Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Even though we live in a temperate area called 'The Low Country' of South Carolina, we are getting some cold weather. It is frosty out in the morning and chilly throughout the day. I can't complain because there's no snow to tackle. That's one reason we moved from Pittsburgh, PA to SC. It is really nice here.
Over our long Thanksgiving holiday, I've been trying out new stuff. Sorry. Not jewelry. I made my first batch of soap EVER! I love cooking and it is as technical as that but a bit more dangerous. I have a really nice bar of soap curing in my laundry room. The batch made 2-1/2 pounds. I was able to try it out because of the process I used to make it. It still needs to rest a while in order to dry to a harder bar.
Yesterday, I had another jewelry commission requested. I LOVE commissions! Especially when I get to see how people respond to the finished product. This is a copy of the chain maille bracelet below. However it will be a bracelet and necklace. This is a really nice chunk of chain and it really gets noticed. I hope the recipient enjoys it. I will try to remember to take pictures and post it. It should be a day or two by the time I finish. I only have a couple of hours a night to work on it by the time I get home from work. I finished about 8 inches of chain last night. I may be able to finish the necklace tonight. I still need the measurements from the recipient so I know what length she wants.
Well...it's time for me to get ready for work. Take care and, for those of you who do it, happy mailleing.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Hello everyone! I was really really lazy today. I didn't do much except go outside twice to feed the chickens (Yes. I really have some.) and collect the eggs. I did manage to take a few pics of my practice pieces as I mentioned in my last post. Don't laugh! They're not too bad. This one is a picture of a pendant I did after seeing something similar. Sorry. I don't remember where I saw it, but it was on a search I did for 'artisan jewelry'. It was easy and fun.
Here is my first attempt at the Tree of Life pattern. I made it of copper wire and labradorite chips. The labradorite is so shiny and pretty. This turned out so much better than the crystals. I also made earrings to match. This is one of my favorite pieces. I wear it to work and it draws attention and comments from co-workers.
This one is of a Tree of Life pattern I found on beadstudio.com. This was my second attempt at it. I wanted to try with the 4mm round crystals. The crystals are too uniform and don't fill out the tree as much as I would have liked. I also used thinner wire than I normally would, just because I had it to practice with.
Ah! My first attempt at organic wire wrapping. This is very large and really noticeable. I pulled out some amazonite and dumortierite to play with. I was told that the copper swirl covered too much of the focal stone. Hmmm. I like it. It's mine. I love blue! OOPS! I had my clock and stone box in the picture.
This is my second attempt at organic style wire wrapping. This one I wore to work. I had to make the chain to go with it. I received a few comments and this helps me to keep going. I have used this style to make cell phone charms as gifts. They were in copper. So, they should tarnish well and the stones should stand out.
This is definitely one of my favorites. I love playing with chain maille. This pattern is from the site cgmaille.com. They have some really detailed instructions for creating their designs. If you like chain maille, then you'll be a fanatic after you visit this site. This pattern is called 'Scherzo'. I love it! It makes a really beautiful chain, as you see. This is silverplate jumprings...about 100-110 of them. I wore this to work and a co-worker bought it right off of my wrist. I couldn't believe it! She's done it a couple of times since. I just received a new shipment of rings so I can make one for myself or try something new.
I'm going to call it a day, for now. I've done so much of nothing which makes me more tired than if I worked in the yard all day. Take care. Thanks for stopping by. The best of everything to all of you! -- Michelle
Saturday, November 22, 2008
I have a show coming up in December before the Christmas holiday. I'll be making some new items for that show. This will be my first one outside of my home. It should be pretty exciting and fun to meet new people. The only bad thing is the economy is not too healthy here. I'm going to make a few organic wire-wrap pieces in copper and see how that goes. I've never seen anyone wearing wire-wrap pieces in my area. Wish me luck!
That's all for now. Take care, all of you.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
This necklace is aventurine with some curlicues to join. This is similar to the necklaces in my last posting. I love the color of aventurine combined with silver. These, too, are silverplated.
I have been trying to figure out what I can do with some of my new beads. Sometimes I just sit and stare at them. Nothing comes to mind. That is just what I did with these aventurine stones that I've had sitting around for a while. Hopefully, something will come to mind with the new beads, as well.
So long for now. May you have a creative day!
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Hello, everyone. I had a nice show. Not everyone I invited was able to come, but enough came to have a great time.
Here are a few of the pics I took today, not yesterday. My husband jinxed me by saying the battery in the camera was probably dead. I only got one photo yesterday before the thing went dead.
This is the table layout I used. I had no idea what I was going to do until the night before. I had bought little pumpkins and gourds a week ago because I wanted to use them. I had the candleabras from a closeout of an outlet last year. My candles weren't the best, but it was all I had at the moment. I used the candle holders and the leaves on the candelabras to hand necklaces and earrings. That worked out well. I put a necklace on the candle holder and let it dangle and I put the corresponding earrings on the wax catching part of the candle holder. I also used the pumpkins to dangle necklaces since the stems were strong enough to hold them.
This next picture is the little pumpkin holding one of my favorite necklaces. Obviously, this one didn't sell. It is a porcelain focal bead dangle with deep blue druk beads. I used some simple chain maille for the chain attached to the clasp. It really stands out when someone puts it on. This was tried on a few times during the show.
