Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Top Chef Goes Gluten Free!

I wish! Ha! (Although I do believe something gluten free was done with Top Chef Masters.) As someone who recently went gluten-free, I soon discovered that eating out is impossible. I used to love going to a nice restaurant and enjoying a wonderful meal but now I absolutely hate eating out. There's nothing to eat! On top of that, I am I've often felt like it's my fault I can't eat gluten and that I'm making life terrible for the chef and everyone there. How dare I come out to eat! What was I thinking?! I can count on one finger how many times someone was truly helpful and understanding of this in a food establishment besides a gluten-free store. Somehow, I end up feeling like a less-than customer.

Speaking of food, I loved Top Chef this season! I was rooting for the Voltaggio brothers all the way! I am a native of Frederick, Maryland and was glad to see some people from home. After spending almost two years living in the Middle of Nowhere, Wisconsin, it was somehow like seeing a familiar face every week. And I would eat their food any day... as long as it's gluten free.

Oh hey, you can also find this new necklace on Etsy! It features sterling silver, glass beads and a handmade lampwork focal bead from Heather.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

House Party Availability

I have decided it is a good time to dive into the realm of house parties. So, if you live in the Port Washington, WI area and are looking for something fun to do, consider hosting a house party. I'm willing to travel between Cedarburg and Sheboygan to bring my designs to you and your friends for your viewing pleasure. As a thank you for hosting I will give you a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry for you. I can customize it to your liking and you will get this regardless of the number of sales. For more information, you can convo me through my Etsy site at or email me at

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Winner! True Random Number Generator Result: 1 Congratulations Steffi!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Etsy Giveaway!

Free Etsy Shop Giveaway! NO purchase necessary!

Up for grabs is a bracelet made by me! It is made out of red felted beads and glass pearls and measures about eight inches long. The beads are strung on tigertail beading wire. Give it as a gift or save it for yourself!

When can I enter? Monday, November 9, 2009 through Thursday, December 3, 2009.

How do I enter? Send me an email at rachelwrites2you!at! and tell me about an item that you like in my shop (found here: Just pick one item and tell me why you like it. You can pick any item that is currently in the shop or something that is sold. It can be one of my items or can be made by either of my sisters. Please make sure you include the item’s link in your email. Please send your entry to that email address, no messages through Facebook or Etsy, please. You can enter up to once a day. Each day you must pick either a different item or give me another reason why you like an item you already picked in the email you send. If you don’t like any items in my shop, please don’t enter.

How will the winner be picked? I will use a random number generator to pick the winner. The first email I get will be number one, the second will be number two, etc.

What will the winner get? The bracelet, of course! Also, I will give you a 25% discount and free shipping in my shop for one shopping transaction. You just let me know what you want to buy and I will adjust all the prices and reserve all those items for you. You can buy as much or as little as you like but it all must be done in one shopping transaction. If you don’t want anything but the bracelet, that is fine too, just let me know. Please realize, you do NOT have to spend a dime in the shop if you win and just want the bracelet.

How do I know if I’m the winner? I will announce the winner on my Stitched! Facebook page on Friday, December 4th! I will also email you and get your shipping information.

Everyone Wins!? Everyone who enters will get the opportunity to get free shipping and 5% off one transaction. When you enter I will email you back with details. Please note, this is for just one order regardless of the number of times you enter. As with the discount offered to the winner, you are under NO obligation to buy anything at all. If you never buy anything from the shop and just want to try for the free bracelet, that is perfectly fine.

A Note about the Prize: Because of the diameter of the beads, it will fit a wrist not much bigger than seven inches around. If you need this adjusted, please let me know before I ship it.

Another Note: Please read my shop policies before entering! Any customs fees are the responsibility of the buyer/winner for international buyers.

I will NOT send you "junk" emails, other offers, sell your information or anything else annoying. The only email you will get from me will come with information on getting your 5% discount for entering and if you win.

I reserve the right to change/modify the giveaway rules at any time.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

New Lampwork Jewelry and New Section!

This week I have been very busy! I am going to my sister's graduation this week and I wanted to get some new things out before then. My husband and I are also planning our vacation for July and I have a new dog that I'm watching on and off. I'm trying my best to maintain some semblance of a garden but the crummy weather hasn't been helping. It's been in the 50's for several days the past couple weeks. That doesn't help my poor watermelon and cantaloupe plants. A lot has been accomplished though. Check out some of my new lampwork jewelry:

This one can be found here and features lampwork beads from Scott:

This one is made with lampwork discs from Alisha and carnelian stone beads:

In addition, I also started a section with jewelry and accessories that are all five dollars or less. Here are a few things from that section:

These earrings feature bumpy lampwork beads from May:

This necklace is made with Czech glass beads:

This bracelet is made of white shell beads and foil glass hearts:

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Beautiful Glass

This week I started making some new things with the new handmade lampwork beads that I bought. This necklace is in bright blue and yellow. I love the three beads in the center. You'll have a hard time finding another one like this.

