Thursday, December 9, 2010

I went on a major shopping spree this weekend. I got lots of craft supplies so I could re-make everything I've sold in shows lately. I also got a little bit of Christmas shopping done. That's awesome for me... I never know what to get for anyone.

I'm thinking about totally overhauling my photo pendant-making process. I used to make the little circles out of clay by hand, but I hate the process. It takes forever and the circles are never perfectly round. While I was shopping for jewelry supplies, I found some packs of round wooden circles. I bought them and decided to try them out. I'm super excited about them. No more forming my own circles out of clay! The only thing I'm worried about is how to attach them to a chain. I can drill a hole through the circle, or I could drill a hole in the top and glue a loop of wire in there. I shall experiment.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Things have been busy. I haven't posted in awhile.

The last couple of days have been great. On Thursday I sold my jewelry at Artropy in Lafayette Square, and today I was at the Green Living Expo at the Missouri History Museum. Artropy went extremely well. It was my best show ever. The history museum show started out very slow and I was worried, but things picked up and I managed to do pretty well. The location was great (a few blocks from my apartment), and the shoppers were very polite and pleasant. I'll definitely do it again.

My card swiper and ProPay account ended up being good investments. I got a lot of credit card sales, and no hitches so far.

My Etsy shop feels so emptyyyy... but it's all good I guess. I'm feeling very proud of myself. Can't wait for next year's shows!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Man... I don't have another craft show until December. I don't know what to do with myself. My last craft show was pretty slow (but still a lot of fun), so I don't have to replenish my stock the way I had anticipated. Sales in general have been good, though. I made a goal of reaching 4 pages in my Etsy shop, but I'm having trouble because things keep selling. It's a very good problem to have.

Daylight savings is already driving me nuts. I hate it when it gets dark so early. I wonder if we're going to have to suffer through this useless tradition forever.

Austin and I watched "Aliens" last night. I was truly surprised at how awesome it was. Better than the first, I think. It had me nail-biting and screaming at the TV. It's also a perfect example of how CGI has ruined movies. A movie from 1986 managed to be more visually compelling, realistic, and engaging than any new, live-action movie I've seen in the last 15 years (perhaps with the exception of "Pan's Labyrinth"). There's no "wow... how did they do that?" effect in movies anymore. I'd be more convinced by a guy in a bad bear suit than I would by a perfectly rendered CG bear, to be honest. I really want the movie industry to bring back animatronics and make-up, and stop with the over-the-top simulations that aren't fooling anyone.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Propay and Travel

My ProPay account was approved today. I shall be able to accept credit cards at my next show.

I was planning on accepting cards at my last one, but I had to mail in an exceptions form because ProPay couldn't validate my information. I've never heard of that happening to anyone. Most people can set it up on 10 minutes. Mine took a week. Lucky me.

I ordered a card imprinter with carbon copy slips and a business plate. I know I said I could just write down the information, but my mom talked me into it because it will make me look more professional. And I had an e-bay gift card. Best birthday present ever. I hope it gets here in time for the show... otherwise I'll be handwriting on sales receipts.

Austin's at a computer science conference in Florence, Italy. His mom went with him since Austin will be reimbursed for their hotel room. I'm staying with the cat my mom's while he's gone (I get lonely).

We also got some good news a couple of weeks ago. His paper was accepted into a conference in freaking HAWAII. In freaking JANUARY. We decided to spring for my plane ticket, so I'm coming along. Can't wait!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Upcoming Show in Troy

I haven't updated in awhile. I've been pretty busy the last couple of weeks, but I guess that's a good thing.

Austin ran 18 miles in the Chicago marathon. I was very proud of him. It was nice to visit with his family too.

I got accepted into a craft show (at the last minute) in Troy, IL. I'll be there Saturday and Sunday of this weekend. It looks like it's going to be HUGE. I'm debating getting a ProPay account so I can accept credit cards. I realized that if I sign up for the account, I'll have to write down credit card information to put into ProPay later. I can't imagine allowing someone to do that with my card. Everyone in the Etsy forums suggests getting a knucklebuster or a Propay card reader, but that just means paying more $ to record the exact same sensitive information. To me, those things almost seem like fooling people into thinking you're being more secure. ProPay says they can process and authorize orders over the phone. Maybe I'll give that a shot if people are willing to wait.

I improved the design for the earring display I posted awhile ago. I put a couple of pieces of wire along the edges and used mod podge to glue another piece of card stock on top. They're really sturdy now! Can't wait to try them out at the show.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Going to Chicago this weekend. My strong, handsome husband is running in the Chicago marathon on Sunday. We'll be staying with his sister, and his mom's coming too. I am very excited.

Yesterday I applied to a couple of craft shows I found at the last minute. As a result, I felt the need to make a bunch of stuff today. I made some really pretty earrings. If they weren't such a pain to make, I might make some for myself. I shall post pictures later.

