Monday, May 25, 2009
I'll be keeping my Etsy store open because I wish to continue with Etsy for Charity. Each month a different, real life charity is selected from a list of worthy registered charities. I like that. And I can offer as many or as few items as I like to the charity. The membership of this corner of the online world is supportive and caring and that makes it a pleasant place.[br]
Now you can find me on Artfire's handmade directory. It costs lest and the name is a whole lot easier to understand. WillUBead.Studio sure beats Glass0Beads where an explanation of the 'zero' had to accompany it.[br]
And what of my blogs? I've already shut down WordPress because there are too many changes being made that don't come with instructions that I can understand. And this blog? I rather favour Blogspot because I can add so many widgets so easily. It has provided me with a venue to pass the time of day that feels so comfortable. What needs changing is its name.
I'm going 'inactive' on this blog. And I'm activating a WillUBead.Studio blog on BlogSpot.
Finally, I thank every one of you who have chosen to follow my goings on. You are a wonderful bunch of creative people.
Now, I invite you to visit me at my new blog.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Interesting Find: Jeff and Dye's Hermit Studios. They have a jewellery business with some original work AND some interesting techniques. Have you heard of Song Feathers? Hermit has them.
I have been busy, haven't I!!
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
I want you to read what Jean Campbell, yes, the Jean Campbell who co-authored The Beader's Companion, says about our personality and our beads. She offers ideas for our next pieces that should stretch our minds. I got the inspiration for an artisan jewellery commission I have thanks to this article.
Oh, yeah, I've discovered something new about myself: it seems I hibernate over winter. I'll have to work on my dark and quiet months to get my beaded pieces completed. And, I'd like to announce that I've finished my March challenge.
A bride to be married in July will be pulling together the odds and ends associated with her wedding. She has the hall, and the church. She has her dress and lined up the groom's wardrobe. She has done the same for all the wedding party. She has her flowers and the caterers and the makeup/hair and the cake taken care of. And she has ridden shotgun as the 2 mothers vie for dominance over the bridal pair.
This should be a happy time for the bride, but .... Everything has become a job with an incredibly tight time constraint. At least, that's the way it feels. But wait, there remains the gifts for her attendants.
How do I fit in? Aside from 'being there, done that, got the divorce to prove it.' Well, 5 or so years ago ~ how time flies ~ I swapped bead stringing lessons for a consultation from a dietitian. She had special family heirloom beads and strung the necklace and matching earrings for her daughter to wear at a wedding.
Now her daughter, Sarah, has sought me out to make the jewellery for her 9 attendants and herself. Lots of 3strand stuff.
You have to know, too, that Jessie has returned with another well loved necklace she wants to wear at her daughter's wedding. It needs tweaking and a new clasp. Did I mention? Jessie breaks into a rash with all metals save the most expensive. And that means the clasp will have to be beaded. Exactly the same as the clasps of the bridal jewellery. Only different.
And that is my April challenge. Not so much the stringing of a single strand of pearls, but the variety of clasp beads and their associated loops. These buttons are an exotic version of a toggle clasp and without the metal. And these buttons, if made in lots of designs and sizes, can be made into earrings, pendants for a necklace or a bracelet. Even button covers and shoe buckles; you know, the fancy kind of buckles.
So, where are the pix to show you my wonderful March challenge? The bride hasn't seen the jewellery yet so these pix are still on hold. There's no way I want to steal her thunder by letting the wearable art we designed together slip to the outside world without her go ahead. I haven't shown these pieces of artisan jewellery to her mother, even.
And for May? May is going to be a busy month for me. And an expensive one, too. I'm still all a-pearl and beaded beads ~ they fascinate me ~ and 2-hole buttons and my expanded stash.
That happened at the Bead Oasis show. I met Meagan who was de-stashing and who gave me an incredible deal for some of her beads. They still sit in plastic bags but I'll be transferring them to spice jars soon. Imagine the king in his counting house or the dragon protecting her accumulated treasures and that image will fit me right down to the ground.
For now, though, I've gotta run. I'm writing projects for some kits I'm developing.
Monday, April 6, 2009
My sister and I wandered the aisles of Toronto's Spring One of a Kind (OOAK) Show on Sunday. Our wanderings took us 4.5 hours to complete but it was worth it this year. There were some new artisans and different arts/crafts being shown. Some of our favourites, like Roothams, weren't there but this year the Eastern Ontario CFDC (Community Futures Development Corp) rented a huge bit of real estate right in the middle of the show and sponsored artisans from Eastern Ontario. For me as a wanderer, it was a great success. I met artisans who otherwise would be unable to show with OOAK. I had many a chat (that's why it took so long) and got some leads for my business. For example, Alfie Fishgap, and his boothmate Todd Jamieson, told me of a show at Fairy Lake in June.
