Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Win It Wednesday!

Win it Wednesday means there are giveaways going on, super fun and exciting giveaways!
So grab your coffee and your good luck charm 'cause we're gonna enter some!

Pretty Cool Shops is having her first giveaway and it's for the most adorable purse!

Meg over at Twisted Tree is having a giveaway to celebrate reaching 100 followers. She is offering a fantastic prize pack and will pick a winner on Monday, April 5th.

Christie Cottage is hosting a giveaway where you can win a handmade flapper headband.

One Pearl Button is having a giveaway to celebrate opening her Etsy shop. You could win one of her photography prints.

Janel over at Run With Scissors is having a giveaway to celebrate reaching 500 blog followers. She's got a great prize pack.

My Wooden Spoon  is offering a chance to win an Easter basket with bacon!

A Perfectionista reviews Whish body products and gives you a chance to win one!

Nicole's Nickels teamed up with Darling Dande to give away a beautiful handmade child's blanket.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tempt Me Tuesday!

Time for me to dig into my favorites list and my wish list and see what I can tempt you guys with!

The Dawn of Time by elgarbo

Goddess Hands with Hydrangea by Photogenic Gallery

Turquoise noodle bowl by Oneclaybead

Rustic Green Man by RiverOtterRustic

All of these listed above can be found on Etsy, one of my favorite websites in the world. Etsy is FULL of artists and artisans and people who have taken the pledge to buy handmade. The detail and the dedication you find there is awe-inspiring and once you've discovered it and bought something, you will never be satisfied with mass-produced Wal-Mart crap again.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Tutorial: How to Take a Screenshot

Being a seller on Etsy, I sometimes find my items in treasuries that other sellers make. These are always such beautiful collections that I want to take a screenshot, or screen capture, and share these with other people. In talking to a few of my friends the other day, I realized that some of them did not know how to do this. It's super easy. Watch!

Make sure you have the webpage that you want to capture centered on your screen. Look at your keyboard and find the 'Print Screen' button. This is usually somewhere near the top right, to the right of the F12 key.

In some systems, it works fine for you to just press the 'Print Screen' button, but with mine, I have to press 'Ctrl' and 'Print Screen' at the same time. Some systems require you to press 'Alt' and 'Print Screen' at the same time. Try one, test it with the next step or two, and if that doesn't work, try it the other way.

After you've captured your screen, you need to have somewhere to put it!
The easiest place is in your Paint. If you have Windows, you almost certainly have Paint. Look in your start menu.
Start Menu --> All Programs --> Accessories

Once Paint is open, you will see a blank screen. Perfect for pasting your screen capture!
Up at the top in Paint, you will see the Paint menu. Click on Edit and select Paste. Your screenshot will be pasted right there! If Paste is not an available option, that means that your screen was not captured. Try capturing it again with the step I listed above. Try 'Ctrl' and 'Print Screen' together or 'Alt' and 'Print Screen' together, and test it by checking the Edit menu in Paint.

Now that you've taken your screenshot and found somewhere to put it, you could be done! If you like using images as bitmaps or find that it doesn't matter to you either way, then just save your screenshot and you're done. 
If you want to crop or otherwise edit the photo, save it and reopen it using your photo editing software. When you save it after editing, it's best to save it as a jpeg. How to edit the photo is a tutorial for another day. I hope this post helped someone!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Fashion Friday: Spring's Trends

It's spring.
Well, it's supposed to be.
Too bad most of us are wet and chilly. 

Maybe it will cheer us up to take a look at some of the predicted fashion trends for Spring 2010 according to Glamour magazine! Unless, of course, it almost bores you to tears as it does me.

First up: tie dye. Okay, no one look at me because I have never worn, nor will I ever wear, tie dye. I have never gotten excited about it and I've never liked seeing it on anyone else, either. I just find it boring. That said, this green dress to the right isn't too bad. 

Next up: feathered skirts. Alright, this look I can get into. Literally.

Trend #3: the fold-over neckline. Yawn.

Other trends: the tweedy suit, the khaki suit, the drapey minidress, the tailored vest, head-to-toe gray. What? Really? 

Any of this sound exciting to you? Would you wear any of these trends?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I Just Hit 25 Sales!

I just had my 25th sale in my Etsy store and I can't even tell you how excited I am!

