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A permanent farewell … from here

4 Sep

It took me about two weeks off from blogging to realize something: I missed blogging.

I missed it the way I USED to do it. Before I started to view Snap, Crackle, Pop as a way to help promote Jac & Elsie. Before I read too many other blogs and thought I needed to tell people what to wear and how to pair mint green tights with a coral shirt (not that I ever did this, mind you. I just thought I was supposed to).

I want to enjoy blogging again, and that means posting about things I care about, and it means being more personal and not being afraid to say things people might not like. Stuff over the past two weeks I thought it would be fun to blog about:

  • I can’t tell you how much I wanted to post something along the lines of, “There’s no better way to get a gal to donate to Planned Parenthood than for a politician to say ‘rape’ is different from ‘legitimate rape.’” Dumbass.
  • I’m on a hunt for bridal earrings, and it is a very fun hunt.
  • I saw a whole bunch of hate on the whole “Here is a pic of my kid standing on the front stoop before his or her first day of school” on Facebook. It got old, but it didn’t make me rage. Instead, what annoys the poo out of me is all this “Look how great of a dieter I am” and “Look how much exercise I do.” Being healthy is great. Bragging about it is annoying. And there’s a fine line between being proud of your accomplishments and being a braggart.
  • I want orange eye shadow, and I want to make it work.

So, ya know, some of the old, some of some new. Still me, but less forced.

Which is manifesting itself this way: I’m retiring Snap, Crackle, Pop and birthing Curious Jac. I’m not going to feel like I need a certain number of posts a week and instead will turn to it when I want to.

Curious Jac is for me, you see. It’s not for Jac & Elsie, or for blog linkups (but I’ll play, if I find one I like). It’s not for giveaways or sponsorships.

Just me.

If you’d like to come along for the ride, I’d just love the company.

SCP taking a break

20 Aug

You may have noticed things have been on the quiet side over on Snap, Crackle, Pop. Frankly … I’m bored with blogging. And this should be fun.

So I’m taking a break.

I may be checking in now and again to share some fun stuff (Jeff and I got our engagement pictures taken this weekend, so stay tuned for some of those in the next month or so), but consider this an indefinite and temporary leave of absence.

I’ll be back when my head’s more in the blogging game.

Until then, I’ll still be blogging periodically over at Engaged: The Blog. If you have an opinion on what to do when two grown-ass adults who don’t need anything have to register for gifts, I’d love to hear it right here.

 

New flat rate shipping at Jac & Elsie

17 Jul

For the past month or two, I’ve noticed an icky trend: More and more packages are taking longer and longer to arrive to their destinations. Yesterday, when I checked on the status of a package to the UK, which I sent July 3, the tracking information told me the package arrived in Chicago on July 4 … and it was still there.

Yesterday, in case you missed it, was July 16.

((blink blink))

Today, I received a convo from that buyer. The package arrived today. Soooo … someone clearly is having some issues at the post office.

The problem that creates for me as a seller is, once I ship an item, I can do nothing about how long it takes to arrive to its new home. Which is bullocks.

Now, I hear PayPal offers wonderful shipping labels with inexpensive tracking, which I had planned to implement as soon as I got my new studio set up. Well, it’s set up. And now … no one is using PayPal anymore.

Etsy began to offer a direct checkout option a month or so ago, removing the middle man all together — you can pay via credit or dept card straight to Etsy. Which is awesome. But now, there’s no easy way to deal with tracking short of going to the post office every time I get a sale.

Enter Stamps.com, my new favorite website on the planet.

For $15 a month, I get a free postal scale (currently, I’m using one that my dad’s lab threw out — it measures in grams and is scary accurate — it can give an exact weight of a drop of hand sanitizer, so it’s a bit much for weighing my 2-ounce packages) and … wait for it … FREE TRACKING.

So from here on out, Jac & Elsie shoppers will have tracking with all their orders for no extra charge.

