Monday, August 30, 2010

Preparing for an Outdoor Show

I am preparing for my first outdoor show of the 2010 fall season! I will be at the 9th Annual Art Walk and Parade in Wilmington, NC on Saturday, September 11 (10:00am - 5:00pm). If you are in the area, please come by and say "Hi!"

Lots of stress and brainstorming for ideas on how to set up the tent display. Especially when you don't know where your assigned booth location will be or tent orientation. I've done several outdoor and indoor shows and I haven't set up the same for any of them. There is always something to cause a change in setup - perhaps a change in the size of the booth space, location, orientation, etc.

One task I do is to photograph my jewelry on displays to remind me where each item is to be placed. I didn't do this one time, got all of my jewelry set up and found that I had some empty slots. I had a moment of uncertainty - had I left some pieces at home, lost or misplaced some of them, or had I just put more items on a display?

Also I create a grid layout for many possible tent setups, print it and bring along so that I can quickly determine which would fit the situation.

The hardest part of preparing is the physical task of getting everything packed in the car! Start out with an empty car - I took out the 2 back seats to get as much space as possible.

AND .... fit all this stuff in - a tent with canvas, tent weights, 4-5 tables ranging in sizes (6ft, 5ft, 4ft), table risers, a chair, rubber flooring, step stool, table cloths/sheets, banner, bungee cords, jewelry displays, jewelry inventory, and miscellaneous items for actual sales (business cards, inventory list, signage, packaging, receipts, cash, change...). Plus, this time I have beach stuff to pack to since I will be spending a week prior to the show at Sunset Beach - more packing...

Friday, August 27, 2010


Blues and greens are a couple of my favorite colors! I just added these pretties to my growing collection of jewelry components. These are from my favorite NC local seller of artisan glass - Giggleworks Glass Bead Studio by BlueJeanGirlNC - who is also an active member of the Raleigh Jewelry Making Meetup Group.

The first two pics are reminiscent of our North Carolina beaches.

I can't wait to make designs around these! What should they be? Rings, pendants, bracelets...?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Jewelry Metal Preferences (POLL)

Just posted a poll to help me gauge interest for types of metal in jewelry. Please take a few minutes to complete the poll which is located on the right-hand side of this blog - you can vote for up to 3 choices. Thanks!

Monday, August 23, 2010

What's Growing in Your Garden?

Went out the door this morning and noticed I am still getting blooms in my "English" type flower garden. (I have a very small garden, 10ft x 10ft - so I cram lots of flowers in that small space so it does look like the English gardens I have seen in my past travels.)

Even with the unseasonably hot weather, my garden seems to be "weathering" it. I haven't watered the garden this year and have relied on the few rain showers we have had recently to revive the blooms. My favorite is the gardenia - love it's own brand of heady perfume.

And, I only do perennials or those that re-seed themselves - I have no patience to plant each and every spring or fall.

My garden includes a hardy hybiscus, red roses, yellow roses, gardenias, peonies, love-in-the-mist, bluebells, sedum, day lilies, calla lilies, hydrangea, and the mailbox flower (clematis).

What grows in your garden???

Friday, August 6, 2010

Locket Making

Continuing my progression into metalsmithing, 3 weeks ago I started a 6-week course in using the hydraulic press.

This class introduces you to making dimensional jewelry by forming metal into puffed shapes using matrix die-cut forms and the hydraulic press. Our project was to make a locket or hollow form pendant. I opted for the more challenging project - a locket.

In addition to learning how to make the metal forms, we would also learn how to rivet set a stone to a domed piece and how to tube rivet to connect together the locket halves.

Along the way we also cut a 1/8 inch wide silver bezel to make 2 very thin bezels (half of 1/8 inch), embellish the bezels (make very tiny cuts in the bezel) and to recover from a stone falling out of the finished setting.

After my first session, I stayed in the studio and made 6 pairs of copper pressed forms - it was very addicting! I even purchased the matrix die-cuts that evening from BananaNan. I now have several more pieces in different stages, including a pair of oval copper and sterling earrings.

So what do you think? BTW, if you are interested, I have a Facebook photo album that chronicles the locket process.