Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Celbrate Safely this New Years Eve...

...stay home and shop online! LOL
Wishing everyone a magical and wonderful 2009!


Handmade, because you deserve it!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Still time to order for Christmas in US!

Order by midnight, Friday, December 19th and your order will ship Saturday via USPS Priority 2-3 day. This should arrive on Tuesday or Wednesday! Also: through January 10th (for last minute shoppers and those who receive holiday money to spend!) ♥♥shipping charges will be refunded♥♥ on single orders that total $100 US or more!. Please click any item below to go to my Etsy store and see all the sparkly pretty choices.


Etsy
Buy Handmade
CustomMoonlight


Thank you and Happy Holidays to all! ♥

Sunday, December 14, 2008

December Alternative Birthstones

Someone please slow down the calendar!!! December is almost half over and I'm just now getting to my alternate birthstone post for the month. Maybe I should do January today too so I can be ahead of the game for once! ☺

December's traditional birthstone is Blue Zircon, a stunning blue stone with colored flashes similar to those in diamonds. A more affordable traditional option is Lapis Lazuli a deep blue opaque stone often veined with golden flecks. Lapis figures prominently in South Western style jewelry.

Modern birthstone choices for December are Turquoise, Blue Topaz and Tanzanite.
Astrological signs provide an even broader range of alternatives for December babies. For detailed information Click Here.


January's modern and traditional representation is Garnet. When most folks think of Garnet, they see red however, it actually comes in a rainbow of colors (and price points). The mystical birthstone for January is Emerald and your astrology gives you additional choices as well like: Turquoise, Onyx, Ruby, Moss Agate, Amethyst and Opal! Moss Agate is a personal favorite of mine. No two stones are the same and they can often look like seascapes, rolling hills or amazing bursts of flame like the one below that I sold last weekend at a show.

There's still time within the US to get some CustomMoonlight in time for the holidays! I am running a special in my Etsy shop through the 10th of January (for those who receive ca$h gifts!). Any order valued over $100 will receive a refund of the shipping charge!

Wishing everyone a sparkly, safe and happy holiday season.
~Moon


Saturday, November 22, 2008

What makes me sparkle?

My ebay auctions used to have a glitter graphic that said 'sparkle on...' and I always wish folks sparkly dreams when I sign off in a public forum. Many times, I'll get a comment from someone who particularly likes that sentiment and that always makes me smile. But what makes me sparkle? Well, aside from the obvious ~ my family, giggly children and adorable fuzzy fourfoots... I love being able to make beautiful jewelry that makes someone feel a little bit more special. One of my mother's co-workers buys something from me every Christmas for his mother. As I prepare for the holidays I always make something with 'Tommy's Mommy' in mind but this year was a little different. This year, I went to a trade show specifically looking for something unique that would celebrate a delicate and proper lady. I wanted her to have something that was chosen and created for her from scratch this time. Not that there's anything wrong with all the wicked cool sparkly stuff I have in stock, but there's something extra special about having something that was completely inspired by you. I take my Mum with me to the shows. She's my VP of quality control, helping me to choose the best strands of the gemstone beads I want. She's also there to make sure I don't spend every penny I have and most of the credit available to me, but I'm not supposed to know that (wink). She spotted a strand of pastel potato pearls in colors we've never seen together before (blue, green, yellow, pink, purple) and with the most amazing lustre they are almost mirrors! When Mum told Tommy what I was making for his mother's Christmas present he was almost giddy. He was so excited to be able to tell his mother the story behind her pearls. That's sparkle... and making someone that happy, makes me sparkle too.

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and sparkly Thanksgiving!
~Moonlight

Monday, November 3, 2008

November Birthstones

So, you like the idea of wearing your birthstone but Citrine doesn't go with everything you wear. Out of luck? No way! November is rich in alternative birthstones. Here's a preview but for more information please click on the title of this post to go to my website and see all of your options (no matter what month you were born in)!

November Mystical Birthstone: Pearl
November Hindu Birthstone: Cat's Eye

Astrological birthstones depend on when in the month you were born and my website gives a large selection of stones for both Scorpio and Sagittarius. Click Here to see them all!

