Stockists: Bonney Bird – Claire & Lila – Post Office

It’s going to be my year. I’m going to get in your face and push my jewellery.  I have new business cards which are funkier and more in tune with me, flyers with pictures and a list of where to find me and the big one – a car magnet. Drive around advertising. Gotta love it.
I have 3 stockists currently, but will be looking for more to get in out there and as each place has their own vibe I can tailor their stock to their customer base.

So far I have my place of work and two other small shops. One has just opened but the other two have been doing alright.

Having stockists means I have to work my prices to make sure I get what I want (and covering costs of course) and they don’t have to over price them to
One shop has bought them outright so I get paid while the other two have them on commission.  Both work well for me.
Buying outright means I get paid and can work on other things, but the seller then has to do the work to make sure they get their money back. Selling on commission means we both have to work on it. I’ll promote the s**t out their shop and share it, and for any shopkeeper – good service, reasonable prices and a welcoming atmosphere will get people back in.

My stockists are:

the Woodbridge Post Office – a selection of brooches and earrings

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Bonney Bird, Electrona – a funky eclectic collection. Hair clips, rings, necklaces and my limited edition Marca-ties – a bid style necklace of beads sewn onto a neck tie.
I do need to pop in and give my display a spruce up, but the picture will give you an idea of what’s there.

Claire & Lila Creations, Margate Train – feminine asymmetrical necklaces and my ball and chain collection (felt or wooden beads on chain)

For local readers and tourists alike please check out these gorgeous shops and support local artists.
You will easily find them right off the highway as you travel south of Hobart down ‘the Channel’ with stunning water views and passing through quaint villages.

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Meet Josephine!

This week I welcomed a new ‘staff’ member to my team. She is still a little green and needs to look at how she presents herself, I think she will be a valuable part of the Marcato group.
She jumped right into the modelling aspect as you can see from this shot of her with a lovely red daisy chain necklace.

Later in the week we will be welcoming another new member which we’re both quite excited about.  Luckily the other girls aren’t the jealous sort, and if they had arms would have opened them to her.

Once I have everyone gathered we will have a group photo.

Josephine
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Jennifer 🙂

It’s finished – and I love it!!

I finally got a couple of hours where I could concentrate on the last few things in my room. And boy does it look good now.
You know how it is, the last things are the fiddly bits that you don’t know what to do with, and whether you keep them or not.
I have one box left, but it is of no issue to the rest of the room.
Halfway through I had the idea to make a big spacey room, that would not feel crowded – and so I can crank the music and dance my silly self crazy when I feel like it.
Check out the pictures. Sorry they’re a bit dark or overly ‘flashed’ due to not being able to get them in daylight as planned.
Overview from lounge room end.

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Love this wall. Just because.

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Overview from the other end – looks a bit messy, but is not so bad, and very user friendly. Sewing desk on left, utility desk in front of bookcase.

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Material racks and storage cupboards.

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Close up of the ‘work’ corner.

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Now to get the mojo back, it’s upsetting by that it has been so hit and miss lately. But I don’t like to make things when not fully in here mood otherwise they turn out crap. Been there done that, not a good look.

Have a good weekend 🙂

I bought a cupboard… a work in progress

Before - what a mess!

Before – what a mess!

Check out here for the last revamp I did. I won’t be changing any of this as such, just the table under the window. The table under the window has become a junk pile, the table I leave stuff when I can’t be bothered to put it away. As one of my apparent resolutions, I want to be more organised, and tidier. This is hard for me. Organised I can do, tidy is something else again. I have my moments, but a neat freak I am not. Over the weekend our local Community Centre had a jumble sale and I found a few items that are perfect for new storage but easily accessible, and not adding to the mess.

First up there are a second set of lights on a stand. These will be good for when I’m photographing pieces. At the moment I have the light tent which I place under the main light with one stand next to it, this add light to the other side, hopefully evening out any residual shadows.

The first item I found (on Friday during set up) was this dinky little cupboard, somewhat crooked, but very handy.  It it only an inch higher than the tall boy so it not too out of place. The drawer,I’m not sure of what to put in it, but the shelves were going to be perfect for my electrical and other tools. The heat gun, pasta machine for clay, toaster oven, Dremel (drill) and my light tent and cement sheet (for the kiln) sits on the bottom shelf. Unfortunately the kiln is just a bit too big to fit so is now on the other shelves.

Next (this morning, after some thinking and making a phone call to the centre) I have some baskets on racks which (after measuring) are a perfect fit for under the window and will house my materials. These were in the tall boy, out of sight, not used. Now, they look so much nicer. This has moved not just the material from the tall boy but a whole suitcase of the stuff, so one item that wont be under the work table any more. Into the tall boy will go some of the other craft items that lived (and made a mess under the work table). I’ve only got two drawers done, and to get all my paints in I need some smaller containers. We shall see.

