Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Silver Falling

Tis the Season for silver & gold and I have some good news to report...both metals seem to be falling (their market prices anyway). Both precious metals (in fact all precious metals) have been climbing to near all time highs of late and it is a bit or a relief that they are starting a downward spiral. We have been holding off on some of our big metal purchases because metals were just too darn expensive, but now we will start getting a few orders in and keep our fingers crossed that the prices will keep dropping. Still at $17.25, silver is still a far cry from the $10.10 it was a year ago. If you have any silver or gold requests, please let us know and we will get your items in asap while the prices are falling. If you are looking to make a large silver or gold purchase, contact Beth and she can get you quotes on large amounts. Here's to glittery, silver & gold holidays again!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

funniest thing you'll see today!!! A friend just sent me this link and I'm still crying, I was laughing so hard! I just love the muppets (they got me into college, but more on that at another time!)!!!!!

Black Friday to do

Just checked out Lyneen's blog, and Rubber Soul in Poulsbo is having a some really good black friday specials...just go to I am Dreaming of Castles and print the announcement and if you are one of the first thru the door, there will be a goody bag waiting for you! They are also having some store specials on rubber stamps and I'm sure there are lots of goodies that you cannot be without this holiday season! Happy shopping!* Happy Thanksgiving!!! * *(trying to decide which is in the lead right now)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Changes coming for the new year

All is a bit early to be thinking about the new year, but some changes have been made to the Washington State retail rules and we wanted to give everyone a heads up (and some time to do something about it).

Washington State has decided that any person or business that wishes to purchase goods for resale must have a resellers certificate. This is in addition to a UBI # that is also required of businesses doing business in Washington. Seem like a bit of overkill (or maybe just bureaucratic red tape)? They have their reasons, but for now here is the link to their information page. The form to apply for a reseller's certificate is here. There is no cost for a resellers permit.

Since we are a retail shop that also sells wholesale to designers and stores, we are required to have a valid resellers certificate and not just a UBI # for any person or business that wants to buy goods for resale (either as components or as part of a finished piece).

Therefore, as of Jan 1, 2010-any business that wishes to buy items tax exempt for resale (either as is or incorporated into other sellable goods) must bring in a copy of their resellers certificate. UBI #s will not be valid after the first of the year.*

*We apologize for the extra hoop, but we promise to have the best beads & supplies in town at the best prices, so that should help a little.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Lucite is here...

Its the beginning of our 6th Anniversary week, and we couldn't be more excited...not only are we still around (many small, specialty shops have not made it through as I'm sure you are well aware), but we are thriving!
To help celebrate our 6th Anniversary, we are having a vintage Lucite Trunk Show from November 19th through the 22nd. We just got the box this morning and I've had to stop both Leslie and myself from grabbing up a bunch of goodies...we want you to have first pick!
We'll have the show through the weekend, so come in and see the bold, beautiful colors for yourself!
Thanks again for 6 great years...remember to pick up your Treasure Hunt card when you come in for even more anniversary fun!

Friday, November 13, 2009

New Kits ready to go

These new rivet kits debuted at the Mixed Media Market, so now they are ready to share with the world!

Each kit contains a pre-punched brass back, a vintage brass flower, a vintage copper coated steel flower and 2 vintage Swarovski crystal set surrounds with a loose crystal to set in the center. You can choose from a pendant bail, pin back or adjustable ring setting. A flared tube rivet (so you can set the crystal) and instructions for basic tube rivets are also included. These kits are $10.

We have lots of variations that can be used with the basic kit...all sorts of samples are here at the shop and I'll be posting more over the next couple of weeks.

Lucky Day

Happy Friday the 13th!!!

