Wednesday, June 30, 2010

new listing, finally doing justice to an old challenge piece, blog voting

I listed a new pair of earrings tonight: color explosion tetrahedron earrings.

As I'm sure you already know, I love this color combination.  I've used it in my original color explosion peyote cuff and in two pendants: this one and this one.  I got the tetrahedron pattern from The Art of Beaded Beads: Exploring Design, Color, & Technique​ edited by Jean Campbell.  It was fun, but I'm not in a huge hurry to use it again.  If I do make tetrahedrons in the future, they will be bigger!  This size is awesome for small, light weight earrings, but needless to say, it is not too easy to work with.  The bottom of the triangles only measures 1/2" across.  I think that even 3/4" or 1" would be much more manageable.

In my photo retakes today, I took new pictures of my Chocolate Temptation peyote cuff, which was my entry for the March 2009 EBW Challenge Temptation.  Anything that is getting a retake deserves more justice than its current pictures give, but these pictures were particularly lacking.  I have some wonderful new ones now, including these closeups.

Finally, my blue striped peyote triangle earrings are one of Linda B's Top 5 Etsy Finds for 7.1.10!  You can vote for them on her blog by clicking here. :) The winner gets a feature on her blog!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Iowa City Farmer's Market, flame class beads

I found out today that I'll have a stall at the Iowa City Farmer's Market this weekend!  For anyone in the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area reading this, it will be Saturday July 3rd 7:30AM-12:00PM right next to the City Hall in downtown Iowa City.  There have been several opportunities for non-season vendors to have stalls in June, but it hasn't worked out for me before because of the weather, other events, or being out of town.  I'm glad that I will have at least one opportunity to do a farmer's market this summer.

I haven't exactly been getting ready to do another show yet, especially an outdoor one, so I had a few unexpected errands this week.  The biggest thing was that I had to get my own weights for my tent.  I was NOT prepared for this at the Arts Festival.  Several fellow vendors were kind enough to lend me supplies.  I now have my own.  A word of advice to those doing outdoor festivals: Lowe's sells cinder blocks for $1 each.  Literally $1!  I'm more or less going to have the same set up for my booth.  I only had to get a couple new things for that.  I have plenty of inventory.  I'm just not prepared yet for the other things that a show involves like having an updated inventory list and having price tags on all of my new items.  I'll get it done, though!

While I was taking pictures today, I did take a few pictures of my flame class beads.
I'm pretty happy with the round ones in the far row, especially the orange one.  I think that the cylinder ones in the front will make neat focal beads.  The other pieces are pretty irregular, but that's okay.

Monday, June 28, 2010

gift certificate, back in stock, more pictures

I picked up my beads from the Flame class today.  As I'd hoped, there were a couple that I really like and a small handful that will make neat irregular focal pieces.  I'll take pictures of them tomorrow.

I won a $25 gift certificate for artisanclay a couple weeks ago.  You probably already know that I'm a big fan of Kristie's work.  I won one of her ceramic clay donuts a while back, and I also have a set of her ceramic buttons (that I haven't used yet...a tragedy, I know).  I waited until Jake and I got back from the Dells to spend my gift certificate.  My goodies arrived today!  I got the Small Blue recycled glass pendant or charm and the Stoneware clay bead set in Vivid Blue.  I will most likely keep the pendant for myself and wear it on a simple ribbon or chain.  I have a couple ideas for the clay bead set.  More details on that as it comes together.  Thanks Kristie!

I updated the listing for my raspberry and gold right angle bracelet today.  It's officially back in stock!

For those who love my peyote triangle earrings, my purple pearl peyote triangle earrings are also back in stock.

