Vintage steampunk or steampunked vintage…

For some time now I’ve admired the look of the steampunk attitude towards jewellery. All cogs, and parts and odd bits and pieces. Although eclectic more or less means ‘A bit of all styles’ I feel that steampunk is attracted to the eclectic side of my beading. Popping through spotlight today just having a squiz – we all love spotlight for which ever reason we’re there – and steampunk is still huge in their beading section. I’m going to make a small collection of steampunk scarf bails and brooches as I think it will bring a little crazy to your outfit without going the whole hog as it were.

The vintage side of things has grabbed my attention also. The styles back then – 1920’s onwards – were so much more stylish and funky.  I’ve several books on making jewellery and bags and am definitely going to focus on that side of thing. As usual I have gone from lots of jewellery to wanting fewer styles to going back round again. Sometimes it takes a while to get into the space where you want to be. I’ve been down this vintage path before so I’m figuring it’s more the place I should be. Steampunk and vintage. Definitely an eclectic mix and perfect for those that know me.

As for the title. I’m steampunked vintage jewellery will be pretty funky for sure.

BonneyBird – Marcato’s display

This morning I drove off up the road to see Rachel at BonneyBird to update and tidy my display. I may pay her a commission to sell my goods but it’s still my responsibility to make sure everything is looking ok, she is happy and there are enough jewellery items and choices on display.

How could you not want to see what’s inside with an entrance that looks like this?

When I went overseas late last year I invoiced her a small box worth so she had enough to keep it full – or top up if she sold that much – and today I got that box out to have a look.
There were only 3 pieces left in it. Woo!

My display is now tidy and fresh, with all items on the table. I re-arranged things and have a few ideas to zip it up another notch later on. Namely making it more of a pink and white display, with some extra height. When I called in the other day Rachel had placed a mirror on the table which was awesome as I had not thought of supplying one. The only problem here, it was for sale, so if sold, there was nothing for my potential buyers to check out how a necklace might look. So I delivered one of my own. I have my banner on the wall behind, and while I like it, I feel it is a little bland, and would like to update it. It hangs wonky, but I know how to fix that. And then I can update it. Banner wise, is to get a vertical banner for markets.

Last night I went off to a garden birthday party and several things happened. My name was thrown around a bit with some of the guests not believing my name really is Jennifer Hawkins. Miss Australia, you say? no no no, Miss Universe thank you very much.
But the important bits, 1) Rachel was there and said I had sold something else that very morning, 2) I got lots of compliments on the necklace I was wearing, 3) another customer was wearing her necklace which was getting lots of attention and I hence got the compliments and 4) a friend asked me how much a certain item was she had seen on Facebook and said she was very interested in it as a gift (and has since said ‘Sold’ for delivery this week).
To say I am happy is an understatement. My new cards, flyers and the car magnet will be arriving this week ready for the big fair on Saturday, so there will be more pictures later. And I am super excited about seeing how they look!

Til then, keep creative
Jen 🙂

Market set-up. Ready to roll!

I’ve a big fundraiser market tomorrow in a (semi local) PCYC which means they can have loads of stalls and other activities. It has been touted as a family fun day with something for everyone.
There is always one issue with most markets – how to do the toilet run. I don’t always have a person keeping me company and sometimes you’re not enamoured with your neighbour in these things. But tomorrow I know the lady who I’m next to so much easier there. Another friend is going and is taking her daughter (mr 17’s GF) and she was happy to do stall-keeping for toilet and food runs, but I saw today they are as far away from me as possible, in another room, in the far corner.

Back to my stall. I asked for a power point and to be near the wall. Well I’m backing onto the netting for the giant play ground so that’s ok, I can attach my banner to this. And the stall sites were marked out at the 3×3 and I fit quite nicely inside my spot.
The power is a not sure of thign at the moment. I wanted to hook up my digital photo frame, but as we discussed, I will make other arrangements to fill the space if they can’t get a 40+ metre extension cord.

I’m looking forward to this one, a local guy, mini celebrity is going to be there. He was on a cooking show and is now a DJ so has been spruiking it all week.

Tables and space ready to be transformed

Tables and space ready to be transformed

 

And after - looking pretty... well looking pretty. Pity tablecloths have to be so crinkled. Hopefully they'll be looking a  bit neater tomorrow.

And after – looking pretty… well looking pretty. Pity tablecloths have to be so crinkled. Hopefully they’ll be looking a bit neater tomorrow.