With this change, however, I did have to adjust my shipping costs, from $2 to $3. But it’s not all bad, I swear: That $3 shipping is flat rate to anywhere in the world. So if you buy a dozen things, it will still cost you $3 for shipping. That’s not terrible, right??

I’m still in the process of figuring out Stamps.com, and I apologize for any hiccups over the next week as I grow accustomed to this new way of shipping. But I promise, it’s a good thing for you.

WOW these bridesmaid jewelry pics are late!

16 Apr

I recently got the opportunity to make some really awesome jewelry for two of my friends’ weddings. Their styles are oh-so-totally different, but I was so happy with how everything turned out that, naturally, I must share.

The first wedding took place back in November (NOVEMBER!! Seriously, how have I not posted about this yet???). Amanda was a very classic bride with a simple, pretty taste. She picked this gorgeous cerulean blue for us girls to wear (I was a bridesmaid) and picked my favorite Jac & Elsie bridesmaid necklace and bracelets for us to wear, complete with very sweet and dainty earrings. See??

This was the best pic I could find of the bracelet. The groom likes to take pics of himself being punched by unlikely punchers. Like me. (He no joke has pics of himself being punched by Penn of Penn and Teller, and by this guy.)

The second wedding was the infamous Mexico Wedding. Lindsay’s style for the event was very art deco. She bought all the bridesmaids’ dresses, and each one was different. As a result, each piece of jewelry was different.

Lindsay drew me some diagrams with ideas for the design, and I went from there. Here’s what I came up with. (All photos courtesy of Eryc Perez de Tagle.) (Also, this isn’t everything. I just snooped the pics and grabbed what I could that showcased the jewels.)

The bride and one of her sisters. You can find her earrings here.

The bride’s sister. Those earrings are not in the shop, but I can easily re-create them if you are interested. Scroll down for a clearer shot of her necklace.

The above necklace is an upcycled brooch. You know I love to make necklaces with those. If you’d like a similar one, just leave me a comment and I’ll be happy to work on something similar for you.

The necklace below isn’t in the shop, either, but again: I can make something similar for you if you would like one.

This is the clearest image I could find of this necklace. It features multiple chains in different colors.

I didn’t make anything from this pic. I just think it’s the greatest cutting-the-cake image E.V.E.R.

‘Jumanji’ by generations

29 Mar

Yesterday, the beau and I were getting a little before-dinner frozen yogurt (life’s too short to NOT eat dessert first sometimes) at my new favorite DIY yogurt shop. (I get cake batter with a touch of either red velvet or cheesecake and top it with pulverized graham crackers, Oreos and cookie dough.) (It’s really good.)

So anyhoo, we’re eating, and the TV in the corner turned to ABC Family starts to show, oh yes, “Jumanji.” It’s one of those movies I will watch every time it’s on, and I mentioned to the beau, “You know, it’s rare that a childhood favorite holds up through the years.”

I can’t think of how many books I’ve tried rereading or movies I’ve tried rewatching as an adult that leave me thinking, “I can’t believe I watched this crap.” But not “Jumanji.” I love Robin Williams, I love the magic of the story, I love the cheeky little monkeys on a motorcycle passing Officer David Allen Grier.

Feral Robin Williams as Alan Parish

When I said “childhood favorite,” I saw the beau’s face change.

Because, “Jumanji” came out when I was 12. And he was 22.

Last night, I had a phone chat with one of my closest friends. I’ve mentioned her on here before, she’s the gal I used to babysit for. She’s a freshman in college, and we caught up on a bunch of stuff after not catching one another on the phone for a while.

And I mentioned that I’d watched “Jumanji” and how it used to be one of my favorite movies. Her response: “That movie scared the crap out of me!”

Because when it came out, she was 2.

