Friday, December 31, 2010

MaryJanes and Galoshes

MaryJanes and Galoshes

Click the link above for the cutest little necklace tutorial ever! I will be making one of these asap:) I will be updating the shop shortly!

happy new year to all!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The naming of the shop.

I can’t say that I thought long and hard about what to name my shop. Some things just… come to me. Let me tell you a little bit about my name (I know I posted a bit about this a while back, but today I feel re-inspired (is that a word?). You see, my dad is David Coil and his dad is Cecil Coil and his mom was Desha Coil. Yep, just like me!

I’ve heard that she wasn’t the sweetest of old ladies, nor was she a fantastic cook (at least I can blame the name!), but she was a Coil, and my mom liked the sound of it. So into this world I came on December 23rd 1983, a brand new Desha.

Now folks, I’ve done a little calculation for you, so that you can understand the implications of naming your child something that is a bit … off-kilter.

I have estimated that I spend roughly five minutes of each day explaining my name to various individuals. The clerk at Publix, the lady at Subway, someone from church, a client, and the list goes on.

That’s 1,825 minutes a year. If I live to be 80, that’s 146,000 minutes in a lifetime. That comes out to be roughly 2,433 hours or 101 days! I will spend 101 days of my life explaining my name. I shudder at the thought.

Usually, my conversations with clients go something like this:

Me: Thank you for calling BB&T at the Naples Office, this is Desha Coil, how may I help you?
Client: Who?
Me: This is Desha Coil, how may I help you?
Client: Sasha? Besha?
Me: No, Desha, with a D.
Client: With a B?
Me: No, with a D as in David.
Client: Oh, Desha! Now spell that for me.
Me: D-E-S-H-A
Client: Okay, Desha, wow, now that is unusual.
Me: (trying to convey a tone of patience) Yes, yes it is.
Client: Where are you from?
Me: I’m from Tampa. My name was my great-grandmother’s.
Client: Oh, and where was she from?
Me: I’m not sure.
Client: Oh, it sounds like it’s from [insert country of choice].
Me: Yes, it sure does.

This is a delight.  If I were a slightly less pleasant person, it would go like this instead:

Me: Thank you for calling BB&T at the Naples Office, this is Desha Coil, how may I help you?
Client: Who?
Me: This is Desha Coil, how may I help you?
Client: Sasha? Besha?
Me: Sarah.
Client: Oh, okay Sarah, I need you to look up my account…

Voila! So simple! So painless! But alas, I cannot lie.

I did actually meet a man named Desha recently- his name is pronounced “de-shay” and he is French. Perhaps I can start telling people I’m French.

I digress. This post was intended to be about the naming of my shop. My reasoning in naming the shop “desha” is that, if people take half as much interest in the shop name as they do in my personal name, I think I smell a recipe for success!

I did, however, run into a recent problem when creating the shop’s Facebook page. I was going to name it desha, which would make sense. However, when I began to send out messages to friends, I realized they would read: “Desha Coil suggests you like desha.” I thought that people might be a little off-put by the idea of a fan-page for me, so I changed the FB page to Desha. The Store.

But, you know, maybe someday I will have my own fan page! Until then, visit desha (the store.  I don't refer to my self in third person) at:
And try to name your children something simple, okay?

An Update from the Banking Industry

I wouldn't be doing my duty if I didn't keep you posted on what the bankers are up to and, even more importantly, what the media are saying the bankers are up to.

I felt a great deal of satisfaction this morning when I read 4 ways we keep wasting money on MSN.  My friends, it is as I suspected, and I am just tickled about it!  Remember how our kind government swooped in to save us all from the horror of overdraft fees?  Remember how they were going to force banks to expose their cruel and inhumane tactics and put a stop to all these wretched charges that were causing the poor to get poorer and the rich to get richer?  Man, it was going to be earth-shattering.

