Monday, October 25, 2010

Bad day....

As if being off sick wasn't frustrating enough....I finally arrive back at my bead shop today, after a 9 day absence, only to discover that someone (and I'm really hoping we're talking about a SMALL child, here) DUMPED an ENTIRE tube of size 11 seed beads out in a pile on the floor (not out in the open, but in a somewhat hidden corner), and left the tube and cap behind as well.  ALSO - they dumped a packet of size 12 beading needles out onto the glass countertop, and then put the packet back in the tray.  I'm sure it was the same unsupervised BRAT, or a completely insane adult, but either way - I was LIVID.  Not to mention the fact that I'm still all coughy and hacky, and tired and just plain cranky.   I realize that this could have happened even had I been there recently, but I still don't know why none of the other clerks noticed or DID anything about it.  That is the problem with having the type of shop I have - a booth (well, larger than a booth-a large space, really) inside an antiques and flea market - so there isn't always someone there everyday all day (10am-8pm would suck the life out of me if I did it everyday).   I managed to salvage most of the seed beads, but can't resell what I recovered.  I really wish I could get my hands on the little....ah, anyway.
Another day - another rant.  At least it's about beads this time!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bead free days

I haven't beaded in almost a week.  That's rare for me - since I usually even manage to tweek a project when I'm on vacation, or start a new one with all the newbies I get.  BUT - when you're feeling yucky, and hacking and blowing every 30 seconds (it seems), beading seems like a lot of work, not to mention that one sneeze and the whole lapthing goes flying.  Or the needle flings off into oblivion.  And then there's the germs.  Especially if I plan to sell the piece I'm working on, I don't think others would appreciate my germy breath and fingers all over the beadwork.  So I refrain.  But it might just make me feel better, take my mind off my stuffy nose, and my pounding head.    I've been doing a lot of surfing the bead blogs and my favorite buying sites though.  And I'm getting sort of antsy to get at some of those new projects I have waiting, since I've seen some of the beautiful work being done by others.  LOTS and LOTS of cab work.  And seed bead detail.  That's my kind of beading.  I need to get back to it.  I've been working outside my comfort zone lately, with those Rings N Things Steampunk pieces, which I turned into a cool watch pendant, and some simple holiday pieces for last weeks show.  I miss the REAL beading, the down and dirty, don't even pay attention to the phone ringing details of real artistic work.
So maybe I can manage to just get out my boxes today.  I brought them home.  They're calling my name.  It might not hurt to do a little scribbling of some ideas - if I can get the snot out of my head long enough to come up with one!
TTFN everyone - bead happy - and healthy if you can!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Another day, another bead rant....

 Yesterday, I participated in a well established and highly publicized local arts and crafts show.  I've attended this show before, and found it to always be CRAMMED with shoppers.  So you might know that the one (and only) year I decide to participate as a vendor, the shoppers and the sales just weren't there.  Economy?  MSU football game?  Weather?  Those are all possible factors that leave most of us jewelry vendors scratching our heads, and with much emptier coffers than we had expected.  So after doing this very disappointing show, and finding that very few of the other jewelry vendors (although there were ALOT of us-26) did well either, I have to wonder - is beaded jewelry on it's way OUT, or are so many people creating their own jewelry that they are no longer purchasing it from others?  And then there was the puzzle of the day ... ONE particular jewelry vendor, with tacky SHEETS for table coverings, plain, white unlit trays of SIMPLE, Swarovski crystal and silver jewelry - nothing special about it, no creativity to putting it together - was selling like hotcakes.  Of course, because curiosity got the best of many of us, we had to go check her out.  And we found that her prices weren't even rock bottom.  They were the same as many of ours - and yet her table was the hit of the day. 
I'm done trying to find the magic formula for shows.  It is too much work and preparation for not enough sales as well as all the packing, and loading, and hauling and unpacking, and sitting, and sitting, and well, you get the idea.   So I guess the sluggish Etsy,  my actual retail bead shop - as well as the consignment sales I'm doing (that are doing very well) - will be my focus for the remainder of the year.  Still toying with the idea of a home open house too - but that sounds like way more work that I want to do too - maybe I'll just plan lots of special beady treats at the shop.
So how are YOUR show sales doing?  Is it worth the effort?  Love to hear your 'chimes'.....