CLOSED: 500 sales! Which means: It’s time for Jac’s Favorite Things Giveaway

12 Mar

When I opened Jac & Elsie, it was on a whim. I hate to admit it, but there was little thought into anything when it came to opening a jewelry shop. A friend had shown me how to use a crimp bead and needle nose pliers, and that was that. After I made about a dozen beaded bracelets, I thought, “I can never wear all these. I should try to sell them.”

And so I did. On June 1, 2009, Jaclyn1423 was born.

In my first seven months of existence, I made 24 sales. I had a vague idea how to take photos, but I’d never heard of a photo box. I hadn’t yet thought of the money I could raise for organizations that are important to me. The idea of incorporating rocks, paper and scissors into a friendship set was more than a year away.

Somehow, I never got distracted. I never got bothered by any lack of sales or views, mainly because all I wanted to do was make jewelry. I didn’t try to sponsor any blogs or network in any way. It was just fun to have a hobby.

Between then and now, I’ve made 501 sales. By many standards, it’s not much. I’ve been open for nearly three years, and plenty of other shops with much fewer time under their belts have many more sales. But for as learn-as-you-go as this has been? I’m damn proud of the accomplishment.

I’m proud that Jac & Elsie jewelry has been shipped to Greece, Sri Lanka, Japan, Australia, France and more. I’m proud that a big ol’ blog with a ton of readers saw it fit to feature my Full of Awesome necklaces and get my little shop seen by hundreds of new eyeballs. I’m proud that one time, Etsy even saw it fit to stick a Jac & Elsie original on the front page on a Saturday morning.

I have no clue why any of that stuff happened. But I know lots of time and work went into it, and I know that I have more fun with this “hobby” than I ever thought possible.

Naturally, I want to thank you. By giving you stuff. Lots of awesome stuff.

One of the greatest things about Etsy — and one thing I never even considered upon opening my shop — is the community. Etsy sellers are often so supportive. They got your back and give you encouragement. They answer your questions and share your links and act like the coworkers you don’t get when you go into business by yourself.

Since I’ve been selling on Etsy, I’ve been buying on Etsy, and so many of these awesome, supportive ladies have agreed to help me celebrate my little milestone by donating some of their treats to:

Jac’s Favorite Things Giveaway

(Just call me Oprah, yo.)

One winner will receive the following goodies that are very tried and very true by moi:

A bandolier from Clever Hands:

A bookmark from Paper Planet:

A pair of earrings from The Peach Tree:

A ‘wish’ bowl from Elm Studios:

A vintage scarf from A Wild Tonic:

A card from Julie Ann Art:

An 8×8 photo print from Lola’s Room:

A rock/paper/scissors friendship set with initials from Jac & Elsie:

And because I want to give this giveaway some extra oomf, the winner will also receive some of my non Etsy favorite things:

Rimmel London Moisture Renew lipstick in Pink Chic

China Glaze nail polish in Purple Panic (Neon)

And a one-year subscription to Marie Claire magazine

So, now the reeeeeeally important question is:

Wanna win?

Mandatory entry: Leave me a comment, and tell me something fabulous. Like, seriously fabulous. Like, “Let’s happy dance all over the place because this is so fab damntabulous” fabulous.

Want some extra entries? Leave one comment for each additional bulleted entry you’ve completed:

  • Follow this blog in anyway you choose. Leave a comment and tell me how you follow it.
  • Tweet about this giveaway. Feel free to use this: I want to win @JacAndElsie’s Favorite Things Giveaway to help celebrate 500 sales!!! http://scracklep.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/4395/ Comment with the link of the tweet.

This giveaway is open world wide and will end at midnight on March 20. Random.org will pick a winner, and I’ll contact him or her. The winner will have 48 hours to get back to me before I pick another winner. 

Thanks for 500 sales, y’all, and here’s to some awesome changes coming to Jac & Elsie over the next few months!

(Note: If the winner lives outside the U.S., she will receive everything except the magazine subscription, which will go to a second place winner in the United States. I also invited shops owners who contributed an item to Jac’s Favorite Things Giveaway to enter. If one of them should win, she will win everything except the item she donated, which will go to a second place winner. I apologize for any confusion. )

My Favorite Things Giveaway is coming!!

