Sunday, February 24, 2008

Inspiration behind the piece - Modernated

If you aren't sure what to say, let this necklace say it for you. This modern piece of excellency will surely captivate the eyes of that handsome waiter, or that not-so-nice coworker and leave them speechless.

A bold combination of black and of my favorites as of yet.

I wanted to create something bold. I wanted something big and modern. I love the color of black (or the lack of) and what's better to illuminate it's loveliness than to contrast it against white?

The pendant is 40mm long, and the necklace overall looks amazing and daunting draped across your chest. I like this necklace so much that I had to make one for myself! I wear it a lot, and I always collect a lot of stares.

It would make a great gift for that hard to please woman in your life. Your stubborn teenage daughter...or maybe yourself for a dashing evening out!

This beautiful 2 strand necklace is currently for sale at my Etsy shop. Feel free to take a look--it won't last long.

Interested in a special order? I would love to work with you to produce the jewelry you've fantasized of wearing for an affordable price too! Please email me at for more information.

Thank you so much for reading.

CM Designs
Elite Art for the elite at heart.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Promotional Opportunities

If you want to promote your small handcrafted business, the first place to start is Etsy. This website is devoted to selling your handmade goods. Their shop fees are very fair, and you meet a lot of great people within that website. It's like an ebay for handcrafted goods.

Locally - Every small town or large city (and everything in between) should have bulletin boards and local newspapers. I have started to put flyers around the town I live by. My first one was about my Valentine's Day items, and at the bottom of the flyer I had my business name, email address, and Etsy shop url in strips. That way when my flyer caught someone's attention, they could rip off one of those strips of paper with my contact info.

We have a very small and growing monthly newspaper where I live. I recently started putting in classified ads. The rates are very cheap, and I can put anything I want into it. An example of what I put in is something like this:

Handmade jewelry, bookmarks, and more!
Special requests accepted.
Support your local artist: CM Designs

We Love Etsy - This is a growing website that is a huge directory for Etsy shops. It is very easy to navigate, which means it is easy for customers to find what they're looking to purchase.

Metawebpages - A recently launched website made exclusively for sellers to promote their goods, and for buyers to find what they're looking for. There are already 242 registered members in the forums.

Deviant Art - I have been with this website for years. I currently have one account for my jewelry, and one account for my personal art. Artists around the world share their artwork in many forms, ranging from culinary to collage to woodwork and so much more! The website even offers you the opportunity to sell your artwork as prints, calendars, coffee mugs, and more.

Myspace - Yikes. The social networking website that everyone has heard about. It really is a great place to meet people and to network your business with other people of similar interest. It is a great way for people to stay in touch with you to find out what your business is up to.

Blogging - There are many blogging websites out there. Why have a blog? Not only is it accessible via search engine, it lets people get to know the person behind the business while at the same time keeping updated on the progress of your business. I use mine to promote my business, but I also use it to feature Etsy artists. If you are interested in starting a blog, but you're not sure I suggest looking at other people's blogs to see what they write about. I have some listed blogs under the "Things to read with your morning coffee."

I hope the above content and advice is helpful to you. I thank you so much for reading. Good luck with your business!

CM Designs
Elite Art for the elite at heart.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Jewelry for Men

Jewelry on a man is very attractive...but I don't see them wearing much of any. (and huge silver and gold chains sporting a "clock" doesn't count!)

I just started making jewelry for men. I currently have made two necklaces:

Midnight Epiphany (pictured) and Celtic Necklace.

I want to provide men with the opportunity to wear masculine jewelry that they can feel sexy wearing as well as confident. While I am expanding my men's jewelry section of my Etsy shop, I would like to hear your opinions on what men like, what would look good, what they're looking for, and any other feedback you want to provide. I would appreciate also any feedback from men themselves.

Men, if you are looking for a special necklace...if you have any special requests, please feel free to send me an email at I would be happy to work with you to create something you can feel proud to wear.

Thank you so much for reading.

CM Designs
Elite Art for the elite at heart.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Handmade Valentine's Day Success!