Here is a pic of my next favorite necklace, which also didn't sell, but was tried on a few times. It is aventurine pebbles and an odd-shaped aventurine pendant. I like to use the jump rings to make little flowers between the stations of the pendant. I love the color of the green with the silver jump rings and spacers.
At this time, I used only silver-plate heads and jump rings. Some items were sterling, but not many. I am not comfortable enough with my skills to work in sterling or gold. I like working with copper for my sample wire wrapping pieces. Not many people have seen jewelry in copper. I get a lot of comments from my steady customers on the copper items I wear. They have not yet requested any pieces in copper.
Let me know what you think of these few pics. I hope you liked them.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
I have some marketing ideas I try, which actually gets a lot of looks and quite a few sales. I have a 2-tiered cookie tray which I use to set packs of earrings on. The top level is $3 earrings. The bottom level is $5 earrings. I use up all of my bits and pieces to make these. It helps empty out my compartments so I can buy new stuff. Woo hoo!!
This showing, I am asking people to bring a friend for a $5 discount on a $25 purchase. This will be given to the invitee and the friend. Hopefully, this will bring in more people to visit. It will also help someone who may feel awkward and who doesn't know anyone at the showing. Sometimes people ask me at the show if they could have brought a friend. Of course they could have! They should have! Bring the kids, too! I LOVE entertaining and having company. I guess making jewelry is a good thing for me to get into because I could have company and entertain at the same time!
Another thing I do is have an Open-House type of format. Most jewelry shows I have gone to try to pitch the company. Since I am the company, I don't have a pitch. I don't like having to be somewhere for a formal presentation. I like to get there and relax and take my time. Drop in! Sit a while! Browse a while! Talk a lot! Enjoy!
At the November 8th showing, I will also create interest for Christmas purchases. I have a few items which can be personalized and will have to be made-to-order. I'll set up a display so the items can be seen and touched. At least, this will put these items in the minds of the attendees. Perhaps they'll make an order later?! I'll see how this turns out. Wish me luck!
I need to get creative with setting up the tables. I need to figure out how to display all of the items to their best advantage. If I come up with something unique, I'll pass it on in a later post. I ALWAYS take pics after I set up my tables.
As for the New Shiny Stuff I received the other day, I've finally sorted and priced-out the items. It had taken about 1-1/2 hours to do so. I can hardly wait to use the new stuff for my showing! I also managed to get some paperwork done so I'll be up-to-date on just about everything I need to be updated on.
I haven't had time for taking individual pics of my jewelry to post. Sorry about that. I'll get to it soon.
Take care. Happy beading!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I mentioned my 'signature' collection. These are the very shiny, well-embellished and very unique pieces that I've been getting compliments on when I wear my samples to work. This includes wirework, chain maille and general beading but with my special twists to them. As soon as I get some of these pics taken, I'll post them, as well.
November 1st and 2nd is the day for the semi-annual bead show and sale in a nearby town. I planned to have an in-home viewing on the 1st so it looks like the 2nd is when I'll get to go drool over the new stuff. I still haven't used all of the beads from the last show I went to in May. But don't tell my hubby!
I played with wireworking last night. I have some really great failures to speak of. I go to the hardware store and get small spools of copper for practicing. It's not tarnish-proof, but at least I'll get to see what it looks like after it's tarnished and cleaned. I have a bunch of stuff on the corner of my work table that I look at. Some of the stuff is really cool and an inspiration to keep going. The rest is YUK! And it's the reason I keep going.
Stop back another time to see if I got the pics downloaded.
Take care and happy beading today and every day.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Let me tell you how I got started into this hobby...
I am sick and tired of going to the store to look for complementary costume jewelry for my outfits. Needless to say, I don't buy much because it is so expensive. A lot of it is ugly. (my opinion only! LOL) I decided to buy some beads and stuff at the local discount store to make what I wanted. So I got online and looked to see what I needed and how to make what I wanted. OK. Got info, went shopping, spent a couple of bucks (including a cheap set of pliers), went home, made a bracelet and earrings. I wore it to work and a co-worker really surprised me by asking where I got it. So I told her I made it. (Shocked look on her face!) She asked if I could make the exact same thing for a present for a family member. (Shocked look on my face!) I said 'Sure'. She said 'Go for it.' And, that was that. I never thought it would turn into an addiction, but it did. Like any other female, I like shiny things and shopping. This satisfies both of those requirements and it makes me very happy. It also makes me happy to make jewelry and give it as presents for someone who has been nice to me. Not to mention, it's a great marketing tool.
I am still at the hobby level because I don't have much time to market my jewelry. I hope to, someday, make this hobby into an income-generating tool. Although, it will mostly be so I can buy more shiny beads and stuff, but the other motive is to help my husband retire when he wants to. (in a couple of years) He has no idea that this is my motive, but I want him to take it easy because he works so hard. Yeah, I'm quite a bit younger than him and I have a lot of working days ahead of me. However, it would make him very happy if he can enjoy a retirement in good health and he could putz around the house and yard on his own timeclock. It would make me happy to see him happy.
So, if you would, please leave a comment on the pictures I post. It will help me to expand my repertoire of jewelry making skills. Thank you for stopping by. Best wishes to all of you.