3 Mar

As I type this, I am 13 sales away from 500!! To celebrate, I have a faaaaabulous My Favorite Things Giveaway in the works, with prizes totaling more than $100.

Once I hit the mark, I’ll post the giveaway with all the glorious details. Until then, let me give some love to some of my favorite Etsy shops:

You should love The Peach Tree because: Shipping is lightening fast. Quality and design is beautiful. Amy is a doll. Shipping is free. I own two pairs of Peach Tree earrings, and I love them both. They’re versatile and lightweight — and pretty!

You should love Elm Studios because: Products are so easy to customize. Personalized gifts are uber meaningful.  Craftsmanship is superb. Pricing is far superior to comparable products’. I have given two Elm Studios Online items as a gift — a bowl for my mom and a custom baptism wall hanging for my beau’s niece. Both were met with rave reviews.

You should love Paper Planet because: Items incorporate real wildflowers, so no two products are exactly the same. Sherry is a super sweetheart to work with. I have two Paper Planet bookmarks and think they look beautiful sticking out of a book with all their beautiful yarns and ribbons. Also, I’ve worked with Sherry on both Joey’s Auctions, and her generosity never ceases to astound me.

You should love Julie Ann Art because: The cards are quirky and creative. The designs are simple. The designs are hilarious. The sentiments are sweet without being saccharine or overdone. I’ve given two Julie Ann Art cards as a gift — for the beau for Valentine’s Day, and for a friend who just got married. I still contend they were the best things ever.

You should love Lola’s Room because: Cassia’s subjects are simple, everyday objects made beautiful. You know you love typewriters, books and cameras. Groups of images are sold in setsThey will make your bare walls smile. I have two prints above my bed at home, and I gave two more to a friend. Gorgeous!

You should love Clever Hands because: It’s hard to think up a truly unique item in the world, and I think Emily may have done it. Her bandoliers are an artist’s best friend. Her craftsmanship is spot on. Greatest. Gift. Ever. I bought one of these for the beau because he always has a sketch book and multiple pens and pencils with him, which get everywhere. He uses the bandolier a lot, slipping it around the book and sliding his pens and pencils beneath the strap. Handy!

You should love A Wild Tonic because: Lauren’s taste is stellar. Her prices are reasonable. Despite the fact that there are about 200 items in the shop, it doesn’t feel overwhelming. For a vintage shop, A Wild Tonic has a very modern feel about it. I love to make jewelry from vintage pieces, and I’ve bought some jewels from Lauren with “repurpose” in mind. The quality was wonderful and the shipping, uber fast.

AND there just may be a few non-Etsy favorites of mine included in the giveaway, too, and maybe a lil treat from Jac & Elsie. Ooooh, I can’t wait.

‘The Covered Bridge’ & Indiana poet laureate

2 Mar

My friend Angie’s grandfather, Arthur Franklin Mapes, who died when she was a toddler, is one of Indiana’s poet laureates. He wrote Indiana’s state poem, “Indiana,” and was quite a dapper gentleman, wouldn’t you say?

Arthur Franklin Mapes

I learned this because Angie runs Mapes’ website. I started to browse around it a bit and read some of Mapes’ work. It is, in a word, folksy. I kind of love it — surprising, because I traditionally have little appreciation for such structured work. I find poems with end rhyme tedious because they are so often forced. (I about go into convulsions when I hear 3 Doors Downs’ “Kryptonite” because of the following lyric: “You call me strong. You call me weak, but still your secrets I will keep.” Who friggin’ talks like that?? Anywho …)

But Mapes’ rhyme is not forced. His subject matter is very, well, Indiana:  the Bible, Christmas, Johnny Appleseed. The sweet simplicity of  “Forty Years” brought tears to my eyes.