Wishing all November babies a very happy, healthy birthday and a fabulous year! ☺

~Moonlight

Friday, October 31, 2008

A Matter of Pride

Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori. Perhaps THE most unlikely sentence that I would remember from my 'recommended' reading in school. I always retained the gist of what I read but not quotable detail so when this phrase came easily to mind the other day, I was amazed. I remember it from a book called "Johnny Got His Gun" by Dalton Trumbo.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori is a line from the Roman lyrical poet Horace's OdesEnglish as: "It is sweet and fitting to die for one's country." In classical Latin it was pronounced, "dulcet decorumst pro patria mori," due to poetic elisionprodelision. (iii 2.13). The line can be rendered in and

The line has been a commonplace in modern times throughout Europe. It was quoted by Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat immediately before his beheading on Tower Hill, London in 1747. It was much quoted in reference to the British Empire in the 19th century, particularly during the Boer War.

"Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori, sed dulcius pro patria vivere, et dulcissimum pro patria bibere. Ergo, bibamus pro salute patriae" In English this is rendered as: "It is sweet to die for the homeland, but it is sweeter to live for the homeland, and the sweetest to drink for it. Therefore, let us drink to the health of the homeland." It was a frequent 19th century students' toast.

This illustrates the difference in the presidential candidates that makes a difference for me. Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori, sed dulcius pro patria vivere.

I believe that Senator McCain represents the first part of the phrase. He is comfortable with war ~ it has been his life all his life (his father was in the military). War made him who he is today. He thrives in the atmosphere of war and hilights his experience as what makes him the best choice to be Commander in Chief right now.

The US President is not JUST the Commander in Chief of the US Military. There is so very much more to the responsibilities of the President and that's where the middle of the phrase comes in. Senator Obama represents the beginning AND the middle of the phrase for me. He understands the sacrifice our military families make and he fully appreciates (understanding AND gratitude) them and their accomplishments. Senator Obama however, also understands the role of diplomacy, the value of reason, the art of negotiation. He is focused on the betterment of our country here at home as a major prerequisite in our image in the world community. He looks at the Presidency through a wide angle lens... as it should be, as it MUST be to return this country to it's status as a respected world leader.

On Tuesday I will remember almost three hundred years of events that led to the moment I walked into my polling place. I will remember our founding fathers who came here and established this great country on the premise that we are all equal and have the right to question and have a say in our government. I will exercise my right to vote in recognition of my responsibility to the women who fought for it before I was even born. I will proudly, triumphantly cast my vote for the sweetness of living for my country and I will be so much more emotional than I have ever been to do so. This time, I will also swell with pride that I have the opportunity to further a famous Dream spoken when I was a toddler. This time I will be cognizant that my vote is not only MY voice but the voices of so many who have fought in every possible way to bring this amazing nation to the precipice of historic growth.

As I watch the election results Tuesday night, I will represent the completion of the phrase with a toast to my country and a drink to it's bright future.

Dulce et decorum est pro patria vivere!!!!


Thursday, October 23, 2008

If it's the last thing I do....

This is Patriotism at its absolute finest! I can't copy/paste the article for copyright reasons, but please click the title, this is a quick read that underscores for all of us the importance of exercising our right and responsibility to vote.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Contest on www.pinkforoctober.org

October is breast cancer awareness month (have you done your exam/reminded friends and family?). There is a fun contest running on www.pinkforoctober.org with beautiful prizes (yes, I am biased... I donated one of them!). When you have a moment, please check out the site by clicking the title of this post.

The earrings I made for the contest are called Hearts and Tears. The inspiration was two teardrops, the first in fear the second triumph. The hearts symbolize the friends and family who fight alongside. I am honored to have the opportunity to help spread awareness. Go Pink!!!


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Celebrate the colors...

So I was just in a conversation about what to do if one considers something in a particular shop offensive and it got me thinking.

The original post posed questions about items that mock a particular religious figure. The poster was questioned about whether it was hateful or just in poor taste.

The conversation was a very thoughtful exchange about what some people find objectionable and examples were tossed back and forth. What if it was one particular religion or what if it was the use of the N word or child pornography.

I resisted the urge to launch into a diatribe about America's propensity to try to be the world's policeman and instead put some thought into key points I thought were important in that discussion. I really like conversations that make me stop and think. These days I notice I spend more time dismissing in frustration rather than analyzing and considering other perspectives. While another point of view may not change how I see something ~ it's important to understand them. Actually, it's imperative ~ understanding other points of view helps strengthen my explanation of my position. Afterall, don't you respect someone who differs from you but can articulate valid, well reasoned arguments for why they feel the way they do?