Being able to CREATE art and artistic jewelry and have people WANT them and buy them so that I can turn the money around into different materials to create MORE is so freakin fantastic. I feel fulfilled and complete for the first time in my life and hell, it's only taken 30-some odd years to get here. I am finally doing something I love and thank you to my friends (and family) here who have helped me make that possible. You guys rock.

Edited to add this. I was asked on the etsy forums for tips and then again here by Rocky, so I am copying and pasting what I wrote there. I don't have many tips, to be honest. I still consider myself a very NEW seller, I just got lucky with a couple repeat, multiple buyers! But here is what I wrote on the etsy forums and I hope it can help someone!

This is all a huge learning experience for me. The best thing you can do is to market YOURSELF. Get out there in any way you can and you don't have to spend a lot of money to do it, either. 

Make a fan page on facebook. Make all your friends and family fan you and the word will slowly leak out from there. Offer exclusive discounts to facebook fans. I've gotten the most sales from my fan page.

Learn how to use twitter. I have made a ton of friends there, gotten lots of support, and tons of views and interest in my shop.

Blog. And then make the effort to read and comment on other people's blogs.

Wear your items when you go out and pass out business cards if people like what you're wearing.

Make your shop part of you and make yourself part of your shop.

Networking is not hard but it is time-consuming. It is also free and that makes it the best part.

Tempt Me Tuesday!

I am all about temptation. And anticipation. I heart things, add them to my favorites, drool over them, and dream about them in the hopes that one day I will sell enough to be able to buy them. Here are a couple of my latest drool-worthy daydream inspirers:

Sea Dream fine art photo by Leaping Gazelle

Seashell Purse Key by Dean Designs

Bronze Age Bowl by Paula and Kate Studio

Mermaid Goddess Sisters by Dark Water Images

So tell me, what's tempting you today?

Monday, March 22, 2010

I Have Been Featured on 2 Awesome Blogs Today!

And I can't thank the authors enough. You've got to go check out their blogs!

The first is Chaucee over at The Searched and Found and she is one of my sponsors. I have an ad button for her blog over there --->

The feature she wrote about me can be found here.

Also today, Kimberly at Poppy Luxe Designs featured me on her blog here.

Stop by and tell them I sent you!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Feature Friday: Artesia Products

Today I am starting a brand new tradition. Feature Friday!
For my very first Feature Friday I am going to feature Marie from Artesia Products.

Artesia has a wonderful shop on Etsy and provides fresh natural skincare products handmade from our Earth's plants and minerals. She donates 10% of her gross sales to Water 1st International. By buying from Artesia, you're making our world a cleaner, better-smelling place in more ways than one!

She is also debuting Bath Bliss! Bath Bliss is a powder that you can add to running water that will fill your tub with bubbles, and blossoms, and balloons, and boys. Okay, maybe I made up a few of those. You can read about Bath Bliss in Artesia's own words on her blog here.

Here are a couple of my favorites from her shop:

You can browse other natural bath & body items at:

To find Marie elsewhere on the web:

Take a moment and go check out Artesia's bath & body products and tell her waterwaif sent you!

Tutorial: How to Add a Grab My Button!

I have been talking with other bloggers lately about trading ad space with each other for free for 30 day blocks. I think it's a fantastic idea, a great networking tool, and a way to support each other while still getting the word out for your shop or your blog.

But rather than have to email each other attachments every time you want to trade ad space, I realized that you can just add a Grab My Button! ad on your side bar for them to just, well, grab!

On the right is an example of a Grab My Button! and please, feel free to, um, grab my button.

Here's how you can add this to the sidebar of your own blog for easy grabbing:

1. First, make sure you have an ad or a button. The easiest way to do this, as I did, is to take a photo of one of your products and add your name or link to it with photoshop or a similar program. It's best to keep the image size under 200 pixels wide so it will fit in most sidebars.

2. Upload your new ad to any hosting site. I use because it is free, but there are a lot of options out there for web hosting.

3. Now, open a new tab or window and go to your blog. This tutorial only works with blogspot as I have never tried anything else. Log into your blog, click customize, then Layout, then page elements. Click 'add a gadget' and then select 'HTML/Javascript'.

