Wednesday, December 31, 2008

December 2008

(I think) I've figured out how to upload photos to an online album. You should be able to click the following link,, to see what I've uploaded so far (more is forthcoming). Looks like "everything" in my albums uploaded, so ignore the jewelry, unless, of course, you're interested in it, in which case you can see more at

My plan with this online album was primarily to make the few pics I shot available to the respective families we visited this Christmas. I have sketched through and done cursory light adjustments on the dark images and corrected any red eyes I noticed, so hopefully you can actually see the people in the pics and they won't look too scary, although some are still blurry.

Just Say Ho!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Wrapping up 2008

We have completed the last craft show of our 2008 season (big sigh of relief) and will soon be preparing to take our annual trip through more southern states to visit all the branches of our family tree.

During the rush of show season so many pieces never make it to my website but go straight into the show circuit. Now that show season 2008 is over (for us, anyway) I look forward to getting more inventory on the website, which means more selection and convenient shopping for all my wonderful customers and friends.

If you wish to order merchandise from the website, especially for holiday gifts, you'll definitely want to complete your order by midnight on Monday December 15 so I can get it shipped or delivered before we head South. Don't - I said do not - wait until the last minute!

Gift Certificates, on the other hand, are not under such a deadline as they can be ordered at any time. In the ordering process you specify whether you wish to email the gift certificate directly to your recipient, or print it out on your own printer so that you can personally present it, as, for example, in a card or small package. Handier than a pocket on a shirt! Simply find the yellow "Buy Gift Certificate" button located on each and every page of my website, usually in the bottom left corner - scroll down - and click through to the form. Nothing could be easier, seriously.

By the way, in case you don't know, I also publish a newsletter. More of a marketing piece, it is - you can check out a sample copy here.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

November being Thanksgiving month, I am giving a portion of my profits from my November sales to support the Rescue Mission of Utica, Inc. as an expression of gratitude for the ways in which I have been blessed.

I’m originally from Oklahoma City and they have a big Thanksgiving dinner there where anyone can come partake, but I live in central New York now. I am touched by the sincerity of the efforts of Utica Rescue Mission. They help a lot of people in a lot of ways, but that they feed people on Thanksgiving is what prompted me to send them a contribution.

My small contribution isn’t much in the overall scheme of things, but it is 5% of the profits for everything I have sold to date during the month of November. With the grim outlook regarding economic news in America I see people hanging on to their dollars a little more tightly right now, but if I am able to keep making and selling jewelry, I hope to send a bigger check next year.

If you have been blessed in any way I challenge you to make a contribution to an organization near you that feeds people.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Status Post: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

When I went for my annual physical in the summer of 2005 I mentioned an ongoing health matter to my doctor, something I considered merely to be an annoying (very annoying) “normal abnormality.” He said, “This shouldn’t be going on this long. Let me send you for further evaluation.” I went, and was shocked to receive a cancer diagnosis.

I’m one of the lucky ones. I had a cancer that gave me a warning (even though I didn’t pay attention to that warning for several months), and we were able to catch it before it was too late. They got it all in surgery and I took a course of radiation just to be sure. Over three years post-op my doctor actually says I can consider myself “cured” of that particular form of cancer although I do go for regular check-ups.

It has been a life changing experience.

Now I make jewelry and sell it on the internet and at craft shows. October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I decided to dedicate a percent of profits from my October’s jewelry sales to support the American Cancer Society as an expression of gratitude for what is literally my new lease on life. We are active in our local Relay for Life here in Central New York, but our local chapter is between seasons right now, so I sent the contribution directly to what I presume to be the main processing office in Oklahoma City, which also happens to be my original home town!

$45.00 isn't much in the overall scheme of things, but it is 5% + of my profits for all the jewelry I sold in October. Economic news in America looks pretty grim right now, but if I am able to keep making and selling jewelry, I hope to send a bigger check next year.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Apple Pies and Buy/Sell

I had an interesting phone call recently from the promoter of a show to which I have applied. This is a show in which all crafts must be handcrafted by the artisan who is personally present at the show representing their own work. We discussed the concepts of "handmade" or "handcrafted" versus manufactured items purchased for resale. This blog entry is an expression of my opinion on the matter.

Carl Sagan said that if you truly wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe. I am not remotely interested in trying to take over God’s job - first of all, there are several very good reasons I'm not God, and besides that He's already doing a great job - so I use what is available to me in the making of my particular “apple pies,” my lovingly handcrafted jewelry pieces.

I do purchase components, such as beads, crystals, drilled stones, etc., and findings such as ear wires, posts, clasps, chain, wire, and so on, as well as the wire, sheet metal, or the metal clay material which I make into the beautiful fine silver drops and pendants. All these things are components, parts or materials that I purchase to assemble into jewelry and with very few exceptions (chains and certain special clasps, for example) I do make everything I present for sale. I’m fairly certain I’m not alone in this business of using purchased parts and components for making jewelry– I have observed that most of the jewelry makers admitted to the arts and craft shows I’ve ever been to also use purchased components in the construction of their jewelry pieces.

Among my crafter/artisan friends, we refer to manufactured items purchased for resale as “Buy/Sell” or “BS” (a handy double entendre), for short.

Here's the thing - any fool can order a load of stuff, whether it's made in China or wherever else, and slap a price tag on it. True crafters and artisans, including myself, hate “BS” because it causes the buying public to think less of what we do, and to expect less – less quality, less price, and less credibility since a “reseller” can crank out merchandise that is often unimaginative and/or poorly made, at undercut prices. This undermines the efforts of the crafter or artisan. I'll tell you what - it feels like just one more way that the little mom-and-pop shops are being gobbled up by the big box stores.

I have known people who kept shop where they hired people to assemble their designs. I consider that manufacturing and that’s fine for its purposes, but I do still make all my own pieces, which is why so many of my pieces are ones-of-a-kind. I may make multiples of certain things, and I take custom requests all the time, but my own hand is in every piece. I make each one. Me. I make them. When I'm working on a thing, whether necklace, bracelet, earrings, pendants - whatever it is - I think about the joy it gives me to make this, to handle these materials, and may the ultimate wearer or recipient of this piece enjoy it and be blessed by it. Lovingly Handcrafted, every blessed piece. It's a labor of love and a matter of pride.

Even though I am working hard to upgrade and upscale my look and my market, I still make all my own pieces. I will certainly make an announcement if that should ever change.

Thank you for your time.

Vicki Newby

Monday, October 13, 2008


This is one of the butterflies currently offered in my web store, With variations in texture and design, no two are exactly alike - truly ones of a kind.

What they do have in common with each other is that they are pierced for hanging and are outfitted with sterling silver (about 21 gauge) jump rings that have a generous 4mm interior diameter through which you may slip your own chain, a satin or velvet cord, or slender leather to wear as a necklace.

Most of the butterflies will be going to shows over the next few months, so if you can make it to a show you can see them in person, touch them, be touched by them, and take one home with you, either for yourself, or as a fabulous gift for someone you love. They are quite beautiful and hang nicely on a 16 to 24 inch chain.

I do plan to use some of these little darlings as focal pieces in beaded works, so be on the lookout for those online or at a show.

Thank you for your consideration and do check out my website, including butterflies!

Thank you,