Monday, October 31

So What's Next?

Well I've been talking and talking and talking about the new shop . So what's next for Jonesing for Jewelry?  

I'd like to say that I'm settled, and just going to sit back and relax, but as a small business owner, that is just sadly NEVER the case! We must always be revamping, finding new ways, and pushing our own boundaries.  

I still have some tweaking of the charm shop, and some ideas, that are sitting on the back burner for awhile until I can get them just right. So next I'm revamping the current shop.  I love my little Etsy shop  but the more I learn, the more I want to learn, and the more I want to share my new skills with you.  My goal for my shop will be to have lots of staple items.  Simple pearls, discs, etc. that can be worn with just about anything.  Like these: 

 And this:

I'll try and keep these in sets as much as possible.  Wear the with jeans, with each other, mix and match, or pair them with the one of a kind items that I'm going to fill the shop with.  Like this:
 and this:
 and these:


Saturday, October 29


I've been a posting machine today in the midst of running my kid's 4th birthday party, going to another family party, and taking care of my sick husband!  But I have been saving all these items until I got some good light outside (no matter what I try, I just can't fake natural light, I've learned just to be patient. It's worth it!)  Enjoy!

Friday, October 28




Thursday, October 27

Friday Favorites...

Pretty sure that Friday Favorites have just been working against me for the past several weeks.  I could come up with 100's of excuses, or I could just post some and stop complaining. I think the latter option is better for all! Enjoy!

and don't forget tomorrow is the GRAND OPENING OF J4JCHARMS. Stop by my Facebook first and see how to get double the discount for opening weekend!

The Bunny and The Pumpkin

Oh this is a good story...

I must have been no older than 6, it was July in Washington, and  my birthday was looming.  My mother drove me down to the local feed store, covers my eyes all the way from the parking lot, and stands me directly in front of the bunny cages.  I was SO excited!  I had begged for pets, as my love for them is surely innate.  She told me I could pick ANY ONE I WANT.  Oh, did she regret saying that!

As, bunnies usually do, there were babies, and LOTS of them!  A lady came out, and helped us hold each of the babies, trying to pick one.  My mom, kept pointing to a few littles ones saying, "what about this one, he's cute! Oh and this one would be good for us."   I wasn't so sure. I figured I would know when I found it, and I hadn't found it. 

I clearly remember just stopping, looking over all the cages, and in one cage at the top, there was the fattest, whitest, red eyed bunny anyone had ever seen.  Without even holding him, I knew he was the one I wanted.  Pointing as I said, "I want that one" I am sure I heard my mother gasp! 

I took the bunny home, proud to give him the love, attention, and care I knew he needed and deserved, even though he might not have been the cutest one.  The next time I got to pick an animal, was my first dog, an English Springer Spaniel, named Tether.  This time, they only put cute puppies in front of me to pick from I think in fear, that they might come home with another bunny situation!

Fast forward a couple decades, and I can already see Kaleb has the same compassion and empathy for the underdog. 

This past weekend we took him to the pumpkin patch. We had a blast, jumping in mud puddles, shooting the pumpkin sling shot, going on hay rides, getting lost in the corn maze, and of coarse picking a pumpkin.

I stood in a field of hundreds of beautiful orange pumpkins.  I looked at my almost 4  year old, and said, "you can pick whatever pumpkin  you want" We went  up and down the isle looking and looking, and finally he settled on his perfect pumpkin.

It's completely lopsided.  Definately not round, more oval shaped, but so bumpy I really cant' tell.  It can't stand up, just flops over on it's side.  I heard my mother gasp again, as she had when we were standing in front of  the bunnies.  This time she said, "he's just like you!"  I was very proud, very happy, and  hopeful that he can continue to think outside the box, veer from the mainstreem when it is right for him.

(Pumpkin pictures to come!)

:) Carin

Friday, October 21


Ok sorry for the rant, but I have tried to post Friday Favorites 3 times now, and it keeps screwing up! I'll get there, but right now, I hate technology!

