Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Where does time go.....

Wow, I'm really bad about keeping up with the blog... I just had to write something in here to keep it updated... Two days before Christmas, still haven't wrapped anything... made yummy lobster rolls for my party here at work.... the oven caught on fire this morning... it was like mission impossible... the flame going just along the heating element. Now I wonder if that means I won't be able to do any cooking tomorrow? I hope I can at least make cookies, otherwise I will have to go out to the store and buy cookies, but Santa won't mind.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Second Craft Fair: Part 2

Today marks the end of my second craft fair. Here's a picture of my tables - since the ladies the day before decided not to come back.

I didn't do well (again), but I believe I did better than some of the other jewelers. There was not a lot of traffic. It really stunk that I wasn't in the main area, although I hear some of those people didn't do well at all. I did get a lot of compliments, and some people took my card for to have custom pieces made. I don't know if it was the economy, or if it was just a bad weekend all together. I really don't know what more I learned today, except make sure you have things that are lower priced that the parents can buy for the kids. My big sellers were my lanyards and eyeglass necklaces along with the seed bead memory bracelets. Those were some of my cheapest items as well. I'm just going to try and stay positive and try again at my next craft fair in two weeks. Wish me luck!!


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Second Craft Fair: Part 1

This was day one of a two day fair. It was a big difference from my first fair. First off, I was a bit more organized. Although I was more organized, and it was a HUGE fair (over 80 vendors), I sold 2/3 less than what I did at my first fair. From what I saw and heard a lot of people did poorly, and some people sold NOTHING! So I guess I did pretty good compared to others.

I bought myself two little dollies that have a plastic carton on the bottom. I found them in Wal-Mart for less than $20.00. This helped me limit my trips back and forth to the car. I also only used one jewelry case, instead of three. I packed my earrings in plastic bags, on homemade earring cards with the lips on the back so I could just take them out of the bag and hang them up. It save a lot of time.

I really have no special hints or tips, because I wasn't very busy, so I learned no real lessons. I did hear that a few vendors are not showing up tomorrow because they did so poorly, so hopefully tomorrow more people will show up, and enjoy my jewelry!

I met a great artist (her table was next to mine). She's another jeweler, and I learned a lot from her. It was really refreshing talking with someone in the same line.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

First Craft Fair - some lessons learned.

I went to my first craft fair on Friday at my place of employment. There were about 15 tables there, five of which had jewelry. I got there a little after 7am to set-up to open at 9am. This being my first craft fair, I figured I would a little to be ready for my second fair. My first BIG mistake was having things packed poorly and with little or no organization. It took about six trips out to my car to get everything to the room. I'd like to make only one trip, and so hopefully next time I will be able to whittle that down a little. I had everything in boxes, which, I then had to take out of boxes to hang on the earring stand. That took a long time, since I first had to take it out of the box, then put the hanger on the earring card (I make my cards myself), then hang them up. First off, I am not going to store my things in the individual boxes anymore. I will store them in plastic baggies, with the hanger already attached. This will cut back on me having to bring three craft cases filled with the jewelry in the boxes, and maybe only have to bring one craft case, and a bag filled with boxes.

Second big mistake, I forgot a pen. ooooppppsss!

Third mistake, I had no way to hang my banner up. I thought I could hang it with ribbon on the table, but the ribbon kept pulling the banner, and the banner kept trying to keep rolling back up. I will have to figure something out with that.

I only had about four busts to hang necklaces on, so I had to keep a lot of necklaces in the boxes on the table. I thought it looked crappy like that. I have ordered a few necklace boards, so next time it will all look a little neater.

On a positive note, I did have small bills, my cards, everything priced and a mirror available for people to try on necklaces.

It was a good day. A bit stressful, but I am looking forward to another fair.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Mystery Artist Revealed!!

The contest is over! And I guess I did make it too easy ;) We have two winners! Aestraea will win two pairs of Earrings (her choice), and the last pair will go to Kristen Hardy! Thanks everyone so much for playing and taking the time exploring Etsy and finding new and exciting shops from talented artisians!

Here is the interview with CozInk, it's wonderful learning about new people and their passions for their art!