Since I work in the banking industry, let me tell you how it went down:

Government: Hey banks, we need you to disclose your overdraft policies to your clients.  Give them the option of letting their card decline when they don't have enough money, instead of automatically allowing the purchase and charging exorbitant fees.
Banks: (big sigh) Okay, we'll do that.  But that means we have to mail out tons of letters, make lots of phone calls and train all of our staff on these new policies, which will cost us a lot of dinero (cash, moola).
Government: Not our problem.
Banks: Yes, but we are already a struggling industry, and now the FDIC is charging us more for insurance, and it is getting harder to give loans because of poor credit, and we're sitting on vacant homes, and-
Government: Again, not our problem.

So off we went, calling our clients, mailing letters to our clients, printing brochures, updating our websites, training our staff, dealing with much confusion, all to save people from overdraft fees.  It was a good cause.

And then today, look what I see!

As many as 75% of bank customers have opted to keep overdraft "protection" and the fees incurred, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Illinois-based Moebs Services, a banking analyst, estimates banks will collect upward of $38 billion in overdraft fees next year, up from this year's estimated $35.4 billion.

That's right, right from MSN, the people who love the banking industry oh-so-much, and spent much of their time earlier in the year explaining why banks are evil and these new government changes would save your life.  You know what the problem is?  People don't want the life preserver.  They would rather flail around in the water and complain that no one will save them from drowning. 

So now we spent ridiculous amounts of money to create the legislation, ridiculous amounts to update consumers on how the banks are handling the changes, and hardly anything even changes!  Life preservers are expensive, my friends.
You know what I say?  Get rid of all the preservers and teach them how to swim!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Custom-Made and Beautifully Packaged

I've been having a little fun lately, making some custom items and packaging them up in pretty little bows:

Monday, November 29, 2010

My Stuff in a Store?

I was recently approached by a gal from The Franklin Shops and asked if I'd be interested in selling my products at her location.  I will admit, at first I was super excited!  To think, someone wants to sell my stuff in her store!  But then I realized that this particular store is a like a giant space for many little boutiquers.  You rent out a space- small, medium or large, and they take care of the staffing, the payment processing, the everything.  It is quite a neat little concept, and the shop really does look like it will be super cool.

The shops are scheduled to have their grand opening on December 17th, and I must say I have given it some serious consideration.  For a small price, I could have my accessories in a brand-new shop in downtown Fort Myers, opening right before the holidays and season.  Here is some press I found about the shops.  What do you think?

If nothing else, go take a gander when it opens!  I think it will be worth your while!

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Keeping with my tradition, we picked out this bad boy on Black Friday:
And then on Saturday, I played Christmas music and decorated it! 

I even used some of my leftover bulbs to fill a vase (above) and a little fish tray (below).

By the way, the framed print you see here is a free download from Alisa Burke.  Happy decorating!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Project Desha Clutch

Working on a new project... a new line, if you will...

Here's a sneakety peak!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Knit Shine

Excited to say that my crafting adventures have extended into revisiting my short-lived stint with knitting.  Steph taught me in college, and I think I got about halfway through a scarf and gave up.  That is not at all unusual for me.  In fact, pretty much every one of my endeavors is a blast from the past: a tweaked, polished-up version of a trial in a previous life.

I am pleased to share the Festive Felted Garland tutorial from the Purl Bee:
Image from the Purl Bee

I would go ahead and commit to doing all of my holiday decorating with crafty items, but we all know I simply don't have the patience for that.  Maybe someday I will have that much time, but honestly I hope not (unless I'm being paid for it). 

I titled this post "knit shine," because I thought about how knitting can add a new element to my already past-my-current-abilities crafting repertoire.  I found some pretty sweet you tube knitting videos, so let the games begin.  I'll keep you posted on my progress, which until further notice will be little to none considering I still have three bridesmaid necklace and earring sets to make. 

