Thursday, December 3, 2009

Working a double

I just realized that I've worked double shifts every day this week! I've got the "real job" from 9-5, then I rush home and design from 6-2 or later. I'm starting to develop those blood-shot eyes, but it's all in the name of UniqueLA! Don't have much time to photograph the new stuff, but here are some shots I took with my blackberry (my new WHITE blackberry mind you since my last one had a cracked screen and I couldn't get it fixed. That dented the wallet).

Brand new banner, completely handmade!

Satin bow necklaces with salvaged chain


Mmmmm, I love this one. Found a container filled with
metal carousel horse sculptures at Rags to Riches.
I made a black version of this too without fringe.


Ode to Russia. How many ways can inform you that I love Russia?


Come to Unique LA this weekend, I'm at booth # 5016, near the photo booth area!

Friday, November 20, 2009

A look at what's to come

As it always is, this time of year is nothing less than hectic. There have been some pretty tough days after the passing of my loving Papa, as well. I really owe a lot to my family, they are the most wonderful people in my life. My friends are amazing too. I feel closer than ever to all the people that I know and love.

....that being said, I've been completely inspired. What truly makes me happy is using my hands to make things for people, and that's just what I've been doing. With Patchwork Long Beach, UniqueLA, and the Hibbleton Sale (more info soon) coming up, my weekends from now until Christmas are all booked up with projects and shows.

So what's to come? The list goes on, but while my back has been out of commission for the past week, I've been on the couch almost every night with an ice pack and a bejeweled beginning of a knuckle ring. I think I started about 20 last night! I'm anticipating a lot of interest in them at UniqueLA since I can custom-size any ring at my booth, and they range in price from only $10-$25, much more affordable than the metal ones that other vendors will be selling.

These Lovelies were made using some bric-a-brac
donated to me from the one and only Gen Lewis

Jewel-toned jewels are my favorite! :)
I'll have plenty of them finished soon, too.

If you're planning on attending any of these holiday craft shows, but sure to let me know (send me an email at so I can tell you which booth number I'll be at! I have a limited number of free-wrist bands as well for UniqueLA so if you contact me soon, I could get you one. Hope everyone has a "Fan-dabi-dozy" weekend. (You can thank my scottish co-workers for that slang).

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Holday Preview

You know those nights where you accidentally start drinking coffee at 9pm, and then you freeze your butt off in your studio until 2 am while watching Lara Croft Tomb Raider because you have this incredible burst of creative energy? No, you don't know what I'm talking about?
Well, I had one of those experiences last night. I'm paying for it today, I'm a little loopy. But I have to say, I'm pretty jazzed on my latest edition to my array of handmade treasures. I've tossed around the idea of using metal strips and wire for cuff bracelets before, but I finally made a series, and can I say, I LOVE it. What I've come up with are completely adjustable cuffs that are not for the "costume jewelry faint of heart." Each one is a bold statement piece. Here are just a couple that are almost finished, but expect to see a slew of them at my upcoming craft shows including Handmade Brigade (this sunday), Patchwork, and UniqueLA.

Skoulture at it's finest. ohmygoodnessilovethisonesomuch!
I'm going to have a hard time ever parting with this one.

Skoulture cuff: materials include a Sunburst brooch and layers of
vintage buttons and neon orange rhinestones with a diamond-esque cut.

Skoulture cuff

Alice couture cuff with a Tim Burton Flair

Alice couture cuff materials include black lace and
checkered vintage buttons, layered with the collage patch.

and of course I didn't forget....

New Knuckle Rings
including several new "triple threat" 3 finger versions.

NOTE: None of these items are listed yet, so if there's something that strikes your fancy and you would like for me to place it on hold for you, I will be happy to! Otherwise, see them in person this Sunday from 11-5 at The Camp for the Handmade Brigade of OC Indie Craft show.

Happy Halloween, too.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

S & 21 & M

I don't know if my latest fascination with the things I bought from is because of the whole October Halloween thing, or if I'm channeling a dominatrix....but it sure seems like the latter. Don't worry, it's not the S&M culture I'm interested, it's the the nod to black leather and spikes I'm more interested in! I've been obsessed with these YSL cage shoes ever since they appeared in Elle Magazine. Maybe if I didn't pay rent for 2 months, I could afford them. But Alas, Forever 21 came to the rescue.

Alessia Cage Pump $26.80

Also picked up this gem,
Pyramid Studded Belt for a whopping $6.80

Don't you think it will look nice with this?

