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Archive for July, 2011

To Markets

July 29th, 2011 at 08:35 am

It always seems obvious in hindsight, but start ups are hard to dream up. At least for me. I always slap my forehead and say a silent 'WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THAT'.

Example #1: A few blocks from me, and in the midst of thousands of residential homes, a smart lady organized a local 'Farmer's Market' on the lawn of a relatively underutilized Moose Lodge. There are 2 other Farmer's Markets in my town, farther away though fairly convenient. But this one is REALLY convenient. What a good fit, for the Moose people, for the families, and for the sellers.

I visited on its 4th or 5th week, and the selection is decent and worth regular return visits. The vendors are veteran farmer market types, so I have a feeling of confidence in buying.

It turns out the lady who started the program had experience running another market but needed a fresh space to start new.

And guess what? They have craft tables. Hmmmm. Should I? I took an application, there is a short waiting list but the fee is a reasonable $20/week. I'll see how the attendance goes and maybe plan a trial period. Every thursday. Not sure if that is going to work depending on school, regular job and the few kid's sports we do.

Besides jewelry, I think these type of cards would fit into the market theme ~









All the above are big greeting cards, made with plants harvested from my yard, pressed and arranged individually with a handcut container.

Example #2: A new collective mall is opening in our weekend property town. A store with booths a la 'antique/collectible' set up. GREAT IDEA and a good fit for small crafters like me. Again the spaces are reasonable in price, and it remains to be seen the amount of sales and promotions and number of shoppers. I have not visited yet, but looking forward to it.

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Not your usual Harvests

July 27th, 2011 at 04:28 pm

Try as we might, a half dozen sunflower seeds that sprouted (and even grew 6 inches more) got eaten by snails earlier this summer. Poo.

Funny that one little sprout in the side yard also came up. One that I probably threw in the ground much earlier this year. And never ever watered.

But it was if someone slipped a magic bean in that packet. Week after week it thrived until I had to actually tie it to the house so it didn't fall over!

This sunflower is the type that even has lots and lots of heads from one single stalk. In the early blooming stages:



I am going to let the very top one or two blooms go to seed and try to save some to plant next summer. Here's what is on the table harvested today:



From little things....come big things.

Another harvest at Pretty Cheap Jewelry are garden pressed, dried plants. It's been weeks, nay, months in the press and I had forgotten what I put in!

Here they are! Ruby and coral geranium, tiny daisy, grape leaves in a small 2 x 3 inch setting with a big message.

LOVE LIFE. TRY MORE (l to r)






Fancy floral card to come, stay tuned! Let me know if you tweet, or FB (mine in the left sidebar). THX!

$5 Fashion

July 24th, 2011 at 08:42 am

No one ever accused me of being a slave to fashion, hmph. It's been classic simple stuff for work (dress pants and plain T-necks or oxford shirts) and sweats at home for years. Nope, not much priority on hair cuts or color and nails, are you kidding?!

So when it comes to eyeglasses, it's all about practical. I've had to wear them since grade school and need a really small lens (kid's size) because they are really thick. Not much fashion choice there.

A few years ago when we had our camper I discovered those 'over-the-glasses' sunglasses. We were at a Camping World store for some necessary item, and there was a rack of nicely styled shades. I never use prescription shades because of the hassle taking them on and off and storing them, and because my regular glasses are just such an instinctive part of me (they are ALWAYS on).

But for years I could have really benefited from sunglasses. Just ask the major crinkles on my face from squinting in the California sun.

Anyway, these were not the bland kind from the drugstore that really old folks wear after a doctor appointment. They were kinda shapely and looked a little better. So I snatched a pair and wore them constantly for the next 3 years.

Wore them out in fact.

So when I saw a sunglass kiosk going out of biz yesterday and noticed they had some NEW NICER over-the-glasses sunglasses I jumped at the chance. The sign said everything $5 and $10 but it was easy to ask for any pair for $5. WOOT! Designer stuff, though you know how I feel about that, right?

In fact, I dolled up my $5 brunette beauties with just the perfect copper swarovski crystals last night. (so sweet to already have the crystals on hand left over from a jewelry project, no extra cost).



Finally, I stitched up a scrap of black felt as a case. And now you can call me The Frugal Fashionable Artisan, ok?

tweets welcome, FB friendly (see left sidebar)

Volunteering and Hoping for a Profit

July 15th, 2011 at 09:21 am

No, the two title subjects are not mutually exclusive! All day Saturday I am volunteering in the local art association gallery during the annual Pirate Festival. This event draws thousands of visitors and we are super busy!

