Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy New Year! 2014

Hi all!

Just wanted to share what I have been up to lately.

As you know from previous posts I was busy with designing jewelry for an online fashion magazine (TFBM Magazine).  It was/is a blast to be a part of a Magazine with my own designs.  Very cool!

Other than the Magazine...life is pretty tame but great at the same time.  I've been taking "time off" so-to-speak from designing and Internet "stuff" in general.  I have been experiencing a bit of "burn out" the past few months.  I do hope and pray to "make a comeback" real soon with my designing. 
So what have I been busy with?  In short: I have two kids (8 year old son and a 3 1/2 year old daughter).  These guys keep me plenty busy in addition to being a full time Elementary Art Teacher and wife.

Best Financial Move of 2013 for us:  Refinancing our home.  It has been a wonderful thing!  It was well needed and a blessing at the same time.  We were starting to drown in bills and then we got the idea to ask our mortgage person if it was time to refinance again...and we asked at the perfect time and what a blessing it was and is.  Thanks to that Refinance...we did have a Christmas and a good one!  Here is the link to our Angel in disguise Kathryn:  https://www.wfhm.com/loans/kathryn-youngs/index.page

We had a great Christmas this year and I hope you all did as well.  Cheers to a New Year 2014!  I feel it will be a great year!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Winter Issue of TFBM is Available!

TFBM is an online fashion magazine. 

The second issue has just been released and I am proud to say a pair of my earrings (MelanieR Jewelry) are on pages 94-95!

Here is the link to this Beautiful Magazine by The Fashion Business Mentor:

http://www.calameo.com/read/002669782f2ce37b38c22

http://www.calameo.com/read/002669782f2ce37b38c22
 
The Gorgeous Earrings are my creation for this photo shoot! 
I love the photography by JT Pro Imaging
Magazine by The Fashion Business Mentor's TFBM Magazine
Earrings by MelanieR Jewelry
 
 
 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Art Conference

Hi all!

I am an Art Teacher by day...not just a saving Jewelry Designer.  :-)

Last weekend I got to enjoy a weekend out with a bunch of Art Teachers from around the state (NC).  I had a great time learning lots of great things to utilize in my classroom as well as in my own Artistic endeavors. 

My favorite workshops I attended (I loved them all but these two were my favs) were:
*I learned about Polymer clay and "Steampunkery" (very cool..can't wait to make/design my own beads and supplies to use in my jewelry; as well as, a lesson for my older students in the Art.)
*I also got a greater grasp of what Zentangle(r) is and where it came from and the process.  Very fun and very "zen."  I can totally use this in lots of cool lesson plans and I will find a way to use some of what I learned into my artistic self as well. 

My favorite NON-workshop activity was simply walking around Downtown Raleigh at First Friday Night where there are TONS of Art Exhibits/Artists/Galleries, and so much more creative happenings.  It is rejuvenating for the Art Teacher and Artist alike.  This "walk" was so inspiring.  When I got home...I picked up a pen and paper and have drawn at least one drawing each day. Something I haven't done for  years.   I DO design/create jewelry and macramé wall hangings but this is a bit different.  So exciting to find my Artsy self again.  Thank you State Art Conference!  I look forward to going back again next year!

On my Own at home

Another attempt on my own at home

two samples that I learned in the Zentangle(r) workshop at the conference. 
These were guided by the Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT(r))
 
Have a great day everyone!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

NEW ONLINE FASHION MAGAZINE IS GIVING AWAY $600 IN ETSY GIFT CERTIFICATES!

TFBM Magazine Giveaway!


I am so excited to share a new online Fashion magazine with you, TFBM MAG! This magazine is packed with gorgeous editorials featuring independent designers (kids and adults), industry articles to help designers run a successful business, and shopping guides to encourage people to shop indie! The magazine is fully interactive so you can click away to designers shops and to industry sites!
 Here is the mobile friendly link to check it out! Enjoy and if you want to be involved in the next issue please see the back cover for details.http://bit.ly/1asZRsU

BONUS For the first issue launch there is also a $500 Etsy Gift Card Giveaway!  Plus 2 runners up will win $50 Gift Certificates! http://bit.ly/195OZ0W
 
I am proud to say my jewelry (two bracelets and a pair of earrings) is in this issue of TFBM! 
You will find MelanieR Jewelry on Page 80-81!
 
Best wishes and I hope one of my readers win this HUGE prize!  I could personally buy a whole lot of supplies if I were to win such a thing!  Imagine $500 to spend anywhere on Etsy!!!  Now, go enter..it is super easy!


 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Semi-Precious Stone Anklet Giveaway with Swarovski Crystals

This giveaway I am running is for MelanieR Jewelry's Semi-Precious Stone Anklet (could be Bracelet for larger wrist) giveaway.  The stones are Agate and Aventurine along side Swarovski bicone crystals.

Refer to the photos below for the semi-precious stone Anklet you are entering to win! No purchase necessary to win!  Just follow instructions...there are three opportunities for more entries! VERY easy!  Best wishes! Thank you for your entries!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Refinance just in time!

We called our mortgage lender a couple months ago.  Long story short: she was able to get us locked into a great loan at 3.75% which is great for us. 

We have been having a tough time lately with rising costs of everything (bills etc...) and not getting increase in pay.  With two children, etc...it just got tough.

