Sunday, April 13, 2008

A tangled web

If anyone has actually popped out here regularly, you will have noticed the little blue "Welcome" note off to the right .. slowly evolving as I began and then became embroiled in the process of developing a website. I actually started in earnest last year around this time by talking to the graphic designer who helped me design my logo, stationery, note cards, etc. For the purpose of design consistency, it made sense that she'd be the best choice to incorporate into my web the same look used for my business cards and other printed materials. I was right .. she did a great job. With only a few changes, this is the look my home page will have.

The next part is where it gets kinda tricky. The design segment was emailed to the folks who will be doing all the coding to make it work .. a couple months ago (though I've already been using since August the credit card merchant that will be incorporated into my online shopping cart). Haven't heard a peep outta them since the graphic designer alerted me that she'd sent it. 'Course, I could step up and give 'em a shout, which I may do soon, but then that means I'm on the radar. A good thing, until I have to come up with the funds for the work to begin .. and there's the rub. So I'm taking it slow and biding my time .. hoping the state of the economy doesn't preclude good attendance at shows this season or from people reaching deep down into their wallets for the more time-consuming, high-end pieces.

And then there are those things for which I will be held responsible, and without which the web will be unable to go live .. little things like photographs and text. No small feat. So .. I've once again changed the blue text over on the right to reflect my personal reality. There is little chance I'll be able to (1) decide which pieces get to go up (2) photograph them all if I haven't already (3) create the descriptions and all the extra boxes if alternatives within a piece are available (4) create the text for the About Me, Customer Service, and other necessary pages just off the cuff - even if the completed web were presented to me tomorrow. For your typical Type A personality, this stuff takes time! It needs to percolate. I should be working on it now, but then who would make all the jewelry?!? It's times like this that some really cool Star Trek type cloning machine would come in handy. I've mentioned this need before, haven't I?

Alas, there is no such machine and only so many hours in the day. I know from watching the process when my husband went through it for the new Frederic Remington Art Museum web site over a year and a half ago .. there's a lotta back n forth communication - is this right, can we do it this way instead, please change this and, oh, is it possible to ...... etc, etc, etc. And since it's your livelihood, you want it to be right. I'm thinkin' the time for all that has passed this year, and it won't come around again until after the show season has ended around Christmas time. I'm hoping my thyroid hormone levels will have been under control for a while by then and I won't feel an overwhelming need to sleep the winter months away as I did this winter. Funny how a single little body part can have such a stunning affect on one's life .. then again, I guess there are other more troublesome body parts than one's thyroid. And I guess that's 'nuff said!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Catchin' Up, Part II

These are two remaining leaves of the four I posted November 24 before I'd fired them .. I'll almost be sorry to sell them (almost) as I've been wearing them all winter. But soon (very soon, I hope!!) it'll be time to harvest some new leaves!! My friend Mary Ann Evans and I are going to collaborate on some ceramic leaves this year, too (at least that's the plan). Mare is a potter, and I'd point you to her website if she had one, but she's too busy makin' stuff to bother; and as she's got an awesome studio/living quarters right on the highway up here, she's got maximum visibility, so is probably doin' just fine without one. She'll supply the clay, I'll make the leaves, she'll apply glaze(s) and fire them, I'll finish them with leather cord or rattail .. or sterling. Who knows. Sometimes you just have to wait to see where the piece leads ya. Can't wait!

This was made by request for a customer who had originally provided her own beads from a bracelet that had belonged to her mother. She'd seen one of my herringbone weave bracelets and wondered if I could make one with her beads .. she thought they were lapis. Turns out they were a pretty cool glass imitation. So I gave her a couple choices, as her beads were only about 7mm or 7.5mm - kinda small for this weave: I could make a very delicate version with her beads - there were 15 of them, so plenty for the task, or I could find some lapis in an 8mm bead and make the bracelet out of those. She chose the latter, and I found some "denim lapis" (a lighter version) and whipped it up in time to deliver it to her at a March 29 pearl knotting class of mine she was attending. Though there was some sentimental value to her beads, she really just wanted something to wear with blue jeans .. and she's still got the beads if she decides to do something else with them.

