Guest Post: Word Décor 'n More

Today I have a fantastic business to tell you about. I was introduced to Word Décor 'n More when I shifted my jewelry business web hosting over to Shoppe Pro in 2008. In my own home, I love that my guests can "read" my walls. I'm a huge fan of word wall decor and especially liked the idea of a "welcome" quote on the front door of my house (and I'm still going to get that...just as soon as my door gets its' second coat of paint!).

What I really love about the Word Décor 'n More website is they offer a photo gallery of inspiration. Just take a peek through the gallery and you're sure to find some ideas you'd love to put in your own home. Another great offering at Word Décor 'n More are their car decals. In fact, I had an idea for my car and that's when I personally "met" the owner, Andrea. She is super nice and provides some fantastic customer service!

Many women can relate to Andrea's desire to own their own business and enjoy going to work everyday. Here's what she had to say about her journey:

After many years of working in the corporate world, I decided to branch out on my own, and follow my lifelong dream of owning my own business. With a love for decorating, it was only natural to start a business that allowed me to express my creative side. After much research, I discovered vinyl lettering, and knew I had found my niche. With the loving support of my husband and family, Word Décor 'n More was launched.

Vinyl lettering is economical, easy to apply, and yet, looks like many hours and much money was spent to achieve a personal, custom look. I am a firm believer of DREAMING BIG, then working hard to make those dreams come true! To that end, I find myself drawn to motivational quotes such as "WISH, HOPE, DREAM... then make it happen!".


Personally, I'm a sucker for true love stories and I get to live one everyday with my husband. So when I saw this quote, "Always Kiss Me Goodnight", I just know I have to have it! From the beginning of my relationship with my husband, he would always say, no matter how mad, angry, tired or frustrated we might be at bedtime -'always kiss me goodnight'. Nearly, eleven years later, we always kiss goodnight. Well, that is, unless the dog decides she wants to kiss him goodnight first!

I am very tied to the transplant community and what has been so great about meeting Andrea and being introduced to Word Décor 'n More is that, Andrea has offered a beautiful "Just Breathe..." quote for our guest post giveaway.

I was immediately and personally touched by this quote. For that person who needs a lung transplant, they live every day with hope. Then when their day arrives and they receive their new lungs, it is truly a miracle. I believe when they wake up and take their first conscious breath of life, it must be so awe inspiring a feeling to "Just Breathe" -because you'll never live this moment again.


Prize: JUST BREATHE vinyl wall quote

Open To: International

Ends: December 7, 2010!

To Enter: Visit the Word Décor 'n More (http://www.worddecor-n-more.com/) website and leave a comment below noting at least one of your favorite quotes from the shop.

Extra:
+1 if you follow this blog (leave a NEW comment please)
+1 if you post this giveaway somewhere (leave a NEW comment please)
+1 if you follow Crystal Allure on Facebook (leave a NEW comment please)

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Thank you to Andrea for a giving us a glimpse into her business and for offering such a fantastic, inspirational quote for the blog contest.

Gift Idea: Pretty is a Pendant

Pretty is a Pendant: Fuchsia Venetian Crystal Beaded Pendant Set (P09) by Crystal Allure
Fuchsia Venetian Crystal Beaded Pendant Set (P09)
Purchase this Pretty is a Pendant below.
You know the old saying "the best things come in small packages"? I, for one, believe that to be very true! And just in time for the holidays, a perfect stocking stuffer is a Crystal Allure Beaded Pendant or better still a Pendant Gift Set.

Each pendant arrives on a sterling silver chain and gift packaged in our lovely signature organza bag.

Already have one, two or more of our beaded pendants and just need the pendant, without a chain? No problem! Simply email me prior to placing your order and I'll adjust the item for you.