Now for most this is touted as an unlucky day, but for me it has been a very lucky one... At the end of October, the West Sound Quilters had their "Quilts from the Cabin" Show. They had some amazing pieces, including a group project crazy quilt that was to be raffled. Like most people, I always buy raffle tickets without any real hope of winning the item...the money supports a good cause, and like any "gambling", just the thought that you might win is a high. Well, I'm flying pretty high, because I won the marvelous quilt pictured above!!! I don't know how many tickets they sold, but I hope it was in the thousands because this quilt is beautiful!!! Many of the squares are hand embroidered, some with appliques, many handmade...I'm really quite speechless. Every time I look at this amazing quilt I see something new. The quilt will live here at the shop for a while, just so I can share it with all of you. Eventually, it will head to my living room where I happen to have a large bare wall that is in desperate need of ornamentation. A huge "THANK YOU" to all the West Sound Quilters' and the many folks who went in for the can visit the quilt anytime you like, just don't get any stays with me!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

its beginning to look alot like xmas

ok, I am not one of those people who like to rush in the holiday season...I like distinct holidays, not this bleeding Halloween into Thanksgiving into Hanukkah into Christmas nonsense. Each holiday has significance, each is unique and each should be its own celebration.
That being said, I own a retail shop...this means that I am already thinking about xmas in June. If I haven't finished my holiday ordering by the end of summer, I am out of luck-no Swarovski snowmen and tree kits, no snowflake pendants or forms, no ornaments to deck the tree-nada. Now this may sound like a trivial thing, but with the economy being what it is, and the retail trend of a third of a business' sales happening in the 4th quarter, having a well stocked and holiday tricked out establishment is kinda crucial.
So, we have tried to make a compromise. You will not see any xmas type decorations until after Halloween (they went up very early in some shops this year). We will put out holiday kits and supplies as they come in, typically the beginning of October. If you are working on your holiday gifts early, let us know...we have all our holiday beading supplies and kits stashed away, but will certainly help your find the supplies you need pre holiday.
So there you have it, distinct holidays with a little bit of overlap for those that are working under the same early deadlines that we face. This has all been a very long winded way of saying...the crystal kits are in and have a safe and sane holiday season!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Thank you to everyone who braved the buckets of rain and visited us at the Mixed Media Market!!!

We had a great time, and learned alot for our next show in March. Everyone has been great about letting us know what they thought of the show and weather not withstanding(since I can't control it anyway), I think the next show will be bigger & better with more vendors, demos and maybe a little less food (we brought enought to feed a few armies!).

Thanks again for everyone's support and encouragement! If you want to know what we're up to, check out our blog at:

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Special Halloween UFO Night

Its that special time of year for laughter and fear when all the ghosts & goblins come out to play by night & by day,

so dress your head, your hands and your feet and head to the shop for a special treat,

we'll have good food and good cheer and we'll try to keep it light on the fear!

My bad poetry aside, come join us for a special Halloween UFO Night. We'll be making pumpkin earrings, spider pendants and probably a really big mess! Join the fun & frolic---starting at 5pm! Special treats to anyone wearing a costume!

Monday, October 5, 2009

We will have abbreviated shop hours from October 6th thru October 13th...Oct. 6, 7, & 8, we will be open from 11am-4pm. We will be closed Friday, October 9th and Tuesday, October 13th. We will be open regular hours, 10am-5pm on Saturday, October 10th. Thank you for your patience...if you have any questions, call Beth at 360.471.8063 and please be nice to Leslie and my mom while I'm gone!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Back to School Savings Spree!

Fall is fast approaching and the kiddies are headed back to school (some of us old folks are headed back to school, too!). Here at echo artworks, we love to learn so we have decided to entice all you life long learners to join us.

Here's the deal-sign up for two or more workshops and get the great swag bag pictured above FREE!

or if you really love to learn and have like minded friends-both you and a friend can sign up for three or more workshops and get 50% off your tuition fee and the FREE goody bags.

This offer is good for workshop registrations until Sept 30th, workshops can be scheduled thru December 31st. Workshops are on a first registered, first serve basis. Workshop fees are non refundable, so check your calendars and give us a call-360.405.4341 or email

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New stuff just arrived!

We just opened the boxes of lots of "new" vintage lucite, brass stampings and findings!

We're stranding fast & furious and have all the stock out for your beading enjoyment. I'll post some more samples as we finish them (I made a new lucite necklace last I want matching earrings!)

Happy Tuesday!

Friday, August 7, 2009

while I've been away...

