Published: 12-03-2013 12:57am Posted In: The Nitty Gritty
It's that time of year when there are x-mas bazaars every weekend and people will be making rounds at local handmade markets to look for gifts for friends, family, and loved ones. So, it's the time to have a reminder discussion on why handmade items cost what they do.Small business people do not have the buying power of mega companies. Even with a re-seller permit I neither have the room or the wherewithal to purchase my supplies in the bulk amounts that those sorts of business do so I can't get as good of prices. I do what I can and I shop around. As a small business person, I can also not afford to sell things at cost and nobody goes int... » Read More
Published: 07-03-2013 11:33am Posted In: The Nitty Gritty
The following snippet is from an email I received yesterday:Congratulations!You have been accepted into the Washington C.A.S.H. Individual Development Account (IDA) Program. This is a great opportunity for you to invest in your business and your future!In a nutshell, the IDA program is a savings plan program where there is savings matching by both Washington C.A.S.H. and another sponsor. You get double back what you save up to a certain amount that you plug back into your business. You have up to several years to accomplish this goal - though you can begin taking money out after 6 consecutive months of saving (you don't have to wait until the ... » Read More
Published: 05-08-2013 11:28pm Posted In: The Nitty Gritty
One of the more difficult tasks I've had over the last year is figuring out where the best places are to sell my jewelry and accessories. On one hand, you need enough consumers going to the event or venue to get a decent amount of sales. This last weekend proved that there's more to it than that, though. You also need to consider the audience and find the right places and events to sell your products.For example: Sunday, May 5th was the date of this year's Fremont Sunday Market Mobile Food Rodeo event. It's a large and well attended event. Reports are that there were more than 20,000 people through the market that day. Now, it's true tha... » Read More
Published: 05-03-2013 07:25pm Posted In: The Nitty Gritty
Today I met with Washington C.A.S.H Marketing and Business Specialist, Laura Fletcher. Together we came up with some goals for me for my business. We discussed various strategies and talked about what I'd tried, what I wanted and needed, and what I am less interested in doing at least in the short term.One thing I determined late last fall was that the one day outdoor markets are really hard on my physically and that I didn't really want to do them on a very regular basis. I've also determined that I'm not really set-up currently to do wholesaling and I'm not sure that's where I want to go. I'm putting on a back burner for now. I think I ... » Read More
I thought I should take a moment to highlight some upcoming events that I've been confirmed for. Mark your calendars!Fremont Sunday Market - Mobile Food Rodeo EventMay5thhttp://www.fremontmarket.com/Crypticon SeattleMay 24th - 26thHilton Seattle Airport & Conf. Centerwww.crypticonseattle.comPunk Rock Flea MarketJune 8th - Noon to 10pmUnderground Events Centerwww.punkrockfleamarketseattle.com... » Read More
I am by no means an expert on photography but I have picked up some skills through the help of friends who are photographers, the Artfire help forums, and the experience of doing my own jewelry photography for several years now.One of the best things I ever did for myself was to buy a photography tent. I think it was this one. Now, I didn't have the best experience with Cowboy Studio in purchasing the product but they eventually made it right and the product is sound so I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt that it was just one of those days.I can hear some of you saying you can make your own box with cardboard and tissue paper - ... » Read More
Here it is March 22nd and we are having snow in Seattle!As a Seattle area native I can tell you that this is not all that unusual. Springtime is where the saying "if you don't like the weather in Seattle, just wait 5 minutes" most applies! We are more likely to get snow between Jan-Mar here than at other times of the year. I recall a number of times having snow happen in April. Now, the year we had snow in May - that was odd!I tried to get my cat out to play in it but he was having NONE OF IT! He refused to leave the porch and came back in after only a few min - complaining that it was too cold to be outside. As I type this the snow is g... » Read More
Having a good show means being able to re-stock w/out putting it on the credit card, pay bills (some in advance of when they are due to make sure you have the money for them & including big payments on the credit card), and pay for more events. Period. At least that's my reality this year.... » Read More
