Monday, September 28, 2009

Today's Dilemma...

I have completed the pendant portion of "Island Dreamer". I LOVE how she turned out - and am excited that this is the first face piece I've created successfully from polymer clay on my own. My dilemma - what to do for a neck piece? Or do I keep her as she is, and give the potential buyer the option of creating their own, or just putting it on a chain or rope? Most of my jewelry buyers are NOT creators - hence the reason they are buying it already made. But since my goal for holiday gifts is to JUST do simple RAW bracelets, earrings and also JUST pendants - maybe this should be one of them. I want to be able to offer affordable items - but I don't want to give up my gift of creativity to do it. I would love to be able to sell my large, detailed full pieces - and I do OCCASSIONALLY. I'm just not in the right market for it right now. I may have an opportunity to sell them in an art museum in Flint, and I am toying with the idea of trying Etsy. Artfire did NOT do what I expected it to - but Etsy is INUNDATED with beaded jewelry artists right now. I'm not even sure I could keep up with the updating and maintenance. Lots to think about on top of getting ready for Florida in 16 days....and the thoughts will all wait until Mercury is again direct - TOMORROW. Thank goodness. Retrograde in Libra about kicked my butt this time....whew.....
Guess it's a good thing I brought home more than one project!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Gettin' Spooky

Trick or Treat!
Here are a few photos of the cases at the shop - I've been busy the last few days spookin' em up and getting the shop ready for Halloween. It may seem early - but when you're in a craft mall - that's what people are looking for right now - and the decor just goes along. I've had my Halloween beads and jewelry out for a few weeks already. I will probably put CHRISTMAS (UGH) beads out before I leave for vacation.
Haven't been real creative lately - or rather - I created. I hated. I ripped it out. Thus is the life of an artiste.....
I DID hear from the man that runs the Sloan-Longway Art Museum in Flint the other day. They are interested in selling my art pieces in their gift shop. It's about an hour or so away, but since none of the galleries or museum shops around here are working out - we'll see what happens. I still need to call him and get the details. I DO know that the gift shop items will be available on the internet - BONUS!

Monday, September 14, 2009

New Work - and a bust

The flea market was a bust. Joyful Treasures kicked my butt again. I don't think she can be making much of a profit selling her necklaces at 2 for $15, and other items for less than $10. But she sure was cleaning up! if it wasn't for my mother and her love of my jewelry and her INSISTANCE on paying me for it (with the MOM discount, of course) - I wouldn't have sold much at all...oh well. That'll teach me....
I did have the opportunity last week, however, to continue COMPLETING the pieces that have been 'in progress' for months and weeks and even YEARS. The photos above are of two more of them.... The first is "Season's Change" - the top portion was started as a demonstration piece during spiral rope class. I finally had a chance to complete something with it this week. Then I did "Pinwheel". I love this one, done in lariat form, with the beautiful matching toggle in the front. I may not be able to part with this one. I'm wearing it to my bead play day today. I bet the girls will love it too. And did I INTEND to buy a toggle to MATCH the pinwheel pendant. Nope. It was a coinkydink.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Taking the plunge

I've never really wanted to take part in a Flea Market. I've done craft fairs, and my shop itself exists inside a craft & antique mall. SOOOOO, I suppose that's why after a few years they've finally worn me down. I will have a small table outside in the SHADE on Sunday the 13th - I'll have a tray or two of discount beads, and some boxes of discounted jewelry, a display of some of the $10 earrings that go so quickly, MAYBE one or two designer pieces - and posters and flyers directing people inside to the actual shop. (I'm going to have a big sale inside - but it's a secret!) Customers won't know the savings until they get there! It's a one day thing, and it will be huge!
The reason that they finally wore me down about participating was threefold - 1. It's free because I'm considered a Schoolhouse vendor; 2. All the money made at the Flea Market is mine, going straight into my pocket and not through the store, therefore getting me extra cash for Florida, and 3. The outdoor competition is killing me! She means well, and I understand the need, but the owners sister is a beginning, simple stringing beader who is in desperate need of cash. She sets up a table outside EVERY WEEKEND. Her work is very basic, and much simpler than my own, but she can (AND DOES) sell her pieces quite inexpensively, enticing customers to buy her jewelry, so that they are not interested in looking at jewelry anymore once they enter the shop. I feel bad for the other jewelry vendors as well. At least I have the beads to fall back on, and I've done well with those sales - but I don't want people to forget or not even realize, for that matter, that I do jewelry-much better jewelry than Joyce, but with a little higher price tag in some cases. My husband and I had talked about how I could combat her competition, and he jokingly said - "If you can't beat her-join her-set up your own table". Sure honey. Ok. AND THEN - the Flea Market presented itself. I was just supposed to work the counter inside, but upon voicing my concern about Joyce's advantage to her sister (the mall owner), she encouraged me to do the Flea Market. (Yes they're sisters - but there is a bit of sibling rivalry going on between them). So I'm in.
Preparing today - and selling tomorrow! Take that, Joyful Treasures!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

One more newbie....