Ok, that title sounds like the beginnings of a bad country song, but I have been least from blogging.
I do have reasons, although, I realize there really is no excuse for not posting in such a long time, but I promise to make it up to all of you.
First, here is a picture of one of the things I have been working on during my "absence":

These are new samples for the color on metal workshop to be held this fall...I have lots more samples to share, and I promise to get caught up soon ( I don't really need sleep). We'll also have a new workshop series on making a business with your arts & crafts. Topics for the first few are, making money with your craft, picture taking tips for crafters, and retail & wholesale marketing strategies. Check out the website and this here blog for more info in the next few weeks.

Friday, June 26, 2009

UFOs spotted!

Yup, lots of UFOs have been spotted and they will be here tonight! Join us from 4ish until whenever we call it a day for our Un-Finished Object Night at echo artworks! We'll supply the food, tables, chairs, tools and design assistance all you need to bring are those pesky projects that just aren't getting done. Come early (we ran out of chairs last time!) and settle in for a night of fun and more important, finished projects!!! Beth will also show and tell the new Copper Metal Clay and preview some new workshops for summer and fall. See you tonight!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Feeling Competitive?

I just received the call for entries for the next Saul Bell Design Awards. The contest is put on by Rio Grande and always has some fantastic designs to aspire to…the best part? The competition winner receives a $10,000 gift certificate to Rio Grande!!!!! Think of all the tools, or silver, or GOLD! It is really hard to wrap my brain around winning a prize like this.


The categories are:



Metal clay



Silver/argentium silver


There are also awards for first and second in each category. We have applications here at the shop or you can get more info at


Good Luck!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

School's Out for summer...

School is coming to a close for many children & adults alike. Graduations are plentiful and many of us are wondering if it is too late for summer plans...I think not!
We have just updated our workshop schedule online and are looking for a few good men (& women) to teach workshops. Do you have a skill or talent that is unrealized? Have something to share, but nowhere to teach? Come teach here!!!!
Your workshop does not need to be bead related (although we'd love that too). Anything that you think others might be interested in learning about is fair game. Digital photography-absolutely (I still don't know how to use my camera to its full potential). Encaustic painting-yes, please! Polymer clay, fabric & fiber, writing, drawing, silk painting, knitting-the sky is the limit! We will have workshop proposals here at the shop outlining what tools & supplies are needed, space considerations, class size and payment info. Talk to Beth anytime with questions about your proposal.
We'll also be rolling out some new drop in workshops for summer on the business of design, pricing your work and beyond basic jewelry design. Look for the first meeting of a new metal clay chapter too.
Thanks for all creativity you share with us and let us share with you!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

saying goodbye to a friend...

We had to say goodbye to Nikki, my parents 14 year old husky, today.
Nikki was a rescue. She had some interesting eating habits, and was a bit stand off-ish with other dogs, but she was a love and truly the most elegant, gorgeous dog I have ever seen. I will admit, I am partial to husky type dogs (both of my fur children have been huskies related). I always profess that I will never get another animal any time this happens. My resolution usually lasts until the next hard luck case reaches my ears (I learned this from my mother), but I don't know how I forget the pain of losing a friend.
Our thoughts are with Penny & Ron and the rest of their fur children who will feel the loss as well.
She will be missed.

Friday, May 29, 2009

New copper metal clay

Finally!!! I have been waiting for this for almost a year. What have I been waiting for? The new copper metal clay!!!
New COPPR CLAY has just been released and our first order is on the way. We expect the new clay next week, but I have some firing information and workbooks already if you want to get a jump start.
We'll be testing the new clay as soon as it arrives. Hopefully it will work as well as the bronze clay in our rigorous tests, and will perform better in hollow forms. Firing needs to be done in a kiln with charcoal just like the bronze clay, but does not require the persnickety ramping up and holding times like the bronze.
Our first workshop with the new clay will be on June 27th.
Sidenote: Is anyone out there interested in starting a metal clay guild here in Kitsap? I have all the info from the PMC Guild about starting a chapter, but one member is just a little sad. Let me know!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

lazy days

Summer is officially here. Lazy days, cool nights and lots of iced tea.

Well, I have been lazy long enough! I am woerfully behind in making samples and the book...I think I've only written about 2 pages and taken 3 pictures so far...can we say procrastination?!?