A single pretty pendant drop necklace lends a demure touch to your femininity. Pair with the matching earrings and OH-LA-LA!
Fuchsia Venetian Crystal Beaded Pendant Set (P09)
Fuchsia Venetian Crystal Beaded Pendant Set (P09)
$50.00 for the set
This is a gorgeous handmade bead jewelry gift set! Designed with a 12x17mm artisan Venetian glass bead accented with satin fuchsia Swarovski Crystals. The pendant necklace is draped on an elegant 18" sterling silver chain and earrings are on sterling silver hoop ear wires. Both pendant and bead earrings measure at a 1-1/2" drop from the bottom of the ear wire.

Vacation-Schmacation!

For me, vacation started yesterday. Yet I literally spent the entire day, since 7:30 am!, catching up on business paperwork. Yea, as a small business owner, you don't ever want to get behind in your paperwork. ugh. nightmare.

BUT, I did successfully get it all entered and cleared off my ever growing "to-do" list. And boy, what a stress relief that was. I did feel it weighing on me...since...oh...July. I work with numbers all day so it was very daunting to think of getting home and doing more numbers. So I made that a goal during "vacation".

Today, so far, I've spent the morning catching up on some blogs, blogging myself, working on the jewelry boutique, organizing some upcoming sales/offers, sending/reading emails and I still have to address my Content is King task; and get to stores, shopping, gift buying...the list never ends.

So as I sit here (still in my jammies), sipping coffee, writing all about what I still have to do my sweet little girl (Lucy) is snorting. Yes, snorting. She's in such a deep, relaxed sleep that she is snorting. I think my "assistant" is on her union break? Oh wait, we just got a streeeeetch -a long sigh...a quick glance, through sleepy eyes, that I am still in the room...aaaannnd...back to sleep.

Makes it really hard to get motivated. :-)

Are you on vacation this week? What are your plans?

Have a Holi-Latte!! Starbucks Promo

Be still my heart!! Last night I caught the tail end of a commercial about a buy-one-get-one-free latte promo at Starbucks. Could it be true?!?! It is true!!

I'm SO there!! Get your double-shot (no pun intended) starting today (November 18, 2010) through Sunday (November 21, 2010), between 2 and 5 pm, at your local Starbucks.

The only drinks offered in the deal are: Caramel Brulee Latte, Peppermint Mocha, Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha, Peppermint Hot Chocolate, Gingerbread Latte, Eggnog Latte, Caramel Brulee Frappuccino blended beverage and Peppermint Mocha Frappuccino blended beverage.

I'm definately interested in trying the Peppermint Mocha. Which are you gonna try?

My Sweet Little 'Baby Girl'

Awwww! She looks terrified! Well, in reality, she is -poor lil' thing. This is one of the rare pictures of our little Lucy. A rescue from Rochester Animal Services.

In case you haven't figured it out. She HATES (yes...a strong word...but trust me..) her picture being taken. We obviously don't know why so we try not to stress her out. I wish she didn't mind because she has such a cute face and expressive eyes.

Two weekends ago we had a gathering and as always, she stuck to me like glue. She couldn't get close enough to me and literally was on top of my leg whenever I moved around. I don't mind though and love her as much as she loves me. A friend of mine snapped this picture of her and it must have been when she was getting tired of trying to hide from all the pictures being taken; the people walking around and louder than normal noise of our guests.

I feel sad we upset her but at the same time, glad we have some pictures of her. We have one good picture of her in the grass (she clearly didn't hear the camera!) and now this one which is "fair". Unless you count the ones where she's not even looking and doesn't know because she's peeing or doing her duty (I'll spare you the graphics and just show her on one of her daily walks).

Needless to say, after the picture above, it didn't take long for me to know she just needed her quite space. So I put her upstairs and baby-gated her into
ourher bedroom.

And, yeaaah, the flooring. Nine years and counting. Another project yet to be completed. Someday. Someday. Well, the theory is when the kitchen is remodeled the flooring will be replaced. OH, I know...

My Christmas List
-NEW KITCHEN! :-)

What I Love About Fall

I recently joined The Secret's In the Sauce group and love it! Once I hopped around the site a bit, I jumped right in and joined the Content is King group and took on the challenge of writing better blog posts.

