Sunday, August 1, 2010

A Half Century

It's been along time since I've managed to post here--the summer has been crazy hectic--but it's not been quite 50 years. :-D

August is my birthday month, and the half century I'm referring to will be my age in a few weeks. I'm totally excited! The only thing more awesome than being a half-century is turning a full century, and I have a long time to plan that celebration.

To celebrate I'm having a Buy 1, Get 1 50% Off sale in all my shops all month long! For each item you purchase I'll take half off the price of a second item (discount will be on the lowest-priced item). Send me a Happy Birthday message via the venue you shop at and I'll either adjust prices for you or send you a refund.

Celebrate with me at LuckyGirlTrading on eBay, LuckyGirlTrading on Etsy, or LuckyGirlTrading on ArtFire.

I've got some new creations to show off, and a few more birthday celebrations to share, so check back in a few days to see what else I have going on!

Friday, May 14, 2010

How Much Gold is in Your Gold Jewelry?

I'm getting ready to restock my chains and have been searching for some new suppliers. I only have a couple of chain styles available in gold vermeil, and haven't been interested in adding gold-plated or gold-filled pieces, but I do want to add more vermeil. Mr. LuckyGirl and I ended up having a huge discussion about the differences between plated, filled, and vermeil jewelry, and to settle things I did a bit of research. I thought I'd share my findings with you (while sparing you a recap of the bickering).
  • Gold plated jewelry has a fine layer of gold coated to the outside of a metal base (often nickel). The gold layer must have a minimum thickness of .5 microns.
  • Gold electroplated jewelry has a fine layer of gold coated to the outside of a metal base (often nickel). The gold layer must have a minimum thickness of .175 microns.
  • Gold filled jewelry is created by using heat and pressure to permanently fuse a layer of gold over a metal base. The minimum layer of gold must equal 1/20th of the total weight of the finished item. An item stamped with "1/20 14k GF" means 1/20th of its total weight is 14 karat gold.
  • Rolled gold plate is similar to gold filled, but the quantity of karat gold is less than 1/20th of the total weight of the finished metal piece. An item stamped with "1/40 14k R.G.P." means 1/40th of its total weight is 14 karat gold.
  • Heavy gold electroplated jewelry has a thick layer of gold coated to the outside of a metal base (often nickel). The gold layer must have a minimum thickness of 2.5 microns (100 millionths of an inch).
  • Gold vermeil jewelry has a thick gold layer over sterling silver with a minimum thickness of 2.5 microns (100 millionths of an inch).

I prefer vermeil: it's much more affordable than solid gold made completely with precious metals.

What about those karats and colors?

24 karat gold is solid gold, with no added metals. It's too soft for most jewelry, so the gold is mixed with other metals like nickel or zinc for hardness. The number of karats tells you what fraction of gold was used in creating the metal of your piece. For example, 14 karat gold is made of 14 parts of gold and 10 parts other metals. Copper is added to create rose gold, silver to create green gold, and nickel or palladium are added to create white gold. Much of the white gold being produced in the U.S. is also plated with a thin layer of rhodium to give a brighter white color.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

New from the Kiln

Things have been so hectic here with My LuckyGirl working out of town and me still learning to fill the role of full-time wicked stepmother that I haven't been able to list many new things in my shops. I've been making new things, but most are stuck somewhere in the line-up of taking photos, cleaning up photos, and writing descriptions.

So you get to see some of my new favorites here first! The incense burner and the plates will make it into my Etsy shop soon, but if you're interested in something before then just let me know.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Zero Shipping!

I've been working on ways to lower my shipping costs, and I'm excited to announce that I'm changing the shipping price for the majority of my items to $0.00! I've updated almost 75% of the eligible listings in my eBay store, and as soon as I've finished up there I'll move on to changing the shipping costs in my Etsy and ArtFire shops.

Heavy items like plates, slumped bottles, and jewelry boxes won't ship for free, but just about everything else will. If you've got your eye on something and I haven't adjusted the postage cost yet just let me know and I'll move it to the top of my list.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Wholesale Slumped Bottles

I've finally got things in order here so I can expand a bit. My first project has been getting my slumped bottles ready for wholesale orders. They make great impulse purchases in wine stores, gift shops, and even bars; and are unique serving pieces for the right appetizer or dessert.

The lucky thing is that before I had my line sheet half finished, I had my first wholesale order! My bottle plates are being used in an upscale restaurant in Raleigh to serve appetizers. I'm hoping to get a photo or two of them in action, and I promise to share if/when that happens!

