New custom orders listings

As of this morning, I’ve posted two new custom orders listings on Etsy.

These custom orders listings can be found here and here, and are for sets of six pairs of earrings in my Azshara and Quel’Danas styles, primarily designed for brides to buy for their bridesmaids as gifts.  The prices are significantly cheaper than they would be to buy the earrings individually, at $40 for a set of six and $35 for a set of six respectively as custom orders.  Regularly on Etsy, you’d be paying about $45 or $40 respectively for these earrings, plus shipping for them.

It’s the first time I’ve listed custom orders specifically as custom, made-to-order pieces that haven’t been pre-commissioned (as in the case of the pair of Lady’s Ransom bracelets I made for a friend, or a single pair of custom-ordered Azshara earrings).  We’ll see how this goes.

Back to the jewelry crafting (say what?!)

It’s been a while since I said anything about anything–my bad, because I’ve been channeling my creativity into writing rather than crafting.  That streak snapped yesterday, when I created this piece (which went up on Etsy today):

I’ll probably poke around with some more jewelry today and list some more items as well. I made a pair of opaline (clear sea glass) bracelets that need to go up on Etsy this morning as well.

New mannequin, huzzah!

I picked up a new mannequin, since a place was getting rid of theirs.  It’s approximately a size 10 or 12, but it’ll work for my purposes.  It also fits on the stand for my dress form, which means I can at least take pictures with the mannequin before I make a dedicated base for it.

As a result, I’ve updated some of my Etsy listings with a few new photos.

Productive Monday…on the business/technical end of things

Been wandering around the blogosphere today and learning new things about doing business on the internet, especially through Etsy and other electronic media.  I finally (finally!) managed to get a fan page set up for Jude’s Chest on Facebook — it only took about three attempts at different times to get it sorted out, right?  The important thing is that it’s up now and I’m elated.  Now if I can get my Etsy listings to post there as well as to my personal Facebook…

Well.  We’ll see what happens.

Posted two new listings on Etsy today!  Necklaces both.  I also renewed the listing for the first Dragon’s Heart pendant.

There’s also a new like button on the Jude’s Chest main page as well as a shop preview on the main page.  I’ll be looking into advertising opportunities in the next few weeks, in between (hopefully) putting the finishing touches on and then defending my Master’s thesis.  It will be good to get that out of the way.

Another show, another bust

Well, I didn’t do as well at the Crafter’s Clearance as I’d hoped — a lot of foot traffic, a lot of folks picking up business cards, but not a lot of sales.  The sales I did make tended to be very small ones.  I made back my investment for the show and not much else.  Kind of depressing to think about, once you get right down to it, because I was counting on this show to be a big one for me.  I was told by one of the crafters near me that the Christmas show hosted at Henry Ford II was an even better show and he did sales like crazy at that show.

I did get invited to a few more shows and I’ll have to consider whether or not they’re worth the investment in time and money before I commit.  This would make three of the four shows that I’ve done barely worth my time to go to them.  Either I’ve been picking the wrong shows, or I need to change my tactics somehow.  I’ve been told it’s not my product that’s the problem (which really is reassuring, believe me).  So we’ll see what happens.  It’s early in the year.  Of course, early in the year means a cash crunch, as always!  I have plenty of inventory on hand, though, and a decent supply of raw materials.  After I’ve escaped thesis-induced hell, I’ll get back to my crafting.  I’ll have time to get back to my crafting!

Workshops, works in progress, and upcoming show update

So, I finally heard back from the instrumental music boosters organization at Henry Ford II High School in Sterling Heights, MI, and I’ve been accepted into their Crafter’s Clearance coming up in February.  I’m actually very excited because I’m still sitting on a lot of product from last year’s shows, which were pretty abysmal except for the festival at Grand Valley State.  This show looks like it might have a lot of promise, so I’m guardedly optimistic about my prospects.

As a result of getting into this show, however, I needed to take some work-in-progress and me-at-work photos so I can have them on me (basically to prove that I made what I’ve got with me in case someone challenges me about it).  I, of course, have never bothered taking any pictures like that, and any pictures taken of me while sewing back during my college days are completely lost somewhere in the maelstrom that is my bedroom or in the deepest, darkest depths of the internet.

