Early July Morning, Cocoa Beach, Florida

Tuesday, July 31, 2018


We have been blessed to live on this beautiful planet. The diversity is breath taking. From the majestic mountains right down to the expansive seas and even the colorful desserts! 

It is our responsibility to take care of this place, and one way to do it is to recycle. Most of us are onboard with this, but if you live in an area like I do, you might find it difficult...or is it really that difficult?

If you can't take your bags to the local recycle center, reuse them. They make perfect trash bags. I also like to use them to wrap my shoes in when I travel, or use them to put your dirty clothes in. All of us love to swim while on vacation. Where do you put your wet suites and towels? Try one of the plastic grocery bags. There are endless ways to use those bags!

One other thing I recycle are old guitar strings. I started this back when I first picked up the mountain dulcimer. The group I played with would bring me their old strings. This started when our leader brought me her's and said to me, "Terry, you are crafty, I bet you could come up with something to make out of these." She was right! Ideas started to flow into my head. 

First I made bracelets.

When the holidays started up, I made ornaments

Then earrings and pendants soon followed.

I love to cruise! Usually, our family joins the gift exchange that some of the cruises have, and so I decided to start making keychains.

Funny thing is, after I made a few of my creations, I got online to see if anyone else had made anything with old guitar strings. Well...I guess I was not the only one that had a great idea, because guitar string bracelets were everywhere...but...they were pretty pricy! 

Cleaning the strings is pretty intense, but actually making most of the strings is not.

Except maybe the more elaborately beaded ones...those can be pretty intense too. 

A friend of mine bought some guitar string bracelets (not from me). The bracelets had no beads or fanciness to them...and she paid $60 to $80 for them. I couldn't believe it. I don't even price my fancy ones for that. Of course, she bought them at a retail brick and mortar store, which makes a huge difference. There is a huge mark up on those type pieces so everyone involved can be paid. I  don't have a middle man, so this is why I can keep my prices lower. 

I love creating new pieces from old stuff. I have even taught classes and workshops on how to make guitar string bracelets. Those are always a lot of fun! 

So, why not check out some creative ideas as gifts for this holiday season? TappingflamingoBling offers a new line of Princess and Cruise Ship Christmas ornaments, and even a guitar string bracelet kits!

Friday, July 27, 2018

Time to be Inspired Again!

It's that time again! To check out some crafters to see what they have been working on...

Do you like a good challenge? I know I do! Allegory Gallery has some great challenge kits, and this month's kit, Wild Jungle, looked like it was right up my alley! I love how they put some of the items from the kit with these bright beads that were already on hand. Mixing new things with old stash is a great way to freshen things up. I hope you go check out some of the other things they made.

Allegory Gallery has some new items in their shop that you can use in your own creations. They also share some interesting history about their shop. 

Tammy Powley of The Crafty Princess Diaries has been busy with her dolls. She has been designing and making dresses for them. Hop on over to her blog to see what she is up to! She posted a video about some of the crafting and doll stuff she has been doing, including a gorgeous quilt that was started by her grandmother and finished my Tammy!

With the busy summer we all seen to have, it is hard to find time to do some crafting. Beading Arts decided to work on this Russian Spiral Rope Necklace, which she refers to as quick. I'm not sure about that, but it sure is gorgeous! She shares a link from June's issue of Bead Work by Carol Ohl. If you've ever wanted to learn to do these ropes, this would be a great opportunity to take advantage of the free instructions.

Tappingflamingo shows off her Autism Awareness Bracelets. They are all adjustable and she even carries styles that are waterproof. With each sale, a portion of the money goes to a non profit autism awareness organization! 

Andrew Thornton shares his latest creation for the Inspired by Reading Book Club.  For July, they read, "Eleanor & Park" by Rainbow Rowell, and he was inspired to create these fun "Mixed Tape" earrings. Check out his blog to find out more about the book club.

As a crafter, I love seeing what other crafters are up too. Stay tuned next week for some more inspiration.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Autism Awareness Bracelets

When I first opened my TappingflamingoBling Etsy shop, I knew someday, I wanted to do something for the autism community. I have two nephews with autism, and know the difficulties that many families living with autism have to deal with. 

I opened my shop in October of 2015 and started listing guitar string Christmas ornaments and jewelry. Over the next few years, I geared my line more toward beach and cruise inspired jewelry and accessories. 