The bottles are heavy, so shipping is expensive. Although I'm happy to ship them, I've decided to concentrate my efforts locally. People will have the option of picking up their order, and if they order enough bottles I'll deliver them for free.

If you have a business in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina area and want more information, you can get my wholesale slumped bottle details in PDF format.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Fused Glass Spoon Rests: My Cure for Grumpy Cooks

I can't stop giggling at this smiley face spoon rest! In fact I love it so much I plan to start on more of them this week! So far this is the only one, and I don't think it will stay in my Etsy shop for long.

For cooks who prefer a more upscale look, this true blue spoon rest is gorgeous! It's a beautiful translucent blue, and I love how it plays with light.

I'll try to get a few more new things posted later this week!

Monday, March 29, 2010

I Do Not Want to Move All This Merchandise

Mr. LuckyGirl is still searching for a job, and he's expanded his search area to Charlotte--about 3 hours away. As much as I don't want top move, I know that we'll go where we need to go. I've been looking around our house, both hoping we don't have to move and dreading the day we begin packing.

I decided to reopen my eBay store a few weeks ago in an effort to reduce the amount of inventory we have, just in case we end up moving. I've been trying to add 10 items each day, and I'm stunned at how many beautiful things I've had tucked away in drawers and file boxes! I can easily continue listing 10 items each day for a few more weeks before I have to put any effort into searching out stragglers.

I'm anxious to clear these things out--I'd rather pack them now send them to new homes than pack them later and drag them with me--so if you see something you like please feel free to make me an offer!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Hot--and Green!--From My Kiln

Not really hot, temperature-wise--I always let the kiln cool down slowly to room temperature before I unload it so that the glass doesn't suffer from cooling stress. Hot as in new and now!

I love this business card holder! I used a layer of clear glass with an iridized coating and iridized stringer over a layer of translucent green. The glass with stringer attached is really difficult to work with, but absolutely worth every bit of struggle!

This 7" plate began with the same glass as the card holder, but I added frit and confetti (paper thin bits of glass). After several rounds in the kiln it developed some tiny, beautiful air bubbles. I hadn't planned on the bubbles, but they add a nice touch to this plate!

This cute little plate is about 5" square, with a recessed area in the center. It would work as an appetizer plate, a candle holder, or a coaster. I'm really happy with the way the blue and the green complement each other.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Few More Awesome Finds

Betti, by Kate Louise, has the sweetest handcrafted headbands and crocheted beanies and scarves. We loved this cream satin lace headband so much I asked her to make an assortment of similar headbands. They were all terrific, and arrived much faster than I expected.

I'm not usually a fan of coffee cup cozies, but I picked up this one for the monkey-lover in the family. It's so cute and well made that I'm thinking of getting a few more to use for "just because" gifts. Really, can you look at that face without smiling? Click over to Maceme and have a look around, there's always something new and different to discover!

Far superior to the old pet rocks (anybody else remember those?), this rock has a dragon figure carved into it. This piece is so terrific I'm thinking about getting more rocks, maybe Mr. LuckyGirl will get a custom rock to celebrate our anniversary (ssshhhhh!). Check out sjEngraving, especially the custom nest section.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

I Really Did Not Mean to be MIA for so Long!

Really, I didn't! But in the midst of the normal craziness of the holidays, I went from being a wicked weekend stepmom to having two kids in the house 24/7. This has been a huge adjustment for everyone, especially the children, and has managed to drain my time faster that you can say "Who forgot to flush?".

We're finally beginning to find some sense of schedule, so things are looking up a bit. And I do enjoy having kids in the house! So anyway, I want to show off some of my favorite purchases.

I found these cute stuffed trees at TattieTats. They added a bit of Suess-ness to our holiday decor, and were a big hit. You can find a beautiful assortment of headbands, clips, and other hand-sewn lovelies there year-round.

These snowflake ornaments were made with walnut and maple, and just like real snowflakes you can find something unique about each one. That's one of my favorite things about buying handcrafted items! I found these at D and D Woodworks, and I've got my eye on a set of handcrafted wood trivets next. Check out the brain teaser puzzle there while you're browsing!

This penguin shirt has been a huge hit. It's not only really cute, but if you lift up the back of the shirt you can read the story of these penguins on the inside. How cool is that? Check out all the awesome shorts and things at Aleloop--I was entertained for quite a while!

This sweet little Scottie dog was originally named Snowflake, but my 18-month-old grandson immediately renamed it Kitty. (I still giggle when I think about that!) Check out Juliekope for more cute stuffed creatures and some amazing handsmocked clothing.