Sunday, 20 June 2010

Jumping off the cliff

As some of you know, full-time beadiness for me is a mere six weeks away. It won't be easy, I know that. But I got this card from my Mum, and it's going to go in my studio today. In German, the word for beads is the same as for pearls, so it works better in German, but:

"If you want pearls (beads), you must throw yourself into the sea."

Come on then, let's jump in at the deep end :o)

Friday, 11 June 2010

Understocked or overkill?

Open Studios start tomorrow - two week-ends open to the public, and what I thought was tons of stock suddenly looks a bit..........pitiful. I mean, don't get me wrong, there's plenty (and boy, am I grateful for my tutorials in Making Jewellery magazine - without those, there'd be a lot less!) The question pops up so often 'how much stock?' Well, here's what I tried to do - whether it helps or not, I'm not sure:

First of all, I looked through everything, for items that I feel I've 'overtaken'. They're not bad or second class in any way, just designs I don't feel people would look at and say 'I know who made that' - those I put in a completely separate place, as sales items. Then I grouped things together, something I rarely have the space for at craft fairs: Hollow lace necklaces, rose necklaces, etc. It's fluke that they're in groups of three, but that looks good. Printing and laminating only one price and title for them shows customers they're a 'range', and they'll be quicker to pack up (no removal of tags). I need to take a photo of my hugely ingenious display feature, but I'll leave you guessing for now as to what it is.

The wedding range went into the display cabinet, since I don't really expect to sell a tiara off the cuff, but you never know :o) With rings, I made sure I have a few of each, though I didn't have time to make tons - hopefully, I'll be able to 're-stock as I go', since I'll be at the torch a lot of the time. So, the main ranges have a work surface all to themselves - which leaves only ne bit of surface area, which I'm using for leaflets for future markets I'll be at, maps to other artists a guest book, and the enforced 'evaluation form'. I'm really liking it - although I do wish we'd persevered and got a second light in.....if it's nasty outside, I might have to find space on the worktop for a light.

That's it........just need some sleep, and I'm ready to go.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Holidays on 'Balconia'



In Germany, where I grew up, there's a phrase for staying at home for the holidays - the above 'holidays on balconia'. And with the weather as lovely as it was today, it really felt like a holiday. So I only took a couple of hours or so at the torch, and quickly got into holiday-mode - soon, I'll be going to Devon for our summer holiday, and today's ring toppers got there just a tad ahead of me.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Rings at London Glassblowing

I just thought I'd share some exciting news - over the last few nights, I've been busy making rose ring toppers to go down to London Glassblowing, for a special exhibition to coincide with London Jewellery Week. I'm rather excited about this - after I'd made ten, I looked at them, and realised that they were all uni-coloured, so I made three with some funky summer frits - I liked the result so much that I thought I'd call it the 'Ascot Ladies Day' range (and no, I cannot for the life of me decide whether that's intended as a possessive or not, i.e. whether there's an apostrophe missing. I've found both versions. Just adding this because I don't want you to think I missed it out!)

There are 13 rings going to London today, together with a selection of rings, to make sure punters get the right size. I hope somebody takes a picture of them in place....or maybe I need to make a trip down to London to see!

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Take Heart

I had some unexpected extra torching time over the week-end, and used it to increase the ranges of ring toppers. The heart ring toppers I made for the Flame Off flew out, with only a few left over afterwards, so I thought I'd find a way to structure them and put them online to order. For starters I have concentrated on polka dots, since I'm doing a vintage fair at the beginning of August (the 1st of August, actually, first day of self-employment, and a Sunday - no slacking here at Little Castle Designs!). I played with a few colour ranges, and then, when the first batch came out of the kiln, plugged the colour gaps with even *more* colours...and finally played even longer with arranging them for a photo.

For the vintage ones, now have several designs - leaves going in one direction, then the other...big dots, small dots...but I like these best! Already, the lovely Nicola of suggested that I do a pink and black dotty heart with a white rose...pic to follow shortly!

Right, I'm working from home today, but that's work-work, not bead work...for another nine weeks! Have a fab (short!) week everybody!