Introducing Planner Accessories!

It’s January again and time for planning and organizing! I have to admit I haven’t yet written down my goals for the year, because things have not entirely slowed down since December. But my shop had a wonderful holiday season – I met some goals, sold lots of new designs, improved my workflow, and got to connect with more of you, both buyers and fellow sellers, on social media – and I have some ideas for this year involving more new product lines, sales, collaborations, and supporting other shops.

For now, I would like to introduce my new planner accessories! I’ve been making more and more cane designs in various themes and I’ve realized I can use them for a lot of other things besides jewelry, in this case, planner clips and planner charms. Each cane design is unique, but because I can get so many pieces out of them, I’m able to make some simple, affordable items.

The planner accessories feature themes from floral to animals to seasonal and more, and the clips come in two sizes and finishes. I have also been using more of the cane slices and leftover resin from jewelry batches to make some adorable keychains.

These are a perfect way to add some fun and cuteness to your planning, or find the perfect gift for a planner-obsessed friend! Check them out at Pastiche Accessories, and stay tuned for more exciting developments this year!

Website Update & Clearance Sale

After careful consideration, I have decided to close my Shopify store for now. I really wanted to have a fully functioning ecommerce website of my own, but unfortunately it has not brought in enough sales to cover the fees or the time I spend updating it. I know I could have done a better job of self-promotion, but right now it’s just not realistic.

This is not necessarily a negative thing. In addition to running my Etsy shops, I finally have my items in two brick and mortar stores, one local and one in another state. Simplifying my online presence a bit will help me keep up with everything.

I’m adding pages to this blog, which will serve as my website going forward and will link to my Etsy. I will also be moving my art listings back over to my jewelry shop, so when you click over to the shop page, everything is in one place. They even offer guest checkout now, which is convenient for new customers.

So before I close in about a week, please take advantage of 50% off any remaining items at NoelleLewisArt.com with coupon code “CLOSING50.” Of course, you will still be able to purchase my art, jewelry, and other items any time on Etsy, but I won’t be doing sales like this often! 

I probably could have made things easier for myself (and maybe less annoying for you) with better planning, but much like life, building a business is a learning process. So thanks for staying up-to-date, and please let me know if you have any suggestions! 

Local Update: Handmade Marketplace Booth

About a year after relocating, I finally found a local spot to sell my handmade items. 

If you didn’t read my post about moving, my husband left active duty military to start a gym with some friends. I chose to be optimistic that our relocation would be an adventure and not a disappointment. I guess it’s been a little of both. 

Besides the usual stress of moving and the challenges of adjusting to civilian life, we have had some unexpected difficulties and found ourselves pretty isolated in the life we choose to live as business owners. But we have enjoyed slowing down, spending more time together, and finding little things to appreciate about this unique and interesting area.

I had also planned to get my work into some local shops or galleries, and for a while, my search was very discouraging. But I finally found a new shop in Lebanon that specializes in handmade, recycled, and vintage items from local artists and businesses. As soon as they had a booth I could afford, I reserved it. Now there’s a little display in the back full of my jewelry, accessories, cards, and even a few paintings. 

I’m hopeful that this will be a great opportunity for me, not only as a way to grow my business, but a way to be a little more involved in the community. Check out The Marketplace at the Mill’s Facebook Page, and if you’re local, see my stuff and more in the shop upstairs! 

Thoughts on Color Theory and Being Yourself

I finally got a chance to buy Polymer Clay Color Inspirations by Lindly Haunani and Maggie Maggio, a book I’ve had my eye on for a while, and so far I am not at all disappointed.

The book is about color theory, color mixing, and choosing colors for a project. I’m actually pretty good at the mixing part; making decisions is where it gets tricky for me. In addition to both of those issues, the book includes some very interesting information on how we relate to different colors for different reasons. 

It also contains some exercises. I skipped ahead to one where you mix each of six basic colors with a little of each of the colors next to it and a little of each of white, gray, and black. It shows how some colors change more than others due to pigment strength.


I really enjoyed seeing all the variations together, and knowing I’d have a reference point for future projects. But I was a little disappointed when I got to yellow, one of my favorite colors. Most of the finished palettes were essentially 12 different versions of the original color. But the yellow ended up turning mostly orange, green, and brown. 

Suddenly I felt like I could really relate to the color yellow. It’s not any less awesome than the other colors, but gets overpowered by them anyway.

I’ve been going through some personal stuff that has really driven home the feelings of worthlessness that can come with living as an artist with depression. I’m not saying I want a different life, but I do get tired of being dismissed by people because my problems aren’t as visible as theirs and my priorities are somehow less important. 

