Monday, January 30


Oh blog (or blarg, depending on how you look at it!), I know it's been awhile. Things are moving so fast these days I haven't had even a smidgen of a moment to sit down and type.  So here is a small (ok it ended up being longer than I expected...) recape of what's going on:

On the work front:
J4JCharms came out strong.  I never believed in my wildest dreams we could have had such a great opening!  It continues to grow on a daily basis, and I have added a few new things, have a slew of things that I hope to add by the end of the week, and a list of many more to come.  We are adding image charms to add on or to replace name charms. This is such a great way to further customize your jewelry! Most are black and white vector images (aka black shadows) of vintage items, birds, butterflies, etc.  We are adding charms of states in the U.S. and you can add a small heart in your city of choice!  I am looking to add vintage maps and vintage images of birds and plants.

Plus, if all goes as planned, we are looking to add gold filled to the charm shop! Gold filled is a great option for the shop, as it will keep prices in the same vacinity as the sterling, but will offer another finish option for those of  you that love gold!  Gold is so timeless, it is really coming back these days, and will be beautiful as charm pieces. I have a few more things to work out, but I really think this will be a valid option for the shop.  Most likely we will be carrying it in the 8 and 12 mm charms, and most of the "standard wire wrapped beads and metal charms."  There are some limitations to the gold filled, so at this time we will not be adding the 16 mm charms.

I am working so hard on getting the regular Jonesing for Jewelry Etsy shop revamped. I am so excited for where this shop is going.  I have found that my "lazy" days I like to wear simple matching sets, and for more formal occassions I like to swap out either the necklace or earrings for something more substantial.  The sets will be sold seperately so you can mix and match as you please!  Plus all of them will be offered in different sizes and finishes (oxidized, brushed, and bright silver finishes, and a handful will be offered in gold filled)!!!

Right now I am in the fabrication process of most of the items, and will be looking to have more of a "grand re-opening" where I post most of the items at once rather than piddle them in as I make them.  However, if there is something you just have to have and can't wait for, you can always contact me.  Most items I am taking simple pictures of as they are made on my Facebook

I am also working on revamping the whole Jonesing for Jewelry brand. I've been touching base about the design process for the blog.  It is really going to be more of a website that has a blog roll on the front of it.  It's going to be AWESOME!  It'll be nice to consolidate some of the websites and have one centralized place to send people to.  I will be looking to purchase several domain names, so if you forget and type in or all of it will filter you to the new site!  After my designer and I come up with a new logo etc. I'll work that and incorporate it into the Etsy shops, my business cards, and jewelry packaging. 

On the personal front:
I guess this is more work related too, but I have been lucky enough this year, and really hoping to bring the jewelry to a whole new level in 2012 that I have cut back some of my "other job" hours.  It's pretty exciting for me personally.  I hope one day that I'll be fortunate enough to be picked for Etsy's "Quit Your Day Job" blog posts, but at the least I do believe I'll be able to post the story here eventually and pursue the jewelry as a full time career. For now, it's all about timing and ensuring my family is in the right place to be able to make it work. 

Dave is working his little booty off at work and around the house.  With all the jewelry work and other things I have going on he is having to take on the majority of household tasks.  I am so lucky and thankful to have his support and encouragement. I really cannot put into words all that he has done for me.  I hope that I can repay him in the future and give him the support and encouragement he needs to pursue his dreams.  But for now, I can't say thank you enough.

Kaleb is growing oh so fast.  I worry everyday how the choices I am making professionally are effecting him.  It is a constant balancing act between work and home life (even if you aren't trying to start your own business!)  I truley believe the best thing I can do for him is to show him how to follow your dreams.  Not just to tell him, but strive for it and to accomplish it.  Show him that hard work can be challenging, but exciting and rewarding all at the same time. 

And now... I go back to filling the shops!  Hope all is well in your lives, and you too are reaching whatever goals make you happy!

Tuesday, January 24

It All Happens So Fast...

Just a few months ago I was posting about how we were constantly working on Kaleb's phoenetics.  He was so interested in words and sounds and figuring out what letters things started with.  Looking back on it, I guess his interest just showed how ready he was to learn. 

Anyways, he is always coming home with these great letter drawings from school.  You know, the dotted line ones that we all traced over as children.  He does amazing on them, but I honestly thought he was just tracing. 

Yesterday morning before school he was determined to make a new book mark for one of his chapter books. Dave and him read one or two chapters every night.  It's usually a Star Wars book, but he is also in complete love with "Jack and Annie" books. He brought me his little yellow note book and pen and said he could make a bookmark with it.  He asked how to spell bookmark...


and whala, I peered over the edge of the paper, and he had writted it all by himself.  I was shocked to know that he can write all of his letters!  I supposed he'll be reading soon!  It's so bittersweet for me.  I love him learning and growing and each stage is more fun than the last, but I miss my baby some days too.  I suppose that's what motherhood is about!

