Angel Inspired

Back in May I was able to get two bracelets into the Loretto Chapel gift shop. I was really excited. This little gift shop is located in the premier Loretto Hotel, in the heart of Santa Fe, New Mexico. It’s always good to know there are angels helping us see the light in ourselves. If your ever in the area . . .

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To craft fair, or not to craft fair? How to bust ass and make 7 cents an hour.

To craft fair, or not to craft fair? How to bust ass and make 7 cents an hour.

The craft fair I attended this weekend was a flop. After a week of organizing, sorting, and making new merchandise, over 100 items, I was so ready to sell some stuff. I also had to buy a tent and a table. My awesome brother had weights for the tent and had a table to spare. Some craft fairs will loan out tables, but this was an outdoor event, so we had to BOOT (bring our own tents.)

It was sort of an “enter at your own risk” event. It was a first timer for the group that organized the craft fair and weather here is always unpredictable during monsoon season. It could be flooding two miles away and be completely sunny where we were. The craft fair was about an hour from home and set up time was at 7:00. I woke up at 5:00 a.m., was ready at six, and my help (bro, bro’s partner, and sis) were ready to go around 6:40. Bless those that agree to help a crazy crafter in the morning, for she ain’t no saint.

We arrived at this gargantuous, (yes, I no speak English well right now) worship mother ship, place out in the middle of nowheresville. The view was amazing. My brother met my sis and me there to help us set up the tent. Quick aside, there should totally be a brother’s day on the calendar. It was just me and another vendor setting up along with the woman who organized the fair. Hmm, just us two, I wondered. Scary.

I greeted the woman in charge, did some paperwork, and confirmed my donation of one item, a pair of earrings, for a silent auction. I never found out if any of the thirty people that actually came to shop at the craft fair did any bidding at all for the auction.

Yeah, you read that last sentence correctly. I think there were about thirty people in the four and half hours of the event that actually came to shop. I think about ten of those thirty people stopped by my table. One bought a pair of earrings.

A pair of ten dollar earrings.

There is something to learn here. Only do craft fairs that you know have good turn outs and that are at great locations that a lot of people in your city/state are familiar with. Don’t go too cheap, either. Find a middle ground if you can’t front $200 for a weekend event. Shoot for one somewhere between $50 and $100. Make sure that those organizing the event at least put out roadside signs announcing that there is a craft fair happening. Signs help.

This is my set up:

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Not very fancy, but I’ve busted ass to get it to look this decent. My brother made the larger earring displays and geisha table runner for me.

This was the incredible view of the Sandia mountain range from my makeshift storefront:

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The storm clouds went around us. Too bad there wasn’t like a thousand people shopping, because the weather was awesome.

These are the earrings I sold:

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In the end it’s those that always find time to help and support me, like my brother, his partner, and my sister that matter most. Like one vendor said yesterday, “I love making tutus! My daughter is my inspiration.”

That’s what I’m talking about. Peace out.

Easter and other written wordaerobics.

I was reading some bios on the freebie jewelry projects I get from an online blog and was turned off by how heavy it was with artist self-aggrandizement.

“I like an urban tribal look. As manufacturers started coming out with more and more interesting materials and chains, I responded and started incorporating them into my seed bead work. As an art form, there is a very feminine aspect to Steampunk, as well. Even with the growing interest in Gothic and vampiric ephemera, Steampunk is there in the shadows — no pun intended!”

Bla bla, bla bla, bla. And what the bleepety bleep is “urban tribal?” (Yeah, yeah, I know, and what the hell is bleepety bleep?) And this person’s jewelry prices are in the hundreds, upwards of six hundred dollars, to be exact. Six hundred? Am I missing something? Beadwoven Steampunk jewelry? Hey, I like Steampunk jewelry. But get real! Are you paying for the name? I like my name, but it ain’t that special!

I solemnly swear, and everyone who reads this post is my witness, that I will never get so freakishly serious about my craft that I feel the need to convince people that my jewelry is so special, I have to charge so much that you feel like a Hollywood celebrity when you wear it. I charge what the piece is worth, plus a little extra for my time. If you buy it, then that tells me that you like it, and that’s good enough for me.

On a different note, happy Easter! Despite all the political craziness and all the militant PC’s out there trying to bust everything worth celebrating, I still call it Easter. So, happy Easter!

I celebrated by creating this very, complex, wire-wrapped piece that incorporates new-found objects in the shape of bunny rabbits and glass beads. I feed my need to bead by mixing my metals, which I consider to be a fascinating technique that requires a refined crafting palette in order so as never to mix the wrong two metals with the wrong new-found objects. (Ha, ha, couldn’t help myself.)

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I used silver-plated pewter bunnies,

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freshwater pearls,

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sterling silver,

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czech glass beads,

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silver beads, and a sterling silver lobster clasp.

A Happy Customer

I’m very lucky. Today I sold a very special bracelet to a special customer who sounds like he will be getting a lot of use out of it! I included some dark chocolate covered goodies with my delivery!

This bracelet was one that I made some time back. I added two extra beaded beads to adjust the length. It has jade-colored faceted glass rectangle beads and swarovski crystals. The beaded beads have died magnesite, faceted, fire-polished glass beads, and seed beads.    I hope my customer enjoys this piece!

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