So here it is, the clean, clear workspace. The only problem is that I work very poorly in a vacuum. I NEED YOUR HELP!!!

Come, work at the table with me...bring friends! I'll bring the iced tea.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

UFO NIGHT May 29th

Hi Everyone!
Just a quick reminder that our next UFO (un-finished object) Night is coming up on May 29th. Bring all your works in progress and we'll design, create, laugh and eat the night away. Beth will also demo a new workshop for June...Color on Metal!
Join us the last Friday of every month for our bead night out and remember, our work space is open anytime for you to stop by. We'll help you work through those design challenges and tools are available for use in store.
As always, Pixie is waiting for you!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Customer Appreciation

Just a quick save the date...join us June 11th, 12th & 13th for our 5th annual Customer Appreciation Weekend. You are the reason we have been here for over 5 years and it is time to celebrate! We'll have food, daily & hourly specials, swag, free demos & lots more all weekend long. Watch the website and blog for special announcements, coupons & swag as well as our Treasure Hunt Challenge. Details coming soon! Thanks again for 5 fantastic years of creativity!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

my favorite new project

CABBAGE ROSE with VINTAGE STAMENS This Saturday we had a ribbon flower workshop with Cathy Mitchell & Jo Whalen from Mud Bay. We had a great time, and I made this fabulous flower that I wore to the Bremerton Symphony that night. As usual, I forgot to take pictures of all of us at work, but I have some more pictures of what we all assembled that I will post throughout the week.

Don't forget our next UFO Night coming up on May 29th. We'll have food and fun...all you need to bring is your un-finished objects. See you then!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I went rock hunting this weekend. I actually took 2 days off (well, almost 2 days, I did come back to the shop on Monday am to sort a few things out), and went out to Port Townsend and the Olympic Peninsula to stroll the fantastic beaches and enjoy the weather and scenery before the Hood Canal Bridge closes for a month and change. As you can imagine, the weather was perfect, sunny & warm, clear & most importantly, rain free (I actually got a sunburn and everything!). I enjoyed every minute of it and cannot wait until the bridge construction is done so I can run away again. Now this trip did include a bit of "work"...since I was hunting for rocks I use on my found object jewelry technically, I was working the entire time, but I really don't see things that way. I have always been a water person, I love to be in, on or around any type of water. The critters that live in, above and around the water are fascinating; water and water related things have dominated my personal & professional life in one way or another my entire existence (yes, I really wanted to have a Mr. Limpet experience!). So, to make sure we all have some water and nature and critters in our lives for the foreseeable future, please think about your impact on this planet we call home...and think about some changes that will make it a better place for future generations. we have been doing just that, and have made some changes to our policies here at echo artworks that will help us do our part to keep things green & leafy. First-we have changed precious metal vendors. Our new vendor sells only reclaimed and recycled metal, nothing that has been mined or harvested. that means no arsenic, or cyanide being leached into groundwater, and less metal in junk yards and scrap piles. Second-we will be changing how beads and loose findings are sorted for purchase. we will be switching from plastic (albeit recycled) bags to glassine envelopes. glassine has a much lower plastic content, and are biodegradable. Third-we will be asking you to do your part. we have ordered some block print totes (made from recycled off cuts and recycled ink), every time you reuse your bags, we will give you a 5 cent refund and also donate 5 cents to the Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy or other non profit organization that protects and educates (suggestions welcome) on a revolving basis. These changes will be progreesing over the next few months. We appreciate your assistance, suggestions and patience. For more ways to make a impact visit Happy Earth Day everyone! PS- as part of my beach combing, I always pick up trash...this weekend, I filled 2 bags. if you want to help, I'll be heading to Hansville tomorrow morning and I love company!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Spring has sprung!

Spring has sprung in the Pacific Northwest. Today we are celebrating the third day in a row of sun & temperatures in the 60's. I have gardened as much as possible in these three days, and I have enjoyed every minute. However, as I write this post, the clouds are starting to close overhead and if the weather folks are right, it will be back to clouds & rain (maybe even snow?!?!) for the rest of the week. So I am going to be proactive and make flowers this Sunday if Mother Nature has decided to be disagreeable. I'll be in the studio for a metalsmithing workshop from 10 am to 5 pm if anyone cares to join. Yes, I know it is Easter Sunday, but trust me when I tell you I pray a lot at the torch.