A few other reasons why my progress is stalled:

  • I do, you know, have a completely separate full-time job as a banker.
  • Raph and I have been tirelessly waging a war against homeownership.  So far, we are losing.  There has been a lot of bloodshed.
  • I have been daydreaming about what to ask Santa for this year... can anyone say Emerson Made???  I am completely obsessed with anything and everything from this website:

  • What I really need is a sewing machine.  I tried to hint at my mother that perhaps her old, completely not-used-at-all, collecting dust machine could serve a better purpose in my house.  She either did not get the hint or graciously ignored me.  The latter is more likely true.
  • Thanksgiving is next week!  Should I cook something?  (Most of what I make doesn't turn out very well.  Breads, however, I am good at.  Banana nut bread?  Corny corn bread?  What shall it be?)  All I know is we will be going to a HOCKEY GAME the night before the big Turkey Day, and when you have hockey, what more do you need?
That's all for tonight, folks.  It is way past my bed time.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

One space between sentences???

So depressed. I just found a post on How About Orange that references Typography for Lawyers, a site that claims only one space is necessary between sentences! In fact, he goes so far as to say that you should almost never use two! My typing life is over. I have been using two spaces for ages, even advising others that this is the correct method. So much for my journalism degree. Good thing I went into banking!

(I used only one space in the paragraph above. Practice makes perfect!)

Brain Overload

Oh, so many millions of things on the brain!  A glass of wine and a seat at the laptop...

1. Another sale for the store, desha.  And some new hearts!  Yay!  I have lots of new goodies to add, but no photos yet to upload.  AND this whole time-change ordeal is going to cut into my natural light... so I may need to study up on the use of artificial lighting for photography.  Right.  In all my spare time.
2. A project for bridesmaids... learning to do post earrings.  Will keep you posted on that one (no pun intended!!!).
3. The home-buying process.  Oh, the emotions run so high!  I think every person involved should go out for cocktails when it's all over.  A big party to say, "I hated you about two days ago, but now I love you because I have ___________ (insert "a new home!" "or "commission!" here).
4. On that note, still having daydreams about interior design... 

Image from Kemble Interiors
Celerie Kemble is my new favorite (obsessed with above bedroom), again thanks to my clients who introduced me to Global Guide.  It is really a publication that lists homes for sale nationally, ranging from $500,000 euros to millions and millions of dollars.  But each edition features different business people who impact the real estate industry in one way or another.  This month Celerie was in it, and I find her inspiring, as I did Tory Burch.  Of course, I am blond these days, so perhaps that is what I love most about them!
5. Nicole, is your wedding really this weekend?  Are we old now?  Currently trying to finagle some way to make it to the ceremonial rehearsal in Tampa at 6 and simultaneously allow Raph (the mechanic boyfriend) time to shower after fixing jets all day long.  Hmmm... will be tricky...  Maybe someday there will be showers in cars.  That wouldn't be more distracting than texting.

As you can see, I have a few things flowing flowing through the brain at the moment, not to mention that my condo is in need of some serious TLC.  I think now would be a good time to start on that (will be playing music loudly for motivation).  But before I do, I would be doing you a disservice if I didn't share with you my latest jewelry inspiration:  Malene Birger.  She sells things in Danish krones.  At first I thought it all was outrageously overpriced, but then I figured out that a krone is about .19 US dollars.  Check out the "Queen of Fashion in Copenhagen," as MTV has dubbed her.

Happy shopping!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Make It Yours

I am just so delighted over a new blog find: Making It Lovely.  I happened upon it after a recent saunter through Apartment Therapy, initiated because Raph has his sights set on a new home and the odds seem in his favor this time around.  (I know, I know, it isn't technically my house, but we all know I love a good project!  Not to mention something to obsess over.)  So, in the spirit of obsession, pictures anyone?

Street view!  Ain't it cute?

For fear of jinxing anything, I won't post anymore.  This is, after all, someone else's home.  It is older and needs a little love in the cosmetic department, but just look at all that green grass!  :::sigh:::

In any case, helping with the house-hunting has had me daydreaming again about decor and design, and all the nifty things people can do with very little money and a limited floor plan.  Making it Lovely follows Nicole and her quest to transform a small 1920s bungalow into a perfectly-designed paradise!  A reminder, my friends, that your home doesn't have to look like a model when you buy it.  Plus, the more beat-up it is, the more excuse you have to make it your own.

Speaking of making it your own, I am in love with this tiny place too!

