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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Excited But Surprised

As I told you in my last post, I was waiting on my new Art Clay kit to arrive.  I was so excited I couldn't help myself!  Well, it arrived........

The kit comes with everything to get started and it did.  What I got for the price I think was great!  I received a lot of tools and the rubber and wooden block, the torch, etc.  The size of the clay was what disappointed me.  I don't know metrics, visually, quite yet.  So when I got a 20g package of clay I pictured in my mind a piece at least half the size of polymer clay.  But.........no.  I'm sure it is enough to create a pair of earrings or maybe a ring but was hoping for more.  Don't ask. ;)

Check out the classes from Craftsy!

When I started making bead and clay jewelry I could spend $50, make several pieces, sell, then reinvest. I don't think that will be the case with the Art Clay.  Because of the small size pieces and the expense I'm going to have to stock up over time then make up several pieces.  Or make as I buy the clay but wait to present the pieces until I have a decent size inventory.  It's disappointing to customers when they have a limited choice or no choice at all.

Created using Metal Clay

As I began watching the video I found several items she talks about and uses that will come in handy but aren't necessarily a must.  I have started a list of the items that I will be purchasing over the next several weeks/months in order to make my production go smoother.  Items such as a battery powered polisher, cork clay, clay paste, polishing cream, 2 part mold compound, etc.  What I generally have been doing is purchasing a couple items each week so I don't feel the brunt of the start up costs.  I don't like monthly bills such as credit cards so I opt for this process instead.  No interest works great for me!

Why not sign up for an online video class?

As I watched the videos and searched the internet I also came across another item I'd like to add to my jewelry making, called Glasclay.  I would love to work with this medium however it requires a kiln which I don't currently own.  That item will be a little further down the road and only if the Art Clay/Metal Clay work out for me.

I'd like to hear from you and get some opinions about this blog.  What would you like to see this develop into;  online jewelry sales site, tutorials or just info to help you get started?  Your opinion means a lot to me so I hope you won't hesitate to write me or post a comment below.  I promise your comment will not go unnoticed.

Until next time......Jus' Bead It.....and have fun!



Saturday, August 18, 2012

Hitting The Reset Button

Well, Ramadan is almost over and I have spent the last month working, cooking, cleaning and of course fasting and praying.  But I didn't go to the Saturday Market to sell my jewelry AT ALL, so nothing's been made and nothing's been sold for a month. Good for the soul but not for the pocket book!  However, it has been good for the planning and resetting my mind to succeed........in something........anything!  I'm determined to get this jewelry thing off the ground!  : p My problem is I need something, "MYthing" that is uniquely "ME".

I've tried too many different types of jewelry making that are on the lesser expensive side.  Sometimes you just have to start at the simplest, least expensive in order to grow into better, finer things.  So far I've created jewelry from paper, poly clay, wire, paper, macrame, leather and bead weaving.  I love them all and continue to go back to them every time I get tired of what I'm doing at the time.  I have two other types of crafting I want to get into.  And again, I'm going to start on the lesser expensive of the two!  Today I ordered my starter kit for metal clay fabrication and I'm just thrilled to death!.......ok, not to death.......but too excited!  Later on I hope to start lampwork beads/pendants.
Art Clay® Silver starter kit with instructional DVD

I did a good bit of shopping around because I wanted to get the best prices and quality products.  I found Fire Mountain Gems had the absolute lowest price on the kit; even $20 less than ebay!  Of course many items on ebay can be found much cheaper out on the web as you probably already know.  I also bought the metal clay syringe with clay to do detail lines, ropes, trim or whatever, but I found the actual tips of varying sizes, carving and sanding tools came cheaper from Superfluity Shop a division of Linda's Naturescape Studios on Etsy.  Swwweeeet!  Now, if it will just hurry and get here I can get started!


Hand Crafted Necklace by Linda


I realize I haven't been the best at keeping my blog updated, but I'm hoping to do better to keep you informed of new things happening in the world of jewelry making as well as what I'm up to with my short-lived pleasures and treasures.  Let's face it when you're an Artist of any kind and your mind just wants to create....well.....sometimes I can seem a little "a.d.h.d".  I can't help it!  I just have so many things I want to do before I can't do them any longer.  And that day is slowly creeping up on me!

