Tag Archive | Monica Dockery

2100 YouTube Subscribers!!

2100 Subscriber thanks

WOW!!! Thank you all sparkly bunches! I just reached 2,100 subscribers today over at my YouTube channel!! I’m working on more content for you all and hope to begin posting monthly on Sparkly Sundays! Would you like to see videos posted on the 1st or last Sunday each month?

Thanks so much for sticking with me as I’ve been remodeling my website and ramping up my jewelry business! If I get close to 2,500 subscribers, I will have another giveaway, so please be sure to share my channel, comment and “thumb’s up” if you like any of my videos over there. The more exposure and viewer feedback I get, the better my content can become.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend!! Thanks to everyone who is already a subscriber and to all my new sparkly fans!

Etsy Shop Review: Embossing Card & Embellishments Haul

Review Embossing Thank You

I have had great customer service before, especially from fellow Etsians, however, this shop owner blew me away!!

Divine Designs by Bonni has a wonderful scrapbooker’s paradise of an Etsy shop! I found her while searching for a Tie & Bowtie Darice embossing folder for an upcoming Father’s Day jewelry and card making workshop that I’ll be teaching soon. I also wanted to try out some Martha Stewart glitter markers, as her shop had a great price on them compared to Amazon, etc.

Not only did she include a beautiful handwritten thank you card in addition to gifting me 2 free embossing folders in lieu of a store coupon, but she also was abundantly generous with a slew of embellishments! My package was overflowing with sparkly goodness!

Please watch this short video thank you card where I show you all my goodies as well as a brief demo of the “blurb” issue from the markers. Thanks again, Bonni! I can’t wait to get into those items and get crafting!

DIY Rose Dangle Earrings Tutorial

Earring Tutorial intro 2

I just loved making these pretty rose themed dangle earrings, but my favorite part was creating a themed and functional flower vase earring card holder for this gift. I got to finally use some long lost card making supplies to create an earring card holder in a floral theme to mimic the earrings. I learned many new techniques such as using embossing powder and watercoloring with Crayola markers.

Card Due Floral Frame Labelled

For these dangle earrings you will need:

These earrings are ultra simple to make once you get the hang of the various tools and using your wrist to re-position as you either create a simple loop or a wrapped wire loop. I prefer the wire wrapped loops because they are more secure, more snug to the beads and offer a lovely spiral/ circular design element in the wrap. You can extend your wrapped loops to create a bead cap scenario if desired, but I would suggest only doing that for large beads over the size 18 mm.

Click here to view the earring jewelry making tutorial. Please follow it over directly to my YouTube channel, then comment, thumb’s up and SUBSCRIBE to help support my handmade business and future craft tutorial projects.

Have a sparkle-riffic day and happy beading!

DIY Mother’s Day Earring Card & Flowers

Mother's Day Collage Earrings FlowersI meant to have this posted yesterday, however, the workshop and website grand re-opening have consumed my editing time table. lol.

I created a special cardmaking project that stretched me a little bit outside of my regular jewelry making and instruction comfort zone. The end result taught me several new artistic techniques, gave me some wonderful ideas for future holiday workshops and allowed me to use several of my scrapbooking supplies that had been previously unused and just languishing in my closet.

I was asked to teach a Mother’s Day themed workshop at one of the local community centers here in El Paso at Galatzan Park. Although there was not a lot of advertising time to really get the word out, there were about 20 responses which will hopefully pave the way to future fun classes at that location. I’m excited for the upcoming Father’s Day Workshops at the Don Haskins and Galatzan Centers.

Galatzan collage

This project involves various regular and glitter cardstocks, floral and bright scrapbook paper stacks, Crayola markers, Daisy punch by Fiskars, Mason Jar  and Retro Flower punches by EK Success, embossing powder, Versamark clear ink, sheer ribbon, glue, foam dots, water, paint brushes, Bead Landing earring punch, and earring jewelry making components in a rose theme.

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For video tutorials on how to assemble this fun floral card vase and rose earrings, please visit my YouTube channel to watch, comment, like and SUBSCRIBE! Click here to purchase the rose dangle earrings at Etsy.

I hope everyone had a sparkle-riffic Mother’s Day!

 

URGENT: Update your Kindle eReader!

Kindle Update collage

My sweet cousin, having read my previous blog post on how much I love my Kindle, warned me the other day about an URGENT Amazon announcement for my reader. Thankfully when I clicked for more info, my Fire HDX 8.9 particular model was not on the list for those needing the IMMEDIATE UPDATE before the March 22, 2016 date.

