Thursday, 1 August 2013

Twins, Tutorials and Teacups

Well, here we are at the beginning of August, and I haven't updated my blog since May. Very remiss of me and I apologise to my reader.

Why? Where have you been? What have you been up to? comes the chorus of questions..or not.

I've been knee deep in beads. I've stopped working with my polymer clay for a while and gone back to my first love, my little seedies. Not with the bead embroidery yet, but I did discover those fantastic little fellows called Super Duo beads.


These are such brilliant little beads, lending themselves to new shapes and textures, and it wasn't long before I'd adjusted too working with them and immediately began designing a couple of pendants. Then I thought 'why not try writing a tutorial for them?'.

So I had to set about finding a program that was either free or inexpensive to make the diagrams. That wasn't hard, I just went on a beading forum and followed up a couple of recommendations for Inkscape. Totally free, easy to use, and voila! The diagrams were sorted.

The first tutorial went up for the Star Flower Pendant on Etsy, and sold..and sold again..and just as I did all that...Etsy only went and made it easy for everyone by providing the ability to upload the file to the site, and for the buyer to then instantly download it from their purchases page after payment. Nothing else to do. No sending out by email any more.

Encouraged by that and a commission I had had for a pair of earrings in the same design as the pendant, I made another one, and another for little leaf earrings.


Now, the leaves have grown into my willow range, with the basic leaf design incorporated into earrings, necklace and bracelet, and these make my latest tutorials. The jewellery itself is popular too, and I'm currently working on a wedding set in white and silver with clear AB crystal beads, and so far it is stunning. These will be on show once I've got more white Super Duos to make the bracelet.


So, amid writing the tutorials, I began to notice that they were taking over the front page of my Etsy Shop, so I've opened a second shop just for the tutorials, right here.

I have to say I'm loving all aspects of making the tutorials, from the initial design, scribbled in pencil in a notebook, to researching that nobody has already done it (it happened with some earrings I had, the design was so similar to mine that I would have been accused of plagiarism. It was purely accidental but I stopped working on them right away and threw away the paper design and gave the earrings away.), to making the diagrams, beading the samples, writing the whole tutorial and selling them to people who want to make MY things.

Meanwhile, my partner's Amputee Support Group, WalkOn Crafters, has received a start-up grant, so everything there is go go go! We have our first meeting this week, and now the nerves are setting in and we are beginning to think it'll just be me and him looking at each other across a table in the middle of a hall. Maybe we'll be surprised. I hope so.

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