New directions, new ideas and a link for shopping.

I know I’ve said this before, and I do, do something, then my motivtion decides to bugger off and drops me in the slow box for a while. I even went looking for the post but I can’t find it short of looking through every single one. Yeah, that’s not going to happen.
And this resurgence in motivation and get up has been brought about by recent sales from my website and a post on Facebook that ‘pages’ are likely to be written off almost. Well, Facebook are saying that for your ‘page’ to be seen in the future you will need to pay for it, or pay for ads or something. And friends have already noticed a distinct drop in visitors and views – and these are the ones with over a 1000 likers, not just little people like me.
So my thoughts are now even more focused on what I have to do. I like Facebook because it’s free. I don’t want to be paying for it when I am paying for a website as well.
So I’m working on a couple of ideas to kick start the website and have worked out how much I need to sell to pay for it. While this is not a lot, there are other things I need to pay for as well, so it all adds up, and paying for Facebook is not a priority.
One needs to work out what is going to be best for them and utilise that.
So right now, I am updating and sorting the website. Next week (I am working 2 days and then am busy til the end of Monday) I will be getting photos to upload so people can order earrings/rings/hair slides in their colour choice. These are the easiest to do on a grand scale without me feeling like I’m selling out, or going against what I believe. All other items will be reduced for (hopefully) quick sales and I can concentrate on what I do really like. Retro/vintage /boho styles and my glass work (pendants & Wraptures).

I also need to empty and restart my studio from scratch. There is so much going on, I need to find some sort of better storage solution for everything.

More importantly, I need to get into a better routine. Routine is important. While crafty people tend to want to work whenever, it is still important to have some structure so things actually get done.
This has to work in with my Community Centre, market, family, work life. For those that know me, they know that my life is anything but staid and there are times when life will not play nicely. It’s all easier on paper at least) if you work full/part time. There are set times to work around.
I am also aware of the time I spend with or without my kids. They grow up quick enough I want to make sure they have everything they need before they get licences/jobs/girlfriends and leave the nest more often and for longer each time.

Where am I going with this. Short answer. There may be some kind of spamming of products, links, pictures, blabbing to get my name out there more and trying to drive more people along.
I’m thinking, as I type this to get some sort of (big) link on the sidebar that is a direct link to my website. Actually, that will be the next job.
~five minute time lapse ~ Woohoo, done, super easy and takes you to the home page. I can change that to whatever page I like, which I may do another day, the Collections page, or the Shop Front maybe… Now to go and pout it on the main blog.

Have a good weekend (I know it’s only Wednesday but I wont be back here til after Monday).
Jennifer

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Friendly Plastic, a mini tutorial.

Ok, it’s not really a tutorial, but more of a pictorial show of what I what do when I make my earrings, rings and hair clips.
I read quite a few articles before i started to figure out what I should and shouldn’t do and while it is still a little hit and miss I have got it about right.

So I took the time while making earrings yesterday to get pictures of my process.
The finished product. I got these out to see what colours I needed to make. I have one of each at the moment.
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These are the colours I’ve picked out for earrings.IMG_2415

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Plastic cut and ready to melt
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Ring bases pushed gently into softened plastic to make the shape, and all pieces cooling ready to cut.IMG_2421

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After cutting them carefully and rounding out any sharp bits, the scraps go into a bag to reuse later. So long as you can melt it again, it can be used. Nothing is wasted.
Glued onto earring bases and the final product.
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stud earrings

stud earrings

adjustable rings

adjustable rings

pair of hair slides

pair of hair slides

And there you have it. For simple product like I’m making it is super easy to do with quick results. I like this also because it reminds me of working glass, shiny and the end result can be different to that which you imagine. Speaking of which I need to buy some more, and then show you what you can do with it.

Have a good weekend, market roundup tomorrow evening.
Jen πŸ™‚

Sneak portion-peaks of recent makes

Now I’ve had my sick day, which meant no making, or anything else for that matter. I am back, and raring to go.
Here are a few sneak portion pics of my recent makes and one under construction.

