Monday, March 28, 2011

self-discipline - the easy way (and more!)


I wanted to share something with you that I've been using for about a month.
Some people are so busy with work or other stuff that they forget about the importance of eating and exercising!
They just have not enough time for that. But food and exercising are really necessary and important. Not only for your energy but also for your health. Especially if you want to be able to do things on your to-do-list or to be more balanced.

The website that I wanted to show you is DailyBurn.com and at first I was confused. But you shouldn't! I will explain the basic things to you this website provides.

It helps you to monitor your daily food and exercising, your weight, your achievements. It sounds a little bit as if I want you to lose weight, but I don't! You don't need to be on a diet to use this site.
You can use it to look after your health and see it as a motivator for your challenges.
As I said before you can add challenges, goals and your daily routines. By adding food you ate through the day, you can see how much you need to eat to stay healthy and achieve goals you set at the beginning. How this website motivates you and trains your self-discipline I will tell you in the next paragraphs!

At first you submit your body facts like weight and your goals. Stuff this websites needs to provide the facts that you need to know.

So, let's say you want a balanced and healthy life. After adding your body facts the website tells you what your body is burning everyday and how much you need to eat. Like carbs, fat, protein, calories. Some people don't realise that they forget about eating important things on a daily basis and this site provides you an overview so you can always see “ah! Need more calories!” or “need more proteins!”

You basically add what you are eating the whole day and it doesn’t take much time. Just type in your food, how much you ate and the site tells you all the important things about it.
Moreover, you add how much you slept the last night, your workouts, how much water you drank. Therefore it always reminds you to drink 8 glasses a day!


You can also join challenges! For instance, to lose 5 kg or to run 100km on your cross trainer. After each session of your training you submit your distance you've walked or the loss of one kg in 2 weeks and you will see that you are getting closer and closer to your goal. And after you have achieved it, you win! You and the website celebrate your achievement and you can be proud of yourself!
Yes, this site trains your self-discipline!

The additional advantage is that this site is free! The cons are that, if you want more than just that, you have to pay. I'm using the free account and I'm happy with it but if you want to see how much vitamins you need to eat, how much fruits, veggies, etc. you have to upgrade. As well if you need a special eating plan, grocery list, personal trainer and so on. It starts with 5 dollars or so.

Use this site as your personal trainer and motivator! You can choose between workout plans (which you can adjust individually). Dailyburn.com tells you what you should do and you simply do it.
After you're done, you type in your results - like how far you walked, how many crunches you did etc. and you get the burned calories in an instant! Motivate yourself to burn even more on the next day!

I have to say I'm a little bit addicted to this site because I like to submit my things and see my results. After my exercising I open my account, submit my achievements and am happy that I did it!
Sometimes it is really hard to motivate you to exercise and this site motivates you a lot.

Trust me - after you start it, you want to submit your results! You do those sit-ups or crunches, just to type them in!

You can always disable your account or set your submitted things on privet modus! No worries about that you are stuck with it!

I hope someone is interested in this site and I could help a little bit! If not, it's okay!
I just wanted to remind you eat enough and exercise, if you work a lot behind your computer or in a sitting position!

Stay motivated and happyyyy!