Monday, January 23

Take a Step Back...

I don't know about you, but every January I get in a little slump. Something about the ending of the Holidays, the making of resolutions, and the "getting back to work" that just makes me feel a little off.  I am so excited for 2012 and all that I have planned, but somedays it's a little overwhelming and a whole lot scary! So in an attempt to turn around the last week of January and, as we have taught Kaleb, "adjust my attitude,"  I took a look back.

When working for yourself, and especially at the start of a new business, it's easy to feel like you are constantly sprinting in place.  Like there is always more to do, but that you're not progressing.  But looking back allows you to see a big picture, where  you came from, and just how much the hard work has paid off.  So today I looked through some of my sales from about 4 years ago (AKA my first attempt at Etsy).  It truly is amazing how far I have come.

2011 brought a lot of good and new.  It's when I really decided to look at my life and who I was and where I wanted to be.  I started to take my jewelry from just a hobby to a real career.  2011 brought the opening of J4JCharms which has proven to be more successful than I could have ever hoped.

Although there is a GIANT to-do list in 2012, I know it'll be great, even better than 2011. I can only hope to grow as much over the next 4 years as I did the last 4 years.  If I keep pushing forward it's going to be a great decade, and here  is the picture to prove it.

Thursday, January 19


If you have watched the news at all in the U.S. you know that the Pacific Northwest is getting hit with some serious snow for the area.  We had about a foot of snow yesterday.  Driving conditions were bearable with my four wheel drive and Alaskan driving experience.  Last night looking to today, we could only make an educated guess as to what we would see.  When the snow had not cleared in the evening, and temperatures dropped school started making the decision to stay closed for the 3rd day in a row.  When I woke up this morning I saw something I had never seen before (even after living in Alaska for 3 years!), and hope to never see again.  It must have rained slightly or melted the top layer of snow just enough before it froze overnight.  My entire yard, sidewalk, cars, and house have about a 3 inch thick later of ice, as I am sure the roads do too.  

I sent my dogs out this morning for a few minutes, and I watched my 30 lb dog, Cash, slide down the little incline that is our sidewalk and slam into the gate at the bottom of the hill.  My other dog just gave up in the middle of the yard and wouldn't walk anymore... needless to say I had to save her.  We're staying in today, it's way too dangerous to be out there.  For those of you waiting on orders, they are ready... they are stuck here, in the ice.  For those of you that don't have orders, I am using my time off to work hard on making some more beautiful items!  

Stay safe out there!

Monday, January 16

When it Snows....

You only hear about how much rain Seattle gets and the moderate climate we have here... that's because it RARELY snows... and when it does it's bittersweet.  Sorry Washingtonians, but you know it's true, we can't drive in it worth a damn (we blame it on the hills and the "other" drivers).  We usually use it as a poor excuse to escape work for the entire day even though the roads are usually completely clear by 9 am.  Schools close with just a rumor that it might snow.  We sled down asphalt with just a light dusting of white (if any at all). We make poor attempts at snowman with the minimal snow we have and they are usually melted within the hour.  Today it snowed in Washington... and we did all the aforementioned things... here are is the lovely family picture proving that it snowed, even if it was just briefly.

and then... because he's all boy... he demolished it

Saturday, January 14

Oh Pinterest...

Yes, just like the rest of humanity, I too am addicted to Pinterest.  However, I am a pretty good student, and  am currently getting  a jump start on my homework for the new website.  AKA finding inspiration, colors, typography etc. to use on it.  Pinterest is a great way to collaborate with my designer Mervi.  Here are a few inspirational pictures, but following my Pinterest is a great way to get a sneak peak at what's to come!

Friday, January 13

Friday Favorites {are back}!

I know it's been awhile, but I am making every effort to get back in the swing of the normal routine, and out of the "Christmas Recover Mode"  Finding these beautiful items definately helped!  Enjoy!

Thursday, January 12

Today I Got a Great Gift...

Tonight was a serious test of patience at bedtime.  Kaleb is usually so easy and we have our routine down pact. But I guess it's proof that even a great routine sometimes need modification. Anyways, eventually just went back to the basics that I know...

... that's right, I rocked my 4 year old to sleep, AND I LOVED IT! I even sang (in my horribley off key voice) the only lullaby I know, the same one I used to sing to him when he was a baby, "You Are My Sunshine."