What made me want to comment on this, though, was “The Covered Bridge”. It’s one of those poems that made me pause and reread it a few times. It “spoke to me” (I hate that phrase, it’s so dippy), and the idea behind it is one I find lovely: that a scene can be so beautiful, so spiritual, that you almost feel naughty to be marring it with your own interpretation of what you see. Like you’re somehow a voyeur to something magical that you’re not worthy to behold. If you’ve ever watched two people in love glance at one another in That Way, you know what I mean — it’s beautiful, and you can’t look away, but you feel as though you don’t belong there.

I always get excited when I find a new poet I enjoy. Who’s your favorite poet?

OhhhhhHhHhhhhHhh, Mexico

24 Feb

This gray, dreary, wet day should be more depressing than it is. Alas, my mind is still filled with Mexico.

A friend got hitched on Sunday, and the beau and I were some of the very lucky few to be in attendance. In the background was the Gulf of Mexico. We stayed at two resorts in Playa del Carmen, about an hour south of Cancun. In the dredges of February … that’s just about as fantastic as it sounds.

It was my first trek out of the country (unless you count Toronto for a story for the campus magazine in college, but I don’t), and I’m so happy to have the experience under my belt, because I definitely learned some things about traveling internationally:

1) Immigration lines are the devil. In the Cancun airport, Immigration is downstairs. The line wound through three of those back-and-forth line-dividers things you see in the movie theater, then the line joined together to wind through a narrow hallway, then it split into three to form one line up the three staircases, then it joined together to wind through another hallway, then it entered the hub of the airport where people deplaned from their flight, and then the line wound around the circular shopping area in the middle.

2) A beach that looks like this makes all your travel woes disappear:

3) When a friend in New York buys you jewelry supplies and says, “I’ll just bring them to Mexico since I’ll see you soon,” don’t say “OK” if some of the supplies look like this:

Yes, add that to the List of Dumbest Things Adult Jaclyn Has Ever Done. Lindsay had no trouble getting them INTO Mexico, but when I had to go through Customs during our layover in Atlanta, they definitely got searched. The TSA supervisor tried to rip one open, but to no avail. Because, you know, they’re not real bullets. They’re solid. And way the crap heavier than a real bullet.

“They’re jewelry supplies,” I explained. “That’s what the little loop at the top is for.”

“Jewelry?” she asked dubiously. “Do you have a bag you can check?”

“Yeah, I can check this if I have to,” I said as she continued to try to pull a bullet apart. “It’s pretty solid, I think, but you can try to smash it open if you want.”

“NO, I do NOT want to do that,” she said, offended that I had asked. “I think it’s OK, but please, do NOT travel with these again, OK?”

Noted.

4) I’ve always wanted to get hitched barefoot in the sand. It will never happen, as Joey on an airplane is not a good idea. If he flips out, the folks who thought my bullets were real may mistake his autism for terrorism or something. So I’m resolved that one day, I’ll wed in the Midwest. However, there is no way anything could be better than this:

I really like that Jason looks like he's saying "shhhhhhhhhhit" here.

5) This isn’t something I learned about traveling internationally, but I did learn it in Mexico. I should be wearing fire engine red lipstick. Lindsay, who is something of my favorite fashion gal, said with my skin tone, apparently I’m just the right shade for bright red, which I was convinced I could not pull off. It looks great on her, and she’s like see-through. Could it really be good on someone with an olive complexion? She put hers on me and stuck the tube in my purse. Looking at the pics, she’s right: I actually can pull of red lipstick. Who knew?

I can't tell if it's a dark pic or just my screen, but my lips are totally bright the frack red. It's no where near as obnoxious as I thought it'd be. And that's not my fabbo stole, but the bride's. I could have slept with that thing, I swear it. Also, you can't see them well, but she made fascinators for all the women at the wedding and boutonnières for all the men. They were both amazing. Apparently, at her suite later that night, I flung the feathers from my head because it was hurting me as I sang the song book of George Michael with my friend Andrew as we swung on the hammock. I have no recollection of the fascinator flinging, but you can bet I remember Georgie.