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Once I’m done with the last one, and get the good photos done, they will be shown in their full glory, and uploaded to the website and Facebook page.

Jen πŸ™‚

New makes and funky buttons

A couple to new things I’ve made last night and this afternoon.

I’m not sure if the beaded link on the brown focal is too much. I’m tossing up between silver wire (good) and more ribbon (too much maybe?) and maybe even leather or twine and knotted.

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I like this green one, a revamped necklace, altered slightly to account for the difference in hanging.

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One I am working on. Restringing the lapis chips onto 3 strands and attaching to the spider web focal. I’ll find a neat link for the other side. It will be finished with chain or ribbon, as I’m not sure if I still have a blue to match or contrast with these beads.

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And some funky buttons (mum had in her show bag from a recent conference). I am already thinking of what to use them with.

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Have fun crafters πŸ™‚
Jen

Wraptures – a new wave in design

It’s time to start working on another collection of Wraptures. I’ll be taking them to the new market and setting them front and centre to get some more interest.
I’ve noticed the first collection were very swirly and had lots of squiggles. This next lot will be different, mainly because they already have bails ready to hang.

I have a selection of glass pendants that haven’t sold so I will transform them instead. I just need to find out how they want to be made up.** It may not be all girls and swirls, and the glass is darker, so maybe subtle colours will be needed.
My new clay soon to be moulded.. L-R: Β Ultra Blue, Metallic silver, metallic pearl, red, purple, white and magenta.
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Β And the pendants ready to have a new lease on life.IMG_7038

These are a time consuming job as before I even think about conditioning the clay I have to get the design right. Then pick the colours and start work. After that, it’s the beady part of the job. So lots of doodling and looking at nature and the world around me for ideas.

** A few years ago I would have laughed at anyone who said they let the hosue tell them how it wants to be renovated, or the beads how they want to be made up… I have now reconsidered this treain of thought. It is correct. Many times I have had an idea and somewhere in the middle of the design and construction realised that it is all wrong. The bead dictates how it should be worked. And there is no trying to be boss and saying No. The bead is always right. Well, most of the time anyway. Somethings work well on paper or the bead mat, but when you string them up, it will either work or it wont.

I love my glass pieces and with some of the patterns and colours it will be a fun time. Mind numbing and exhausting, but fun.

Happy Beading, Happy Weekend πŸ™‚
Jennifer

The year in review

What has happened this year?
In a nutshell…
– I attended the Middleton Fair for the first time ever, since visiting it years ago with small children in tow. I’m hoping the next one will be better. I have four weeks to get my act together on that front.

– I’ve been in the local newspaper as part of one of the markets I attend, albeit wrongly named.

– I bought my own domain name and started a new website – a lot of work is currently needed to tidy and fix it up.

– I bought an ad in a local newsletter – has it been successful? I’m not sure. No one has actually said they’ve seen my ad and come looking.

– I’ve done lots of markets this year. Some very good, most of it not so. Take the good with the bad, it’s all about marketing and getting your face out there.

– started this blog as a stand alone beady and craft blog after a completely un-related blog post from a friend.

– I attended an art exhibition with my very first attempt at collage and mixed media.

– I then dabbled in some painting and mixed media canvases. I sold a few early on but not much since.

– I made a few bags early on and then stopped. Not made much since. I’m going to make a few more new ones for the upcoming fair and markets in between.

– I’ve put it upon myself to help the manager of the Woodbridge Market to try and make sure it gets better. While it was hit and miss early on, I think he’s come round a little, and knows I don’t want to take over, just help. Last market he asked me if I had my camera at the ready and said well done on the FB page. Wahoo!

Next years goals?
Work on my website and get it uber organised.
Get my work area to a workable standard and try to be neater overall.
Get to work and make sure everything in my collection is worthy. There are a few at the moment that will be pulled apart. Those things that don’t get many looks or that I’m really not impressed with anymore.
Work on a few new items with clay, glass and semi precious stones, and nice chains or ribbons. Make a collection or two that is on going that become like signature pieces.
Look at a different marketing avenue maybe, or try a few more shops to get a small retail base happening.