Speaking of blue and yellow. I have these wonderful lampwork discs from Alisha and couldn't resist making a pair of earrings with them and some cat's eye glass beads.

I found these beautiful two-toned Czech glass beads. They are a pink and orange color and remind me of ripe peaches. I made a three strand bracelet using those beads and small white faceted cat's eye glass beads. It's just a little too small for my wrist but I'm sure someone will love it!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Insanely Busy

I went on a trip to Maryland with my dog. We drove two days to get to my parents' house, spent the weekend, spent two days in Salisbury three hours from there, went back to my parents' house and then drove to see my grandparents before heading out on the road back to Wisconsin. It was a long drive and one week after getting back, I'm still tired from it. Obie loved meeting everyone and getting lots of love.

Since getting back I've been on a hunt for some good lampwork beads. The mass-produced beads you find at general craft stores just won't do. Mom and I went to AC Moore while I was in Maryland and their beads were disappointing. Usually they have decent selection but this last time there were so many cracked and chipped beads. Mom's birthday is coming up and I decided to find her some nice lampwork beads and get a few for myself. I am hoping to get a few new things made soon and post them on Etsy.

I ordered some custom beads from MayzBeadz ... she has very beautiful beads at great prices. I've never beed disappointed. Here's some of her work:

I also found wonderful beads at GloryBeadGlassStudio. Just beautiful work and free shipping!

If you are looking for hollow beads or lampwork discs I suggest AlishaWhite's Etsy shop. They are the most perfect lampwork discs I have ever come across!

I will be updating with more pictures as soon as I can.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Growing Food and Springtime Jewelry

I haven't been making too much for Etsy lately. I traded so much last month in the trade-n-stay and have yet to make more things. I have several things in my shop that remind me of spring. I made this necklace and love wearing it. It's made with lampwork glass beads and Czech glass beads.

I also have this bracelet and this necklace that have been on sale for several months and I love both of them. They both remind me of spring.

Now on to my other hobby of late. I simply love biting into a ripe melon in the middle of summer. Yellow watermelon is probably my favorite but I love red watermelon and cantaloupe too. I decided that this year I would try growing some of my own. I haven't been able to find any yellow watermelon since moving out here. I even had to order the seeds on the internet. We eat a lot of squash too so I decided to try planting all those three types of melon plus squash. Since we live in Wisconsin, it can snow into the month of May so I decided to plant the seeds inside and then transplant them outside in late May or early June. So far there is a little squash plant that popped up this weekend and several little red watermelon plants that have poked through the soil. The yellow watermelon seeds came in the mail nine days after I planted the others so they haven't had much time to grow yet. Still no action on the cantaloupe but I hope that something will grow there soon. Here are some pictures I took today.

The red watermelon:
The squash plant:

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Trading is Most Excellent

I love this necklace. So many colors and I just love the glass beads. It's going to be hard to part with but for now I will enjoy it. I have this up for sale and have added some PIF items and dropped prices on several things.

I tried to tie that into what I'm about to say but it just sounded too hokey. So I am changing the subject.

I must say that I love me a good trade. Any of you Etsians out there who are traders will, hopefully, agree with me. I am just addicted to it. I love getting things I need or want in a good Etsy trade. No money need be exchanged. The Tradeaholics team on Etsy had a trade and stay event last week. I did several trades for dog treats for Obie, a dog ID tag, some cards, two pairs of earrings, soap, tote bags, this cute ceramic ornament for our anniversary, a coffee cozy, some napkins for Evelyn and beads. I know, many links, but I am so thrilled with all my trading. Any other Etsy traders out there? I have found that lately many people are reluctant to trade and would just rather make money. Well money is great but I needed a new dog ID tag for Obie and Etsy trading means I don't have to drive around buying things. Trading makes people happy. If something has sold at all and it's been posted for a few months but someone wants to trade, if I like something in their shop I'll trade for it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Animals Need Love

I love animals. That's probably why I make a lot of things that incorporate animals. Even the "yucky" animals have a place in my shop.

This cute bracelet features a scorpion lampwork bead. The rest of the bracelet is made with Czech glass size one seed beads. I love using this kind of seed bead. They are about the size of a pony bead but come in beautiful colors. Sometimes I will use a smaller size seed bead but I still make sure to get the beautiful colors that come with glass beads.

I am just in love with lampwork beads. There is so much that can be made with glass. I love these cute little sheep that I mentioned in a previous post. This bracelet is similar to the scorpion one but features a lizard. I found the bead online and he was supposed to look like a crocodile but I think he lookes more like a lizard.