If you purchased a Kindle eReader in 2012 or earlier, please visit Amazon’s announcement page to see model specs and instructions. If you don’t perform the update via Wi-Fi by March 22nd, you are going to have more inconvenient hoops to jump through to update your device. A snapshot from that page is below. So, just go do it NOW and don’t miss out reading whatever exciting books you’ve got loaded.

Device and Year Software Version Your Device Needs Update via Wireless (2G/3G) or Wi-Fi
Kindle 1st Generation (2007) 1.2.1 Use Wireless
Kindle 2nd Generation (2009) * 2.5.8 Use Wireless
Kindle DX 2nd Generation (2009) * 2.5.8 Use Wireless
Kindle Keyboard 3rd Generation (2010) ** 3.4.2 or higher Use Wi-Fi
Kindle 4th Generation (2011) 4.1.3 or higher Use Wi-Fi
Kindle 5th Generation (2012) 4.1.3 or higher Use Wi-Fi
Kindle Touch 4th Generation (2011) ** 5.3.7.3 or higher Use Wi-Fi
Kindle Paperwhite 5th Generation (2012) ** 5.6.1.1 or higher Use Wi-Fi
Kindle Paperwhite 6th Generation (2013) No Update Needed No Update Needed
Kindle 7th Generation (2014) No Update Needed No Update Needed
Kindle Voyage 7th Generation (2014) No Update Needed No Update Needed
Kindle Paperwhite 7th Generation (2015) No Update Needed No Update Needed

 

Now, although my device is not on this list for the MANDATORY March update, I did notice a new update for me on my Fire HDX 8.9 device’s page while logged in at Amazon:

We have a new, free software update available for your Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″ (3rd Generation). This update automatically downloads and installs on your Fire tablet when connected wirelessly; however, you can also manually download the software and transfer the update to your device via USB cable.

I’ll probably go ahead and sync mine before the mandatory date even though it’s not required for my Fire HDX 8.9 device- just to be sure I’m all set.

On a similar note, I’ve been asked to do 2 more book reviews. One is along the fantasy realm and the other is an SEO strategy. I’ll be sure to update you when I write those. So, I’ve got to get busy reading instead of all this website launch and tax preparation. lol.

stories sparkles smiles kindle

Get over to Amazon and update your Kindle device NOW!

Have a sparkle-riffic day, everyone!!

Take a Chance on Doing What you Love!

Sweet sarsaparilla! I love this old speech! Jim Carrey expresses the key reason why I’m still holding out to spread more of my handmade sparkles online even though the bead store dream I previously envisioned had too many risky overhead pitfalls.

do what you love orange

The Struggle is Real

I’ve always been a responsible person, working multiple jobs at one time for many years while simultaneously earning my business degrees. Many of my jobs have been in the administrative and accounting fields where using my creativity would do nothing but get me into trouble. lol.

I have FINALLY been able to focus on my new jewelry website launch and re-branding. Transitioning from a hobby to a business is scary with lots of steps involved! I sometimes let my guilt get the better of me at taking this time off from working a full time job, but then I remind myself of exactly what Jim says here.

For those people who do not know me, I was raised by my grandparents after both parents left my little sis and I for their drug addictions. We were saved by our grandparents. The reality was that we were a very real burden for them to contend with, which made anything we asked for seem selfish in our situation when compared to the basic necessities and a safe environment. A fact that is lost on most kids, especially those today that think they all need iPads by the age of 4! (To be fair though, in my day “it” was a radio that could play cassette tapes and I was about 11 then. I’m old). I do not share this background for pity; I say this to explain why I have previously chosen “fear disguised as practicality” the way that Jim describes it.

It has taken almost 43 years for me to be brave enough and to have achieved a small measure of security to pursue this creative opportunity. My husband has also been an extremely hard worker and has pursued his career goals to help bring us to where we are today. While I’m usually comfortable in the background of my own life, it is thankfully my opportunity to shine.

The timing has never been right before. We have always struggled financially, especially after moving cross country, huge remodeling costs and experiencing the housing crash with the economy. Employment is difficult to find. With our recent change of state and my graduation, the timing has finally aligned with my ever growing bead collection.

Sparkling Ahead

So, for the first time EVER in my adult life, I am allowing myself the chance to do something unexpected, something that I LOVE and fills my heart with happiness. I want to CREATE themed handmade jewelry designs that are uniquely reflective of people and helps them to recognize their sparkle! The world can be so frustrating, full of misery and uncaring. I can relate to the need for some elation and tranquility. Bringing out your inner sparkle thrills my soul! Win win for us both! lol

home made bead jewellery making as a hobby

 

Things may not work out, but at least I can FINALLY say that I am pursuing a creative path that I am passionate about after ignoring the dreams of my youth! This sparkly jewelry venture may seem small to most people, but it is HUGE to me!

Buy Handmade and Spread the Sparkle!

