Welcome Back!

I’m so happy to say that we’re now LIVE!!

Yes! 

My humble little blog LIVES once more!

It’s been six months (give or take) since my last actual post – and it’s time to remedy that.

Life took a bit of a crazy turn for me; everything & anything unexpectedly started happening and it all began to spiral out of control. I was rapidly losing ground and was barely hanging on by my fingernails. Most of what was happening was great for me, for my children and for my business, but you know that saying about taking on more than you can handle? I became the basis for that quote. I took on way more than I could handle, and being a “one woman show”, I became extremely overwhelmed. 

I took some time off – spent many wonderful days with my children (who are still on summer break) and got back to what was important. I reestablished my boundaries, and stopped being a slave to my work. And all it took was a few evenings of good brainstorming, drinking a lot of tea, and coming up with a great plan that now allows me to successfully balance my life with my children, and my work life. 

I’m happy to report that everything is coming along swimmingly. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been! My kids will go back to school in two weeks with stories of all the things we did, instead of “my mommy worked all summer”. Sure, I’ve worked all summer – I’ve attended many fairs and festivals, but, the bulk of my work gets completed in the morning; I also work a little more in the evenings, once they’ve turned in for the night. It’s routine for us now. Of course I’ll be pleased once they’re back in school – that means that I can shift back to my “school year” schedule & routine. After all, I need to free up my weeknights – Grey’s Anatomy starts in September!! HA!

So please bare with me as I get this blog going again; there will probably be a few random posts here and there until I hammer out a regular posting schedule.

Thanks so much for sticking it out thus far!

You all rock!

~Lyenne*

Japanese 12 in 2 Diamond Chainmaille Earrings Tutorial

Hey all! As promised here is the first (of many) tutorials coming your way! We’re starting with a Beginners/Intermediate Japanese 12 in 2 Weave. It’s relatively easy once you get the hang of it. I love this weave because it looks complex.

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Let’s dive in shall we?

First of all, I’ve used aluminum rings in this tutorial; both Bright Aluminum (silver rings) and Anodized Aluminum (blue rings). Throughout this post I will refer to each of the rings as either “silver” or “blue” to make it less complicated.

Materials:

18g – 3/16″ Rings in Bright Aluminum (silver) x 36
20g – 1/8″ Rings in Anodized Aluminum (blue) x 64
1 pair standard fish hook earring wires.

Prep:
Each earring requires 50 rings, and it breaks down as such: 18 silver rings and 32 blue rings.

Before I begin a new project, I like to make sure that all my rings are prepped so that I can create non-stop until I’m finished. So, if you’re anything like me, you’re going to open: All 36 Silver Rings (3/16″) and 16 Blue Rings (1/8″). You’ll then “close” the remaining 48 Blue Rings (1/8″)

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Grab your favorite pair of flat nosed pliers and we’re ready to go!
For this design, we’re going to build the middle and work our way around.

Step 1a) Pick up 8 Closed Blue Rings with an open Silver Ring. Close it.
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Step 1b. Take another Silver Ring and pass it through all of the Blue Rings. You’re going to “double” the first Silver Ring.
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Step 1c. You’re now going to add 4 more Blue (opened) Rings to the center unit, making the total number of Blue Rings 12. (side note: if we had of started with all 12 rings, there wouldn’t have been enough space for you to pass the second Silver Ring through)
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Step 2a. Pick up 4 more Blue Rings with another Silver Ring and link the Silver Ring to 2 Blue Rings from the previous Step (the middle unit). Close the Silver Ring.
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Step 2b. Take another Silver Ring and pass it through all the Blue rings (the new ones just added) doubling the Silver Ring. Close the second Silver Ring.
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Step 3a. Pick up 2 more Blue Rings with a Silver Ring, and again link that Silver Ring into 2 Blue Rings from the center unit. Close the Silver Ring.
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Step 3b. Again take a Silver Ring and pass it through all of the new Blue Rings, doubling the Silver Ring. Close that ring.
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Step 4. Continue these units until you form the Flower.
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Step 5 a & b. . You now need to add the diamond “tips”. You’ll notice that you have two hanging Blue (or floating rings) at the top of your completed flower. Take 2 more Blue Rings and add them to the adjacent Silver Rings (the ones right beside).Image

