Monday, June 25, 2012

Summer Blues??

Goodness my shop had a drop in sales.  I went from consistently selling 2-5 things a week for over a month to not having one sale in over a week and a half!  It's not terrible timing for it to be so slow, but I never want a decline in success.  My husband and I put our house up for sale this past Friday.  I don't remember if I mentioned that he will be getting transferred to a new location with the recruiting job he has in the Air Force.  We still aren't sure where we'll be going next, but we should find out in the next few weeks (then my daydreaming will really start).  We will also find out when we're leaving and we already know that the soonest we could go would be November and the latest we would go will be March of next year.  In any case, we have to be proactive so we're (hopefully) not stuck with an extra mortgage when we end up in our next location. 

To make matters more stressful, my summer semester is starting in 2 weeks.  I will be taking 2 classes in 4 weeks that are normally spread out over 3 months.  So I suppose a slow down in sales isn't the worst thing in the world.  I'm still busily producing new products, even if I am finding it difficult to photograph them and list them on the shop.  I have that on my list of things to do tonight. 

Like I said, I'm still busy making new jewelry.  Something about the summer weather gets me feeling very creative.  I made an infinity charm that I'm excited to polish and add to a leather chain for a bracelet.  I also made a few more of my 'My Life' charms and the spacers seem to finally be working out so I just need to polish them and get them photographed and listed.  If time were abundant, I'd be so much more accomplished.

^^^Here's a toering I made with Sterling PMC.  I twisted it in the middle^^^

  ^And here's an experimental type ring of Sterling PMC.^

Thursday, June 14, 2012

My Life Charms and trouble with photography

I'm trying my hardest to make this 'My Life' charm line a reality and I want it to reflect how much I believe in it.  I want it to have the best photos, the most reflective prices, good accessories, and I want it to be something I can continue to promote with confidence.  I haven't had a product line that I've invested so much of myself in since my 'Breastfeeding Reminder Rings' .. and I think I've topped the effort I put towards them with this project.  One of the accessories I envisioned with these necklaces didn't work out too well on my first run.  I want to add silver beads as 'spacers' so it sort of separates each little charm so people can see each of them.  I made quite a few (6, actually) small silver beads but their holes turned out to be way too small and I can't realistically spend the time using my bead reamer to try and make them wide enough to fit over a chain.  I have to just give up on the 6 I made and make new ones and wrap them around a wider surface to dry (like a small cocktail straw or something).  I decided to use fine silver PMC 3 for all of these charms because it's only slightly more expensive than sterling silver PMC and I can fire it with a torch.  So instead of having to fire up my kiln to finish a charm or two on short notice, I can just quickly fire them with my torch in 10 minutes. 

I love the way the first ones turned out:

The below (and above) image was taken with my's a little blurry. 

The little fine silver beads I want as spacers would help separate how close together the charms fall so people can see them all easier. So if you have a man, woman, two kids and a dog, you'll be able to easily see that there are 5 charms instead of all of them jumbling up together. I feel like 5 charms won't look too gaudy either...they're all extremely small....(like half an inch tall and maybe 1/4 inch wide).

Jogging, Running Girl Charm - Charm Only - My Life Charms - Free Shipping in the US

I am getting much much closer to seeing this all become a reality.  I just have to make a few of the spacers, photograph the charms again (I photographed them all separately last night but I looked at the pictures this morning and I don't really like any of them, haha) and then get them all listed.  I have to use my regular props for my photos..which is frustrating, because it's about an hours worth of work that I have to redo all because I thought my regular props weren't good enough. But I'll tough it out and get them right, because I'm not half assing this part of the process. 

Anyway..I'm determined to make this work.  Any advertising advice would be more than welcome!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

McDonald's ... Ewwww

I stopped at McDonald's this morning before taking my daughter to's becoming sort of a routine (or addiction) that I get an iced coffee before work everyday during the hot summer mornings.  This morning, my experience was was less than desirable. 

When I got around the drive-thru (I never appreciated a drive-thru until I had a child), I noticed a loud truck blocking the window to pay at.  I thought it was someone actually getting breakfast too and felt a little peeved that they wouldn't just go in, since I couldn't hear over the noise coming from the truck.  When I drove around, I realized the truck was working on the side of the building.  I guess the septic tank needed emptied?  Just thinking about it makes me want to throw up.  The smell was unimaginably bad.  It smelled like someone was holding a platter of human feces mixed with other human waste right under my nose.  Ew. Gross. 