4. Copy and paste the following in the text area:

5. Keep that window open and go to Photobucket, or whichever photo hosting you are using, and copy the direct link URL for your ad. Then come back to your blog window and paste that URL in both places where I've written YOURADURLHERE. Make sure you leave the quotation marks as that's what keeps a link active in HTML.

6. Then, see where I've written YOURBLOGURLHERE? Put your blog's URL there. Or your shop. Or whichever site you want to link to.

7. Make sure you save.

8. Go forth and multiply.

Tip of the Day: Twitter

I love the idea of doing a tip of the day (or two or ten, or skip a day or two, whatever).
We all had to start somewhere. Some of us are newer than others at blogging, tweeting, selling, living, whatever. There are lots of things I had to piece together on my own, or dig up, or just get slapped in the face with before I learned them and so I'm going to pass on that information to whoever happens to be reading this. Congrats, that's you! Unless there's no one here and then I'll just talk to myself. Either way.

Today's Tip of the Day: Twitter

Are you lost on twitter? Does it confuse you? Maybe you're scared to sign up or don't know how to use it effectively? Do you care? You should.

Twitter can be a powerful tool for your online business. It can also be a wonderful place to make new friends. Ideally, you will combine the two. I'll try to help you figure out how.

1. First, set up a Twitter account.
The best way to do this is to make it the same as your Etsy ID, your Artfire ID, your domain name, etc. You want to trademark yourself across the internet and be recognizable.

2. Fill out your profile and add an avatar.
This makes you more accessible and people can more easily gauge if you'd be a good person for them to follow.

3. Find some people to follow.
Don't go crazy and just follow anybody. That will end up driving you crazy and add to your confusion later. Twitter has a search box about halfway down on the righthand side where you can search by subjects. Are you a painter? Type art, artist, painting, acrylic, or something similar in the search box and you will find people who have used those "hash tags" recently. These are probably people you will want to check out.

It is also good to find people who share the same hobbies with you, so it's not always about business on Twitter. Do you like to garden? Try searching gardening terms. Or cooking terms. Or music.

It is also a good idea to figure out your target market for your business and aim at having some of those people follow you, too. Do you sew and sell purses? You might try finding well-known fashion magazines on Twitter and following a few of the people who follow those magazines.

4. Comment and reply on the people you follow.
If you see a tweet that sounds interesting or asks a question, answer it! Make sure it is addressed to the person you are replying to so they see it. Meaningful conversations are a great way to meet people and become known on Twitter. Other people can see the conversation and think, "Hey, that person sounds interesting! Let me check them out!"

5. Follow back.
You don't have to follow back everyone who follows you. But check out their profile. If they look interesting, follow them back! If they just spam links to their own items, feel free to pass.

6. Make a few interesting tweets throughout the day.
Don't be one of those people who tweets what they are doing 24/7. No one will care if you are going to the bathroom at 7:47 am and eating toast at 7:52 am and waiting for the mailman at 8:02am. Tweet things that others will respond to or find something in common with or that are just plain interesting. Tweet a few things in the morning to connect with the morning crowd, a few things in the afternoon for a different crowd, and a few things in the evening, too.

7. Let people know you're now using Twitter.
Do you have a facebook fan page? (New tip of the day blog post about that soon) Let your fans know your twitter link. Do you have a blog? Put a 'Follow me on twitter' link there. Visit discussion forums and join in on the twitter talks and see if anyone there looks interesting and add your links if they do.

8. Visit
Here you will find a ton of categories to browse to make it easier to find people you'd be interested in following in the subjects that interest you.

9. Be somewhat consistent.
Don't post a ton of stuff on Monday and then forget to check for a week. People like other active people and will engage much better if you're active. And interesting. (Notice a theme, yet?)

10. Use Direct Messaging sparingly.
This is a big one with a lot of twitterers. DMs are for saying things to people that you don't want public. A lot of people use DMs to spam. Don't do this. Don't send a DM saying "Hey, thanks for the follow. Come buy my stuff." Don't send a DM saying "Retweet this for me". Don't send DMs just to say "Hi."

Okay, well this ended up longer than I'd intended but what the heck. Hopefully it will help someone! If you have any twitter tips and tricks, feel free to comment and let me know!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

If your children are Bieber fans...

My husband just bought two tickets so our daughter could see Justin Bieber during his upcoming tour. Bad enough that the tickets themselves are $50 each but you HAVE to purchase a fan club membership package with the ticket purchase.