I did start either this year or last. A goal of making less items and not rushing them out. Sometimes it worked. Other times I put too much pressure on myself and then that stuffed it all about.

Overall I’ve had a fun year beading, crafting and sewing and look forward to moving forward – onwards and upwards – in the new year.

I hope to see my followers back to share my journey.
Happy New Year!!
Jennifer πŸ™‚

More Christmassy earrings

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And lastly, because it is summer here and cherries abound….

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More to be made and shown in the following days…
Jennifer πŸ™‚

Christmassy earrings

As I mentioned about a week ago, I have 3 markets in 3 weeks. All leading up to Christmas which usually means lots of little last minute gifts or smaller stocking fillers…
I decided to make more earrings – pretty well everyone wears them – around here with the weather warming up, longer hair is swept up and away from the face and neck – perfect for earring wearing.

I am not a fan of the Winter Christmas earring trends that abound this time of year – cute yeah, but not suitable for a hot summer Christmas. So no reindeer, snowmen or snowflakes, maybe an angel or two of I have their wings. But I will make spiral trees with dangles and using bead cap cones for trees with dangles… All in Christmassy colours of red, green and gold. With silver and maybe purple thrown in for good measure.

It was a productive day and while most of these will make their way to markets I need to make more, plus a few for the website only.

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The rest will come in another post….
Enjoy πŸ™‚
Jennifer

A mountain of beads and ideas

Again, I only got to bead this afternoon, which turned into half the night. It’s now 11pm and I really should be thinking about sleep.. Well I am, but first I wanted to show you what I got made today. I am not just rushing out things that are mediocre to fill my table – if you could see my desk there are about 4 different things that I’m working on, thinking about, or tried but failed with. So the four you see here are the winners for today.
I do know that I need to get oodles more chain and ribbons to do these.

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I found these double drilled beads and decided some stark contrast would work, along with a few Swarovski sliders.

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The finished product from last night. Very pretty with dark blue ribbon to tie.

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Glass and shell beads in a simple double strand tie back.

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It sounds silly to write it, but after seeing something years ago, I’ve always wanted to do this… String multiple rows of turquoise. Weird, huh? But I really like this, definitely my favourite.

I wonder what I will do tomorrow…
Have a great day πŸ™‚
Jennifer

Some new ideas…

While wandering the halls of Deloraine, well, sheds actually. I noticed something. All the jewellery stalls I saw, were selling the same sorts of things. Same stuff different stall kind of thing. All in styles that are very on trend at the moment.
Chunky resin, ceramic/porcelain pendants, glass, polymer in balls (literally, little balls of polymer on chains) or wooden pendants painted and strung on chain. That type of thing. All very much the same. Not boring, but almost. I wanted to see something different. These things I think are the reason I have not been accepted to the new market coming up. My pieces are not ‘on trend’. (love the day my style becomes on trend!)

Now I’m not going to change who I am or what I make, these things will drift off and other things will be popular. But it gave me an epiphany which I am going to work on.
Sure, I’ll still do my glass pendants, and my Wraptures, but I’m going to work on asymmetrical necklaces. Off centre, not equal on each side… That sort of thing. I’ve noticed that while brilliant, they are not so popular and yet I still see people wearing them.

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I’ve googled and checked out what seems to be happening, they are everywhere – like a lot of jewellery styles – and can be made in many different ways.
I want to make more of my long feminine necklaces – like the one up there ^^ – with different flowers, and maybe even glass, or clay as the focal on the side. And also those that use fibre tie backs with a small amount of focal beads at the front.
I have lots of ideas already and have just under 3 days til the first summer market at Woodbridge starts, so I had better get a wriggle on.

I can still have fun making things that are different, but looking at the stalls in Deloraine, you could see a piece of the person in each piece. Know the artist by the look and style of each piece.
I don’t think you can do that with mine. There is too much difference. I’ll my mark my way.

And I would really really love to go to Deloraine next year.
There is something else major happening though that may get in the way, and which is prioritised first. (not telling, but you’ll know when the time is right, I promise)

Have a great day/night πŸ™‚
Jennifer