Black Pyramid Spike Triple Threat Knuckle Ring from my etsy shop

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


When I got home from work yesterday, my streets were filled with crinkly orange leaves and the wind was beyond a doubt eerie... and it directly inspired me to clean up my studio and then work on some seasonally influenced pieces!

I would have to put Alfred in my top 5 favorite filmmakers of all time. Some of my favorites of his films include The Man Who Knew Too Much, Vertigo, and The Trouble With Harry. Fortunately, you can catch dozens of "Hitchcock Presents" shorts on Hulu. (I highly recommend!)

I've added 2 new Hitchcock-esque pieces to my etsy shop and I currently have them as my featured items, along with my favorite Tippie Hedron Necklace. I'm wearing the Brooch today!


Hitchcock Bronze Brooch - $20


Hitchcock SIlver Ray Necklace - $20

As if the leaves and the wind weren't reason enough to believe that it is October, while walking to my car this morning, there were Ravens visible from every angle. They're such fascinating creatures. These two were preening each other on the telephone wire directly above my duplex.
Happy October!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Bling Rings

So Fall is here, officially. But in Southern California, we've been having some of our hottest days it seems. All I want to do is reinstate my leggings, boots and cardigans, but it seems like it's going to be a while before that can happen! Fortunately, jewelry doesn't know the difference between hot and cold, so big fall statement jewelry can tie me over until it's not too hot to put my Frye boots back on!

Bling Rings!
They're all completely hand-sewn to adjustable bronze ring bands.
I'm in the process of loading them to etsy 1 by one. They're affordable too! $12 each
(Great stocking stuffers)


Caged Magenta Bling Ring

Royal Blue Lion Bling Ring

SOLD Elk Lodge Bling Ring

Horse and Buggy Bling Ring

SOLD Square Gold Filigree Bling Ring

Chained Floral Bling Ring

They all measure about 1.5" in diameter.
Holidays are fast approaching, I will be doing my best to flood my online store with plenty of beautiful new creations when I'm not vending at any of the Indie craft fairs.
To see where I'll be next, check out the top of the right hand column where I've listed my shows.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Etsy Picks of the day

Feeling Blue.....
But only in color.
Royal Blue to be specific.

Lynchburg Blue Cameo Rose Bracelet

I bought the chain for this lovely piece while I was on a trip to Lynchburg, Virginia. I bought it before witnessing the marriage of two people I hold very dear.


Wouldn't these 2 pieces look lovely together?
I'm already stocking up for Christmas.
I'm starting to think like a retail associate!
Flashback to my Michael's Arts and Crafts days.

I am lucky enough to meet with the people involved in 2 things I love...
Crafting, and playing music.
Dinner and planning meeting with the HBOC
(handmade brigade of Orange County)
and band practice with Good Avery

It's going to be a great day

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A gloomy Day

The friday before leaving for my business trip to New Orleans, I had a few extra hours to play around with red lipstick, as well as styling my jewelry. I can't wait to have a real photo shoot with a stylist and make-up artist!

Dress, Forever 21

Victorian Draped Couture Necklace
Ann Taylor Blazer, hat by It's the Little Things

Dress by Zara Basic

Sequined shrug by Betsey Johnson (Thanks Jojo)

Skirt from Anthropologie (the same one that Sharin from the 
Raveonettes wore when I saw her open for Depeche Mode)

The next Big thing I am preparing for is the Orange International Street Fair during Labor Day weekend (September 4-6)I'm so lucky to be sharing a booth with 2 lovely ladies....Elsie of Namaste, and Derya from Jewelera. I'm sure we will keep each other going for the duration of the 3 day show (the most days I've ever vended in a row). But, I'm sure the abbleskivers, sausage, and beer will help keep me going! I hope to see everyone there. Expect mostly items priced between $5 and $20 from me!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Generation: WorldWideWeb

Iced Matryoshka doll necklace
Isn't it lovely? It's the newest item in my shop


I just had the privilege of answering a few questions for a piece a college friend is doing on online marketing and promotion of artwork and I thought a few of the questions were interesting, so here are my answers!

If you could, please give a brief history of your artistic endeavors. "Been painting for 10 years," what you studied in school, etc.