A (poorly lit) video of me playing with my cat:

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Earring Display Tutorial

A couple of months ago, I decided to start making my own jewelry displays out of card stock. I was getting ready for my first show, and I didn't want to spend a lot of money on displays since I didn't know if it would be successful or not.

I couldn't find a design for an earring display that I liked, so I decided to design my own:

I posted pictures and vowed to post a tutorial if it held up. Unfortunately, it didn't do so hot at the show. The humidity caused it to droop down. However, I really love these for photography, and they'd probably be good for indoor shows. Hence, I am keeping my vow.

First of all, I've put up a template image that you can resize to fit your needs, or you can just look at it to design your own version. Click here for the full-size image.

The first step is to print out the template on card stock and cut it out. I just used a standard 8.5 x 11 piece of card stock in my printer.

Next, stick a needle through all four of the dots near the top. This is where the earrings will attach.

Fold both of the "wings" in half. Fold them in toward the printed side so that the edge is parallel to the edge of the longest rectangle. Unfold.

Fold the "wings" completely inward so they're parallel to the square at the bottom. Unfold.

Fold the square at the bottom up along the solid line.

Unfold the square by about 45 degrees and wrap the wings over and around it. Put a piece of tape in the center (where my thumb is) to hold everything together.

Wrap the top around a pen to get the curved shape. You should be able to manipulate the curled part so that it will stay nice and round and allow the earrings to hang nicely from the little holes. I sometimes take a very thin dowel and wrap the very tip around it so that it curls more tightly where the earrings go.

Take pretty pictures!

Hope that's helpful to someone. If anyone tries this out, I'd love to see what you've done!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Things have been going well for me. I've been a lot more optimistic lately.

I poured a lot of time into my Etsy shop last week, and it seems to be paying off. It was nice to dedicate my time to what I like, instead of constantly worrying about what I "should" be doing to "prove my worth" to myself.

I also got a cute hair cut. I loooove having short hair, but I hadn't cut it since summer '09. It sounds dumb, but I sort of think my hair was one of those things that was dragging me down and contributing to my negative thinking. It's crazy how much little thing like a hair cut can make me so much happier.

Emo photo of my new hair:

Monday, September 20, 2010

It was another slow week last week. Sometimes it's hard to get myself motivated. I want to make new jewelry, but I have SOOO much existing stuff that I need to photograph. On top of that, I could stand to re-make things that have sold... but I just want to keep going with new ideas. I guess if I want to make this work, I'll have to be a little more disciplined. I did manage to list a couple of things today. Hope to keep that momentum going.

I did expand my crafting repertoire in the last week or so. My husband usually comes along when I go to craft stores, and he's become more and more interested in developing a crafty hobby. He was doing wooden puzzles for awhile. He had a lot of fun, but it wasn't especially creative to put together a puzzle. I'm really happy he did it, though. The Eiffel Tower he built attracted a lot of attention when I put it on my table at my last craft show. :)

Austin decided to try his hand at knitting last weekend. I used an old Barnes and Noble gift card to buy an instruction book for him. Then we got the essential yarns and knitting needles. As he was learning I became intrigued and tried it myself. I just finished my first project. It's a cranberry-red scarf. Goes great with my University of Minnesota Gopher gear.

I also made a little stuffed hamster out of felt. My cat freaking loved it. Since she liked it so much, I made another one for my cousin's cat. I brought it to a family get-together and everyone thought it was very cute.

My dad commissioned me to make a gerbil for him. He has two pet gerbils that he loves. A gerbil will be a little more complex, but I'm up for the challenge. I might try to use some material from old, worn-out clothing that my husband wants to throw away. Hurray recycling!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

My Week

I had a fantastic week. Definitely made some strides in my goal of becoming less timid and more involved.

Austin and I went to his mom's for Labor Day weekend. I had such a good time. I don't think I could have fared much better with my husband and in-laws. His brother, brother's girlfriend, and mom's friend came over for dinner one night. Usually, I'm embarrassingly quiet and anxious in situations like that, but I was very comfortable and really enjoyed talking with all of them.

The day after we got back, I gave my blogging presentation for the ShowMe Etsy craft team. I was surprised at how nervous I was. In college I cranked out speaking assignments like they were nothing. I suppose I was intimidated because I really look up to this group of people, and I was scared of their judgment. Talk about an irrational fear... they're all super nice. I probably talked way too fast and I caught my voice quivering a couple of times, but I have since received thanks and compliments. It makes me feel really good. Being able to join this group was an amazing opportunity for me.