Until next time.......Jus' Bead It!

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Monday, June 18, 2012

When Is It A Good Day?

As crafters we enjoy the opportunity to set up at Flea Markets, Farmers Markets and random events that come into the surrounding areas.  Some crafters even travel several states to special events which can become quite costly.  I haven't made the attempt yet, but I believe those who do are well accomplished crafters with a nice size inventory.


Deciding on which opportunity to take and/or whether or not to set up is sometimes a difficult decision to make.  So what are things to consider to help ensure you get the most out of your sale? Below is a list I've compiled that represent the things I have found to make an impact on success or failure:






  • How big is the event and how many spectators are expected to pass through?
  • How many days is the event and do you have enough product to last?
  • Location of the event in question; intercity, country, accessibility
  • Is the event widely advertised?
  • Cost and size of the booth for each day you set up
  • How many vendors will be competing with you on similar products?
  • Is your product "event appropriate"?  Meaning are you doing an indian pow wow with diamonds and lace products?
  • Are there other events taking place at the same time that might draw away from your event?

These are just some of the questions you might ask
when deciding on the right event.  If you don't carefully plan your event, especially if you are going to be traveling a long distance or if the booth fee is very expensive, you could find yourself in a disappointingly losing situation.

Does my checklist guarantee a win or lose?  Not at all.  I have worked events that I paid a high amount for, had thousands of people pass through and I broke even; I had the wrong product for the event.  Other events I've driven a decent distance and paid maybe $25 for a full day and maybe cleared the same.  But on the upside I've set up at our small local Farmers Market for 4 hours and cleared as much as $175 with only a handful of other vendors and maybe a hundred people passing through.

Last year I set up at our local Farmers Market during the Riverbend Festival in Chattanooga.  I didn't think I'd have any business.  I ended up with the best day of the season.  Then again, this year during the same week and same event, it was a flop!  I had very few sales.  However I did receive a couple orders to do during the following week.  So you see?  You just never know.

Although there have been some losses when working larger, well advertised events I do believe that with careful planning your event can be a success.  Often times you set up and sell nothing but get orders that total much more than you'd make sitting there selling outright.  Those customers tend to call again and make more orders.  Those are the customers you want to keep satisfied so make sure you take along a nice size box of business cards with all your information.


So, in short, make sure you have a good stock of merchandise that's right for the event, have business cards on hand and be prepared to take orders.  And one more thing I want to mention;  if someone is at your booth and says they want to look around and will be back to buy a specific item from you, try your darnedest to make the sell while they are there.  Otherwise, they will most likely go to look around and will either forget about you or spend all their money while "looking around".


If I've missed something please feel free to comment.


Until next time.....Jus' Bead It!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Playing For Pay....And Sometimes NOT!

Like many crafters my husband and I spend time during the farming months selling my items at the local Farmers Market.  While many think of the market as being a somewhat less desirable way to sell jewelry we've actually found it to be my most productive and least expensive way to go.  It's also an opportunity to meet lots of people from all walks of life and to enjoy the little one's that accompany their families. Many of the participants and their children have actually become like my own family.

Me, my husband and my cat

This past weekend Dalton, GA not only had the Saturday Market but also a Block Party on Sunday. Both events lasted about four hours which is perfect for me.  We listened to live music and singing, enjoyed sampling each others food and just chilled in the warm sunshine.  It's always nice when the weather cooperates to make an easy, labor-free show.

I remember setting up about 3 weeks ago. The wind literally piled my jewelry and displays up in the middle of the table!  What didn't end up there ended up on the ground and was almost lost.   We ended by packing up after two constant hours of struggle!  I know we're not alone and believe our experience was mild compared to the stories I've heard from others.  The following weeks have been much better, thank God! It'll be nice to get through the season without any major loss.

