Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Busy Busy Busy!

It's been a really busy month, hence my blog being abandoned recently. I rejoined the daily listing club on Folksy and it has been a challenge to have something to list every day. I nearly made it to the end of the month, in fact, I would have made it if my camera batteries hadn't died on me.

I've also made a few sales through Folksy, two of them commissions. First was an opportunistic one for a glasses chain. You know what they say, the early bird catches the worm. The lady who bought it asked on the forum, I jumped in and got the commission. (Sorry to anyone who already had some made up). The second was the sale of my Ivy Leaf Necklace.

The lady concerned, who lives in North Carolina, asked about a matching bracelet and earrings. I had the clay, so I set to and made them, and she bought them all, the whole set, and is so thrilled, even if she hasn't yet got them to date. Apparently, it's difficult to find Ivy jewellery in the USA!

I've also been helping my partner set up his facebook page and Etsy shop for his own jewellery. Since he had a leg amputated he's been concentrating on various aspects of jewellery making, and is currently working with resin, but up to now he has made a vast collection of necklaces and bracelets. We didn't realise just how much he had made until we pulled out the boxes from under the sofa.

So, much photography and editing has been going on in the last few days, which is why the batteries ran out..just when I was ready to take photos of some more of my items ready to finish the month.

I still haven't completed the Amazonite bead embroidery collar mentioned in previous posts, but bit by bit I am working on it, and it should be ready for September listing, along with 'Iceni' which is being brought home from the exhibit here in Norwich. I've now filled in the leaves, outlined the shape of the whole necklace, and begun filling in between the leaves. Only the backing to glue and bead around after that and we're done! Unfortunately no further photos of progress at this stage.

Meanwhile, our Norfolk Jewellery Makers Group have been having meets at Hobbycraft every week. We've missed a few as my partner hasn't been well with several weeks of nasty effects of what we now know to be dairy intolerance, something which the doctor confirmed today as 'pretty conclusive', since we just cut out milk and the symptoms stopped. This has also kept me busy for the last few weeks, but now we can see light at the end of that particular tunnel.

I've got so many ideas for polymer clay and bead embroidery, I'm going to need a new notebook soon. I did however, learn to make butterfly canes, and here are the first canes, and a necklace made with beads using that same cane. I now have to order more (lots more) translucent clay to make more, as it's far better to pack the cane with translucent clay, which cures clear, than with black or white clay.

Oh and I forgot to mention. I found a technique for making bangles using a tin can, as that is about the right size for a bangle. I made two, which almost turned out ok, but I made a few mistakes around the edges so they are not as smooth and straight as they should be. Otherwise I'm pleased with the result. I think next time I won't make them as wide, these are 1 1/2 inches. I won't be listing these, as they are prototypes, but if anyone wants to make me an offer, please leave a comment below so I can get back to you. First come first served...

Friday, 10 August 2012

The Importance of Feedback, and What I've Been Doing.

 Any of you selling out there will know how much of a buzz you get when someone actually buys something YOU’VE made. That buzz continues if that buyer then takes the time to leave you some feedback.

It’s not just the buzz though. It validates what you do, it shows others that what you make is good enough, it shows that the posted item arrived safely and most importantly, that the customer is happy with their purchase.

I got twice the buzz this morning, when someone bought some of my polymer clay buttons last week, they left me lovely feedback in my Folksy shop, then gave me more feedback in her blog. It is a lovely thing to do and made me feel really proud. The blog post is here if you want to see for yourself. It’s a fantastic blog and the owner has already included quite a few of my pieces in her write-ups, but never as a buyer before.

I’ve been very busy over the last couple of weeks, hence the blog being slightly abandoned. I haven’t done much with my Amazonite necklace, that’s in the plans for this week, as I really need to catch up, but here’s what I’ve done so far.

The stones and rivolis have all been attached and beaded securely in place, and the leaves have been outlined in gold lined jonquil seed beads. I've also added freshwater pearls to the leaf points, outlined the entire necklace shape, cut round to make it easier to handle and begun filling the leaves with colour,

So what distracted me from that? Polymer clay again. I’ve learned new techniques including mica-shift.

‘What’s that?’ I hear you say. Well dear reader, it is when the clay, which contains fine mica particles is embossed, then the raised parts shaved off (talk about patience!) and the ghost of the pattern remains. The mica particles shift to the sides of the impressions when the clay is stamped or embossed, so it is these that form the ghost texture.

There are a few pieces I’ve done. My first I’ve kept for myself, and the rest will appear in Etsy and Folksy over the next week or so. But for you, here’s a sneak preview.

My First, and a keeper, but shows the mica shift perfectly.
A pendant using two colours as well as mica shift.

Folded lace. I think that works quite well. 
Lastly, yet another tile bracelet. I love making these, and with the mica shift, it's especially effective.

Oh and I forgot to mention, I was on another blog this week too, one of the latest in a series of mini-interviews with Folksy sellers. Here it is