Saturday, July 29, 2006

Earrings to Flatter your Face Shape - Part 5 Heart Shaped Face

Face Shape: Heart

Styles that flatter the face: Earrings that fan out at the bottom or teardrop shaped earrings are your best choice.

Not the best choice: Earrings that have the smallest point at the bottom

Hmm Apparently I need to make more earrings with heart shaped faces in mind!

Other Face Shapes:
Rectangular
Round
Square
Oval

Friday, July 28, 2006

Not Sure What Your Face Shape is?

I had a request for help with determining face shapes. I think a good visual guide helps. This guide has face drawings as well as celeb examples.


Check out the guide here: Face Shape Guide

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Earrings to Flatter your Face Shape - Part 4 Oval Face

Face Shape: Oval

Styles that flatter the face: Most styles flatter the oval face. You can wear hoops, ovals, or chunky earrings with confidence! Triangular earrings look especially flattering.

Not the best choice: Really long earrings might make your face appear to be too long

Examples of good choices for an oval face:

Mother of Pearl Triangle Handmade Earrings



Hollow Brown Shell Handmade Earrings

Other Face Shapes:

Rectangular

Round

Square

Fun Feature

I totally overslept this morning. Was running around my house like a madwoman cursing the alarm clock when I decided to check my email really fast (Told you I was an addict).

I got an email notifying me that I was featured in the Indie Quarter today. Hoorah! That made my morning better! Read the article here. It's a great write up.

Thanks Indie Quarter!

Posted in Celebrate_

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Earrings to Flatter your Face Shape - Part 3 Square Face

Face Shape: Square

Styles that flatter the face: Drop earrings are a good choice becase they add length to your face. Earrings that are curved and angular in shape will also flatter.

Not the best choice: Square earrings

Examples of good choices for a square face:

Mother of Pearl and Onyx Handmade Earrings
Freshwater Pearl and Chain Handmade Earrings


Other Face Shapes:
Rectangular
Round

Jewelry Update

Just a quick note to let you know that things have finally cooled off and I have started making jewelry again! Yay!

Monday, July 24, 2006

My Dream Come True

I don't really enjoy cooking. I want to love it I really do but to me it is something that just sucks up my precious time. If it was still just me I would honestly just live on steamed veggies and rice (with ice cream thrown in for variety) but because I have a child and a hungry husband I cook most nights of the week. I also cook because I love delicious foods.

Tonight I got invited to a trial Dream Dinners night. I thought, "Hey a free meal? Sure!" I have heard of Dream Dinners but I wasn't really sure what it was. I knew you made dinners to eat later but I was picturing having to cook everything at the store. Not my idea of fun.

I don't want to sound like a commercial for them but I was really impressed. It really is as easy as they promise! Here's how it works... You chose the number of meals you want from the menu and then make an appt one night to go in and make all the meals. I think the norm is 12 meals.

There are stations set up with everything you need and a recipe to follow. For example, we made Cider Barbecue Chicken.... There was a freezer bag of 6 frozen chicken breasts. First we made a marinade for the chicken. If the recipe called for a tbs of onion flakes then the scoop in the onion flakes was the size of a tablespoon. No need to think. Love it. I made my meal in less than 5 minutes.

Then you package your meal in freezer bags and put a heating instruction label (that hubby can follow too) on it. It also has side suggestions on the label. They let us try the cooked version of what we made and another dish and they were really good!

I grabbed a menu for August (Here is the July one) and came home to sell the husband on the idea. Because I work 3 days a week and don't get home till around 6:00 I almost always have to make really basic dinners on those nights. If I am super tired we might even have mac and cheese. You know how those days are! If I made 12 dinners at Dream Dinners then on those three days a week either my husband could follow the directions and have it waiting for me when I get home or I could cook it really fast when I got home. Heaven!

The servings are for 6 people. The chicken we made tonight had 6 chicken breasts in it. So my thought is that I will split it with my mom who also works too much to cook (Just have to talk her into it). That would bring our cost down to $125 a month for 12 dinners. Most meals are between $16-24 (so split = $8-12). I think that is very reasonable.