~mako

Friday, March 25, 2011

Featured Artist: DixSterling

Our today's featured artist is DixSterling! She designs and create silver jewellery that is not only beautiful but also unique! Let's get to know her better and let yourself be inspired!
Look at me!
Tell us a bit about yourself!
What is your background?
I have been creating for as long as I can remember: sketching, painting, knitting, sewing ­­-- everything from slacks to wedding gowns -- decorating (and re-decorating) our homes and baking ridiculously ambitious cakes but I never made a living at any of it. For that, I was a film/TV publicist. About 12 years ago, I was between pictures and saw an ad for a silver jewelry-making course. I signed up and got hooked. I took several more courses but I’ve mostly been self-taught (ruined silver is a powerful teacher).  It still is not a career but, being semi-retired, I have been putting more effort into selling what I make.  I’m not sure the film business fits in with my brand – apart from developing my appreciation for one-of-a-kind creations. 
What hobbies or interests do you have?
Hmmm; I love reading, cooking, photography, travel, and gardening (on a small scale as we live on a floating home). 
Is there a specific design style that you really like?
My taste in jewelry runs to clean, bold and modern. I am finding ways to draw an audience that shares that preference. 
What drives you?
I’m driven by a need to create beautiful things with my own hands. 
Look at me!
What are you passionate about?
I have a passion for the materials I work with. I love the play of different surface textures you can create with silver. I’m also becoming mad for stones; not necessarily gemstones but stones with unique shapes or color patterns. 
Why did you choose your career / niche / topic / market?
I think jewelry making sort of chose me. I was captivated by forging and think the casting process is pure alchemy. But soldering, I confess, drives me quite mad at times! 
What are your goals?
I really hope that my jewelry will give pleasure to women who love beautiful one-of-a-kind items.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Working at my bench.
Tell us about your shop!
How do you describe what you do and why are you doing what you do?
I make jewelry because I can’t seem to stop and I sell it because I can only wear so much myself. 
What difference do you want to make in this field?
I think it would be presumptuous of a self-taught jewelry maker to try to make a difference in the field. I’ll leave that to the true artists. 
Describe your ideal customer!
My ideal customer is a mature, educated and self-confident woman. She probably enjoys travel and collects interesting objects from different cultures. She is to be found in the art gallery, not the disco. When I design for her, I want her to have a piece that will be as unique as she is.
What do you want to be known for in your business?
Creative design.
What 5 words best describes your aesthetic
  • bold
  • modern
  • unusual
  • textured
  • clean
Look at me!
What is about your shop that is unique? What makes your shop different? This morning (March 10) I checked and found 1,960,753 results for Handmade Jewelry on etsy. It is not easy to stand out in a crowd that big, but I try. In the film business, if getting our story told meant I had to stand in the rain at night for 12 to 14 hours, I did it. My motto was “Whatever it takes.” I try to apply that to my shop, too.  I want customers to be happy with their purchase. If they are not, I will refund. If they want a slight variation on an item, I’m absolutely willing to create it. And I never make exactly the same thing twice and seldom make something closely resembling. I want my unique buyers to have unique jewelry.
What’s your story & why should I buy from you? For many years, I painted in oils and acrylics. When we moved to a floating home, I realized there wasn’t space for three by four foot canvases.  It took me a few years to find silver-smithing, but once I did, I knew I had found a perfect way to create original works of art and, hopefully, provide something you would be proud to wear. 
What event or need causes them to search for what you offer? Which problem do you solve?
Look at me!
I think my work appeals to women who are searching for a jewelry item that is handcrafted and uniquely beautiful. It might be for themselves or they may need a gift for someone really special in their lives.
What is your message?
When someone sees my brand, I want them to know that it will provide something that is theirs alone. I hope that, every time they put their jewelry item on, they will feel a little glow of pleasure in how perfectly it reflects them.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

When the world says - let us help


"When the world says 'please let us help', extraordinary things begin to happen."

I'm sure I'm not telling you news, when I'm talking about the horrible situation in Japan. Also I'm not the first to tell you to help. You're probably thinking - "There are enough people helping!" Sure, there are many people donating money or helping otherwise but there are a lot of people like you out there. Wondering if and how they can help and even if their help is needed.

Of course nobody forgot other countries suffering - neither did I! The people suffering from tragedies in other countries are being helped by many people donating money, building schools and providing medications to them.

Therefore each and every one of us should help - even just a little bit.
Regardless whether it is a rich or a poor country you decide to help.

Imagine this - 1 person, maybe you (or me) - donates 1 dollar to Red Cross. Sure it seems little if you compare it to superstars donating millions, but don't stop imagining. We have your dollar, now 4,999 people decide to donate 1 dollar too and suddenly your little donation becomes a great total of 5000$! That's a lot of money to help people in distress.