This Valentine's Day I found myself running out of time to make things for my coworkers. I decided it would just be best if I bought handmade items instead.

I bought 4 different handcrafted items from 4 different and lovely Etsy artists.

1. Music Gift Tags: kvossdesigns

I used these lovely vintage inspired gift tags to label each gift goodies bag. I ordered a few extra for myself. They are so pretty.

2. Soy Tea Light Candles: Soybyjen75

I bought 3 packs of these amazing tea lights. I highly recommend the hot chocolate, orange, and vanilla bean. Everyone at work loved them! They smell delicious. I will definitely be back for more!

I put each tea light in an individual ziplock bag and labeled the scent. Today I noticed that someone left a little note on the hot chocolate tea light I gave my friend that said "This smells yummy!"

3. Valentine's Day Matchbook Notebooks:


I saw her cute little notebooks in a chat room one night, and I thought those would be such a cute addition to my work gift bags.

My supervisor actually thought they were a real matchbook to accompany the tea lights!

They are very well made, and they are great for making little reminder notes.

I convo'd her asking is she could make me a set of 20. She immediately sent me a sample of the different Valentine's Day papers she had...and she had my order finished within the hour!

Talk about great service!

4. Hand Dipped Incense Sticks: Angelicstyles

Incense reminded me of love, and I've also never experimented with them myself. I thought it would be a fun addition to my work gift bags.

I ordered ten different scents...and wow! Each one smelled so good I didn't want to give any away.

They are great quality, and I could smell them even before I opened the package they came in.

I put these 4 ingredients together with a heart patterned cellophane gift bag and some store bought cookies. I had my taxes done the night I planned to make cookies, so I had to settle for store bought or none at all. Everyone at work was very happy to see this lovely little surprise on their desk. A coworker hugged me - she was so grateful!

Handmade items are good, and they make people happy.

Thank you for taking the time to read.

CM Designs
Elite Art for the elite at heart.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Kudos to great Customer Service.

I have been receiving a lot of little packages in the mail, and one day my mother comments, "You always get the fun stuff in the mail. All I get are bills."

So I did a quick search on to find a nice inexpensive gift for her. I ended up finding this great horse coin purse made with leather from

After I made my purchase I requested if the seller could include a little note saying something like "Looks like you got something fun this time."

Tom responded quickly saying that he included a little gift card along with packaging the item to make it more like a gift. He also sent it via Priority Mail as apart of his Valentine's Day Weekend special.

The item arrived very quickly, and my mother loved it. The horse is professionally crafted. I am definitely going to purchase another one for my boyfriend's mother.

Tom has a variety of other leather goods from purses to wallets to much more! Please feel free to browse his lovely shop:

Thank you so much for reading.

CM Designs
Elite Art for the elite at heart.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Etsy Artist Feature 9: amsx05

It is important to show the world the charm of handmade items. I plan to do this one Etsy artist at a time. Today I feature amsx05 from Phoenixville. This mother daughter team specializes in lovely greeting cards for many occasions.

Below you will find their interview:

1. What is the first memory of crafting that you can recall?

The first memory I recall of crafting was when I was little. I used to take private art lessons and thats the first time I really realized what crafting and art was.

2. What do you specialize in?

I now specialize in making greeting cards. It is truly my passion and love. I am still realitivly new but I am learning fast!

3. What made you decide to open up a shop on Etsy?

I heard about etsy on a local radio station and decided to check it out. I fell in love with the website and realized that this is something i wanted to be apart of. I have met tons of amazing and wonderful people on here and wouldnt change it for anything!

4. What are your hopes for the future?

My hopes for the future are to continue selling on etsy and continue making lots of friends. Since I am so young, I will be attending college next year to major in Elementary Educa tion and minor in Business. I will still continue crafting though :] My long term plans include opening my own little shop in a nice town someday.

5. What are some of your favorite past times?

I love to take weekend trips to different places and visit all kinds of wonderful unqiue shops. I feel inspired by all the new things I see.

6. Try to sum up your workspace in as few words as possible.

Messy, but functional.

How do you feel about custom orders?

