Hello and welcome to my blog! My name is Karen Snyder and I've been a crafter for about as long as I can remember. I am a stay-at-home-Mama of two beautiful children with a husband who makes my dreams possible.

This blog is about all sorts of crafting. I am a paper-crafter from early days, a jewelry-maker with an unending obsession for chain maille. I make chain maille purses, many of which will be chronicled in this blog as their future owners await their completion. I love metalsmithing. I am an indifferent beader and don't get me anywhere near seed beads... they scatter, screaming to get away from me. I love to try new things, have a short attention span so if its a long-term project... I'm probably not doing it LOL.

If you have questions, ask. If you have tips, share. Same with suggestions - share! I want this to be a great forum for people to brainstorm and problem-solve with a good attitude. Crabby Apples need not respond, this is a feel-good kind of blog :)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Celebrating Three Years on Facebook

It's hard for me to believe, some days, that I've had an active business page on Facebook for three years already! The medium has changed so much in that time and my page has grown in ways that amaze me. I can remember when I struggled to achieve that first 100 fans milestone and today, I'm proud to say that my fan count is at 4,530! WOW! In three years! 

I have said it before, but it bears repeating: I have the best fans, a lot of whom have become friends, that an artist could ask for. You cheer me on through tough new projects, you bring me custom ideas that turn into new avenues for me and you have supported me through some tough personal times. The last year has been especially hard - my husband traveled almost non-stop and I had to learn how to be a single mother while he was gone. I've always said that single parents have the toughest job in the world and now I know that I had it right! My hat, as always, goes off to those of you who do it alone, day in and day out, and haven't ended up in the loony bin. I can't tell you what it has meant to me to have the support and encouragement of my fans and friends to help me through the learning curve, exhaustion and sheer uncertainty of going it alone as a parent. Thank you, all of you, from the bottom of my heart.

I was asked today, rather snarkily in fact, why I do so many give aways. I nearly got snarky right back, and I can DO snarky pretty handily, you know? But instead, I answered with the truth. I do it because I love to do it. I love the joy of giving to others, of possibly making someone's day brighter with a simple gift. I love to give back to the people who have given me so much and by that, I mean the glorious Facebook community who makes my page so much fun every single day. I am grateful for the extra income I am able to bring to my family and I use a small portion of my profits to give back to the ones who brought the profit to me. 

See, that wasn't snarky, was it? LOL!

So I bet you are wondering about that picture at the top of this post, right? Well I told y'all  that there would be one major give away this week - one that would NEVER happen again and one that you would not want to miss. I wasn't kidding around! Yep, I am giving away a PURSE!

Now, let's all just take a minute here to breathe. If you are feeling light-headed, put your head between your knees and focus on your breathing. If you just spit your drink across your computer screen, go get one of those screen wipe thingies so it doesn't get sticky and ruin your computer. If you want to go outside and whoop and holler, then now is your chance! I'm going to go clean up the entire glass of tea my daughter just spilled.

Okay! Everyone back with me? Good. Now here's what you need to know about the purse you have a chance to win:

1. It will be custom. It will be bag #23. It will be signed, numbered, have all the documentation to prove that it is is OOAK (one of a kind) and an original Mini Maille Bag.

2. You and I will work together to create your piece. It will measure roughly 4 1/8" in length x 2 1/2" in width. It will hold a credit card, your ID, some cash and a lipstick and that's about it. If you want it to be bigger, you are welcome to pay the price difference to make that happen.

3. You may choose from the colors I have in stock, which are bright aluminum and red, green, blue, gold, pink, and black anodized aluminum. If you want a color other than what I have in stock, you are welcome to pay the price difference to make that happen.

4. You may choose to have it woven in a pattern with several colors. If you want to include a color I don't have in stock, you are welcome to pay the price difference to make that happen.

5. I will choose the chain maille pattern, period. Depending on what we come up with for your design, I may choose to do the strap from pre-made chain, hand-made chain, leather or a combination of those things. 

6. You can choose to have the bag lined or leave it unlined. If you want it lined, you may choose from the fabrics I have in stock. If you want something different, you are welcome to pay the price difference to make that happen.

7. It will take some time to make your Mini Maille Bag - possibly as long as four weeks depending on the design. It will be entirely hand-woven by me, will have to be tumbled and sealed and I will have to create the documentation. I will have orders to complete while I'm making your bag so I can't work on it non-stop until it is finished. If you think you won't be okay with waiting that long, please don't put your name in the hat.

Comment here - that's all you need to do to be entered to win. Tell me what you think you'd want your Mini Maille Bag to look like if you win! You can also comment on the Pinterest post here for a second entry. If you Tweet about this, make sure you tag me at @OSebastianJewel and it will count as a third entry. This give away will close at midnight on Saturday, June 22 and the winner will be announced everywhere on Sunday afternoon, June 23. Good luck everyone and thank you for three wonderful years on Facebook <3 font="" nbsp="">