"Mexicali Sunrise"
This is another one of those pieces that's been around awhile, and in fact, the final outcome (which I LOVE) is totally different than what it started out to be. I originally had the dentelle piece fastened into the hole of a donut that was embellished on both sides. But I JUST could NOT come up with a suitable finish for it. So it's been sitting in a drawer for about a year. In looking for coral color pieces to complete 'Elegante' I came across it, and decided to give it another whirl....much simpler than the original thought - but much prettier too.
I also experimented with the camera a bit on this piece - I just didn't like the contrast of the black background, and as I've stated many times in the past - don't think black is the best for displays - it sucks too much color out sometimes. I think this piece looks much nicer on the Rose Quartz, don't you?
I can't believe that I actually completed TWO pieces while at home this weekend. And still had time to cook, bake and entertain both our parents with a wild game of Chickenfoot! It was a great weekend - I hope the week is the same.....

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Well, here it is. 'Elegante'. I really like the simple look of it, but since I'm a seed beader, I'm considering adding a snaky strand or two of seed beads throughout - I have the exact brass color, and I also have a sparkly amber/coral. Still debating that one - if I do, though, I'll post the updated one.
I've posted photos in the past of works in progress that are still just that. 'Clematis' - I ran out of purple flower delicas. BUT - I decided to go ahead and create a herringbone rope, add some vines, and just use the 3 that I made, add some tendrils - and that can be worn as a short choker type necklace. I'll try and complete that one this YEAR. :0) As far as the Pacific Burst thing - that's still in a box. Haven't been able to complete that one yet. I'm frustrated that as an intermediate/advanced seed beader, I wasn't able to figure out the exact pattern for the bracelet. But then - I don't follow patterns very easily. The Quetzal ring in Marcia's new book was one of the few that were successful.
Pretty sad that here we sit on a holiday weekend - no plans, nothing on the calendar. Guess that means I have more time to BEAD!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Changing - and teasing

I could have probably waited another day and done it all at once - making a change to the layout of the blog - again - and adding the photo of my newest creation. But instead, I got antsy (ok, bored) and decided to make a change tonight. I would like to see Blogger give us some new layouts to pick from one of these days - but this will brighten things up for now. As for the photo - it's very different than I usually do. NO (well, ok just a few) seed beads. I've been known, though, to 'finish' a piece, and then later add seed beads for that special touch. And I may still. The only other 'clue' I will give you to tomorrow's photo post is that the piece was created with an entire strand of big, fat Carnelian rondelles that were gifted to me by a friend. I haven't named her yet either. I hope I'll have that to announce tomorrow as well.
Off to find out what hubby is laughing at so uproariously. I believe he's watching Comedy Central....

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I love the Prosperity Goddess!

She sure was on my side for the month of August! I expected to have an average month - enough to pay the rent, get gas, pay a bill, and squeak by the rest of the month. BUT - because the goddess loves me so, I was blessed with a wonderful customer that decided to buy two - not ONE - but TWO - of my gallery necklaces! Plus she bought beads, too - all at the end of the day on the 31st. That put an extra bundle into my hands - money I'll need when we travel to Florida in October. And it made it possible to place a bead order - I had this wonderful idea about an entire WALL of Turquoise - which will now become a reality because of the wonderful thing called prosperity! The ideas are flying out of my head today - I am confident that the goddess will shine her light on me again in September....
It's 'Take your Mother to Work' day today - She'll be preparing the kits for the upcoming "Paint with Beads" embroidery class, while I put inventory tags on some great new stuff. I have this great 'thing' going in my shop.... because I share space with a bunch of women who are ADDICTED to garage sale-ing, and antique shopping, they occasionally come across opportunities to purchase unwanted beads and findings, and broken vintage jewelry. They scoop it up, bring it in, and I buy from them what I can use. I sort it out, clean it up and have great success selling them as what I call "Homeless Beads". They are still in great shape (I won't sell the broken, cracked or unusable stuff), and because I bought them for dirt cheap from the garage salers, I am able to sell them to my customers for a great price too! They are selling pretty well, and it's a concept that fits in well with our antique and flea market booths. I will always carry the A grade and quality stuff too - I also have customers for those - but this "homeless bead" concept has kept them coming back more than any other gimmick I've tried. Garage sale season is almost over around here - so I hope I've got enough to last what looks to be a long, cold, lonely winter....