Friday, March 15, 2013


More new things!

I FINALLY got my business license in the mail today! What's that mean for you? It means I can finally go do some behind-the-scenes financial stuff so I can start listing things in my etsy store.

"But you don't need a business license to list on etsy," you say. Well, yes. That's true. But it will help me keep my finances organized, which in turn means more creating and less headaches!

I also just placed my first order for business cards. I'll have to figure out the ins and outs of getting a custom logo made eventually, but since graphic design is like trying to understand Swahili, these will do for now.

Now onto the stuff you want to see!

I have a friend who is getting married later this year. Her husband-to-be owns a gaming store, and it comes as no surprise that their wedding will have some geeky elements to it. She and her bridesmaids will be wearing d20 pendants. She asked if I could come up with a design. I haven't gotten her approval yet, but I'm so excited about what I've come up with so far, I'm going to be offering wrapped dice as a regular thing if they go over well.

So tell me what you think!

Here's the prototype:

Wrapped with the 20 facing outward. As if there were any other way!

Blurry top detail.

This one was "borrowed" from the Boy's dice bag while he was sleeping, and wrapped using my practice wire. Which means it's not for sale and I'll have to cut it out and give it back anyway. *sad* But I needed the practice, so that's alright.

Anyway, what do you think? Would you wear such a thing? Do you have any suggestions or critiques that could make it better?

There will be more geeky dice-centered jewelry in the future, assuming these go over well. I've had at least one business owner geek over this so much she offered to give me her spare dice to kick start the process of making more, and demanded I get my merchandise on her walls, pronto. That's the value of networking, kids!

So I picked up her lonely, neglected dice and picked out some pretty fancy d20s (and a couple d4s) today. Here's a group shot:

As always, any and all feedback is appreciated! Let me know in the comments what you think, or tell me over at Ishtar's Garden on Facebook, here.

Friday, March 8, 2013


Oh my goodness! So, so sorry about disappearing on you like that. Two jobs, a side job and winter really hit me hard this year. Sorry I haven't been keeping you updated. How rude of me! Hopefully I'm back to stay for a while this time.

I've been up to more than plenty in the mean time. I switched out one stressful day job for another less stressful one, and still have the other. So there's that. I truly have been working on jewelry when no one was looking (unless you follow Ishtar's Garden on Facebook, then you already know all about it! Click --> here <-- to check it out!).

One of the most important developments I'd like to talk about is that I've taken the next step in making this dream of a business a reality. I've registered the business name with the state as well as applied for the actual business license and associated permits. Still waiting on getting the license from the city, but I got one of the permits in the mail, which makes me think it's been approved. However, I still have to wait on that piece of paper before I can continue moving forward. Both a grumble and "yay" are appropriate here, I believe. So, grumble. And yay!

Now on to the part you actually care about! What have I been doing these past two months since I posted last? Well, I've been really inspired the last month or so! Follows are a few photos of just some of the things I've been working on... I'll update more when I've worked out some of the kinks in the other styles I'm not ready to unveil yet. (Shameless plug - I definitely update the Facebook page with this info, including my works in progress, much more regularly if you're interested in keeping up to date. There are even cell phone photos of prototype styles I haven't officially unveiled yet!)


So here's what I've been working on!

I've got a brand new style of crescent moon pendant...

 Dark blue base, hammered for strength and texture, with mother-of-pearl chips and stars, turquoise howlite, as well as a few turquoise and clear Czech glass beads.

Hammered gunmetal base with tiger's eye and labradorite chips, hematite stars, and black weaving wire. 

Hammered dark blue base wire with lapis lazuli, blue goldstone, turquoise howlite and black Czech pressed glass stars woven with black wire. 

Magenta hammered base wire with mother-of-pearl and rose quartz chips, delicate pink fire polished Czech pressed glass flowers, mother-of-pearl stars and woven with pink wire.

Tiny little nest pendants...

Rose quartz "eggs" in a nest of magenta and tarnish resistant sterling silver wire.

Size reference.

I've also finally started wrapping stones. Here's an example...

Amethyst point wrapped in purple and tarnish resistant sterling silver wire with a decorative twist on the front.

I also have a new design for the trees of life in the works, as well as a few new bead wraps for simple. elegant pendants or earrings. I may also start making chains for necklaces, bracelets etc but that's still in the works.

As you can see, I am still alive and well! I've just been so busy with my day jobs and so inspired with new ideas I've kind of hermited away. I'll try to keep the updates coming much more regularly! Forgive me?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Repairing the Bat

There's a local coffee shop called Burial Grounds in downtown Olympia. Some time ago, for reasons unknown to me, the owner added me on Facebook. I was flattered.

After I started this jewelry adventure, she contacted me to fix a beloved pendant she had. (Did I mention flattered? What's flattered squared?) After enduring scheduling conflicts and illnesses and forgetfulness and snow and everything else, we finally set a day for me to come in and work on it.

I'm kicking myself for not taking a "before" picture, but she had it wrapped with some black wire and a poor cord was also tied around it to make it wearable.

She cooked me up a fancy raspberry and lavender mocha and I set to work.

After a few false starts and a veto or two, I finally finished it and we're both extremely happy with how it came out!

I was going for Tim Burton inspired spirals.

The owner, Mara, did a little happy dance when I gave it back, and now I have something new I can add to my knowledge base, so we both win! I hope it lasts her a long time.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Learning to Say "Yes"

First off, I hope your mid-winter festivities were fabulous, and if you were sick like myself and most people I know, I hope it didn't take too much away from your holiday and that you're almost healed!

I must apologize for my absence from the Garden lately; holidays, two mundane jobs and being ill have all occupied my time. I hope to start posting regularly!

Back to the topic.

I'm not one for making New Year's resolutions. I used to. I'd get all ambitious and think of all the things I didn't like about myself and pledge to make every change imaginable. But I'm horrible at sticking to things when I'm not truly ready for them, so I was just setting myself up for failure in the end. Instead, I've decided over the years to learn to love myself as I am and then make changes based on healthy decisions, at any time of the year. I'm much happier this way.

Something I've been noticing for a while now is that I have no trouble doing things for other people with little thought other than helping them out. The Boy keeps telling me I need to not be so much of a "yes-man" for others and start doing for me. It's okay to not go into work on my only day off to cover for someone who made the decision to go out drinking the night before and come in hungover.

When a friend is visiting from out of town and says, "Let's go to Seattle," I automatically say no. But then I have to ask myself, why? I don't have to navigate the city, I have no other obligations other than visiting with this friend; why am I so adamant to tell myself no?

After analyzing my situation, I finally just said yes. And you know what? No harm done! A good time was had by all! And I almost missed out because I'm so used to saying no to myself.

So if I were to make any sort of resolution for this year, it would have to be to say yes to myself more.

Tree full of lights at University Village in Seattle, that I would have never seen had I not said yes.