 

My wooden letters - Marcato Designs

My wooden letters – Marcato Designs

 

Market round-up tomorrow, with better pictures of the stall.
Have a great one.
Jennifer 🙂

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

New Market

After replying to an email yesterday and saying No to a market this weekend, (for my own personal reasons) I have just received another email from a new market I applied for, knowing I would be going on their waiting list for this one (late application automatically goes onto a waiting list). I immediately rang a friend. She sells honey so is pretty well guaranteed a spot for any markets she applies for, and has said if I get in we can share the car. And because you have to take your own table, she has several foldable ones so I can borrow one of hers.
I know all markets are different, so am not expecting much. But it is in the city, and only runs quarterly so hopefully that aspect will mean more people. Which means more chances of sales. I’m not going to talk numbers but any market I attend all I hope for is my stall fee + $20 to cover petrol/food (ie: coffee). Which is not much to ask for, and anything over that is a bonus.

I was heading into my craft room this afternoon anyway to unpack from this weekend and sort my things. This gives me the incentive to actually get it done.
It’s a relatively new market and is in the city. Now I just have to wonder what I will take. I’m erring on the side of simply taking the same things I had at Woodbridge.

Let’s see, so some brooches and earrings in friendly plastic, earrings and bracelets, and which necklaces? Maybe it’s time to set up another mock stall? Tonight’s job. Take a bit of everything, but make it quick and easy at both ends.

Do I take a selection asymetrical necklaces, and have a tall display…..20131020-113249.jpg

baskets with bags in them…IMG_9686

or a smaller one with the ‘regular’ necklaces…IMG_7567

Looking at these pictures, I may work on a combination of all three. Maybe one tall lady, several small and a basket of bags. Although I have yet to hear back which particular stall size I have. Which means different fees, but maybe more space. A corner stall will give me the room to have more than a single stall size.

In the meantime I will unpack and sort my things, and wait to get my confirmation email.

Catch you later 🙂

It’s fair day!

The day dawned beautiful and sunny. With a slight breeze. Everything was packed or stacked ready to go and all I needed was to get my bag ready with camera glasses, hat and plenty of water. It was promised to be a hot one.
Dad arrived and took my tables and gazebo in the ute and hubby and I followed in the car. Mum was already there – we have stalls next to each other – and vehicles unpacked and moved.
Gazebos set up and pegged the men left us to it, and I realised very soon on I had left my water at home. Bugger.
Set up took a little longer than usual but not by much. And from then on it was busy. About 10 I felt the need for another coffee and breakfast but between myself, the coffee van (conveniently across the road again) and Jakob’s Pantry next door it was nearer 11.30 before I got to leave and get sustenance. A unit went down very well too.
My decision to pack things differently this year paid off as it was so much easier – both at the beginning and end. I was able to leave one whole table set up til the last minute rather than having 3 tables half packed up and looking messy.

And one table – my bracelets and accessories – I’ve decided I will take to market next week. Quick and easy, but also full of fun little things available to everyone.
I did learn one thing. Friendly plastic. It melts when it gets too hot. If you were wearing a brooch or earrings like I was, provided you aren’t just standing around in the full sun, they will be ok. Where they were on my table, they were in the full sun, and while not obvious, when I went to move them, some were stuck, and are subsequently ruined. A small price, and a timely reminder for next time.

Overall my day was pretty good. I’d made back costs in the first half hour and the rest was, well, it’s what we want isn’t? Put it this way. I love full day fairs like this, and I got invited to go to another in early April. We’ll see what the email brings first. And off hand I’m pretty sure this year is the Channel art Trail, a 3 day exhibition of all kinds of artists selling their wares with some ‘working’ exhibitions included.

I am pretty happy with the layout of my gazebo, given I don’t do outside events often – jewellery tends to not like the wind – but I just love the opportunity to take lots of items and show off everything.

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One minor issue, the gazebo isn’t as big as I thought, so I can’t have the full layout and include the walls, as one of my tables was half out of the cover, but still inside the site markings. Another stall holder chatting told me about their verandah or awning you can buy to extend shade on the, but I’d be wanting to see if I can utilise it to add the wall to it as extra roof space. Did that make sense?
And after looking back at the pictures, I need a much bigger banner, and more girls to hang. The banner I would like is a vertical one that stands out the front of the stall or the biggest horizontal one, which would cover half the width of the gazebo. And more girls so I can have a whole row along one side. Small steps and investments. After all, everything I own (beading wise, gazebo included) has come from beading money. Not bad when I look at it like that.

What else? I saw heaps of people I knew, some I hadn’t seen for years, chatted with customers and had – as usual – a quick run around to see what else was happening, drank nice coffee, and ate beautiful lamb crepes and a cherry Danish.

And lastly a couple of pictures of the Fair. I know it doesn’t look much, but there were over 95 stalls plus all the other activities on show. From where I was, (my stall to my left) there are only 3 behind me, and the ground slopes downwards (south) for a couple of hundred metres.
To the right of me are more stalls, the hall, and activities for the kids.

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Looking straight out of my gazebo.