They are always welcome. I will try my best to make sure their needs get met.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I hope i can bring some happiness and smiles from my products!

How can people get in contact with you?
They can email me at

or contact me through etsy.

Thank you so much for reading! Please check back next week for a new Etsy Artist feature!

CM Designs
Elite Art for the elite at heart.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Inspiration behind the piece.

The Gambler's Bracelet

My boyfriend suggested that I make a special piece to accompany me to the Holiday party at his work. He works at a Bingo Hall/Place of gambling, and my first thought was to make a charm bracelet...and the color green. Green is luck and is the Lucky #7 and the horseshoe, and the four-leaf clover, and four aces.

When I first tried on this piece, I didn't want to take it off. It rested so beautifully on my felt so right.

Charm bracelets are coming back into the world of modern fashion, and this bracelet is the perfect concoction of playfulness and superstition and style; faceted Swarovski crystals and Czech glass, and the shiny bright appearance of sterling silver with the added cuteness of "lucky" charms.

He looked me in the eye and said that even though I didn't sell it that night, he was still glad that I made it.

You can find this fine piece for sale here.

Thank you so much for reading.

CM Designs
Elite Art for the elite at heart.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

I'm happy to say...

That I made it into another treasury! This one is for Autism Awareness. I am in the bottom right hand corner! There are many great items for a great cause.

I am also happy to say that I am going to be adding a lot of bookmarks to my shop soon! A little of everything this time around...something for guys, something for girls, and something for everyone else!

If you ever have any requests for bookmarks or any other item, please let me know. I would be happy to make it for you. :)

I am also happy to say that I found some really neat things yesterday when I was browsing Etsy like so:

These beautiful corset arm warmers can be found at mtcoffinz's Etsy shop:

Very sexy. Very intellectually seductive. I need to buy me a pair. If they were green, I'd be in heaven!

This lovely, gangsta pendant can be found at Mystarrrs' Etsy shop:

We Roll Mad Deep cute!

So against the rules! I will never look at penguins, giraffes, raccoons, or rabbits in the same light again...nor will I be trapped into a corner with them coming at me!

New thought...they come together and tickle you. A frightening thought.

I'm happy to say...

Thanks for reading, and I hope you are struck with such creative impulse that you make a masterpiece.

CM Designs
Elite Art for the elite at heart.

Saturday, February 9, 2008


I'm in my second treasury at Etsy. Mine is the necklace on the pink background.

It feels great to be apart of one. I never really understood how the treasuries work, but I'm still happy about it!

For future designs I'll keep the treasuries in will be a nice inspiration to create something someone wants to share with everyone!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Etsy Artist Feature 8: arizonadreams

It is important to show the world the charms of handcrafted items, and I plan to do this one Etsy artist at a time. Today I feature Pam from Phoenix, Arizona. She makes beautiful dream catchers in a variety of colors, sizes, and styles.

Below you can read her interview:

  1. What is the first memory of crafting that you can recall?

My mom was an artist. She would go somewhere and sketch and then oil-paint the sketch she had drawn. She had 6 girls and taught us how to crochet, sew and embroider. My first memory was making pot holders on a loom and selling them in the neighborhood for a quarter/pair or 15 cents for one.

2. What do you specialize in?

I love to crochet and cross-stitch, but I've been making dream catchers for almost 20 years now. I love to make each one unique and weave beads into a metallic web. Some say I put magic into them as the recipient has more peaceful dreams.

3. What made you decide to open up a shop on Etsy?

I've been selling in other venues and another online shop for several years now. The first day I listed some items one sold and I was hooked.

4. What are your hopes for the future?

Just to keep busy in any craft I partake in. I recently made a felted crochet purse that I sent to an elderly friend for Christmas. She loved it. I strive to try new things.

5. What are some of your favorite past times?

Not exactly a tv person, so I spend most free-time making my crafts and going to my 18-year-old son's basketball games. He plays varsity, league and club and is just a great and talented kid (adult?)

6. Try to sum up your workspace in as few words as possible.

Lots of boxes...I'm really picky about the feathers I use, so I buy huge bags full when I can.