Wednesday, October 19

The Shop!

Ok I know most of what I have been talking about lately is the new shop, but honestly it's consuming my whole life right now. I don't think about much else.  For a job that gives you so much flexibility and freedom, it's times like these, that you have to know how to buckle down and get the details right to make it successful.  And it's either talking about the shop again, or giving tips on how to naturally beat cold and flu season (yes, I googled that exact phrase this morning, as we have 1 down in our family already!)

So the shop.  It so exciting.  When I initialy saw the response of the charm necklaces in my Etsy shop I knew I would have to see where they could take me.  I listened, I brainstormed, I thought of all the possibilities to make it work.  A second Etsy shop seemed overwhelming, but I knew a mixed shop would send a mixed vibe (I learned this is a no, no in marketing!), and I knew I could make so many options of the charms that it would really drowned out my other items if the were in a shop together. 

For months I threw around the idea, I asked friends, family, co-workers, I tried to judge their excitement for them as well.  I don't know if there was an actually plan per say, but sort of happened.  I found myself making a list of all the inventory I would want to carry, which led me to posting the blog offering them at a discount, and whala, I just started going with it.

Now the excitement is mounting, I am so ancy, so motivated, I don't want to do anything else.  (Posting pictures and listing items is one of my least favorite parts of the job, so the fact that I am this motivated speaks volumes to the product!)  Everytime I put together a new necklace I love it! So excited to get the new items posted! Along the way I found I needed to add mor eoptions, or I found new ideas. I think the shop will open with just about 200 items (twice as many as I was originally going for)  There are so many things I can add to it down the line, the shop will only continue to grow.

Here are some pictures of what I have so far..... just about 70 more items to list!  Shooting for the Grand Opening Friday October 28th!  J4JCharms here we come!  And don't forget to become a fan of my Facebook page if you aren't already, as fans will get additional coupons on the Grand Opening Weekend!

Saturday, October 8

Wedding Rings...

So I have been wanting to make a new wedding ring for so long... Not because I don't have a beautiful one that my loving husband bought for me, but because.... well actually there are lots of reasons.

1.  I do believe in wearing a wedding ring, or band, or tattoo, or whatever  you may have that signifies you are married.  However, I don't necessarily feel attachment to one ring, or one thing.

2.  Taste evolves all the time.  You don't see people wearing bell bottoms right now do you?  I love my ring because my fabulous husband bought it for me, but it doesn't match my current style. For business sake, and because I love my jewelry, I am always wearing pieces I made, and they just have a different flavor than my original wedding ring.

3.  Also due to the business, and the rest of my life, I am constantly taking my wedding ring off (or forgetting to, and oxidizing it along with the rest of my current work)  I would hate to ruin the original wedding ring.  Where ones I make, I know I can remake if necessary, or fix, or what have you.

4. I love this black druzy crystal!  Just enough of a statement, but still very different.

5.  I was a little jealous... a friend of mine recently got engaged.   Her fiance knows her well, and did not propose with a ring, instead she's shopping around... pictures she has sent me, have just own right made me want a new one.

6.  I NEVER make stuff for myself!  I truly suffer from the dressmaker has no dress syndrome.  I usually just don't take the time to make stuff for myself because I am so busy (thankfully, making stuff others love)  Sometimes I swear I will make stuff for myself, do, and then someone likes it so much I sell it to them.  No I'm not complaining about this, but it's true.

I originally had the stone sitting vertically, which made my short stubby fingers look longer, but for some reason, it just wanted to sit horizontally, it just plain looks better. Sometimes pieces do that, they tell you what to do with them, and I have learned if I don't listen, I always regret it!

 Dave and I have always talked about getting our wedding bands tattooed on, as we are just those people, and we are always taking them off for one reason for another.  I want my tattoo to be "til death." I stamped it on the band this time around in honor of that!

Oh and the band is cut down in the back for comfort.

