So let's talk jewellery -- and not mine this time!
ErtheFae stands out like a diamond in the welter of beaded jewellery on Etsy; her pieces have a distinct, almost mythologically creative flavour. If she were chocolate she would be intriguing awesome chili/cayenne chocolate (and more on that below, btw...). It's difficult to explain better than that, but check it out:
WAY better in person -- each bead perfect and carefully stitched, very secure clasp (I'm a stickler for the stickers ;) ), beautifully designed... and her descriptions, particularly her Steampunky ones, are definitely worth reading all the way through. If I did beaded jewellery, I would be delighted with myself if my pieces came out like hers -- so check her out!
I did mention chocolate, didn't I... well how about Mayan chocolate caramels? Ever wondered what would happen if you put cayenne and cocoa together? Here's your answer, and let me tell you it is a yummy, buttery, creamy, spicy and sweet answer.
Haveitconfections makes handmade marshmallows, nougat and caramels from top-quality ingredients. They are on the scale of good where "shelf life" doesn't even enter into it, because they won't make it past a week in your house. I'm not even a foodie really -- I'll take a cheeseburger over Chateau Briand any day of the week -- but even my rude palate can discern that these are truly of a superior nature. She also offers little samples, "just a tastes", so you can try a bit before you commit... but I promise you it won't matter. Once you try them, you will be hers forever. ;)
And finally on our Best of Ets roster we have our first buyer: maythenwolfbane. Naturally, I love all my customers, but I get a particular thrill at selling to fellow metalsmiths or metalsmiths-in-training; I know they will understand the tenterhooks of reticulation and alloying, will cast a critical and cognizant eye on everything that went into a piece. They will know without being told that those moonstones are of particularly good quality, or the difference in long-term wear between using light findings or heavy findings. Makes me all fuzzy inside. :)
Anyway, back to this lovely lady -- should she happen to buy from your shop, consider yourself a fortunate seller! Not only was payment quick and communication perfect, but I really felt that she was engaged at every step of the way not only as a customer, but as a genuine appreciator of the art and aesthetic... and for those whose metalworking is like tiny shiny members of the family, you can rest assured that your work is going to a great home.
Coming soon: Results of the new eyeball line's naming contest! :D