Tuesday, December 2, 2008

November Membership Stats for the LArtisans Team

I have enjoyed inviting fellow Estians to join our team. In November, we sent invitations to 91 Louisiana shop owners to join our team. Of that number, 37 decided to join our group. We have a wonderful team of talented and creative people. I am thrilled to be a LouisianArtisan.

Look for us here...


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Another meet up!

MamasLittleMonkeys is our local liaison for the LArtisans Team and she set up a meet for those who live on the northshore. Yea! I had a great time at the last meet and was looking forward to another one. Last night, LisaRaspino and I drove together again and met MamasLittleMonkeys and JodieFlowers at PJs Coffee.

It was a great meeting. MamasLittleMonkeys had an agenda with great topics to discuss. We talked a lot about getting exposure for our shops and shared with each other our creations. Everyone had good ideas and we all left with some we hoped to implement.

I am happy I have joined this team.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Every once in a while I step out of my comfort zone and give something new a try. Well this time it is Twitter. I am not sure exactly why people would want to know tiny snippets of what I am doing, but ok I'll give it a shot. I like blogging, but with a blog I can actually write like I talk, which makes me feel I am talking to a friend. With Twitter you can only write in short 140 stroke bites. I am not sure if I can make sense in 140 key strokes.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Playing around with business cards

A couple of posts ago I listed a couple of blogs I enjoy reading. I didn't list this blog because I knew I wanted to blog about it later. The blog is called, Just Something I Made, and is written by a creatively gifted Cathe Holden. I love her ideas on how to use graphic art in ways not expected. One of her blog posts was on how to use business cards in different ways.

I decided to give one of her ideas a try. I am by no means as smart as she is and I fully give her credit for this idea. It is a good one. Overnight Prints was having a sale so I jumped in and created my version of Cathe's idea of using a business card to create hang tags. I didn't have any hang tags nor did I have any small cards to use to write a "thank you" for my customers. I like how it turned out. I decided to create 3 tags per card and when cut apart, they are the perfect size for what I need. The left side of the card has room for me to punch a hole, in case I want to add a string to attach it to my jewelry, and the right side has a white strip where I can add the price of the item, if needed.

She is a genius for coming up with this design. She has other great ideas on her blog. Thanks Cathe!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

LArtisans October membership

Wow our team has really grown. In October we added 28 new members to our team. I have been using the Geolocator (when it is working) on Etsy to find members to contact about the team. We have a list of over 400 Louisiana Etsians who have been contacted. New shops are opening every day.

Another new development for the team is the creation of "Bayou Boxes". Members were offered the opportunity to send in item samples for the boxes. It could be actual items or coupons with % off of purchases. I sent in earring samples. They are so cute. I can't wait to see what others send in.

I added a picture of our "Bayou Boxes" once AccentEnvy was able to list them in the team shop. They look great! Those are my goodies in the front left corner... (photo added 11/4/08)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My First Team Meet

Today another member of the LArtisans Team and I met up with 2 other team members. It was a fun outing. LisaRaspino drove and I was excited about meeting her. We had discovered in chat one night that we had several things in common and lived near each other. My DH laughs at me when I meet in person someone I "met" online. Several years ago he was convinced that I had invited a loon to our house after talking with her online. This "loon" has become a wonderful friend. It was a good decision.

We met Tu2Cute and TheWatermelonTree at Books-A-Million. We talked an admired each others wonderful creations. They are all so talented and creative. I enjoyed seeing the excitement in their eyes when they were talking about their creations.

After the meet, LisaRaspino and I planned to go to the best jewelry shop around, Turquoise Coyote. We were both excited about the visit. Unfortunately, they were closed. No problem, we will come back later in the week. I love that store!

It was a fun meet. I am excited about the next one.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Blogs I love to read...

I enjoy reading blogs. Right now my favorite blog to read is Tom and Lorenzo. Their blog initially started out as Project Rungay. I love the Rungay boys. They are funny, snarky and pretty much on point about what happens on each episode of Project Runway. They have turned into media sweethearts because of their brilliant spin on the show. Many of the Project Runway contestants and judges (and of course Tim) read it. They now get invited to the finale and parties. Pretty cool for what started out as a fun thing to write about. Tom and Lorenzo have taken their blog and branched out into other fashion areas. They are still hysterically funny, but it will always be their Project Runway commentary that I love the best.

Another one of my favorite blogs is Yarn Harlot. Stephanie Pearl-McPhee is hysterically funny. She has a wonderful way of looking at life. Some of my favorite posts are this one where she tries to explain why her blog is down and this one where her blog goes down again, but she switches webhosts and is better. Another is this one where her cat talks to her while she is taking a bath. Mothers of daughter will love this one. Her analogies are perfect and spot on. Her acronym "SABLE: Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy" says it all.

