Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Fingers

My fingers have developed lovely calluses from making these earrings. The tiny seed beads were a bit of a pain to wire wrap but I love how they look all lined up and sparkly.

This bracelet was a little easier on my fingers. Look at the deep purple of that amethyst.

I've been creating and uploading pretty regularly now for about 3 weeks. My shop has gone from around 30 items to almost 100. I'm told that's how you get sales on Etsy... uploading and such. My fingers are crossed.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Pretty Sure I'm Obsessed...




... with making these bracelets O_O

I will be having a giveaway next week!

There's a conference I want to attend in March... MUST RAISE FUNDS >.< Still no job. Things were looking ok with sales last week but no sales yet this week. Must keep thinking positive!

I think I'll go blog hopping tomorrow. I haven't visited blogs in while. YAY!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Pink and Gray

I'm currently loving this color combination. Purple and gray. Pink and gray. The seed beads there? I originally thought they were purple... but now they look pink. But both look great, I think.

Do you type "grey" or "gray?" I always spelled it with an "e." I think it was because I read it somewhere once and on a spelling test, I got it wrong... but to prove the teacher wrong, I brought a dictionary up to her and showed her I was right. But I think most people spell it with an "a." So. My Etsy listings have an "a." But it just looks wrong. Lol.

Both these beauties are up in the shop!

Happy Friday, all!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Open House/Jewelry Party Notes

A few weeks ago, I had my first ever Open House for my jewelry. I was scared. I almost canceled it. But I didn't and it was a BLAST! I had so much fun (once it got going) and am so thankful to everyone who came.

My personal tips down past the pictures.

Me and the table... I'll be doing the cliche New Year's resolution of diet and exercise...
 
 Earrings on chargers and a raffle. I had made a display using canvas but didn't finish it in time. I was kicking myself the whole day because the earrings kept sliding around. 

I love love love the idea of using cups for displays. Especially pretty plastic ones.
  
 Close-up of the necklaces. That's PVC piping, folks! Probably cost me less than $6! I'm going to paint it for next time.

A magazine I was published in with the piece that was printed!

My older nephew picking something out for his mama.
  
Nephew paying...
  
 Nephew and mama!

My family.

I think that this was an excellent "first show." I had control of everything, pretty much. The turn out was ok... mostly family but it was still so much fun. The few friends that did show up hold a special place in my heart for coming by to support me.

And now! For tips!
  • Try and give yourself at least a month to let people know about your event. And try not to schedule it during a holiday weekend. Mine was on Thanksgiving weekend and I'm guessing everyone was pretty shopped out. Also, I really just decided at the last second I NEEDED to do this and put it together in about 2 weeks. The more time you give yourself, the better.
  • Don't just use Facebook to get the word out. Try and hand out paper invites or, if you're brave enough to have strangers come by, post flyers in cafes or the library. 
  • Build a good cash box! Unless you have a way of taking credit cards at your house, most people will be paying with cash. Depending on what your lowest item costs, you will want anywhere from 25 to 40 $1 bills. Don't forget some $5s... maybe even a few $10s. And don't forget rolls of change!
  • Snacks: Keep it simple! Don't worry about it too much. A veggie platter, some cheese, and one or 2 bottles of wine will probably be enough. If you decide to serve snacks, don't forget to have plates, napkins, and cups.
  • Speaking of wine, don't drink while you're selling your pieces. I know it sounds a bit harsh but you want to make sure you're focused. Besides, do you drink at work usually?
  • Build your table up and then out. I don't think people like crouching over tables.
  • Put business cards all over your table. I used plastic wine glasses and had them at 3 different spots on the table.
  • Mirrors! Don't forget mirrors!
  • If you've been published, show it off! I had my magazines opened on the table with the pieces laying right on the magazine pages.
  • Think about having some simple music playing.
  • I didn't have a table cloth on my table and I think it was a great idea. I think that it would have gotten pulled on by one of the kids. If your table isn't a pretty wooden one like the one I was fortunate enough to get to use, buy some pretty paper (wrapping paper or long sheets of art paper) and cover the table with that.
  • Do have a raffle. You could have a sign-up sheet for your newsletter as the raffle sheet but I think in general, it's a good idea. And advertise it on your invites!!!
  • Have a few different size merchandise bags available. I used craft paper bags hand stamped with pretty designs.
  • Give them the option of buying gift bags or boxes. Or maybe give them away with the purchase.
  • When making pieces for your show, have a nice range in prices. I had studs for $4 and some earrings for $25. 
  • Remember to thank everyone who came by... even if they didn't buy anything. Make sure they leave with business cards!
  • Don't forget a camera... with a charged battery! I almost forgot this tip! Lol. I forgot my camera and my sister-in-law took pictures for me. Maybe even have a notebook to make notes for future shows!
That's all I can think of for now. Hoping to do my first craft show next May. This was such a blast!

Do you have a tip for jewelry parties?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

BTW: Ugh...

I know, I've been gone a while. Had my open house last week. And decided to take a little break after that. I will blog more about it later. For now... the aftermath:

My desk is a mess. A huge mess. And because I wanted to just take pictures and fill up the shop with all the jewelry I've amassed, I just shoved it all aside for that tile I use as my background in pictures. That's what's on my bead table today. Lol. Maybe next week I'll have something more worthwhile to show.

At least the shop is filling up nicely.





There's a coupon code for all you lovely people out there. 20% off with coupon code DEC2011. I will continue to add lovelies to the shop. Now's the time to grab what you want for that special someone!