In 2018, I started doing some serious thinking on my original plan...what can I do to help out the autism community? Since my nephews live in Florida and love to surf with their dad, I started doing some research on surfer style bracelets and discovered a product that I could use to make the bracelets waterproof! 

My plan was to make these affordable, and to donate a portion of the sales to a non profit autism awareness organization. 

My first style really didn't work out too well, so I went back to the drawing board and came up with a multi strand crochet style adjustable bracelet.

I loved the way it turned out!

I made a few of the original style and decided to make a simplified version. Still using all the colors, but instead of four strands it has one larger strand. 

In the Spring, I had the opportunity to be involved with an autism vendor fair, and was able to sell several of these bracelets to benefit the autism center at our local university. 

When summer came, I started collecting the money for a different organization...Surfer's For Autism. Since my two nephews surfed, and had been involved with Surfer's For Autism, I thought this was a perfect match. 

My next idea was to add beads and charms. Now, because of the beads and metal charms, these are not waterproof, but they are still comfortable and fun to wear.

Then I decided to branch out to school colors. Here are a few I have made. 

LSU Tigers!

BYU Cougars!

Arizona State Sun Devils!

My next idea was to come up with a princess line. The first one I made has a whimsical horse on it. Doesn't he look as if he could pull Cinderella's pumpkin coach? I have several styles of charms....crowns, pumpkin coach, mermaid, castle, magic wand, etc, that will be perfect to add to these bracelets.

I love working on these bracelets, and hope to be able to donate to different non profit autism awareness organizations. Check out TappingflamingBling for more Autism Awareness Bracelets and other styles of beach and cruise inspired jewelry and accessories. 

Friday, July 20, 2018


Today, I would like to share some inspiration from some other artisans....

In Andrew Thornton's blog, he shows off his collection of bugs! These bugs aren't the creepy crawly type....they are beautiful pieces that you can wear!

This is a barrel bead that was created by Anne Choi who is an Atlanta based metalsmith. Isn't it gorgeous? Go check out Andrew's blog for more of his bug collection!


Tammy Powley, The Crafty Princess loves doll collecting. Since she is a crafter, she thought about customizing dolls. How does she fell about that? Well check out her blog to find out!


Bead Love and her mom played around with Petina and Modge Podge to create some beautiful pieces! Check out there fun adventure!


Have you ever followed someone else's instructions to create a piece? Check out Beading Arts blog about her experience with following instructions from someone. I think she did a great job! What do you think?


So...how do you feel about the tropics? If you have followed me for any time, you know how much I love the beach! Allegory Gallery has a Coral Coastal Challenge going on right now, so hop on over to their blog to find out more about it. I'll be honest with you, I am very tempted to take the challenge myself!


Then, of course, there is my blog about Etsy. Is it a place for every crafter to sell their creations? I talk about my journey from when I started back in October 2015.

Wire wrapped beaded shell necklace
by TappingflamingoBling

Each week, I will be featuring artisans and their different adventures in creating. Stay tuned! 

Wednesday, July 18, 2018


by TappingflamingoBling

October, 2015, after several years of my friends and family telling me I need to open up an Etsy Shop with my jewelry, I finally made the plunge.  I was very clueless as to what to do, and a close friend of mine, who had a successful Etsy Shop (selling cruise door decorations and banners), helped me get started. She referred me to Etsy, and by doing so, both of us got 40 free listings...a great way for me to start out! 

beaded crochet wire necklace by TappingflamingoBling

Less than a week after I set up shop, I received an order for five guitar string Christmas ornaments from a friend of mine. I was pretty excited. When one first starts out, there are no sales or reviews, and people don't tend to trust you. I totally get that, and I was worried, but thankfully, my first sale and good review came very quickly. 

guitar string Christmas ornament by TappingflamingoBling

My next sale wasn't until the beginning of December. I actually got three orders, and all from people I did not know! Again, guitar string Christmas ornaments. Out of these three orders, though, I only got one review. I soon learned that most people do not give reviews. 
guitar string Christmas ornament from TappingflamingoBling

My sister in law ordered various necklaces and bracelets to give as Christmas gifts to her coworkers, and my daughter in law ordered some guitar string Christmas ornaments to give as gifts. 

memory wire bracelet by TappingflamingoBling

I really thought things were going to go uphill from here....but I was wrong. After the first of the year, orders trickled in here and there; one order in January, one in February, one in March, one in April, three in May...then!!!! none until October! 