That being said, I’m also trying to stop being a pushover. Making your own decisions means you can’t please everyone. I still consider other people, but I actually think you can do that better if you take care of yourself first. 

It seems we’re all a little bit like colors. Those around us can bring out the beauty in us, or they can turn us into things we’re not. We can lose ourselves in other people’s needs and expectations. 

So if you can relate to yellow, too, I hope you will give yourself permission to prioritize what you want and believe in. After all, it’s your life.

My New YouTube Craft Channel

Well, I’ve finally taken the plunge – I have officially created and posted my first YouTube craft video. This was no easy task due to my extreme social awkwardness and lack of tech skills, but it probably wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be either.


This upload, a Hobbit Hole Door Necklace Tutorial & Giveaway, was sort of a last minute acknowledgement of Hobbit Day (in case you’re not a “rings nerd,” it’s the birthday of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, and a day for Tolkien fans to celebrate). But I’ve actually been planning this for some time.

I enjoy and learn from a lot of craft videos myself. I’m also hoping that being on YouTube will get some extra traffic to my shop. And now that I’ve decided to stop selling my fan creations due to potential legal issues, I thought I could at least share the ideas and techniques for you all to use, and send some of the finished pieces to people who will enjoy them. 

So I’m starting with my nerd themed pieces, but I hope to share some of my own designs as well, both to contribute to fellow polymer clay crafters, and for customers to see the process behind my products. Eventually I may also do painting  demonstrations or other arts and crafts. 

I’ve had to accept, at least for now, that my videos are not perfect. There are all different levels of professionalism on YouTube, but I’m sure a lot of people started as amateurs. I am definitely one of them in terms of editing. To be honest, I would rather spend more time creating new projects, but I definitely have room for improvements and suggestions. 

So I hope you’ll check out my video (I’m still taking entries for the giveaway!) and leave some feedback or requests. Do you prefer videos more polished or more casual? What kinds of items would you like to see me make? Let me know in the comment section! 

Moving Again: North Carolina to Tennessee 

After about 8 years of service, my husband is getting out of the army. So after almost 6 years of marriage, we finally had the chance to choose where to live.

Of all the places we could have gone, we spent our entire military life at Fort Bragg. And while North Carolina is a beautiful state, Fayetteville was not a good fit for us.

People dislike it for a lot of reasons (and again I mean no offense to those who do like it) but most importantly for me, I found very few things going on that I wanted to get involved in – specifically opportunities for my business – and very few people who shared what I care about. I really did go there with optimism and try to make the best of it, and while I appreciate the people who supported us and will miss the things I did find joy and inspiration in, I spent a lot of time pretty unhappy.

Meanwhile for my husband, Army life was not really what he expected, and the gym he started didn’t exactly go as planned either. He did have a bit of an easier time making friends but overall didn’t enjoy the area much more than I did.

So when another couple presented an opportunity with a new gym in their home state of Tennessee, Joe was interested and I was skeptical. Our discussions went in circles so we finally visited.

I found basically nothing I was looking for in the area we were looking at, but somehow went home with thoughts of creating my own opportunities, something I never felt like I could do before while being so overwhelmed by my surroundings. For Joe, it made sense, with the gym, a National Guard position, and college classes. For me, it would be an adventure, and there’s at least a part of me that doesn’t mind that once in a while.

We were able to find a house through the aforementioned friends and, a few weeks after making a decision, here we are in Watertown. Moving has been a bit of a nightmare (isn’t it always?) and we are certainly still adjusting. I’m not in love with the annoying rooster next door, the limited internet access, or the half hour drive to my favorite craft store. But I don’t mind solitude, the mini horse down the street, lots of trees, and as always, the beautiful sky.

I do have my studio set up again, and will be checking out local possibilities and of course running my shops. I hope to either find new inspiration or finally get bored enough to catch up on all the ideas already in my head!

Thanks for sharing in my creative journey and I hope you will enjoy whatever I come up with next!

P.S. Subscribers, if your email was messed up I apologize, my finger got over-eager while I was still composing!

Craft Booth Tips & Improvements

It’s been a while since my craft table at the Festivus Games at my husband’s gym. I didn’t feel like writing about it because it was honestly really disappointing.

I’m an extreme night owl and an extreme introvert, so it was really exhausting to wake up early and be  around people all day. I also spent about a lot of time preparing, and for all that, I made less in sales than what I spent on setup materials. 

It was still nice to get some sales and interact with buyers in person, I just didn’t feel that the experience was worth the effort overall. 

