Monday, October 26, 2009

Which ones? How many? When is it too much?

Well, those are my questions of the day.  There are so many possibilities online for joining groups, selling on different sites and different kinds of sites, etc.  I am presently on Etsy and Artfire.  I love Artfire, thinking about leaving Etsy - takes up too much of my money for too few sales.  But the bottom line is, I wonder how many sites one could manage effectively?  I could spend many hours at the two I have and actually I do.  I keep improving my pictures, adding new tags, adding new listings, moving things around and changing my announcements.  I'd kind of like to add a third shop, but not sure and have overstretched myself in other areas of my life before.  Anyone else dealing with or have dealt with this before?  Got any advice?

Here's one of my newer pieces.  I love using materials from nature.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Back Again!

Didn't realize it had been so long since I was here.  Still moving back and forth between overwhelmed by how selling online and managing sites can be a 24/7 job and forcing myself to stop working and relax.  Does this ever end?  When does the panic cease?  Anybody out there have some expertise?  I did stop and making something neat this week.  I love cinnabar but always have trouble figuring out how to use it.  This one worked out.

Oh, I have to add a picture of this little guy - he's too wonderful.  He's called a smiling monkey!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Big Day!

Wandered in and out of things for the last 3 days and just catching up.  Got one new sale (Etsy)!  Won a candle from Asia Lee Candles - so cool - visit them at - lots of yummy and beautiful things. 

Today I came face to face with another issue.  While trying to enter my sale in QuickBooks, I realized that I had not entered my inventory.  That reverts back to a question I still haven't had answered.  Is my inventory the jewelry that I have for sale, or the supplies I keep to make more, or both?  Need to get this answered and complete that part of the job!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Blue??? Monday

Not sure "blue" is the right word, but a little discouraged maybe.  I have been getting hundreds of views on my sites and that has kept me high and feeling good.  But suddenly it hit me that all these views are not making sales.  I am blogging, Tweeting, paying for advertising, bugging my friends and family, etc. I get lots of verbal kudos on my pieces, but not sales.  What do you think?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Surprises on the Journey

It always amazes me what the surprises are on any particular journey.  They are not always what you expect.  This week I was extremely surprised to find myself being very spontaneously creative.  The old process was, think about what to make (or be inspired by something), spend many minutes pouring through supplies to decide which beads and findings to use for it, use a bead board and lay it out, then make changes until satisfied and put it all together.  It was very time consuming.  This week I found myself having a quick clear idea of what I wanted to do, whether inspired by something in particular or just having an idea.  When I chose materials, it was a pretty quick thing, just opening the right drawers to get out what I wanted.  Finally, with all that together, I just began to assemble and the piece turned out.  It felt so strange the first time and yet it was fun.  Check out this link on my artfire studio to see the first item it occurred on:  Since then I've made maybe 6-7 new items with the process being so much easier and quicker.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

AC Moore helps

In order to get sterling silver and gold filled, I usually shop online.  The two closest retail stores both have customer service issues and I refuse to support them.  However, I make a trip approx. monthly to AC Moore to get incidentals and of course, I always check out their gemstones, etc.  Sometimes I find some neat stuff that is good quality.  Anyway, they started an AC Moore rewards program and they send you a $10 gift certificate everytime you spend $200 (if you spend more than $100 in one transaction, you get double points).  Today I stopped in with my coupons (email) and my gift certificates.  I paid $30 for almost $70 worth of merchandise.  With coupons so plentiful from them, I can get alot of different craft supplies and storage items there for usually 40% off. 

Monday, September 28, 2009

So how am I doing?

In a rather introspective mood this morning.  Asking myself all kinds of questions about the map to success.  Are there many routes or just a few?  Do I have to find just the right one for me or "the right one" period?  Do the established artisans have as many roller coaster emotions as I do?  Does their self-confidence jump to the cieling and then fall in a hole like mine sometimes does?  And then there's this one:  Is getting up to 3 followers good?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Another Milestone

Last night I made my first sale from my Artfire studio.  Wonder if my new design helped?  Anyway, had a few sales from the Etsy site, but this was the first from Artfire.  So pleased.  It only took about a month for the first one. 

Something I didn't realize would happen is that some pieces I make are hard to give up.  I didn't realize I would develop an attachment for so many things.  Interesting!  Glad the earrings got a good home.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Still here!

Still here and still working hard as ever.  There is so much to read and learn that I can't keep up.  I want to know every tip about selling and promoting and then of course, there are the gemstones and techniques themselves.  I guess this is what they mean when they say that owning a business is a 24 hour job.  I wake up with new jewelry ideas that I created in my sleep!  Wow!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Overwhelmed yet?

