Friday, July 30, 2010

Getting Personal - Sharing My Hearts

Aside from designing and selling jewelry on-line, one of my other passions is my heart collection.  I have been collecting heart shaped items since the early 80's.  As a jewelry designer, I fight hard not to make too many heart shaped pieces, although I sneak them into designs here and there.  My first heart was a red double heart shaped candle with "Audrey's Hearts" written in gold.  I have hearts of all kinds and shapes.  The list is endless -- heart shape candle holders, salt and pepper shakers, a Dutch oven,  pictures frames, snow globes, a slinky, coffee cups, Christmas tree ornaments, pillows, a wicker basket, trinket boxes, silk scarves, banks, crystal, bowls, a heart embossed picture album, a candy dish, flower vases, wall decorations, picture holders, earrings, necklaces, bracelets -- you get the picture!

Not just any heart will do.  The hearts that I choose for my collection must be beautiful or interesting.  One of my biggest surprises one year was a Christmas gift from a boss who knew I collected hearts.  It was a fairly large brass ornately carved box.  I was thrilled because the brass box was so beautiful, but the silk scarf inside was simply breathtaking.   My most cherished piece is a Lenox glass crystal encrusted heart trinket box that has a beautiful large pearl in the middle which my late Mom gave me as a Christmas gift.  It is the first heart that I have shared today.  I hope that you enjoy this small sampling of my heart collection.  

Designed by Audrey will have a booth this Saturday at the St. Joseph's  Parrish Flea Market in support of its choir.  The event will begin at 8:00 a.m. and end at 1:00 p.m.  If you live in the Washington, DC area come out and support this effort.  The church is located on Route 202 in Largo, MD.  As always, you can check out my on-line shops and view some really beautiful and awesome jewelry on Artfire at and  also on Etsy at

Monday, July 19, 2010

It Was a Very Good Week!

Last week was my best week yet for sales since I started selling online in March.  I sold a couple of items on Etsy, on Artfire and  a lot to family and friends.  I sold four pair of my Crystal Antique Copper Drop Earrings!  These earrings come in a variety of colors, blue, purple, yellow, clear, red, light pink, dark pink and orange. These earrings are my best selling item off-line aside from my adjustable lampwork rings. I also received an e-mail from a customer how had purchased a pair of purple crystal earrings who wanted a necklace to match.  So, I took and completed a reserve listing and the customer is very happy with the necklace I created.  I was nervous about the reserve listing because the customer was trusting me to create a necklace that they would love which is different from a making a sale where the item it pictured and described. 

To end this fabulous and busy week I traveled to my family reunion picnic in Richmond, Va.  It was a blast!  I saw many relatives I had not seen in years.  Family came from all over the East Coast!  We have the official family reunion every two years, this being the odd year a picnic was planned.  The event was held on the grounds of Mom's old high school which was built in 1929.  It is now an historical site.  It was interesting to see the class room and the auditorium.  There was a rooster of the graduates posted on a bulletin board dating back to the 1930's. It was not an air conditioned building, so I didn't spend much time  looking because it was 95 degrees outside.  Anyhow, a nice day was planned  and my family and I enjoyed  the DJ, the water slide, the moon bounce (the kids, that is), and a ton of food.  There was fried fish, (my favorite) chicken, barbecue ribs and chicken, potato salad, green beads, baked beans, corn of the cobs, crabs, homemade cakes, snow cones, fresh popcorn -- you get the picture.  I was asked to set up a table to showcase my on-line shops, but my cousin who is just 10 years old was there with her beading kit.  She began making and selling earrings, bracelets, and necklaces for $3.00 to $5.00.  I just could not set up and compete with that. It took me back to when I was 9 years old crocheting hat and scarves and selling them.  Her items were very pretty and I know in time if she continues, she will be an awesome jewelry artist.

To my surprise, this week my shop is the featured shop of the week in the Artfire guild, Shops with Less than 10 Sales.   Stop by and check out the  Guild's blog at  If  you leave a comment, you will be automatically entered in a the free giveaway for the month which is beautiful bracelet by the Artfire Artisan Swirl Jewels. 

The items featured in the blog are items which were sold  last week or are currently for sale.  To see more lovely hand-crafted jewelry and accessories  check out my online shops on Artfire at or on Etsy at   Designed by Audrey will have a booth later this month at the St. Joseph Parish Flea Market in Landover, MD.  

Friday, July 9, 2010

Perhaps Too Much of a Good Thing!

Designed by Audrey had a booth at the 55th Anniversary Celebration of Evangel Temple in Upper Marlboro, MD.  There were over 500 vendors at this event which was held on Saturday, July 3, 2010.  There was food, food, food, everywhere and of every kind.  All you can eat steamed crabs and there was barbecue, fried fish, curried chicken, exotic drinks, cookies, cakes, ice cream, and all kinds of snacks.  You name it, there was a vendor selling it. There were gospel bands and groups performing, a DJ, moon bonce, health fair, a movie and fireworks. 

It was a hot sunny day, not heat wave hot, but still hot and my son was on hand to help me set up and tent.  I really appreciate all that he did for me!  The event was well attended but as it turned out, it was just too much stuff for sale. A sea of vendors took up three sections of  Evangel's huge parking lot.  I made my booth fee and handed it over to my sister-in-law who had made all of the arrangements for this event for us. She made her booth back as well.  I was tired and disappointed when I left the event because I felt we did so poorly.  However, when I reflected on it later during some quiet time, I realized that we were blessed to get any sales because there were many all around us who sold absolutely nothing! 

What I learned from this experience:  I wouldn't do an event with this many vendors unless it was a major event like a county or state fair.  Evangel Temple is a mega church (and I must say, it is as beautiful on the inside as outside) however., the ratio of vendors verses attendees was way off.  It was a free for all which turned out to be too much of a good thing for everyone but the food vendors and those (including me) enjoying it all!

The items pictured are items recently sold.  For a look at more beautiful jewelry and accessories, you can check out Designed by Audrey at and and now on  Handmade Spark - Designed By Audrey