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Step 6 a & b. Repeat Step 5 a&b by adding 2 more Blue Rings to each of the Silver Rings on the bottom. Totaling another 4 Blue Rings.
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Just a quick stop: This is what your piece should look like after you have completed Step 6.
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Step 7 a & b. Pick up a Silver Ring and pass it through ALL FOUR Blue Rings on the top. (you’re now forming the “tip”). Close the Ring. Add a Second Silver Ring, passing again through all four blue rings.
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Step 8 a &b. Repeat Step 7 – but with the bottom Blue Rings.
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Et Voila! Now just add your earring wire, and you’re done! See that wasn’t so hard?!
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Now, to complete the second earring, just follow the tutorial again, and you’ll be done in no time!

Thanks so much for dropping by!

As always, if you have any questions or comments, please drop me a line. And if you know someone who could benefit from this tutorial, please share my blog!

Until next time!

Lyenne*

Update, Update, Update!

I really need to make blogging more frequent.

Seriously – I love writing, and I love being able to interact with those of you whom follow my blog.

Well. This is all about to change. I *will* (God willing) be posting more frequently.

Over the last (who knows how long) I have been putting myself out there. Taking different online (and in person) classes on business & self improvement. Oddly enough, for me, they both go hand in hand, as I am a One Woman Show. (no, literally, I do it all myself!)

Anywhoo, throughout these classes and so on, I’ve learned a ton a valuable information that I am applying to my business, but most importantly, I’ve learned a ton about myself. I also learned that I *NEED* a schedule. I have my day to day stuff that has been ingrained into my brain. I eat sleep and workout to my regular every day work stuff. BUT all the added stuff, like Facebook & Twitter and subsequently, this blog – they usually fall by the wayside because I just don’t have (or make) the time for them. I now have one of those HUGE calendars. The ones that you see on the desk of every Doctor, Lawyer and Business Associate. I am now one of those people who *pencils things in*. Not because I like it, but because it’s a necessity. If I don’t schedule the “extra” stuff, it’s not going to get done.

Starting with this blog, I will be posting at least one to two times a week. I’m working on an awesome series (with plenty of content) that should at least get me through the next 6 months. This series is going to include TONS of Tutorials. All put together by lil ol’ me. These will mainly be Jewelry Tutorials, but occasionally I may throw in the odd recipe attempt from my wonderful Yummy Ideas Pinterest Board.

Tomorrow, will be the first (of many) Jewelry Tutorials. I’m going to show you (step by step) how to make this pair of Japanese Chainmaille Earrings! How awesome is that!

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I’m so excited about this. I love making jewelry and I’m constantly asked for help, how to’s and so on, that I decided a tutorial series would be an amazing addition to my business. And hey, if I can help y’all out, that’s even better!

Thanks for stickin’ out!

*Lyenne

Shipping Increases, Facebook Updates & An Awesome Sale!

Welcome to 2013…

Yes I’m late jumping on the bandwagon – I do apologize!

Thank y’all so much for stickin’ it out with me ~ your support is truly appreciated!

There are a few things on today’s list that I need to discuss with you.

1. Canada Post has increased their shipping fees (again). Boo. I know… It sucks… But alas, they are a business too, and they also need  to make money… *grumble, grumble* Canada Post has increased the shipping rates. They have also discontinued some of the services I often used to ship out your orders. Small Packet US & INTL (which is just straight air mail) AND Light Packet US & INTL, no longer have the option to purchase Insurance. This means I now must switch to Expedited Parcel (Starts @ $8.00 for US & $12.00 for INTL) to insure that ALL of your orders are covered in the case of loss or damage. I can still ship Light/Small Packet (uninsured) for those who are okay without insurance, HOWEVER, if you chose that method of shipping – I WILL NOT cover it, if it becomes lost or damaged. With that in mind, I need to inform you that in my numerous years of online selling/shipping (about 8) approximately 1% of all the packages that I have shipped (well over 10,000) have been declared lost or damaged. (That’s really fantastic odds if you ask me!) With that information, I will allow you to decide which shipping service you’d like to use (insurance vs. no insurance and about a $6 price difference). I will be updating ALL of my Etsy listings over the next few days to offer you TWO shipping choices. Please do keep in mind that I will NOT be covering loss or damage if you choose to go with the cheaper option.