In any case, we discussed censorship, power, control... the fact that one person's porn is another's art ~ and while many of us find the N word unacceptable, there are folks who use it as an inclusive term of endearment. We all have power and control. We have the power to move on from a post that we find objectionable. We have the control over our money to not buy items from someone that offends us. What I think we sometimes forget is, that's the beginning and end of our power and control.

I concluded my input on the topic by saying we'll never determine right and wrong here because it's not black and white (meaning cut and dried). When I re-read my comment after posting I thought to myself I should have added 'celebrate the colors' with respect to all of the perspectives that make up our amazing community. I liked the phrase and thought I'd put it out there... let's celebrate the colors!

(Pink is the color of October www.pinkforoctober.org)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Do you know what P4O means?

October is breast cancer awareness month. Please visit www.pinkforoctober.org for full details on how we can all 'go pink' in some way to help the cause. I would like to invite my fellow Etsians to designate a section of their shop as 'pink for October' to help spread awareness. Add a tag of p4o to your pink items!! Call attention to this extremely important issue ~ it doesn't have to cost you a cent but it can increase your visibility if we all talk about P4O in the forum and chatrooms.

Here's my thread link, please help keep it active by commenting! http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=5831677

I have chosen to donate a portion of the sale of my P4O items to the fight against breast cancer if they sell in the month of October. IF you can afford to do so, I challenge you to as well! If you can't afford to donate, don't underestimate the power of participation by turning your shop/website/blog pink to spread the message, register on the website listed above and your support will be noted on the official site!

Thank you!
~Moonlight

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Clutter is a sure sign of an organized person!

Wiped your drink off your screen yet? Sorry about that. I had said a while ago that I'm a very organized person and promised to someday tell you how the clutter supports that theory. Well here it is... yes folks, clutter is a sign of an organized person! With a shout out to George Carlin and his brilliant routine 'a place for my stuff', here's how it works. I've spent years looking at my clutter ~ cursing it even. I've been overwhelmed by it and at a loss to figure out where it came from or where in the world it's all going to go. I considered moving house ~ delusional that moving would force me to pare down my belongings. Then I realized if I move to somewhere big enough to have a place for all my stuff... I'll just get more stuff. I've given some away, and I've felt very good about that. The money raised from the sale will help folks who need ... well.. stuff. I've forced myself to let go of some of those things I've kept because "I can use that for something someday". I rationalized that I am in a position to buy another if in fact a need arose so why not? Of course, predictably, I have been asked for just those things the very week I let them go ~ reinforcing the fear that made me keep it all in the first place.

So the other week when I wrote the sentence: I am a very organized person, I looked up from my computer and chuckled. If they could see what I see, I'd lose all credibility right there. But actually as I thought about it, I have everything. No matter what anyone asks for... no matter what kluged solution or tool I need to create to facilitate my craft... I have enough stuff to make it work. Plus, I have a pretty strong mental inventory of what all is where in this collection so I think I'm better off than I thought I was.

This realization helped me to actually conquer the clutter and reclaim my kitchen... and that's just the beginning. No, I don't believe I actually will ever have a day where I suddenly NEED 25 glass jars. I now only have a few ~ one each in different sizes. Thank goodness we have recycling collection twice a week here ~ I'm gonna keep them pretty busy for a while. LOL

So folks, the moral is... celebrate your clutter if you ever want to conquer it! ☺
~Moon

Monday, September 22, 2008

Wear your heart on your sleeve!

Or at least your brand! I just received my first "free" hat from Vista and I can't believe how great the quality is. It was so good, I just ordered a "free" t-shirt too! The hat is high end (no hook/loop closure back here folks!) and the printing is excellent ~ photo reproduced perfectly!

Looking for creative ways to get your message out there this holiday shopping season? CLICK HERE!!

You can order up to 10 "free" items per order. There is a production/shipping charge (none of my orders have ever cost more than $25.70 for p/s!!!). Bypass all the partner marketing offers, they'll sign you up for stuff you'll be automatically billed for when the free trial expires. The net result is a wide variety of creative marketing materials for VERY short money!!!

Business Best,
~Moon

Friday, September 19, 2008

CNN.com gives ETSY shoutout...

A big thanks to CNN.com for highlighting the handmade revolution!

http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/science/09/18/craft.revival/index.html


If anyone at Etsy reads this, I am among thousands of your members who would very much prefer to pay a little more to list if you would do some advertising!! I do what I can and I am committed to always doing so, but there are cost effective methods that you could use to give us the collective power to reach millions of people for pennies each!!! PLEASE, PLEASe, PLEAse, PLEase, PLease, Please, please!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Unusual Marketing Ideas

Here's an idea for anyone who:
Remembers what a public library is...
Donates used books to friends/relatives/charity...
Finds themselves in any waiting area that contains books/periodicals for public perusal...

