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="">

Monday, December 31, 2012

Ringing In 2013!

As we wait to welcome the New Year, I wanted to do something fun to entertain all of us who decided to stay in rather than go out. I chose this new ring design for my give away and seriously? What better way to welcome 2013 than with amethysts and sterling! 

Beyond being pretty, this ring is a treat because it is a fidget ring. That means that all of the beads spin and turn easily on the wire base and makes it an excellent piece for those of us whose hands are never happy if they are idle! 

All you need to do to enter to win is leave a comment on this blog post - how easy is that? Please leave your Facebook name or email address so that I can contact the winner easily. I am wishing you all the very best for 2013 and good luck!

Friday, November 30, 2012

A Grandmother's Ring Giveaway

In celebration of the Holiday Season, I wanted to keep with my yearly tradition of giving away a Grandmother's Ring. This is a special nod to my own Mama, who is the very best Grandmother (Grammy to our kiddos) in the world and who inspired the original of this ring. 

There is no limit (as far as I know!) to the number of stones this ring can include. The size of the crystals can be adjusted based on the number of overall stones. Are you a grandmother? Do you have a fabulous grandmother? Do your kids have one? Well here's a chance to win something special for her!

The ring will be made of sterling silver and genuine Swarovski crystals. Winner shall choose size and provide a list of the birth months to be included. Shipping is included in the prize and delivery is guaranteed in time for Christmas (as long as the shipping address is within the US.)

To enter, simply leave a comment on this post and tell me about the fabulous grandmother in your world! Best of luck everyone :)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Celebrating Thankful II

For our second give-away, I am featuring this beautiful gun-metal chain that includes twisted wire, flat wire and round wire links. The winner can choose earrings, as pictured (and the winner may also choose to adjust the length to their preference) OR they may choose a necklace made from this chain instead! All you need to do is comment here with your email address or Facebook identity so that I can contact you if you win. Good luck everyone!

I'm Celebrating Thankful!

Here is your chance to win a Byzantine micro-maille band ring! Simply post a comment here with your email address or Facebook identity so that I can contact you if you win. Winner will receive their choice of a band in silver fill, gold fill or rose gold fill in the size of their choice. You can also enter through Pinterest if you like. Thank you so much and good luck everyone!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Summer Swirl Ring You Can Win!

I can't even tell you how many compliments and comments this ring has received since I made it several weeks ago. I'm usually not a big fan of orange but there's just something about the swirls of colors in this lamp work bead that scream "SUMMER!"  The ring is wrapped with silver filled wire and orange and yellow Swarovski crystals so you've got sparkle too!  The sides are finished with my signature swirls and this is a very comfortable ring.  The winner will get to choose the size they need and shipping is included in your prize.

So comment here and tell me - when it comes to colors you like to wear, do you go more for the brights, the pastels, or the neutrals? Me? I'm all over the map! I love pink (like you didn't already know that) and I seriously love every shade I've ever seen! I do tend to fit colors to seasons though - I'm much more prone to the brights and pastels in the summer and spring but I find myself wearing a lot of neutrals in the colder months.

Please leave an email address or your Facebook name so that I'll be able to contact you if you win! Thanks everyone and good luck!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Better Late Than Never!

Well this post should have gone up days ago but between Sebastian turning 6 and all of the celebrating that goes with that, the disgusting heat here in Texas and tons of sales to work on / ship out, let's just say I'm doing good to remember my name! My ultimate thanks to Marcie Clark for saving me from the Mama Dog House and reminding me that I'd never posted this give away!

So here's the thing - Sebastian was determined that we would do a give away to celebrate his birthday BUT he didn't want to do anything we'd made before. We discussed it and here's what we decided - a pair of Romanov earrings in silver fill with pearls instead of crystals! Pearls because they are his birthstone and Romanov earrings because, and I'm quoting here, "Mommy, they really are the best earrings you make."

The winner will have their choice of pearl colors from what I currently have in stock and shipping is included in the win whether you are in the US or an International fan. 

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment here and please include either an email address or your Facebook name so that I can contact you if you win. So tell me - what was the best birthday present you ever received?