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Friday, September 23, 2011

Things 'They' Don't Tell You When You Decide To Sell Your Jewelry

Here's a bit of information that 'they' don't tell you when you decide to start selling your jewelry.  Once you have enjoyed the process of designing and making a piece of jewelry you 'aren't finished'.  Here's a short ugly and time intensive, not so much fun list of things I need to do before each piece of jewelry is ready for sale.

This is going to be boring...
  1. Clean the piece of jewelry
  2. Take at least one excellent picture
  3. Edit the picture to get rid of the extra space since I only want to see the piece of jewelry
  4. Apply an item number, write a description and enter each piece into my personal inventory data base (so I know what shop or gallery has the piece and if it sells I know to make more.  If it doesn't sell - lesson learned)
  5. Go get that picture and copy it into my inventory data base (this usually require me to crop the picture to fit.
  6. Attach a business card to each piece with the price, item number, and whatever else I think the shop needs.  I use a business card because it's an extra bit of marketing/advertising.
  7. Attach a removeable sticker with the item #, price and my last name to each business card (a gallery requirement, they need to peel and stick to something for their reference and it helps to get me paid)
  8. If the item is earrings, peel and stick the plastic hanging thingy to the back of the business card.
  9. if the earrings are for certain venues the earrings on the card need to go into a clear plastic baggie
  10. Prepare an inventory form (different from above) that has been supplied by the shop or gallery
  11. Wrap everything up
  12. Drive to the shop or gallery.  Get inventory form signed as a receipt.
  13. Bring signed receipt back to office and file it.
Look at the time and realize you've been doing admin things all day long.  I thought I quit my job so I wouldn't have to do this stuff.  Where's my secretary?

Thank you for reading along as I whined.  I really do love what I do, but sometimes, well you know, the paperwork can get ya'.


Getting Ready For Christmas Sales

It seems a bit weird making Christmas Jewelry in September, but that's the nature of art and craft fairs and festivals.  I personally start to shop for my Christmas gifts and decorations early.  It helps with the budget and of course to help reduce the stress of last minute shopping and the search for the perfect gift.  So I have begun.  There is a lot more that needs to be made.  I'm waiting on a delivery with silver wire so there will definitely be more designs, not only earrings, but bracelets and pendants.  In the meantime here's some eye candy for the Christmas season.

Copper, antiqued and crystal

Bronze with crystal

Bronze with lampwork

Bronze with lampwork and crystal

Bronze with lampwork and crystal

Bronze with lampwork and crystal

Bronze with lampwork and crystal

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My Jewelry Adventures in the Waiting Room

I've had a few interesting jewelry making encounters lately while sitting in the waiting room.  For the past couple of months I have been traveling with my niece to her dentist appointments at the School of Dentistry at Morgantown University.  She has several very long appointments scheduled.  The drive from our small town in the Appalachian mountains of West Virginia to Morgantown, WV is 2 hours through some isolated forest and yes, mountains and there isn't always cell phone service.  It's a good idea to travel with a friend.

Have tools will travel.  Carrying a tool bag with me, most of the time, does create some staring.
While waiting for my niece I use the time to cut and spiral wire.  I'm getting use to the staring, but recently I was approached twice by lovely ladies with their curiosity and smiles.  As we spoke they shared with me what they create, from quilts to crochet.  What a  wonderful way to meet and share creativity with new friends.

Inside my tool bag there is usually a book or magazine.  Today it's all about art business.
I've learned that I need to have a completed project with me so I can show them how the wire link I am making will look in a final piece of jewelry.  It can be hard to imagine a piece of wire and a bare crystal as a finished herringbone weave bead cap earring.

Under the book are some yummy crystals.
I'll be making several more trips with my niece, Brandy.  But, my unexpected demonstrations in the waiting room will have the finished product with to me.  And should they seem interested, my business card will be handy so they can look at the pictures of my jewelry in the gallery section of my blog.

Here's the finish project that I didn't have in the tool bag this time.

Also in my tool bag is my must have wire.  The wire in the clear cosmetic bag is pre-measured and pre-flush-cut and ready to wrap.  The zip lock bag has some jump rings to be cut for inventory.
I love meeting new people.  Who would have thought that a waiting room would be a fun adventure and experience.

The most important part of my tool bag is of course the tools and my visor.
Thank you for visiting my blog and reading my adventures.

Have a wonderful and prosperous day,


Monday, September 5, 2011

Bad Wire Choice

I started the day in the studio with a feeling of accomplishment as I coiled wire for a new pendant design that was inside my head.  I found some 'silver' 20 gauge wire and coiled it around a 2mm mandrel in 3" lengths.  I had decided to make 7 similar pendants to fill my inventory.  Once the wire coiled frames were completed I thought they looked dingy and decided they deserved some time in the tumbler to work harden and to polish.  When I  took them out of the tumbler I thought they had a strange color, but told myself it was the lighting in the kitchen.  So I took them to another light.  Still the strange color.  Some emotional discomfort was building inside me.  In one last attempt to see better, I took them outside in the natural light.  Blah! Grrr! Awgh!

The coils on the right are made with the correct, pretty silver wire.  The coiled frames on the left were made with craft wire that I had accidentally used.  The craft wire is now in the box marked 'give away'.  Most likely to the art classroom of the local school.  The coils with the bad wire were dismantled because the core wire and the bails were made with the correct wire.

Here's the final pendant.  I was outside in the rain taking this. So there are rain drops in the picture, plus I didn't take the time to straighten the crystals and the lighting wasn't the best.  That lovely round rose Swarovski crystal should be pointing south and not west.

After all this drama with this pendant I'm not totally happy with it.  It needs something else.  It looks a bit wimpy to me.  Maybe I'll wrap some wire over the coil.  Or add a piece off yarn or ribbon at the top near the bail. But I'll wait until my frustration passes and take another look before I make a final decision.

Thank you for visiting and for your patience as I have expressed a not so successful day in the studio.  Tomorrow will be better!  Linda

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Crape Myrtles and a Spider

Some of you know that my previous home in Reston, VA occupied my spare time with lots and lots of gardening.  To the point that my townhouse yard was completely full of flowers and plants.  There wasn't a blade of grass to be found.  My new home here in WV has a large yard, but I haven't had much time to develop the garden since I've been occupied with establishing my jewelry business.  Last year I did manage to plant 4 Crape Myrtles even tho they are best suited for a plant zone 6 and I now live in a colder zone 5.  But I so love Crape Myrtles that I took a huge risk and planted them.  I was so happy to see that they survived their first winter. Today while mowing I have discovered that 1 of the 4 has a bloom.  You just can't imagine my excitement.  I am over joyed.

Eventually, my Crape Myrtles will grow to full size.  Two are going to be 8 feet high by 8 to 10 feet in diameter.  The other two are Crape Myrtle trees and are going to be 20 to 25 feet high.  I just can't wait for them to be completely covered with these passionate blooms.

Silly me, I got a bit upset when I discovered that one tiny blossom  had fallen to the ground.  It looks so pretty surround by my lawn.  Yes, my lawn is full of 'other stuff'.  Let's call it ground cover - ha!

Now on to the scary part of my gardening story.  The spider!  It had weaved a web between the bush and the porch post right at my front door.  I've never seen a spider that looks like this.  There's a yellow color and stripes.  Oh and did I mention big!?  The second picture gives you an idea of it's size.    I quickly went back into the house and fetched my can of bug insecticide.  The last picture shows you my plan of attack for all of the insects that feel the cool brisk mountain night air and think they are moving inside to my warm home.  Not!

Thank you for visiting.  I hope you have a wonderful and happy day.