Thursday, October 6

Featured Artist: Grettas Goats

So I ran across this amazing soap maker when looking for Friday's Favorites a few weeks back.  I could tell just from her shop, that she was an amazing person, but after conducting the interview, I was completely knocked off my feet.  She is so inspiring, putting others first, and putting her skills and knowledge to use in the community.  For these reasons, and many others, are why I believe in and support homemade... 

Read it. You'll be inspired too! (Oh and a goat named "Sham-Wow" just puts the cherry on top!)

Carin:  What started you into soap making?

Gretta:  Two years ago I traveled to Romania as a volunteer teacher for children who are blind and visually impaired. I was so inspired by the Romanian teachers that I volunteered with due to their passion for their students. They all seemed to possess a joyful spirit, despite facing hardships and obstacles in a country where special education students are discriminated against. Most special needs children are institutionalized and not educated. These teachers desperately wanted to learn how to help the children of Romania and give them the education that they deserved. When I returned to the U.S. I continued to help the teachers through email support and shipping donations. I raised money for the organization called Light Into Europe that helps children who are blind in Romania. I raised this money through running a marathon and the donations I collected went towards buying educational materials for some of the students I worked with directly in Romania. Perkins Braille Writers were also purchased for the children to be able to learn to read and write braille. After my fundraising efforts ended for the marathon, I knew that there was still such a great need there, so I wanted to keep going with my fundraising efforts. I felt uncomfortable asking my friends and family to donate more money through running events. I wanted to start a small business where a portion of my proceeds could benefit these special kids that I had come to love in such a short time! This is where the idea for Gretta's Goats was born.

I had grown up on a small hobby farm in Michigan and had loved my time in nature, spent with my animals and running through the open space that surrounded my childhood home. I had always felt most at peace when surrounded by nature and animals. I had seen the therapeutic benefits that animals had brought to some of my special education students over the years. A business that incorporated animals into it seemed like the perfect fit. I imagined some of my students coming to the farm and spending some hands on time with the goats. I had always loved goats and their friendly nature!

We had moved from Chicago to the Grayslake area several years ago, with the intention of moving to the conversation community we now live in. When we had read about Prairie Crossing and its organic farm at the center of the community, we knew it would a good fit for us. We wanted access to local, organic and sustainable food. I had applied to the Farm Business Development Program at Prairie Crossing Farm in the winter of 2011. I received acceptance and got my first goat in April! I hand milk my goats twice daily and they graze on certified organic pasture. I create handmade organic soaps from my goats fresh milk.
I love that I can combine my passion for teaching children with special needs and animals into one business.

Carin:  What is your favorite part of the business? What is your least favorite part?

Gretta:  My favorite part of the business is the time that I get to spend with my goats! Violet is a sweet pygora goat, Diego is the mischievous one in the group, Sham-Wow, is the herd leader, and Naya has the most beautiful eyelashes and loves to be scratched under her chin! I love the early mornings on the farm when the prairie grasses bend in the fall breeze.
The least favorite part of my business is the hoof trimming! The goats don't like it either! Unfortunately, their hoofs have to trimmed about every 4 weeks!

Carin:  What inspires you?
Gretta:  The prairie inspires me to create my handmade soap. The abundance of wildflowers, prairie grasses, and wildlife keep me motivated to come up with new creations. Watching the other farmers at Prairie Crossing grow their organic crops, inspires me through their hard work to grow sustainable food. Watching my students grow in independence inspires me everyday. Watching the goats frolic in the pasture inspires. My time in Romania continues to amaze me and the commitment that so many people give to the children there. The kindness I see others give so freely to people who really need that kindness inspires me.

Carin:  What are your future plans or goals for the business?

Gretta:   My plans for my business are to obtain my dairy license, make and sell goat cheese, and possibility goat milk ice cream in the future! My goal is to grow my business so I can continue to support the Romanian children who are blind and visually impaired through donating educational materials and teaching in Romania on a volunteer basis. My dream is to obtain more farm land and farm on full time basis!

Thanks again Gretta!  For your wonderful story, and beautiful products! Good luck!

Find Gretta's Products here: