Monday, June 22, 2009

Something to sober us up...

Two Red Line Metro Trains Crash

Listening to the radio now, several stations closed, and there are two confirmed deaths.

I'm usually on that line, and while I don't typically travel that far down, I sometimes do. Having been planning to move near that area, that could have been me.

One of my friends, who does take that line, and around the time of the crash, we did confirm is fine and was not involved.

This is the second derailment, in two months, but the first collision since the one in 2005, which in comparison, was very minor.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Weird findings....

I found a treasure that really was unexpected. According to research I've done on the internet, and with the help of some folks on an antique forum, I discovered that I would up with a 1920 era Democratic Donkey Pin.

I'm debating on whether I should sell it or not, as it has been appraised, and I'm not sure it'd be worth as much as suggested. ... If so.. what should I sell it for? Where? I don't want to go to FeeBay, but I really don't know of another place I could actually auction it, since I'm not sure I want to just sell it straight for what said appraisor said it should be sold for...
In the meantime I panic about how I'm going to pay some of my bills, until I get my relief check in July. I'm highly displeased with my former employer, now that I've found that they've been lying about things that I've done, and the terms on which I left employment with them. Temp/Contractor companies are so untrustworthy, it's ridiculous.
I seriously doubt I will ever trust another one.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Gatherings, Listings and a Treasury too!

Been a little while.

I had a little gathering of friends on this Saturday past. It felt good to actually host something again. I've missed cooking for others, and really missed being a hostess. I never would have thought that at all, but.. I really felt in my element on Saturday.

I called the little gathering a while back to ask if they'd model my things for me. So two good friends wandered to my place, and they and my roommate modeled much of my jewelry.

Nine new items photographed in a couple of hours' time. I still have lots of earrings to photograph, but I don't use human models for those, typically.

So I just posted the Green gradient bracelet, Red gradient bracelet and the Ocean blue bracelet I blogged about some time ago.

Still frustrated about the lack of real job, though I have applied and applied, and applied and applied s'more. I had an interview last Wednesday, and still waiting to hear about that. In the meantime, I've just been making jewelry.. and making jewelry. Trying to keep my spirits up and hoping for that new sale. Now that I have one under my belt, even if it's from a friend, I feel a little more confident that perhaps someone else will like my work too.

One of my items even got into a Treasury!!

I got an email from Etsy that ozzana listed my Shades of Violet Bookmark in her new Treasury! I am squeeful and very thankful for this.

Now that I've put out a bunch of disjointed thoughts.. I'm going to go see about making some dinner.

Monday, June 8, 2009

First Sale!

One of my dearest friends requested a custom bookmark from me.
ashwolf's new bookmark!

The original that I posted up on my shop can be found here:
Swarovski Crystal Bookmark - Shades of Violet

I am hoping that this starts a kick.

In other news, I've had the urge to make dream catchers again... though I put my hoops away, and need to find them again. I also have quite a few supplies to replace, as it looks as though my semi-precious stone stock is very low. I also think I'll be trying to wire-wrap some of my feathers to see if they will behave better than some of my old ones that took ages to fuss with to make sure the beads held the feathers in place.. since.. well.. I don't use any glue.

I will post pictures as soon as I have some of the 'catchers, as I right now need new batteries for my camera.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Ahh, weekend...

... usually my time to sit down and work on my jewelry extensively.

I have been working on job hunting and cleaning the apartment (mostly my room), going through things to throw away so when we move in a couple of months, I don't have as much to move. So much that I have held onto for so many years that I don't even spare a thought to.

I discovered that I had clothing that I actually forgot that I ever had. Most of it too small for me, much of it too large. Three trash bags full so far, ready to go to be recycled (to goodwill or a recycling place, I have not decided).

Old high school notebooks, some of the information something I might want to save, mostly junk. I have to go through those, pull out what I want to save so I can type it up and put it on disk instead of have it be bits of paper to cart around.

Junk. Just.. general junk, built up over the years, so much of which is stuff I thought I could repair, or reuse, or whatever.

It will take another week or two before I think I've pruned enough to call it a start.. but if I can prune down even 10 boxes worth of junk that doesn't need to be packed ever again, I'll be happy.

It's amazing how much can accumulate over years. It makes me wonder a bit about the mind of the packrat.

I did, however, find a box of 'treasures'. I did find that in those boxes, there WERE things I could use in my jewelry... though most of what I found was gold... and I work in silver. I'm not sure how to handle that just now.

For now, I go continue with my cleaning; I have a raid in World of Warcraft this evening, so I want to make sure everything's done before then.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Gray and dreary...

It's supposed to rain most of the day today, and it is also supposed to storm.


I've been doing a lot of job applying, and have been noticing that more and more places that are hiring right now are just out of my reach. I know the the economy is bad, but, there are limits. Some of the places I'm seeing that I would love to work would be a 2 hour or more commute for me. Considering I am limited to public transportation right now...
Well, suffice to say there is only so long I can stand to sit on a bus. 2+hours each way isn't really feasable.