Now if you decide to donate more than this one dollar it can even add up to greater amounts of money being donated. You make a difference - you really do!

But to help does not always mean to donate (money or food or things, whatever). I understand that it's not easy to spare money (or food or things) if you barely have them for yourself. Don't feel bad and don't judge people if they don't donate.
It is voluntarily and it is good if you decide to do it, but it doesn't make you a bad person if you don't (because some people just can't)

If you want to help and can't or don't want to donate - SPREAD THE WORD! I cannot stress this enough. There are a lot of people who don't watch TV or read the newspapers; they probably don't know anything about the situation in Japan (or any other Country)

Japan's emergency services are struggling under freezing weather, lack of medicine and unsanitary conditions. These make survival a challenge!


"I've had an upset stomach ever since I've been here but they tell me there's no medicine," he says, pulling a blanket closer around him. "But the worst thing is the cold. It was minus four in here last night. I guess it will be the same again tonight."

"I can't sleep at night and I have bad dreams. And then during the day, there is the stress of all this," she says, waving towards the floor-to-ceiling windows that look out across the devastated town. The school has become home to more than 1,000 local people whose houses were destroyed in the floods, even though the building was itself badly damaged.


"We have a slice of bread for breakfast, but I often give it to other people's children because they are hungrier than me," she said. "Otherwise, it's just rice balls and tea."

"I should probably eat. But I don't think there's anything left now. The doctors told us we should eat a little as often as we could to keep our strength up."


I know we tend to forget about how lucky we are. We have a family, a home, a bed; we can go to school and learn. It is normal for us to take all these things for granted.

But the life you are used to can be gone in the blink of an eye. Life is precious and we shouldn’t forget that.

Let us help and encourage each other to make our world a better place.

Please visit these sites, if you want to help!
redcross.org
jrc.or.jp

Friday, March 18, 2011

Featured Artist: Mel - faerienotions

Our today's featured artist is faerienotions! Let's get to know her better and let yourself be inspired!

Look at me!
Tell us a bit about yourself!
What is your background?
I'm a stay at home mom from Mississippi, didn't finish college, "life" got in the way.  I've had mainly office jobs in the past before kids, and when we decided it was time for kids, I knew I needed to be home for them.  I enjoy spending quality time with my family and I have plenty of time to work on my beading. 

What hobbies or interests do you have? 
I enjoy reading fantasy books, and I'm also an avid poetry writer.  I also enjoy hiking and crystal digging.
Is there a specific design style that you really like?
I like a wide variety of designs really. I tend to go with what speaks to me at the time.  I am working on new designs now that are more simple in style, not so complex.  I think the going trend is leaning more toward a simple design of late.
Look at me!
What drives you?
I find what drives me is the simple joy I feel in beading. There's a satisfaction in working with natural gemstones that I just can't get other ways.  I love the energy and peace I feel when I work with my hands.  It's a great distraction from every day life.
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about a number of things actually.  One is Autism Awareness, and you will occasionally see Awareness items in my shop. I have 3 children, 2 boys and a girl.  My 2 boys are on the autism spectrum.  I'm also passionate about my religious beliefs.  As a pagan, I believe that gemstones have metaphysical energy and I like to impart that information on to my customers. 


Why did you choose your career / niche / topic / market? 
I started beading for the sheer joy of it.  I started to receive so many compliments around my jewelry that I decided to take the big step forward into owning my own Etsy shop.
What are your goals?
My eventual goal is to grow bigger than Etsy and into my own store.  I would love to see other department stores carry my items as a small name brand.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years I would like to see myself in small retail shops or with a small retail storefront. 


Tell us a bit  about your shop!
How do you describe what you do and why are you doing what you do? 
I create handcrafted artisan jewelry using natural semi-precious gemstones.
Look at me!
What difference do you want to make in this field?
I want to show that there can be a purpose for jewelry, a function, not just a pretty look.