Sticker shock! The fan club membership itself is an additional $45!

From what I can tell, all you get with the membership package is a poster, a set of stickers, a rubber bracelet, and a membership card. Good lord.

What I'm Reading

I've recently discovered a new author. Well, the author is not new but he is new to me.
Peter Abrahams. In the two weeks or so since I've discovered him, I've found and read quite a few of his books. He's my new favorite thriller writer and that should mean something when I say it because man, I'm a super picky reader. (and movie watcher but that's another blog for another day)

Here I've linked to Oblivion, which I probably enjoyed the most. Okay, well tied for first place, then. The main character is a super smart PI who, because of brain trauma, suffers from some amnesia. We, as the readers, can see what is happening and feel an awful sense of foreboding as we watch and wait for the protagonist to figure out what's going on. Very tense and thrilling. I loved it.

Also tied for first place is Lights Out. The protagonist here is just getting out of prison after 15 years served for a crime he didn't commit. He went in innocent and came out dangerous. But still, he's a very, very likeable character who has to follow a trail back to the beginning to puzzle out his story. The story is immensely suspenseful and the conclusion is shocking but cool. The author moves back and forth seamlessly between past and present as Eddie moves closer and closer to the conclusion.

Peter Abrahams has been named our best thriller writer by Stephen King, which has got to be a hell of a better recommendation than any little blog I could write!

If I Could Do One Thing...

It might be to be a fantastic photographer. I've only ever attempted to take pictures of my things to sell on Etsy or my children, who I'm not allowed to sell on Etsy. So I guess technically I don't know if I could be a photographer or not, but when I browse fine art and photography, I realize I never could. Some of the talent just blows me away. Here are a few of my favorite photos from my favorite photo sellers:

By Filigreephotos. This is called Soft Red. 8.4x11.7 inches and available in other sizes.

October Curtain Call by bomobob. 11x14 metallic fine art photo and available in other sizes.

The Pirates' Cove by elgarbo. 4x6 in. and available in other sizes.

Flight by thisyearsgirl. 5x5 in matte print. Available in other sizes.

Snow Berries by bluedreamsunshine. 8x10 winter in Vermont print and available in other sizes.

These are just a few of my favorites. Everything I've seen by these 5 artists has been amazing and awe-inspiring. Visit their shops. Tell them waterwaif sent you.

I Won the Giveaway From SRDJewelry

And man, lemme just tell you: I was so freaking happy!

Mimi at Sterling Roses Design hosted a giveaway a couple weeks ago and after lots of entries, I was chosen as the winner. Woohoo! I received the necklace and earring set pictured here:

I have worn this necklace just about every day since because it is SO PERFECT!

When you have a free minute, you just have to go check out some of the other gorgeous stuff that Mimi has created! Here are a couple of my favorites:


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Okay, new dentist appointment

I had a wisdom tooth yanked out on Monday and then had a violent reaction to the pain medication that was prescribed. Eww, blech, can I be done yet? Short answer: no.

My mouth is a mess. I have TMJ which causes awful, loud, audible clicking in and out of the socket every time I open and close my mouth. It gets sore if I open too wide, leave it open too long, and sometimes it will lock itself. This presents an obvious problem.

I also have a history of eating disorders. Hard to admit, but there it is. This has left my teeth in bad shape, especially the ones in the back of my mouth.

And for those of you who have been following my saga, you know this already: I have a debilitating fear of the dentist. The only way I was able to go on Monday was with severe pain and valium given to me by the dentist.

So I have an appointment next Wednesday morning with my mom's dentist. She says he is really nice and gentle. But a week away? And so soon after my last visit? Cue a week's worth of panic attacks!

But, I was able to have a wisdom tooth surgically removed on Monday and if I can conquer my fear and do THAT, then I can do anything. Including fixing the two cavities and two broken teeth that I have. Let's just hope and pray that they will pass out the valium again.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

What I'm Listening to Lately

You know how sometimes you end up with followers on twitter that, for whatever reason, you've never spoken to personally but then somehow something comes up and you start noticing each other, tweeting and DMing each other and then you realize, "Hey, this person's pretty cool!"