It's interesting going back and taking pictures of older pieces.  Some pieces are really hard to photograph well either, typically because of their shape (my normal "poses" don't work very well) or color.  In those cases, my new photos don't always look that different from the old ones.  But some photos significantly improve.  I'm really happy with the new photos for my blue, turquoise, and white fringed peyote cuff.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

playing with fire

I am primarily posting to share that the Flame I class that I took at Beadology today was a lot of fun.  I've learned all of my bead weaving and button techniques through books and the Internet.  I hadn't taken any sort of art class in a very long time.  I have been fascinated with the process of making lamp work beads ever since I joined Etsy and started "meeting" people who make their own beads.  I have seen how fused glass pieces as made, but I had never seen, much less worked with, lamp work glass techniques.  I now have a much greater appreciation for the precision, patience, and amazing creativity that goes into the amazing lamp work that some of my favorite Etsy sellers like Jen (blueseraphim) do.

I had a good group of classmates and a very nice instructor.  Everything was very low pressure.  I certainly learned a lot.  I'll get to pick up my annealed beads tomorrow.  Once I see how they've turned out, I can decide whether or not I want to share them here haha.  I'm hoping that there will be at least a couple simple beads that I'll be pretty proud of.  For a first effort, I think that I did pretty well.  Beadology offers Flame II, which will have a session this summer, so I'm going to do that.  I signed up today.  Now that I've taken Flame I, I can use some of their equipment (for a fee) during open studio time, which is pretty cool.  I'm not sure that I feel totally qualified to do that haha, but it's still cool.  I certainly don't have the time or the money to pursue it seriously, but it was a very neat experience.  I'm sure that Flame II will be, too.

The class was four hours today, and it FLEW by.  I did make one piece at home this afternoon: a simple remake of one of my earliest designs.  I sold the original over a year ago and will now have new pictures for the listing.  I'm really hoping that between new pictures, the Christmas in July sale, my new newsletter, and launching a couple patterns I will start seeing some more sales on Etsy.  I will hang in there with Etsy one way or another because I love the community and I continue to gain a lot from it regardless of my sales, but I'm determined to get some more sales, too.

Tomorrow is already filling up quickly.  Hopefully I'll find some time to get outside and take some more pictures in the natural daylight, though!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

milestone, best seller restocked, treasury features

I finally reached 400 hearts very early this morning!  It took me a little over 6 months to get from 300 to 400.  I was hoping that would happen a little more quickly than it did, but what can you do?  June has really not been a great month for getting a lot of hearts.  Also, as you can see here, number 400 was a secret admirer so I can't acknowledge them personally.

I'm still working on getting patterns for a couple of my designs as well as a newsletter up and running.  I'm also making good progress getting all of my old photos revamped.  I experimented with using a white "screen" (aka poster board) to filter the sunlight outside today, which worked pretty well.  It's certainly not a long term set up haha, but it will work pretty well for outdoor summer shoots.  I would like to have as many photos reworked as possible before Etsy's 3rd Annual Christmas in July Sale.  I haven't participated in it before, but it seems like a good time to do that.

 I restocked one of my best sellers today: my blue button charm bracelet.  I sold my fourth one at the Iowa Arts Festival.  If you purchase the new one before the end of the month, you can take 50% off any pair of earrings.

I was very fortunate to make it into a couple new treasuries today.  Orit (oritdotan) included my purple button charm bracelet in her Colorful, beautiful, useful treasury.
You can view this treasury live by CLICKING HERE.

Pam (MagdaleneJewels) included my subtle colors bangle bangle in her Afternoon Delights treasury, which features EtsyBloggers members.
You can view this treasury live by CLICKING HERE.

Friday, June 25, 2010

new listing, June EtsyBloggers feature

I listed my newest pair of peyote triangle earrings today, this time in blue!

I am going to relist the green version of these earrings and remake a couple of existing designs that I sold at the Iowa Arts Festival before I make any more striped peyote triangle earrings.  I am always open to suggestions for those when their time comes, though!

And now, on to the other topic for this post: The June EtsyBloggers featured seller is Sharla (BeadedTail)!  I'm sure by now that you already know that I'm a big fan of Sharla's Etsy shop and her blog of course as well as her lovely pets Isabella, Angel, and Sadie.  Please check out her shop and blog if you haven't already!

