Thursday, January 17, 2008

Cancelling a Show

First time for me after more than two years of showing! But I caught this bug that's taken up residence in my chest. I have some friends who've caught the same bug and it turned mean on them. I'm heading to west Texas this weekend and I just couldn't muster up the mental energy to label, polish, pack, get up early for over an hour of "full costume dress" routine and then sit, wait and hope I go home with more than $100 in my pocket.

No ... better to stay home, make things to bring on spring and rest up for a whirlwind weekend ahead.

Not to mention more time to sit on the internet connecting, promoting, marketing, etc etc etc! I'll be a new lady on Ferbruary 1 ... the date of my next scheduled show.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Tools of Trade

My new friend! Swanstrom super flush cutters leave no bur at all on the flat side. Slight bur on the bevel side, but these are performing very well for me!

I bought these as part of my growth into fashioning more on my own. I recently fell in love with the ancient craft of chainmaille and found myself buying jump rings by the 10 gross. Fine enough for the cheapo base metal and plated metals, but when using sterling and gold-fill, the cost to make a piece reaches astronomical heights ... and therefore commands astronomical prices even on a wholesale level. There are jump ring making tools out there, but the easily reach to the $300+ level when factoring in everything needed. Winders, flex shaft motor plus the accessories for cutting, etc.

Add to that the cost of an ounce of sterling or gold-fill wire in today's market!

So I am very happy with my $49 cutters. I hope the tendons in my right hand and wrist can withstand the constant snip, snip, snip!

My first piece of pride and joy - Caged Crystal

I used 20g dead soft wire and the hubby's chuckless drill to wind the wire onto a 4.5mm mandrel I picked up at my local Home Depot. One ounce of gold-fill gave me over 300 jump rings, and I used an entire ounce of gold-fill to fabricate this necklace.

There are about 50 crystals caged by an open weave. This piece works up relatively fast. The jump rings themselves take about an hour, including periodic wrist rests. I string the cystals first and build the "cage" around the crystals.

Absolutely stunning! Even if this doesn't sell, I'll thoroughly enjoy wearing this piece myself!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Marketing, marketing, marketing ...

... whew! I never realized how hard marketing for on-line success can be! It's no way near "if you post it, it will sell" sort of thing on today's World Wide Web.

Since starting my Etsy store, I have learned so much. But that learning comes at a precious price ... TIME! I find myself spending hours and hours networking and linking and chatting. I was late picking my daughter up from school this past Friday because I lost track of time.

On one of my favorite network sites ... ... one of the members has posted a thread on the forums about what goals we are setting. I've come up with a good one:

I shall write up a time budget!

After that, I'll set an on-going goal to stick to my budget!