1. What made you get into your craft? Was it always something you've been interested in doing?
I was always into art, but I never really knew anything about printmaking until high school. In junior year, my art teacher asked if I would like to go to Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, up in Deer Isle. Several schools sent one student, and we stayed there for a long weekend learning a new craft. I took the printmaking workshop that weekend, and that's where I learned printmaking with a gelatin plate. It was totally random- I didn't know about Haystack until my teacher asked me if I wanted to go, and I had never heard of gel printing until I read it in the class schedule and signed up. And I almost didn't sign up. I almost took metalwork instead, but I decided printmaking would be easier to continue doing at home. I love the versatility of printing on gelatin. I love the detail it allows me to pick up in the plants I use, and how many different effects I can get.

2. What inspires you?
Definitely nature, which is pretty easy to tell when you look at my stuff, I guess. Everything in it is plant life. The printmaking process inspires me- just having time in my studio to stand at the work table and zone out printing for a couple hours. I'm inspired by color, and trying new projects.

3. Tell us a little about your average day.
Ha! My average day is pretty boring. I'm a stay-at-home mom, so it's exactly what you'd expect that to entail: I cook, I clean, I take care of my daughter and the dog and the cat. I definitely do not make it up to the studio every day. Studio work is more like once or twice a week. In January that will all change, because I'm returning to college to get a teaching degree. So my days will be VASTLY different... my daughter will be in day care, I'll be in class. I'm looking forward to it but am also pretty scared of going back to school and also of the shock of not being with my daughter as much. I know that's going to be tougher on me than her.

4. How did you first get introduced to Etsy, and what made you decide to sell there?
A friend told me about it- she makes crocheted goods that she sells at So I saw what she was doing, and I had all these prints I made but just saved, so I started cutting them up to make things. I did a gallery show this summer, and while I was going over which prints to hang with the owner, he asked how many full sized prints I had at my house. He was shocked when I said "Not many- a lot get cut up." He couldn't believe I was cutting up original prints to make cards and bookmarks, but I love it! I love that it constantly makes me create more. I love that people get totally one-of-a-kind cards, that really are special enough for important occasions. And they're elegant- they aren't filled with goofy cartoons or sappy poetry or soft-focused pictures of roses. They're unique, and I joined Etsy hoping to find people who appreciate that.

5. What advice would you give to new artists, or people interested in your field of art?
To people interested in printmaking- jump in. There aren't a ton of people out there printing with gelatin, so it's sometimes tough to get started, because you have to teach yourself as you go, but it's worth it. It's fun, and messy, and really process-oriented so it relaxes you once you realize you really have to stop worrying about the final product. Don't get into this kind of printing thinking you can plan exact results. Go in with an open mind and a fluid idea of what you want to end up with, because a lot of times your prints come out very different than you expect.

6. Do you sell your work locally?
I try to. I have cards up in consignment in several local stores, and actually one store way out in Minnapolis, too. My goal for the coming year is to get more wholesale orders. Eventually I will break into craft shows, but I'm not ready to take that on, yet.

7. Tell us a little about yourself.
Married my high-school sweetheart when I was 19, and we're coming up on nine years together/five and a half years married. I lived in Wyoming for awhile and REALLY miss it sometimes. I come from a very talented family, artistically and musically, with cousins who are more like siblings and siblings who I feel lucky to know, let alone call my brother and sister. I like to write, like to create, have a bad temper, curse way too much, and have a really embarrassing laugh that I still refuse to stifle.

8. What do you see in your future?
Lots of W-O-R-K! All I can see in my future right now is the looming start date of college, and how tired I'm going to be for the next 3 or 4 years as I become a full time student and mom.

9. What is the favorite item you have made?
The favorite material you work with? I make such a large volume of stuff, it's hard to pick a favorite. The print that is on my business card was always a favorite. It was a note card originally- I scanned the image to use as my business card, and I sold the card itself later. There aren't many pieces that I hang on to- I like sort of forcing myself to let go of my favorite pieces, because it inspires me to make more like it, or try to make something even better! My favorite thing in my Etsy shop right now is probably the 2010 Calendar of printmaking that I put together, just because it's a project that's been on my mind for so long. I love that it's out on paper now, and I'm really happy with how it came out.

10. Where can we find you? Twitter? Facebook? Blog?
Oy, all three.

Although the blog is a blog about the entire art collective called CozInk Collective. It's made up my a lot of family members- we all have different mediums, and try to cross-promote so we formed a collective and I run the blog. We have musicians, songwriters, photographers, artists, a guitar-maker... all from the same family. I love my family- never a dull moment!