This is another version of "Pearls with Attitude", which have become very popular. All the charm, charisma and class of pearls ... with a little Ooooomph! (And you can always wear the clasp in the back if you want). These were freshly knotted just before I took the photo, which explains why they're a little hinky on the left side. I don't use a jig for those clasps, so every one is a little different. This one is attached to a strand of Oceanic Blue Pearls .. if you're reading this on the blog and not in an email, you can click the pic to see them up close. They're a gorgeous color .. and I think this is the last strand of them I have (I'd buy another dozen if they were still available).

This little gem is yet another type of bangle, this one uses Swarovski cream rose pearls for an incredibly elegant look! I was amazed when it was completed. I immediately went hunting for other beads that size to see if I could make one with stones ... it took about 120 of the little buggers, so it would tend to be a bit more pricey if made with peridot, smokey quartz, turquoise or some other spectacularly colored bead. But I may have to try one or two, just to see. In the interim, I may make another one with pearls .. this one fits me perfectly, which means it won't fit about half the population of jewelry buyers. It looks so good on gold, I may even do gold again!

I'm still waiting for the return of my The Wild Inside stamp, which I sent back to the company who made it for a replacement. For some reason the bottoms of the letters T H and E were deteriorating, and the W in Wild was beginning to disappear as well, so that all my tags were starting to look like I wasn't hitting the stamp hard enough to make an impression. They couldn't figure it out, so I've got a new one on its way. I've got a pile of new stuff waiting for jewelry tags, including this piece.

We interrupt this program ..

Yes, I have a few more jewelry images to post, but I wanted to point you to a relatively new site .. not a whole lot going on there, but the concept is one dear to my heart:

I Took The Handmade Pledge!

Click on the "Why Buy Handmade" link on the right of their home page for more information and a ton of great links.

OK, I'm done here.

Catchin' Up

It's been awhile, I know. Sorry for the extraordinary gap, but between thyroidal madness and some bugs that snuck into my laptop, it's been difficult to get out here. Got a few new posts for you though, so here we go ..

First and foremost, I must tell you that at the end of February, the woman for whom I'd repaired a bracelet (see The Dark Side of a Sole-Proprietorship) came through with a check! On one hand ya could've blown me over with a whisper when it arrived, I was so surprised; on the other hand, it confirmed my belief that she just finally got around to sittin' down, writing the check and dropping it in the mail. It made me feel a whole lot better .. especially since I've had a couple of additional opportunities since then to send a package prior to receiving payment for it. I'm still inclined to believe Bruce Baker may be right to trust in people that way.

OK .. new jewelry .. sorta. This is a turquoise version of the olive caged and coiled bracelet I included here a few posts down. They're real eye-catchers. I still plan on making some additional colors, but it's creatively refreshing to break away to something else ... in between.

And here's a little bit of the "in between" .. three more fibulas. I apologize for the slightly out of focus images, but I took about 15 shots of each of the three and still couldn't get a clear, crisp photograph. I think I may have just been away from the camera a bit too long!

This one, which I call Gold Coast (the name just bubbled up from inside my cranium .. no idea where it came from), is downright opulent!! I got a little wild with the clasp this time and added that fancy wire wrap to spice it up a bit. The lentil and donut shaped beads are handmade lampwork glass, the pale brown nugget is smokey quartz. I call those three large connectors "garage door springs" . This picture doesn't give you a straight on perspective so you can see the "spring" aspect, but trust me, they look just like industrial springs. And they're pretty darn sturdy. I've previously used them as a base for bulky (i.e. heavy) charm bracelets, where they can't really be seen very well because they're smothered in beads. This is the first time I've used 'em right out there in the open. This version is a little bit too big for me and would probably fit a 6.25" to 6.75" wrist. I'm thinking of doing another with a lighter gauge wire. Oh, and there are earrings to match the lentil bead (which is about 15mm round) .. they're very light weight.

I've got more, but as my internet connection is dial-up, I'm sensitive to others in the same situation .. and for those who have subscribed to receive new posts via email, I know how long it takes for all those images to load. So I'll include the rest in another post.