I don't think it's for everyone. If you really enjoy cooking you will feel robbed. If you are a veggie there won't be anything for you to eat. But..if you love to eat good food but don't want to spend time making it or are just too busy then you should try it. You can host a preview night if you have one in your area and you and all your friends can make a meal for free. I'm already thinking about who I will invite!

So there you go. My review of the Dream Dinner experience. Definitely worth trying! And no I am not associated with them. ha ha I just love passing along good finds!

Posted in Getting Personal_

Earrings to Flatter your Face Shape - Part 2 Rectangular Face

Finally! Here is another "Earrings to Flatter your Face Shape". I have to say..I have been testing out these guides on my face (oval - it will be up soon) and it really is true. Test it out and let me know what you think.

Face Shape: Rectangle and Long

Styles that flatter the face: Earrings with curve and width at the bottom that will make the middle of your face appear wider. Circular, triangular and square shaped earrings will also flatter your face. Thick chunky earrings will flatter your face shape too.

Not the best choice: Hoops or long dangling earrings.

Examples of good choices for a rectangular face:


Filigree Grey Shell Handmade Earrings

Pearl and Wood Handmade Earrings



If you missed the guide for a earrings that flatter the round face see it here

Posted in Jewelry Tips_

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Too Hot!



Is it brain frying hot where everyone else is too? The news last night said it was 102 degrees here in San Jose yesterday but it felt hotter. Our house stays pretty cool until 1:00pm or so but after that we are searching for something cooler.

We did find out that my father in law has a pool at his apartment complex so we took Bella swimming for awhile in the heat of the afternoon. She loved it and it cooled us all down a bit. After swimming we went off in search of an air conditioning unit for the house. My husband had seen some at Frys Electronics the day before.

Well we got to Frys and everyone leaving the store had an a/c unit in their cart. When we started walking towards the area where he saw them the day before we were shocked to see a huge line. I kid you not...there was a line of 50 or so people waiting for the opportunity to even look at the a/c units. We decided to try somewhere else.

Next we went to Sears. All sold out. Every unit (and those puppies aren't cheap). They aren't getting anymore until August 3rd. We decided to give up on the dream of a nice chilled house and settle for one where we can at least survive. We went searching for another fan. Sold out.

We traveled back to Fry's and looked there. Sold out of every single fan. Is that insane? Today we are hitting every store until we find something. We are all zombies this morning because we got no sleep last night and at 8:00 it is already scorching outside. **Edited to add: Fans are sold out everywhere. Not a one to be found anywhere. No fans, no pools, no air conditioners.

There won't be a lot of jewelry made this weekend. As I have said before it is 10 degrees or so hotter upstairs where my bead room is. (Maybe I should rally to move it downstairs to the workout room?) I cannot even bear to go up there! I made myself feel productive last night by dashing upstairs for 2 seconds to grab the Totally Indie coupons and cutting them out while I sat in front of the fan downstairs.



At least I got caught up on some reading while I tried to fall alseep. I am reading Jpod by Douglas Coupland and I love it. I keep laughing aloud while I read it. I have always been a fan of Douglas Coupland although he did have a some snoozers a few books back. I'm glad he's back to his old style again.

I hope that wherever you are you have wonderful central air and a sparkling refreshing pool in the backyard. Oh and can I come over if you do?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Studio Friday: Studio Sidekicks



Wow! It has been so long since I participated. I've been too scattered to remember to take a studio picture. Hopefully I will be able to stay on track now!

So here is my studio sidekick. My little Bella. (I know the topic is kinda animal themed but Bella is allergic to cats and I am too paranoid to have a dog until she is a little older. So for now I have a 2 legged sidekick) I try to work in the studio when she has gone to bed but sometimes I HAVE to get something done when she is awake and well..we manage.



She loves beads and loves to try on necklaces and say "Pretty!" I think I definitely have a jewelry addict on my hand...and hopefully someday a helper. I'm sure she will be the only Kindergartener with necklaces to match every outfit!



Right now? Not so much help. I try to entertain her with things she can't break or hurt herself with but of course she would rather try to grab my pliars or unravel the rafia. She also loves to crumble and disperse the packing peanuts.