I'm pretty sure that my gene pool with the combination of my extensive past in Girl Scouts helped to shape my artistic endeavors. Arts and crafts have been such a huge part of my life ever since I can remember. Being an only child, I would have to entertain myself a lot!
It started with drawing pictures of mermaids and princesses. Then I wrote stories and illustrated them myself. (We're talking age 6-10 here). Once I started playing the violin when I was 9, my creativity shifted a little more to the music side, but the art still came. Towards the 12-teen range, I was sewing all the time. My Grandma and Aunt taught me how to use a sewing machine and how to read patterns (even though I didn't have much patience for them). I was a thrift-store junky...buying dresses and other clothes and then altering them with my machine. Once I got to college, I was mending people's clothes, fixing holes in jeans, creating halloween costumes for dorm-mates (a giant bunny costume and a snow-white dress). Then I started making tote bags and selling them. I'd say the "entrepreneurial" side of my crafting came when I was about 20. That's when I began making multiples of certain items and I started to research fashion and the indie craft movement. I joined etsy in 2006, but I didn't actually list anything until over a year later because it was still a fairly new site and I didn't exactly understand how it worked. In the past 2 years ever since graduating from College, I've become an avid indie-crafter, selling several items a week on my etsy site and vending at events and craft shows a couple of weekends every month. It's become a huge part of my life and I've met several new friends through my craft endeavors. I'm lucky that the thing I do on the side to make extra cash is something I would do for free, even pay to be a part of!
Now, what I actually studied in school was Graphic Design. That's currently my "day job" now. For the 1st year and a half after graduating, I didn't work a typical 9-5 job at all. I got to travel across the US while living in an RV as a promo "roadie" for a documentary show about roadtripping and following your passion in life, I worked for a professional artist as his studio manager off and on for over a year, I did sales in an art gallery, I worked for a clothing line, and I did freelance graphic design on the side. Not until 5 months ago did I actually have a job that I worked a specific schedule with a salary (not going to lie, it's really nice for the time being!). Fortunately, being a graphic designer has helped me with the topic with which you are asking about: using the internet to promote my work. I have all the skills to use the programs and internet applications that "make the world go around" online. Haha!

As mentioned, this article is gonna be about how young artists use the internet to promote their work. Sooooooo, how do you use the internet to promote your work? What exactly are you promoting and what goals do you have in this promotion?

I use the internet to get in people's faces! (hehe) When I list a new item for sale in my online Etsy shop, I promote the HECK out of it. The more people I get to view an item that I've listed, the more chances they'll send the link to a friend, or tell someone next to them at work...or at least I hope! My goals with the promotion of my work online is to keep my shop exciting and new!

What sites/techniques/approaches do you use?

I call this my web-empire: Etsy, Flickr, Blogger, Twitter, and Facebook. These sites are so great because their site-developers have created cross-promotion capabilities. Once I list an item on etsy, It's time to let people know about it! Without even leaving my etsy site, I can directly link a picture of the new item along with a description to the wall of my facebook page and also the "live feed" on the facebook homepage. All of my FB friends can see the item if they are on the homepage right after I list it, and they can simply click the picture that will take them to the listing. I'll post an update on twitter with something eye-catching like "I hope this doesn't sell because I love it so much (link)" and that status shows up on my FB profile because I've integrated it into my applications. Even with flickr, once I've uploaded a bunch of photos from my latest shoot, I can feed them to my facebook. I try to update my blog (it happens about once a week) with what's new in my shop and I "link the heck" out of that too! The truth is, many etsy sellers do the same thing! Think of how many people work an office job who drift around on the web during their lunch break, or in between projects, or a little bit all day long (I think this is most office workers, haha). If they're checking their Facebooks, blog feeds, and twitters, chances are that they will click something that I've posted. It's just a great way to gain more followers and hopefully customers.

And finally, from the perspective of a working artist, how would you describe the power of the internet in your life (positive or negative welcome) ?

The "power of the internet" is definitely a positive thing for me because I'm open to technological developments and since I use it as a promotional tool and I've seen results using it, I definitely feel it is an asset to me. However, in order to stay sane, I have to stay away from it too. When I come home from my day job, the last thing I want to do is sit at my computer because that's what I did for the previous 9 hours. Fortunately, that's where my production time comes in to play. Everything I sell is handmade, so I use that time after work to create! Then the cycle starts over again...Make make make, promote promote promote. It's the "circle of life" of being an etsy seller!

Monday, August 3, 2009

I love having pretty friends....

