Friday, November 15, 2013

It's A Beautiful Day Today

Life is FULL of surprises each and every day. You just got to know where to look for them I guess. Sometimes we can just wake up and know that this day is going to be "Awesome." I walked out my front door this morning to a bright and sunny day. Leaves were falling off the tree and an old familiar breeze was in the air. It was the breeze of an autumn day. The days I remember as a child. It just opened my mind to memories of the past. Good memories!

 It's been such a long time since I've had a good memory that this one came as a surprise and it was wonderful. Instant smile on my face as I remember playing in the leaves as a kid. Laughing, kicking leaves all over the place. I couldn't stop now. I had to kick leaves! I'm 50 years old and I'm outside kicking leaves. Did I care? No way!! There's nothing wrong with that inner child coming out of you in the midst of the storms we face as an adult. I think sometimes it's a gift from God. A distraction of everyday life and the struggles we face.

Whatever it was, it restored my soul just a little bit. It picked up a piece of this broken heart and placed it where it should be. Little by little, I'm healing. Little by little, I'm gaining strength. As long as I move forward, I will continue to heal. Moving backwards is not an option anymore. It's gone, history, See ya, and goodbye!

So to celebrate falling leaves everywhere, let me share some of my handmade leaves and what I created with the leaves in mind. The leaves I used in the bracelet below were Czech beads. I want to make another one using mine but this is the idea at least.
Now don't those make you smile?
You can find those on my etsy store if you click here.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Well hello! It's been such a long time....

I love to blog, really I do. I just can't seem to remember to do it often. I've been looking at my past posts and wondered what happened? I guess the simplest term would be, "Life." There really isn't any other excuse.
I am back on track and ready to rumble.
My first post of the year (haha it's November) would be to talk about handmade items. I've been having a lot of similar conversations with fellow beadmakers and jewelry designers. We are artists that are sick and tired of mass-produced items. It's frustrating when this is your only job right now and when bills can't be paid, it's also depressing. But a lot of that frustration can be changed. It's all in perspective. They say that success is 99% attitude and I'm starting to believe that.
I figured that we can never get rid of mass produced items so now we just have to learn ways to get around it. Here's some ideas....
1. Add artisian made to your listings. A lot of times customers will  put artisian in the search box.

2. Make your listing stand out. Use words that you would use in order to look for something.

3. Check out what other artists that have beads and jewelry on the same site. See how they word their products. Sometimes they put things in there that you would have never thought of.

4. Be creative in your description. I know that Etsy says you should tell a story about the item you made but sometimes that's hard to do. Let your piece speak to your heart and share that.

5. Keywords are important. List shape, colors, sizes, and everything else you can think of while looking at your work. Alot of people are looking for a certain color or shape so get those in there so they can find you!!

Here's some goodies for the night. Now tell "me" how would you describe it? Look at the shapes, the contrasting seed beads, the copper beads to tie it all together.....It's easy one you get the hang of it

Yellow Turquoise n Copper Bracelet.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Turn to the left or the right?

Mama G's Bead Release is in the house!! Yes, we finally took the plunge and started our own bead release. It feels wonderful btw!!!
This bead release is wonderful too. I was a die hard Fusion user. I loved that stuff. There was one drawback however. Getting the beads off the mandrel was a pain in the ______(Insert your own word.) I would always have to use pliers on the mandrel. ALWAYS! Didn't matter what size mandrel I used. Then of course the pressure I would put on the pliers always bent my mandrels. Oh yea, I'd still use the little buggers but of course, then I'd have beads that wouldn't come off the mandrel because of the bent part. I am so bad at throwing mandrels out and so I'd do whatever I had to do to strengthen back up. Yea that worked. Sure it did! Most of the time, I took a hammer to the mandrel to get beads off or to get it straight. No it didn't work!
So off to the trash can they went.
Mandrels aren't expensive. It shouldn't have been a big deal but it was. More frustration than anything.

This new bead release eliminates that. They come of the mandrel with a slight turn of the wrist on the mandrel (without a pair of pliers on the bigger sizes) and they don't even have to soak at all. Cleaning is a breeze too! So forget all the other jars of bead release I have. This is the one that's for me, created by me and hopefully by you too! I never, ever thought I would ever find a release better than fusion. To my surprise, it was my own that somehow worked!

How great is that?

Wanna see the logo?