So I have a few things to keep in mind for next time, like making sure the event is the right fit for my business, communicating with event coordinators, finding out if local people are interested, and being prepared for weather conditions. 

But mostly I would like to share about my table setup. I am by no means an expert, but I think I made some improvements from my first couple events – including the products themselves! 

I tried to think outside the box with my displays. You can save money and make your booth more interesting by using random items like crates, shelves, racks, easels, etc instead of purchased displays. I used some of each and painted, added nails, etc where necessary.

But with my first table, the multi-colored cards and displays were very distracting. Because my items are already colorful, they look better with a neutral background. And because they’re nature-inspired, a touch of rustic works too. 

I separated my items into categories and placed a few sets on busts in the center. I made sure everything was pretty visible, minus my extra stock, and that the price signs were readable. 

Lastly, I found it helpful to bring a few extra things like a checklist, free magnets, a visual of how my canes are made, and beading for my down time. 

Here are some of the resources that helped me: 

Booth Makeover

Top 5 Craft Show Display Trends

Craft Show Checklist

There’s more on my Craft Business Resources Pinterest Board.

If you’re a crafter, let me know if this was helpful, and your most important or most forgotten craft fair items! If you’re a shopper, what would make a booth most attractive to you? 

Introducing Handmade Supplies

I’m always looking for new product ideas to make and sell. After a few custom requests and some research, I decided to add handmade supplies to my offerings.

A few of my jewelry supply sets (available with or without holes).

I’m starting with pendants, earrings pieces, and a few beads. They are made with some of the same nature-inspired polymer clay designs as my finished jewelry items, mostly canes, but without the findings and at a fraction of the price. 

This way, because I have honed my skills with polymer clay and especially canes, you can combine my pieces with your own beading, wire wrapping, or other skills to create unique pieces to sell in your own shop. 

And if you’re not a professional jewelry maker, these pieces can also be finished simply with bails & chains or ear wires for yourself, gifts, or group DIYs. 

I might try to put together some ideas on how to use these so let me know if you’d be interested!

Also if you’ve purchased and photographed any of my products, use hashtag #noellelewisart or #pasticheaccessories on social media to be entered into giveaways! 

Fairy House Herb Garden & Jewelry Set

I almost didn’t get around to doing any gardening this year, but I decided to at least plant some herbs instead of the usual variety of vegetables.

I’ve also been seeing some adorable fairy garden ideas and thought this would be a great way to add some fun to my little planter.

I made mine with a broken wine glass and, of course, polymer clay. It’s sort of hobbit hole inspired with a flower for a roof.

Fairy house and herb garden

Then all I had to do was plant an herb in each corner, place the fairy house in the center, and add some mini garden stones (more accessories later!). It also looks cool as an LED candle holder.

Mushroom house drawing and redraw
It was nice to do something just for fun! Going with the fairy house theme, I also made a new mushroom house jewelry set for my shop, inspired by this redo of a drawing from my high school sketchbook!

Mushroom house cane and jewelry set
Are you getting into the fairy garden trend? Let me know in the comments!

On Selling Fan Creations

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Some of you may be familiar with items in my shop inspired by movies like Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Up, and How to Train Your Dragon. You’ve probably also heard a lot of opinions about copyright infringement.

I’m writing this because I was contacted by Etsy regarding a complaint about one of my items. I can’t share specifics but in the interest of protecting my business, it looks like I will have to stop selling the item, and probably all such items just in case. I know some of you will be disappointed and others will think less of me for doing it in the first place, so I’d like to share my thoughts on this issue (disclaimer: I have no legal expertise).

A lot of people seem to look at fan-made merchandise as a way for unimaginative people to profit from others’ ideas. To me, if you’re taking an idea and turning it into something different, then it’s a way for people with various types of creative skills to work together to benefit everyone – more options for the fans, free advertising for the original creator, and yes, more income for us crafters.

I do respect the right of any artist to decide what happens with their own designs. But at the same time, part of art is sharing ideas, and every idea comes from somewhere. There is a difference between stealing and being inspired. Even nature-themed designs are copying something, just not something we’re going to fight over.

Maybe in the beginning I was trolling for ideas. Now I have a whole shop full of my own stuff – two in fact – but I still know my work has been inspired by things along the way, and I still don’t get to decide what’s actually popular.

I just wish there was a better way to make fan crafts legitimately. I would happily get licensed and pay fees if it were realistic for an independent artist to do so. Maybe someday we will have some better options.

In the meantime, I’m sorry to part with these items and the happy customers who purchase them, but I hope it will be an opportunity for me to focus on my other designs and for them to be noticed on their own.

Feel free to share your own thoughts in the comments!