Of course there is my other blog, Photographs From Here, and Robyn's blog, Softy Factory. Both blogs are fun reads as well.

I also have a list of other great blogs I read on a regular basis. They are (in no particular order)-

Iriscanine on Deviant Art
Jewelry by Lisa
Mama's Little Monkeys
Handmade Louisiana
Duck and Wheel with String
Daisy the Curly Cat
Just Something I Made
ByHand Gallery
Contrariwise Ramblings
nFall2rt Design Studio
Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice
How About Orange
Jewelry Business Blog
Totally Tutorials
Cake Wrecks
Jewelry Display Ideas
Wire to Jewelry
Make and Takes
Cookie Madness
A Nut in A Nutshell
The Best of DIY
Best Yarn Deals

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Loving Brass

Since I spend a lot of my time on Etsy looking around at all of the great art, I have found that I am becoming drawn to brass jewelry. I made a couple of copper and brass pieces a couple of years ago and I loved what I made. I bought the findings at our local bead store and used all that I bought. I decided to give it a try again.

I really like the look.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Membership Committee

I am now a member of the LArtisans Team. Our team leader has asked if anyone would be interested in joining a committee or chairing one. I volunteered to be membership chair. Since I am no longer heavily involved in Girl Scouts, this will be a great way to help the team grow and I have the time to help. I have some ideas on how to find members and I have several wonderful members who have volunteered to help on the committee.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Louisiana Artisans

I found a new group, or a team as Etsy called them, of people who have shops from Louisiana. The team is called LouisianArtisans or LArtisans. It think it would be great to have a group with whom you could share and exchange ideas with. I am such a newbie, I am open to learning anything that would help our shop to grow and prosper.

I contacted the group owner, AccentEnvy. Hopefully I will hear back soon.

Monday, August 4, 2008

This is a lot of fun

Robyn and I have been having a good time with our Etsy shop. I enjoy reading the forum threads and looking at all of the wonderful items created by these amazing people. I love that there is the opportunity to show what we love to the world. I have a lot of shops bookmarked and I plan to do much of my Christmas shopping on Etsy.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Puzzled- A new series of dog prints

Robyn decided to create a fun series of prints featuring dog breeds and items they enjoy. She decided to begin the series with a lab, in honor of our beloved Skittles. It is a great idea. Check it out.

Friday, July 11, 2008

More and More

We continue to add more and more items to the shop. I have many more items ready than Robyn. I would rather she focused on school. Here is what is new...

"Cosmic Swirl" is a fun pair of
earrings that your screw into
your ears to wear. They are created with sterling silver and Jet Swarovski crystals.

"Dragon's Flight" is a lovely turquoise necklace with a great dragonfly sterling clasp.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Listed our first pieces

We created our shop on June 3, but didn't start listing items until today. We wanted to get everything in place from our shop announcement to our shop policies. I needed to take pictures of the jewelry and crop it down to size. It was pretty easy to figure out how to list items. Etsy has several articles on how to set up a shop, etc. I found those very helpful. Robyn has a couple of pictures listed.

"Learning to Fly" is an original drawing using Prismacolor pencils and "Little Thief" is a print of an original drawing done in Prismacolor pencils.

Two of my listings are...

"Your Basic Black" features Jet and Crystal Swarovski crystals and sterling silver and "Brilliant Ice" is created with Crystal Swarovski crystals and sterling silver.

We are enjoying the adventure...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

About Cheese and Chocolate- A Welcome

Welcome to my blog. I cover topics I find interesting and some information about my and my daughter's creative endeavours. I have a second blog, Photographs From Here, which documents my life through pictures. I hope you enjoy them.

Who Am I?

I am a wife, mom, daughter, sister, volunteer, and creative being. Designing jewelry is a passion of mine. I work mainly in sterling silver and Swarvoski crystals, but I frequently use gemstones as well. Lately, I have been branching out into brass jewelry. I love the look. I also have a passion for knitting and enjoy photography, scrapbooking, and reading.

How Cheese and Chocolate came to be...

After giving it much thought, Robyn and I decided sell our work online. Etsy is an online community of artisans who sell their work through the website. I decided to sell my jewelry and Robyn wanted to sell her art.

We gave our name a lot of thought, asking various family members their opinions and suggestions. Finally Robyn came up with a name we both agreed on...one that would use our favorite food. Every one knows I have 2 loves (outside of my family)...Sting (AKA Gordon Sumner) and Chocolate. So I added chocolate to the name. Robyn loves almost anything with cheese. She decided to become a vegetarian around Thanksgiving almost 2 years ago. She doesn't eat a lot of veggies, but a lot of cheese. I call her a cheesatarian. Anyway...I digress...so Robyn added cheese to the mix and we became Cheese and Chocolate.