Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Creative Blessing from Tonya Davidson

A Creative Blessing for You

In my daily readings, this blessing came to me and I wanted to share with you.  It’s my goal to share the goodies in hopes that it makes someone else’s day more beautiful, joyful or inspiring.  
It is from Julia Cameron’s book of Blessings: Prayers and Declarations for a Heartful Life.
I recommend her book to you, with love.
“My creativity is an act of my soul.  I am rooted in the creativity of the entire universe.  
My dreams and desires are funded by divine power, intended to bring divine good and harmony into the world.  
As I lovingly act in the direction of my dreams, I help manifest the dreams and desires of those whom I meet along the way.  
My dreams prosper and encourage the dreams of others.  There is no competition, no devaluing of others to reach my goals.  
As I flower creatively, I give to others the gift of my example.  As I become larger and more magnificent, I am a show of the power of Spirit to make all of us fuller and more abundant.  There is in me only goodness, only grace.  
My creative dreams are blessings for the world.  As I bless others through my art and artfulness, others are encouraged to flower in return.  
We are a garden growing into glory.  I am a bloom whose glory brings beauty to all.
My dreams are important to the unfolding of the world.”
If you love it, please share with your Facebook friends, your email friends, your Twitter friends and don’t forget to leave me a comment!  Reaching out to you….

About Tonya Davidson

Teacher, mentor and founder of the Artful Success Program as well as the CEO and founder of Whole Lotta Whimsy, a mixed media, jewelry tool and supply company.
This entry was posted in Personal Growth and tagged 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Social Networking

Social networking has become a full time job for most of us.  If you are trying to promote a business or just get your name "out there", you need to know how to do it in a clean and speedy manner.  Lisa Larter is the queen of social networking and she is offering, in addition to her three free videos, a webinar today to help make the job easier for those of us who are somewhat techni challenged;o)

Check her site out and make a reservation.  NOW. for more details.

While browsing through my emails this morning, I found this bit of inspiration on a friends wall and wanted to share it with you

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand." — The Velveteen Rabbit

Always remember that it takes a long time to become Real so enjoy the journey and surround yourself with people who understand;o)

Have a beautiful, creative day and as always, much love from my heart to yours.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sedona and Her Beautiful Red Rocks

We arrived here late Monday evening.  I don't like driving through Oak Creek Canyon at night.  It is very twisty and turny.  We got settled in our room after a fashion.  The first room they offered us was small and dark.  John asked for a better choice and this is the view from our deck!


The weather is cool and breezy but after the storm passed over, it is pure sunshine and calm today.  Here is what we watched from our room last night;o)

Yesterday, we walked around town and checked out all of the new shops.  I stopped a minute to talk to my friend and share some chocolate.  He was most generous as long as he was in control.

You meet the nicest people in Sedona;o)

We spent the remainder of the day relaxing and enjoying the beauty of this awesome land.  It is truly incredible and something everyone should experience at least once in their lives.  We try to come here often and never get tired of the scenery.  Stay tuned for more.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Fashion Statement from Rena

I have been so busy lately setting up my website and traveling that I have sorely neglected my blog and I apologize.  I am sitting in beautiful Sedona, AZ at this very moment enjoying the natural beauty of the red rocks.  I wish you could all be here with me.

I am a big fan of Rena Klingenberg and her many publications for jewelers so today, I want to share one of her recent articles.  I will be featuring her in my blog regularly and I hope you enjoy and take advantage of her many wonderful ideas.

An Example of Wearing Jewelry that Contrasts with Your Clothes

by Rena Klingenberg on September 5, 2011
In the latest issue of my newsletter, I talked about wearing jewelry that contrasts with your clothes vs. jewelry that matches them.
I saw a perfect example of this a couple of days ago, when my mom and I were on an early-morning exercise walk in the mall.
These two mannequins in a store window kindly demonstrated the difference between jewelry that matches your outfit (on the left) and jewelry that contrasts with it (on the right):

Even though the gal on the left is wearing more jewelry (a double-strand necklace plus a bracelet and ring), you can hardly see her jewels at all.
Meanwhile, the fashion-savvy gal on the right wears just one piece of jewelry (a single-strand necklace), but it really makes a visual impact – even from farther away:

Now if only these two gals had good heads on their shoulders, the fashion-savvy one on the right could drop a hint to her friend on the left about accessorizing. :)

I love hearing from you so please post a big "hi and hello" to me if you like what I post;o)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Gathering of Friends

Tonight was a special treat.  We enjoyed a gathering of my husband's high school friends in North East, PA.  We haven't made it back for the last few reunions so it was nice to reconnect with everyone.  So many had suffered health issues, loss of a spouse, returning to the nest children/grandchildren, and just generally letting themselves become out of shape.  It is sad to see these things happen to your friends.  It makes it even more apparent to us that if we don't take care of our bodies, who will.  I have become one of those people.  I am out of shape and overweight and my goal is to take control of myself and become a healthier individual.  I am commited to becoming a healthier eater and more consistent exerciser.  I will write these goals down on paper and initial them every morning and night just so I am accountable to myself.  I have 4 grandchildren that I want to be around to watch grow up and enjoy their pleasures.  Watch out world, I am on the way to becoming a healthier, happier me and I will not let anything get in the way.

I am enjoying my Artful Success Program so much.  If you are interested in learning more about this fabulous opportunity, please check out this website for more information.

I have also taken advantage of the extra time while we are traveling to listen to the wonderful downloads from this program.  I pop my little ear buds in and close my eyes, concentrating ever so hard on all of the information that Tonya Davidson has spend mega hours co-ordinating for us.  She is a remarkable mentor and I seriously wonder if she ever sleeps:O)

Until tomorrow, remember this:

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."
Pablo Picasso

As always my friends, nothing but love and creativity from my soul to yours

Life is full of adventures

Can't Wait to Make Music With My Friends

It has been awhile since we had a visit.  I have been on a road trip now for about six weeks.  John and I left Pinetop, AZ on July 1 and our first stop was Pie Town New Mexico, Americas Friendliest Little Town on The Great Divide.  It's All Downhill From Here- literally.  We had lunch at the famous Pie Town Cafe.   

From here, we toddled on down the road to Tucumcari where we spent the night.  It was a beautiful day, weather was perfect and traffic was light on the interstate.  It was a long 10 hours of traveling, but the scenery was great and we had the first day of travel under our belts. 

Until tomorrow, from my soul to yours, nothing but love. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011


A Work In Progress: SEND A FRIEND GIVEAWAY!: "I'm giving away these two hand sculpted copper metal clay and semi-precious stone necklaces to TWO lucky ducks. All you have to do is get a ..."

Check out her beautiful jewelry and enter us in the most wonderful giveaway I've ever seen. Good luck.

A Stitch in Time.......

I've been away for a few days.  John and I took a trip to Sedona via our mountain home in Pinetop,Az.  Some good friends of ours were visiting from Georgia and we wanted to spend a few days with them.  Had a wonderful trip.  The weather couldn't have been nicer and we enjoyed our dear friends as always.

We returned to Green Valley tonight and I was checking my messages on the computer and I had one from ArtFire informing me that I had been selected by a fellow artisan to appear in one of her collections.  That is such an honor because as any of you that participate in these online shops know, there are millions to choose from.  I posted it here on my blog for you to check out.  It is on the sidebar so please check it out and let the artists included know that you saw their work.

I'm off to finish unpacking and get ready for the next few days.  Hugs to all of you and have a great evening;o) 

Saturday, April 30, 2011

No Need for Twist Ties & Popsicle Sticks Just Yet!

Can you afford to still make jewelry? Will anyone buy it?