Under tip #2, Nuture Your Voice, it says:
Words on a page are just words on a page unless you can find a way to breathe life into them. (amen! I wholeheartedly agree!) Allow people to relate. Make yourself vulnerable. (yikes!! open up? ahhh...no?! darn!)

Okay, okay. I get it. And I do know this. It's just...well...alright, I'll stop whining. Indeed my lack of blogging regularly has alot (did I say, ALOT) to do with being a very private person. Everytime I think to blog something, I think, hmmm..TMI. Although, I think I've done a pretty darn good job in the last year or so of sharing -beyond my jewelry business. My other ish is I am a very visual person. I like to "see" things so I'm always wanting to add some pictures or visuals. Which leads to other issues (remembering your camera where ever you go...remembering to pull out your camera to even take pictures!...having the time to download the pictures, crop them, fix them, etc, etc.)

The whole concept of my blog was to give a Behind the Designs look at life, when I'm not handcrafting jewelry designs (or dreaming of designs). Of course, this doesn't exclude sharing my designs or the inspirations behind them, rather to breathe life into them.

So, today I wanted to share with you what I love most about fall/autumn (activity #2). Here in Rochester, NY, autumn arrived right on schedule -the craft show schedule that is. I love to shop/look around craft shows in the fall. I scheduled with two good friends to check out the Letchworth Craft Show the first weekend of October. It was the perfect day. Sunny. Slight crisp to the air. BEAUTIFUL trees with all the red, gold, green and rust colored leaves. And of course, great conversation with a couple of dear friends!

The trip wasn't so much about the craft show. It was about getting together with girlfriends (bonding time here, ladies) -laughing -having fun -escaping the daily grind, etc. We arrived at the park only to spend approximately 20 minutes or so in the car, just to reach parking (lots of traffic!). But this time, sitting and doing nothing really didn't bother me. It fact, it was quite enjoyable. Relaxing.

Of course, both me and one friend remembered our cameras so we took the opportunity to snap some pictures along the way.


I think I may have gone a tad beyond the "list" function of my activity, but it is true; once you just sit down and start "writing" the words just flow. Thanks Jade for the kick in the butt! And to stay true to the list, here's my autumn loves (in no particular order):

-the colorful trees
-the crisp air
-the feeling of a renew of the self
-the feeling life has slowed down a bit (remember to stop and smell the acorns)
-oh yes, acorns..and pinecones...and colorful leaves (oh yeah, said that)
-pumpkins
-warm crumbly top apple pie (Mmmmmm!)
-thanksgiving dinner
-cozy sweaters

In closing, I will not admit (no -never!) this blog post took more than 10 minutes to write. :-)

How about you? What do you love most about the autumn/fall season?

The Great Beaded Pumpkin Zipper Pulls Charms

Pumpkin Artwork by Bronson Hill ArtsA dear friend recently started her own art blog to showcase her art and share it with the world (since I told her to stop keeping it all to herself!). In fact, I have quite a few of her pieces and love each one for its' uniqueness, handcrafted nature and beautiful design.

So it comes as no surprise that I fell in love with her hand-drawn pumpkin! (for those of you catching up on my obsessions..I love pumpkins!)

After seeing her sketch I was inspired to create some pumpkin themed jewelry and beaded gifts. So, this past weekend I pulled out my stash of beads and got to creating. If you can picture Edward scissor hands cutting through bushes with the pieces flying all over...yeah, that was me in the studio this past weekend. No lie.
Beaded Pumpkin Key Chains and Halloween Zipper Pulls by Crystal Allure Beaded Jewelry

What emerged were the beginnings of a new gift selection at Crystal Allure: Beaded Key Chains and Beaded Zipper Pulls. Now, expand your mind a little and you will find, zipper pulls are not just for zippers. You can add them to purses, handbags, book bags, tote bags, luggage, jean belt loops, you can even clip them on shoelaces! The possibilities are endless.

Learn more about the Halloween Pumpkin Crystal Lampwork Beaded Keychain (K103) shown above.

