Saturday, August 9, 2008

Fall 2008

I've been avoiding thinking of the fall season. When the temps stay around the three digit levels, even looking at the upcoming fall fashion lines makes me break out in a sweat! But as a designer of handcrafted jewelry, my head keeps telling me to stop delaying! So this morning I went to the Pantone Fashion Color Report Fall 2008 and printed page 2. The ink is still wet on the paper. Good thing I installed a new color cartridge earlier this week!

What a pleasant surprise! I love the colors and it will be a joy to start designing pieces to suit ... once the temps outside dip below 95F. It looks like I'll be using a lot of amethyst and lapis lazuli and smokey quartz. I need to replenish my lapis supply.

The Pantone color reports are important for the small-time designers to consider. Fortunately for us, we can wait until the freebie report is released on the Pantone website. If you're a designer catering to the retail and boutique market and sell at the accessories shows in the major market areas, you need a head start. Pantone offers "membership" to obtain reports well in advance, but it's expensive. Since I sell direct to the wearer, I can afford to wait.

Pantone is the leading manufacturer of dyes in the world so if they say Blue Iris, Royal Lilac, Shady Glade, etc are the colors for this upcoming fall, they will be the colors you see in the stores for fall. Withered Rose is my personal favorite. It looks like a Dusty Rose which was the best matched color for my eyes, hair color and skin tone when I had my colors done all those decades ago. (I wish I was very html-savvy so I could use colored text for the color names I just typed!)

How about these handcrafted earrings? I think they "read" Withered Rose. They are red aventurine and Golden Shadow Swarovski crystals made with 14k gold-fill. I have more red aventurine in my supply so I'm looking forward to putting out new pieces featuring that stone. Aventurine isn't an expensive stone, but it's beautiful. Colors range in green, peach, reddish, brown and blue. It's a quartz with inclusion of mica so there is a subtle shimmering effect called aventurescence.

I'll need to be heading over to Elle.com and check out the runway shows for Fall 2008 (which happened in February 2008) to see what all the trends are showing. Hopefully there will be some Withered Rose!

Friday, August 8, 2008

What's on ...

... my design table. Fairly straight forward and simple piece, but it's taking me forever! So many interruptions throughout the day.

I'm the sort of designer who needs to have blocks of time hours and hours long to get some serious work done. Even the piece that is quick and easy and completed in minutes doesn't get started unless I feel like a have a least 2 hours to devote to design.

I wonder why that is? I seriously dislike the feeling of being rushed, but I could get so much more done if I sat down to work even if I only had 1/2 an hour to spend. My brain needs some rewiring.


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P A T I E N C E

I consider myself a patient person. I'm halfway to the century mark, I've raised two fully functioning members of society and have one more halfway there. I have two of the most adorable grandsons a person could want. But when it comes to things on the www, my patience wears thin relatively quickly.

Case in point, Zenzuu. It's touted to be the social network that helps you make money. The premise it that it will share with its members a nice chunk of the advertising revenue. Cool. But I don't see any advertisements. Maybe because it's still in beta? But I could live with that if it wasn't for the loooooong page load time! Every single click takes too long to load ... the landing page, the login, navigating through the site. It's driving me nuts. Each member is supposed to log in at least 30 times each month in order to get paid, but with the slow response coming from the server, I may just be a great grandmother before I get my 30 logins accomplished.

It's not my computer. It's plenty fast. It's not my connection. It's fiber optic. Maybe it's Firefox. I dunno. I suppose I should call in on the regularly scheduled conference call, but I don't have the patience!

If you're endowed with exceptional patience, feel free to check it out. Feel free to sign up under me. We can grow grayer together!

On that note, take a closer look at some detail of my new piece that just may get done BEFORE I am a great grandmother!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Hard work pays off!

This picture has nothing to do with this post. Sure, it was hard work (relatively speaking) to make these since it took three different variations before I was satisfied with the final results, but I'm not talking about hard work in regard to my handcrafted jewelry.

BTW ... before I go any further, these earrings are NOT for sale; they are a commissioned work. But I really like how they turned out so I wanted to show off the picture, and I know people who visit blogs like to see pictures.

Getting back to the hard work. It's all about Entrecard. I have been working the Entrecard system for two weeks now. The past several days, I have dropped 300 cards. The first two days of dropping 300 cards took quite a while (I have a tendency to READ a lot of the blogs) but I came up with a system and time budget that works for me. (So far!) Yesterday I had 192 cards dropped on me, a nice 64%. Thank you everybody who reciprocates. I do my utmost best to do the same.

Needless to say, the number of hits to my blog has skyrocketed. Even the few who actually pause for more than 1 minute to read and or look at photos have increased. It's very satisfying to see hard work pay off.

Even better, I have come across a number of blogs that appeal to me on a lot of different levels. I'm beginning to recognize their calling cards and I look forward to jumping back to their blogs for their latest photo, story, joke, pearl or bucket or boatload of wisdom, and of course, I always drop my card.

I haven't had any handcrafted jewelry sales as a result of this effort, but hopefully they will come over time. I do excellent work, I use quality components, but that's not as easy to see on the 'net as it is in the non-virtual world.

In the meantime, increasing the visitors to my 'lil ole spot of the www is an achievement all by itself.

Again, my deepest thanks to all who stop by, even if it's just to drop your card. I look forward to the end of the month when I shall publish my first Top 10 list.

In the meantime, if you need or like or want handcrafted jewelry and you like my style, please visit my Etsy shop. If you have any questions about Etsy, feel free to drop me a line.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Good Monday

It promises to be another scorcher! Another good day for getting lots of work done, on-line, at the design table, with the digital camera, laundry and ironing ... or maybe a good day to just hang loose and watch a movie.

Pit Bull
Even Nino says: "It's HOT!"

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Under the Loupe

A loupe is a magnifying device commonly used by jewelers to closely examine gemstones. It's under the loupe the gemstone reveals its quality.

Under the Loupe is also the name of an excellent blog owned and written by a fellow jewelry artist, Annette Piper, who is both talented and gracious. I met Annette on-line in my beginning days of using the WEB to promote my own jewelry business and she was very helpful to a newbie trying to keep her head above the wild waters of social/business networks.

If you like beautiful jewelry, a visit to her blog is a nice way to spend some time. From there you'll be able to jump to her website and Etsy store. Be sure to check this particular stunning piece featured on her blog!