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Facing north, (my stall on my right) and across the road are where they have all the animals and any demonstrations, like shearing. The road go’s straight through the middle and our house is at the top of the hill behind all those trees. A mere 500m away.

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Middleton Fair – preperations

It’s taken me a week to write this. Which in one sense is a good thing, it means I’ve been busy. On the other, I’ve used the bits of spare time to do other things. Which does not include reading emails, except those that are vital. Blogs, I’m sorry, have had to fall by the wayside.
This week I’ve been getting ready for the Annual Middleton Fair. Those that follow me everywhere will know this, I’m like a stuck record on this one. But it’s a good thing. And it’s just down the road from me, doesn’t make the day much shorter, just easier to get to.

Last year was my first fair here since we returned to Tassie, and I looked back on my notes for last year. Well organised for sure, but something wasn’t quite right. I remembered what I was doing when it was set up and pack up time. A little disorganised and awkward.
I had boxes of jewellery. And I had boxes of props.
This year I took a different track. I was going to pack each table into it’s own box, or boxes. So I could do the set up/pack/up in a different, but hopefully more organised way.

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A box of mini busts and other props.

First up was to make my lists.
Design the layout of the gazebo to make sure there was room to move.
Figure out what goes where, and what I will be taking.
It comes down to this.
There will be a table of bracelets and other accessories, earrings, brooches etc. These, along with most of the props are all in one box.
My bags, which I’ve hardly taken anywhere this last year – are all in one box and will have the rack I use to stand at the front of the gazebo and wave in the wind…
Two tables with necklaces – one end will be shared with my canvases and a bag or two.
So there is one box with all the necklaces, and then three boxes with the props required. Busts, mirror, boxes for height…
I have a small table I’ll be using for the sale items I have. There are lots of little things I just want to get rid of, and there are always people who want to buy bits and bobs.
I bought myself a little table, smaller than the half size one, for my point of sale. I’ve not found the perfect set up yet for this, as each market has different space and layout options. I usually stack some of y boxes and use that. but its awkward and feels wrong. Looking at what others do also hasn’t helped as their stall displays are different so it’s easier for them.  I’ll have the important items on the table and then spares in a basket on the box next to me, out of sight. Fingers crossed that works.

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3 of 5 tables. There will be 2 more of the big one.

This job also took me so long as I wanted to do a full inventory of my stock as I packed it, categorising each item (eg: each style of necklace and bags), then packing it in such a way that it was quick to get out and pack up. And making sure every item had a price tag.
As I was nearing the end I grabbed a sheet of butchers paper (thanks to a friend who did a hall clean up and asked me to pass it on, or keep it) and drew my gazebo layout. I added each section and what was needed, then ticked them off.

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Awesome sketch of gazebo layout

I was also writing a rather long list of prices to have near items or hanging on the table itself. It wouldn’t matter how many price tags/notices there are people will still ask.

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List of prices I have to get printed

There is a note for all the accessories table – listing each item, one for the necklaces – again, listing each style, one for my bracelet/earring special and the items as a single purchase…. I think you get the idea.
These were wrote, checked, printed, laminated, stuck to pink card and ready to roll.

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Pricetag notes

I took a break to get some photos of scarecrows while it was daylight then back into it.
After dinner saw me get tablecloths ironed and folded, my point of sale (POS) box re packed – making sure I had everything. Business cards, box of tape, scissors etc, tissue paper, carry bags, all those lovely sales things.

Lastly I made sure my repair basket was stocked with enough basics should anyone want something done, and some more bookmarks to make up if I get time. (These are quick and easy and don’t have to be perfect like earrings have to match..)

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Box of busts, sale basket and repair basket

Finally finished, ready for an easy day tomorrow, going to the school to organise misters 14 & 9, baking and having friends come and visit for lunch.

That is it for me now,I’m already knackered and I still have the day to happen yet. We’ll be arriving about 8.30 to get gazebos set up, and cars emptied so they be be removed by 9. The fair starts around 10 so an hour or so is fine for set up.

The finished result is 5 tables (3 large ones and the two smaller ones in the picture), 6 boxes and 3 misc baskets. A full car load with all the seats down.

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And more boxes of stock with hat rack.

Lucky it’s only a 500 metre drive to get there. My dad will be picking up the tables and gazebo on his ute as he takes mum’s as well.
Just thinking, for two market stalls there will be 3 full to the brim vehicles. A lot of stuff, yes.

See you on the other side. Hopefully over the weekend for a re cap and pictures.

Getting productive again

The time has come again.
I have a few repairs to get done, an invoice to deliver, and an annual fair to prepare for.
Repair job 1.
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Sorting bracelets so I know what colours need making
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And working off last years plan – forgot I even had it – deciding how many tables I can squeeze into my gazebo and still have room to move
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More on the Middleton fair soon. There’s only 9 days left!

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?