I feature Sharla's items here on a fairly regular basis, but here are a just a couple fabulous pieces that I haven't already featured.

Ocean Dreams - Tanzanite Swarovski Crystals and Blue and White Striped Lampwork Glass Beaded Sterling Silver Earrings

Thursday, June 24, 2010

back in stock

Am I ever going to feel like I'm on top of all of my inventory again?!  Probably at some point, but not any time soon.  Among other listing updates today (of which there were a fair number), I updated a couple listings for pieces that I've remade since the Iowa Arts Festival.

I think that I mentioned this before, but because the ribbons were so popular at the Arts Festival, all of my pendant listings now include a 16" or 18" grosgrain ribbon.  If you would like a different color or length of ribbon, please let me know.

One of my items that is back in stock now is my spring green peyote triangle pendant.

I also remade my skinny rainbow stripes square stitch bracelet.  It's considerably shorter than the original version whose length kept a handful of people from purchasing it in the past.  This bracelet coordinates with this triangle pendant that I also recently remade.  I made matching earrings that I will list at some point in the near future.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

back from vacation

Thank you much to everyone who left me comments while I was out of town, especially those who left comments about my Art Beads summer piece!  Jake and I had a wonderful vacation.  We went to the Wisconsin Dells for 5 days.  I took over 500 pictures so it's going to take me a while to go through them all, but here's one of us at Devil's Lake State Park (about 15 minutes south of the Dells).

There was another couple on the lookout point who asked us to take their picture.  They were kind enough to take the above shot of us.

I may post more details about the trip here as I continue to go through my pictures.  Otherwise look for more about that on Facebook soon. :)

I didn't do any beading and button work while we were out of town, but I did pick up my current counted cross-stitch project again.  I bought this wizard kit back in 2007 before we'd even moved to Iowa, and I started working on it during the summer of 2008.  I'm pretty sure that I won't finish it for at least another year.  I will try to get a picture of my progress again at some point.  Angel loves to watch me work on cross-stitch so I may try to get Jake to take a picture of her "helping" me sometime.

I took pictures of a bunch of older pieces before we left and have continued updating listings today.  Here are a couple of them.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Art Beads summer piece

As promised, here it is, pictures ready in the morning!  Enjoy!

I am pretty proud of how quickly the final stages of this piece came together!  Nothing like a deadline to keep you moving. :) I'm also excited about how each square stitch cuff comes together more quickly than the last one.

For the Art Beads summer piece, we had three main section to choose from.  I pulled components from the glass beads section and the charms section.  I used eight different kinds of 8/0 Round Toho Seed Beads in a variety of shades and finishes for the base of the cuff.

The top embellishment includes a variety of pressed Czech glass, including glass buttons, glass pillows, glass heart beads, and glass leaf beads.  As I'm sure you already know, I love pressed Czech glass and have never been disappointed with the glass I've gotten from Art Beads.  I also incorporated a few fire polished pieces, Toho cube beads, plastic buttons, coral, rose quartz, Swarovski beads, and the charms, which are all TierraCast silver charms.  I always have so much fun with the embellishment for these cuffs (as I do with all jewelry embellishment/fringe), pulling together many more beads and buttons in a given color combination than I end up being able to use in one piece.

This cuff will be available in my Etsy shop in the near future.  If you'd like to reserve it now, please let me know!  I'm also open to other suggestions for color(s) for my next embellished square stitch cuff.  You can view all of the cuffs that are currently available here.

I will be MIA until Wednesday or Thursday next week.  Jake and I are taking a little trip during part of his week off.  Until then. :)

Disclosure - I received my ArtBead's products free of charge through their blogging program. I am honestly reviewing their products and have not been paid for my endorsement as it pertains to the products I received.

treasury feature and a blog feature

oneofakindbeth116 included my black and pink double stranded right angle weave bracelet in her You know what they say "black is the new pink" treasury.  I love this collection!  I don't know if I'll ever get tired of this color combination. :)

You can view this treasury live by CLICKING HERE.