I found some not so new stuff being used and in wonderful colours, too. Like the crochet wire rings and the crochet wire bracelets. My sister is my model/sales rep and she stepped up in many a booth to point out the artisan jewellery she and I were wearing that I made. Doing that in my friend Alfie Galda's booth (AB Originals) ~ she knits sweaters that are to die for ~ made me a new friend, Gwen. She's an enthusiastic fan of Alfie's and wears a lot of sweaters Alfie has knitted and I'm hoping she will like my artisan jewellery enough to be as enthusiastic about my work.
I found something really annoying. Well, I found 2 things really annoying.
- Other jewellers not wanting to talk just as soon as they find out I, too, make artisan jewellery. These jewellers are different in style to me and I present no competition to them. They don't know that because they gave me the stock answer to 'Where did you get this or that part of the jewellery.'
- I have picked up several really helpful lists and recipes but the person who gave them to me didn't put on their website or some other contact information. I have no idea who gave me the recipe for cleaning copper. And it isn't Twinkle. BRAND BRAND BRAND~~Put your CONTACT INFO on everything you do: it may bring you business after the show.
There was a booth with items from Uqqurmiut Centre for Arts & Crafts, Pangnirtung, Nunavut. Beautiful things from the First Nations of our True North, Strong and Free. The 2 people in the booth when we visited were wearing their snow goggles. They look almost like goggles you wear in the tanning salon or on swimmers except there is a narrow slit from 1 side to the other to peer through: they keep out the glare of the sun bouncing off the snow.
As I said, some of our favourites were there with newly designed booths, some were there and their booths were wholly recognizeable. One such was Asem Nada, my glass man. His business is La Glasserie. His work with a torch and a cane of glass is marvellous: I have many of his pieces in my home and he covers Easter and Christmas, too. Well, my exciting news about Asem is that he made a leaf pendant for me and brought it to OOAK to show me. I think it's beautiful and I've ordered 20 of them. I can pick them up at Milton in May. Now you have to wait to see them. It's true, they are worth the wait, as all of Asem's glasswork is imaginative and beautiful.
We had a busy day and a wonderful day. And both of us were exhausted when we got home and both of us ended up in bed before our bedtime.
PS: I receive no money or other consideration from the businesses I mentioned in this blog, nor from any other business, unless stated in the blog.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
In monetary terms, I took a bath (that's a monetary term, isn't it?). For somebody on an incredibly small budget, it cost a lot of money just for the booth fees.
I received a wedding commission for bride's and 9 attendents jewellery. MMMMM You should see the pearls I got for this young lady.
The booth took almost twice as much time to set up as it did to tear down. That figures. And the glass bead artisan jewellery on sale needed straightening several times during the day. My trolly is still sitting in the kitchen: I'm removing things slowly with the good intention of putting it all back in its place. If you know me, that means piled high: nothing seems to have a proper spot in my PigPen Studio.
Artisan Jewellers are advised to wear their jewellery: they are, or should be, a moving billboard ad for their own wearable art. I am not very good at this but my sister is wonderful. Much of my 'big' artisan jewellery designs is worn by her because she has the personality to carry it off. And I, through her, received many compliments on what she wore. The lesson to me, aside from the obvious 'wear it,' is to have the big bold pieces in good supply.
There's another show in September and you really need to go: no matter what side of the table you are on it is worth the trip. And the entrance fee is only $8.00. Canadian money. It's worth the visit to Toronto.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
AND I have to keep in mind that I need more rest than most people and I have to take it so I don't exhaust myself BEFORE the show. After will be okay: I can collapse for a day or two.
And then I read a Twitter from Teri_B: she's opened a discussion about home parties for artisan jewellery. Yes, of course, my brain started thinking about home parties. Couldn't help it: Tupperware's home party model kept cropping up. Why re-invent the wheel, or, in this case, the artisan jewellery home party! But I can't get the idea out of my head.
I did something exciting yesterday. I asked for aestheticians and beauty salons for counter space for my artisan jewellery: 1 stop shop for Brides. They can coordinate the jewellery for the mothers, the attendants, the bride and maybe even the groom. And it's a simple solution for the gifts of the attendants. Why not colour coordinate the jewellery with the rest of the colours? You know, the flowers, the tablecloths, the bridesmaids' dresses, the cummerbund or ties and pocket handkerchiefs of the men. That can be accomplished with enough lead time. So the bridal party comes in to check out the salon several weeks before the wedding and sees the artisan jewellery, and says, 'AHA!'