That happened to me last week and it was over the silliest thing. I was tweeting and DMing back and forth with this sweet girl and thinking how cool she seemed so I headed over to her profile, followed her personal link, and ended up at a webpage for her band! I had no idea! Of course, at that point I had to head over to iTunes and check out her first and only and just released album. I mean, who wouldn't, right?

Would you be surprised to hear that I loved it? Amity, the girl I'd met on twitter, is the singer/lyricist and her voice is so sweet and beautiful. The band's sound is very reminiscent of The Sundays for me and I'm so happy to have discovered them!

The band: If Not For Dreaming
The members: Amity, Pat (guitars) and Jay (drums)
The website:
The songs on iTunes:

Help them get their songs on the radio! Follow this link and listen! It only takes a sec and could make a huge difference!

You've got to check them out! Tell them waterwaif (or Tara) sent you!

To follow on twitter: Amity: in4d, Pat: in4dband

Become a fan on Facebook.

But most of all, just listen and love.

The Great Spring Earring Giveaway Has a Winner!

I'm so pleased with the number of entries and responses my giveaway got! Thank you all so much for helping me get the word out about my store and my blog!

A winner was randomly chosen and that winner is BlueViolet!

Blueviolet, please visit this category in my store and select the pair of earrings you'd like!


Monday, March 15, 2010

I will be all day at the dentist

And I can't think of anything worse.

In case you were wondering, and hell, just in case you weren't, I have an irrational yet debilitating fear of going to the dentist and I have not been in 11 years. Unfortunately, the pain in my mouth this week has progressed to the intolerable point and I have to go today.

In fact, the only thing I can think of that would be WORSE than going to the dentist is to have to go to a dentist who is a clown.

I've been up since 4 am because between the pain and the anxiety, I'm screwed. Oy.

Other than that, everything is fine and I will see you all after it's all over.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Earring Giveaway

There were 89 separate entries into my Great Spring Earring Giveaway!

The winner will have their choice of one pair of earrings from this category in my store!

I thank everyone for looking, clicking, tweeting, following, etc. This was fun and the winner will be announced later today so stay tuned!

Friday, March 12, 2010

What I'm Listening to Lately

Amos Lee. In fact, we have tickets to see him at The Social in Orlando on April 2. Woot!

Iron and Wine. Probably my favorite. Everything Sam Beam does is so simple and beautifully haunting.

Ray LaMontagne. Another beautifully haunting songwriter.

Jason Mraz. Still a favorite, always a favorite.

So what are you listening to?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Gemstone(s) of the Month: March

I meant to start this last month (February = amethyst) but I forgot. Or maybe I was lazy. Or procrastinated too much? In any case, oops. And here it is, already the third of March and I am just now getting around to it! Here goes nothin'.

Aquamarine is the gemstone of the month of March, as adopted by the American National Association of Jewelers in 1912. 
It is also the birthstone for the zodiac sign of Scorpio.  
It is the planetary stone for Pisces.
It is the ancient Arabic, Hebrew, and Roman stone for October.

Aquamarine's name comes from the latin 'aqua marina' which translates to "water of the sea". Pretty easy to figure out, eh? Aquamarine is a variety of beryl (mineral). The word beryl itself comes from the greek 'beryllos' which referred to a "precious blue-green color-of-sea-water" stone. Varieties of beryl have been considered gemstones since prehistoric times. Aquamarine can be found in Russia, Sri Lanka, Brazil, and the US, among other places.

For hundreds and hundreds of years, people have believed aquamarine to have certain powers. It is said to increase intelligence and make one youthful.  Wearing aquamarine is said to provide the wearer with courage, foresight, and happiness.

As a healing stone, it's claimed to be effective against anxiety and in the Middle Ages people claimed aquamarine could reduce the effects of poison.

According to legend,  sailors wore aquamarine gemstones to keep them safe and prevent seasickness.

So the aquamarine is considered the modern gemstone of March in the US, but what about other countries? Or ancient gemstones? 

Alternate birthstones:

The modern birthstone for the month of March (in the US) is aquamarine.  
The traditional birthstone is bloodstone.
The mystical birthstone is jade.
The Arabic, Hebrew, Polish, and Russian birthstones for March are bloodstone.
Italian and Russian are jasper.

The planetary stone for March is jasper and the talismanic stone is topaz.

Stay tuned next month for April - Diamond (but also sapphire, aventurine, and garnet among others!)