She's a lot of fun though and I love having her company in my studio and hope someday we can enjoy making jewelry together.

Happy Studio Friday!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Kitty Stalker



So what do I do when not making jewelry? Well recently I have been stalking the kitties that have taken permanent residence in our backyard.

I discovered the kitties a few weeks ago when from my kitchen I heard a strange chirping sound. It soon clicked that it was a kitty cry and I ran outside to check things out. I found one kitty and a mean looking mommy in my yard and I heard another kitty crying in my neighbors yard. I'm not sure how the other kitty got there. It must have fallen over the fence. It's poor little sibling was crying out to the lost kitty begging it to come back.

Soon my neighbor heard the sound too and came out to her backyard. She popped her head over the fence and asked if I had a kitty in my backyard. I said yes and said I thought the mom was probably there too because she was making some strange noises when I got too close to the kitty in my yard.

She held up her kitty to show me and I offered to put her with her mom (who had snagged the crying kitten and was hiding behind a tree in the corner of my yard). She said no and that she was going to keep it. I just stared at her. The kitties were so small. I don't know a lot about cats but it seems they need to be with their mom for a few weeks. I was not happy.

When my husband got home I told him the story and said I was going over to the neighbors to bang on the door and demand they give me my kitty. He wouldn't let me. SO instead I just talked really loud about the poor kitty while in my backyard. Passive-aggresive I know.

Since that day I have checked on the kitties many times. I am not sure if my neighbor gave the kitty back or if there was originally 3 kitties but we have 2 now. They live in my backyard.




They scurry away whenever I get close and I spend hours trying to coax them out of hiding. Bella is obsessed with them and loves to go visit them. It took me many tries to even get these pictures of them.



The lighter kitty is braver than the orange kitty. The orange kitty is always the first to run. The lighter kitty stays awhile to check me out although if I get too close it hisses at me. Enough to make me never try to pick him up!

Fortunately for me both Berto and Bella are allergic to cats so they can never become my permanent pets anyway.



Yesterday Berto asked if I was feeding them. I said no and asked why he was asking. He opens the window and shows me that there are like 3 cats hanging out in our backyard. I said "Weird. I don't know why. I'm not feeding our cats anything" (I am just giving them little sips of milk. Not feeding.) Oops. SO maybe I should stop that. I just thought the poor mommy cat might be thirsty in the hot weather. And I wanted her to like me and let me hang out with her kitties. Oh well.

I guess I will just have to keep watch over them from afar until they grow up and leave me! Besides I have jewelry to make!

More New Jewelry!

This update was a labor of love my friends. Today was said to be the hottest day so far in San Jose. The bead room is upstairs and because we have amazing walk in closets (yes 2! One for me and one for him) we have little insulation upstairs (I'll still take the closets). Add the fact that it is already 10 degrees hotter upstairs to the fact that I was working with hot lights and man I was dying!

But it is all a distant ugly memory now and the new jewelry is up. Woohoo!








I am trying something new with the shell pictures that don't work on white. I was using a grey background but I wanted something more interesting. I feel like the grey makes everything look dull. I would love opinions. Email them to me if you are too shy to comment!



Posted in Jewelry Previews_

In Moderation

At a recent doctor's visit the nurse was going through the usual questions:

"Do you drink?" (Rarely)
"Smoke?" (No)
"Street Drugs?" (Never)
"Caffeine?" (Coffee on Fridays for "Coffee Friday" and Diet Coke)
"How many Diet Cokes?" (I think quickly and round down and non-chalantly say- oh maybe 3 or 4)
Nurse's eyes bug out. "4 Diet Cokes!?" She scribbles furiously

When the doctor comes in she sees the scribbles and starts lecturing me on how bad Diet Coke is for me. She says I have to cut it back to one and at the most two a day. She says the key is moderation in everything.

I couldn't agree more. Moderation is great. Unfortunately I was not blessed with the moderation gene. I am an all or nothing kind of girl. I have never been able to just work out 3 days a week. Either I work out 6 or none at all. I can't leave a Haagan Dazs Caramel Cone Ice cream (The best ice cream in America) in my freezer with a few bites out of it. I have to eat the whole thing (Which is why I SHOULD work out 6 days a week).



