Monday, March 7, 2011

Now You See It. Now You Don't

I was on a roll this weekend.  I listed four new items to my Etsy shop, which to do so in one weekend, is an incredible feat for me.   All four pieces were ones I just made up last week and I was excited to be able to get them listed so quickly. 

Two of my goals for my shop this spring are to add some lower priced items and to start a bridal section.  The four listings this weekend were a step in that direction.  One necklace and bracelet coordinate and would make a lovely bridal set.  With their listings, I went ahead and set up my wedding section and now have 5 items in that section.  The other necklace and bracelet coordinated as well and were by far my favorite of the two sets.  I had found this delightful turquoise enamel on copper cross and designed the set for it.  I used one of my all time favorite stitches, a flat spiral for both the necklace and bracelet.  I just love the texture of this stitch!  For me, it works up quickly, thus helping to keep cost down.   And if done just right, it can become a reversible stitch.  That is exactly what I did with it.  Worn one way, the set is copper with a hint of turquoise and worn the other, it's turquoise with a hint of copper.  I also made it so the cross pendant will slip off the chain, adding to the piece's versatility.  The bracelet seemed to call for a little more substance, so I joined two rows of the spiral together to make a luxuriously textured cuff.  This was, in my opinion, one of the prettiest sets I've done in a while.  Can you tell how enthused I am over them?  So enthused, that I just had to take them in to my office today for "show and tell".  My co-workers seem to be just amazed by my work.  They all think I am this hugely talented artist and are just awed by my artistry.  (At least, that's how they make me feel and who am I to correct them?!)  Anyway, after a co-worker commented on how much she liked them, I had to demonstrate how wonderfully versatile the two pieces are.  Then a second co-worker asked how much I had them listed for and when I told her, she wanted to know if she could just buy them now.  Let's see.  Cash sale or asking her to buy through the shop?  I'd lose the 40 cent listing fee but not have to pay the other fees.  Okay.  Cash sale.  Funny thing is, my buyer told me she really doesn't buy much jewelry for herself but she was just absolutely taken by this set and had to have it.  My kind of buyer!!

So for those who hearted my turquoise and copper pieces yesterday after I listed them, I apologize that they were gone so quickly.  Guess maybe in the future, when I have something I feel such enthusiasm for, I should take it to my day job for show and tell before I list it!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Peace, Love and Flower Power, Baby!

I'm really telling my age here, but I once had psychedelic, neon colored posters plastered all over my bedroom walls, big bright tissue paper flowers stuck in funky vases and peace signs everywhere.  I listened to Janis and Jimi and wore hip hugger bellbottoms and tie dye t-shirts.  Yep, I am a child of the 60's.

 When the March Etsy Beadweavers challenge theme "Fashion Through the Ages" was announced, it wasn't hard for me to find inspiration.  I remembered those big, daisy style, neon colored flowers we plastered everywhere; in our rooms, on our possessions and on our persons!  I remembered the long necklaces we wore, singly and in multliples,  with our bell sleeved tunics and our granny dresses.  So, for the challenge, my memories created a long, multi-strand, daisy chain necklace in vivid colors of purple, orange, blue, yellow, pink and green.  I have to say, it is far out. 

Can you say, "Groovy, man!"?

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Seems like a lot of my creative time lately has been taken up with creating pieces for all my team challenges.  And I'm still working on them!  This is a good thing though.  Challenges awaken my muse and she likes being alert.  The first one I finished this year was for the Etsy Bead Weavers February challenge, Royalty Throughout Time.  This is the one pictured in my previous post that sparked so much business for me.  The second one I finished was for the ArtFire Bead Weavers Guild first quarterly challenge, Celtic Symbols.

It turned out a bit different than originally intended, but I kind of like the outcome.  I was thinking about all the things I think of when I think of Celtic and the result sort of turned out "Woods fairy meets Celtic warrior".  

The next challenge I tackled was for the Etsy Bead Weavers again, this time for March and the theme Fashion Through the Ages.  We were to choose a fashion style and create a piece of jewelry to complement it.  Well, being a child of the 60's and 70's and a dyed-in-the-wool wannabe hippy, I had to choose something from that era.  Since it's just a tad too early to list it on Etsy yet, I will delay posting a picture here until that's accomplished.  I'll just let you see an in-progress pic.   Suffice it to say, I'm calling it Flower Power. 

 The last challenge I'm working on right now (whew!) is for Kansas Etsy Team.  We are a group of Kansas sellers trying to promote each other and the vast talent in our state.  We decided to try the challenge approach to generate some interest in our team.  Our first theme is Springtime in Kansas and entries will be due the first part of March.  Here's a sneak peek at mine.  

I'm thinking springtime Kansas skies, new soft green leaves and flowering redbuds.  So far, so good, I think.  This will eventually become a cuff, by the way.

Ah, challenges!  Can't wait to see what the next one will be!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sometimes It Pays to Show Off

As evidenced by the lack of posting here on my blog, my internet presence has been lacking for the last few months.  That's due to a combination of holidays, falling into a personal slump, being ill, losing motivation and just life events in general.  But the holidays are over, I'm feeling okay now and I'm slowly finding my direction again.  One thing that always helps me jump start my creativity is the Etsy Beadweavers team's monthly challenge.  We always skip January due to holiday obligations but start again with February.

The theme chosen for February was Royalty Thoughout Time.  I chose as my inspiration, Princess Grace of Monaco and created a simple, yet elegant, necklace that I like to think she might have enjoyed wearing.
Simply Regal

My boss likes to see my new pieces so I often take them in to show her.  She used to have an embroidery business and enjoys handcrafted work.  So, as I had in the past, I took this new piece in to share.  She immediately suggested that it would make a perfect wedding piece and before I knew it, a couple of my young co-workers who are planning weddings, were oohing and aahing over it.  One young lady asked for my card and the other decided instantly that this was what she wanted for her wedding jewelry.  After discussing personal preferences, we came up with a plan for necklace, bracelet and earrings and this week I will present her with her wedding jewels.  Here is a picture of her pieces in progress:
 I will still make earrings for her, but she hasn't totally decided on a style and we have a few months yet to work within.  She is so excited to have a set that is hers and hers alone.  Although I am toying with the idea of developing a bridal line, I promised her that I would not make another necklace exactly like hers.

One other nice development came from my showing off.  Another co-worker wanted something special for her daughter's prom and asked if I could make something.  They didn't have a dress yet but were leaning strongly toward pink.  On a whim, I went ahead and made up a couple of designs in pink to show her.  This is the one she chose:

Again, this has sparked the idea of creating more simple, yet pretty and elegant, designs for my shop.  It was so funny through all of this that although I don't make a secret of my side business, and in fact talk about it a lot, I kept hearing comments like, "I didn't know you made things like this!"  Well, now you do.  Guess I need to show off more often!