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December 15, 2013

Katya Valera by the Fireside

Well, it's that time again... And Katya Valera's ready!

Ice and snow, poinsettias, peppermint, red and green....

The Fireside Collection's got you covered!

Blue Christmas, anyone? :)

Several options to choose from in my Etsy shop and a few more on Clearance (what??) on my Facebook page. Do some lookin' around, and maybe finish some Christmas shopping while you're at it!

And until next year, do have a Very Merry Christmas and don't forget the Reason we celebrate. :)

December 6, 2013

Endless Possibilities...

I love that custom order season has arrived!

LOVE this custom order from a while back! The customer saw this piece and wanted it in a specific color.

Then this custom order was recently requested to be in the customer's wife's birthstone color (which is also that of her brand new baby girl). I'm so happy with how the set turned out and was thrilled to hear she was too!

I've mentioned before that if there's any piece that's sold that you wish could be remade, sometimes it is possible, even if I need to order the supplies. I had to hunt all over creation to find enough of these leaves, but I did it!

Never before have I had such a big custom order! And there were a few more pieces not pictured.

The leaves were a hit! And Daisy loved them too. ;)

There's a world of possiblites with custom orders!

Custom orders are so much fun, and I would love to make your dream reality! Feel free to message me here or here to discuss yours! :)

December 2, 2013

Time to Show Small Businesses Some Love :)

In case you missed it, it's officially Cyber Monday. And this comes right on the heels of Small Business Saturday. Put those two together, and Etsy sounds like a really good place to be right now. ;) You can support small businesses--handmade or not (yes--handmade!!) from the comfort of your home and get Christmas shopping done! And to top it all off, a lot of these small businesses have sales going on in honor of the day!

Katya Valera is certainly a small business that would LOVE your support. But there are tons of small businesses out there, on Etsy alone. So I've got six suggestions to make life easier for you. :) (Just click on the shops' names to go to their respective pages.)

Carolyn Cochrane Photography


I fell in love with this lady's photography as soon as I discovered it. She has gorgeous prints in any theme you could possibly want, plus sets of prints, canvas prints, and iPhone cases. And she's currently having a sale! I'm waiting til I have enough money to buy a BIG print. So buy some of my jewelry, okay? ;)



Well first of all, this is one of the most brilliant shop names I've seen. And I've seen a lot of shop names... And her jewelry is beautiful! All composed of vintage parts upcycled into one-of-a-kind masterpieces. Perfect for bridal or special occasion jewelry.

A Vintage Jewelry Chest 


If you're into vintage (and if you're not, you should be...), I totally recommend this shop. I've bought from this seller a few times now, and she is so friendly. There are so many gorgeous pieces! And she's having a sale!

Handmade Fun



Need gifts for the females on your list? Gorgeous clutch purses are found here. I just wish I would have found her when I was in college and had fancy events to dress up for for four years... Sigh.

Madgem Designs


Welcome to where felt meets cuteness! Think ornaments and special gifts. This lady is so nice (guess I bought from her too ;) and her pieces are so sweet. A dove ornament for newlyweds' first tree? Hellooo! So many possibilities!

Retro Revival Boutique 



And finally, one of my favorite shops and sellers in my Etsy experience! My husband actually bought me a necklace from this shop last Christmas, which I about died over, and I love looking at her pieces! She specializes in taking vintage pieces and turning them into one-of-a-kind, gorgeous masterpieces. I may have another one coming for Christmas this year. ;) See her Facebook page for her awesome coupon code.

So! There you have it: I've narrowed down the world of small businesses to just six fabulous choices. And seven including mine. ;) Happy shopping, and thank you for supporting handmade!!

November 13, 2013

Soldier Sweethearts, This is for You!

I’m so excited to announce a brand new collection at Katya Valera!

A while back I made, and sold, three necklaces in this theme and recently decided to polish and expand the idea into its own collection. The collection features both camouflage and red, white, and blue roses, in either silver or bronze. And in keeping with the Katya Valera tradition, each piece is one of a kind, as no two roses will ever be the same. Just like snowflakes. :)

Each rose starts as clay that's put into a mold, baked (but not too long!), glazed, and glued. It's quite a process, taking a few days to allow for drying. 


And there are also rings available in the theme!

Are you a military sweetheart? Or is there someone on your Christmas list who is? If so, this collection is perfect for you! You can message me to place an order here or here.

October 6, 2013

Why We Need You More Than Ever

In the world of handmaking, Etsy is a happy place. Or at least it was until this past week.

Etsy calls itself “your place to buy and sell all things handmade, vintage, and supplies." The word “handmade” is a pretty clear adjective: something made with your hands—and when it comes to having a shop of your own “handmade” items, it would obviously refer to things made with your own two hands.

Well, after years of growing popularity thanks to more and more handmade shops (like mine) joining the online marketplace and sharing their Etsy shop with everyone and their mother, the people at Etsy have decided to change what “handmade” means to them, regardless of the dictionary definition (they literally used such terms) and open the site to sellers who use outside manufacturers, ship from other locations than the one they are at, and use as many employees in their business as they like, all in the name of helping small businesses, like mine, be able to grow while “legally” selling on Etsy.

The problem is that this throws the door wide open for warehouses in China, for example, to flood Etsy with thousands of listings—and push us “little people” right out of search results. Big businesses with the means to buy in massive bulk and crank out practically countless items will be able to charge much less per item and make items like mine seem overpriced by a long shot, all while said big businesses are selling “handmade” items that are far from being truly handmade. Essentially, one can now design a dress on paper, for instance, send it to a factory to be made, and let them ship it to the seller, while the “maker” never even touches the “handmade” item.