This morning I got up early ~ well, early for me ~ and finished up the graphics for the backside of my business cards. I have almost run out of my other business cards so I've taken the opportunity to revamp the design etc. Now they are happily printing.
See?? I got something done this morning. The trick is to get something done this afternoon that gets me closer to being ready for the SHOW.
Even this bauble babble is helping. It's getting things out of my mind that are taking up too much space and distracting me from my goal. I'm getting older, y'know, and feeling much older than my chronological age. And today I'm feeling particularly brittle.
Next week I have to drive to Hamilton for an MRI. Marg is coming with me: I've had MRI's before and come away feeling like everything has been sucked out of me. Since this MRI is in Hamilton and at 7PM to boot, I am going to be in worse shape than usual. And Marg has to go to work the next day. Next week is going to be really crappy. All the more reason to get a lot done this week.
Yeah, yeah, I know. I should have started way before now. I have to tell you, that's a very smart idea. But I always avoid things that scare me until the very last moment. This occasion is no different.
Good for me!! I think I can focus again on the task at hand. Thanks for your help, good ole Blogspot.
Monday, March 2, 2009
1~ Are you stuck on a design? Either you've got an idea that just isn't working or worse! you have no idea at all!!
In the right hand column I draw your attention to several featrues: Microscopic View of the world, Astronomic Pic of the day, and Masks from around the world.
Microscopic ~ it is amazing the shapes and colours of things so small the eye cannot see them. Do a quick rough sketch of a 'thing' and then start bringing together the beads and threads and such you will need to render this 'thing' in beads. You are not likely to go away and come back to do it. The bugs'eye view changes every time you move away from the page. Yup, there are that many wee things that they can populate every blog view with a different wee-un.
Astronomic ~ not astrologic. We gaze at the heavens and marvel and ponder our place in that heaven. Here you will find things about the sky: the stars, planets, weather, ... Maybe you'll see the Northern Lights or the Southern Lights. Or a view of the wake of Halley's Comet. Start sketching. Don't try to define anything. Just move the pencil around, keeping your eyes on the screen and not on your sketchbook. After you've done that you can look at what you've done and think about it in terms of beads. Would it make a lovely beaded embroidery? Or a piece of artisan jewellery, something that will make a statement?
Masks ~ I spent 25 years in Canada's western province and territory ~ 2 years in Yukon Territory and 23 years in Vancouver BC. I revelled in the artistry of the Pacific Northwest First Nations people: their work is wonderfully graphic. Clean lines, limited colour palette. Spiritual meaning in their totems; whether on a pole or on a piece of artisan jewellery. The most famous among these First Nations of BC is, perhaps, Bill Reid. His work is in the BC Museum of Anthropology and graces the Canadian Embassy in Washington DC USA.
Masks are not limited to Canada's First Nations. Borneo, African, American, Mexican, .... The list is as long as ~~ Well, it's immeasurable. As in the Astronomical and the Microscopic exercises, try to draw a mask without looking at the paper. Then do another drawing but this time looking down occasionally. Draw what you see, not what your brain tells you it sees.
Those are great exercises, aren't they. It gets easier the more often you do it. And talk about cutting down that artsy block! Pretty soon you will be drawing that mess on your workbench, a still life of a coffee mug filled with scissors, pens, a fan, ....
2 ~ On a different note, I've just come across a new widget. For artisan jewellers there is a Wire Gauge Calculator, from Irma Pretorius of Wire To Jewelry that will translate a) millimeter to inch and gauge, b) inch to gauge and millimeter, and c) gauge to millimeter and inch. It's a handy tool because there are only 3 countries in the whole wide world that DO NOT use metric: Myanmar, Liberia, and USA.** You can copy it from this site and add it to your blog or e-store. It's FREE ~oh how love the sound of FREE!! Get it for yourself. And offer it to others free of charge. And keep in mind that this is the Beta version of the widget.
And that pretty well sums up what I wanted to say.
Happy Beading Helen Glass0Beads
**from Rena Klingenberg Jewelry Business Blog
Thursday, February 19, 2009
I received an order for earring findings near the end of January and I wanted to source the goods in the Toronto area. Well, my customer was given a jewellery supply catalogue to determine just what she wanted: she was shopping for items to give to her Mum who is the jewellery repair person at a local seniors home.
I placed the order and waited. My friend returned from holiday and I still didn't have her order filled. I got in touch with the warehouse and its shop and nobody knew what I was talking about. And that left me hanging in a most undignified way.
So I sent my order to another, even closer, shop. They made up the order lickety split and, when my friend and I showed up, didn't bat an eye when we busily added to the order. We couldn't have been better cared for. The bonus for my friend is that the shop is within her Mum's stomping ground, there are coffee bars in the same block, and she can take her Mum there without me. In my books, that's great.