11. Your favorite saying or quote?
This, I don't know if I can pick. I'm a history nerd, so there are a LOT of old quotes rattling around in my head. "The more you have to do, the more you can get done" is one my grandfather told me a lot, and one I try to remind myself of when I feel overwhelmed. It's a very New England little saying, I think, and it's really true.

Thanks so much CozInk for participating! It was great getting to know you better, and hope others enjoy the interview as much as I did. Good luck with your sales! Hope many come your way!


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Can you figure out the Mystery Featured Artist?

I thought it would be fun to have a contest! I love a good mystery, and puzzle, and although I may not be a great creator of them, I thought it would be fun to send people out on a hunt!! I will give five clues to who my mystery featured artist is. It won't be easy (at least I hope not!), and there may be many answers, although only one is right!! You can win one or ALL of the following:

Crystal Quartz and Sapphire Earrings

Amethyst and Rose Quartz Earrings

Swarkovski Crystal and Glass Heart Earrings

To play the game:

Follow the clues, figure out who the artist is... post their Etsy username, or store name on the comments of this post. Only one guess per person. For those not familiar with Etsy, it is an online handcraft and vintage website allowing artists to sell their items. Just go to, make an account (it's free) and look around. There is some AMAZING stuff there!! To win the prize(s):

Win 1 prize: Guess the correct artist
Win 2 prizes: Guess the correct artist and be a follower of my blog
Win all 3 prizes: Guess the correct artist, be a follower of my blog, and have made a purchase from my Etsy shop. (geesh, talk about bribery!)

I will announce the prize after I post the interview. At this time, the winner can contact me so I can send their prize! If someone does guess the correct artist, and only wins one prize, then the next person who guessed the correct artist will get a pick of the remaining prizes. All prizes will come in a nice gift box with my logo name. Great for Christmas gift!

The interview will be posted on or around Halloween. Have fun! Thanks for playing!


Clue #1: This Artist uses leaves in some of his/hers work.
Clue #2: This Artist joined Etsy in 2008.
Clue #3: This Artist used a stamp from another Etsy seller to make one of his/her pieces of work.
Clue #4: This Artist uses special printmaking with some of his/her work.
Clue #5: At the time of this writing, this Artist has over 65 shop hearts.

Let the hunt begin!!


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My Reads: The Pact

I finished reading The Pact today, and really don't know how to explain how I feel about it. I think the author portrayed Emily and Chris too much like adults in their relationship. I know it was supposed to be them being soul mates and kindred spirits etc, but it just seemed they were way too mature for my liking. It was a good story, but felt something was lacking in giving the family any type of closure for Emily's death, although I guess in real life it is that way, it was a book of fiction, so I would have liked them to have some sort of closure. I got the feeling the author kinda left Chris in the dust, with me wondering what became of his life, but maybe that was her intent as well. I'm not sure if it was a happy ending or sad ending. I just can't get my grip on it.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Just listed on Etsy!


Watching Snow White

I'm watching Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, I never realized just how scary that movie is for a kid..... The singing, while it may have been popular for back when it was created, just isn't making my kids sing along.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

My Reads: The Last Child

I really enjoyed The Last Child, it was a very good suspense, and again, a pretty easy read. The story flowed together very well. I think I will try another book by this author.


My reads: The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes

I just finished reading The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes on my handy Kindle (Which I love by the way). It was pretty good. It was an easy read, but jumped around from the past to the present a lot. It was a pretty easy transition, and you got to know the characters quite well. Would I recommend it? Yes, if you're bored on a rainy afternoon with nothing else to do, but I wouldn't say it was a "HAVE TO" read.


Friday, October 2, 2009

Test Post to Check Siggie

Here is a test posting to show you what your signature will look like when you post. From now on, this will automatically be in your posting area before you do your post.

Dumping my purse on the couch Part 4

Most of my beads are stored in here.... It is so difficult for me to go through them and find what I need. I waste a lot of time doing that.

This is the old TV I watch when I'm making jewelry.... I watch NCIS re-runs, and now that the new shows are out I enjoy Fringe, Survivor, Monk and Criminal Minds.

I hope you enjoyed my life :)... There's actually more to it than that, but it sure makes you wonder how I get anything done. Please tell me I'm not the only one like this!!

Dumping my purse on the couch Part 3

These are a bunch of the earrings I've been working on.... As soon as I fill up the rack, I tell myself that is when I will get organized........ OH NO!! It's almost full!!