Business Card Bookmarks! Either your standard business card (remember, get them to take/keep it by adding a calendar on the back!!), or design postcards, flat invitations, etc. so you can cut them into bookmarks ~ here: http://www.vistaprint.com/frf?frf=324673777415! Just leave your promotional bookmark in any reading material and spread your message!!

You'll get regular emails with all kinds of great 'free' marketing materials that allow you to be creative with your advertising on a shoestring budget. Sure, you pay a processing fee and shipping charge but it's still a great variety for less than your local print shop! I have
ordered a dozen times ~ always the cheapest 21 day processing ~ and have never waited more than 10 days for delivery!!! (...or paid more than $25.70 processing/shipping for up to 10 "free" types of marketing
materials!!!!!!!!!!) ☺

Bypass all the partner marketing offers... some folks claim to have had strange billing on their credit cards after clicking on the partner offers. Of course, they agreed to automatically enroll by signing up for the partner offer, but it's easier to place blame elsewhere! This is a GREAT business resource!

Order now for holiday shopping season!!!
Business best,
~Moon



Tuesday, September 16, 2008

How do you make them take/keep your business card?

That's easy... make it a handy calendar too! Check out this link

http://www.vistaprint.com/frf?frf=324673777415

I created 250 matte premium full color business cards with a black and white calendar on the back for $5.24!!!! (plus processing/shipping)

You'll get regular emails with all kinds of great 'free' marketing materials that allow you to be creative with your advertising on a shoestring budget. Sure, you pay a processing fee and shipping charge but it's still a great variety for less than your local print shop! I have ordered a dozen times ~ always the cheapest 21 day processing ~ and have never waited more than 10 days for delivery!!! (...or paid more than $25 processing/shipping for up to 10 "free" types of marketing materials!!!!!!!!!!) *update: I did find an old order with $25.70 in processing/shipping charges... so I guess that should read: ...or paid more than $26!) ☺

Bypass all the partner marketing offers... some folks claim to have had strange
billing on their credit cards after clicking on the partner offers.
Of course, they agreed to automatically enroll by signing up for the partner offer,
but they conveniently forget that when they want to trash a
great business resource!

Order now for holiday shopping season!!!
Business best,
~Moon

Monday, September 15, 2008

The last minute addition...

I'm a very organized person (someday I'll tell you how the clutter is actually part of that!!!). Having never planned a wedding before (or in Mum's case not since dinosaurs roamed LOL!) we did a great deal of internet research. As the wedding drew near, I was pretty sure we had all the details organized, spreadsheeted (my sister is a project manager) and everything was falling neatly into place. My sister went for her trial run with Tara, a makeup artist she found recommended on the Knot, and we loved how she looked! As an aside, Tara happened to mention she did 'day of coordination'. We had never heard of this in all of our travels and research as we all worked so hard to plan every tiny detail. Having not budgeted for such a service, the rates we found when we looked into it were a bit surprising. Mum ultimately decided it was a fantastic idea to have someone on the day to help with all the little things that have to be just so. She hired Tara to do our makeup and the day of coordination.

We all looked beautiful! Let me tell you folks, if you don't live in New England, I highly recommend twisting her arm and paying Tara's flight and hotel in addition to her makeup and coordination fees. This spitfire was in no less than 5 places at all times! She organized, oversaw and managed everything we discussed ahead of time. Not having planned those details herself, I can only imagine how challenging that can be. Beyond that, she noticed EVERYTHING that happened on the day and coordinated things we hadn't even planned on heaping on her. Our officiant had been delayed. Tara asked us if we had a backup. I don't think she noticed the dumbfounded looks on our faces because she was already looking up a number in her mobile phone!! Fortunately, we didn't need to punt, but if we'd had to ~ she'd have had it covered! Who thinks of a backup officiant???? WOW! She thought of little details we never even considered. Grandma was SOOOOO very impressed when Tara took our pocketbooks for us as we were about to be introduced into the reception. They were at our tables by the time we got there and we never saw her! She should charge extra for the cloaking device!!!