Yesterday I was feeling empowered, so I went on a major cleaning spree. Riley got a little upset that I folded up her blanket. She liked to hide under it when it was spread out on the floor. She gave it one more shot, but it didn't last long:

Today has been a rather lazy day for me. I'm going to have to get back in the swing of doing all kinds of crafty stuff. I feel a little crazy for neglecting a job hunt and focusing on my teeny tiny jewelry business. But I can get away with it at the moment, and it makes me happy.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Football and Blogging Tips

GAH the weather is nice. We got stormed on last night, but now it's GORGEOUS.

I went to my mom's house to watch the University of Minnesota football game last night. My sister's boyfriend is on the team. He was on the sidelines last year, and it was so exciting to see the occasional shot of him on TV. I suppose you can only imagine how much more exciting it was to see him actually play! So awesome. They won by 7, and it was a very exciting game.

I'm working on a blogging presentation for my Etsy craft team. Full of all the stuff I've learned (but not necessarily applied) about blogging. Here's a link to a page full of my ideas. Not sure how it'll be formatted... this is my first attempt at using google docs. Feel free to make suggestions: Blogging Stuff

I've been putting TONS of stuff in my shop. Here's a little sampling.

Friday, August 27, 2010

I had trouble sleeping again last night. I was exhausted, but I just couldn't go to sleep. At least I've found a new way to keep myself occupied when I'm awake. I've been doing research surveys at mechanical turk by amazon. They pay you (practically nothing) to waste your life taking surveys and performing stupid tasks that computers wouldn't do as well as a person. Most of the stuff I did is still waiting approval, but I made almost $2. yippee.

My little husband is working from home today. We've been sitting next to each other on the couch with our laptops like dweebs all day.

Put some more pendants in my shop:

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Still Chuggin

WOW I had an awful night. I've been having some trouble sleeping lately. About once a week I just won't be able to fall asleep before 4 or 5 in the morning. Last night I drifted off between 4:30 and 5, and then woke up at 8 to jack hammering in the street. They didn't stop until 11. ugh. So I'm running on 3 or 4 hours of sleep.

I've been so sleepy that I didn't think I'd manage to meet my goal of adding 3 things to my Etsy shop. But I did it! Yay! Here's the "new" stuff... but only the first one is brand new. The other two have just been absent because I updated them.

Feels good to fill up the shop. I've still got so much more stuff to list.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Had lunch with my husband today. It was nice to get out of the house.

But I've been keeping myself very busy with my Etsy shop. For the past couple of months I was focusing on making enough stuff for my table at the craft show. Now I have to worry about photographing all of it and putting it on Etsy. I've got a goal of photographing/listing 3 things a day. I've done it the past two days in a row.

Some little thumbnails of new stuff in my shop:

Monday, August 23, 2010

Awesome Weekend

I had such a great weekend!

I've been spending the last few months getting ready for my first show with a full table. I recently sent most of my stuff over to a shop, so I had to pretty much start from scratch. I made a lot of my own displays, and I worked really hard to get a good amount of stock.

I set up on Saturday morning at the Tower Grove Farmers' Market. It was supposed to storm all day. It was a little cloudy in the early morning, but the rain never came. The humidity kind of messed up a few of my handmade earring diplays, but everything else held up pretty well.

The show itself was super fun. There were lots of cute kids and friendly dogs. My husband got us the best potato chips ever. I might have to go back for those sometime. A bunch of my family members came to visit, and my husband convinced some of his research team members to drop by. I also sold more stuff than I had anticipated. Definitely a success.

Later that day we went to the Cardinals game. They broke their losing streak. I've only been to 3 games in my life... but I've still never seen them lose. Took a cute picture of a bug:

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Glaze, Artbeads, Spanish

I got some "Diamond Glaze" in the mail today. I bought it on eBay. An eBay gift card was pretty much the best thing ever to put on my wish list... it makes me feel like I can buy all kinds of new craft stuff without the guilt of spending "real" money.

Anyway, Diamond Glaze. They should probably just call it MOST-AWESOME-STUFF-EVER. I took all of my photo pendants out of my store because they got sticky after they sat around for awhile. I needed some kind of coating for them, but everything I tried was either sticky or murky. Things that other artists pointed me to were either too expensive, or too complicated/messy for me to want to try. Diamond Glaze was relatively cheap and has a little applicator. All I did was squeeze the stuff out on my pendants and pop the little bubbles with a safety pin. No waste, no toxic fumes, virtually no mess. I can spread it around with my fingertips if I need to, and it comes right off of my hands. My little pendants aren't sticking to anything anymore. LOVE IT. Kind of want to buy the ridiculously large refill bottle now... but we'll see how long the little bottle lasts me.

If anyone bought one of my old "sticky" pendants and wants a new glazed one, I'll replace it for you. Sorry I didn't detect the problem sooner! was nice to me today. I ordered a Swarovski pendant for a necklace I want to put in my craft display. It had a huge crack down the side of it. :( Their web site says you have to return items before they'll send a replacement, so I e-mailed them and asked if I could put it in bubble wrap and mail it in a letter-sized envelope (since it was already damaged anyway). They replied and said that they were just going to send me a new one. Couldn't believe it! Usually when I deal with big jewelry supply sites, they act like huge jerks when I have a problem. Go Artbeads!

