Thursday, July 28, 2016

EclecticSkeptic's Seventh Etsyversary

EclecticSkeptic has come a long way from an Etsy shop devoted to flying pigs that started out with photographic art images on bookmarks and note cards. I soon expanded into flying pig jewelry. Later I decided to incorporate my love of math and science into new items for the shop. When I created a custom order for a musician friend it made sense for me to add music geekery items as well. And then I thought the flying pigs might enjoy some other fanciful flying friends so I added mythology creations in the form of flying horses and dragons.

Monday, August 1, 2017 will mark my seventh anniversary of opening EclecticSkeptic on Etsy. To celebrate my Etsyversary I am offering a sale during the first week of August. If you are already subscribed to my newsletter you saw the details on how to participate in this the sale in the July newsletter. If you sign up for the newsletter before the sale is over, I will forward a copy to you of the July newsletter containing the pertinent information.

The image at the top of this post shows my original banner for my shop. The image below shows my new shop cover giving you a visual impression of how far my creations have come since those first few, fun flying pig goodies.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Hot, Dry Season Garden Beauties

Do your flowers fade when the days get hot and the rains recede? I have two low water suggestions for you that take the heat and keep on blooming to help you bridge the floral gap between spring and fall during a hot, dry summer.

Frogfruit is native in the southern half of the United States. It is adaptable to a wide range of conditions. If you don't want it to overrun your garden however, I suggest that you don't add ANY supplemental watering once it is established. Lots of small butterflies and bees are attracted to its diminutive flowers. You can see flower clusters of varying ages in the photo. The longer a flower cluster blooms the taller its base becomes as new flowers are added to the top of the older faded ones. Frogfruit is evergreen to deciduous depending on your winters. Mine is usually deciduous because its leaves are frost sensitive. It makes a nice ground cover and will survive and give you some interest in narrow, hot beds adjacent to pavement where many things will not thrive.

Do you need something that makes more of a statement than a ground cover? Hummingbird bush might be just the thing for you. It does not begin to flower until the temps match the multitude of fiery reddish orange flowers that cover this shrub much of the summer. As the common name implies, hummingbirds love this plant as a nectar source, so you might want to plant one where you can enjoy the show from inside your air conditioned home. More info on this deciduous shrub can be found in my Texas Stars facebook photo album.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Design This - Matching Earrings for Aqua Necklace

Will someone want earrings with this necklace? I often ask myself this question when designing new pieces. Sometimes I make matching earrings and someone just wants the earrings or the necklace. I normally will split a set I have made but the customer will lose out on the discount I usually factor into the price of a set. Often I don't make matching earrings and occasionally someone will ask about their availability. I think custom orders for necklaces or jewelry sets will be the only time I will get the answer to that question right 100% of the time because I get to ask my customer beforehand.

I was at a show earlier this year where someone fell in love with one of my necklaces. She said she really loved the colors I had used. The next thing she said was to ask if I had matching earrings. I told her I was not positive whether I still had any of the beads left I had used in the necklace. Luckily she wanted the necklace either way but I could tell she really hoped to be able to get fairly short dangling matching earrings too.

I took her contact info and shortly after the show I was able to go through my stock and see what I could come up with. Luckily I still had a couple of the small dark aqua beads that I had used in the necklace as well as some of the dark AB coated spacer beads. I also had some smaller faceted gold beads that I thought would be better suited for the size earrings requested than the gold bicones I had used in the necklace. I had not asked if my customer preferred posts or French style ear wires so I sent a mock up photo with both choices for her to look at. After sending the photo, she asked that I phone her because she felt more comfortable nailing down the details that way. She wound up picking the French ear wires. After receiving her payment I popped the matching earrings in the mail and was pleased to find an email a few days later from her letting me know she had received her new earrings and that they were just as she had envisioned.

If you see some of my jewelry sets and only want one component or fall in love with a necklace that does not have matching earrings, feel free to ask if I can split a set or make a matching pair of earrings, depending on your needs.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Thanks for the Treasuries - June 2016

Two Etsy shop owners let me know they had featured one or more of my items in a treasury during June. Five June Etsy treasuries, that treasury makers let me know about, included one of my creations. You can see a collage below of my items from EDCCollective and EclecticSkeptic that were featured during June. (Click on the collage to see a larger view.)

I really appreciate being featured by the treasury makers. To thank them, I have listed below a link to the Etsy sellers that let me know they had featured one or more of my items, as well as an item from their shop that I like.

Enjoy window shopping and please click on the links to the shops whose item catches your eye.

This shop owner turns graphics into button dangle earrings, hair clips, keychains and more.

Handcrafted quilted items make cheerful gifts full of homemade goodness and care.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Have a Fabulous 4th of July!

Family, fireworks, food and fun are some of the things that come to mind when I think of the 4th of July. It is such a wonderful thing to be able to kick back and enjoy all of those things on the anniversary of this nation that got its start with the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776. If you are looking for some red, white and blue to show your patriotism during this holiday, Eclectic Design Choices can help. The collage below contains images of a variety of in stock and previously sold handmade and vintage accessories.

If your holiday fun takes you out of doors, remember to apply sunscreen and bug spray as needed and to stay hydrated. Have fun and stay safe at your parties, parades and other patriotic events.