Wednesday, April 30, 2014

My Studio ... Teeny Tiny and in need of an 'upgrade'

I am not a big fan of the business side of my Etsy shop.  Yes, I can do it, yes I can research ways to "get traffic", yes I will even watch many many videos and read on what to do.  But, it's not what I love about it.  It's sort of a necessary evil -- like having to reload the copy machine in an office environment.  It has to be done, but no one wants to do it.

Since I reopened the Etsy shop a couple of years ago -- I have been working diligently to not only focus on the business aspect of the shop -- with attention to innovative marketing and learning the most I can about photography.  But, what I want to do is create. 

It's a bit ironic, actually -- my entire career has focused on different ways to communicate, in a business oriented way.  Which is odd, considering, that's the part I have to force myself to do now.  I much prefer even looking for fun packaging materials that will make the customer really feel like they are getting a special gift from a dear friend -- than I do working what really honestly used to be my actual job.

Enter my studio -- it's tiny right now.  Sure I have a fabulous variety of gemstones and enjoy most of all hammering metals (it's visceral, like a form of anger management) -- but I just don't have the space to use my blow torch, or really hammer things. 

Enter the house my husband is looking at.  It's modest, to be sure, but has a large plot of land for the city area we live, and it has a wonderful little nearly finished "shed" type thing in the back yard.  That one item (even if I do not set up the "extra room" as an office) will set me up with triple the amount of work-space I currently have now.  It's exciting, and excruciating waiting to see if closing will come through (we are working for a VA loan, which is not a lot of fun right now.

The hubby and I find ourselves checking out the house on a nearly daily basis -- just sort of a drive by (It's close to a Lowes, so we look forward to doing a few things ourselves).  We've never bought a house before -- and even though it's modest, we look forward to having space to not have to fight over areas he can do his work and I can do my hammering. 

I also look forward to the implications of hammering, soldering and playing with tarnishing materials outside in the open air 'shed'.  It's so very, very hard to wait -- and I can't wait to show you the process of setting up my new 'studio' areas.  Plus -- there are older fruit trees we are hoping produce fruit so that I can show you some super fun "homesteading" I have learned here in the apartment that also serves as the studio.


Green Opal Heart Earrings -- For Spring, Mother's Day or Summer

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Fresh Greens for Spring

I have been going to this great visualization class -- where we have to describe things that are calming to us.   For some it's the ocean, for some that majestic mountain that dominates our skyline on clear days:  Mt Rainier.

For me it is dew drops on blades of glass, and of course rocks.  I just love rocks -- hence the gemstone jewelry.

This treasury by SasasHandcrafts  totally put me in my happy place: 

Fresh Greens

Friday, April 11, 2014

It's a Spring Sale, but it's something more...

Currently, My Etsy Shop is having a "Spring Sale" -- boasting 25% off every item in the shop.  It's pretty exciting. 

I've locked my 'packaging' up in air tight containers -- in case any of my lovely customers have as much trouble with the heavy pollen years (like this year) as I do.  This was taken last year -- this year we are more heavily in bloom, thank you allergy medication for making life bearable to enjoy the season.

But there is a reason behind just Spring Time here -- hopefully we are moving to a larger studio space next month, and to do that,  I am discounting the shop so that I have an easier time of moving. 

Let's be honest -- I am a pretty prolific creator right now, there are literally hundreds of items in my shop.  Yes, each one is made by me, personally.  Which means in my now tiny studio, there is limited space for both the finished products and the "parts".

That is a super horrible photo of a fraction of my gemstones -- yes I do keep them color coded like that, and since that is a while ago I have about a half dozen more of those tiny little organization containers.  Now, however, I have them separated by gemstones, glass, crystal and pearls -- but all still color coded.

Another bad picture -- clearly I have to refinish my desk prior to the move (am hoping to convince hubby to get me a new "set up")  but those are a fraction of the strands I barely have the space to even get into.  Look at those Placid Blue pearls I can barely think of touching.  Sigh.

I know, I know it seems selfish -- I am putting all the items on sale so that I can work more items, lol.   But, I figured also (probably not the best business acumen here, but it is my shop after all) hey, it's almost mother's day -- and if I had the space, I could finally finish some of those personalized necklaces I have been jonesing to create.

Soon, I can only say soon. 

Happy Spring -- and happy shopping.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Digging this Purple Haze of Radiant Orchid

Orchid. Radiant.  by VaidaP

It's the wonderful femininity of this treasury that really strikes me.  It's vibrant and soft all at once.  And to be honest, I personally would love getting any number of these items on Mother's Day.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Field Trip -- Outside the Scope of the Shop

Yesterday morning I checked my email.  I often leave one day a weekend off from checking my email -- to sort of unplug.  I prefer to leave two days off and take a whole weekend with the family -- but sometimes I also want to get things in the mail on Saturdays so that Mondays in the shop are not completely nuts.

They usually are anyhow.  Inevitably, I am out of coffee or creamer come bright and early Monday mornings -- and getting the kiddos moving for school is often a trial.  But, between the "don't take forever in the shower" to one kid and the "make sure you have your homework packed up" to the others,  I managed to get a bit of email read.

So I had an email from an instructor in a Veteran's Writing class I am taking (love this class by the way) asking if I wanted to go to a special screening of a movie about to come out -- Dom Hemingway.  Hubby and I used to love going to movies together -- before the diapers, bottles of milk and need for baby sitters. We just haven't been able to do that for a long, long time.

So I showed hubby the previews online -- and he was very much into it, being the movie buff he is.  Since we're trying to get a house (with a bigger studio for the shop, no doubt) we've been kind of living cheaper than normal as it were.  So the chance to take hubby to a "free" movie, as a date -- total bonus and something that kind of needed to happen. 

It was tough getting up there (we live south of Seattle -- and getting around downtown is sometimes trial and error for us, even with the genius of Siri yelling at me constantly the whole way up there).  It was even tougher when at the golden hour I had to drive right past the turn to my favorite all time bead shop -- Fusion Beads.  (Seriously, check out their website and inspiration pages at -- those folks there are amazing and provide that touch of personal service that is perfect and not overwhelmingly geared toward the sale).  I almost cried passing it by for the move -- as hubby tried to convince me it was no longer open for the evening.

Like I didn't know.

We barely made it in time for the movie -- having to drive around the block a few times to find parking, with Siri telling me I was doing it all wrong and passing my destination about half a dozen times.  Once we were seated -- it was even more hilarious as I realized that maybe I should have turned off the kids' phone restrictions, originally set up for homework time.   Sometimes I am literally brilliant, I say.

It was an interesting experience, to say the least. 

We were (or at least I was) worrying most of the way through the movie if our car was going to be locked up or towed while we were watching the free movie.  I was nearly certain it was going to be the most expensive "free movie" in the history of the world.  Luckily our car was there -- and not locked up.  We got home and bolted to all the kids rooms making sure they were okay, since as we pulled in, both hubby and I had a little heart attack seeing both an ambulance and fire truck in the parking area of our apartment.

Needless to say, I did not get done what I needed to in the shop yesterday -- which should be a sign for me.  I spend a lot of time working all the parts of this shop, the design, the photos (I hate trying to get the backgrounds just right) the marketing, etc., it's a lot more work than I realized -- that taking a few hours to go on a date with hubby set me back what feels like a whole day.

Maybe when we decide to get a place with a bigger studio space -- maybe that will make it easier to turn off for the evenings.  It's funny, really, I am just as much a work-a-holic running my own shop as I ever was working outside of this creative business.

Maybe I need to slow down a bit more often.

Teal Blue Glass Flower Earrings in Oxidized Sterling Silver