Beads, Recipes

Looking forward and looking back

I cannot believe 2013 is over and 2014 has begun! What a whirlwind 2013 was—between my family, a very part-time job and the beads (oh the beads!)—I feel like I barely stopped for breath!

Some of the jewellery-making highlights of 2013 include

  • the multitude of blog hops I took part in—they stretched my wings and challenged my muse
  • selling my jewellery at The Handmade Show, a lovely, and local to me, show with a real focus on handmade products
  • starting a Facebook page, which has introduced me to many new people, and of course
  • getting my Etsy shop up and running!

Here are a few of my favourite designs from the last 12 months:

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Sand and sea necklace collage DS

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AJE blue orchid necklace Collage boho owl necklace

Luna Park collage

Dark Heart Necklace collage IMG_6654

turquoise heart collage

I’m going to spend the next few weeks entertaining my kids during our summer holidays, so I don’t think too much jewellery-making is going to happen. But I have a few things to get photographed and uploaded on Etsy, and I want to take some time to play. This is one of my Christmas presents …

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… a set of uppercase, lowercase and numerical stamps, some fun design stamps, a stamping hammer and small metal block! I also got a handful of stamping blanks in brass and copper to play with.

Another project for 2014 is bead making. Mum and I are going to work together on some ceramic beads and pendants. She’s got a new (old) smaller kiln which will allow us to play a bit more easily. I’d also like to play with polymer clay a little bit more, maybe take another class or two. And I’ve taken a few metalwork classes over the last year or so, so I’m looking forward to combining the techniques I’ve learnt, and perhaps add some new ones.

On the business end, I need to work out what markets I would like to do in 2014. It’s probably not going to be as many as I did in the last few months as I am not finding them to be particularly profitable for me. I’ll be doing my best to keep my Etsy shop well stocked too. I’ll make sure to keep everyone up to date with my activities via my Facebook page.

Finally, I’ve got a few blog hops lined up already, starting with the December Art Jewelry Elements Component of the Month, which I will be posting tomorrow. I’m also signed up for several of Lisa Lodge‘s blog hops, starting with the Into the Forest blog hop on 11 January. It’s more than likely that I’ll take part in more than one of Erin Prais-Hintz‘s blog hops as well as Lori Anderson‘s Bead Soup Blog Party. I’ll do as many of the Art Bead Scene monthly challenges as I can. And I’ll keep taking part in swaps over at Bead Swap-USA. So there’ll be plenty to blog about!

Foodwise, I’ll keep posting recipes I come across that I think are worth a mention. It might be once or twice a month, it may be less often. But I did get a lovely stack of cookbooks for Christmas so I’m hoping to find a few keepers!

I’m looking forward to sharing my adventures with you in 2014! In the mean time, Happy New Year!

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Beads, online shop

Open for Business!

Last night I took a big step into the unknown and pressed Publish on my Etsy shop, Boho Bird Jewellery. It’s something that, to be honest, I have been procrastinating about for months. So it was kind of a relief to put it all out there! At the same time, I am really really nervous—will people like my creations enough to actually buy them?

Liss's Etsy Shop

Currently I only have 12 items listed, I’ll be adding to that over the next couple of weeks—I just need to take some more photos. I’ll try to upload new items every week, Please come and visit—after all, there are only 7 weeks left until Christmas!

If you would like to see my work in person, and you live in or around Melbourne, I will be doing several more craft markets between now and mid-December. You can see the list here.

Beads

To market, to market

Well, I survived the school craft market! And it was fun! I sold some jewellery, made a little money, and I got a few compliments on my designs too.

To put it all in context, this market was primarily for school kids, and their accompanying parents. I knew my customers were mostly going to be little girls, aged between 5 and 12. So I decided to make necklaces appealing to girls like my daughters, who are 7 1/2 and almost 6 years old, with mysterious keys, heart-shaped lockets, bright flowers, butterflies, rainbows, fairies and unicorns, cute little critters. I mostly used silver-toned metals, but I also had some antique copper and brass chains and charms. And I had a few wooden pendants with a broader appeal—some surfboards and some tribal-looking pendants.

I ended up selling almost half of the necklaces I made, mostly the silver ones. Some large silver lockets I found on Etsy were the most popular item, which didn’t surprise me.

To tempt the adults, I also made a few things—earrings, the bracelets I featured in this post, and a handful of necklaces in various designs using pendants from Marsha Neal Studio, Humblebeads and White Clover Kiln and Czech beads. I didn’t expect to sell much—I ended up selling two pairs of earrings—but I wasn’t disappointed, as I knew the main customers were going to be the kids. But one customer was very taken with my Día de las Muertos necklace and took my card—maybe I’ll hear from her, maybe I won’t.

So what’s next? Well, there is a monthly handmade market, aptly named The Handmade Show, just around the corner from me. I went and had a look yesterday and there were a few jewellery sellers there, but they do restrict the numbers of each kind of stall so not too many. This particular show is closed over the summer months, but I have made note of the date when applications open for the first show in April next year, and I think I will apply. It’s inexpensive, and, I think, a good starting point for me. I also need to seriously think about opening an Etsy shop—I’ve started the process but I need to pull together some more stock, take some good photos, and start listing. And I need to make a Facebook business page, and perhaps have a small sale there in the run up to Christmas.

In the mean time, if you’re thinking about getting someone something special for Christmas, let me know if I can help!

Beads

The next step

My kids’ school is holding a little craft market in a couple of weeks and I’ve signed up for a stall. So, that means I’ve got about 2 weeks left (!) to make as much jewellery as I possibly can. Eek!

My Mum is making some ceramic Christmas decorations—porcelain snowflakes and birds—as well as some other ceramic bits and pieces to sell at my stall too.

Here’s a sneak peek of the things I’ve been busy making this weekend … bracelets! I made TEN yesterday—those lovely colourful Czech glass ones in the photo below. And there are several with Gaea‘s lovely ceramic beads knotted on leather.

I’ve got loads of earrings too, and will be making more this week, along with some necklaces. I’ve been madly ordering supplies so that I can whip up a bunch of cute necklaces for little girls—rainbows, butterflies, hearts, lockets, mysterious keys and flowers. I’m aiming to spend no more than $2-3 on each one and with luck I can sell them for $10-15. And I’ve started working on how to display everything too.

Oh, and I’ve also come up with a name for my jewellery “business”…

BOHO BIRD JEWELLERY

What do you think? I’m hoping that if I sell some of my designs I might be brave enough to open an online store on Etsy or Madeit, or even sign up for one of the local craft markets—there’s one around the corner from us every month that could be good for a newbie like me.