This is another corner of the room. A shelf with things all packed up waiting to be shipped (I'm really really positive someone will order something, so it is ready to go!!!) All I have to do is put a pretty bow on it, pack it and ship it off! Misc books, photos of the youngins and things like that.

Dumping my purse on the couch Part 2

I couldn't figure out how to keep posting pictures the way I wanted, so I'm making this into groups I can organize.. hehehhee....

To the right is my photography equipment. The cedar chest is my "filing" system. When I get a receipt in, I just throw it in there..... along with misc other things. Not going to be good come tax season when I have to wade through there.

This is actually pretty cool, it's just in a bad spot (well the lamp is in a bad spot.) I ordered some plastic containers and labeled them, and have many seed beads stuck to the metal bars on the wall with a magnet..... it's not working out as well as I would like for 2 reasons.

1. The magnets fall off --- I guess the hot glue gun wasn't the right glue.... don't know what else to use... any advice?

2. The stupid lamp is in the way. I really have to move it!!! It blocks my printer, along with a handy shelf below the printer, that I have to crawl on my hands and knees to access because I have a really bad room layout.

Dumping my purse on the couch Part 1

Okay, here goes nothing! I'm so ashamed. Is this really me??? To the right is a close-up of my work area! What a pigsty!!! Are there any organizers out there that can help me???

This is my main work table. It's where I do most of my work. It's scattered with pearls from a necklace I was working on last night..... It'll be my project tonight... I have to take it all apart because I'm not happy how it's turning out.

I am going to dump my purse on the couch!

Remember The Breakfast Club, when the Ally Sheedy dumped her purse on the couch, and they said something about her dumping her life (or problems) out for everyone to see... I'm going to do it. I'm going to dump my disorganized space on you!! Well.... it's not just disorganized, it's a MESS! Hopefully I will soon show you the organized space it becomes!!

So, I will take some pictures of my work space, and you can see for yourself the very disorganized person I am. It doesn't make my creations any less.... aren't artists supposed to be a little weird? It seems like I will clean up my room and as soon as I get started working again, I just trash it.... as hard as I try to keep it clean, I guess it just isn't a priority with me. There are always more important things to do, like make just one more pair of earrings before I go to bed. It's a danger zone! And the 2 1/2 year old is banned from being in there!

So off to charge my camera batteries (I can't find my wide angle lens... hmmmm..... go figure - so I have to use the small camera). Will edit this post soon.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Today was a long day!

Wow, I had a long day today at work..... it was extremely busy!! Then, when I got home, took the six year old to swimming lessons, and just got home. She's reading now, and I'm anxiously awaiting the time to run into my back room and start making some jewelry! It's like an addiction! I'm getting ready for a big open house. My co-worker is having an Arbonne (spelling?) open house, and she asked if I would sell my jewelry there! So excited, but nervous too. Then in November we're having an employee craft fair. We'll see how that goes. Etsy is slow for me, but I haven't posted anything new for a while because I want to make sure I have enough for those two events. I haven't tried selling locally at boutiques or hair salons yet, too nervous to do the one on one. It's so easy being outgoing on the computer, but when you have to sell your stuff in person, it's scary!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I feel so old

Life is just a big circle... I remember a time where I'd look at my older people strangely because they didn't know how to work a cell phone or whatever, but now I am there!! There is so much out there, and I feel so lost with all this technology! I am determined to figure it out. I remember long ago running a BBS..... if anyone knows what that is, they are my age or older!! Kids nowadays have probably never heard of that! I could use DOS and ANSI codes, no problem. But trying to figure out how to design a blog.... OMG I am lost!!!!

Need to get organized!

Need to stay focused and get organized!! It's a very rainy day so it would be a good day to do it. The kids are wild today... so don't think I'll get much done until I put them to bed.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Still lost in lala land

Trying to still get this stuff figured out. I created a facebook fan page, and now I can't find it on my facebook account. I just don't get it. Does this mean I'm old? I've become one of those people who is technologically challenged? HELP!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Now.... time to advertise

I'm determined to figure out how to advertise and get more views and comments in my store. I think I hear an echo..... no one is around.

Friday, August 28, 2009

My first blog

Wow... I've come out of the dark ages and now have my little blog site to let the world know about the beautiful jewelry I make. Thanks for visiting.