Thursday, August 30, 2012

Learning new skills

So I decided to make a brooch.  The lampworked bead has been flat lapped and riveted with copper tubing to the sterling back.  I textured the sterling sheet with a hammer whose face has been altered to provide a linen like texture on the metal. I added faux brass rivets.

I also decided to make my own pin back findings instead of using purchased components. And I fused fine silver components onto the Argentium silver.

I'm fairly happy with the outcome.  I would do a few things differently the next time.  My finishing technique needs to improve.  But overall I'm happy with my new brooch.

I just purchased a new scarf for fall and it looks great on it!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

pricing tags

One of the things I hate to do most is put the price tags on jewelry and beads.  I have tried lots of styles.  I don't like anything.  I find they are obstusive.  I did see the Taxom pricing system that Rio Grande is selling.  You print out numbers and buy little frames and they sit next to the item.  Very classy.  But it's a little to pricey for me right now.  So  back to Moo cards again.  This time I had my name printed several times on a mini card.  I punch it and cut it and voila - price tags - in my colors.  I tie them on with pretty ribbon or Chinese knotting cord.  not too bad!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Earring displays

While I was attending the annual Gathering of the ISGB in Seattle a few weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend the Bellevue Arts Fair which was held directly across the street from our hotel. Of course I love to look at the arts and crafts, but this time I was more focused on displays. Earring displays was high on my scout list. I was surprised at the number of jewelry artists who displayed their earrings on their own individual unique display. I have always wanted to do this ever since I took a class with Celie Fago and saw her earring displays. But there is never enough time. I have an earring display stand that I love so I decided to make my own earring cards - in my colors of course.

I bought an earring card punch at the Bead and Button Show several years ago which is fabulous and I applied the hanging back from Rio Grande. But they looked a little plain so I ordered some stickers from Moo with my logo.

And here is the finished product

And the stand

People like that it twirls!

And for some very special OOAK earrings I am going to make a few of my own stands.

Monday, August 13, 2012

New Marketing Materials - Tri-fold brochure

I have business cards, "Moo"  mini cards and various postcards in my marketing repetoire.  But I have been wanting to make some brochures ever since I saw the ones Vickie Hallmark made.  These brochures have a section on 'What is Lampworking?'   There is a summary of my awards, articles and publications, a guide on how to care for your jewelry, and of course some pictures of my beads and jewelry.  I had them printed at Modern Postcard, and they did a wonderful job.  I ordered the minimum for now as I am sure I will want to tweek the information at a later date.  But I couldn't be happier.  This product reinforces the colors and feeling of my website. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Display Photos

In a previous post I mentioned that I just purchased a display setup from Dynamic Display Systems.  I also ordered the black stretch velvet that goes around each unit.  I thought to myself that I might change out the fabric to a more desert suitable color.  But then I got to thinking about posters of pictures of my jewelry for the booth, and realized that I am not going to have any walls.  And I did not want to display a poster on an easel like I did at the Tucson Gem and Jewelry Shows because these units are higher.

I usually order my posters from Epingo and I rememered seeing some new products.  So I ordered 4 posters on their new Photo Tex fabric.  Here's a description...

PhotoTex adhesive-back fabric sticks to any non-porous flat surface and removes easily with no residue for sharp-looking, seamless graphics and superior photographic images every time. PhotoTex is ideal for life-size photographic cut-outs for walls and wall murals. It also works great for a variety of indoor and outdoor applications, including windows, backlits, doors, sign boards, and other flat surfaces. The adhesive is removable, reusable, and repositionable. It does not remove paint from a primed wall, is safe to apply over wallpaper, applies without wrinkles, and does not rip.

I applied them to the velvet and they stuck and are wonderful.  There is one for each unit.  When I set up next week I will be sure to take a photo of this display.

Oh, they are not expensive!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

New jewelry display for shows

So a few days ago I posted that I needed a new display set up for shows.  I have had Abstracta table top units before so I went to their website first.  Here's a picture of a set up used by Sue McNenly.  Looks great!  But I remember a lot of hammering to get the pieces together.

My next stop was to Dynamic Display Systems.  I already own one of their units because I needed it for a gallery in Dayton where I had it set up for 2 years.  It's really easy to set up.  And because each unit is a stand alone I thought it would suit me better.  So I ordered 3 more units.  I have them set up in my studio now and they really look great.  Here is a picture of a someone ele's setup.  Of course mine will not be red.  I will be sure to take a picture of my setup at my next show.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Chocolate in Paris and Chicago

this is a box of chocolates from Pierre Marcolini on the Rud de Seine in Paris.  His chocolate is infused with exotic scents and flavors.  His speciality “Calin Fondant” – chocolate-covered almond flour crisps with Tahitian vanilla and caramel.  Yum...  But all gone now!

Eating all the wonderful chocolates in Paris has really spoiled me, BUT I have found a brand here in the US that is quite superb.  I found them in the O'Hare airport of all places on my way to the Bead and Button Show.  Anyway it is Vosges chocolate and you can order from them online.  So far my favorite is the blood orange and caramel exotic bar. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Doing Shows

I have done lots of shows in the past.  And I love doing them as I can really connect with my customers.  I love watching to see what catches someone's eye.  I have done bead shows and outdoor fine art shows.  The bead shows have been easy.  They are usually inside and a table is provided so all I have to do is bring display items to fit on a 6 or 8 foot table.  Outdoor shows are harder.  You have to have a tent; more specifically you have to put up a tent and hope it doesn't blow away.  And you have to bring your own display cabinets, walls, tables, or whatever to show off your wares.  And you have to hope that the weather gods are kind.  I haven't done an outsoor show in several years.

Tucson is lucky to have a wonderful organization call SAACA.  The Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance is a nonprofit organization supporting, creating and promoting Arts and Culture in Southern Arizona for over 15 years.  They sponser some fine arts shows - which happen to be indoors in some very nice venues.  I was juried into the show that is upcoming August 18th and 19th at the Loew's Ventana Canyon Resort.   And for the past few months I have been preparing for this show and a second show later this year.

The first thing I decided was that I needed to upscale my display cabinets.  I didn't think that a table on risers with a table cover ideally portrayed my "brand".  So I started to research options.  Stay tuned and I will elaborate on my research and final purchase.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Have I ever mentioned I love chocolate?

When I was in Paris earlier this year I went to several museums and soaked up art and culture.  I also went shopping to feast my eyes on the wonderful fashion.  I learned a lot of history.  And ate in some fine restaurants.
the most enjoyable of all.... chocolate.
The French have been evolving chocolate into decadent delights for over four centuries.  And I did my best to taste a few as I walked around Par-ee.  I discovered that a single bar is alled a tablette and a box is called un ballotin
Wish I could have brought more home!
Stay tuned and I will tell you about some of the chocolate I found in Paris.