Me selling at the Block Party

I've heard of so many horror stories from fellow crafters of how their tents got blown into their neighbor's area or even destroyed, their items blown away or saturated by rain and ruined.  We've been fortunate that the worst that has happened to us is the wind and of course you know that means work!  I've decided  to remedy part of that problem by making a wrap around table cover this week!  Hopefully that will make the windy days a bit more enjoyable.

If you've got advice you can share or stories to tell which will help others prepare to have a smoother and less tiresome event I encourage you to post below.  We all need some help in that area!

Until next time........Jus' Bead It!



Monday, April 23, 2012

Dragon Dance Bracelet

I recently purchased a beading magazine which had this awesome bracelet tutorial in it designed by Csilla Csirmaz.  I actually bought the magazine just for this tutorial!  Her tutorial actually called for pearls but I had a hard time finding pearls that matched the seed beads I purchased so I found some bicones that worked just beautifully!  The seeds I ordered ended up being more of a garnet color rather than the berry color I thought I was ordering but it's ok; it turned out great!  Click here for Csilla's blog so you can see the difference the stone and alternate color made.






This was really great fun to make and I had to make some adjustments because of my choice of stones, etc. and probably could have made more but inshallah next time!

Until next time.......Jus' Bead It!






Friday, March 16, 2012

New Tutorial To Try!

I've just added a new tutorial to my shop on Craftsy!  What I did is combine two different tutorials, made some adjustments and created my own unique bracelet/choker.  I love this tutorial because of its versatility. It can be lengthened to create a choker or you can keep it shorter for a bracelet.  The pattern will work with any type of beads which is awesome for those of us who don't always have the beads a pattern calls for and quite possibly can't find them at a local craft store.

The Star Wrapped Stone pattern can be made with a stone like the one I've chosen or you can throw in a rounded natural stone, a giant pearl or poly clay bead created to match your favorite blouse.


          $7.50 



I've used a Vintage Swarovski 12mm Crystal in the center of mine with Swarovski pearls and bicones.  Japanese seed beads and Miyuki Delica seed beads.

I'd bought the 12mm's months ago and didn't have a clue what I was going to do with them until I created this tutorial.  So if you have beads or stones laying around crying out to be used....why not give this tutorial a try?  It's available on Craftsy where you get an instant download or you can purchase directly from me and I will email the file to you within 24 hours of purchase.

Click here to view current jewelry items I have for sale:  Bracelets

Until next time.........jus' bead it!


Friday, February 17, 2012

Getting The Colors Right - Color Coordinating Your Jewelry Designs

How many times have we been in a craft store or shopped online and found some really awesome beads that we just couldn't live without?  We buy the beads, get them home and then it seems we have no other beads to match.  Or at least it seems so.  You set out your new beads then go through a monotonous routine of laying out beads side by side to see what might coordinate with your new find.  Let's face it this can be very frustrating at times.

When I first started designing jewelry it was a little difficult to determine the colors I needed to use to make my pieces 'pop'.  Learning about color and the uses of color are important since color can affect or change our mood and those around us.  Color coordinating isn't always the easiest thing to learn but with a little practice you can become a pro at it.  I found a few sites that will help you along the way.

One of the items I found that has helped me tremendously is the Swarovski Color Carousel.


It is an online color wheel that not only gives you the contrasting colors but also gives you the colors that harmonize as well as the pearl color that will match perfectly with your beads.  I love this tool and I think you will too.  It's found at CreateYourStyle.com.  Check it out and see if it doesn't help save you some time!

Additionally there are other websites that offer advice on color coordination such as this page on Home Jewelry Success Tips.  It gives a three step process for matching you jewelry to your clothing; Determining the base color, finding the complimentary color on the color wheel, then determining the triad colors next to the complimentary color.

I'll be honest, this next site is new to me, but I can't wait to use the color advice they offer!  Beading Design Jewelry has an absolutely awesome page on the art of beaded jewelry design.  This page will be tremendously helpful to anyone wanting to create jewelry that really pops!  There's a section on this page called Color Schemes which gives you a wide range of color and endless possibilities for your jewelry!  Your choices range from analogous to triadic color schemes and everything in between; 10 different types of schemes in all.

  

I hope this takes some of the work out of your decision making.  Until next time......Jus' Bead It!