If you've checked my shop recently you can see that I've been busy making many new things. Most of my time has gone to creating. I prefer it to promoting. Making new things is my favorite part of the process.

If anyone out there is getting married soon, check out my veil sale going on now. Also, I'm planning on making some new veils for the spring.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

An Anniversary and Wedding Veil Sale

A year ago I was getting ready for our wedding. We didn't have enough money for a small wedding, let alone one of those huge hurrah's you see today. Everything from giving your guests gifts to food to decorations costs bundles these days. Half of it isn't even necessary. We had to keep it simple.

My husband and I got married at the courthouse. They had a nice wedding room that was very pretty and our parents came to witness it. My grandmother made my gown and my mom made the cake.

We had two receptions. The first was in Maryland, with his immediate family and my side, right after we got married. We had a nice reception in a private room of a great restaurant. We didn't hire a photographer or have a wedding party or any of that. Our second reception was in Wisconsin four weeks later with my immediate family and his side, again in a nice restaurant and similar setting. Each reception had about 40 guests, including those who came to both receptions. It was nice and simple. Just about all of it we did ourselves. We just wanted to get married. The frills were just frills and didn't add or take away anything from our marriage.

That started my path to making wedding veils, jewelry and accessories. I needed a veil so I made one. I sewed Swarovski crystals to the veil with invisible thread and sewed crackle glass to the comb. This past July I made a veil for a friend and I started thinking of making these for brides on a budget. While my veils didn't sell right away, my jewelry has done well. I guess it doesn't help that most weddings are in spring and summer and I started selling veils closer to the fall. Anyway, I made my first veil, my wedding veil, a year ago and so I'm putting my veils on sale. Each pre-made veil is now between $30 and $39 and I've lowered the shipping cost. I also have my butterfly comb at clearance price! You can find my veils here and my accessories here including hairpins, hair bands and combs.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Hebrew for Lamb

My name is Hebrew for "lamb" or "ewe" depending which book you're reading. Maybe that's why I've always had a special place in my heart for sheep. Sure, horses, llamas, camels and giraffes have always rated high, but sheep are pretty cool too. My sister Vivian bought some great beads and made a cute bracelet with them. That bracelet sold earlier this month but I just couldn't help but want to get my hands on some of those beads. I found them in green and blue. I just love these little guys and hope that you do too. Cat's eye beads or fiber optic beads were also used.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

For Aunt Belva

On Thursday I got an email from my dad saying that my great Aunt Belva had passed away. I got in my car and drove to Indiana that day and drove the rest of the way to Maryland the next day, went to the funeral, stayed through Sunday, drove back to Indiana on Monday and made it home to Wisconsin on Tuesday. I didn't know Aunt Belva too well, at least compared to her children and grandchildren, but she still made an impact on me. I couldn't explain it, but when I heard that she had passed I knew I just had to come back to Maryland to the funeral. I just had to say "goodbye" to her. I'm glad I did. I remember at the family reunions that she would always smile at me and have delicious treats for us kids. For a little girl, family reunions were fun but it was a bit daunting walking around among the adults. I had cousins and siblings to play with but of course the older family members wanted to talk to us and say how much we'd grown. Aunt Belva was just always kind to me. Sure, we all have our flaws and I personally don't like it when people say you can't speak a bad word about the dead. Not that we want to drag their name through the dirt... I suppose my dad said it best. He was truthful. Aunt Belva was like her parents. They had a hard life. They worked hard and could be gruff but they also had a lot of love to give to their family. Aunt Belva, like her mother, loved flowers. So, for her, I'm posting a picture of some flowers that just popped out in our front yard last spring. No promotion today.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Been Busy

I've been pretty busy lately. I've made quite a few things and it takes just as long, if not, longer, to put them on Etsy. I've really enjoyed being able to create though. I've bought a lot of beads lately. I love beads and shopping for beads. I'm really not much of a shopper. I hate shopping for most things but I love shopping for beads. I can walk through a store and will see a string of beads and just know what I want to make with them. The problem is that I went to two bead shops last week. We're not talking about Michaels or JoAnn Fabrics. This are high quality bead shops. It's all about beading there. I just couldn't help myself. I loved so many beads! I just walked through the shops and came up with ideas for all kinds of jewelry. Now I'm actually making it and putting it in my shop. I am thrilled with these beads! I got some rubies, jade and jasper beads that I love. You can find the results here, here and here. I really enjoy working with multiple strands of beads on one piece. I think colorful stone beads lend themselves well to this. I tend to use a lot of color and bigger beads more often then smaller beads and neutral colors. One of my favorite new things is the frog necklace. I love that little guy. It makes for a colorful and fun necklace and I got to use all glass beads. Glass is probably my favorite.

