Monday, 29 November 2010

My new enterprise begins :)

My new enterprise begins...Just ordered my first resin mould and I have my eye on some casting resin...

I've got a target for getting this business off the ground. There's a show I want to exhibit at, next September. I've been there before, visiting, and I think resin jewellery would go down really well with the type of people who go there. The only downside...I've got to have enough stock to fill up 10 feet of frontage, for three days! I've got a million and one ideas, so fingers crossed I'll be able to bring this plan to fruition!

Barry is adamant that I should be exhibiting at Sandringham next year, but I'm not so sure. It's a lot of wedge to part with (over £300), and while it's well attended, the looks on the faces of the stallholders this weekend didn't make it look as if they were doing a roaring trade. People have to spend so much money to get in to the place it seems as if they don't want to spend when they get in there. Perhaps when I've got myself a reputation built up, and a good amount of stock...but until then, I'm going to focus on smaller enterprises. I'm adamant that I'll get to Clutter City, I've been longing to exhibit there for a couple of years now.

I'm hoping that this resin idea will take off, so watch this space!

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Links I'm Obsessed With

This week I've mostly been looking at:

Penny Dog Jewellery - Penny Dog not only has GORGEOUS resin jewellery, but she has fab supplies too and she's one of the first helpful sites I found for creating resin jewellery. She's really original and I love reading her blog and seeing how some of her designs come together. As if all this wasn't enough, she also donates money to the retired greyhounds trust with each sale, a fantastic cause which I feel is truly worth supporting.

I Love Spoilt Pig - Earlier this year I was bought a gorgeous resin pendant from this site, which sparked a faint idea in the back of my head that I'd like to start making resin jewellery alongside the other style I here is my original inspiration for my next project! Spoilt Pig has the funkiest, coolest jewellery that I have ever seen, and I aspire to be able to create as well as this!

Etsy Open Studios - I long to have a studio like some of these places of gorgeousness! I've been mentally designing my studio for years, and when Barry and I got back together and started looking for houses, he promised me I would have one. Of course, now he has started silversmithing, he is intent on sharing it with me. If any jewellery maker that is reading this has a whole day that they can spend entranced with these photographs, click this link!

My new enterprise

Well, it hasn't started yet, but I'm gathering the knowledge and supplies to start making resin jewellery. It's all I think about at the moment, and I've got 101 designs floating around in my head that I can't wait to try out. I feel that this could be really good for my business; it'll be fun jewellery that makes you smile but doesn't cost a packet. I'm also intending to do more gifty things, like Christmas decorations and coasters, but we'll have to see how it goes.

I've tied all this in to my plan to lose weight; two years ago I was 12 stone, having got there from being 18 stone. I got on the scales this morning and found myself at a more than hefty weight of 15 stone 9.5 lbs. So the plan is to get with the programme and lose weight properly, none of this crash dieting rubbish. I know it'll be hard work and take a long time, but I know I'll get there eventually, and I'm quite enjoying it at the moment. So what's the tie in with resin jewellery? Every time I get a certain amount of 'good food' days, I buy myself a mould, or some new beads. That way I've always got a target in sight and I can keep myself going to do the things I really want to do. I have this annoying habit- when I can't eat, I spend; when I can't spend, I eat. This is me trying to get a handle on both my finances and my weight, so we'll see how it goes. It feels good at the moment.

I'm still beavering away at silversmithing class; currently attempting in vain to solder a bail to my setting. It's really not going very well; I thought I had it but then...clink, it's fallen off. Going to attempt it again tomorrow, this time with a more flattened edge to give the solder some more purchase. Which reminds me, I really need to pay the second installment for the course, whoops!

I'm also starting a feature on this blog...I may not have many readers, but those who do read this seem to be fellow jewellery, I'm going to start a weekly 'Links I'm Obsessed With' feature...or maybe monthly, my obsessions are pretty long lasting! These are going to be jewellery related sites that inspire me, or make me drool, or smile, or anything! I'd love some suggestions, but for starters, I'm going to put up the sites I've been looking at most in the past few weeks. The original intention of blogs was to share information about the world we live in through links and stories, so it'll be me using a blog properly for once. I hope it leads to people discovering something new, and maybe giving some very talented people some business.

Time to get started then!

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Life moves along...

All I seem to write here are 'I'm Back!' posts! Okay, I'm a bad, bad blogger. But life is moving at a startling pace, and I find that when I get time to do anything not work related, I find myself asleep instead. I got through another birthday, which actually was lovely- my sister, brother-in-law, boyfriend, mother and I sat and had a massive Indian takeaway and had such a good laugh. Barry bought me two rats and a cage for my birthday; we named them Apple and Crumble and they are so gorgeous :)
I've not been making much jewellery in the grand scheme of things; I did however do a craft fair in my local village which was an unprecedented success, I made £45 after taking off the table fee. I think the fact that my display was better than it had been in previous years was a great help, and that I had a bit more courage to talk about the things I'd made helped to draw people in. I know I was undervaluing my work a lot, but it has helped to get my name out there. There were nit pickers and people that made disparaging comments, but I suppose that is to be expected, and didn't dent my confidence. I was thinking that I'd like to try helping with the organisation of the craft section next year; they took in some of my feedback and it seemed to help greatly with everyone's sales.

Craft fairs are an interesting beast; they can be both the best and worst places to sell at. This is summed up perfectly in A bedtime story for craft stall holders, which Nemea linked to on UKBeaders (w00t, linkfest). Everyone should read this! Even people who don't run stalls, you might spot yourself as one of the customers!

In other jewellery related news, Barry and myself have started a silversmithing course. We both made silver rings in the first few weeks; both of which currently adorn my left hand (what can I say, I'm a magpie!). Barry is clever and textured his, it looks very much like a wood grain effect; I left mine plain. We've now moved onto our own projects; Barry is making a ring box and I'm concentrating on stone setting. One of my classmates fuses glass and whilst I was perving over this box of pretties, he said I could have my favourite. So the one I picked became my first challenge to set. I decided to set in copper because it suited the colours in my cabochon so well (okay, and also that I was too disorganised to order the silver); the first photograph shows post soldering, midway through trimming off the excess. The soldering is very messy I know, but the tutor tells me that silver is easier, so hopefully I'll manage better on my next attempt. I also gave myself a massive bloodblister on the palm of my hand shortly after I took this photo. I'm such an amateur! It took me five failed attempts to solder this piece; the instructor started me off and I managed to do the rest by myself. I did end up feeling like I'd melted most of my face off from the heat. The second photo shows a much tidier looking version; post trimming, mid filing. I slotted the gorgeous cabochon from Simon as CS Creations - his cabs aren't on the site at the moment, but they should be! Stunningly gorgeous. Only one oversight made on my part- I haven't soldered a bail on yet. I was thinking just something simple, along the lines of a loop of copper, I've got plenty of offcuts. Will post more photos when I've been to my next class!

In other news, I'm getting ready to move in with Barry in a couple of months. We've got a gorgeous little one bedroom house in Kings Lynn and are currently saving for a house deposit. I never saw this coming seven months ago; but here it is. There was always something missing from my life after we split up last year; I could never put my finger on it until we saw each other again, as friends. All those old feelings came flooding back, so I rejigged my life so we could be together. And it worked...well, not to say that he doesn't still drives me crazy, and I don't still drive him crazy, but what couple doesn't? We know that now. And he told me that he loves me. I should have known that all along, he showed me every day, but it's amazing how much we have both changed in a year, for the better. He lets me in now, and I don't go crazy paranoid-insecure every five minutes. It works :) Anyway, enough with the emotional faff, we have work to do! Need to try to design a website, stat!