I got an iced coffee and a fruit and yogurt parfait.  I took my daughter to daycare (she didn't seem as upset about the putrid stench McDonald's was giving off--maybe because she still poops in a diaper and is forced to smell it for a little longer than most people have to deal with their poop?), then got to work and brought out my Fruit n Yogurt Parfait and discovered that the whole bag of granola (the part that really MAKES the whole thing) was completely empty.  I guess it had a hole in it before they even put it in the McDonald's bag since there was no granola anywhere to be found. 

I'll still probably go back tomorrow...I swear these iced coffees have some seriously addictive qualities. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Etsy Ups and Downs

My shop had its best month last month, and it ended with the absolute best week my shop has ever seen.  Unfortunately, it slowed down to almost a standstill with the coming of June.  I'm fine with it, but I really get a little car sick from all the ups and downs this business has.  Luckily I still have my day job.

For the record...the absolute worst feeling comes when someone 'favorites' an item in your shop, and then for whatever reason, they take it off their favorite list.

Hopefully things pick up?

My Life Charms - The launch

So now that I'm finally really close to being able to list some of my new line of necklaces, I'm going to blog about them. To premise, I've been thinking about making these necklaces for months and couldn't even make my first attempt at them until last week when I finally got my stampmaker. The line of necklaces is based around the little people that are becoming so popular as car details (the ones that people get that sort of reflect their, woman, kid playing baseball, dog, etc). I'm titling the line of necklaces 'My Life' jewelry. So far I have a woman walking a dog, a 'tree hugger' and a pair of flip flops.

 The tree hugger and flip flops ^^  Can you tell that's a girl hugging a tree? 

There's the one of the girl walking her dog.  Is it as obvious as I feel like it is?  I'm afraid I've been staring at these too closely and now I can't judge them right at all.

 painters/mom holding baby/pregnant mom/graduate/baby girl/baby boy

These will all be made into silver charms soon enough.  I hope the painters show up okay in the silver...and the book with the heart around it.  Can you even tell what that is without me specifying?

So yea, this is something I've been working on for a while.  I drew all the photos on my iPad using ArtStudio, then shrunk them, inverted the color using InfiniFX on my iPhone...then printed them out and made them into stamps with that awesome Stampmaker I spoke of last week.  I had to tweek the suggested times from 3 seconds and 3 minutes to 10 seconds (to create a solid base-my stamps kept falling off at 3 seconds) and 2:45 (enough time to get the detail of the tiny little photos). 

I love that this idea I've had stuck in my head for months now is finally becoming a reality.  I had been imagining the charms doing really well and now I don't really care either way, I just look forward to finally getting them all listed in my shop in the next week or so.  I will then continue adding new 'little people' as I think of them (and for custom requests and holidays). 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Jane's Footprints on a Necklace

Here's a photo of Jane's footprints!  They turned out great (in my opinion) and I love them.  I've been wearing them daily since I finsihed them last week.

I've been working with the stampmaking kit all week and almost have it figured out (after having failed attempts with many of the imagepac polymer packs--so that's a bummer).

Friday, June 1, 2012

Where have I been??

It has been a busy May!  My shop definitely had its best month so far this May and I couldn't be more excited about it!  Thanks to Mother's Day and Father's Day, I have had a consistent amount of sales on my fingerprint jewelry.  I've even been able to invest in a new piece of equipment that I wanted to talk about today. 

On Wednesday of this week I ordered a StampMaker Kit from Metal Clay Supply.  Basically I'll be able to take most images (I hesitate to say 'any' image) and turn them into a polymer stamp that I can then stamp into my precious metal clay and create a beautiful little silver charm with that image.  Because I have wanted this kit since I started working with metal clay, I have a whole lot of ideas of what I want to make, but the absolute first thing I'm creating is a piece of jewelry with the tiny footprints of my daughter when she was first born.  I just have to find them (I know they're in my house somewhere, haha), scan them, and turn them into stamps.  I can't wait to have a necklace (or maybe bracelet?  or maybe both?) of her actual footprints! 

So aside from that addition to my shop, I think I might start getting scans of fingerprints instead of sending out the mold kits.  The lines of the scans will probably work a little better (especially for adults), and the whole process would be easier and faster for the customers.  Maybe I'll request the scan first, and if I feel it isn't going to work well on the silver, I'll send a mold kit.  I'm also going to print sayings in fancy fonts that I'll be able to use and reuse (for instance 'Forever and always, no matter what', which is the last thing I tell Jane before bed every night).  I might even sell the stamps themselves as supplies for other metal clay users who don't want to invest in the stampmaking kit.

The last thing I have in mind with this new stampmaking equipment is to add a new line of necklaces.  I don't want to reveal too much just yet but I'm really excited about it.  I'm also trying to fine tune my drawing skills so I can add a good variety for this line of necklaces. 

So stay tuned!!!  Happy June!