Published: 02-01-2012 10:27pm Posted In: New and Shiny
"Dear Tamera, Thank you very much for submitting images to be considered for inclusion in... the August 2012 Lark Jewelry & Beading gallery publication Showcase 500 Beaded Jewelry. Hundreds of artists from around the world submitted work for the book, and we tried to capture the diversity in aesthetic and technique that the bead world holds. I¹m a little biased, I suppose, but allow me to say that the finished book is absolutely gorgeous and inspiring. I'm pleased to report that Hard Wired, 2011 was juried into the book. Congratulations!" This is the book: http://www.amazon.com/Showcase-500-Beaded-Jewelry-Contemporary/dp/1454703164/ref=sr_1_... » Read More
Published: 11-25-2011 10:35pm Posted In: The Nitty Gritty
Well, I have been really busy and apparently missed the memo that the Blog feature was being revised and that the blogs would have to be started all over again. At first I thought I'd lost all my previous blog posts but then I found the migrate feature. Unfortunately, it didn't migrate the previous publish dates and there was really no way for me to find them all again (if I'd known I'd have written them down before migrating) so I just decided to re-post everything today and then start again from here. Isn't technology grand?... » Read More
I was working on a necklace repair for a friend of mine when it occurred to me that I should probably start giving out care and storing instructions with my jewelry so it will stay looking it's best for the folks the buy it.
Much of the jewelry I'm creating and selling is made with seed beads in a variety of colors, styles, and finishes. Usually this involves bead weaving like the monocle piece shown in the picture, above. Seed beads come in a wonderfully wide array of colors and finishes. Many of the finishes can be rubbed off over time, though, so these pieces need to be stored carefully so they will continue to look their best. I... » Read More
Published: 11-25-2011 10:29pm Posted In: The Nitty Gritty
The weekend of March 4th-6th, I was vending at Emerald City Comicon as part of the Feral Sky Studios collective. Several artists combine forces for the weekend to help off-set the cost of the booth to a manageable level for all of us. We end up having a wide variety of eclectic yet similarly themed items to offer. All weekend long we got many compliments and comments from a lot of people who liked the variety we had to offer. We seem to fill a niche that is needed at that event. At any rate, it's a large event with a lot of people coming through. It was a long weekend and a successful one. There were, as always at these events, highs... » Read More
I've been working with Ice Resin for about a year now. I tend to do batches at a time as it's very space intensive and labor intensive at times (including the sanding & drilling often needed for mold pieces). My space is somewhat limited in that I live with 7 roommates: 2 humans and 5 cats. The 5 cats means that the Ice Resin has to cure on a folding table that I set up in my bedroom - which is why I tend to work in larger batches and to do a couple batches and then leave off for awhile.
I've been doing a lot of trial and error with the Ice Resin. My set-up is not always ideal & I got kind of frustrated with some of my efforts ar... » Read More
Published: 11-25-2011 10:28pm Posted In: New and Shiny
Introducing the prototype for my newest Steampunk related jewelry design: Steam Powered Listening Devices - in other words: Steampunk Bugs.
Learning to do bead weaving has opened whole new avenues of creativity and inspiration! Living with and otherwise having creative friends also helps. The Steam Powered Listening Device is the brainchild of my friend Mickey and I. Mickey is one of my roommates and I also sometimes blog with her at Geek Girls Rule! It was my partner Carl who came up with the name I liked best: Steam Powered Listening Device.
It's created from and empty watch case - which I kept after harvesting all the wa... » Read More
Published: 11-25-2011 10:28pm Posted In: The Nitty Gritty
The picture for this post is a quick & dirty picture I took of my latest completed project. It's a beaded medal that will be marketed as a Steampunk Medal. The medal part is a coin which I have encased in Opaque Black Japanese size 11 Delica seed beads using a right angle weave which I embellished with more seed beads. The "ribbon" part is made of a mix of Opaque Black, Matte Black, Opaque Dark Red, and Metallic Bronze Japanese size 11 seed beads using a Peyote 2-Step Odd Count stitch. Because the number of rows are an odd count this means I have an extra series of steps I have to do at the end of every other row that I wouldn't need t... » Read More