Archive | August 2015

Catching up on the Blog

I know it has been quite a while since my last posting – little happening for a while and then really busy.

Houses:
Earlier this year, I decided to use the rest of this year’s 401k allowance and pay off my Roanoke mortgage. It is so nice to be down to one mortgage.

I have relaxed about getting things completed on my Roanoke house, giving me more time to enjoy it and visit friends and places I like around town. Major cleaning is done, except windows, and scrubbing the basement floor. Maybe I can even improve the front landscape, since I have a neighbor minding the it and can keep it watered. The market is still slow, but gradually improving. I will give it a little longer to see where it is this fall.

There had been a tiny leak in my water line in Seneca. It kept getting worse, by about a 1000 gallons more each month. After many trips, much digging, and additions of shut-off valves to identify the problem section, Doug finally found a small lengthwise split in a pipe. As the water pressure built up, it would open and let out a drip, relieving pressure. I also had another round of pipe breaking at joints, and the solution, which seems to be working, is a pressure reduction valve. I miss the incredible water pressure, but I also hated being without water for a few days with every break.

Chain Maille:
No luck in my work being chosen for the magazine, but I’ll submit for future issues.

table view 1

eyeglass leashes, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets

AG table3

other rack, same items

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m a member of Mensa, and the AG (annual gathering) was held in Louisville, KY this year. I attended and even had a table in the Marketplace for the Friday and Saturday that it was open. This is a long-standing tradition to allow members who create things, to display and sell their wares. It is generally a good venue with lots of sales, but you also have to decide not to attend programs, which are generally good. I was happy with the amount I sold, more than 10% of my inventory, and I even got a couple of commissions to send out later.

I had realized there were quite a few jewelry artists, so I started looking for items I could make that were different, I did well with bookmarks, eyeglass leashes, and keychains; not quite so with battery operated candles. I now have a few more ideas for future items, providing I find certain supplies. I was happy with what I used as a display, but am now thinking of improvements, of course. My mother was always looking for a better way to do things, and I learned from her.

AG table2

table view with keychains, bookmarks, and candles

My next commission is for a friend attending her niece’s steampunk wedding this fall. I will make her a pair of handflowers, including some steampunk elements, like small gears. As info, a handflower is a bracelet attached to a decorative element on the back of the hand, ending in a loop around a finger to hold it. Lots of examples that people have done, and I have designed a couple myself. These need to follow a close measurement for each person, so probably will always be commissioned pieces.

lavender handflower

lavender handflower – top goes around finger, bottom around wrist

I am still not too excited about setting up a table at various markets in the area. Maybe Sharon and I can come up with a joint venture for sales. I think my introverted nature makes me reluctant to do sales and meet strangers, I can, but have to force myself.

Products:
I got a Square reader for credit card sales and loved it. This is a well designed app, easy for someone, who is minding the booth while you have lunch, to complete a sale. Of course there is a small fee, but no more than Etsy charges. I am starting to re-think my online sites, may go entirely to my website and leave the Etsy store. First, I need to catch up with taking and posting pictures online. I got way behind while trying to build inventory for the Marketplace. Then I need to study making it a secure site.

I finally tried using Everbright to seal my cleaned copper pieces and prevent darkening as they are worn. It seems to do a good job, as even Sharon has not turned the copper earrings I tested for her. Her chemistry reacts fast, mine does not. Of course, now I have requests for non-treated raw copper for bracelets. I can do either.

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