Well, to be honest, sometimes I am, but usually just for a few minutes.  I've gotten so I don't think of much else besides making jewelry and selling jewelry.  My anxiety level is a roller coaster.  I want so much to be successful and I want to be ly careful not to take the joy out of my creating.  Keep trying to think of somewhere to consign some pieces, but nothing comes.  I think I could use more to do, but not sure what direction to take.

Monday, September 14, 2009

New Revelations Just Keep on Coming

Another Monday.  Another week to work towards this "success" I think I'm aiming for.  Still making some wonderful things but not selling much online.  Surprisingly discovered jealousy/competition?  in a friend whose artistic expressions are very different from my own.  Found a piece of sadness about that.  Looking forward to more customers, not just to earn money, which I desperately need to do, but also for the "people" connections that I miss with not going to a "job" site every day.

Oh yeah, did you notice I posted my stats from my Artfire Studio?  Lots of looking but no buying. Not sure what that means.  Could be several things.  Any ideas?  Please post them.

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Sunday, September 6, 2009

A Fun Way of Helping Others

Today I began a new episode in my "corporate" life.  I have created a section/category called SAVE THE FROGS in which I will be putting specially designed pieces for sale.  $1.00 from each of these when purchased will be forwarded to the SAVE THE FROGS Foundation.  (If you don't know why we need to save them, or you want to know more, see their website at  You can even mark your calendar for April 30, 2010, which will be Save the Frogs Day.  More on this later, but at least it's a small step towards making a better world.  If you want to know more on a regular basis, you can follow their blog at

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Another Successful Day at the Flea Market

Met my Bead Lady today at the Flea Market and was really trying to be frugal.  Didn't work terribly well, but can't be sorry because I probably paid about 25% of what I would have paid retail or online even.  I found a strand of the most beautiful faceted Tiger Eye teardrops that I have ever seen.  They shimmer like crystal - never realized how beautiful Tiger Eye would be if faceted.  Also found some coral, Peruvian opals, and carved Zebra Jasper.  Sure hope I find some customers who share my taste.  Continuing to inventory my pieces, still wondering if I need to inventory supplies too.  Hope someone reads this at some point and gives me their viewpoint.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Skipped a Day!!

Well, I skipped a day and the sky didn't fall.  Working really hard on organizing these days.  I spent hours setting my "company" on QuickBooks and reorganizing my supplies.  Good work, but exhausting.  I carried it all the through my dreams last night.  As I explore the "not as fun" parts of business, I've been wondering.... Are my creations my inventory because that is my product, or are all my supplies my inventory?  Do I care?  Not sure right now, but QuickBooks would handle my inventory if I wanted it to.  Going to our local flea market tomorrow.  I go every month to see the "Bead Lady" (my name for her).  She brings tables full of beads, most gemstones, and I always spend.  I love her stuff and she always gives me a discount because I come regularly and buy a significant amount.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Second Day of Blogging - Oh my!

Well, the saga of the summer of 2008 actually begins in 1987 when I shattered my ankle.  Two years of surgeries, therapy and cast came down to 20 years of wearing a brace on my left ankle and still having trouble walking more than a short distance. Arthritis, of course set in and in the fall of 2007 I had surgery to "clean up and repair" the ankle, allowing me to walk without the brace.  What a wonderful feeling that was.  Months of therapy and a couple of casts later, I was beginning to walk better and buy shoes!  :)  I bought a motor scooter for my short (8 mile) trip to work and on the first day that I took it to work I fell and shattered both bones in my lower leg and the knee.  Oops!  I was in the hospital for 2 weeks, home in a hospital bed for 4 months and then began the tedious work of learning to walk again.  Got to go back to work in a wheelchair.  After my first 2 weeks of being back fulltime, I was let go - unexpectedly.   Over time, job hunting in this economy when you are no good on your feet is the next thing to impossible and I realized I had a job - jewelry design.  I was well-prepared, with drawers of beads and findings hunted up and purchased on sale over the previous 2 years and many designs I had yet to try.  So I have begun this journey, this jewelry journey to success.  I am meeting wonderful people and learning so much and having a blast calling making my designs "work".

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

In the beginning..........

Well, here goes.  I keep reading and hearing that I "have to" blog, especially if I wanted to be successful.  So I'm blogging.  I'm hoping that sharing this journey I am on from all the things I have formerly been - mother, pastor, counselor, bookkeeper, etc. - to a professional jewelry designer might bring insights to both myself and others. 

It started quite innocently when I became acquainted with book thongs.  My first reaction was, "I can do that."  It's been a lifetime habit to try new crafts; some of which stay with me and some to which I never return.  So I began making them and using them for small gifts for friends and family members.  About the same time a friend of mine was beginning to make jewelry and I was quick to proclaim that I wasn't making jewelry - only book thongs!  Well, never say never because I was able to resist for several months, but finally gave in about two years ago.  Still, outside of a couple of bazaars, it was for fun and gifts.  Then came the awful summer of 2008.  I'll fill you in on that tomorrow.