I got home and sat with the treasures I bought and fatigue swept over me. I laid down for a nap and over 4 hours later woke up in time to go to bed. I don't understand the sudden weariness because I was driven there and back and the outcome was so favourable. Well, now I'm doing what I had hoped to get done yesterday afternoon. And I'm feeling if not rested at least not as tired.
I started making up bracelet kits the other day in preparation for my big Almost Spring Bead Oasis Show 2009 in March, here in Toronto. I think my bead count is way out of order so I'll have to go back, just to settle my worry, and do another bead count.
And I've made up some earrings kits, too. I'm almost finished with the card and instructions to go along with the supplies. I moved from giving all the findings for the kit to explaining how to make your own findings for this pair of earrings. It sure cuts down on the time and effort making these kits.
Because I am not good with 'time,' I know I'm running out but can't grasp the idea that I have no time left. Tomorrow I will be turning my dining room table into my booth just to determine the layout of the goods. That will also tell me how much of this is stocked and how much of that is needed. I'm sure that exercise will go a long way to calming my nerves.
Is it any wonder that I haven't even started February's bead challenge!!? But I'm good for it ~ I promise you that.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
I have got a big whack of new sites to visit - from Russia and Europe and they are to die for - that a wonderful person called Margaret put me onto. OH THE STUFF IS GORGEOUS.
Thank you Margaret.
Now I have several new followers. Interesting people with different kinds of blogs. I think you can tell when a person is younger than I am just by looking at their blogs. For example Jackie's blog, Pink Diamond Workshop sings to you as you read. My sister Marg (not the same lady as above) can identify with Jackie ~ the only colour on their colour wheel is ...
PINK. Wander over and visit with Jackie.
I've got me a new group: we are still in the growing pains stage of development. Lotsa people over there have given generously of their time. Thank you Marcy and Johnnie and Izzy and Donna and Debra and Jenny and ...... all the founding members of my Love Beads group at Jewelry Geeks. Thank you every one of you for your patience and your help.
And that leads me to Jonwen45: she writes so well!! I began reading one of her stories and got all nostalgic. A calm and creative individual, when she decides to stick with you she is just like velcro. And I am just as stuck on her.
You'd think it was Thanksgiving around here wouldn't you! I learned from 1 blog (I wish I would write this stuff down) that January is 'love yourself' month. I discovered that in February.
Well, thanks to all of you ~ and the people I haven't acknowledged. You keep me on my toes.
And thanks for that, too.
Monday, January 12, 2009
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
I know you have to put your e-shoppe in order. Add all kinds of things for sale. And I've just added lots of new stuff to my Glass0Beads Etsy shoppe.
From there I know I have to blog about something unique or changed about the products in your shoppe. Like blogging about it.
And you do have 2 really good but different blogs. Right? Different like this example: Bauble Babble has notes about design and some patterns, too, while Glass0Beads is about the ideas I came up with for the BJP (Bead Journal Project) as well as bits and pieces. Like this entry. And the entries you are going to write about the new stuff at your e-shoppe.
Now I can go to my Twitter account. You don't have one? Get one at Twitter dot com. It's free and you can tell people about stuff you come across that you like. It doesn't matter what 'stuff' and it helps if you Tweet (who comes up with these names?) about other people's shoppes, not just your own. That is more important than you think: in cyberland the Golden Rule reigns. Make your tweets about others' more often than about yourself. There really is such a thing as Karma and Social Marketing is called 'Social' for no reason. Right? Of course, right.
Now, when you do twitter about yourself you have 3 separate entries: 1 for each of your 2 blogs and 1 for your e-shoppe.
Are you also writing articles about your specialty? Great! Blog about your articles and add a link to them from your blog. Now get twittering.
Have you got friends on the internet? Keep an eye on what they are doing. Every once in a while, like weekly maybe, and send them a twitter. The more twitters they get, the more solid is their reputation on their site, and the more likely they will sell something. Of course, they are doing the same thing for you. Right? Right!
And now you are marketing socially. It's also called Viral Marketing. It's also called 'word of mouth,' in the old school lingo.
Did you know? If somebody has a good experience with you they will tell 1 person on average. BUT, if they have a bad experience, they will tell an average of 7 people. That's because humans can be mean. So, do as your mama told you: 'if you have nothing pleasant to say, don't say anything at all.'
Just, twitter and blog and refer and ......
I'll learn about Tweets and CheapTweets and linking and newslettering and lots more, too. The only way to move when you don't know is up: you can't learn less than nothing.
Well, that's my opinion. Remember your social graces and happy marketing.
Helene ~ Glass0Beads