Many sellers are, understandably, leaving Etsy. Though sadly there isn’t currently a new place to go that is at the caliber that Etsy was up until recently. Yes, Etsy claims this will only make the site better, this will only help our businesses, and we will not get lost in the madness. Somehow. But thousands of sellers like me have little confidence in their assurances. It would be nice to be proved wrong in this case.

In the meantime, those of us who are willing to hang around on Etsy, at least until our listings expire, need your support more than ever. If you’ve thought about shopping handmade for a while or giving Etsy a try for a necklace you’ve been looking for, or the perfect gift, now is the time. 

Please consider going to a small business when choosing Christmas gifts this year, instead of a big-time manufacturer. And if you do choose to shop on Etsy, please take a minute to check where the buyer’s from and what info they give in their About page. Ensure that they are truly a handmade business and not selling the mass-produced offspring of machines “without a soul” as I saw one seller fittingly describe them.

It’s not looking good for sellers like me. But we truly appreciate the support we have gotten from our customers, the support we have now, and any more support you can continue to offer as we face our biggest struggle yet.

October 1, 2013

Just Add Ribbon...

I am all about taking unwanted pieces of jewelry and turning them into a completely different piece—that the owner loves! While I’ve done lots of those lately, I recently discovered a little trick, which I found here. This is a whole lot faster than making a brand new piece and requires absolutely no jewelry-making knowledge.

When my sister recently gave me a couple of her extra long necklaces to upcycle however I wanted, I immediately told her what I could do with them—and she wanted them back once she saw what I did. :) My grandmother also "donated" the green pearl-like necklace to me, which my sister also became the owner of once I did this to it.

The originals are totally wearable on their own:
Two long, beaded strands

One long strand of black beads

Same style as the black, except lovely, crinkly green beads

But this little change preserves the original piece and gives you two looks from one piece of jewelry!

All you need is a long necklace, without a clasp on it, and two long lengths of ribbon. I would say at least a yard long each, but once you see how long you want it, you can trim it accordingly—just leave enough length to easily tie the bow.

Double or triple the necklace and slide one ribbon through each end of the necklace. Then tie the ribbon around your neck, letting the now-layered necklace hang as short or long as you want. If that sounds confusing, the pictures should help.

You can tie it short or long.

Just leave the ribbons long enough to work for different lengths.

So simple!

Now that I’ve seen the idea, it seems like a no-brainer! And now that I did these for my sister, I want to do it with some of my own jewelry!

Two looks, thanks to some ribbon. Not bad!

Enjoy trying this out yourself. It can make some of your forgotten pieces new favorites!

September 20, 2013

Surprise Sale!

I don't know about things in your part of the world, but it has been a rough week around here, to put it lightly. So I think that calls for some happiness:

There are a few dozen pairs of earrings already on clearance on Katya Valera's Facebook page. We're talking $6 and $7 a piece. But through Monday, all those earrings are half-off their already reduced prices!

Just a sampling of your many options

So that means the majority of these earrings are now on sale for $3 and $4 a piece. That's insane. You can buy as many as you want, through Monday, September 23. 

Just take a look at my clearance album for all your options and comment or message me to claim the ones you love!

September 8, 2013

Help for Our Angels

In just under a week from today, Katya Valera jewelry gets to take part in a very special event.

The Roanoke Strollathon for Rett Syndrome Research is to be held Saturday, September 14 in Roanoke, Virginia. This yearly event is dedicated to raising funds toward cutting-edge research with the goal being a cure for this devastating neurodevelopmental disorder.

Children with Rett Syndrome typically begin developing normally after birth and then development regresses, often a few months into life and affecting girls much more often than boys. Here is a description of the syndrome that I've found extra helpful and easy to understand, written by the mother of a child with Rett Syndrome; please take a second to read it here.

These children, or Rett Angels, as they are often lovingly called, are in essence trapped in their own bodies, with their words and feelings unable to be expressed in the ways of other children their age, as they often cannot talk, walk, feed themselves, or control their movements. Yet these Angels have their own way of communicating, particularly with their eyes, and capture the hearts of everyone they come in contact with, a phenomenon anyone who knows one of these Angels can attest to.

My beautiful cousin Isabella was diagnosed about 10 years ago, and she is the giver of so much joy in our family. We are all so thankful for the Angel we have been blessed with.

Every cent donated to Rett Syndrome research brings these children closer to help, and a cure. If you have even a couple of dollars you would like to contribute to this cause, you can donate here, or on my aunt's page here. :)

Another exciting way you can contribute is by bidding in person at the silent auction at the Strollathon, where you'll have tons of awesome items to choose from, including these one-of-a-kind items by Katya Valera!

These long cluster earrings are composed of various purple beads with silver accents dangling from gunmetal kidney hooks:

And assorted beads in Virginia Tech shades make up this clustered bib necklace on double strands of silver tone chain:

I'm so thankful to be supporting Rett Syndrome research with my jewelry! Please share this info with friends, and thank you so much in advance for any help you can offer!

September 5, 2013

The Seasonal Collections: Starfish to Poinsettias

In addition to the four year-round collections, Katya Valera has three seasonal collections to cover special times of year.

The Mermaid Collection features beachy pieces perfect for summer:

Shells, mother of pearl, and sea creatures are plentiful in this collection.

The Symphony Collection celebrates the colors of fall:

Leaves and beads in autumn hues make up these one-of-a-kind pieces.

And the Fireside Collection covers winter, from Christmas through the end of the season:

Lots of red and green, poinsettias, and more...

Of course, the pieces in the Journey Collection, the Veranda Collection, the Juicy Collection, and the Cordelia Collection are perfect for any time of year, including summer, fall, and winter.

But the pieces of the Mermaid Collection, the Symphony Collection, and the Fireside Collection are equally perfect for their special time of year!