So how does my stuff ship?

Nov - 01 2010 | no comments | By

It’s becoming increasingly clear that when folks are asked to pay $3 for shipping small items such as earrings or bracelets, they want to know how they’re shipped–especially if they’re being shipped in envelopes to keep costs down!  I know that $3-$5 seems like a ton to pay for shipping, but it’s really not when you get right down to the raw numbers.  Most Etsy sellers take a loss on their shipping, it seems (and not just the ones that offer “free” shipping!).

I’m going to be adding more pictures as I take them, but I thought that I should toss an example of how small items such as bracelets, pendants, or earrings from Jude’s Chest will be shipped to buyers.

Small items such as jewelry will be shipped US Postal Service either First Class Mail or First Class Parcel.  This means for even the smallest items, I’m paying about $3.50 at the high end for some pieces in shipping cost alone–that doesn’t include packaging!  Let’s take this item for example, which is a small, Swarovski crystal bracelet for my sister (a gift for her 19th birthday).

The whole package weighed a little under 2 ounces.

Now, in future shipments I’m going to wrap the bubble wrap a little differently than I did in this package in the hopes of keeping the whole shebang under 3/4-inch because then it ships cheaper at the First-Class flat rate rather than at Parcel, which is slightly more expensive.

The envelopes I use are bubble mailers, which means they have a layer of bubble wrap inside the envelope already.  On top of that, I bag the pieces in little gauze bags for the smallest of the small items (Jude’s Tear pendants, all bracelets, and earrings not attached to cards).  Larger items will be wrapped in muslin or other small quantities of cotton fabric or placed in cardboard jewelry boxes lined with cotton batting.  Then these items are wrapped in a square of bubble wrap for extra protection in transit.  After that, everything goes into the envelope (this is for small items that will fit in bubble mailer envelopes.  Other items may actually be boxed, especially multi-piece orders).

Every piece will ship with my business card and cards giving some metaphysical and/or historical information on the stones used in the piece.

When you get right down to it, all of these things, the bubble mailer, the extra bubble wrap, the bags and boxes: they all cost money above and beyond the actual shipping rate per piece, which is already higher than the stated shipping price for some items.  I hope this gives some insight into how I ship and why shipping rates are what they are!

New jewelry collection – Robin Wood Tarot collection

Oct - 29 2010 | no comments | By

I’ve started to put together a brand new collection of jewelry that I’ve been thinking about for a while now: a collection of jewelry inspired by my Tarot deck of choice, the Robin Wood Tarot (which may or may not be available anymore).  I completed the first piece of this collection early this afternoon, the piece inspired by the Heriophant.

This piece is made of very powerful stones and the combination of them tingled when I handled it.  Hopefully whoever ends up buying it from my Etsy store or at any upcoming craft show will enjoy it immensely!

Etsy store active – Works in progress pictures

Oct - 22 2010 | no comments | By

I’ve gotten pictures taken and put up some listings in my Etsy store, mostly Swarovski crystal pieces I have lying around, including my Citadel earrings and A Lady’s Ransom bracelets.  Also put up a few Swarovski crystal leaves.

I did a copy of the first high-end piece I ever sold this morning as well, “Quartering the Arms,” which my good friend Brett bought for his fiance, Nora, at the Grand Valley RenFest. There is slight variance to this piece (instead of the 4mm rounds that I used in the first piece, I had some 3mm hand-cut faceted garnet beads lying around that I used instead), but it turned out quite nicely. The photos below are of the work in progress.

As you can see, I’m working at the kitchen table and didn’t fully clear everything off of it. I was working in the morning through early afternoon, thus my cup of coffee. If you look on the flasks real carefully, you can see some custom pieces I’ve made for my mother in the past!

The “Quartering the Arms” piece is inspired by my work as a historian.  In 1340, Edward III of England quartered the arms of England with the arms of France on his standard at the suggestion of the Flemish with whom he was dealing at the time.  This piece, done in sodalite and garnet with gold accents, echoes Edward’s choice and the color scheme of the combined arms (the arms of England at the time were gold lions/leopards on a red ground, the French arms were golden fleur-de-lys on a blue ground).  The metaphysical properties of this piece lend well toward working postively in a group environment–and getting along with said group (which bodes well for Nora, I think, whose day job is teaching)!  The finished piece turned out lovely.

New collection for 2010!

Oct - 20 2010 | no comments | By

This year has brought forth a new collection of more elegant, higher-end pieces.  I have made actually quite a few more than what will be featured here; more photos will be coming soon.  This collection augments my original collection of beadworked items with charms.

Wire-wrapped stone pendants

In addtion to the new high-end collection, I also have created new earring designs with names inspired by my favorite online gaming experience.  I also created the “A Lady’s Ransom” style of bracelet, which contains thirty-five Swarovski bicones seperated with pewter rondelles, fastened with a toggle clasp.

Also new in this year’s collection are a series of magnetic stone based bracelets made with crackle glass and other styles of glass beads.

Shows this year included the Grand Valley State University Renaissance Festival in Allendale, MI October 9-10 and the upcoming Athens Craft Show at Larson Middle School in Troy, MI on November 20, 2010.

Creation of a Lordaeron L stamp successful!

Oct - 19 2010 | no comments | By

After some work and gathering some advice from friends on how I might be able to make the Marks of the Crusade and Marks of the Dawn that I wanted to make, I experimented with creating a stamp out of scrap polymer clay.  It took a few hours and a couple tries to get it put together, but I eventually managed to craft one.  It was another two weeks before I had the guts to try it out.

The end result of the dry run was pretty neat if I do say so myself.

Marks of the Dawn

Marks of the Dawn, Marks of Honor Hold...

They look much shinier now that I’ve actually varnished them.  I have the clay to make a few more, I just haven’t gotten around to getting the clay out to do them (I intend to do some red ones as well, to make Marks of the Crusade).

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