Also, in features today, Liz (thecrimsonmoon) included my spring green tubular triangle earrings in her Etsy Ennead - Green Etsy Beadweavers feature on her blog.  Thanks Liz!  She has some awesome triangle earrings herself in her Etsy shop that you should check out.

I put a ton of time into my Art Beads piece today so I could get it finished by tonight, which I did!  We're supposed to have our pieces posted by the 21st, but Jake and I are not in town that day so I need to get my entry up tomorrow.  I'm going to take pictures tomorrow morning haha...that's the plan right now anyway.  If I write the rest of the post tonight, I may be able to get everything up tomorrow.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

treasury features

SummerWilson8 included my Christmas right angle bangle II in her Bangle Mangle treasury.
You can view this treasury live by CLICKING HERE.

WhysperFairy included my rainbow button embellished right angle bracelet in her Buttons Bows and Butterflies treasury.
You can view this treasury live by CLICKING HERE.

Thank you for the continued advice about my new banner and avatar!  I decided to keep the newest banner and go back to the avatar that I've been using for the past year.

I took new pictures of a handful of older pieces today.  I haven't edited them yet.  I've also been working on my newest Art Beads piece, and I almost finished my Father's Day cards.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

more upgrades/improvements

Thank you to everyone who replied about my new banner and avatar!  I really appreciate your honesty.  I put together another new banner and avatar earlier tonight.  Taking some advice, I included full shots of my pieces on the banner.  The avatar is a partial shot like my old avatar was, but it has better detail than the one I made yesterday.  I also incorporated sheet music more prominently.  Hopefully all of this will help!  You can check them out here.  The new avatar is also on other sites like Blogger and Facebook so you may have already seen it tonight.

I got a postal scale today.  Thank you to those who gave me advice in that area as well!  From here on out, I will provide tracking information for all orders that ship in the USA and are paid for through PayPal.  While I was thinking about packaging/shipping today, I decided to take pictures of my packaging (while I got my raffle winner earrings ready to ship) and put together a packaging image for Etsy listings and whatnot.

I updated a couple more listings with new pictures tonight.  The first one is my Winding Road with checked border peyote cuff.  This is one of the first peyote cuffs I ever wove with delicas.

The second is one my black and silver right angle bangle.

I did get both of my raffle winner packages in the mail today (as well as a couple more used book Amazon packages, woohoo!).  I worked on Father's Day cards tonight instead of my Art Beads piece.  I may still sit down with it for a little while before I head to bed.

continued upgrades/improvements, looking for some advice/feedback, this week's progress

I made a new banner and avatar for my Etsy shop tonight.  Please check it out and let me know what you think! The old ones were all right, but as I started redoing my blog design and considering other changes that I should make to my Etsy shop, I decided that they needed an upgrade, too.  My work does continue to change, and I think that my shop and blog should reflect my more recent work.

As I've been going through all of my listings that I did not complete before the Arts Festival, I've been uploading new pictures to my Flickr photostream.  You can check out a handful of items that aren't up on Etsy yet as well as work in progress and craft fair pictures that you may have missed on here.  I will continue to edit and upload all of my button stud pictures on Flickr.  I'm debating listing some of my button studs as grouped listings: i.e. three button stud earrings for one price.  It doesn't seem worth it to list them all individually, but I think that they could sell on Etsy.  If anyone has any thoughts on this, please let me know!