Isn't it cool?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Weekend is Done!

Mom's doing better today! That's the greatest news ever.
I will be working on some new Val Cox Frit's tonight (hopefully) and getting the bulk buy done tonight.
I have some new Bullseye colors coming in this week so I'm excited to see the new color and to play a bit with it.
I'll share pics here when I do.
This is my last week in school. I have only one more final on Thursday and Tuesday is the day we get information for the "National Registry" test.
There's also an opening at the hospital in the ER so I'm about to go apply there as well. I hope everything works out because it would be nice to have something good happen once and awhile
Hope you all had a great weekend!

Life, Work and All Things That Drive Us Crazy

It's been a long time since I've blogged but there's so much going on and thought I'd share today. So much going on in my head about the future. Not only for me but my family life as well.

My mom was admitted into the hospital today for CHF. She's very frail and I'm not sure how this is going to turn out. I will be seeing her tomorrow. I also have finals this week and have been enduring quite a bit of stress from my son's wedding plans and dealing with one of my sister's cancer. It's all becoming a bit overwhelming right now and just holding on to my sanity is going to be hard enough. I can't work, sleep or eat and I don't want the business to suffer.

Being a one person business is wonderful, don't get me wrong but the truth is, my sale prices are not as good as larger distributors. It's like your main grocery store vs. Walmart. So that's got me thinking about the future of our store. I am now offering it for sale for someone that might want to take it over. Of course there will be a selection process as I need to make sure that the person who takes it over will be as dedicated to it as I have been for almost four years. You wouldn't only be gaining a "Name" but the reputation of the store and that means more than anything!
This job is my passion and it's my life but the passion has been dwindling. I'm tired and although it has grown so much, it's not enough to sustain me. This is why I'm in the ER program..just in case. I'll be sad to let it go and who knows, if I can't find a buyer and I do have outside work, I'll have glass to last me a lifetime or when a major earthquake hits. Yea, I still have some humor left! The next few months will hopefully tell me where I need to be. If it's here, I'll gladly stay here. If it's somewhere else, than I'll have to learn to let go. And that's the hardest part!
Contact me if your interested!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Reichenbach again

Okay. All Products are online. Most of the product prices didn't change. One or two changed more then I wanted to like the Pinks...but everything else was under $1.00
I crunched numbers for 2 hours and I'm happy with how it worked out. Hope you will be too!!!

Reichenbach Price Increase

It had to happen but I'm going to try and do what I can to keep the prices down. This is why I took Reichenbach off site for a little time.
I've been selling the Reichbach 104 line and the 96 COE line for exactly what you'd pay if you went to the main distributor of this glass which is Olympic Color Rods.
I've just taken the prices from their site and then divided it into pounds instead of Kg.
1 Kg of glass is equal to 2.2 lbs. So if glass costs (for example) $15 per bundle and I bought 4 bundles that would cost me $60.00. Divide that by 2.2 lbs which is 27.27 and then by pound and then by 4 for each quarter pound which ends up to be around $6.80.
I've been told by a few people that I am undercutting other vendors. Some are charging about $8.00 for only 2 oz which of course is half of the 1/4 lb while others are charging $3-$4.50 per rod which when added to a 1/4 lb is somewhere between $20-$22 per 1/4 lb. That would make the glass almost as expensive as silver glass!
So my job is to consider their prices and try and keep mine low without really hurting them as well. They have their reasons for pricing their glass the way they do and I do too. I wasn't really making money selling it for what I was and so I need to raise the prices a bit to make it okay for you guys but also to not undercut other vendors. My prices will not be much more then what Olympic sells it for but I have to add in shipping (which I've never done before) and keep myself out of the red when selling this particular glass. YOU MIGHT NOT EVEN SEE A CHANGE IN SOME COLORS AND A SLIGHT CHANGE IN THE REST. TRUST ME, IT'S NOT GOING TO BE A HUGE HIKE. I JUST NEED TO RUN SOME FIGURES AND THEN GO FROM THERE. IT WON'T BE PAINFUL...I PROMISE!
The popularity of these colors are also adding to the price on the distributor end so I have to go with how they go as well.
So anyways, that's the scoop and hope to have this done tonite. I will have the glass listed tonite as well. It's already up there but now I just need to add inventory that is arriving sometime tomorrow.
Thank you all for your continued support and just being great customers all around!