Describe your ideal customer & the world they inhabit.
I would like to think that I reach a wider variety of customers, that my "ideal" customer could range from a 20-30 something pagan, to a 40 something business woman.  Regardless of a person's belief in the energy that lies behind gemstones, the styles that I try to portray in my jewelry is aimed at all walks of life, from the young at heart to the older and more mature.


What do you want to be known for in your business?
I would like to be best known for creating jewelry that is not only pleasing to look at but that contains positive energy.


What 5 words best describes your aesthetic
5 words that would describe the aesthetic of my jewelry are Sparkly Cute Beautiful Glittery Fashionable


Look at me!
What is about your shop that is unique? What makes your shop different?
I think what makes my shop unique is the fact that I try to blend the pagan aspects of jewelry along side the trendy side.  I have a great sense of texture and color that I try to impart into each piece that I make.  I want every item to be fashionable and unique, and I want every item description to carry the information about the metaphysical beliefs of each stone.


What’s your story & why should I buy from you?
I started beading 6 years ago, quite by accident.  A good friend of mine gave me a necklace, and it broke.  Instead of telling her about it, I decided to try and fix it on my own.  When I discovered I had a knack for it, I ordered some supplies and gave it a whirl.  I soon discovered that it was a sheer joy to bead.  I have bipolar and Aspergers.  Having this outlet for me, a joy in my life, is a sanity saver.  It gives me an escape from the every day life I deal with.  I get such a high from working with natural gemstones.  The feel of them in my hands, the energy the impart to me, it brings me a peace I haven't found anywhere else.  With out it, I'm not sure where I'd be right now. 


What event or need causes them to search for what you offer? Which problem do you solve?
I would think my jewelry is sought out for a couple of reasons, whether it be the simple need for something pretty, or the more complex need for a piece of jewelry whose gemstones' metaphysical properties will help with what problems my clientele may face at that moment in time.  My jewelry would serve both needs well.


What is your message?
Natural gemstones hold a simple beauty and quality that can't be beat.  You can own jewelry to look your best and feel great about it as well.  Gemstones can work for you to make you feel amazing, as well as look it.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

new glass cabochon necklaces

Some new cabochon necklaces I've already added to my shop
Don't forget the article down below!
Thank you very much!
~mako