In another effort to boost my Etsy sales, I think that it is way past time to get a postal scale and start offering delivery confirmation through PayPal.  Many many Etsy sellers offer it, and it's one thing that I could do to make my shop more competitive.  I would be able to use it for some of my used book sales on Amazon as well.  I don't need a scale that's equipped to weigh textbooks, but I could use it for the smaller hardbacks and all of the paperbacks.  For all of you out there who do use postal scales, let me know if you have any preferred brands or if you were able to find good deals at any specific stores.  The general advice on the Etsy forums seems to be that most smaller models are more than adequate, but it's always worth getting a second opinion before purchasing.

I've been working on the earrings for my Arts Festival raffle winners this week, which are green designs that I've made before.  I'm making additional pairs that will be for sale in my Etsy shop at some point in the near future since green does continue to be a very popular choice for earrings.  After I get those done, I really need to work on my Art Beads summer piece.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

treasury feature, another reworked listing

Mirella (Mireloom) included my multicolored cubes peyote cuff in her untitled but very fun and colorful treasury.  Thanks Mirella!

You can view this treasury live by CLICKING HERE.

I sold the longer version of my Emerald City right angle bracelet at the Iowa Arts Festival.  I updated the listing on Etsy today so it only has the shorter one in it.

Unfortunately if I make any more Emerald Cities, they will not look exactly like this because I only have a few of the size 6 Czech beads from that particular green mix left.  That's hard to believe because it was a huge mix.  I got rid of the original bag a long time ago, but it was at least 80 grams.  It served me well!  I just wish that I could find something similar to it again.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

three items to check out

I've already made a lot of progress this weekend with my jewelry pictures and inventory.  I got behind a couple weeks before the Arts Festival with editing pictures and getting descriptions ready for new items, and I'm still playing catch up.  There's still a lot of work to do, but I feel good about everything that I've accomplished.  I also made a lot of progress editing non-jewelry pictures from this school year.  I have posted everything that I want to from October through May on Facebook now and have ordered a bunch of new prints to put up at home and work.

I listed my neutral square stitch embellished cuff today.
I am really pleased with how this picture turned out.  I think that it's one of the best that I've taken in a long time.
I used a few random components left over from one of my Art Bead's blogging stashes in this cuff.  There are several Swarovskis as well as a handful of Czech glass beads, including Czech glass hearts.  As it goes with all of my embellished cuffs, I had fun pulling components from a variety of sources.  Some of the beads in here I picked out when I was making my wedding jewelry almost 4 years ago!

I lowered the cost of all of my embellished square stitch cuffs in my Etsy shop today.  From here on out, they will all be $40.00.

I made a new version of my tri-color with red border triangle pendant that I sold last summer and updated the listing with new pictures today.

Because the ribbons were such a big hit at the Arts Festival, I will include ribbons with all of my pendants from now on, both on Etsy and at craft fairs.  If you would like a different length and/or color than the one pictured in the listing, just let me know!  I current have red, white, and black and am happy to get more colors as people request them.

I sold the coordinating bracelet for this pendant at the Arts Festival and made a new one this past week as well as a matching pair of earrings.  I will list both of them sometime in the next month.

While I was taking pictures of some other new items today, I took pictures of my older turning to fall bangle whose renewal is coming up soon.

I have a handful of other older items that also desperately need new pictures.  As their renewals come up on Etsy, I'm planning to update their listings with new pictures.  I have a lot of respect for people who edit huge numbers of listings at once.  I don't have the motivation to do that!  Instead, I do my best to continue make changes a little bit at a time.

leafy feature number 12

I can't believe that I only did two feature posts last month.  Maybe I'll get a few more in this month!  Have a great weekend everyone!

Sterling Silver Spring Green Leaf Earrings by ClassicKeepsakes

 Autumn leaves - Leaf shaped beaded earrings on brassy earwires - FREE SHIPPING by beademecum

Iridescent Copper Maple Leaf Necklace by mysticwynd

 Stoneware Leaf Buttons...set of Three by uniquebuttons

 Hand-colored Copper Leaf with Pearl Earrings by WinkArtisans

 Leaf Pendant with wheat head by maryhardingjewelry