Ta ta for now...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Coffee and Brownies

Image taken from

Mmm... coffee and brownies for the second morning in a row.  I am so healthy.  Today, I'm sitting on my porch, enjoying the 65-degree morning and the sound of the fountain in my backyard.  Sadly, it is a backyard I share with the many others who live in these condos, but since most are gone for the summer and fall, I  have it to myself much of the time.

Brownies are not my typical choice for the breakfast of a champion (ha!), but I hosted a little game night on Friday, and somehow what was leftover were the brownies.  Fudgey, nutty, chocolaty goodness.  So I've been putting them to good use.  My ham and pickle rolls were mostly demolished, along with the stuffed cherry tomatoes.  Perhaps I should share those recipes... we'll see if I get to it.

On to more important things: my sad, poor, lonely little blog!  How I have missed you!  Somehow I have been busy with a billion other things and just haven't had the time to swing by to see you.  Some of the things I have been busy with:

  • Trip to Las Vegas
  • Recovery from trip to Las Vegas
  • Crazy busy weeks at work
  • Joining Raph on the quest to obtain an unobtainable home, auction and all
  • Making jewelry but experiencing terrible bouts of crafter's block
Also, we took a trip to Miami last weekend to see Raph's aunt who is in the hospital.  As of yesterday, things were looking up, which we are oh so thankful for!  We ask for prayers for her recovery and for her wonderful family.  They are sweet people, and it was great to see them all together last weekend.

We had the pleasure of hearing Del Tackett speak at church last weekend, and Richard Land the weekend before.  When I hear such intelligent people speak, I get to longing for the classroom setting that I despised so very much while I was in it.  Funny how life works.

If you're unfamiliar with Dr. Tackett and Dr. Land, click the links to go to their sites.  They are men of the same faith but quite differing dispositions.  I was just perusing Dr. Land's sight and I noticed he joined Glenn Beck for his rally in September.  I chuckled to myself over this, because while he was speaking at our church, he mentioned reading the documents actually written by people like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.  I nudged Raph and whispered, "it's just like Glenn Beck!"  Beck is constantly urging us to read primary sources, which I think is brilliant regardless of your political stance.  We have less to filter that way, and frankly more room to draw our own conclusions.  I have yet to pick up a copy of Common Sense, although I do have tomorrow off...

What have I picked up a copy of, you ask?  US Banker's October edition, which highlights "The 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking."  Apparently there was some sort of printing error, because I am not featured.  Maybe next year.  What caught my eye was actually the sense of style that most of these women seem to share, which is so pleasing since people typically assume banking and fashion don't quite intermingle.  After I got over scrutinizing every bead on every bracelet and every button on every suit, I began to read the articles which were equally as interesting.  You're wondering where I'm going with this...

Life is full of all sorts of little tidbits.  You gather them up, and most are forgotten or lingering somewhere in the back of your mind.  But every once in a while, some of the tidbits link together.  When that happens, you get opinions, or at the very least, affirmations of opinions.  The topic lately has been America and the political arena, on voting and why it is important.  Richard Land spoke about the likelihood of fatherless children ending up in jail, which is significantly higher than children coming from married-parent households. has some interesting statistics on the subject if you care to read.  I understand that sometimes statistics can be skewed, and I also understand that life happens.  I don't think Dr. Land was blaming anyone, but he was pointing out an interesting fact.  It is nice to have a father figure.  I like mine, at least.

So as I was reading US Banker, I happened upon an article written by Myrah H. Strober entitled, "Work-Life Balance: Men Want It, Too."  My stomach churned a little, wondering what this article would entail.  Need I reference my first-ever post about the Shriver Report?  Strober tells me:

The first phases of the workplace revolution focused on women, and it is still unfinished.  But a new development is that talented men have also become stakeholders in this revolution.

Okay... I'm down with that...

In 1970, less than half of adult women were in the labor force.  Today that figure is almost 60 percent.  For mothers of children under 18, it is even higher, 71 percent.  And for women with a college education, it is 80 percent.