2. Facebook is “updating” things again… and naturally, it affects all pages. *grumble, grumble*
Facebook is doing major updates and many pages are currently affected, including Krysta Marie Designs. If we disappear completely from your feed, check your page for a new tab on the left called “Pages Feed” it has a little orange flag beside it. All Facebook users will now have TWO separate News Feeds. The regular News Feed will include all of the posts from your Personal Friends, along with ALL of the posts from the Sponsored Pages (those that choose to Pay to Promote). The rest of the pages that you have “liked”, the ones that don’t pay to promote posts (it’s really, really expensive!) our pages will be put into the new tab called “Pages Feed”. You will need to Physically Click on this feed in order to see my posts along with all of the other posts from the other pages you have “liked”. Please help me out here and let everyone know, because we don’t want to lose you. You, the fans, the people who actually like us and our products, are the reason that each of the small business’s (me included) are able to do what we love. Without you guys, we have nothing but a bunch of product. I know I love my stuff, but c’mon, seriously there are only so many pieces of jewelry that I can adorn myself with before being called “the lady who wore too much” ha, ha!

3. I’m having a sale! Not just any sale though. I’m having a Birthday Sale! Yes, indeed. This Thursday, the 24th of January, is my Birthday. My 28th birthday, to be exact. And in honor of my birthday (said in my best British accent) I’m offering a coupon code worth 28% off your order, from my Etsy shop. Just enter BDAY28 upon checkout and your savings will be instantly added. PLUS there is a special bonus up for grabs. If you venture to my Etsy shop, as of this morning, I am only 7 sales away from 1,200. If you’re the lucky person to help me achieve my 1,200th sale, I will add something spectacular to your order! Sounds fantastic, doesn’t? (Well, I certainly think it does!)

That’s it for this post!

Thanks again for hanging in there!

Love y’all

Lyenne*

Year End Sale!

Well everyone, it’s that time of year again.

I thoroughly enjoyed my holidays, time spent with family and friends. I most enjoyed the looks on my kids’ faces come Christmas morning. Although they didn’t receive much (small budget) they couldn’t have been more pleased with what was delicately wrapped for each of them.

I will carry that with me always.

This is just a quick post; more of an update really.

1) to let you know that I’m alive, and business is starting again now that I’ve taken a brief break.

and

2) to inform you of a supply sale in my Etsy Shop – if you enter the code 50OFF upon checkout, you will receive 50% off your entire order! I’m clearing out the supplies currently listed. Mostly to make room for new supplies, but also for the new changes that are coming in early 2013. All of which I’m extremely excited about!

As far as the sale goes, all items are on hand and ready to ship. All orders ship within 1 to 2 business days, (Monday to Friday), except for holidays.

Thank you in advance!

I hope each of you also had a wonderful holiday & that you were able to spend it with those whom you’re close too.

*Lyenne
xoxo

Newest Chainmaille Bracelet

Newest Chainmaille Bracelet

I cannot express enough how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE how this piece turned out. So many things could have gone wrong with it. First and foremost, according to the instructions for the weave, I was supposed to use a certain size rings… I used smaller rings. (figures, eh? I was never one to follow instructions….even with those “build your own” furniture boxes!) I had to fight a little to get this to come together, but I’m glad that I didn’t give up on the design. It turned out so much better than I thought; and with the rings being a touch too small, it makes the “Olivia” links look like little blue and purple butterflies.

What do you think?
Do you love it like I do? Would you have opted for different colors?

Until next time,

❤ Lyenne

Grateful

Today was a tough day.

These past few days weeks have been tough.

But I’m getting through it.

One thing I’ve learned from my children is how to be resilient. How to pick myself up and move on. It’s hard, but I’m doing it. I really haven’t another option. I could give up, but what purpose would that serve? What would happen to all my hard work? It would all go to waste, and we simply cannot have that.