Is there anything you would like to add?

I like to think that my dream catchers are some of the prettiest I've seen. I color coordinate all of them, and my feedback has been awesome. I also like to believe that the recipients are having better dreams. There is more to the legend than the beauty of the dream catcher.

How do you feel about custom orders?

I love custom orders. I've had sport teams, seashell designs, marriage and newborn/twin requests.

You can contact Arizona Dreams through her Etsy shop:

She also sells on Handmade Catalog:

You may also send her an email:

Thank you so much for taking the time to read.

CM Designs
Elite Art for the elite at heart.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Bookmark Expansion!!!

I walked into Half Price Books the other day, and the only bookmarks they had for sale were paper-like ones with thread ribbons tied to them. Sure, they have cute kittens on them, but I can easily make one of those myself.

I never see bookmarks like my recent Coffee Lover's Bookmark for sale anywhere:
It's stylish, it's cute, it's trendy...and it's the perfect conversation starter for when you're spending a lovely afternoon drinking coffee and reading a great book.

I've decided to really expand my bookmark selection. They made great gifts for teachers, for your straight A student...for anyone who enjoys the written word. I wish I had kids so I could slip one of these bookmarks into their book while they're sleeping. That would be a wonderful surprise to wake up to!

For now I am going to introduce a little of everything to get a feel for what people are wanting...Celtic Designs, Animals, Celestial, Native American, and more. My bookmarks come in mini sizes and large sizes, great for paperback or hardback!

Expect to find some more lovely handcrafted bookmarks making their way into my Etsy shop in the coming days and weeks. (I actually plan to work on some tonight!)

Special requests are always appreciated--I'd be happy to fulfill your bookmarking needs and wants.

Happy Reading!

CM Designs
Elite Art for the elite at heart.

Etsy Artist Feature 7: wildewear

It is important to show the world the charms of handcrafted items, and I plan to do this one Etsy artist at a time. Today I feature Tricia from Boston. She is an amazing clothing designer that is full of life and enjoys the work that she does. Below you will see some of her favorite items that are currently for sale:

And below you can read her interview:

1. What is the first memory of crafting that you can recall?

My first crafting memory was making an apron out of green and white check fabric. I lived with my grandmother in Ireland and she taught me to sew and knit and make just about anything with my hands. I was 6 and haven't stopped since!

2. What do you specialize in?

I now design clothes some one of a kind from recycled sweaters and others are just designs I make up. I design cloths that are both visually and texturally interesting that are easy and comfortable to wear. I dislike boring clothes and try to create designs to inspire others creativity.

3. What made you decide to open up a shop on Etsy?

I had heard about it and when I went to check it out I was just completely blown away by the amazing creativity and talent here. It has so inspired my own creativity, I think I have grow as a designer.

4. What are your hopes for the future?

I hope to continue to sell on etsy and work out of my home. I love the idea of creating, designing and making the cloths I sell. I just love my job! I have Etsy to thank for that. Everyday I wake up I just can't wait to start my day on Etsy and in my studio. It's an amazing gift.

5. What are some of your favorite past times?

Wow past times....I have so many things I just love to do. I am a contact improvisation dancer (they have a website which explains better than I ever could), I love to snow board with my 3 sons (I stay off the half pipes though cos I am chicken!), I love to sail and windsurf, I love to recycle and create all kinds of stuff from things found, I love to learn languages and basically I love to explore life.

6. Try to sum up your workspace in as few words as possible.

My workspace is a dynamic ever changing place, sometimes neat, and other times like dangerous!

How do you feel about custom orders?

I can take custom orders, but there times when I need to slow down and only sell my listing. I also have some wholesale accounts.

Would you like to include an image of yourself, the artist?

Most of the photos are me. When I am lucky I can get some dance friends to model. The attached are some of my favorites and are all me. Here are a few of my current favorites in my shop.

You can contact wildewear through her Etsy shop:
You can also email her at

Thank you so much for taking the time to read.

CM Designs
Elite Art for the elite at heart.


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