I'm sure you've given some thought to the market price and how it's effecting the price of your pieces and whether you sell them or not. Worry not. It's not yet time to bring out the craft sticks and twist ties.
A burning question I hear more and more often, is whether or not someone can afford to use metal clay. Yes you can!
I happen to love math. Yes, that's probably why I'm in business, right? I confess, I am a bean counter. I have to do price comparison shopping at least once a day and often more.
So I thought I'd do a quick little comparison for you of silver and it's pricing.
A 25gm pack of PMC3 is today $ 2.24 per gram (retail). Art Clay is $2.50 per gram retail. Remember PMC is net weight and AC is gross weight (27.8 vs 20gm)
If you make a pendant about the size of a nickel you are going to use roughly 7grams. That's about $15.64 for material costs.
On April 30th, 2009 PMC 25gm retail price was $1.32 per gram ($12.63 market) and 7 grams would have cost $9.24. Then over the proceeding year silver increased and on April 30th, 2010 the PMC retail was $1.50 per gram ($18.62 market) and 7 grams would have cost $10.46.
Over the last year, the price of your materials has increased $5.18. I think that it's safe to say you can still markup that pendant $12 and it won't change your market that considerably. Might you lose a few customers by charging $62 versus $50 for that pendant? Sure, but I'm guessing that you can gain customers too by changing many things in your work and branding.
Could you take a few new classes to learn to use a tool or technique that can lessen your labor cost (which is your highest cost), can you learn to combine materials to lower your cost of goods, can you find ways to trim other costs (overhead) that actually cost you more?
It's simply a marketing problem. Everything in life is a marketing problem. How can you sell this highly valued material without being "salesy" but conveying the worth, the benefits and the sense of urgency (handmade, OAK) that your customer will buy it?
It's all perspective. It's all strategy. Don't let the market keep you from buying materials. Let it encourage you to become a better artist by using your materials wisely, being a better marketer, and a better business person!

Teacher, mentor, artist and founder of The Artful Success Program, Tonya Davidson helps artists take their techniques and business skills to the next level. As the CEO and founder of Whole Lotta Whimsy she has passionately empowered artists to live creatively from the inside out. Her ezine goes out to over 11,000 subscribers. Create the life you love by subscribing to her free ezine at Be sure to check out her blog at for FREE tutorials and articles.
Thanks so much Tonya for this helpful information.
Be sure to check out my ArtFire Studio:

Friday, April 29, 2011

Ted DeGrazia


The son of Italian immigrants, Ettore DeGrazia was born June 14, 1909, in the Morenci mining camp of Territorial Arizona. His early childhood experiences in the ethnically diverse community evolved into a lifelong appreciation of native cultures in the Sonoran Desert and a passion to create art depicting their lives and lore.

After the Phelps Dodge mine closed in 1920, DeGrazia was introduced to his parent's hometown when they moved their seven children to the Calabria region of Italy. The family returned to Morenci when the mine reopened five years later. Enrolling again in the first grade to relearn English, DeGrazia–nicknamed Ted by a schoolteacher–graduated from Morenci High School when he was 23 years old. By then he was an accomplished trumpeter who performed with family and friends.

After working briefly in the mine, DeGrazia hitched a ride to Tucson with his trumpet and $15 in his pocket. He enrolled at the University of Arizona in 1933, where he supported himself planting trees on campus by day and leading a big band at night. During one performance he met Alexandra, the daughter of Fox Theater owner Nicholas Diamos. They wed in 1936 and moved to Bisbee so DeGrazia could manage the Lyric Theater there, also owned by the Diamos family. The couple had three children during this time but divorced in 1946.

To learn more about this talented artist please check the website:

I have loved and admired this man for as long as I can remember.  My mother was a needlepoint artist and worked on many of his creations.  I am fortunate to have many of them hanging in my home.  I have collected a few of his prints which he was gracious enough to autograph for me many years ago.  If you are not familiar with him, you will recognize his art when you check out his website.  He was a very generous and giving man.

DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun sponsors events throughout the year, including rotating exhibitions of original DeGrazia art, the annual fall opening of the Little Gallery to showcase visiting artists, and La Fiesta de Guadalupe every December.

My partner and I have been invited to be one of the visiting artists this December!!!  Am I excited you ask......OMG.  Ted DeGrazia had a passion for music and art that is still felt within the walls of his studio.  We will be exhibiting in his studio, the little studio with only a small fireplace for heat.  I am so excited that I am still in a fog.  I will keep you posted and wish me luck.  We will be there for ten (10) days from December 18-30.  What a magical christmas this will be for me---wow.

Good night my friends and from my soul to yours - nothing but love.

