Monday, November 30, 2009

Cards for Display

Finally found the recommended site someone mentioned to me for packaging. I want to put necklaces and earrings on cards for easy display without hanging my clasps on the hook. Fetpak has exactly what I have in mind:

Jewelry Display Tips

Flea markets are a tough venue to vend. We put a tarp behind us Saturday to block the wind, but it also cut light. That stopped sales cold (as did the crazy woman on the other side of the aisle who glared at me for an hour then marked down everything on her table by 50%). When the crazy woman left and pulled the tarp, I sold four necklaces!

This weekend we will have new necklace display racks that will be much easier to keep upright. We also intend to bring our own lighting.

I've been searching for display tips and found this excellent website:

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Photography: Setting Up Inexpensive Studio

Learning from Mistakes

Finger prints and finish that will eventually become sticky are only a few of the  mistakes I've made in experimenting with polymer clay. Of course, there are also warnings out there about using Scuply III, which is what I have.

Some things I'm trying: longer baking times. Many blogs write of getting much harder beads by doubling the baking time.

Finger print prevention: got gloves and corn starch yesterday.

Deciding on a finish:

Info on creating a buffing wheel:

On a happier note, here's a wonderful cane technique I don't want to forget. Rather than using translucent clay, this lets you use water soluble clay to create a cane that you make, reduce then peel away the excess:

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Butterfly Beads

Also found bead rollers at:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Transfering Photos to Polymer Clay

 Instructions can be found at:

Another process uses baking parchment: These are on Premo Pearl. Very hard to photograph. Very good transfers. That second one is again a second transfer from a print.

This last one is on SculpeyIII the whitest of all clays and it shows!
Just like the laser transfers all I did was to make a copy onto BAKING PARCHMENT (brand of choice BAK-O-MATIC by Dixie).
Place print onto sheet of raw clay (no water, no medium, no liquid clay).
Burnish (no need to burnish vigorously, seems to transfer rather quickly)
Lift paper off.
And that is it.
I leave to to play….

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Ideas: Flower Beads

Ideas: Pendant

Ideas: Butterflies

Wire Wrap Jewelry

Wire Wrapping and Bead Work Gallery by Beth Murr

Head Pin Loop

Polymer Clay Hearts

Adding Crystals to Polymer Clay

Looking for easy techniques. I like this one!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Challenge of Flea Markets

There are two flea markets near my home. Barnyard Flea Market is huge, and part of chain of flea markets. Capitalizing on its success, half a mile away and closer to the interstate is Peddler's Junktion, (yes, they spell it wrong intentionally) a much smaller outfit. Barnyard has billboard advertising and excellent restrooms. The Junktion is older, built on a hill, and has poor restrooms. Their future advantage is that they are building storage like buildings and locating in the parking space behind the table. So if you rent a storage building, you get the table and a permanent place to set up for half the cost. With little foot traffic last Saturday, it would not have helped me.

The day was cold and raining. We got the tarp (provided by the flea market) dropped and set up the table. Mostly the only people to visit our table were other vendors. I spent $14 for the table, $6 for a hotdog lunch for two, brought my own drinks, and made three necklaces. Cameron says that at least I had the opportunity to bead in a cat-free environment!

Barnyard requires rental to be paid two weeks ahead of time, which is the furthest out they will book a table. So we've paid for the next two weekends, and we'll see how it goes.

I've run out of focal points and am waiting on the mail, so I'm taking a bit of a break for a couple of days to catch up on my life!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Commission Work

For Christmas, my boss bought focal points to gift to friends, co-workers and loved ones. She then asked me to bead them! The photos are not the quality I would prefer and I'll keep working on that little problem. Nevertheless, this gives an expanded view of some of my work.
There were a total of 12 focal points, which I beaded with glass and shells. I brought them all back to my boss this morning, and she is thrilled! I've pictured a few of them here.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Creation on the Fly

My coworker and friend Deb arrived to work this morning wearing her four year-old-daughter's necklace because the child had said, "You haven't worn my turtle yet, mommy!" It was strung on a hot pink cord, her daughter's favorite color. It so happens that my bead bag was in the car.

So I offered to bead it! Random beads/size including seed beads in white, purple and pink. A couple of other random color's crept in, so her daughter can wear it with anything. I left some of the wire free for the pendant to move with change in size, and then added a chain extender. Just fun, I also framed the turtle with two dragonflies because they are "magic".

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New Aquisitions

These are the pendants I purchased today. The ones like this, with the gold background are extremely popular. I've already sold two like this, and was commissioned for another.

