Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Funny Search Terms

So I decided to look at my Google Analytics again today for odd search terms that got people to either my Etsy site or my main Luster Metal Works Site.

The one that popped out as being significant and unusual was “Dirty Dancing Dress”. That on its own is not such a odd term to search, the strange thing about it was that the search brought a total of 8 visits to my Etsy shop! And better yet, the average time the viewers spent in my shop was almost 9 mins. So it makes me wonder…should I actually make an item and entitle it Dirty Dancing Dress? I did get married up at Mountain Lake in Pembroke, VA which was where the outside scenes from Dirty Dancing were filmed.

After I began to write this, I decided to take a moment and look for some photos to share of my wedding day at Mountain Lake. Here I am with my hubby on 8-8-98 in my own “Dirty Dancing Dress”. My mind is now cranking and I think I have a few ideas for some jewelry items inspired by my wedding day! I can’t wait to start sketching!



Monday, December 21, 2009

Holiday Orders OUT!

line I have been a very busy little elf lately! That is both a good thing and a curse. I am thrilled to be having such success thru my personal website, Etsy, and 1000 Markets. I have filled about 100 orders between the 3 locations in the last 2 months. BUT, as a mom of 2 small kiddos, it is hard to balance it all sometimes, especially right now.

Lately I have been finding myself dreaming of all the order I need to get done and wake up feeling anxious about how long it has been taking me to get them out the door. Under normal circumstances I try my best to get all items made and shipped within about 4 days, lately it has been more like 8 days. The delay has been because of sick kids, lack of babysitter time available, and just the juggling of priorities. Sorry to all of my friends and family, I have not even begun to finish your presents yet…

It has made me realize that I need to figure out a better system in order to grow my business. One step I will be taking is to actually get a small inventory made up of some of my more popular items. I will also be increasing prices in January to allow me to “buy” more babysitting time. I hope to use that time to create more one of a kind statement pieces as well as develop a new line of jewelry to debut in the Spring.

I have so many ideas for my shop, and just not enough hours in the day to do it! I want to thank all of you who have been a part of Luster Metal Woks this year and helped me get to where I am now!

Yea! My 250th Order on Etsy!

It was about 2 months ago that I reported my 200 order on Etsy….and now I am happy to announce my 250th! This time it was one of my signature pieces…the Vertigo Necklace. It is a necklace that features 2 hammered silver circles and 2 hammered copper circles on a silver chain. I love how the mixed metals look together!


I have been open for business on Etsy for almost 22 months and I am thrilled to see how well everything is developing. My personal website, Luster Metal Works, is also taking off! There has been a nice steady stream of visits and sales in that shop as well. It always amazes me how people find my items.

I hope that this trend keeps up because I love what I do, and I love that you like it!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Funniest Search Term

Okay, so I am a bit addicted to Google Analytics….son in honor of that addiction (or maybe to feed it more) I will start posting some of the funniest keyword searches that people used that actually landed them onto my site for the week.

This week it was soo hard to choose just one since there was a plethora of really funny ones, so I will pick the top 3!

3. Wibbly Woo ….I had to look this up just for fun, and it actually turns out to be something. According to the UK version of Encyclo Online, The `Wibbly Woo` is a legendary creature said to live in peat bogs in the North Of England. The creature is said to resemble a cow with flexible (or `wibbly`) arms and legs. The creature was first described by Thomas H. Robertson in the early 1900s following a visit to Chesterfield, although others have since claimed to have had encounters with the beast as far away as Keighley.

2. I’m so crafty I make people…okay. Well technically I am a mom so therefore I am crafty and make people. But it sure made me giggle as far as a search term went!

1. Grr Argh….Why does this get top billing you ask? Simple It is really an odd choice as a search string, and most significantly, it was used 3 independent times to land people in my shop! When I did a google search for “Grr Argh” it landed me on several things related to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and random cartoon sketch in the ending credits.

Well There you have it!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

WOW! Featured on styleFlash

I did a random Google search of my name today and pleasantly I came across a blog article featuring my work! So I thought I would share it with you:

2009 Holiday Shopping Guide – Fanciful Storytelling From Luster Metalworks

Thursday, November 5th, 2009 at 12:13 pm | Comments

Outshine the usual with storied jewelry pieces

Stacking Copper RingsYou may not realize it, but you tell a story every day simply by getting dressed in the morning.

But if those distressed denims and strappy heels are starting to feel a little lackluster, let the divinely delicate baubles from Luster Metalworks do the storytelling for you.

The tree bark texture of this set of Stacking Copper Rings whispers of sipping iced tea under a shady maple at sunset, and they are a shining example of wonderfully tactile appeal of designer Susan Harbourt's collection.