Beading has just become addicting. It takes time and patience but you get a beautiful product. I just love it! What do you like to make and/or wear? Anyone else enjoy beading? Do you make things that you enjoy but may not be totally "in style" or do you make what you know people will buy because it's the current trend regardless of how you feel about that trend?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Spring is Coming

Today I made a tutu for Wilhelmina. She is my plush hippo that Nate got me for Valentine's Day. She's very soft and I just through she might like dressing up. So I made her a black, pink and purple tutu with some nice earrings and necklace. Pictures to come.

This past weekend I met another nice person on Etsy. She loves using lampwork beads like I do. Glass beads are so versatile. I love the bright colors you can get. Check out the greens in this necklace. They just go so well together.

One nice thing about making jewelry is that I can make whatever I want and not have to pay ridiculous prices. It also makes a slight problem. I don't seem to want to sell anything that I make. Everything that I have for sale, I'd like to keep. I don't make anything that I don't like. Then when it's time to say goodbye to it, it's harder than if I just made things I didn't like. It's something I've spent a lot of though and time on. It's a little part of me. I want to do good work but it's also personal. I guess what keeps it from being too hard is the fact that someone else likes it as much as I do.

Now I need to make some things.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


I started this blog thinking it would be for promoting purposes only. I've found that, after much careful consideration, I just can't do that. I'm not one to feel comfortable writing chessy advertisements to get people to buy my stuff. Sure, who doesn't want to make a sale? But, I just can't have this as a virtual billboard for things and leave it at that. I like to write. Starting today the blog is changing. I'm not just going to post pretty pictures and descriptions of things I make. I want to talk about them, what inspires me to make them and about other things in life. While I stumbled into making jewelry and wedding veils, it's now become a big part of my life.

I think it's interesting how a lot of things that happened weren't planned. I didn't plan on making jewelry, I didn't plan on playing the cello, I didn't plan on getting married so soon after college and I definitely didn't plan on being a math major in college. It just happened. I think some of the best things in life aren't planned by us. Things just work out.

It's Cold in Winter!

It has been a crazy winter. For my friends, well I miss you guys in Maryland. I really could have used a buddy to go get coffee with. Melissa and LP are good for going for coffee. I miss them. With the snow around here I could have used a nice hot cup of coffee or tea.

I think a rough winter deserves a fun spring. That is why I'm packing up my stuff and the dog and heading to Maryland for about 10 days in April. I'd love to bring Nate but he has work obligations. I'm hoping to do the Maryland tour and have Obie with me. Just about everyone in Maryland has asked about him and they all want to meet him. I actually think that if I don't bring him they won't want to see me and will send me driving back to Wisconsin. Obie loves a good car ride so he should be fine with it.

I really need to keep up with this blog thing. I love putting up pictures of things I've made and sharing them. I like to get some feedback on what I've made. I also like to write a little bit about me and connect with people. Winter has been pretty wintery here and I don't get out much. I've got some pretty bad cabin fever. I've been tutoring, working around the house, reading books, watching Numb3rs and NCIS and making jewelry. Some of those things are what I do to make a living and keep things from falling apart... other things in that list are just fun things to do. Going for walks has been hard lately. I need ice skates more than shoes. I also want to share this scarf my sister made... the one in the picture. Vivian is just 14 and she is so talented! That scarf is just so pretty and soft! She just has this great knack to make great things. I'm so proud of her.

Yes, the title seems obvious, but it's really been cold this winter with few exceptions. This scarf is the answer! The pockets can stretch a bit as well. Thank you Hannah for modeling!

My Crazy Bracelet

This bracelet took several days to make. It's a watch band with three layers of beads attached. Hundreds of seed beads were used to make this colorful bracelet. It's surprisingly light and very colorful. The seed beads used are not all of one size.

Vivian Makes Things Too!

A few things have changed since November. I recently started selling my sister Vivian's creations. She is too young to have her own shop but she makes some great stuff. Check out this great lily pad pin cushion!

Spring Stones

It's been a long winter in Wisconsin. It's going to be even longer. There's still snow on the ground even though we just had a winter thaw. I needed to make something that reminded me of warmer times. Here's a spring bracelet made with turquoise stone beads and pink shell beads.

Pink Flowers

These pink flower hairpins are made with Swarovski crystals with a clear Czech glass center.


I've recently discovered how much fun it is to make hairpins. I've always been a fan of flowers so here we have blue daisy flower hairpins. You can find this here.

Spiders are so cute!

I've been gone for awhile. I've been pretty busy and have had some health issues but I'm back in the game. I'm going to post some of my latest creations. Here we have my spider bracelet. It features blue cat's eye beads, pink faceted cat's eye beads and a blue spider lampwork bead. You can find it here.