We had a guest with a medical emergency at the beginning of the reception. Without anyone beyond that table knowing, Tara was able to escort the guest out of the event and into an ambulance. She sent her assistant to the hospital so our guest would not be alone and none of us would feel we had to leave the event. With her assistant gone, Tara was still able to do more than any three people could. Because of them, we were all able to experience and enjoy my sister's wedding. Without them, we would have been focused on things and details.

I obviously can't say enough about Tara (and her amazing assistant Christina!!!) so I'll just say here's her website, she's worth at least 5 times what she charges!!!!!
THANK YOU TARA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

My Sister's wedding!

Last weekend, my little sister got married at Boston's historic Fenway Park! Ordinarily emotional enough to cry at Taster's Choice commercials (what ever happened to that couple????), I managed to hold it together pretty well until my brother-in-law said his vows. He promised to be the man of my sister's dreams for the rest of her life!!! I love this guy. They were beaming. Devoted Red Sox fans (generations before they were even born), exchanging their vows on the third base deck, taking pictures at the red seat and partying in the EMC club was their dream come true!!! It was a dream come true for all who got to go along for the ride too (except maybe their NY friends... who my mother craftily seated very close to the World Series Trophies at the reception!) Given the amazing venue, it's no surprise that all of our vendors had plenty of volunteers to help on the day... there may have been more vendors and assistants than there were guests LOL. Stay tuned for information on all the wonderful folks we worked with to make this day perfect! If you're getting married in New England, these are the folks to call!!!! Here are links to the blogs of our photographers. Below those are pics I took of the jewelry I made for the bridal party. The Bride's pearls, lever back earrings (same pearls as the Bride's) for the ladies reading in the ceremony and the sapphire/kyanite chandeliers are MINE!!!! ☺

http://www.jamesfederico.blogspot.com/
http://douglevyphoto.blogspot.com/2008/09/fenway-wedding.html#idc-container

Photobucket
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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembering BK and MB today and every day.


This is the shirt I am wearing. It is the MOST expensive shirt I've ever owned. I paid $175 for this hockey shirt in October 2001 because it was a fund raiser for the families of the service people who gave themselves this day 7 years ago, that others might be saved. It honors the NYPD, FDNY and the PAPD (port authority police department). The patches on the sleeves are of the statue of liberty and the towers themselves. It is not the most expensive shirt because of it's price tag but rather because of the lives lost that inspired it's creation. I also want to recognize the 8 EMTs not included on the shirt who also gave all that day. I wear it often, proudly to remind me ~ and others ~ that we stood united that day. All exactly the same ~ devastated, shocked, incredulous. Whatever differences we had at 8 AM that day were gone an hour later. We were one. I wish we could be that way every day.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Back to Blogger!

Haven't been here in a while. I'm used to blogging in a forum more like a chatroom so I guess I got a little discouraged when I posted here and received no comments but I'm back ~ better than ever. If you have a few minutes, please check out my first attempt at video promotion!

I'll try to keep my rants on topic but with an election coming up that might be a little difficult ☺. I've seen so many fellow Etsians on the forums showing off their blogs here so I'm looking forward to using the new gadget to keep up with everyone! That's it for me for now. Please check back early and often! ~Moon


video

Thursday, February 21, 2008

February Alternative Birthstones!

February is an amazing and wonderful month. It's the only one that doesn't have a consistent number of days every year! It's Black History Month and also one of the most popular times of the year for couples to get engaged (Valentine's Day). The traditional birthstone for February is Amethyst. Until recently, Amethyst was almost always a beautiful dark purple. In the past few years, lighter varieties came onto the market as 'rose amethyst' and most recently, prasiolite has become quite popular. Prasiolite, or greened Amethyst is created when the stone is heated in industry accepted standards. In ancient Greece, amethyst was worn to ward off the adverse effects of wine (drunkenness).



Did you know, Amethyst is not the only birthstone option for February babies? The mystical birthstone for February is Bloodstone - a dark green opaque stone with red specks. The zodiac offers other alternatives as well. If you are a February Aquarius, your astrological birthstones are: Garnet, Moss Agate, Opal and Sugilite. Your planetary stone is Turquoise and your talismanic stone is Jasper. If you are a February Pisces your astrological birthstones are: Aquamarine, Bloodstone, Jade, Rock Crystal and Sapphire. Your planetary stone is Aquamarine and your talismanic stone is Ruby!



I find uncommon stones fascinating and I like to feature them in my jewelry creations. Please visit me anytime at http://custommoonlight.etsy.com/ and/or http://www.custommoonlight.com/. Thank you for reading!


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