With the refinance...we are going to save over $200 per month on our mortgage and of course you all know that when you refinance you get to skip a payment on the mortgage one month.  That is a lifesaver in itself.  Not only that...we had it timed so perfectly that we end up with two months we get to skip.  PHEW!  This is a HUGE blessing for us financially and we hope and pray to be smart and get "back on track" with the financing we are used to doing and live a little more comfortably.

Off topic:  The winner of the necklace has been notified and will ship out the necklace this week to them.  Once I ship that giveaway....then is when I shall start the next.  Stay tuned!

~Melanie

Monday, June 24, 2013

Yay! My first Giveaway here on T&C! For a Necklace!

Refer to the photos below for the necklace you are entering to win! No purchase necessary to win!  Just follow instructions...there are three opportunities for more entries! VERY easy!

Thank you for participating in my first BLOG giveaway! I have done giveaways before but only through my facebook page.  This is connected to Facebook but not solely.  Have fun! I hope to do a lot more giveaways if this one goes well.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Sunday, June 9, 2013

School's Out for Summer!

That's right!  It is that time of year..."School's Out for Summer!"  My son is now a rising 3rd grader and daughter is now 3 years old.

So what do we do for summer break?  To keep it frugal and fun...here is a couple of things I plan to do for my kids:

We will go to the Library twice a week. (FREE and they love it)

We will go Roller Skating twice a week. ($8 only because I only pay for my son to skate, daughter at her age is FREE and myself...I walk around with daughter so I don't pay rental right now til I get skates.  Not a bad price for a few hours, fun and good music.)

and...for now I am thinking about other ideas...Ideas anyone?  My summer with the kids is four weeks.  Several days over the break will be spent at Doctor Appointments and Dental Appointments and going to the Vet with our Pet poodle at least once.  It doesn't take much to pack a few weeks.

I will begin some Giveaways soon as well over my summer here and on my facebook page:  www.facebook.com/MacrameMelanie
Keep your eyes open! :-)

Take care all!  Happy Summer Break!
Sincerely,
Melanie

Monday, May 6, 2013

My Review for Turning off Dish and Turning on Hulu and Netflix!

Hi all!

Turning off the Dish:
In my continuing (on-going) efforts to lower our bills (which has been so hard lately since so much has already been lowered or turned off)...about a month and a half ago...I had our Dish Network turned off.  Actually, the folks at Dish were so nice and worked with me well.  They actually "paused" our service...costing us nothing to do so.  This means...we pay nothing per month for 6 months unless we call to have it "un paused."  No we do not have service; however, the upside is when finances or better or we change our minds...we just give a call and our TV is back on in 5 minutes (no set up fee, etc...keep the equipment, and when we turn back on...get the same price and programming we were paying before).  If we decide we need to keep it paused...we just call before the 6 months is up and add another 6 months...no penalty or charges.  For all of this...I say Thank you to Dish Network!

Turning on Hulu Plus and Netflix:
So, what to do with TV entertainment in the home and do we feel "cheated?"  Well, we hooked up Netflix and Hulu Plus to the Wii on our main TV.  Netflix has a great and wide variety of children's programming.  We are not movie people so I am sure at some point that will come in handy for us eventually.  Hulu Plus has been terrific for my husband and I as we can still watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report (a day later but a lot of times we watched on delay on our DVR for falling asleep anyways).  Also we feel we get the same benefit from a DVR with our favorite shows as we just wait a day later to watch all our shows so we can stop, fast forward, and rewind.  I actually LIKE the fact that Hulu Plus has commercials...it gives you the sense that you are watching live TV.  For our secondary TV, we purchased a Roku box which I highly recommend as the picture quality is Far greater than that with the Wii.  We are happy with anything but I do have to say that.  We did also need to purchase normal antennas for regular TV watching on both TVs.  We do have two other TVs in the kids rooms, but we aren't in a hurry for antennas for their rooms.  They never really used their TVs much anyways which is great.

We have been doing this for about a month and half now (going on two months about) and I have no regrets and do not feel cheated in my TV watching which was to be a concern but no longer is.  My household is happy, self included.

Happy Monday all!
Melanie

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Pinterest Boards

I realize I have "dropped the ball" a bit on posting new blog posts here.  I suppose it is partially because I have an addiction for Pinterest!  I pin a lot of money saving ideas and DIYs there.  Shame on me...I could have been blogging those finds!  My apologies.

I will start by simply giving you my direct link to the money saving boards right now!
(If you follow ALL of my boards...well, unless you are an Artist or Art Teacher..you may get annoyed as I am pinning lesson plans all the time.  That info is pretty cool also...but perhaps maybe just for me! :-) ) 

Here they are:
http://pinterest.com/macramemelanie/diy-and-how-tos/ (This is DIY and How Tos)

http://pinterest.com/macramemelanie/home/ (Home..stuff like detergent here..Awesome $ Saver!)

http://pinterest.com/macramemelanie/saving-money/ (Saving Money)

I have a lot of other boards as well...but the three above are dealing with the main topic of this blog: Thrifty & Creative in Saving Money!

Enjoy!
If you have a Great Money Saving Board....Share below in a comment so I can follow you! 

Money remains tight and I am always seeking more ways to save!
Thank you!
Sincerely,
Melanie