelly Rae Roberts called " Flying Lessons: Tips + Tricks to Help Your Creative Business Soar...", that are absolutely one of the best resources I've come across! Loads of information in small manageable bites, that take the pain out of learning the ropes of being successful in your craft business, and step-by-step, how to get there... 

Here's a rundown of what the books entail, and what you can hope to learn from them:

In Book One, Kelly talks about "how to create an online presence via blogs, websites, and social networking", and why it is so crucial to your business; she shares strategies on facing your fears, while reaching for your dreams with your creative business, how to create a "web community", and inspiring interviews with other well-known bloggers, as well as personal stories of her own road to success.

In Book Two, she discusses marketing strategies, how to be successful on Etsy and other on-line venues, strategies on increasing traffic to your site, and how to price and photograph your creations. She also answers questions about craft shows, selling offline, doing consignment, copyright issues, and much more... Information that is *invaluable* to say the least, right?

In Book Three, she explains how to get press for your business, information on how to get published in magazines, books, etc... She also discusses licensing, and effective ways to diversify your crafting income, and how to manage your time to get it all done!

Kelly also has what she refers to as "The Whole Shabang". Books 1, 2, and 3, all wrapped up into one, with loads of extra information thrown in for good measure. 

I strongly encourage you to check these books out, I'm ordering mine today! I have posted a link on the right, that will take you to her site so you can read the in-depth information about them for yourself... 

Good Luck, Happy Reading, and...

Peace, Love, and Creativity to you all! :)


Monday, January 16, 2012

Check out our post on the Jewelry Business Success Newsletter! My best friend Tina's birthday gift from a year or so ago makes the perfect jewelry display! Read all about it, (and how to make your own), right here!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fall Means It's Football Time in Tennessee!

I think Spring and Fall have to be my two favorite seasons of the year... (and, I am blessed to live in a place where we get the 4 distinct seasons!) But, I especially love Fall, because it brings all the beautiful colors to the trees, cooler days and nights, a glimpse of winter just around the corner, and, of course, my favorite sport... football!!! (I could literally *gush* about our Tennessee Vols here, but that is another post entirely!) :D

Mom (Cheryl) and I have been enjoying our 8th year of selling jewelry at the football games to all of our wonderful Tennessee fans, and cannot tell you how much fun we have each week mingling with, and getting to know them. They are so gracious and kind, and such pleasant people to meet and spend time talking to each home game. I have to say, we have some of the best, and most dedicated fans in the nation!

So, here's to Fall, Tennessee Football, and to the state where "Life is Orange and White"!

Here is a preview of our newest creations for the 2011 football season, and we hope to see YOU soon!

These are available in our Artfire shop,, as well as from us at the games... They come with a handmade copper chain, available in both 16 and 18 inch lengths, and are adorned with 2 Swarovski crystals, in orange and white.

Enjoy Your Fall!

Lisa and Cheryl

We'd also like to invite you to sign up for our newsletter at the top right of this page! Sign up, and receive news, coupon codes, and information on the latest additions to the site!

Monday, August 15, 2011

For My Friend Celene

Check out this amazing bracelet I made for my friend, Celene... I absolutely love anything aqua, and wanted to share this beauty with you!
I just love the way this baby turned out, and can't wait to make another...
Isn't creativity fun??!

News from Fresh String Beads!


Well, it's Back-to-School time... again! Always sneaks up on us, doesn't it?? (Well, it does me anyway!)
I hope everyone has had an excellent summer and been enjoying those homegrown veggies, trips to the pool, and most importantly, vacations! It's been super-hot here in our neck of the woods, and we have been busy re-vamping and re-organizing to make your customer experience with us even better!