I may be a little late posting some of these designs, as Halloween is over, but the pumpkin is something that is in style straight through Thanksgiving. And these beaded zipper pull bag charms are perfect for kids, stocking stuffers, grab bag gifts and even mom's purse!
Wicked Witch Lampwork Petite Beaded Purse Charm Zipper Pull (ZP101)
Wicked Witch Lampwork Petite Beaded Purse Charm Zipper Pull (ZP101)
One of a Kind
$10.50
Scare up some frightful style by simply clipping this wicked witch beaded lampwork zipper pull bag charm on your coat, jacket, jeans belt loop, purse, handbag, school bag, book bag, luggage or anywhere you can think of. Or grab two and clip to your shoelaces for double the fun! Total length is 2-1/4".
Pumpkin Lampwork Petite Beaded Purse Charm Zipper Pull (ZP100)
Pumpkin Lampwork Petite Beaded Purse Charm Zipper Pull (ZP100)
One of a Kind
$10.50
It's the Great Pumpkin (Charlie Brown)! If you're a fall pumpkin lover, you will just adore this lovely lampwork beaded pumpkin zipper pull. It easily attaches to coats, jackets, purses, handbags, tote bags, jean belt loops, shoelaces -well, just about anywhere! Total length 2".
Green Goblin Lampwork Petite Beaded Purse Charm Zipper Pull (ZP103)
Green Goblin Lampwork Petite Beaded Purse Charm Zipper Pull (ZP103)
One of a Kind
$10.50
This adorable green goblin isn't so scary! Designed with a green artisan lampwork glass tube bead with variously placed "eyes" add to this "frightful" zipper pull. It's so adorable, you can add this accessory to your coat, jacket, purse, handbag, book bag, jeans belt loop or anywhere you can clip it! Total length: 2-1/4".

With the holidays right around the corner, there are many surprises and new designs coming to the Crystal Allure Jewelry Boutique. So check back often.

Unlock Your Style: Beaded Keychains by Crystal Allure

Unlock Your Style with Handmade Beaded Keychains by Crystal AllureIt's November 1st and do you know what you are getting friends and family as gifts? I hear ya...Christmas is next month. But as we all know, gift buying creeps up on us and then we are rushing around, last minute, for that perfect gift.

My best intentions in the studio were halted this weekend when I finished a Fall Jewelry design and realized I still needed one more element. So, with that on hold, I spent some time organizing my finished pieces, only to realize, I had quite a few beaded gifts completed that were not pictured or posted yet. (you know what's coming next...)

(drum roll please..) NEW to the boutique, today, are two beautiful beaded keychains. I'm most especially excited about the Personally Yours Purple Heart Charm Beaded Keychain (K104) because you can personalize it with your own family, friend or pet photo! And it makes a perfect gift for Mom this Mother's Day.

Not so much a key carrying person? No worries! The Crystal Allure collection of handmade beaded keychains are versatile enough that you could even stylize your handbag, purse, computer bag, or well, any bag by simply slipping the ring onto the handle. So go ahead -Unlock Your Style with a beautiful beaded keychain by Crystal Allure!

Pssst. I also realized the pictures of the other key chains available weren't as great as I'd like so new, updated pictures for those will be coming soon. But rest assured, all Crystal Allure Jewelry and Beaded Gifts are more beautiful in person than any camera can catch on its' lens! That's a guarantee!
Personally Yours Purple Heart Charm Beaded Keychain (K104)
Personally Yours Purple Heart Charm Beaded Keychain (K104)
$25.70
I may have designed it -but you get to personalize it! This beautiful beaded keychain features a heart-shaped picture frame to personalize with a picture of your child, loved one or favorite pet. Accented with stunning dark and light purple glass beads, white Swarovski Crystal Pearls, sterling silver beads and Bali. Make this key chain a purse charm by requesting a FREE silver hook at checkout. Total length (with ring) 4".

Not only can Mom personalize this keychain with her child's picture, she can use it as a keychain or as a brag charm by simply attaching to her purse, work bag or wallet.