Best and worst Valentine’s days

14 Feb

As an uncontrollable sap, I can’t help but think “Where was I on this day five years ago?” or last year, or a decade ago. I’ve kept a journal since I was in second grade, and I love looking back “on this day” in previous years. It’s crazy to see how much has changed.

When I think back about today in years past, I’m struck by a) how much has changed in three short years and b) the fact that my favorite Valentine’s day memory has nothing to do with a boyfriend.

So consider this a compare and contrast, if you will — a look back at the Worst Valentine’s Day Ever, and The Best.

The Worst

As I was falling asleep last night, I relayed this story to the beau, marveling at how much has changed in three years. It doesn’t sound like very much time, but I feel like a completely different person than the Jac I was in 2009.

In early 2009, I got dumped. It came very out of the blue, but it was a very good decision. The fellow and I, while in a good relationship, were in completely different parts of our lives. We wanted different things, and if we’d kept it up longer than the six months we already had, bad things were on the way. He understood this better than I, and in January of that year, he split it off.

Joey in front of the fake window is one of my favorite "I'm sad" images ever.

Everyone deals with breakups differently. Me? I need a day to wallow in self-pity. Just a day, and I like to make sure I don’t have anything else going on so I’m not a mess for something important. For whatever reason, my first day to let myself be really miserable fell on a Saturday, on Valentine’s day. It did not make the day any worse or better — instead, it just made me remember that it was exactly three years ago today that I:

  • Went to Blockbuster at 11 a.m. in search of movies to get lost in. I chose “Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona,” which I’d never seen before,  and which totally blew, and “Closer,” which I’d seen lots and absolutely love. At the checkout, the cashier says, “‘Closer.’ Wow, that’s a depressing movie for Valentine’s day.” I chuckled, but when I got in the car, I thought, “I sort of wish I’d burst into tears just to make that guy feel like an ass.”
  • I had both movies watched by 7 or 8 that night. After, I had myself a good, solid cry fest. I was sad, sure, but I was lonely too. The ex and I had had a long distance relationship because I was in a new city. Without him, even 170 miles away, I pretty much had no one. The cry fest resulted in a panic attack, which I cured by jumping in the shower and laying in the tub, letting the water hit me in the face. In retrospect, that sounds like a great recipe for drowning yourself, but I was just trying to make myself get control of my breathing, and it totally worked.
  • At that point, I thought, “I have got to get my mind off this.” So I grabbed, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” and got lost for three hours. It was the best remedy to get your mind off a broken heart I have yet to discover.

The Best

My best Valentine’s day ever happened my senior year of college, in 2005. I had just split up with a long-time boyfriend, and my friend Jason and I ended up at our friend Lindsay’s. We ordered her favorite take-out Chinese, and we hunkered down and watched episode after episode of “Sex and the City.”

I find it poignant that my best V-day doesn’t involve a man. Aside from my past two with the beau, I don’t really remember many others. (I think a boy in college once made me fettuccine Alfredo in the dorm kitchen.) And for the last two years, the beau has taken me to dinner. We’ve exchanged small gifts and had a wonderful time. (The first year especially makes me smile because Jeff told me that’s when he realized how much I rocked — I bought him a pound of black, black, black coffee beans off an Etsy seller and a travel coffee mug that looks like a Starbucks to-go cup. He’s a total coffee nut, and the fact I managed to address that so well told him, “Hey, this girl is something special.”)

But hanging out with friends after getting out of a shitty relationship? It was great. I especially loved that, no matter how I paired off a gay man, a bi woman and straight lil me, you could not get a working couple. It seemed to somehow cement the idea that hanging out with friends on Valentine’s day is awesome.

Share your memories of your best or worst Valentine’s! I hope your day is full of exactly what you need it to be.

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