Women's earnings have also increased, even when adjusted for inflation... On the home front, married men and women now divide housework about one-third/two-thirds, and married parents divide caring for and playing with children in about the same ratio... Moreover, the number of hours that fathers and mothers together devote to caring for and playing with their children has increased by 40 percent.

And not all children are raised in two parent homes.  Single parents now head up 30 percent of families with children, up from about 13 percent in 1970.

Hmmm.  The whole point of Strober's article is that companies need to tailor their workplace policies to meet the needs of an evolving American family life.  As though the evolution is inevitable.  As though it is a good thing.  I'm sure that my opinions of women in the workplace may differ from many who are part of the Dr. Land clan, but I do recognize that womens' growing independence has changed the American family.  I like working, and I wouldn't like to give up working.  I like the feeling of being productive and contributing to a team.  Maybe being a housewife could accomplish that for me.  But I doubt it.

My point here is that Strober highlights the growth of single-parent homes almost as a good thing, as evidence of a strength we have perfected in this country.  The strength of going-it-alone.  And she glorifies it by asking for workplace policies to change to encompass it.  Wouldn't that foster it?  Even, encourage it?

Before you send me hate-mail outlining why it is hard to be a single parent and why we should always try to help people who are trying to make it in this crazy, mixed-up world, let me emphasize that I do not have an answer.  I am merely saying that the more we cater to the "evolving way that things just are," the more we accept the evolution.  The more we change our morals without even realizing it.  It's like my Granny says, and like my Mom always reminds me that my Granny says: over time, everything just becomes okay.  Over time, something that would never have been accepted 100 years ago, becomes commonplace today.  Some people view that as an accomplishment.  I view it as something entirely different.  At some point it becomes easier to go with the flow than to fight against.  Easier to spare someones feelings than to tell them they're wrong.

What if instead of adding policies to help single parents, workplaces offered counseling to married couples?  What if we put policies in place that strive to preserve the two-parent family? 

By the way, in the October edition of US Banker, there is also an ad for Jones New York that says this:

"Women as half of all workers changes everything." - "The Shriver Report: A Woman's Nation" , Study by Maria Shriver and the Center for American Progress.  Jones New York.  Empowering Your Confidence.

There are four women pictured in black suits with amazing jewelry and expensive handbags.  I can just hear their heels hitting the floor...

Maybe now I should go do something empowering, like write the next great American novel or find the cure for cancer (Gator Nation, anyone?). 

Or maybe I will enjoy another cup of coffee and a brownie.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tory Burch and Inspiration in the Strangest of Places

Oh, how I love my clients (some days!). A lovely couple, who are business clients of the bank, stopped by today to give me a magazine published by the company of which their business is a subsidiary. The magazine name is "GG: Global Guide." They are a lovely, affluent couple living in Naples but from Germany, where the magazine publisher is located. And I must admit that for the simple fact that they dropped off this magazine for me, I adore them.

This month's feature: Women at Work. How conveniently inspiring! In it I have already found a new hero, Tory Burch.  She is absolutely gorgeous and successful, and she's married with six kids. I love successful career women who value family as much as their work. It gives the rest of us hope that we can hold onto traditional values and have a stab at our dreams.

PLUS, she has a totally amazing accessory line that features none other than nautical jewelry! (Did I mention I've been obsessed with the nautical princess idea?) Here are some of her pieces:

She also blogs (get out!). Well, I guess everyone blogs these days- but blogs by trade-masters are far more interesting and so well-worth the read. So I will be spending time with Tory's blog tonight. After church. Add it to the calendar. I better brush up on my juggling skills if I aspire to ever be anything like Tory!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Busy Bee!

Ahh, I have been such a busy little lady for the past few weeks.  I moved to a new branch location, so I've been getting adjusted there.  Vegas is less than a month away, so I have been prepping for that.  And of course I've been working on my shop, desha.  I've even had some custom orders!  Here are a few peeks of some items I've made and sold locally:

I was reading an article on Scoutie Girl today about what does and does not qualify as "handmade."  I'll admit I often grapple with the idea myself.  I agree that simply purchasing manufactured products and stringing them together doesn't really qualify as completely "handmade," unless the finished product serves a purpose or fulfills a niche that is completely unique.