But I think it is Susan's use of reclaimed copper wiring from her centuries-old Victorian house that adds the real spark of intrigue and romanticism to each piece.

What do you think? What outfit would this piece go great with? Get in on the discussion and share your ideas with other readers of styleFLASH by leaving your comments.

DISCOUNT ALERT! Want to save on your purchase at Luster? Use coupon code IC09 for FREE SHIPPING with your order! And don't forget – tell 'em you found 'em on styleFLASH!

Looking for more great indie goods? Check out our 2009 Holiday Shopping Guide!

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Charity is good for the Joints!

Recently I was contacted about donating some Jewelry for an online auction to raise money for the Arthritis Foundation Massachusetts Chapter. I was in a charitable mood that day and figured “Why Not” even though I live in Illinois!

So here you go….2 necklaces for you to bid on to help out with their cause! The first is a Sterling Silver Hammered Heart Necklace and the second is a Hammered Sterling Silver Circle Necklace adorned with Tanzanite beads.

Biding goes from Monday, November 23, 2009 at 12:00 p.m. through Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 8 p.m. There are many items covering such a a wide area of interests. I am sure you will find something that would be a nice addition to your life. If so head on over there and put in a bid and help raise money for a great cause!

I wish everyone putting on the fundraiser the best of luck! If you or someone you know is in need of items for a fundraiser, please feel free to contact me! Be sure to visit my website for many other wonderful items!

tanz blog heart blog

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Charity is good for the “Heart”

Recently my Hope Heart necklace was selected as an item to represent The Hope Clinic in Nashville as an item in its fundraiser “Shop for Hope at the Franklin Marketplace”.

It was a large order where I had to make 25 of the necklaces. I loved how the little hearts all looked so much the same yet so different. I guess that is the thing about handmade jewelry, no 2 items are the same! I took a quick photo of the charms all together before putting them on chains.

Unfortunately, I did not get a photo of the finished necklaces all together since as soon as the were made, I had to get them in a box and out the door…literally. By the time I got to the post office they were technically closed but I was fortunate that they were still loading the truck there to pick up the mail to take it to the sorting facility. So, I was able to get them into the mail on time.

I wish everyone putting on the fundraiser the best of luck! If you or someone you know is in need of items for a fundraiser, please feel free to contact me! Be sure to visit my website for many other wonderful items!


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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Copper BookMarks

Many of you have been asking for my hand pierced copper bookmarks from years past. This year I am having trouble finding the time to make enough of them to actually list ! They sell before I have them finished, but I am accepting custom orders.

As an alternative, I have come up with a line of hand cut and textured copper bookmarks. I have a variety of motifs available such as monograms or simple theme images such as a snow flake, fleur de lies, leaf, or an apple (great for teachers gifts) and many more as well as your custom requests. I also have about 25 colors of tassels available to finish off your bookmark.

These make GREAT gifts for ANYone! You can find them in my Etsy shop or my personal online shop for Luster Metal Works!

I can also customize the bookmarks with either an initial, monogram, word, date,or phrase for no extra charge. Just let me know in the note for seller section at checkout!
The bookmark is shipped in a gift box ready to give! How Great is that!

Also, please remember, these are made by hand not a machine. Sometimes there are little quirks to the product like a slight wiggle to one side or what have you. It makes the item all that more special and unique, just think of it as me, the artist, leaving my permanent fingerprint on each product.


hope-book-1 leather-book-1

Copper items are a great gift for your health, and here are some benefits of copper According to Copper.org:

Copper is one of a relatively small group of metallic elements which are essential to human health. These elements, along with amino and fatty acids as well as vitamins, are required for normal metabolic processes. However, as the body cannot synthesize copper, the human diet must supply regular amounts for absorption.
Copper combines with certain proteins to produce enzymes that act as catalysts to help a number of body functions. Some help provide energy required by biochemical reactions. Others are involved in the transformation of melanin for pigmentation of the skin and still others help to form cross-links in collagen and elastin and thereby maintain and repair connective tissues. This is especially important for the heart and arteries. Research suggests that copper deficiency is one factor leading to an increased risk of developing coronary heart disease.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Booze for Boobs Fundraiser #1

My cousin in law, Amanda, hosted her first “Booze for Boobs” fundraiser a few weeks back. The proceeds from this fundraiser go towards the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.

I donated one of my Hope Heart necklaces as a raffle prize. The lucky winner was Colleen Arnold (photo below)! If you would like to help by donating to her team, you can do so by clicking the link HERE.


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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Jewelry with a Cause

Cancer is a disease that is so prevalent in today's society that affects all of us somehow. I wish I had the ability to find a cure for this devastating disease, but unfortunately that is not something I can personally achieve. What I can do is make a line of Jewelry that I will donate 20% of its sale proceeds to The American Cancer Society.