Check Out My New Diggs

Good day my little chickadees.  I know, it has been quite some time since I last blogged.  The truth is, I have been very busy setting up my new shop on ArtFire.  I still have my etsy shop but felt I needed a change.  Please drop in and check out my new diggs;o)

I must leave you now and get back to work on my new shop.  Please let me know what you think.  I will be hosting a huge sale along with a give away soon so stay posted and be sure to leave me a comment of support or give me suggestions as to how I can improve......I welcome your ideas and good words.  Perhaps my banner is too pink (I think so and am planning to change it later today) or my descriptions not exact enough.  Whatever you think, I welcome you;o)

From my soul to yours, mwaaaah!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

As You Grow Up

We were visiting our family last Thanksgiving and I spotted this sign in a quaint shop in Nevada City, CA. As I stood there and read it over and over I became so aware of life and how very fragile it is. We are not in control of our own destiny, only God is. We need to be reminded daily of how temporary this  life on earth is and make that special effort to hug someone we love, dance like no one is watching and love life to the fullest - we only go around once. Be happy and love yourself for what you are. Bloom where you are planted and always be thankful for every breath you take. I love you one and all.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

My Newest Copper Bracelet Creation

I've been working on a favorite bracelet design this past week and today it all came together.  I'll post some pictures and maybe you can get an idea of what it looks like.  I love creating with cold connections because the designs seem to develop on the table.  I always start out with a plan and cut the base pieces and what happens after that is just usually a pleasant surprise.  Here is a look at this surprise.

The toggle clasp is hand forged by me

The piece on the left is acid etched and the piece in the middle is stamped and then the adornments are added

This toggle is cut out of a circle disk then the center is cut out and the remainder is stamped.  Difficult to see that in this picture.

Some of the pieces are etched and some are stamped but they all have little added pieces that give each one of them their own distinct personality.  I am really happy with the way this one turned out.   I'm sorry that the pictures aren't better but I'm working on that all of the time.  Thanks for looking.

What do you think??

How To Steal Like An Artist

This is an interesting article on the artist in our lives.  I'd be interested in your thoughts and opinions.  There were over 200 comments on his site last time I checked so it definately invoked some serious thoughts. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Blog your way to a best seller

Check out this SlideShare Presentation:

How do I set a price on my handmade item???

As a gallery manager I have many hats each day…the “face” of the store, the customer service expert, the display and decorating whiz, the engaging and charming blogger *sarcasm*…but many of our customers do not know a huge perk to my job description, and that is to build wonderful relationships with the artisans.  I must say that our group of talent continually surprises me with their inventiveness, but it’s astounding how humble they truly are.  Truly.  And it’s so surprising to find that because they are literally oozing with creativity…they have every right to have big-head syndrome.  I am always in awe.
We have lots of artisans that have been working with their craft for many years, but we have some that do it as a side-passion or have less experience.  Many times pricing comes up as a HUGE question…”Just what do I charge an interested customer for something I put my blood, sweat, and tears into?”  It can be daunting to overcharge for your work…but even scarier to UNDERcharge.
I have a few suggestions.  Now keep in mind, I don’t consider myself anywhere near an expert, but I do read…a lot.  I’m constantly checking out books, websites, magazines, blogs, even message boards where artists literally ask others for advice on a specific creation.  I wanted to not necessarily give my opinion on the matter (I am a bit biased because of my job), but to pass on valuable information so that you can make a more informed decision.  Here are a few resources I found helpful:
  • Etsy is always on the top of my list for inspiration, but also for a reference.  Where else will you find that many people who all make stuff by hand???  Nowhere.  If you already have Etsy as a resource for purchasing beautifully unique items, think of it also as a resource to find useful blog articles or discussions.  Here is an Etsy message board posting that I came across…lots of comments on an artist’s actual earrings for sale from real-life crafters.
  • I’m currently reading Craft, Inc by Meg Mateo Ilasco…a very quick read that maps out how to make your craft your full-time endeavor.  I recommend it for an overall look of the business, and it includes many quotes from successful craftsmen, along with a section on pricing and suggestions for an “equation” to use when calculating all of your expenses.  Check the book out on Amazon here.
  • Crafting, MBA is an extremely interesting resource…basically a blog written by an exceptionally clever and knowledgeable woman, Megan Auman, who gives endless advice on how to make crafting not just a hobby.  Here are some blog articles she’s written about slapping a price sticker on your work: Defensive Pricing Strategy and How I Raised My Prices and Lived To Tell the Tale.
  • One more blog, Glue and Glitter, is more based on eco-friendly craft ideas and how-tos, but I found a quick read on the author’s take on what to expect when you purchase something that’s handmade…here is the article. It’s nice to hear about her personal experience with customers scoffing at her high ticket prices.
I try to encourage artisans to never forget the time and skills necessary to create any handmade item.  Don’t sell yourself short…not everyone possesses the expertise to create an item such as your own!  However, on the flip-side, keep in mind current trends and what other stores (aka mean and ruthless corporations) are charging for an item that is similar.  Though the item you’re creating is undoubtedly more interesting and creative, don’t price your item out of the ballpark (for instance, a decorative wine glass at a home decor store may cost $12 each…I wouldn’t price your handpainted glass for more than a few dollars above that).
Sometimes artisans cannot price their items competitively…or somewhat competitively…with what the current market is.  They just can’t make a profit on the item they are selling for a reasonable price.  That’s when you must step back and really ask yourself, “Is it worth making more to sell?”  I’d hate to tell anyone not to continue something they love, but it quite possibly might not make you money.  This is something you must be willing to admit.  If you’re doing your craft to make money, reassessing the materials and time may be necessary.
Best of luck creating…and ultimately pricing to sell, sell, sell!!
 Thank you so much Lauren for sharing this information with us and for allowing me to share it on my blog.  Pricing is always a concern and I think the most difficult part of the business.  Every little bit of information is helpful - Cheers and best of luck to you too, Sally