Happy Easter everyone!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

What I’ve been doing these past two weeks

I have been a bit busy these last two weeks, but I finally managed to get the new workshops updated on our website. I've added a few new links and pages and I'll be working on getting the calendar updated today & tomorrow. In the mean time, I thought I'd show you a set of bangle bracelets I finished in a metal fusing workshop last week. The bangle is brass with fused fine (pure) silver and copper hearts dangling around your wrist. I was inspired by a Himalayan legend that says that all Himalayan women wear a slender brass bracelet at all times to keep their soul inside their bodies. And, yes, I wear 2 brass bracelets and they never come off! (thought I could use the extra so my soul doesn't get any bright ideas about moonlighting somewhere without me)

Friday, March 27, 2009

UFO night

Join us the last Friday of every month for Un-Finished Object (UFO) night! We'll provide some food and design help, just bring your projects and fun. We'll bead & bitch the night away!!! Festivities begin at 5pm, bring a friend!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Fun Friday

I had a great post started for Friday, but unfortunately, powers beyond my control were plotting against me. This photo was taken shortly after we lost power on Friday afternoon. Apparently a trunk took out a pole behind our shop & was hanging (literally by threads) waiting for the utilities to right it. We got our power back in time for our Artist Trading Card swap, but my blog post was lost to the ether (time I got that battery backup for the computers huh). I'll have ATC swap pictures & more later this week, and will make up for neglected posts this week and next.

Have a great day all...stay powerful!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Caring for pearls

Pearls are beautiful, no doubt about that, but they are also a bit of an abnormality in the gemstone world. Made from layers of calcium secreted by bivalve mollusks, pearls are hard enough to be beads but all those layers that give pearls their beauty also give them fragility.
Pearls come in a wide range of colors & shapes depending on the type of critter that makes them, the nutrients in the water and the growing time. Typically, pearls secrete approximately 1mm of nacre every year. That can decline with pollution, lack of nutrients or food, and water temperature. Most pearls on the market today are cultured, meaning that the pearls are grown in aquaculture “farms” where these factors can be more closely regulated. South Sea pearls or “wild” pearls are all natural, they are found by pearl divers (remember reading that in high school?) and are therefore more expensive and often larger since they are not harvested at set intervals like cultured pearls.
When designing with pearls, their fragile nature needs to be taken into account. Be careful about what type of beads are strung next to pearls…metal with sharp edges or faceted crystal can scratch the fragile nacre on pearls. Pearls have been traditionally strung on silk; the silk knots between each pearl cushion the beads so that they do not rub up against each other. The silk is fantastic for pearls, but does create some storage and wear issues. Strung pearls should be stored lying flat, not hung; just that little bit of gravity pulling on the knots can cause the silk to stretch. Pearls on silk are also more susceptible to dirt & stains. Pearls are really not great fashionware for gardening. The silk can get dirty quickly, and there is not cleaning method...once the silk is discolored it's time to restring. Even with careful treatment, pearls on silk typically need to be restrung every 5-10 years.
Look for lots of new pearls in the shop as well as tips on designing and knotting silk. Next week...the legend of birthstones.

Friday, March 13, 2009

I still love you...

I have been's not that I don't love blogging and have enough stories/pictures/opinions to share, it's just that time seems to always get away from me. I hate to put blogging on the official "to do" list because that takes the fun out of it, but it seems that unless I have a reminder, I will procrastinate the day away without getting to many things (both listed & unlisted). So, in order to try & rectify the situation, I am making a pledge- I will blog at least 2 times a week (with pictures) so help me....I will try to post at least once on what is happening at the shop-new in store, color or fashion trends, upcoming workshops etc.- and once about what I have been working on-new experiments and work, workshops & samples. Please feel free to email or comment suggestions for what you would like to see on this here blog...I am interested in getting some how-tos posted or even having some guest bloggers. Thanks for your patience, and I promise there is more to come! Beth