What was I doing wrong? Soon, I realized that there was more than just slapping on some listings. You had to work your shop, but I had no idea how to do that. I started doing some online research and came across several ladies who teach free "classes," and so I started listening to them. I learned about SEO, and how to actually list your product. 

Pictures are very important, and even though I am a decent photographer, taking pictures of tiny pieces of jewelry is much different that landscape or people photographer. 

princess style keychains by TappingflamingoBling

I started branding my shop, and came up with who my target audience was. At first, I was trying to sell to everyone, and was all over the place. I finally narrowed it down to beach and cruise inspired jewelry and accessories, and added keychains as fishextender gifts for gift exchanges on cruise ships. Those became very popular, and I thought I finally found my niche.

beaded wire wrapped shell necklace by TappingflamingoBling

May, 2017, I put my shop on vacation mode and went on a cruise with my family. I got back, reactived my shop, and thought I would start where I left off. Not so much.....


During this time, Etsy started doing some big changes, and putting my shop on vacation mode actually hurt it.  I am still trying to dig out of that, and it has been over a year since then. I am essentially invisible when it comes to my shop.   I tweek and retweek constantly. 

Someone told me I need to switch to another shop, or just get my own website. I looked into this, but my gut feeling says, "NO!!!"

....and here is why....

I ask my friends and family where they like to shop for handmade items. Do you know what they say? Etsy. I did a poll on my facebook page and asked that question....I even listed some of the other online shops, and the answers I got were, Etsy and Instagram. By the way, I am on IG, and have had one sale from that venue. 

When I google search for something that is handmade, do you know what pops up? Yep....Etsy! Not the other shops, but Etsy, Etsy, Etsy...all over the place.

Now, recently, Etsy has changed some things. They have upped their cost to list...yes, you have to pay to use Etsy or any other online shopping site to list.  Etsy has not raised their prices...until now, and they have been around for a long time. I get it! Things are more costly now, but since they raised their prices, that means we have to too, and many do not understand that. 

wire wrapped shell piece necklace by TappingflamingoBling

I plan to stay with Etsy. I know I can make this work, I just need to keep plugging away. Sooner or later, I will be seen, and I will be successful. When I say successful, I am not meaning a multi-million dollar business. To be honest, I do not want that! To me success is 3 to 5 sales a week. Heck! at this rate, ONE a week would be great, lol. 

fluorite chip wire wrapped guitar string bracelet 
by TappingflamingoBling

Whether she cruises the high seas on a shop, hang tens on a surfboard or just likes a quiet walk along the shores...Wearing a creation from TappingflamingoBling will keep her favorite places close to her heart and soul. 

Friday, July 13, 2018


This summer has been a very busy one for me! In May, I went to Florida to visit my family. My sister, mother and I took an eight day cruise. Then I road out to Colorado with my parents...yes, we drove from Florida, with a quick stop in Louisiana where I currently live. After being gone for a month, my husband was really glad to see me...and to be honest, I was glad to see him. 

Most of June was pretty quiet, but at the end of the month, we took off again for Tennessee to visit with my husband's family for a few days, then it was of to Virginia to visit with my daughter and her family who just moved there. We bought a new vehicle, and our mini van went to their family....yes...I had to follow my husband for 18+ hours to get it there. Just a side note, I'm not good at long distance driving...but I made it.

We are now back, and not planning to go anywhere, until September.

Because of all this traveling, Tappingflamingo has not had much of a chance to do any creating; except in the car. You can see some of the things I have made while riding in a car...just go to my TappingflamingoBling Instagram to check that out. I can't sit still for too long.....lol. I've always got to be doing something. 

Today, when I went to check my mail, I found a package in there from Bead Box Bargains. I love getting their subscriptions. When I opened it up and saw all the pretties, I decided to sit down right then and there and make something. 

I actually made several somethings. My first creation was this necklace made with sky blue quartz, aqua terra jasper, Chinese crystal bicones in orange and light turquoise and a druzy pendant.

Aren't the colors gorgeous!?

Then I decided to make a couple pair of earrings. I could have made three, but I really wanted to put a couple of things into one pair of earrings. 

These have a lot of movement to them, and are really very interesting to look at.

Then I decided to take these infinity links and make earrings out them. I think they are meant for a necklace, but I like to think outside the box sometimes....well, a lot of the time.

I posted a video of all the pretties I received this month, and then showed these pieces off some, so I hope you go check out my video. Click here and you will be redirected to the proper place. 

Ya'll have a wonderful day!!!!!