Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My Studio

It's been a super busy season! I had to reorganize, reorganize and then reorganize! So here is my studio these days! In the closeup you can see Sparkklejar's beautiful tins which hold my various pliers!

I'm so much more productive and my shop is growing steadily! Thank you one and all for the terrific support! YOU ROCK!!

I'm ever

Monday, April 5, 2010


It's raining silver! I've been in the studio working on new designs this winter and totally loved it! Thanks to last year's success, I was able to purchase some new equipment and therefore expand the many processes available to me.

The petals in the petite studs shown are made of up of little hearts - so cute for spring and perfect for Mother's Day! I'm making a pair for my Teen because they are work nicely for a young girl as well! I love that kind of versatility in a design.

I made the beautiful When Silver Blooms, which are currently featured in my shop, with my brand new dapping set! I made the Silver Bells too, which possess an absolutely delightful tingle! Too much fun!

I took a week off right after the Olympics, so I'm just getting back into the flow of things! I'm working on a brand new item which I simply can't wait to launch - think Football!!! I'm a huge CFL fan and I'm finally allowing myself to marry them up! Look for that in the next few weeks!

This week I'm concentrating of the new designs for Spring because it's finally HERE! My shop has been slow and that has afforded me this time to create! It feeds the Soul so well!

Speaking of feeding the Soul - please check out Owning Pink http://www.owningpink.com/! It's a fabulous site dedicated to being the most authentic being you can and thereby achieving the things you truly WANT not things you think you should! The Mojo Tips alone are worth signing up for! I am working on a piece to gift Lissa Rankin the totally awesome co-founder and human being! Highly recommended!

Thanks again for all the support - you all ROCK!

Many Smiles to you ALL!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

An Artist's Pay

The debate among many artists historically has been how do we price our art in order for it to a) sell and b) sell enough for the rent to be paid. If you are an artist of any type you deal with this dilemma constantly. Here's how I deal with this issue.

I pay myself $20/hr or my costs times 5, whichever makes most sense. That said, I know that new designs take longer to make than the tried and true. I take into consideration when designing, how long it will take me to make the item.

I do two types of designs these days 1) Artistic expression or items I WANT to make and lean toward OOAK or 2) best seller items that are clever in design, use less materials, are less difficult to repeat and take less time.

For number 1, I just let my creative soul take over and make what I am inspired to - a key component in a successful shop, I feel, keeping you creatively inspired and motivated. If my artistic creations don't sell, I either donate them to charities for fund raising, and they really appreciate them (and they sell for higher prices than I could get) or I put those items in galleries.

For number 2, this is where I spend the most time creating, using my skills literally (the one's I learned in jewellery school) and as an artist - trying to find that clever design that is pregnant with potential of repeat selling and simple to make. I find that within a month period I only have 3 or 4 truly creative days where ideas just flow. I don't waste those days on process ie. making jewellery. I get out the sketch book and brass wire, which I use to make proto-types, and sketch and bend until I get dimensions that I know will work or don't. Sometimes I put ideas that don't work aside and come at them again later, next month or next year. Never throw away an idea - I have a box where I put all these 'stuck' ideas that didn't work that day, but later turned into best sellers. Like these happy mistakes http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=41563455 These are the ideas that turn into creations I'm happy to make again and again.

There is no time limit on creating - love what you do FIRST! I often wake up in the middle of the night with an idea, my first clue that those 3 days or so might be here, and jot down an idea. Only count the time when it becomes a job. Once you are selling regularly, THEN look at time, but until then, HAPPY CREATING. ENJOY!

All the Best

Monday, February 22, 2010

New Tools - New Designs

Welcome, welcome, welcome. I hope everyone is enjoying the Olympics - we in beautiful British Columbia, Canada are truly LOVING the role of playing host to the World!!

On the jewellry front, I've been having a blast!! I received some cash at Christmas and thought I'd do something productive with it other than a manicure and pedicure, which I badly needed. :-) I bought TOOLS!

I bought an awesome top of the line dapping set that will last a few lifetimes, a beautiful disc cutter and some stamping tools.

The dapping tools are used to shape metal and I had a ball making these Silver Spheres of Imperfection!! Ok, bad pun intended!! The Silvery Moon Pendant was super fun as well. Check them all out at my Etsy shop.