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Giveaway is in the works

Check out my friend Jaime's great giveaway.  She is a wonderful metal artist and she is giving away 2, yes 2, great pieces of hers.   You can also check her out on FB

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Senior Moment

The cute young officer told me that I should slow down on the frontage road today. ME, of all people.  The person that ALMOST always obeys the traffic laws.  The one that is constantly nagging DH to slow down and not follow so close behind the car in front of us.  I ALWAYS, well, almost always, maintain the 40 MPH speed on the frontage road.  Mainly because I am a law abiding citizen and also because I know that this cute little motorcycle officer sits in this one little out of view spot and has his radar going.  Well, today was my day.  I'd had a nice shopping and lunch date with my girlfriend who leaves Wednesday for Ohio.  I'd made my bank deposit and was on my way home to work on some projects.  I'm just humming along, minding my own business when out of the corner of my eye, BAM....there he is and he's starting his cycle up.  I'm had, I thought.  No point in even trying to adjust at this point.  Sure enough, I pass him and he pulls in behind me.  No light yet but he wouldn't pull me over on the frontage road - too dangerous.  I make my right hand turn to go up the road and sure enough, he follows.  About 30 seconds later (the first opportunity I would have to pull over safely) blip, blip, blip go his little blue lites.  I pull over and start looking for my paperwork.  He appears at my window and we begin the polite conversation..."how are you today?"  I reply, "great, how are you?"  "May I please see your lic. and reg."  I've never had to show my registration before, where would I look for it?"  He smiles politely and replies, "Wherever you put it, there is no designated spot:O)"  I look and I find it in the glove box where I knew it was all the time.  He takes my paperwork and informs me that I was going 53 in a 40!!  Yikes, I'm dead!!.  I spend my time while he's away preparing paperwork putting my papers back in the glove box.  Oops, here he comes and I fumble with these damn automatic windows until I find the right button.  He smiles, hands me the paperwork and tells me he is only giving me a warning and nothing will come of it.  I breathe a sign of relief and return the smile, along with a pat on his hand.  I said, "you know, if people go the speed limit on the frontage road, those old people about run you over."  Again, he smiled and told me that that was why he was there and to have a nice day.....vroom and off he went.  I made sure before he got away that I thanked him for his services to the community and I would slow down - really, I will.....I felt lucky today and I'd rather spend my money on beads and silver that speeding tickets. 