I mean, you guys have seen my bead room. I cannot have a few beads. Oh no...I have to have enough beads to open my own store. (Not that I could ever part with any of them).

But..it does work to my customer's advantage at times. Saturday night I went up to the bead room to get some orders ready and ended up staying up there for hours making jewelry. Which means that I will have new jewelry up and ready to go tonight. Now..if I was moderation girl I would only have 3 or 4 pieces right? So lack of moderation isn't always bad.

Getting back to the Diet Coke....as much as it pains me to say it I am really going to try to cut back. I realize that I have little eyes watching my every move (She already says "Diet Coke") and I do want to give her a fair shot at moderation. I stocked up on tea and waters and I am going to do my best to save my delicious beverage for lunches only. Wish me luck...

Posted in Getting Personal_

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Perspective

(Click on Picture to See Full Size Image)
I am a visual person. When I shop for beads online I keep a little ruler next to me because if I don't I won't really have a good idea of what size bead I am getting. I have been suprised more than a few times (When I am too lazy to go upstairs to get my ruler).
With that in mind I created this pendant guide . It gives you an idea of the common sizes that I use in my designs. Even if the exact size of the pendant you are eyeing is not on the guide you can can a rough idea of what size to expect. I have posted the guide on the website and I have also linked to it from every product page so you can check it out while you are shopping.
That teamed with the "See Worn" pictures should make shopping online almost as easy as shopping in person. Let me know if you have any other helpful suggestions.
Posted in Website News_

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Internet World

I love the internet. (I might have to marry it if I wasn't already married.) I spend way too many hours every day searching for cool items for my blog, reading my favorite blogs (the list keeps growing), shopping, updating my website, doing business research, reserving books on cd at the library, etc. It amazes me when I come across people who don't live and breathe internet like I do. I just assume that everyone loves it as much as I do.

I'm very proud of the fact that I have educated my family on what a blog is and how to make the internet work for you. They all read my blogs and comment. They all shop online. (Except maybe my sister who only has internet at work. The horror! She is also a teacher which means no internet all summer! Gasp!!) I have also learned a few tricks from them. My dad taught me how to look up traffic problems in the area. He often calls me and asks me to look up certain freeways as he travels (knowing that I am never far from a computer).

My mom taught me how to make the library work for me. You go online and search for the books or cds or dvds that you want and either hold them or put yourself on the waiting list and the library will call you when they are on the shelf and on hold for you. I love it. Yes it takes the fun out of searching through all the beautiful book covers in the library BUT it is great for a mom on the go. Bella and I went to the library yesterday and she ran through the library screeching and saying "ELMO" to anyone who would listen. Time to put some cds on hold.

As I am surrounded by computer and internet savvy people it always suprises me when people are not up to speed.

A few weeks ago I threw away our phone books (in the recycle bin of course). My husband saw them and took them out. I argued that we didn't need them. I google any number that I want and Yahoo local is great for businesses in the area. He said we needed them. A few days later I heard him calling 411 for a number. That night I snuck outside and once again threw away the phone books.

One of my friends told me that she couldn't figure out how to get to my "blob".

I was exchanging business cards with a friend and when I pulled out my adorable card case she complimented me on it and I told her I got it on Etsy. She gave me a blank look and said "What's Etsy?"

A well meaning friend had ran into someone who had an online bead shop. She excidely handed me the piece of paper where she had written down the web address. It was an email address.

I don't want to make it seem like I look down on these people at all! I actually am challenged by their lack of internet knowledge. I make it my goal to educate them in the wonderful ways of the internet.

And I might be a little jealous that they don't hear little voices calling from their computer everytime they walk by it

"Check your email...dinner can wait!"

"Laundry? Now how about some blogs instead?"

P.S. I also think it's weird when people type www.sharmadesigns.com into google to find my site. Wouldn't it just be easier to type that into the browser bar? Hmm

Posted in Business Babble_

Monday, July 10, 2006

New Jewelry!

The new jewelry is up! Here's a preview!









The see worn pictures aren't up yet but my sister will be visiting on Thursday and I will have her model them then. Yes I put my houseguests to work. What a mean sister!