I haven't got the stamping down yet, it takes a bit of practice and I'm impatient so it'll be awhile before you see anything up in my shop which encompasses them. Keep watching though.

The disc cutter has been tons of fun as well and it has been instrumental in several new designs including the Silver Spheres as before I shape the sheet metal I have to cut it out. It is super easy to use and I wish I would have purchased one years ago.

I'm loving my studio these days and it's hard to pull me out of here, however the sun shines more often these days and with flowers starting to bloom here on the west coast of Canada - I'm being pulled outside. I'm sure my family will be very happy about that - maybe they'll see me every once in awhile!!

Til next time...enjoy!!!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Be Mine Valentine - Heart Felt Jewelery

Good day all! I've been in the studio creating from the Heart! After the dizziness of Christmas has for the most part passed, it's winter nesting time which brings the heart home and announces Valentine's Day. I've created several pieces with hearts, some new designs and others a heart-take on some popular MetalRocks designs such as my Silver Hammered Hearts with a Tail!

Enjoy a browse thru my shop and please comment as I dearly love to receive feedback.

Until next time, when our topic will be To Stamp or Not to Stamp - What Does the 925 or SS stamp Declare?

All the Best

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Thank You for a Wonderful 2009 and Introducing New Designs for 2010!

2009 was quite the year for my Etsy Shop and I have all of you to thank. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU - from the bottom of my heart! My sales increased every month in 2009 even during the summer when I closed my shop and went on holidays. Absolutely amazing!! Without the support of family members, friends, everyone at Etsy, my Twitter-mates, my blog followers and all my customers this would not be possible. I am so grateful for everyone and everything I have been blessed with in 2009!!

For the 2010 Season I have introduced 18 new designs and I hope you love them as much as I did making them. I'm really proud of the Well Healed Collection and all the other new designs plus I have a sketchbook of ideas ready to be made. I'm going to upgrade some of the 2009 designs but I will leave the Goddess Tear Falling Behind series http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=37764580 and the Maria's Goddess Tear Studs http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=37739894 listed due to the tremendous interest these 2 styles afforded last year.

Along with new designs, logo and business cards you can expect more blogging regarding the jewellery industry from the prospective of the artist. Jewellery has almost over-taken the Christmas fairs, outdoor markets and both Etsy and Ebay have strong jewellery sellers - not to forget chain stores that can sell at a fraction of the price it often cost me to make an item. How does an artist stay in business and compete with the countless competition? As well, I hope to provide some discussion on shopping for jewellery and some simple but insightful questions and answers that I know people would appreciate.

Thanks again everyone for a fabulous 2009 and here's hoping that 2010 is the best year yet for one and all!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tis the Season

Good day all! Well it's upon us, the Christmas season, and my shop is buzzing. Sales have increased substantially and my family is getting meals prepared on the weekend and frozen. I'm happy, but the family, not so much! :-)

I've done a few new things including joining the EtsyCanada team and advertising at IndieNorth a wonderful site dedicated to promoting Canadian artists. http://www.indienorth.com/

I like to buy local so my thinking floated to, why not try to sell locally. My Etsy store was already established and doing nicely, but my Canadian sales were a small trickle. I found my answer on Twitter, where I met Beth, the wonderfully creative and industrious lady who is the force behind IndieNorth. Beth is a delightful Tweeter and gave me the wonderful hint to add the word 'Canadian' as a tag in my Etsy shop, plus a placed a very reasonably priced ad on the IndieNorth site and my Canadian sales have easily tripled! Thank you IndieNorth and Beth! I recommend all Canadian artists check this site out.

This week, I was contacted by Christina of Akane Designs http://www.akane.etsy.com who has kindly accomplished all the necessary administrative work to set up a new Etsy Team, called EtsyCanada of which I am happy to say, I am now a proud member. I'm looking forward to getting to know more Canadian artists from across the country and promoting our creations together. I'm super excited!!

That said, with sales soaring, I must get back to the studio! 'Tis the Season' and artists around the world are in high production and high promotion mode. Did I mention how much I LOVE IT!!! :-)

Have a great day and remember: Today is the tomorrow you've been waiting for! ENJOY!