I came home and finished my projects.  Here is a picture of the clasp I made for a new necklace - I love it.  It was a silver disk that I cut the hole in, stamped, domed and textured.  The bar is a silver tube that I added the beads and wire to.   What do you think??  This project was in the April issue of Step by step Wire Jewelry and the author is Cassie Donlen.

Friday, March 25, 2011

It was time for a change-a makeover-a new blog and it was time to re-brand myself.  I've had the official title of The Bear Affair for 20+ years.  It all started out when my sons gave me a gorgeous bear for Christmas one year.  Her name is Gloria Vanderbear and she still holds a place of reverence in my home.  I was doing alot of crafting in those days and bear collecting became my addiction.  At one point during a family visit, my grand daughter exclaimed to everyone in sight, "Grandma, I counted 450 bears upstairs last night."  I quickly redirected her conversation to another topic and off we went.  After all, if I kept moving them around no one would be able to keep track, right???  Well, over the years I have amassed quite a collection. 
Some of these bears are very rare and collectible.  One of them roller skates and another one marches along while beating his drum.  While on a visit to California one year I spotted this HUGE brown bear in an antique shop and, well, I just had to have him.  His name is Benjamin and I flew him home with me......well, not on the same plane but he did go by air.  I have a lovely collection of Robert Raikes bears and in future blogs I'll include some pictures of them.  For now though, it is all about changing and updating.  Silversmithing is my game now and I figured that I needed a name that would do justice to my art so now you know the rest of the story - MY ART AND MY SOUL will be my new business name and I love it.  What do you think?  Tell me how you chose your business name.  I love hearing from you so please leave me a comment or two before you leave the blog. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Patina Tips & Tricks- Carnival Blog- March

Getting just the right patina on metal is always a challenge.  Here is an article I found on Whole Lotta Whimsy's newsletter site.  Tonya Davidson is a teacher, mentor and founder of the Artist Success Program as well as the CEO and founder of Whole Lotta Whimsy, a mixed media, jewelry tool and supply company. Tonya  has the most wonderful website, newsletter and shopping site I've ever seen.  She is always challenging the artist and offering advise on self improvement.  Please check out her site and sign up for her free newsletter now.  Enjoy this article on Patina Tips and Tricks.

Patina Tips & Tricks- Carnival Blog- March

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Friends from childhood

Hi everyone.  We had a wonderful day today with friends from John's childhood.  He and Tom grew up together in Pa and I've been friends with Charlotte since John and I met in 1962.  They visited us two years ago in Green Valley and we all went to Mexico together and really enjoyed ourselves.  This year they came with their Airstream trailer and are staying in the local RV Resort.  They've been here for 3 months and we have had such a good time together.  They will be leaving in 2 weeks and I'm really sad to see them go.  John and Tom have had such a good time shooting together and Char and I have never been at a loss of things to do.  We've checked out all of the quilt shops locally and enjoyed many great lunch dates, both with the 2 of us and several times with other friends.  It will certainly be hard to bid them farewell but we know they will be back next year so we have that to look forward to.  We are beginning to get ready for our trek to the mountains for the summer.  Pinetop is calling us and I'm ready.  We are so very lucky to be able to enjoy all of the opportunities that life has presented us with and we are happy to share.  We certainly wish our children and families lived closer and could enjoy this time with us but that is not the case so we will continue to include our friends in on the roster of activities and live life to the fullest. 

Have a wonderful evening and enjoy the huge moon looming over us tonight;o)

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Few of My Favorite Things (and Friends)

These are some pictures from the trunk show that Madeline Thorpe and I did in November.  We had a very successful show and the weather couldn't have been nicer.  We sold our etched metal art, etched glassware and lots of our copper and silver jewelry.  We are in the process (aren't we always in the process of one thing or another??) of preparing for our next show.  I will keep you the meantime, I hope you enjoy our art and soul.  Thanks for looking and I would love to have you comment.

Madeline does this beautiful glass etching on these perfume bottles.  Aren't they just the most beautiful works of art you've ever seen?  I think so;o)
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