Trying to stay positive on days like this, when the day is gray, when I have been applying and applying and applying and hearing so little back is really difficult.

Even working on my jewelry, or knitting isn't helping at all. Usually creating something helps me cheer up.

I'm still hoping, though, that I get some bites, whether it be on Etsy, or potential employers.

Perhaps I'll post again later. Writing this has cheered me up a little.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Color Gradients

In my narrowmindedness, up until now, I have only been making solid colors in my work.

A week or so ago, when I was looking at the bookmark I'd made, I realized that.. Duh, I can make bracelets in gradients! With matching earrings even! So I began. I now have a beautiful ocean bracelet that I haven't yet photographed (I'm totally keeping the prototype and its matching earrings!), a green one, and a red one. I've done both green and red in bookmarks too!

I'm thinking of doing one in purple next. I don't have much in the way of yellow or orange, but I can also do some rainbows. .. Hm.. this has some distinct possibilites.

Here's the green gradient one that I managed to get before the camera's batteries died.
The fade is Chrysolite on the teardrop, then jet, Emerald, Peridot, Chrysolite, the large ones are Emerald, with Chrysolite and Peridot between them.

And here's the red one, again, just before the camera batteries died. The fade is Jet (teardrop/first two little ones), Garnet, Siam, Light Siam, then large Garnet ones, with Siam/Light Siam between them.

As soon as I can get better photos, I will be listing these.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Some background....

A little history.

I started crafting jewelry when I was about 15. I bought an anklet, made of little seed-type beads, for $15. Mom said it was ridiculous that it was so expensive. I shrugged, and put it on. A couple days later, I wore it for the first time. It was a little loose, and rested just on the ankle bone, the perfect accent to the sundress I was wearing.
An hour later, it broke. No warning, no stretching, it didn't get caught.. it just.. came loose from the clasp and the beads scattered.
The string that had been used for it was flimsy thread, and the knots weren't strong.
... $15 for something that I wore for an hour, that was maybe actually worth $2.

Mom took me to the local craft shop. I picked up beads, tiger-wire, beading thread, and new clasps. I made the anklet again, one in wire, one in thread. I still wear them both.

So I started making them, since it was something very relaxing to do. I made braclets, necklace chains, rings, anklets, and even earrings. I gave things away as gifts, or had people pay me for the materials to make them - particularly my peace-sign beaded wire earrings.

By the time I was 18 I had a stockpile of stuff.. so I took it to a local craft fair... and didn't sell much. One item, for $2.50, over a long 10-hour day.

I started making loom-crafted items, beadweaving patterns became my new thing. Though next craft fair wasn't very successful either, even for the items I'd added semi-precious bad chips to.

And then.. I discovered eye pins. I learned to make links out of them with beads on them.

Semiprecious stone link bracelets, anklets, and Y-necklaces started to spring up. The fair I took these to I had to leave early - I'd sold all that I brought with me!

And then.. I discovered crystal. I started making a few things with it. By this time, I was making a few things here and there, and took it all to AnimeUSA 2205, an anime convention in Virginia. ... All the crystal items sold, but very few of the semi-precious stone works did.

So I made quite a bit of the crystal work and the next time I went to a convention with all crystal, I made quite a few sales. Every other convetion I've been to, I've done decently well at.

Since then, I've also discovered more than just the sterling silver plated eye and head pins I'd been using. I now use sterling silver wire in a lot of my creations.. making two lines - costume work, and sterling silver work. Obviously, I charge more for the sterling silver.

The other thing that I strive for is quality. I'm not going to charge $15 for something that's going to fall apart in an hour made with flimsy materials. My work is built to last, even with some abuse. I know that there are some things that even my work can't last against.. snags, being cut by something, something crushing the crystals... There are some things that will destroy any kind of jewelry. But it's not going to fall apart during any kind of normal, or even a little rough, wear.

And somewhere along the line, I realized that I really wanted to do this for more than just conventions. I had a short stint on Ebay, but .. trying to sell there was hopeless. I'm not selling my work for $0.01 with free shipping. That won't cover my materials, nor will it cover the ridiculous fees Ebay charges.

A friend of mine told me about Etsy. And I'm still hoping for my first sale there. :)

One day, I hope to not have to work full time... but only have a part time job to supplement my jewelry craft.

Decided to start...

.... a blog for the Jewelry Crafter in me.

I have a LiveJournal, and I've had some other blogs in the past, but ... this one will be for the Jewelry Crafter. Or something.

I recently lost my job, and am having some trouble getting a new one... so I'm working on my jewelry full time. I'm working on my photography, and am hoping to get a few bites to help supplement what I have left.

I have always hoped to make jewelry my full time job, but.. now's really not the time to have thrown me in.

Lots of hoping that I get a new job soon. This market sucks horribly.

In the meantime, creativity and my jewelry crafting will keep my spirits up.