Monday, December 21, 2009

What a December!!!

Oooh, I can gradually feel the pace beginning to slow and I couldn't welcome it more! This has been a whirl wind of a month, that is for sure! I am eternally grateful that my "day job" shuts down from 12/24 through 1/4. A much needed break!
So, why have I been so busy you ask? Well, I had my very first jewelry show on Dec 10th. A small scale show set up in the banquet room at a restaurant sponsored by a local women's networking group, my table top is shown in the photo. Then 4 days later I did another show, at the design firm I used to work for! Aside from the shows, my sales on Etsy went off the charts! Nothing to complain about, but a lot to keep up with in addition to my standard holiday madness!

So for my fellow jewelry makers, I wanted to share a display tip. I created a fancy little board for hanging earrings, as you can see in my picture. To create for one for your own booth displays is easy! All you need is a picture frame, a colored backing board, a sheet of screen and some spacer sticks. You can get spacer sticks at your local frame shop (Aaron Brothers or Michaels too) simply cut them into lengths equal to the sides of your frame. Stick them to your backing board and wrap the screen tightly around and securely tape down the backside. Then just pop it into your frame and tada! you have a unique and stylish earring board. The screen is easy to put earrings in to and easy to arrange however you like! For a table top set up I used an iron easel (you can find these at TJ Maxx, Homegoods or Michaels). Happy decorating! And happy selling!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A New Style...

Sorry, I haven't blogged for a bit. Lots of things have been stirring around...

I have been considering for quite along time how I can make my jewelry more profitable and more efficent to make. My ultimate goal is to fully support myself solely by making jewelry. Those of you who make jewelry also can probably understand the challege in this.

One logical solution that I'm leaning towards involves creating a large line of easily assembled, and easily reproduced pieces. These can be sold on Etsy and re-listed easily after each sale thus saving me tremendous amounts of time photographing, editing, and listing each one of a kind each time. Plus the benefit of ordering bulk quantities of supplies, the option of "made to order" which minimizes slow moving inventory, the ability to then offer my line to retailers... etc... endless benefits. One drawback... will I still feel creative? or will I feel like a factory? will I still be an artist? is a vision of profitability causing me to "sell out"??? Or is that what "being in business" is really all about?

I suppose these are only questions that I can answer myself... and these answers will probably only come once I begin to follow that path. I just wish I could wipe away the feeling that I have. I just feel a bit like I am compromising my original vision. But, maybe, I am really just adapting.

Anyway, these are the whirlings of my busy, restless mind... any thoughts? feedback? guidance?

Above is a new photo of a new piece that would likely be part of my new line. This is a new style of photography as well, which I am truly loving!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Super Glue Mishap

Oh the mess!!! I was so incredibly focused and mildly frustrated at the 4th attempt in perfecting a bracelet I was working on. I normally don't remake things mulitple times but this particular piece just wasn't working out. I was struggling with how to complete my closure. I had hand knotted the bracelet using hemp cord and I wanted to used a wood bead toggle and create a loop with little beads, but I wanted to string the beads on the hemp and the holes were small and the cord was thick... you know the story... so I thought if I just add a bit of glue to the tip of my cord it might just stiffen it up enough for me to use it like a needle and add my beads (this has probably been done before, but it was a eureka moment for me)

So enlivened with my new idea I grabbed my super glue, twirled off the cap and tipped it upside down....... uggghhh..... I stared at a puddle of the entire contents of my full bottle of super glue which was now emptied on to the surface of my work table and all of my nearby components! The tip of the bottle was stuck inside the cap and I literally just dumped an open bottle !Wow! My first reaction was to lift up a paper napkin which was soaked because I did not want it permanately attached to my table. The glue quickly spread out and climbed up the napkin saturating most of my right hand and some of the left. Immediately it began severly burning! So I dropped the napkin and ran to the sink to rinse my hands! A moment later, I returned to the scene and the napkin was smoldering and smoking!!! I was seriously afraid that it was about to explode into flames!!!! I yelled for my boyfriend to come to my rescue! He quickly helped me to minimize the damage. The napkin was charred, hot, and toxic! The fumes were seriously stinging our eyes and it took hours to remove the glue from my skin, in fact in took days for all of it to come off. My table is marred and my favorite wire cutters were made victim as well... a very sad misfortune... but at least, not a single bead was lost!

But, I am happy to report that my efforts were not in vain because, despite the tragedy, the trick worked! Adding a bit of glue to the tip of cord does work like a needle and the bracelet was finally a success!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Copper Cuff Leads to New Ideas

Aaaahh... adventures with metal!!! I absolutely love metal jewelry! Don't get me wrong, I love beads too... ok, ok, I really love most everything involved with jewelry. But I have always had a great admiration and appreciation of metal. So, I took a copper etching class at my local bead place and created a few treasures, this one pictured being my very favorite. Metal etching is a very very cool technique. Its simple but its also pretty time consuming too. I was just delighted to discover that liver of sulfur will age copper just as it ages sterling. So this finished piece is the result of a sulfur dip and some hand polishing.

I'm seriously considering developing a line of hand forged, aged components and findings in copper, brass and maybe sterling too to sell in a sister store on Etsy. There are a few other sellers doing hand forged findings already, but I have a different vision. I'd like mine to be much more unrefined and very distressed, perhaps even patinaed. I do love verdigris and there are almost zero findings available in verdigris patina! Hmmm... ok I'm just thinking out load now. Expect some experimentation to follow! =) Any feedback about my ideas?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Mailbox Joy

My absolute favorite thing about shopping online is the rush of joy of finding a little package waiting for you in your mailbox a few days later. Its like Christmas! This week has brought me several packages of joy! The picture shows some beady goodies I recieved yesterday from Uncommon Beads on Etsy. My mind is swirling with ideas, especially for the clover shaped blue shell beads... so many potenials! I also got some fabulous pieces from Earthenwood Studios... but you will have to wait to see my finished results coming soon to my Etsy shop. =)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What's in a Name?

At the advice of my boyfriend, I have starting giving catchy little names to each of my pieces. Previously I was listing items with names something like "purple glass bracelet" now instead I will call it "Violet Haven". It seems to give a piece more of an atmosphere, more of a story. With that being said, I am at a total loss for what to name this dear sweet bracelet which I love so much. Any help?

Check out some of the names I'm using for current pieces by visiting my shop...

A Forced Effort

Despite my total lack of inspiration, I decided to force my creativity. I began the day with a goal to make 10 new bracelets but after procrastinating for hours I finally sat down around 7pm and ended up with 4 very lovely pieces. Not too bad for a completely forced effort. The one in the picture was the last one I made and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. You can find this piece along the others in my Etsy shop ... I am really loving mix and matching my closures. So I created this toggle by using a simple ring component and then I made the bar by taking a wooden stick bead and wrapping a headpin through it to create a loop in the back where I then I attached the bracelet's string. Pretty cool, if I don't say so myself! =)