One of our attractions is a kid's crafts table in the store. We'll make eye patches for example.

Donating generously with volunteer hours brings favor ~ I am welcome to set up a display of my own wares in the store as well. I'll have a treasure chest filled with my original jewelry and perhaps a few gold dubloons!

Want to see a couple new things debuting for sale?

Opposites Attract Earrings
Olive green pearl and serpentine meet fuschia! On 14K GF wires.


Champagne and Gold Earrings
Party sparkle in crystal and pearl. On 14K GF wires.


Here's to hoping for a modest day of profit! Have a good weekend yourself. (Tweets and FB links for those who want in the left side bar...)

Summer Stock

July 12th, 2011 at 08:52 am

Halfway through summer vacation status report! In absence of the day job (for the most part, but not 100% completely), I concentrate on big cost free activities:

House Work - Spring cleaning is really summer cleaning at The Frugal Artisan. I prefer to take care of things I already own, not buy new stuff. This year it was a vacuum of the valences and doorway drapes, degrease the microwave and spot clean the hardwood floor. Last year it was ammonia-ize the crystal chandelier, stainless steel scrub the toaster oven and bleach the tile grout.

Oh boring!!!!!!!!

New Artistry Jewelry - How about something more fun and exciting? This is prime time for designing and producing new artistic jewelry.

What to do with some medium size natural stone hearts? I also wanted to use some tiny pale peach, champagne and tangerine colored cut zircon stones still left in the supply tray. Take a look...

Light Hearted Pendant


Soft but strong, just like a woman represented by a gold and stone necklace. 17" burgundy satin ribbon w/3" extender chain.

Meandering Heart Pendant


Modern romantic gold necklace features stone heart and wine red accents. 17" burgundy satin ribbon w/3" extender chain.

Not to forget those who prefer silver ~ I was advised by the owner of the salon where I consign that silver is likely to sell more. So the big teal and black glass coins I picked up lately became this...

Serpentine Teal Earrings


Lots of curves and turns in a bold design. Exotic freshwater pearl and crystal for added interest.

More coming, stay tuned! Follow me on FB to see more
(left side bar) or tweet this to your peeps if you have a gift wish!

Boots and Basketball Hoops

July 1st, 2011 at 10:33 am

'De Clutter or Bust'

That was my summer motto not too many years ago. It was applied primarily to the kid's rooms, especially with respect to unloved toys, wrong size clothes, and school leftovers (paper valentines anyone?). "We have to make room in case Santa brings presents later this year," I'd explain.

Declutter was closely followed by
'Vortex Vixen'
at which time I put on bleach-ruined sweatpants to attack every tangible item in the house for cleaning.

Summer was prime time because I am mostly home from the day job and have endless hours unscheduled. (WHY does that not seem to become reality???!!!)

Time passes and fortunately kids collect less 'stuff'. This year I have only a couple big jobs mostly related to my youngest, such as filtering through her keepsake box which barely closes. It's an under-the-bed bin with things from birth to present. I told myself once it's full we'd stop. PLEASE send me strength to say NO we are not simply getting a second one. (My older one's box is comfortably empty...hmph, boys).

One of the things to purge is a VERY good pair of girl's cowboy boots. Expensive! She has grown out of them. I would dearly love to recoup some of the original cost. Any tips how best to sell? I've already posted on Craig's and notified my neighbors.

Another item that is going is a (somewhat beat up but perfectly functional) curbside basketball hoop. If no one takes up my offer on Craigs at $10, it's going to Freecycle next week! (I think I got it free).

Vortex Woman is still around, I emphasize using my free time taking good care of possessions instead of getting new things. Anyone out there rub their leather couch with conditioner beside me? Last year I bleached the tile grout, this year it's vacuuming the valances. One room at a time - TOP to BOTTOM. This takes DAYS!!!!!!

Finally, my pleasure is making jewelry and accessory stock for craft fests especially later in the year. Seems I don't have nearly as much time as I wish! On the schedule is another set of these (2 of 4 sold so far):

Recycled Guitar String Bracelet



A summer breeze charmer with glass hearts, oval shell, and peach stone among many details. The strands are made from bronze spent guitar string. Handmade clasp, adjustable size.

See more here.

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