However, there are many goals that entrepreneurs/crafters have when creating their products.  They are looking to be unique and creative because that is what drives them.  People who have a creative spirit are always dreaming of making pieces that blow others away because of their sheer originality.  But on the flip side: if it sells, it sells.  Sometimes people like the same ol' same ol'.  I have discovered that with my pieces.  I do get many compliments on the more unique items.  But the "safer," more typical products are what tends to sell.  People like safety and comfort.  We're all trying to start a revolution of course, turning our dreams into reality and sharing them with the world.  But hey- a girl's gotta make a living.  Sometimes safety sells.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Vegas 2010: The Countdown Begins.

In 34 days, the girls and I will head to Vegas for Nicole's bachelorette party.  And, as you might guess, bachelorette party = perfect excuse for crafting!  (I've got to come up with a better term than "crafting."  It sounds so... ancient.)  Anyway, I just wanted to give you a sneak peek of some of the brooches I'm making (which will go on the necklaces) for all 10 girls.  Whew!  Lots of hard work.  They're almost all done, and that's a good thing because I'll now need to spend the rest of my time meeting Nicole's wardrobe requirements.  Since I've already purchased the first two nights' outfits (and been reminded by my friend's boyfriend that I need to "do something" about my tan lines), the current quest is for something animal print .  Maybe I could just surprise everyone and show up dressed as a jungle animal.  I'll let you know how it goes.

In any case, enjoy these photos.  I have learned the lovely art of turning satin clippings into flowers, which I am pleased with.  Some tutorials, like this one, recommend to hold the fabric over an open flame, like a candle.  However, I learned the hard way that I get burnt by doing that.  For those of you as clumsy as myself, I recommend using a lighter.  It gives you a little more control.  And we all love that.

Here are a few other tutorials if you'd like to try it yourself:
Little Birdie Secrets Organza Flowers
Burda Style Flowers

By the way, I am still working on adding a whole bunch of goodies to the Etsy site, but I've been a little distracted by the Vegas-planning.  I will come back to you soon, I promise.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Peacocks and Bunnies

It seems as though the farm at la casa de La Mujer is yet another source for crafty inspiration! I used to think that peacocks were delightful animals, until I heard the earth-shattering noises they make at all hours of the night and day. The sound is reminiscent of that guttural "waaaaa" a cat makes when it is ready to fight. Only this noise seems to come from a 500-pound cat, one that I would not want to meet in a dark alley. Until recently, my image of the lovely peacock had been shattered. It was not until I happened upon La Mujer's GIANT peacock feather collection that my faith in those blue-green feathers was restored. Apparently the male just lost his feathers, and a large vase full of them was sitting right next to the back door.

"Raph," I said quietly, "what is she going to do with all of those feathers?"

He looked up briefly from the computer at me and said, "Oh, I don't know, family usually comes by and takes them." I didn't want to ask, but he must have sensed the desperation in my puppy-dog-eyed look, and he turned and faced me again. "Do you want some?"

"I could use them for my crafts!" I said, my eyes lighting up. "But… you know… if she's going to use them, I don't-"

"Let's go get you some," he said. He attempted to give me the whole bunch, but I couldn't bear to strip La Mujer of the only feathers she'd have for the rest of the year. I did, however, get a nice little bundle. And that was that. That is the story of how I inherited a couple dozen home-grown peacock feathers. And my are they lovely! I hope to make some unique little pieces for your enjoyment, so stay tuned!

I did a bit of research to see what I could dig up regarding peacock feather jewelry, and let me tell you that the majority of what's out there is pretty standard. So, my mission will be to create some pieces that are unlike any you've seen before. Wish me luck. In the meantime, here are some photos from my collection:

And, on an almost completely unrelated note, here are some photos I took Sunday of the sweet little bunny that Raph's mom (Ana) has befriended. He has a double-chin, which is pretty awesome. He also will eat a carrot right out of your hand, but no petting. Enjoy!