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Thursday, November 27, 2008

How Exciting!!

Call me quirky, but one of the things I LOVE about selling on Etsy is checking out where the pieces are going. It's so interesting to think of people in places I've never even been to - wearing something that I made by hand.

Yesterday I shipped these earrings to Holland! So I just had to find out a bit more about Holland, which is actually a country called "The Netherlands". I didn't know that it is a monarchy, rather than having a president or a prime minister the way we do in Canada and the US, nor that the weather sounds very similar to what you might find on Vancouver Island - I had presumed they would have very cold winters. At 41,528 square kilometers, it is only 9394 square kilometers larger than the island where I live in British Columbia.

So, in a way, making jewellery is expanding my knowledge of the world I live in too. What a neat concept! Cheers all:)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Jewellery Party

I'm SO looking forward to today! I have a jewellery party booked at a friend's house and I have some great ideas for making it fun (and hopefully profitable). I plan to do a necklace giveaway - each purchase will entitle the person to an entry for the draw, and to offer a $20 gift certificate for a party booked and held before Christmas. I'm hoping this will get me at least one more party before the holidays so I can load up on an order of new materials to spend the winter months - the slower season - creating. Of course I have a ton of ideas for new pieces!

Sometimes the tough part is deciding what to make first because the ideas float in my head all the time and there are so many of them. I try to get everything 'jotted' down on paper but a lot of ideas come in the night when I'm half awake and even though I keep a pad by the bed, I miss quite a few because I really don't want to turn on the light. Lately I've been having some fun with copper sheet. I made a beautiful cuff style bracelet that I wrapped Chinese turquoise onto and I had to keep it for myself - it's gorgeous and simple - the greens and blacks in the stone are a perfect contrast to the shiny copper. It's natural copper too, so it will get the lovely patina over time. I plan to do some similar work with sterling sheet over the winter so watch here and Etsy for new designs.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Live and Learn

Well, I did my first craft show, and overall it turned out pretty well. I learned a LOT in the process though, and thought I'd share some of my observations here.

I set up everything on my bar counter before I went because I only had half a table, which isn't a lot of space. It looked really good on the counter but I hadn't counted on two things:

1. my bar counter is wider than the table was
2. my bar counter is MUCH higher than the table was

The display that looked good on my counter didn't work as well on the table. I also used black to display most of my things and the lovely stones get completely lost on the black backdrops. On day one I wasn't selling at all and on day two I decided I needed to do something to show off the jewellery. The table looked lovely but the jewellery just didn't stand out at all.

Finally I decided to do something quick and simple. I took my earring cards (lots of white space) and put the earrings on them and sat them in some silver gift boxes and just set them out on the table. On the board that I had earrings hung on, I put the white earring cards behind them. Simple, not terribly pretty really, but it was effective enough to make me start selling.

So I have learned that in the future I will:
* Use white for displays to better highlight my pieces
* Get stuff UP from the table to eye level

Just a couple of tips - there will be more to come :)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Fun With Form

You know, every now and then it's important to just have some fun, and that's what I chose to do this evening. Rather than second guess what someone might like, or want, or buy, you gotta just pull out the rocks and the wire and play a little - that's what tonight was about for me. I played and created, and posted a few new things to the shop. I love the new mannequins too!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thrifty Finds

I’m doing my first show next week and needed some racks for earrings. I haven’t seen any commercial ones that I can’t live without so I thought I’d get creative. I went out to our local thrift shops and within 2 stores I came up with two pieces.
Both of them started off an ugly brassy gold colour (I should have taken before and after pics!). This is the first one I picked up for $2.50. Many of my earrings are on earring cards in small Ziploc bags to keep them clean and to resist tarnish. I could easily see the little bags hanging on this rack – it’s perfect for them and it spins, so I bought it right away.

This second one was the same awful colour but I could see the potential in it. I thought if I painted it black I could hang earrings freely from the loops in the center and on the outside edge; potentially being able to display a lot of earrings on it. I didn’t have a sense of how to keep it upright at that point, but for $2.00 I decided the ‘how to’ could come later.

I brought them both home and my husband and I sat at our bar counter in the kitchen with them in front of us and talked about how to hold the wreath upright. We finally came up with a stand idea that we thought would work okay and then he went to pick them up and take them out to the shop, and when he did, he hung the wreath on the side of the other rack to make it easy to carry and we both looked at it and at each other and….eureka! There it was – the perfect rack. It still spins and it takes up half the space that the two of them would separately. He took them out and painted them black and here is the finished rack.

These are just two simple finds for a total of $4.50, which shows that displays don’t have to cost a bundle to be effective. The last pictures are from one of my favourite stories. I told my husband I was looking for something that looked like a treasure chest but the closest thing I had seen was a box and it was $17.95. He remembered a gift that we were given that was really quite tacky but it came in a little trunk that he thought might be what I was looking for. I didn’t remember it at all but he thought it might still be at his dad’s – leftovers from our last year’s joint garage sale. Sure enough it was there. We painted it black and it’s the perfect chest for some bargains to go into.

Now I’m excited to get set up! I’ll be taking pictures of the final display next week and posting it here so stay tuned :)