Posted in Jewelry Previews_

Distraction

I worked on making new jewelry on Saturday and had very good intentions of posting them last night but I fell asleep at 8:00....which I never do! Amazing what a night of no sleep the night before (thanks to your daughter's new eye teeth) will do to you!

Fortunately we didn't have big plans yesterday because I was so out of it. My husband and his brothers were glued to the tv watching the world cup. Needless to say they were delighted that Italy won. We celebrated by going out to eat and Pasta Pomodoro (where else right?)

While they were watching the game I was home with my munchkin. As soon as she went down for her nap I did what every distressed mom would do. I scrubbed the kitchen floor...wait is that not normal? Personally I think that a clean kitchen floor makes everyone feel better. At least it does me.



After Berto got back from the game I dashed out of the house to go get a pedicure with my friend. We have a standing bi weekly date to pamper our toes. It isn't quite as exotic as the picture above but yesterday that's what it felt like to me. Heaven!

So now that I have had 10 hours of beautifully uninterrupted sleep I'm sure I will be able to get the jewelry up tonight!

Friday, July 07, 2006

It's already Friday?

I can't believe it's already Friday. This week has flown by! It know it looks like not much is going on in Sharma land but I have been working my tail off behind the scenes!



There is a lot of behind the scenes work that goes into an online business. This week I have been working on banners for advertising, creating postcards for jewelry parties and of course...making new jewelry! I will be traveling down to Costa Mesa, CA in August for a few jewelry parties. I wanted to make up some postcards that they could print out themselves and send to friends or handout. Not everyone has email and besides...getting mail is way more fun!

I also have an office party next week that I am gearing up for. I have to make sure that everything is tagged and ready to go! I love doing home parties. It's so much fun to watch everyone try on jewelry and ooh and ahh.

As far as new jewelry...it should be up early next week. I like to have a nice group of jewelry before I post. I also just noticed that the Dainty Divas and Deliciously Dark necklaces are getting pretty low so i will focus on those sections this weekend.

I sold a lot of sale jewelry this last week but there are still a few deals to be had so check it out!

Hope you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Love the Long Weekends!

We had so much fun over the long weekend. I think the highlight of the weekend was a trip to Alum Rock park. I am such a nature girl and I love to get out and go for a good hike. Granted, we couldn't hike with the little munchkin with us but we were still surrounded by beautiful trees and the sound of running water and the delicious smell of sulfur. Oh wait....the smell part wasn't my favorite.



Alum Rock park is known for it's mineral springs. (I think this spring has seen better days) It used to be a nationally known health spa. People came for miles to soak in and drink the mineral spring water. I cannot imagine drinking the nasty stuff much less soaking in it! Many of the springs smell like sulfur! Even little Bella was holding her nose.



To Bella's delight, the park was teaming with squirrels. She was crying "Cute!" every 2 seconds. At one point I stopped Berto and said "Look at the guy. It looks like that squirrel is chasing him." Then like a scene out of the Twilight Zone we realized that all of the squirrels in the park were running toward the man. Apparently he was doing some kind of squirrel call. It was a little creepy. I think my dad traumatized me as a child by telling me how dirty squirrels were. Of course after Berto saw the man doing the squirrel call he wanted to try it. I protested loudly until he gave up. It's just that I had visions of a million squirrels nipping at Bella.



We decided that we definitely need to visit the park more often. It is very close to our house and a nice escape from all the noise. It also has a great kids playground. We just need to figure out how we can hike the trails with Bella. I've thought about one of those backpacks but my daughter is quite a little chunk. Whoever had her on their back would certainly get a workout!

We decided to skip the fireworks this year. I wasn't sure how Bella would react to them and that, in additional to the fact that they would be way past her bedtime frightened me a bit. We decided we would wait until next year. I was bummed that we couldn't see any fireworks from our house but I figure we have many years of fireworks ahead of us anyway.

Anyways..back to reality. For the next few nights I will be catching up on orders and designing new jewelry. Hope you all had a great weekend!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Contest results!

First Place


Second Place

Third Place

Congratulations to all the winners! And thank you to everyone who entered! It was a fun contest!