I've been practicing my Spanish. I listen to language-learning podcasts when I'm making jewelry, and I've been spending some time at It's pretty cool. It connects you with native speakers of the language you're trying to learn, and the idea is that you help each other learn the other's language. It's nice to feel like I'm doing something intellectually stimulating... haha.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I'm excited. I just got accepted to a craft show at the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park. It will be so cool to be able to do a show so close to my apartment (I live like 6 blocks away from there). It's also nice that it will be in a place everyone can find. The show will happen on December 4th... so I'm hoping everyone will be looking for Christmas gifts for their favorite ladies.

My next show is in a little over two weeks, and I've only got about half of my table done. Eek! Only reason I'm currently allowing myself a break to blog is because I need to let some sealant dry on my batch of clay photo pendants.

I've put a couple new things in my shop.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Itching to Promote... but too Busy Makin' Stuff

Things have been good lately. I love having a lot of time to work on making jewelry. I've been making A LOT of stuff, but I want to get my craft table fully stocked before I start listing new things in my shop again.

I finally finished my tray of rings for shows.

My stock now includes: 36 rings, 19 pairs of earrings, 11 hair clips (my cat got one and ripped it apart. lolz... bad kitty), 7 bracelets, and 1 necklace. I've been trying to get my necklace count up, but every time I make one, someone I know wants to buy it. Guess I shouldn't complain. :)

I've been getting sucked into little marketing strategies. I'm really anxious to start promoting again. Can't wait to try out some ideas once I have my shop stocked up. I'm considering doing the "relist every day" thing that people seem to think works so well on Etsy. I figure if it doesn't work, I can just stop before I spend too much money on relisting.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Preparing for a Show

So much stuff has happened since I last posted here. My goal of becoming an ultimate jewelry blogger has kind of been pushed to the side. I quit my job a couple of weeks ago, and now I'm really trying to focus on my tiny jewelry business until I find something more... profitable.

My jewelry is now for sale at "Master's Pieces" on Main Street St. Charles. I went to see it and was surprised to find that it was not all grouped together, but spread throughout the store. It was still nice, but it's a little hard to find. If any of my friends/family want to go check it out, I'd suggest asking the store owner to help point my stuff out. :)

I gave all of my stock to the jewelry shop, and I'm signed up for a craft show at the end of August. I bought my own table that I'll need to fill up. I'm really going to have to scramble to get everything done. So far I've made 7 bracelets, 10 pairs of earrings, 6 rings, 12 hair clips, and 1 necklace. Not too shabby for a week and a half. I found this awesome tutorial for making my own necklace busts. I also designed and assembled my own earring display. I'm planning on putting up my own tutorial, but that will probably have to wait until after I'm done preparing for the show.

I made these little hair clips to take up space on my table. I think they're super cute, and it'll be nice to be able to sell something at such a low price ($4 for one, $6 for two). Not sure how safe they are for children, though. I might need to put out a little warning sign next to them.

Monday, June 21, 2010

I really haven't had a lot of time for blogging lately. Hoping to change that, but I guess that's always the case.

I went on vacation in Panama City earlier this month. It was a lot of fun, and I made a lot of jewelry in the car. Now I'm in Bethesda, MD with my husband. He's presenting his research at a conference. I decided to come along, and I'm really enjoying the time to myself.

I plan on putting a bunch of new stuff in my shop once I get back on the 24th. Here's a little taste. It's my favorite bracelet. Wearing it right now, actually. :)

My shop has now been open for a little over a year. That's a little hard for me to believe. Doesn't seem like nearly that long...

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Good grief I haven't posted in awhile.

I'm having a bit of a blogging identity crisis. I can't decide where I want to be. I've been an avid livejournal fan for a long time now, but after looking more closely, I can't decide if I want to be here or there.

I set up another blogging account on livejournal. I think I'll probably just be making parallel posts until I figure out where I really want to blog.

Here's my other account if you'd rather follow me on livejournal:

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Things have been going pretty well lately.

I started making new flower rings. They're pretty cute, I think. Here's a white one, but there's a pink on in my shop. I'm also working on blue, purple, and red.

I was also browsing and saw that they had lots of books on how to improve a home craft business. I was tempted, but then remembered that I had a library. It's certainly nice to get the same kind of information for free.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

I haven't posted in so long!

My Christmas was wonderful. I added a lot of things on etsy to my universal wishlist on Amazon. The things I got have all been great! Here's my fav:

by myfusedglass

I also started making clay photograph pendants. I've sold quite a few of them already, and I've begun using my own art and photography to make new ones. Check them out in my shop!