Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mermaids' Tears

Running out of sea glass "mermaids' tears" seems impossible, and a little sad, like running out of seashells. But one man's collectible is another man's trash, in this case quite literally. Sea glass is essentially pretty litter, broken bottles and jars abandoned on the beach or heaved overboard years or decades or even centuries ago, then smoothed by the ocean's movements.

Attitudes toward oceanfront property and litter in general, have changed dramatically. Americans' new found reluctance to hurl junk into the sea has limited the supply of fresh glass, and with the arrival of plastic, glass is a much less popular packaging material than it used to be. There have been sweeping efforts to clean up existing beach garbage, even the collectible kind. In the years to come sea glass may be a relic of the past.

I'm currently work on a sea glass collection for my Etsy shop. The sea glass featured in the designs pictured here came from the Caribbean Seashore of Puerto Rico.  I love sea glass and I will be crafting several more items this week.

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Logging my favorites...

This is the fourth installment of a ongoing log of my favorite things. Once a month I will post a favorite. It might be a person, or a place, or even a event. Hopefully it will help you get to know me a little better. I'd love your comments and I hope to make some connections through our mutual enjoyment of these treasures.

Tent Camping

I love to camp. Sitting around a campfire under a clear sky, gazing up at the stars, and listening to the sounds of the night can strengthen our bodies, pacify our minds, and restore our spirits. Camping is rejuvenating!  We camp 2 or 3 times a year; planning our next destination months in advance. 

For some camping purists, a backpack, pocket knife, two sticks and a tarp is all you need for a weekend camping trip.  Not us, we are in the growing group of 'luxury' campers. Our list of necessities includes a very large two room tent, camping cots with thick memory foam mattresses, luxury linens, a kitchen box that contains everything but the kitchen sink, a fondue pot and lots of candles for ambiance.  We probably look like the Beverly Hillbillies when we pull into a camp ground; our SUV piled high with all our camping gear. We are all about comfort, and taking the time to rest and replenish. It's wonderful, even with the bears lurking in the forest!

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cleaning Copper Jewelry

I've been making a lot of jewelry using copper findings. I think copper is perfect for autumn accessorizing. I found this great article on how to clean copper jewelry. I'm off to the kitchen to try this...

Tips From Handmadeology:

Supplies: a small glass or ceramic dish, the acidic cleaning agent of your choice (I use lemon juice), a old toothbrush, soap and a drying towel

"Gather your supplies and your copper jewelry. Place one piece of jewelry in the dish and pour the cleaning agent over the item and allow it to set for a short time in the liquid, about 10 to 20 minutes. I usually use a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice and turn the copper over every few minutes to assure an even cleaning. NOTE: You may have to change the cleaning liquid a couple of times if the copper is extremely dirty. To move the process along, you may use your old toothbrush to gently scrub into the cracks and crevasses of the design. When you have achieved the desired cleaning, run clear water over the jewelry to rinse. Then use a little soap and the toothbrush to clean just a little more, rinse and pat dry with a towel."

"Please DO NOT leave your jewelry in the acid soak for and extended period of time OR if your copper jewelry has pearls, or any other soft stone DO NOT use any of these ways of cleaning!"

Have a great Day! Thanks for stopping by.
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Sunday, September 12, 2010

"Home" Business say no more.....

Most Esty shop owners can’t afford separate studio space so they set up their work space at home.  It might be a dedicated space just for crafting, or it could be the kitchen table.  Working from the kitchen table doesn’t mean your work isn’t marvelous!   Don’t tell people you run a “home” business. Although 53% of small businesses are home based, many people still think of home businesses as unprofessional. Think of it this way: if you rented studio space at 33 West Main St. for your design business, you wouldn’t tell people you were in a “West Main Street” business. So, why say you are in a home business. Home is just the location of your work space. It’s the business – the product you provide – that’s important.  When people ask about my small business I simply say that I’m a jewelry designer and hand them one of my business cards... Enough said…
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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Wanting Too Much Too Soon

Handmade Artists who do not feel successful seem to run into a common obstacle, mostly self-created. The good news is that the barrier has a remedy that you already have within your grasp.
Obstacle: Wanting Too Much Too Soon
  • Handmade Artists tend to be unrealistic about what is possible in a certain time frame and are impatient about the results they are getting.
  •  They want to sell immediately, sometimes before they even have a signature style.
  • They are not always open to critiques/suggestions about being more productive, creating work in different styles or creating multiples of their work to have more pieces available.
  •  They do not put in the hours. They are not consistent about what they do or how they do it, so their career never gains momentum.

The Remedy:
  • Be clear about where you are before you decide where you want to go. What amount of time do you have in your current schedule for production, listing, marketing, shipping, and paperwork? How will you make a change?
  • Once you are clear, decide where you want to be in your handmade career. Now look at the gap between your shop/sales today and where you’d like to be. Work backwards and write down the steps you need to take to get there. Then start taking one step at a time. Be realistic about what you can take on so that you can see progress and feel success as you build your handmade market place.

My task this week:  I’m working on better photos for my Etsy Shop this week.  Here are some examples of my original (left) and new (right) photos. Drop me a line and critique my new photos. Thanks!

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