This week was a big week for me. Krysta Marie Designs celebrated Two Years in Business! Very exciting! That wouldn’t be possible without all of you wonderful people. I appreciate each and every one of you, so much, that I’ll never fully be able to express it. It’s because of all of you, you who support me, who have believed in me, and who have purchased my products, that I have gotten here. (I also have to thank myself for being crazy enough to think I could do this, but ultimately, it’s you!). I didn’t think that I would see six months, let alone Two Years! I’m so excited, but scared at the same. Two years is a long time…

Two years of 18 hour days, missed lunches, too much coffee, too much worrying & stress, triumphs & failures, and so much more. Two years of being scared shitless of whether or not this crazy plan was ever going to work.

It’s working.

I am so grateful.

I am also grateful to all those who told me I couldn’t. Who told me I would fail. Who told me that this will never work. Thank you for being my inspiration. Thank you for making me strive for success. (although success is scary). Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I am grateful to all of you, because you’re each helping me to provide for my family. For my children and myself. It’s just the three of us. It’s just my income. I am grateful to all of you, because *this* is my full time job (aside from being the best mommy I can be). This is what I do for a living, and it’s because of all of you, that I am able to do this. Without you, I’m sure I would be stuck working for someone else, in a job that I may or may not enjoy. And that’s definitely not the life I had planned. Because of you, I can be there to pick my kids up from school. Because of you, I can eat an afternoon snack with them as they tell me about their day, and we do homework. Because of you, I get to set my own hours, so that when “life” happens, I’m there.

I’m grateful for that.

Because of you, for the past Two Years, I have been able to be with my children every single day. Every sick day, every school event and function. Every classroom meeting, every Christmas, Easter, Hallowe’en and Spring Production.

Thank you.

The end of November is upon us. I’m so excited for December. Christmas is coming. I love Christmas. It’s always been my favorite season. Yes, I am one of *those* people who believes that Christmas is a season within a season 🙂 I’m excited to spend time with family, and to make gifts for my friends. I’m especially excited for this Christmas, because my parents have stated that everything must be Handmade. (I totally have this one in the BAG!!) 😀 I’m excited that everything must be Handmade because that means that several small, home-run businesses will benefit from my family’s choice. I’m excited because that also means another little boy, or little girl, will get the one “super, most awesome, present in the world” because their parent was able to make a little bit extra. I’m excited because I completely understand what that “little bit extra” can mean. I’m also excited because I’m proposing (gasp!) a challenge to each of you; to follow in the footsteps of my family; make all or part of your Christmas handmade. 9 10 times out of 10, the quality is SO much better than the stuff available in stores. Seriously, you’re already going to be spending the money to purchase your dad (uncle, brother, etc..) a scarf; to get your mom (aunt, sister, etc…) a knitted sweater or wrap; find a handmade seller. Not only will you make their day, you’ll love the product, and you’re helping your local economy. Everyone wins.

Wow – this post was longer than I intended… No seriously, I just wanted to briefly update you all on the BIG Two Years and tell you that I will be at the Collingwood YMCA this weekend selling my wares, and that you should stop by and get some uber awesome $5 earrings… and it just took off on its own. LOL

Thank you.

I am forever grateful for making it to Two Years, and for all of you.

Your tremendous support means the world to me (and to my kids).

Happy end of November.

Lyenne*

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Things have been crazy insane here at Krysta Marie Designs.

I have been running off my feet trying to get everything organized for the upcoming Christmas Craft Shows. I’ve also been working on my website: http://www.krystamariedesigns.com, updating the Etsy supply shop, putting together my Online Booth for the EZCraftShow AND putting together a Christmas Sale Album for my Facebook fans. All of that, and trying to run a household with two school-aged children.

Can someone please pass me the wine?

I’m really happy with how things are coming. I’m working on making more time for the most important things. For me, it helps to have a list. I make up my list each night with all of the important things that *need* to be accomplished the next day. It helps me to make better use of my time, because we all know that I can be a procrastinator. But most importantly, it helps me to have more time. More time for my children, more time to play with them. That to me, is most important. They’re only little once, and most of us are far too busy with mundane, unimportant tasks to truly appreciate how wonderful children are. As they get older, they’re not going to remember the cool stuff that you bought for them; they are going to remember the times that you tossed all of the paperwork aside to play a round of guitar hero, or a game of go fish, or to read that story they’ve heard a million times.