Friday, October 8, 2010

Button Bracelet photo

Here is the bracelet I did with the buttons I blogged about a few days ago.  I actually thought the original piece came out quite nicely - but those metal buttons were a little heavy.  She's just one tough customer, that's all.
She came and picked up the buttons, and her partial refund today.  Didn't make a peep, or protest.  Probably won't be back.  Oh well. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Ok, Hive readers, this one's for you...

I think I've already decided how I'm going to handle this situation-but this is something that everyone may have experienced in the creative world, but I would like to know: how would you or did you handle it?
I have a customer that brought me her mother's antique metal shank buttons about a YEAR ago, along with a photo of a finished charm chain type bracelet, and said "Make this for me with these buttons".  So I did.  I charged her $35.00 for the extra supplies (the chain, clasp, jump rings, etc) and of course, my time.  She took it, thanked me, and I didn't hear from her again until JUNE.  She brought the bracelet back, and said she decided she didn't like how it hung (keep in mind the buttons are METAL) and could I possibly find another solution.  Well, ladies (and any gents) - I've been attempting to find another solution ever since.  I even purchased a BOOK specifically for BUTTON jewelry, and have met with her at least 3 times for design approval.  Every time she would say, "Still not what I was going for" and leave me to try, try again.  I have also purchased other supplies in that attempt as well - heavier chain, memory wire, bigger rings, to no avail.  She just could not be pleased.  Meanwhile - I have my shop and other customers, my Etsy shop, shows to prepare for, blogs to write and life to live.  I decided as of yesterday, that I could no longer try to please this woman.  So I left a pleasant message apologizing that I hadn't come up with any new ideas, and that I was giving her buttons back.  She immediately called back and asked for a refund. 
I have decided to give her a PARTIAL refund - but feel the materials and TIME that I have spent, not to mention the fact that she had the original piece for about 6 months before she came back with it, merit that I still be PAID for some of it.  What would you do in this situation?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Still readin' it old school

This is one of those non bead blog rants, so I apologize to all of The Hive readers expecting bead news...
I've been wanting, wanting, ok, COVETING a KINDLE ebook reader for months and months and months.
I finally manifested a comparable model that ALSO had Facebook access, email access, and HAD photo AND music files so I could have a portfolio slideshow right there at my fingertips, along with family photos, etc.  THOSE were the selling points of this model, rather than the actual Kindle.  I read books almost as much as I bead, but having those extras was a BONUS.  Ha.  Likely story.
After fighting and stressing over it for 4 days - it's going back to the store where it came from.  And I HOPE they will give me a CASH REFUND (I paid cash - I want cash).  I am very disappointed that after all that, the Pandigital brand does not support my email provider.  And you can't do much on it without the email - that's how you import the photos and music, and of course - CHECK EMAIL. 
I've spent part of today re - researching not only the Kindle, but also the Barnes & Noble Nook.  Both nice, but neither have the extras of photo and music or EMAIL.  So - onward - and upward.  I'm now looking at upgrading and changing my prepaid phone to a fancy schmancy ADULT phone - the Samsung Fascinate.  WOW.  I have a friend that owns one.  It's like a playground in your hand!  It does EVERYTHING!  FREE apps for recipes, decorating, and I bet, even beading if I look for one. 
May still attempt to get that Kindle someday - although the library does still provides me with as many great books as I want - FOR FREE.
TTFN - sorry bout the rant.  Next one will be bead related - I promise!

Saturday, October 2, 2010



Here are preview and mid-project photos of "Time Punk".  These are the Steampunk parts provided to me by Rings N Things, courtesy of the Blog Partner drawing.  Took me awhile - but I think it's going to be cool when it's done, and definitely OOAK!  Should have it finished by mid-next week....