After much consideration, and lots of back-and-forth, we have decided to move our site over to ArtFire. You will still be able to find all of our handmade findings, wire, supplies, etc. on this site. We were getting stretched a bit thin with the multiple sites, and it seemed to be the answer to a lot of the issues we were having... Everyone who has purchased from us through our shops on Etsy can still find us at:! This move will enable us to give you better prices, better service, and an overall better customer service experience!
All of your favorite items, our beautiful handmade findings, and wire supplies and tools will still be available through this site! Please feel free to contact us for any reason, but especially if you don't see something you have purchased from us in the past, and we will make sure that it is still available to you!
You can also sign up for our new monthly newsletter, which will highlight our news, new items available, and, best of all, coupon codes for your purchases! Use the subscription box on the right, at the top of our blog!
We hope to see you again soon! ...and don't forget, our new address is! :D
Peace, Love, and Creativity,
Lisa and Cheryl

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

We Made The Front Cover of Copper Wire Jeweler's Magazine This Month

Hey Everybody!!

We made the FRONT COVER of Copper Wire Jeweler's Magazine!!! I am so excited to share the news with you, I am beaming with pride!

Copper Wire Jeweler's Magazine is an online mag that boasts an amazing array of artists in every scope of jewelry-making, but specializes in copper, with sterling "being accepted as an alternative metal"... That's per Lois, the editor extraordinaire of this fabulous e-zine.

Please check it out, you'll be awed by the beautiful work and photos you find in the gallery. We'd love for you to sign up for the mag as well, if you'd wish... We're 800 strong, and growing!

Here's a link to the mag:

Enjoy! :D


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Trip To The Farm

Hi folks!

I've been away again... This time to have a tooth worked on, and we all know how miserable an idea that is...! Right?

So, I've been thinking that I've only shared with you my passion for playing with wire, making fabulous (as far as I'm concerned, anyway! :D) jewelry and our handmade findings and such. And, I decided I ought to share some of my other exploits with you in order to make things a little more interesting for you...

But more to my point...

My Mom and I have made a trip... or four... to our "family farm" in the last several weeks, and I wanted to share some of the photos, fun, and tales of our exploits with you. Here's a photo of my Mom leaning on a huge poplar tree that is only about HALFWAY up the side of the mountain!

Our farm is located in upper East Tennessee not far off the Clinch River. My Mom and Dad bought it when I was about 11 years old or so, and it truly is the most beautiful piece of property. I've spent many a good hour at that place, at one time or another, growing up. Since we all know that there are always going to be larger-than-life chaos moments; for me, the farm still manages to provide its own bit of solitude amidst all the craziness of the world.

When my sister, Leslie, and I were much, much younger than we are now, we used to love to go to the farm. We would play in the creek, run through the barn, climb up the ladder to the loft... We even braved the 55 degree water to swim in the spring-fed pond one time, until we saw the size of the snapping turtles that were in there with us! (Now, mind you, we didn't know they were in there with us when we were actually IN the water. We saw them afterwards, when we had already gotten out because our lips were turning blue! Nonetheless, it scared the bejeezus out of us when we saw them later!!!)

There's a little-house-on-the-prairie type house that in its day was probably a decent size for as primitive as it must have been when first built. It did eventually have electricity, so it was most definitely used up until some point in the 20th century. When we first got the farm (about 1977), the buildings were in much better shape than they are now, unfortunately. We had several bouts of nasty weather over the last few years, and each successive storm has little by little taken its toll. The barn is starting to slip now, and the poor farm house has had quite a bit of it's tin roof taken off by the wind. The barn suffered some of that fate as well, and is now slowly falling in on the back side. A very sad state of disrepair, to say the least... Here, look...

The barn:

The house:

As you can see, these poor buildings have seen better days. We're now worried about the prospect of NOT doing something about this before it gets any worse, and so we are looking for ideas on how best to save them. We've been thinking of selling them to someone who would like to dismantle them and take them off to either be rebuilt into something that will be taken care of, or maybe even to build furniture, etc. from... Who knows? One thing is for certain, though... They both have fabulous character, don't you think?
One other thing that is certain as well..? I love this place! It holds many fond memories for me...
Thanks for letting me share... See you soon!