This has the spiral image that I love! I did not see this one, nor the one below at the flea market. With stiff competition, I definately want things are different.

This Murano Glass pendant has the caining in it that makes it beautiful. Fire Mountain Gems has beads to match. I look forward to ordering/creating this necklace!

Monday, October 26, 2009

New Aquisitions

I love the organic shape of these lampwork glass pendants. I found a good deal on 12 of them. With it being autumn, I should be able to create something beautiful and seasonal with them.

I also very much like these dragonflies. I'm creating a product line called Lollipops that will consist of glass beads and various ornimentation. The plain necklances and be strung with a dragonfly. The necklances are $3 each or 2/$5. The dragonflys are $5 each.

I also like this mixed grouping of Murano Glass pendants. Although these might put me in direct competition with other vendors, I plan to make them eyecatching enough to capture the attention of folks who have already seen or selected a pendant they like.

Blue Spiral

Pictured is a Blue Spiral necklace I took to festival. While no one bought it, this necklace garnered more attention than any other. I think of it as a unisex necklace and love the vivid colors.

So we have checked out the flea market and it looks like no one does exactly what I can do. Indeed, some of the glass focal pieces are available from other vendors, so I'll know not to bother to stock them, but all the other vendors put their glass on ribbons or cords. And charge a fortune to do it!

Moreover, no one stocks these spiral pieces. I'm working on business cards and marketing ideas this week. I'll also be spending the next two weeks creating more necklaces. Can't get a table for next week as they were all taken. Tough on the finances, but better for preparation.

I'm also trying to finish the commission for my boss. She bought 12 focal pieces that I am beading for her. I hope to finish them today. Pictures to follow!

Checking out the Competition

Headed to Barnyard Flea Market today to check out the competition! Notebook in hand, I have a list of the regular jewelry dealers. I plan to follow up on a report that no one does the kind of work I do. My work involves a lot of glass focal pieces strung with seed beads, accent beads, etc. Most folks selling these focal pieces stick them on string or ribbon.

This afternoon we have a date with Misbeavin'. Going to draw upon her artistic and business skills to set up a website to sell my work, as well as to do some photography. New display boards and camera are waiting in the car.

And today I'm more motivated than ever. The Boss Man owns a multimillion dollar business. This year he's taken a pleasure trip every month --this month was a week in Vegas. My immediate boss left him messages all week reminding him of the payroll. I had to use half an hour of comp time waiting around for my check to arrive yesterday. Because of the recent water leak (still have to pay very steep bill despite the discount), I wanted cash to go to the water company. So I went to a branch of my boss' bank to cash the check. It bounced!

A few phone calls later, I figured out that payroll was in the previous day's intake. (I've always known his money handling was a bit odd.) Apparently it takes a bank an extra step to process payroll, so the Boss' branch bank had to be called to speed it up. In fact, my pissed-off boss called the bank president and twenty minutes later I had my money. I'm still deeply disturbed that my well being depends upon such unethical practice. Shouldn't a business this large have a nice balance in case of any unexpected bills? The building is paid for.

So finding a second source of income seems increasing imperative. I've worked for companies that bounced checks. Don't care to repeat the experience.

Turning a Hobby into a Job

While my boss is a multimillionaire, he has stopped all pay raises. He also does not offer health insurance. Since my paycheck does not go as far as it did even a year ago, prices keep going up after all, I've been trying to find ways to make ends meet. Random people have praised my jewelery over the last year as I have snuck a few dollars here or there to Michael's for something pretty. Then a few weeks ago, my boss asked me to accept a commission. She had already bought the focal points (should have talked to me first - I can get them far cheaper than what she paid!), and wanted to know if I would create the necklaces to go with them. I sighted her a rock bottom price (she's not getting a pay raise this year either!), and she brought me the focal points.

In the mean time, I got the bright idea of vending at a local festival. Given that the rain never stopped and the temperatures never hit 60, and it was Clemson's homecoming weekend, I thought we did very well with $75 in cash and bartered goods worth about the same. Cameron got lots of cool loot, which should lure her out the next time I want to do such a thing! Maybe next time I'll also barter for something I want! LOL

So I've been shopping ebay, building stock, and plan to visit Barnyard Flea Market this weekend. It has an excellent reputation and would probably be a good place to cater to the Christmas crowd. Cameron and I will head over this weekend to scope it out and to pay the fee (cash only, paid in advance) and the following weekend I hope to be in business! Wouldn't it be a hoot if I could make as much or more than what I do as a counselor working for Scrooge?