Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Accountability

OK, I am going to put some "good intentions" into action; and I hope posting this commitment will add accountability to my intentions and turn them into actions and checks on my to do list.  I hope you don't mind being my sounding board, and beyond that any tips and encouragement will be greatly appreciated.

First I'm going to start a daily journal to track what I really do; vs. what I think I do.  The goal is to find wasted time and figure out how to stop the waste; increase productive time and accomplish more.  This "more" will include more jewelry so I will be keeping with the theme of the blog and hopefully sharing what I learn about my own bad habits will help you improve yours (assuming you have any bad habits).

I am also going to start going through the house one room at a time and do the "keep", "toss", and "donate" thing.  What I keep will be put on shelves into containers so it stops being clutter.  More productive time should help a lot with that.

So now I've put the self challenge out there; more to come about how this works out.

In the mean time I would like to share a Christmas gift I made for a friend.  She was very pleased, which makes me very happy!










Saturday, December 20, 2014

Just for Fun


I joined a group at our local library that meets the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of every month.  I think it started as a stitching group but has expanded to pretty much any craft.  It is still predominately stitching, knitting, and crocheting; but there is a man who crafts everything from instruments to boats, some ladies that make home d├ęcor items, and me with jewelry.  Have to admit I feel a little out classed by what I see around the table (some are just pictures as a boat wouldn't fit through the door) but the group views each project and skill as special.  A great group.

Last Thursday I was rushing to get ready to go and didn't have time for much planning (yes I know I could have prepared the day before but that didn't happen,  hummmm) so I just grabbed some supplies that were left over from the wedding project and headed out.  I tried to string some pearls (glass of course) and call it done but just couldn't.  So I cut a length of wire and added some pearls and started wrapping.  Decided the gray needed some accent so I added a white pearl to the focal link.  I was pleased with that and moved on to the earrings.  Finished the first earring and started the second.  About half way through the 2nd earring I realized one of the pearls in the first one was pale pink, opps.  I am not in to tear down and redo, so I made a second wire wrap link for the necklace and used a pink pearl so it would appear intentional if anyone noticed.  Added a joining link and the wire wrap part of the necklace was done; strung pearls for the rest of it and the necklace was complete.  Someone I know calls things like this "happy accidents" and I'm going with that.  I like the finished project and it is not likely there will be another one exactly (or even close) like it.  I am pleased when a set comes together not exactly as planned, it is usually a little better than the original picture I had in my head.


I am happy with the path my jewelry making skills are taking; next I need to take some photography lessons.  I have a friend who takes great pictures (in fact I have several) and I think I'm going to beg or barter for some lessons.  She (one of them) will be moving to Hawaii in a few months so I need to get good fast.  Better pictures should go a long way toward helping me market what I "create"; isn't that a good word, sounds so much better than "make".  So what do you think of these pieces, plain pictures and all?

 



Monday, December 15, 2014

Wedding Set


This is the Bride's Necklace
 I think we have the Bride's necklace/earring set done, will get confirmation on that when the box arrives in MI.  Along with her set I made a couple "prototypes" for the Bridesmaids.  The dresses are going to be charcoal (at least so far, it isn't set in stone yet) so we have pale pink and 2 shades of gray 4 styles.  This set is for my "niece to be".  I am, however, looking to take this experience and expand my jewelry line.  Custom jewelry for Brides on a budget.  Color, style, and scale made to order.  Just need to figure out the best way to get the word out.  If you know a bride who might be interested please share the link.

The pics aren't the best but by the time I realized it, the pieces were boxed up to ship North. 

Dark Gray 8mm pearls and Crystal.




Pink Pearls 8mm with Wire Weave focal and earrings

Medium gray pearls, 6mm, with wire wrap focal and earrings


Pale Pink Pearls 8mm with coiled wire focal and earrings

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

First ETSY Sale

Last night about 9:30 I took one last look at e-mail and was surprised by a message saying one of the dream catchers I had listed on ETSY sold.  I've posted items for sale on ETSY several times but this is the first time I had a sale.    Happy Dance!    I put the box in the mail this morning by 9:30 for its cross country journey.  Of course, now I'm going to work on my ETSY store and wait to see if this is the beginning of many more sales.  Really hoping this takes off; great sales potential, an almost limitless audience, no time spent at shows and events, more time to work on projects, and low fees.  I'm looking for an upward spiral; internet sales resulting in brand exposure, resulting in more sales, more exposure, mores sales; you get the idea.  So if you are trying to break into the internet market, keep at it.  Develop your product line (unique is good), learn how to best display it in pictures; and just be persistent.  That said, I have much to learn.  If you have had success selling on line and would like to share I would appreciate it very much. 

Though local events were not very financially beneficial I enjoy interacting with people; thus, I will do some craft events next year, but only a few.  I'm glad I invested the time this year as I learned a lot and there is no substitute for experience.  Hopefully the time I spend at events next year will be more lucrative.

Here is the piece I shipped out this morning:


 















I hope you will check out other pieces in my ETSY store:
search for "handlcreations" at ETSY.com

or use the link below:
https://www.etsy.com/shop/HandLCreations?ref=hdr_shop_menu



Thought for today:  Do not let the retail hype of the season suck you in.
Enjoy your friends and family and everything Christmas is suppose to be.