I was inspired by my cousin-in-law, Amanda, who is doing the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. She has been hustling to raise donation money by hosting a series of fundraiser happy hours called “Booze for Boobs”. In order to help her cause I not only made a monetary donation, but I also sent her some of the “Hope Heart” necklaces as raffles prizes.



The next Booze for Boobs fundraiser hosted by Amanda will be:

When: Friday, September 25
Time: 6 pm - 9 pm
Where: Arctica Bar (downstairs)
384 3rd Ave NY, NY

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Yippee, My 200th Order!

I am so happy to announce that I have made my 200th sale on Etsy today! Even more fun, the purchase was made by someone living in Australia! Although the item was a ring sizing gauge rather than a handcrafted item, it is a item that hopefully will lead to a future sale of a custom ring.


According to my Etsy info, I opened my account in Nov 21, 2007. In reality I did not begin to sell items until February of 2008. So in 20 months I have sold 200 items. That averages to 10 orders a month. Oh by the way, I also was pregnant and had baby #2 during that time as well…and we are in a recession. So I am more than pleased with progress of Luster!

I continue to find it so amazing that I can be here in the cornfields of Illinois and make products that are sold globally. This is especially great for me since I am a little shy and also a stay at home mom to 2 young boys. Lots of travel right now is just not feasible or particularly desirable.

So where do I hope this is going? Well I try not to put too much pressure on myself with sales goals…but I would love to hit 250 orders by the end of the year. I also would like to start to spend more time creating once the baby is a little less dependent on me. I also want to do a few “local” show to get my name out there more. I am also proud that I have been able to make donations to charities both monetarily and product based on behalf of “Luster”. I plan to continue with that as my brand and company grows.

XOXOX Thanks for all of your support out there!

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Friday, July 10, 2009

Hearts on Fire

I have been busy hammering away at some hearts with a variety of textures. I will get them listed in my Etsy shop and soon on my website! I love how as I hammer the texture and form unfold.

Silver-wreath-heart-ox-3 Silver-wreath-heart-1Copper-wreath-2 Copper-wreath-w-sil-circ-1 cross-hatch-heart 1 Hammered-Heart-ox-3 Silk-heart-5 silver-heart-1

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Monday, July 6, 2009

Guest Artist for a Day!

Last week I was invited to be a guest Artist at the Wind, Water, & Light Gallery in Champaign, Illinois. I was thrilled to be asked….but was also like a deer in the headlights when I realized just how little I had in inventory to put on display!

I worked at a fevered pace to not only create lovely jewelry, but to also devise a way to display it all. Some how it all came together! And was was even more fun, was I brought my mini bench along with me and created new pieces as I was at the gallery! Everyone who stopped in was genuinely interested in watching me create.

As a result of this event, I was asked to sell items at that gallery, was invited to be a guest artist and do demos at other galleries, and have been invited to participate in a Juried Art Fair that had already closed to applications. I will be updating my Luster Metal Works website soon with all of the new Jewelry items and event dates!

Here are a few photos of the event!


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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Team Metalsmiths in Action

I am thrilled to say that I am now a member of the Etsy team “Metalsmiths in Action” by way of my Etsy shop Luster. Who are they, well here is the official blurb:


So who are the Metalsmiths In Action?......
We are a group of Etsy Metalsmiths and Metalsmiths-in-training who are:
~ Actively supporting, teaching, and promoting one another.
~ Working to bring knowledge of the art of Metalsmithing to the general audience.
~ Doing our best to give back to the community through our own charitable causes in a team store.
~ Actively trying to lead people into this art form and to help them expand their knowledge of metalsmithing skills.
~ Providing current information regarding materials, tools, supplies, exhibits, contests, schools, etc....
~ Providing an opportunity to share with other metalsmiths without the strict regulation of a jury process.
Come see our team website at:
Our Flickr site:
Our team blog:
Our Chat Forum:
Sponsored by Thunderbird.com (Thank You!!!!)

I will begin to feature product of each artist that are inspirign to me each week on my blog!


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Monday, June 15, 2009

New Earrings Listed Ready to Ship!

As promised I am still listing items in my Etsy Shop “Luster” that are ready to ship! Today I am featuring some of the earrings I now have listed in my shop. The copper earrings feature wire that my husband and I painstakingly removed from our turn of the century farm house. It was originally installed in the 1930’s during the time of rural electrification. I thought it was soo lovely that it needed a new life as jewelry.

sil-sil-hoops a cop-med-a Copper-dangle-A copper-wash-b cop-sil-cir-b cop-sil-dome-a cop-tab-sil-cir-a cop-wash-m-c lgsil-a sil-circ-2-a

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