So, my brother having disappeared from my workspace so I couldn’t corral him into taking the pictures, I found a way to set up my camera to take some shots while I was working.  Let me tell you, it’s wasn’t that easy!  I did get some passable shots, though.

My tools for my sewing are actually really simple.  I’ve got my dressmaker’s shears, my pinking shears, my dress form (rarely used, to be honest), my Kenmore sewing machine, the iron and the ironing board, pins, the actual materials for the garments and not a whole lot else!  A lot of the work is in the actual seaming of the garment: I try to enclose any raw edges that I can with French seams.

These shots are of another skirt in progress (I started the sewing for it this morning, though I’ve had the pieces cut since at least this past September).  I’m in the ironing process here, preparing first seams to be encased.

And then there’s my workspace–not really much to look at, is it?  It mostly does the job, though.  I do a lot of my cutting upstairs becasue there’s ample floor/table space to do it and the lighting is better.  I have some task lighting available in my actual workspace, but for some things, natural light is just better.

Cloaks and capes, oh my!

Finally got new photos and posted my residual cloaks and capes on Etsy — took me long enough, right?

We got a fresh layer of snow on the ground this morning and I had the perfect storm of opportunity: cloudy day, my sister and her boyfriend at the house, and easy access to both my camera and the garb!  So I asked both of them if they’d be willing to model the cloaks outside for me on the patio against the snow and the evergreens along the back fence.  They were good sports overall and helped me out.

The pictures turned out fairly well, but it was pretty cold so I didn’t ask them for much (if I’d been really ambitious, I’d have had Kendall throw on her noble garb and model for me!).

I love this shot so much. It's very Assassin's Creed.

Danny's got broader shoulders than Kendall, so I had to get at least one shot of him in the gray.

Detail shot on the clasp.

This one's our favorite shot between my mom and I.

I don't know why I'm such a big fan of these Assassin's Creed style shots...

Clasp detail shot for the evergreen cloak - flash was on.

Kendall was worried about how the photos turned out. My mother and I agreed they turned out very well.

Both cloaks are up for sale at Etsy.

First Etsy Treasury by me and musings on a new jewelry line

Today, I hit another milestone with Etsy: I created my first treasury, Wired whimsy.  I took some of the shops from my favorites and found others as I simply browsed through Etsy, searching for items that fit into the treasury’s theme, which was wire work.

I made the treasury because I’m feeling too lazy to do real work right about now, which is to say cleaning up and starting on the new jewelry line I’ve been musing over for a few weeks.  I made the first couple pieces at the bust of a craft show I did on December 11.

The collection is inspired by the colors and patterns of Imperial Russia.  All are primarily freshwater pearl works.  It’ll be a very neat collection.  I’ll post pictures of the first few pieces soon.

Christmas gifts ho! (and photos for Miss Trish of trishstuff.com)

So…it seems my sister-in-law is going to be the only one I have to think really hard about with regards to Christmas gifts this year.  I’ve given back to the Etsy community and bought gifts for my brothers and my father all on Etsy, and my mother, sister, and sister-in-law are going to be getting handmade gifts, too–but handmade by me.

My sister, of course, basically picked her own gift without even knowing it.  She said she liked something that I’d just posted on Etsy (and when I say “liked” she said I WANT THIS) but the piece would be too long for her little wrist.

So I made her something else.

My mother…well, I’ve known what I was going to give her for months, so long as the piece didn’t sell at a show.  It hasn’t so I’m going to make her a matching pair of earrings and call it a day.

Sister-in-law…she’ll be an issue.  I have a very vague idea of what to make for her, but I have to talk to my brother first about some things before I make final decisions.  I’ve still got a week and a half.

Finally, that brings me to a vaguely related subject, which involves peridot giftables.  I’d posted Augustine Brilliance on Etsy, which is a peridot piece, and Trish was shocked to see how it looked.  I promised her I’d post pictures of another peridot piece, this one one-of-a-kind (the nuggets I used are no longer available and I don’t have enough to make a second necklace).

And so, with no further adieu, the pictures of the peridot nugget version of “Imperial Arms,” inspired by the arms of the Holy Roman Empire.