I’ve learned that balance is key. Being a small business owner is hard. Being a single parent is also hard. However, I am both a small business owner and a single parent. And that is by far one of the most difficult things that I have ever taken on in my entire life. It’s also one of the most rewarding. I get to watch my children grow, and I get to watch my business grow. I get to pour my heart and soul into everything that I do (which is so important!) and I get to watch it all flourish.

I guess the purpose of this post is to let you know that it’s okay to take time out to play; to have fun. Whether you have kids or not. It’s important to go and have that glass of wine with a friend, that you’ve been putting off for weeks, because you just can’t make time. Make the time for the important things. You’ll soon realize that all the stuff you “worry” about; isn’t so important. Worrying solves nothing; planning and goal setting – that’s what solves things.

Have a wonderful day, folks!

Lyenne

Nothing Is Holding You Back

Welcome to September!

I sincerely would like to apologize for the lack of posting in the last two weeks (give or take), things have been absolutely crazy on the home front. The kids have now started back to school (happy dance!) and I am back into the full swing of things. I’ve been working on a few custom orders that have taken more of my time than I had hoped for, but nonetheless, I do what is required to get the job done. FYI, working with stainless steel rings (chainmaille) is by no means fun! Especially when you’ve broken your pliers more than once, and have had to explain to Canadian Tire that yes, chainmaille is an appropriate use for their tools. I am (and will be) forever grateful for the “Lifetime Warranty” on my Mastercraft pliers. And yes, people I have *finally* ordered myself a set of Wubbers. LOL I love the name too – they are apparently the cat’s ass when it come to jewelry tools, and Lord knows, I definitely could use a really good set of chainmailling pliers. They should be here in a few weeks, and then I can definitely get going with this chainmaille business. I’m also looking at the proper equipment to make my own jump rings. I’ve experimented with a set of mandrels that I got from The BeadSmith, and have just been using flush cutters to cut the actual rings, but the cuts aren’t as “nice” as I’d like them to be. But for “practice” rings, they work just fine.

I am so grateful that the kids are back to school, and not just because I now have my days to myself. (although that is a really nice part of it!). With the kids in school, both of them full-time, I now have the opportunity to get back into the gym. (yay!) Today marks the 3rd consecutive day that I have been at the gym. I am so pleased with myself. I even booked an appointment with one of the trainers (yesterday) who set me up with my very own “plan”. Also yay! because the machinery up there, wow! boy was I lost! I am now absolutely confident with going to the gym (although I never saw myself as that type of person, sure I went before, but I didn’t really enjoy it). I love going – I actually can’t wait for the kids to get on the bus in the morning so that I can hop in my car and head down to the Y. (I live too far from the Y to be able to walk, and I don’t own a bicycle as of yet). The atmosphere is great, the people are great. I really like going. I also enjoy it because I know that *now* is the right time for me to focus on myself (and no I’m not being conceited); I get to put my energy into getting healthy, and to continue down this weight-loss road that I’ve been on for quite sometime. I know that “nothing is holding me back” (that phrase I’m actually planning to have tattooed on my wrist so I have a constant reminder). I know that I am worth this, as silly as that may sound. So what does all of this have to do with the business front? Well, it also means that nothing is holding me back from the business world either. Again, with both kids in school, I can now work “business” hours (LOL) and accomplish more during my day (now that I don’t have to hit the park, or making someone a snack). This means that I have more time to blog, network, list new products, make new jewelry, etc… I have more time, and I am grateful for that. It’s now become that little bit easier to manage my time (which was a nightmare before).

It’s hilarious how one simple little thing like your kids going back to school (which is a HUGE thing actually) can make such a big difference in all areas of ones life. I’m also grateful for when the kids come home from school too. Because I have my days to myself, I can take the time to sit with them and really pay attention when they tell me about their day(s). I LOVE that! They deserve my undivided attention, and now I can actually give it to them. I now understand what my mother meant when she said “someday you’ll know”. I don’t know everything yet (shocker!!) but I’m learning. I’m grateful for the things that I learn each and every day.

Anywhoo…

I’ve rambled enough for now. BUT I’ll be back later on – with a proper “business” related post.

Hope you all have been well – and don’t be afraid to comment or to send me a message! I love hearing from you!

*Lyenne
xo