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Archive for January, 2010

Resolution Solution

January 27th, 2010 at 07:11 am

One of my artistic New Year Resolution was to create something, small and original as well as suitable as an all purpose gift at an affordable price for future craft events.

Prediction? Wire weaving is the next big handmade jewelry thing.

Not sure if this is the final resolution answer, but I learned wire weaving and made this yesterday:


Cardinal Red Anniversary Ring ~
Five Swarovski Crystals Lined Up on a Feminine Band

It's a simple technique, and I'm swimming with ideas. For rings, the issue is using better wire (the above is gold colored craft wire). Sterling or gold filled, or possibly copper or stainless, is more practical (but more expensive) for rings.

That one above is actually up for sale on my website (click the blue 'prettycheap' left sidebar) at a frugal price (of course!).

Sugar and Thunder and Michaelangelo

January 21st, 2010 at 11:53 am

If it weren't so bad, I'd laugh at my dog's artistic attempt yesterday --


These were the blinds in the living room. Look on the bright side, I never liked them anyway and now I get to either sew curtains or replace with non-mini blinds.

We had a thunderstorm and Sugar is terrorized by that kind of noise. We take him out of town on July 4.

The prior day he was out in the backyard, as usual, while we worked and schooled. Very little thundering, but he jumped the 6 ft wood fence and got out. It's been a few years since he's done that, and we have moved wood piles, composting and strengthened gates to prevent it.

Thankfully I had 4 messages when I got home that day from someone a few streets away who had snagged and returned him.

Therefore, I had left him inside the next day. My mistake.


That was the tea cart shelf with picture frames in the entrance. S'ok. Those were mostly frames from the $1 store.


A shredded potted silk plant. It was over 10 years old, gotten alot of mileage from use.

The first year we adopted him we crated him when this happened. He was SUPERDOG and bent the wires apart, bloodied himself, and punctured the F150 tire which was next to the crate (flat).

Our vet is not crazy about sedating him, neither are we.

So I took the day off due to thunderstorm prediction. Told the office think of it as a 'sick kid'.

He's doing much better today. So am I. I cleaned up everything, replaced the potted silk plant with a 40% off Michaels coupon and love the new one. (Not cheap, ie $45, but I expect it will be here for another 10 years).

Tomorrow off to the dollar store for a few replacement frames.

Just our little brand of earthquake around here.

It hasn't all been done before...

January 12th, 2010 at 12:40 pm

What projects to focus on in 2010? and corollarily (new word!!), what to put money earned last year toward (bad english!)

PRIORITIES
1. Originality. I don't want to create the same kind of stuff already out there. Easier said than done. It takes some quiet thought, let the ideas come with time.

2. Price Point. Holiday shows at the end of last year illustrated to me that I need an item which would appeal to many as a small gift, say in a 2" or smaller box. At a $10-$20 price.

3. Materials. Very much wish to create something largely with the materials I already have such as: wire (pure metals and other), beads, ribbon, etc.

IDEAS
1. Medals. I love antique medals, don't you? Maybe create modern medals. I already have plenty of pinbacks and would love to experiment with ribbon, stones, and wire. Easy to tailor toward specific events, ie birthday, Mother's Day, teacher.

2. Pins. A classy pin makes a statement on a sweater, lapel or even a knapsack. It's possible to make even the sharp point by hand. The whole world is possible, just a matter of deciding what style / shape / material. Weaving beads around a shape, making a bar of fringe on a pin, you name it.

So I looked on Etsy for what is already out there. Not many medals of the type I envision (but after this posts to twitter, blech, who knows). Not alot of freehand wire pins as I am envisioning either! (ditto the twitter comment). Surprise!!

Guess what I am going to do? Just need free time...

Here's what I mean ~

A Kiss


Another atypical item, just my style.

Drag Me Into the 21st Century

January 8th, 2010 at 10:12 am

Last night my husband reminisced when, a few years ago I said "I don't want a cell phone, pffft, why talk when you are walking around?". I distinctly remember saying that.

bleh, I mean oops.

He says if we were in the cave age, I would poo-poo the wheel and insist on carrying stuff around with my arms.

*sigh* he is probably right.

This past few months he has put up with me kvetching about his wanting a big screen TV. We had a 27" Sony Trinitron I bought in my pre-marraige days 20+ years ago. In my opinion, it wasn't broken, why replace it!? Nevermind the digital signal brouhaha, that one in/out jack was hopelessly unworkable, and that I blew the TV speakers in those younger days (can you say turn it up too loud??). He had wired the system through a stack of stereo components with a separate pair of speakers, CD player, tape player, etc. And the picture was fine, all was well.

Anyway, he had done his homework. Been watching the price go lower than he ever imagined, researched on the types, and was determined to get a return or open box to knock another $100 or so off the price.

I was never in favor. But agreed cautiously contingent upon a painting of the living room!!

Why? The Sony was in a 80s era entertainment center. Y'know, the kind with those 3 big cabinets, with glass doors, etc. It was still handsome, unfinished blond wood, but certainly a bit dated. But the big screen would NOT fit in the old TV opening and the cabinets would have to go.

We also had wall mounted VHS and CD racks. These would have to come down for the painting. And probably not go back up since we really were phasing out the VHS stuff.

I knew by removing them, the living room would sadly show the need for a fresh coat of paint after 15 years. I did not want a complete remodel of the living room and was OK with just using the same color.

So there was the plan. Over my 2-week 'vacation' EVERYTHING in the living room was to be packed, moved, and made ready for painting. We would do the work ourselves. I would do all the prep and brush work, DH would do the big rolling.

It was accomplished. Without too much pain, but alot of effort.

And in the process, yes, DH found exactly what he wanted at the big box electronics store. A Sony Bravia, open box, huge deal the week before Christmas. I think he paid only about the same as what I paid for the old Trinitron 20 years ago. So much for inflation.

It took another week and a couple phone calls wheeling and dealing with the provider to get the HD signal (and my DH is a pro at wheeling and dealing).

And guess what? I LOVE IT!!!!!!!

my mistake, I'll just shut up now

Spending Profits

January 5th, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Expenses tallied, sales totalled. Without alot of study, it looks like Pretty Cheap Jewelry finished 2009 in the black about $1,000.

I accomplished my 2009 Resolution!

- Make a Profit! -

Success came mostly by working very hard doing a significantly increased number of in-person shows.

But success also came due to producing and selling a few selected high quality, high priced items.

For example, these rings have been selling well (14K gold filled pearl mix cocktail rings starting at $25) ~







Unusual yet beautiful designs have also attracted customers ~





But now is the time for contemplation. What direction to go in 2010?

Before spending a dime, I will form a big picture in my mind what sort of items to create. I would love to work toward developing a signature item or style, though something that leaves elbow room to try new things.

Probably ~ wire work in better quality metals (more gold filled and silver); more gemstone and less common bead types

But what sort of jewelry? Multi-strand necklaces? Specially wrapped stone pendants? Continue with the rings?

I don't want to do the same as what's out there. I want to have original ideas and items. It's not easy.

List:

1. Be true to the name "Pretty Cheap Jewelry", make beautiful things and offer at a bargain price.

It will take another post to find out the rest of the priority list!

And the profits can get warm in the bank for awhile.