For just a few minutes he felt like a tiny baby again.  I watched him sleep for awhile.  I miss those days so much.  Although I love to watch him learn and grow.  I love that we are able to share and do so much together now. Yet, there is just something about holding a baby in your arms that just never gets old. 

I think Kaleb and I both will have an amazing nights sleep.


Sunday, January 8

Recovery Mode...

Well, things around this place have been much different than pre-Chrismas.  We are definitely in recovery mode. I guess I didn't realize how hard I was really pushing myself until I slowed down and my body wouldn't do anything but rest for the past week!  I don't know about you, but for me it's inevitable that when I take a break or vacation or any type of breather, I catch a cold.  This one was a duzy!  Today, I can't tell if my body is tired from the illness or just tired, but I am feeling better, well rested and rejuvenated!

Although I was resting, my mind can never truly stop working (thanks for that Dad! ;)  I have a HUGE list of to-do's before the next big rush of Valentines orders come.  Here's what you have to look forward to:

1. A NEW LOOK:  I have worked so hard at trying to keep costs down by doing the graphic design work myself.  Although my blog, Etsy sites, business cards and overall brand look decent, I'm ready to take it to the next level.  Purchases over the internet can be scary, a professional look will definitely give people the confidence in me and the brand that they need to feel more comfortable.  I have enlisted the help of the Freckled Nest team to do the job.  I found them a few years back, and drooled over their work.  So happy to say that I have come far enough in the business to be at this point.  Etsy forums are always saying, sometimes it's better to invest in a professional to do it right, than to pretend like you know what you are doing.  I'll keep you posted as the new design is worked on, for now I'm using up the last of the old product I have in preparation for the new look!

Here are a few websites they have done in the past that got me hooked:

2. NEW ITEMS:  That's right I have MORE items coming.  I am still focusing on the charm shop for now, as I just have more stuff I want to put out.  I am working on the following:

  1. More Metal Charms: Metal charms are a great way to add touches of things that are significant in your life.  I have lots to come some of them are:
    • Beach items: shells, starfish, sea horses etc.
    • Baby stuff: feet, parasol
    • Animal stuff: dog and cat paws
    • and much more!
    2.  More 12 mm Designs.  Right now we offer just a few "other" designs in the 12 mm option, sports, etc.  I am starting to work with a designer to come up with some black and white vector images for these to add to your necklace.  Here are a few ideas:
    • Nature/Animals:  Paw prints, birds, Christmas tree, trees, recycle image
    • Other: Umbrella, heart, anchor, 
    • and much more!
    3.  Types of Jewelry: During the last few months, I have realized there are a lot more ways to wear the charms, and people are excited about that!  I have some great ideas to include:
    • Anklets
    • Long/wrap-able 
    • 2 strand bracelet
    • Leather bracelet wrap
I am sure I am leaving ideas out, as my whiteboard is filled with notes and jots of ideas!  But all of it is exciting! Stay tuned because we are constantly evolving and there is bound to be exactly what you want!

3. WHOLESALE OPTIONS FOR J4JCHARMS:  I have had a few boutiques contact me since J4JCharms opened about carrying them in shops. It's been on my docket, but I just felt like I needed to do things in order.  Make sure my look was sent, have all the items in my head ready, and then make a catalogue or set up some other way for people to order them through their local shops.  I have a few great plans in mind, and this is a great time for me to break into that part of the business with the charm jewelry. I am super excited!  Definitely tell the shops you love to check us out as the charm jewelry will bring great business to any place!

So excited for 2012 and all it has to bring!

Tuesday, January 3

Whoa... where have you been?

I honestly had NO idea it's been a MONTH since I blogged.  I guess time goes by when you are having fun?  Let's see where to start?  Well I would tell you all about the beginning of the month, how busy I was, blah blah blah, but that's boring... So I think it'll just jump right to New Years!

Dave and I have been pushing hard these past few years to get to where we want to be in life, raise a happy, healthy child, and so a majority of our time has been spent at home.  A few months ago a good friend of mine asked if we wanted to join them on their annual New Years trip to Canada... ah what the heck! 

So Friday morning... 4:00 a.m. to be exact. We headed to Port Angeles.  It's just over a 2 hour drive from  us, beautiful and scenic in it's own right (although this time I was just staring at the inside of my eyelids - Thanks Dave!)  We boarded the MV Coho Ferry via foot to finish off the journey.  The boat was pretty smooth sailing for the waters it was traveling through.  90 minutes later and a few customs officers we arrived! 

We spent the weekend walking all around the beautiful city.  The city was founded in 1843, and the amazing architecture, narrow passageways, and stunning scenery are striking still today.  We caught up with our friends, remembered what it was like before having a child, and just relaxed!  Here are some great pics I thought I would share with you: