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Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Ongoing Facelift

Okay....so here I go again with the photo facelift at Rock Your Wire. If you follow me and my shop, you'll know that not too long ago I updated all of my photos to clear, coloured backgrounds in blues, greens, etc. I like aspects of it, and there are definitely some things that stand out perfectly on those backgrounds but now that I have it all switched over and I'm looking at 80 plus pictures like that I can't help but feel like something is missing. There is an element or a depth that isn't respresented in the photos.

I've been mulling it over for the last few days and I can now see what the missing piece is. It's the connection to rocks and nature that I feel when creating. I love the elements - earth, wind, air, wood, fire, rock, metal...and there is little of that love of nature in the expression of the pieces. So I did a bit of updating on a couple of the pictures and wow! There it is - the missing depth that some of the pieces need. So it's another facelift at http://rockyourwire.com/ but it will be a slow progression this time - I really need to get into the studio and make some new things. That's the priority. Watch for the emerging new look :)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Simple Thing

Quite some time ago I purchased some soaps from a shop on Etsy and when my package arrived it had a little thank you note attached with my name on it. It said, very simply, "Thank You Darcey Lyn". I couldn't believe how good that little tag made me feel - it personalized that little package in a way that nothing else could have. So I set out on a journey to find an item that I could use in a similar way in my packaging.

I stumbled upon a seller called"WhatTheScrap" (http://whatthescrap.etsy.com/), who had 100 little round paper circles for sale. The seller - a lovely lady named Liz - cuts these little paper circles and punches a hole in them. They're great for any scrapbooking or carding project and they looked like they would also be perfect for my needs. I asked her if I could purchase a lot of 400 of them because I sell a lot of nose jewelry and my packaging goes rather quickly. She did a custom listing for me and I received them soon after.

When I package an item to go out, I put it in a little white box and I take one of the labels and write a thank you with my customer's name. I string a bit of ribbon through the little hole and wrap it around the box and tape it at the back, so the thank you tag sits at the front of the box. My customers are absolutely thrilled with the care and attention I give to their purchases and the feedback is incredible since implementing this simple little thing. I was never sure what kind of impact - or lack of it - packaging had on most people until now.

I love my little labels - I adore this seller and her products - and I love the fact that my customers feel special when they open their envelopes from my shops. I know that they know I take the time to care and that makes the price I pay for the extra touches absolutely priceless.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Some History on Nose Piercings and My Personal Journey

Besides earlobe piercing, nose piercing is the most popular style of piercing. It is an ancient style of piercing, dating back to approximately four thousand years ago, and it has continued to grow in popularity over the last few years in mainstream society.

Most piercings I saw as a Canadian child were on women from India. I often admired the lovely sparkle I saw in the side of the nose, but never dreamed I would someday have one of my own. Indian women usually have their piercings on the left, which is associated with lessening of pain from childbirth and menstruation. When I chose my left nostril piercing, I didn't know this little fact and wish I'd had my piercing done before the birth of my first child! I chose a natural childbirth because I was just twenty two years old and I thought that was the best way to go about it, so I had not so much as an aspirin to ease my pain during the 29 hour journey. Perhaps a piercing would have helped. The second time around, my first question at the hospital was, "what do you have for pain options?".

The main types of jewellery worn in the nose are studs and hoops. There are some interesting pieces that go from the nose to the ear and I'm toying with the idea of creating some of these unique pieces to sell in my "Rock Your Nose" Etsy shop. My most popular form of stud is the screw shaped end - it is definitely the biggest seller. My piercer pierced my nose with a long needle and then inserted an 18 gauge screw end stud with a tiny zirconian stone. Actually, what happened was he inserted the stud and then said, "oh no!" Okay, I don't know about you, but when you've just had a needle shoved in your nose and have been breathing through the pain, the last thing you want to hear is "oh no!" The stud he had just inserted into my throbbing nostril was defective - it had no stone. I was somewhat disappointed, but not enough to want it taken out and have one with a stone inserted instead. Little did I know what would happen next.

Well, I guess that little stoneless thing just didn't want to be on display in my new piercing, so as I slept two nights later, my left hand with a ring on my finger reached up in sleepiness to SCRATCH my nose! The ring caught on the little stud and pulled it right out, so there I was, at 2am with a 6am commute ahead of me, sitting in my bathroom sink (because I wear glasses and can't see without them), trying to stuff this screw ended thing into my now bleeding nostril. I believe I started to cry from frustration and pain because I could not put it back in no matter what I did.

Some women might have given up at this point, but not me - no not me. I went back to bed and called my piercer first thing the next morning when I got to work. He booked me in for an appointment and when I got there he said a few more words that I didn't want to hear. He said, "okay, get up on the table - we're going to perform a miracle here". Eek! And then my highly skilled piercer, whose name is Nick (from Duncan, BC Canada) proceeded to poke that needle right back exactly through the original hole. It hurt like hell the second time around, but I proudly left the shop with my left, throbbing nostril sporting a little stud with a gem in it this time. I slept with those tiny, round Band-Aids on my nose for many months to come - just in case.

Little did I know that 5 years later I would start making jewellery. And I had no inkling of the fact that one of the first things I would do when I learned to make my first little sterling silver coil would be to put an L shape on the end and put it in my piercing. I had no way to know that those baby steps would lead to me offering them to other people for sale and coming up with ideas for new designs in my sleep. I had no clue that I would open an Etsy shop for my jewellery and that my designs for nose piercings would become so popular that I would open a little shop dedicated just to them. It's been a long journey and I'm so proud of my Rock Your Nose (http:RockYourNose.Etsy.com) shop.

Because my designs are motivated from my own experience, I always make the highest quality pieces that I can. I use glue very occasionally to hold Swarovski crystals to the sterling stem, but only as a matter of necessity - there is no other way to get them to stay in place. For my other pieces, I use traditional fabrication methods of silver soldering and melting with my torch. Each pin in my pieces is handmade by me. I know, I know, I could purchase headpins and use them instead but I take a lot of pride in what I do and in what I provide to the customers who support me in my work. I will be updating my listings to offer screw studs that are customized for a left or a right piercing because there is nothing more uncomfortable than trying to fit a screw end made for the wrong side. My work as an artist has grown, as has my imagination. I'm always coming up with new ideas and am currently waiting for some beads that will add some fun and spark to some of my dangle studs and my hoops. Every day is a new adventure :)