Friday, March 11, 2011

Featured Artist: Erin - Alle05

Our today's featured artist is Erin alias Alle05! Her interview is very inspiring. Let's get to know her better and let yourself be inspired!
Tell us a bit about yourself!
What is your background? 
My name is Erin, and I grew up in southern Connecticut. After going to college in Maine and working in Boston for a few years, I moved to southern NH. I live there now with my fiancée and our 18 month old cocker spaniel, Cody. For my full-time job, I work for a non-profit organization in Manchester, so I end up using my crafting to de-stress and relax when things are crazy. I don’t really have any formal training in jewelry-making, with the exception of a wire-working class that I just finished this week at the Currier Museum of Art. I always loved playing with crafty things when I was a kid- I would visit craft stores and flip through books about making jewelry, and then go home and try to recreate the projects.
Right now, I’m mostly focusing on beaded jewelry, strung on wire or silk thread, and I’m going to start adding some wire-worked pieces once I have some techniques a little more fine-tuned. My work varies from bold statement pieces to subtle or simple ones, but everything I make is something I’d love to wear myself. I’ve actually finished making something and then decided I love it too much to sell! I usually remake the piece for my shop and keep the original for me to wear.That gives me the chance to become a walking advertisement for my own jewelry, which is good!
My background fits with my brand image because both are slightly haphazard and whimsical. I do whatever I feel like doing at the time, and there isn’t much rhyme or reason to it.
What hobbies or interests do you have?  What interests and activities do you enjoy outside of your niche?
Beyond making jewelry, I love spending time with my dog Cody- he’s still really young and likes to run and play I also play the piano (I took lessons all through grade school starting at age 6), muck around with sewing, and love camping, hiking, snowshoeing, and generally being outside. My fiancée and I are house hunting, so that takes a lot of time, and I’m also going for my Masters in Organizational Leadership. I’m hoping to continue my career in non-profits since I really feel like I’m making a difference for people, though I’d love to be able to quit my day job and make jewelry full-time!
Is there a specific design style that you really like?  Do you prefer modern, futuristic, minimalist, or some other design style? How does the style you prefer compare to the style preferred by your audience?
Does all the above count as an answer?  Probably not J.  I tend to like more classic styles, with lots of pearls and gemstone beads.  This is an example of one of my favourite pieces, even though it’s very simple: 
Look at me!
I also love what a friend of mine has dubbed my “floating” necklaces, like this: 
Look at me!
At a quick look, the beads appear to be floating around the collarbone instead of strung onto the chain, and I like the effect that makes.
The audience for a seller on Etsy is so vast that it’s nearly impossible to try and figure out what they are looking for.  Instead, I’ve taken the approach of making what I love, and if someone else loves it too, then maybe they’ll buy it.
What drives you? 
I absolutely love the creative process behind making jewelry- it’s very cathartic for me to sit at a table in a bright room and look at my beads, putting together combinations and coming up with designs. I use it as a stress relief activity, or a way to procrastinate other things! For me, I don’t really need to work up motivation to make things.  Where I have trouble is after I make a piece, I have to photograph it, edit the photos, come up with a good title and description, figure out a fair price, etc. That stuff I’m not great at getting to, so I have a little pile of jewelry sitting by my photo tent waiting to be added to my site! If I could find a way to motivate myself to do that more often, I think I’d have more success.
Why did you choose your career / niche / topic / market? 
I don’t remember ever choosing jewelry or beading- it just happened!  I love jewelry, and I think one day I looked at a necklace I really liked and thought, “I could probably make that.”  Once you try and get into it, it’s impossible to stop.  When I started selling on Etsy and thought about building a brand for the first time, I took a step back and tried to look at my own work from a different perspective.  I knew that trying to create a brand image in my head and then conform to it would take me away from the things that I love, so instead I looked at what I enjoyed doing and came up with a style of photography, a customer service strategy, and social networking ideas.  Hopefully it’s been working, since it’s really tough to take an outsider’s perspective on your own efforts!
What are your goals?  
My pipe dream would be to make a living out of making jewelry, but I don’t know if I have what it takes to be entirely self-employed.  When my fiancée and I find our house, I’m planning to claim one room as my workroom and set up permanent beading, wire working, sewing, and photography stations to make the process easier and less time consuming.  I don’t intend to stop selling my work, and I am also hoping that all my efforts to get my name out there and improve my Etsy site will bring in more business in the coming years.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Let’s see… I’ll be married, living in a house that I own, and probably still making jewelry.  My styles change based on mood and season, so I would bet that my style will also change as I get older.  It’ll be interesting to see how that happens, and wheher or not I turn into my mother!  :)
Tell us a bit  about your shop:
How do you describe what you do and why are you doing what you do? 
I make jewelry because I love to, and I sell my pieces on Etsy because I could not possibly wear them all myself! 