I am thankful for your support in my handmade business, as it is helping to feed my cats right now and elevating my confidence! Eventually I hope it grows enough to feed the hubby and I, but the cats do eat a lot already! lol.

Pursue your passion, everyone! Whatever it is, as long as it’s not life threatening and brings you joy! Life is too short to always feel left out of the fun! (A sparkle-tastic lesson learned from my Twilight party planning days). And if a creative path is not for you, please help support your friends and family in their passions. Buy handmade and shop locally. Each time you support a person in their entrepreneurial venture, you are helping someone achieve their dreams while taking some of the loot away from big box stores.

support artists

Now back to work on my website launch coming soon May 10th! Have a sparkle-riffic day!

Reading and Relaxing with my Kindle Fire

stories sparkles smiles kindle

I have experienced a hiatus this past year from full time employment. After our move to Texas, we have been dealing with home remodeling disasters and my hubby had a few surprise surgeries. There have also been many small business startup projects involved in transitioning my handmade jewelry from a hobby to a business.

Sometimes these obstacles have become so overwhelming, that I had to force myself to take a breather and revisit a relaxation technique from my youth. Reading!

Peace Love Books Frame

Instead of hitting the library or begging friends for a book exchange “like in the olden days”, I went all modern and decided to investigate more of what my Kindle Fire could offer. (I still love hard copy books! I have 2 enormous bookcases full, even after recently donating several).

About 2 years ago, shortly before relocating, a college professor required a text in a business course which was no longer in print and only available via Amazon Kindle. I checked out Amazon’s $99 deal. I ultimately decided on the pricier Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″ 64 MB so that I could access WiFi and use it as a tablet. We are tech slow at my house and have never had a tablet before. No, not even an iPad!

Choosing between the iPad and Kindle was difficult. Almost everyone that I knew at that time all had the iPad. Only one friend had a Kindle. In researching the internet, and polling friends and colleagues about their devices, I opted for Kindle mainly because it was more economical and at that time, had a larger screen (8.9″ HDX touchscreen display, with 2560 x 1600 resolution at 339 ppi, 100% sRGB color accuracy, video playback up to 1080p, max brightness over 400 nits, Dynamic Image Contrast, reduced glare and advanced polarizing filter). I also didn’t want to have to install an Amazon Kindle app for an iPad to read my college textbook (the main reason for this purchase). This was at a time where I was clueless about the great menagerie of apps and my perception that process would be complicated.

This seems like such a lifetime ago, because both my husband and I now use the Kindle Fire for so much!

  • We like to play the free versions of the admittedly addictive Tetris, Candy Crush and Soda Saga games, as well as my personal favorite game…Disney’s Frozen Free Fall.
  • I have rediscovered my passion for reading, thanks to several great series referrals from a sparkle-tastic repeat jewelry shopper and bestie. Shout out to, Lindsey!
  • As a result of reading and leaving Amazon feedback, I have been sent a few book review requests from new authors or their marketing firms. That opened up a whole new genre to me that I never realized I might enjoy as a 42 year old hag, uh, I mean woman. Can you believe….young adult fiction? Me neither, but give it a try!
  • We figured out how to “fling” movies from my Kindle onto the TV via our existing Amazon Fire TV box . It syncs beautifully. (I did feel as crazy as Gary Busey initially figuring this feature out- lol).
  • Sometimes when I want to remember story time as a child, I like to be lazy and switch over to the text-to-speech feature which lets my Kindle read my book to me.  (You don’t have to buy the expensive Audible versions of books. The Kindle voice isn’t as animated as a paid narrator, but it gets the job done).
  • The camera is front and rear facing with tremendous clarity, so snapping photos or videos is easy and a handy alternative to my iPhone camera.
  • When it is time to do a little work, I can even do marketing research and YouTube video training for my handmade jewelry business.

So, not only do I now thank the college professor for suggesting an out-of-print textbook (which I wasn’t so happy with at that time), but I also thank Amazon for creating this miracle device at an agreeable price (about $600 less than iPad in 2014). My Kindle has most of the same functionality as the ridiculously expensive and possibly overrated iPad. Eventually I will probably write a more informed comparison of the Kindle Fire HD  vs. iPad; as I may still purchase an iPad later to use as a register for selling my jewelry at craft fairs in addition to my iPhone.

If you’re interested to know what books I have read on my Kindle, please leave a comment and I will post a blog list for you.

Have a sparkle-riffic day, everyone!

Disclosure: Some of the links contained in this blog post are my Amazon Associates affiliate links. I may receive a small affiliate compensation should you click through and purchase at Amazon’s website. Thank you in advance for helping to support small businesses that utilize various affiliate revenue sources such as this Amazon Associates program.