This has taken me 4 days to get here – I do have a life outside of the house, even inside the house – and another week, or two may get it sorted. But that has to include 2 days of work, a day of appointments, delivering & collecting hubby from airport, a wedding & recovery, making bunting for the market, attending said market, visiting a friend getting a major surgery done and general life duties. So the work in progress will be a slow one. But one I am eager to get onto. I am already feeling happy and less inclined to get bored with this makeover as it is putting everything in its place (I like this) and while giving me less actual work space it means I have to be better at putting things away. Working smarter I think it’s called.

No excuses!

Things have been busy, and I’ve been lazy with my beads. There. No excuses, just the truth.
I do need to get into some sort of better beading and sewing routine. I wanted to post here somewhere along twice a week, and I can honestly say that hasn’t happened.

So what am I working on. I have a repai job to do. Actually 4 for the one person. So that keeps me busy for a bit. Two were simple re stringing jobs, with the other two using a handful of beads and making something out of them.  I sort the beads, make a few options up and send pictures and await further instruction.
This time around there are a dozen small pearly beads which are sentimental but barely enough to make a bracelet, let alone a necklace so I will give her a few ideas and see. The other beads should make a nice necklace with some of my own thrown in. I quoted $30-$40 and provided the time is not much then it should come in around budget.

My crafty routine? What’s to become of that?
Well, I have the bi-annual CRAG Art Trail at the end of September (2 days instead of 3 this year) so I want to have a new collection ready. I wont be saying much yet until I have made my final decision.
I have monthly markets til the end of the year at Woodbridge, I’ve applied for a niche market that does 4 a year (although I have missed making the first one), and am waiting the email for another one that happens twice a year (for 2 days).
The market just up the road, I haven’t heard from them either. But there is still time.

The two items I restrung this morning. Ready and waiting for the two others to be completed.

Before

Before

After

After

Bracelets – it’s a numbers game

When ever I make pieces of jewellery like earrings and bracelets I try to make sure there are several choices in each colour. There may not be duplicates of many, but so long as there are a few colour choices it helps.
This is why when I store my bracelets they are in their colour-ways. Returning from market and getting ready for another means laying them out and seeing what needs adding to. This is the best way to make sure there are not loads of one or two colours and only one choice for others.
On my table I can see 6 with blue (1 had red with and 1 has green and white), 4 with green, not including the one with blue, 5 red, 3 neutrals (brown, black, white) and one each of purple, pink and yellow/orange. I think I I went overboard on the greens, blue and red rather than having sold lots of the others.
I also find this is a great way to use up fiddly little beads, or what we call ‘bead soup’ – a mixup of all sorts of beads, where the quantity is not enough for one item, but perfect when mixed with others.
A selection of bead soup..

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So they will be my next job. These are memory wire bracelets. They are wound in such a way that they bounce back into shape and are easy to put on and off as there is no clasp. Just rounds of beads.
How many do I need to make. Well I like to have about 4-5 of each so I can mix and match what I take to each market. And for something like the Annual Fair coming up, they will all attend. Loads of choices, overloading the basket.

I then have a selection of semi precious memory wire bracelets and I will be doing the same with these. Checking out what beads I have to make new ones.

The numbers game – the smaller the beds the more I need – the fiddlier it is – the more time consuming.

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Then will come the normal clasp bracelets. I can see already it will be pink, purple and green. I might, if I have time, get a few more rings done, but they’re not so important.

Zero to Hero – 30 days to a Better Blog

Daily where applicable – “Zero to Hero – 30 Days to a Better Blog” It is on this blog and Coffee & Camera in Hand (for a different perspective on the same topic).

What’s in a name?

Today’s (day 2) topic is about your blog name. After all it is the first thing readers will see, and will they like it. The tagline too. It has to draw the readers in, make them want to stop. Or at least give them the heads up on whether they want to keep reading.
My name will never change (never say never I know) but my tagline has changed many times, depending oin where I am with my craft. I think it is now at peace with itself and happy to stay.

Let’s go back to the beginning. Way back to 2007 or 2008 when I first began selling my jewellery in this funky little book shop cum bead shop. I wanted to have something that was different but catchy, and was easy to roll of the tongue. I had all sorts of crazy things written down with options and taglines, or catch phrases.
After reading many forums and articles about getting a name, and what it means, how it reflects your business, ideals, product… and finally settled on Bold Designs. As you can see when you read it, it doesn’t really sit well on the tongue. It’s all awkward and not so happy. SO off to google translate I go and see what words will pop up at me in reference to Bold.
There were lots of lovely looking words, but one must make it easy for people to say – mine still gets pronounced wrong, but is better than most of the options – and this is what I came up with.