What difference do you want to make in this field?
Oooh, tough question.  I suppose one difference I’d like to make is take the really competitive jewelry category on Etsy and make it more of a community.  Sure, we’re all competing for business, but we could benefit enormously from sharing, communicating, and helping each other!  I’m not saying all jewelry sellers on Etsy are cutthroat businesspeople, but there’s definitely some tension between the sellers.  I’d love to take the warm, community feel of some other parts of Etsy and bring that into the jewelry side.
Describe your ideal customer & the world they inhabit..
I honestly don’t think I can pin down the age or life of my customer, since they already vary drastically.  Most of them have been women (I think), but I’ve also had men buy things as gifts for someone else.  My jewelry has been worn by 8-year-olds, 25-year-olds, and 57-year-olds, all from different walks of life.  That’s one of the reasons I like my shop and that my style changes so much- there are lots of options and hopefully anyone would be able to find something in my shop that they would wear.
What do you want to be known for in your business?
Being friendly, having great communication and customer service, and going the extra mile to make sure my customers are satisfied.
What 5 words best describes your aesthetic:
  • Whimsical
  • Classic
  • Versatile
  • Unique
  • Bold
What is about your shop that is unique? What makes your shop different?
Lots of my jewelry can be worn for almost any occasion.  That’s the type of jewelry I always look for myself, so it’s also the kind that I make.  I don’t like making things that only work with one color outfit, or only work for going out- it’s much more economical to be able to wear the same necklace to work, at home, and out to dinner.
What’s your story & why should I buy from you? 
While a “rags to riches” story might be more heart-warming, but this is mine: I love making jewelry, and I love sharing my jewelry with other people.  If no one wants my jewelry, I’ll still be here making it because it’s fun.  I’m not in this for profit, I’m in this for the creativity.  If that appeals to you, then I’d love for you to visit my shop J .  You can find me at www.Alle05.etsy.com.
What event or need causes them to search for what you offer? Which problem do you solve?
To tell you the truth, I’m not sure why my customers start their search for jewelry and end up in my shop.  I’ve made jewelry for weddings, and to be gifts around the holidays, but I think the rest of my customers might be looking for just a little something special that they can treat themselves with.  My jewelry is accessible and affordable, so I think my customers look to it as a little gift to themselves.
What is your message?
I would love for my customers to feel the same lightheartedness and happiness that I do when I sit down at my worktable and start creating.  Jewelry is far from a necessary thing in life, but it makes me happy.  I want it to make other people happy too.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

New Necklaces

Some new Necklaces I've added to my shop!
I hope you like them!
~mako

Saturday, March 5, 2011

spring awakening locket

This is a collage of my new locket I've made in the last days. I like the combination of gold and silver. As if the sun shines on the cold wintersnow!
If you like it, you can visit my shop for more information!
Have a nice weekend everybody!
~mako

Friday, March 4, 2011

Strawberry Field

Today is such a beautiful day! I was so inspired to do something creative besides my crafting for my etsy shop. Therefore I took everything pretty I could find in my room to make beautiful photos! Those are not the best but I'm happy how they turned out!
Guess what this beautiful cabochons are waiting for!
As you can see I've used pink, green and white colours to create a pretty composition. It was very interesting to experiment how certain things can easily change the whole image!
Yummi yummi I got love in my tummy! ♪
 
Even though I was struggling with the lighting it was fun!
Get inspired by the beautiful weather and have a great day!
~mako

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sunray kissed flower necklace

Sunray kissed flower necklace Sunray kissed flower necklace Sunray kissed flower necklace Sunray kissed flower necklace Sunray kissed flower necklace
Some say spring is the time of love; I say it is the time for new beautiful accessories to love!
Do you have already a nice dress for the spring time in your wardrobe? I bet this necklace will perfectly suit to it!

The warm antique pink colour of the flower and the antique bronze charm will give you an extra ray of sunshine! Light and glowing you will shine on others and brighten your and the others day!

You can wear this necklace not only on the day but also on the night! Your date or a nice dinner in a lovely café is waiting for you!

Visit my shop, if you like this necklace!

P.S.: Other colours coming soon! I’m so excited!

~mako

Sneak a peek

Hey everyone!
It is already March… Do you look forward to spring? I do!
Therefore I’m working hard to make a lot of spring inspired jewellery to share with you!

I’m not finished yet but this should be a “sneak a peek”! I hope you like it!





You can follow me on twitter @makoccinos, then you will definitely don't miss the listing!
Have a great day everyone ^__^

Busy busy busy busy!
See you soon!

~mako

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