...Pretty friends who don't get mad at me when I force them to model for me. Well, at least I did feed them! Keiki not only models my British Fringe Neck-piece, but one of the chicken shish kabobs, yummy! I've been making quite a few new pieces lately, ever since I semi-reorganized my studio. I'll have all of the new items in tow this sunday at the Dragonfly Marketplace in Orange from 11-4, but I along with a few other vendors will be there later into the evening. So come to the Orange circle on Sunday, have lunch, and say hi to me! I'll be towards the front.

Keiki and British Fringe Neck-piece

Sara and Rusty Elegance Fringe Neck-piece

Gen and vintage Dior Tie Necklace

Melissa and Skoulture Fringe Neckpiece

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Old Timey

Blue Slushy Bow by Its The Little Things

Maybe it's the fact that I'm going to a supper club with the HBOC ladies tomorrow night, maybe it's the Cocktail hat I just bought, or maybe it's the fact that the Handmade Brigade is planning the Speakeasy craft show: Indie Shopping, Music and Booze (September 20, 5-10 PM, Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa)......

.....But I am undoubtedly feeling pin-up inspired.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Did I mention I like things that are Russian?

So when people are asking those get-to-know-you questions that everyone fears, like "So what are you into?" I typically have a few go-to topics. I would start off with the typical, "well, I like art, design and music...blablabla" but honestly, I need to be more truthful. so let's try it again:

"hey Melissa, what are you in-to?"

I'm really into things that are Russian. Russian themed, Russian colors, Russian Ballet, Russian artists, and well, just Russians. Don't worry, I'm not a commi, nor would I ever want to rub elbows with Marxists and if I had the chance, I would have punched Stalin in the mouth. I just have this fascination with Eastern Europe and in particular, them Russians. What a history!

So, when I saw the Chanel Russian Purse in the most recent issue of Elle magazine, I flipped. Unfortunately, it's one of those "price available on request" items, bleh. (not that I could afford it even at 80% off). But I just appreciate it for what it is...Russian.

ahhh, and this little one...little nesting doll purse makes my day.

It's no wonder I tend to include Russian themed images in my pieces.
I have several in my newest collection of bracelets.
This one is the Matryoshka Y-chain Bracelet

This one is the Matryoshka and Rhinestone Bracelet

I'm not even Russian, I don't think I have any Russian ancestory. I must have been Anastasia in a past life.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Good Thrifting

I feel it's necessary to show my support and love for the few thrift stores I frequent that I feel are:

1. Not overpriced
2. Not picked-over by buyers who get special first-dibs
3. Include a craft/fabric/trim section
4. Don't simply resell surplus merchandise from Target and Ikea (yes Goodwill, I'm talking about you).

The shop that is top on my list for quite some time is the Lutheran High thrift shop in Orange
670 N Tustin St
Orange, CA 92867

Here are the finds I bought today, all for a grand total of $23!!!!

new artwork for my re-decorated room. $1 for the framed vintage marriage certificate and $2 for the faux cross-stitched Scandinavian scene. I'm a sucker for those, I already have one similar to this but vertical.

Trims, tassels and ribbons, all for $2. I love when the original price-tags are still on the merchandise in grab bags. If I had paid full price for everything in the bag, it would have been over $30.

2 nylon woven belts for a total of $1, soon to be couture statement necklaces!

Scarf: $.50, and 3 ties @$1 each. The blue one has little bicycle riders and the teal one has little red crayfish. These will all be couture statement necklaces too!

GASP I love these shoes. Even though they are old school target "Honors" brand, they are exactly the type of shoe I've been looking for. $5

These red pumps were my luxury purpose. I didn't need them, I do in fact have 2 other pairs of red heels, but those ones are too high to wear to work or anywhere that i have to walk a distance too. $5

Moral of blog entry, go to Lutheran High Thrift shop. Be sure to check out their vintage women's hats and fascinators behind the front desk that range from $10-$30. They are absolutely gorgeous.

Be on the lookout for new statement pieces to be posted to my etsy

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Freshening up

I could delay no longer, I finally sat myself down and updated my etsy/blog headers and avatar. It only took me a couple of months and a lot of thought about what my shop name is, exactly. I got great advice from Elsie and inspiration from my fellow Handmade Brigade girls and other crafters (like Steppie) to take the time and create some consistency in my branding. "Justice Not Revenge" will soon be its own etsy shop ( It will be the socially charged theme art and jewelry under "Melissa Loschy Designs."
Here's where hours of embroidering and scanner brought me

The Header which will become my table banner

The Avatar and soon-to-be business card