Marcato Designs.
Marcato meaning bold in Italian, or as a musical term meaning to play it strongly/loudly?
The pronunciation is what gets most people. “Mar-car-toe” Not “mar-cat-oh” or “mar-cay-toe” Even ‘mah-cay-toe” is better. THere is a slight difference n the last two.

My tagline. Some of the previous ones include:
“Be bold….and beautiful”
“it’s all about the jewellery…and how it makes you feel”
I am happy in my current one, as it encompasses all aspects of what I feel my jewellery and accessories are.
“Funky, Feminine and Eclectic”

Why the colour? At the time I wanted something that no one else had, there were lots of purple, black and gold, but the hot pink just stood out among all of that and I do really like it.

That is it for my name.
See you next time 🙂

Jewellery storage at home – what I did for mine.

Do you have lots of jewellery?
Is it all jumbled up in cups, and trays?
Are you missing earrings and a can’t find that special piece to dress up an outfit?

More importantly, do you have very little room, and or dislike the fancy storage items you find elsewhere?
Well it’s time to think outside the box.

My main issue is lack of space, especially for tall storage items. This is my space and my jewellery looks like this….
What a mess!

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So I have to try and find something that will accommodate all my pieces, look good, be functional (ie, not be awkward or a pain to use) and keep things clean and generally free from those pesky dust bunnies. I do have a dressing table, but it is in my foyer/entry hall and is always covered in other stuff, and not used by me at all for my things. The bedroom is not big enough to house it, otherwise it would be there. And the ensuite vanity is barely big enough for the basics we have in it as it is.

Back to storage solutions. I saw this great idea on necklace storage the other day and thought about doing it, but when I found felt covered coat hangers for trousers at $2 I decided it would be much quicker to buy those and utilise them. As I type, I am contemplating using them for the scarves and doing other things with my jewellery. We shall see.
I also bought a few other things. Small plastic containers, at $2 each. Designed for the kitchen, but perfect for what we want it for. I bought 11 of them, and the leftovers I can easily use to tidy my kitchen drawers, so nothing wasted.
Playing around with layouts of all the different pieces I had took some time. I wanted to use the wooden box for the compartments, and the clear trays as they were designed for jewellery. Not possible with what I decided on. I’ll still keep them as you never what might be available in the next house we have.
My top drawer which housed scarves and jammies and the shelf with jewellery have essentially been swapped. The jewellery tucked (further) away from the dust. To keep the scarves neat and not snagging on the timber, they went into the containers (when winter comes I’ll have to re work this slightly for bulkier items), and my Jammie’s are just on the shelf.

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In the drawer I arranged the new containers, for bracelets, some necklaces, and some earrings, two of the small baskets hold my bangles and rings, and one of my bead containers was used as compartments for smaller earrings (the lid was removed so it would fit, but can be sat on the top for protection).

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The bulk of the necklaces. I used those felt coat hangers. It works a treat. I found a way to hang them so they don’t get tangled but are still easy to get on and off. They are hung from the top rung and then alternated between each side (with a piece of material hanging from the second rung) to keep them separate and visible. I think it works. They have been hung between clothes that will not snag them, and the red hangers in the the sea of wooden ones can be easily seen. What do you think? You can see in the first the picture my testing of the idea.

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On an aside. This is the other side of my wardrobe. Hanging space for long items and room for shoes. My shoes all fit, but there is no room for the handbags I want kept handy. Another tier on there shoe rack will work perfectly.

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I bought another shoe rack expecting to just add one tier. I should have known better. It was wider than the first one. Ok, replace it and then adjust the shoes to fit. Now I have a two tier shoe rack… maybe one of the boys might want to use it their rooms for something. And the finished product.

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While I was doing this and deciding which things I’ve made that I don’t want and might clean up and sell or re fashion I did find a couple of necklaces that I will refashion for me. Just slight tweaks. I still love the colours but the style needs a little change to match the me I am here, as he compared to the me I was in Mt Isa.
So what do you do with your jewellery storage, do you have this sort of room, more or less?

Storage and transport. Part 1: portable bead station

I’ve since added a basket full of goodies to my portable beading station which makes it much easier to take bigger and/or more beads and tools. As part of my storage and transport series.

Laugh. Love. Live

I have read a few posts lately from numerous blog and social media about beading on the go and how to pack everything for your markets.  This got me thinking about a few things – mainly about what I was going to do on a Tuesday night.
This will be the first in a 3 part post – portable beading, markets, storage at home (including what I’ve done in my room).

Every Tuesday night my second son has his Air League meeting in town and while visiting friends is good, sometimes I just want to knuckle down and do something.  Although it is fantastic what my son is doing if I am in ‘the zone’ then I feel that the 2 hours of his class is ‘wasted time’.
So my goal for this week (today, as it is Tuesday) is to get a folder thingy to make a basic portable bead set.  Off I went to Officeworks (the…

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