Half way to the weekend, everyone. Aren't you excited???

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Open House Prep

I'm having an Open House this Sunday. I'm close to freak out mode. It's nice to be close to freak out mode sometimes. I get a lot done... now when I actually hit freak out mode, that's when everything falls apart and I just cry and cry and cry. It's annoying being a weeper sometimes but I can't help it.

ANYWAY, I think I'm almost set with the jewelry and I just need to focus on the displays. I've never done this before and so I'm spending an awful amount of time looking at DIY displays. And Pinterest is the perfect place to put my lovely finds.

This awesome ring box was made using a cigar box and an old sweater. How cute is it? I don't have any rings to display but maybe some stud earrings?? Instructions here.

Beth Millner used some copper pipe fittings to make this display. Is it a coincidence that I featured Beth's owls in yesterday's Monday Muses? And then I found this display randomly on the internet??? Hmm... I'll have to make it! Check out her blurb on it here.

Bracelet display! I have a ton of bracelets to show. Love what they did here.

Ok. Back to creating. Happy Tuesday, everyone!!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday Muses: Hooooot...


I LOVE that ring...




I love owls. They've been pretty popular in design for a while now and it seems they'll be popular for a while.

They used to frighten me. Nightmares of owls swooping over me in the dark of night... but then I saw an owl one night in high school. It's hooting woke me up which was strange because it didn't seem that loud. I saw it perched on the brick wall separating my parents' house from the neighbors. Not sure how long I stood staring at it but was just so beautiful.


I made these earrings today. I really love the pair with the seed beads.

I'm a happy girl today.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Stupid Sleeping Pills and Tub

I'm still having trouble sleeping. Last night, at around 1am, I took a sleeping pill and fell asleep a few hours later feeling very loopy.

I woke up this morning... ok... really, around noon... and was very very groggy. But I had to get up.
 
I got in the shower... and I slipped. I fell out of the tub, hitting my lower back on the edge and landing on the stone floor more or less my upper back.

At the instant of falling, my instinct was to twist so I would fall on my back instead of my side... I think I would have hit my ribs against the tub instead of my back if I didn't twist.

My arms came up over my head and I remember holding my neck up so I wouldn't hit my head on the floor.

I know it sounds silly but I really feel I was lucky. I lay there afraid I had hurt my back pretty bad. My legs were all tingly and I crawled out of the bathroom and called my boyfriend. Of course there was crying and I was freaked out but I'm actually ok.

My lower back hurts, my left shoulder and neck are sore... it all hurts something awful but I am ok.

Thank you, God. I was so scared.

How pathetic is it that, for a few seconds, my major worry as I was on the floor was having to go to the emergency room? Not that I might have done real damage to my back or maybe I really did hit my head but that I would have to go to the emergency room and I couldn't afford it?

Life is so short. Too short for me to worry all the time about money and where I'm going to live in the next few months.

And I am just so tired of being stressed out and worried all the time. It's keeping me awake and affecting my health. And I know that I can't just stop being worried all the time but I am going to make (another) effort to try.

C'mon, Life. Let's get this party started.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Things I learned laying in bed sick most of the day yesterday:

-Sleeping does wonders for a cold... and a wallet since I didnt leave the house at all.
-A good book can do wonders when you cant sleep but are too blah to do anything else
-It's ok not to feel hungry but you must eat something or the next day, you will want to eat your weight in chow mein.
-Listen to your body. When it is tired, REST. duh.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

BTW: Sicky

I set this up on my bead table... oh... 4 hours ago. Maybe 5.

Dizziness set in. And I went to bed. And there it still sits.

Maybe I will take pictures tomorrow.

I feel like I've been hit by a bus.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My Poor Shop

Been working on pretties for a submission.




All of the above are now in a padded envelope at my editor's office. My favorite is the first pair of earrings.

I've also been working on some affordable single wrap bracelets. Probably price them at around $6 each.

But even these pretties won't be making it into my shop right now. They're going off to a fundraiser sale for my cousin's home school group on Friday (I think...), along with some studs and hair accessories I've been making. So busy... and none going into my shop.

I must make something for my shop. I must... maybe tomorrow. But for now, I think I can make a few more bracelets before dinner...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Muses: Buttons



I've been playing with buttons again. They're just so adorable. Here are some pretties from Etsy. Loving the amber buttons.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Craft Displays

I took a break from creating today and went shopping around for potential craft displays. I'm planning on having an open house in a few weeks which will technically be my first "craft fair" and want to have a pretty table. But I went shopping without a real plan and came home empty handed.

So, I came home and jumped on Pinterest. LOVE Pinterest. Here are some displays I found which I'm going to try out:

I saw some cracker baskets like these at the Goodwill for $1 each... I'm thinking buy some for these studs I've been working on... maybe for my button blossoms... I'd have to spray paint them because they're a funny yellow-brown color.

THIS is GENIUS. A paper towel holder turned bracelet display. And I just love the idea of building a display UP first and then out.

I am definitely going to make this. I have a TON of cardboard boxes at home. I'm thinking maybe decoupaging the cardboard with some pretty paper? You can find the plans for this display here.
 
Lots of pictures and plans for candle stick holders and bowls, plates, or frames. LOVE. I'm thinking maybe doing a big frame with some stout candle stick holders and turning it into an earring display.

You can view more of my pins on Pinterest here.

I'm really very excited... though I'm not sure what the turn out will be like. But I have to try, right?

Hope you all had a lovely Sunday!

<3