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Archive for September, 2013

At the front of a trend?

September 16th, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Is wire the new black? A colleague in the art associaton remarked to me she first noticed wire jewelry designs about 5 years ago. That's when I did as well, and fell in love with the beauty and fine detail. I made myself a little promise to learn and give it a try at some future time. I knew it would take a concentrated number of hours free time. So I left it on the back burner until this past summer.

Going away for vacation was the key. No housework distraction, no gardening and yard work. Not as much daily computer nor cell phone time sink. I packed my jewelry supplies, they didn't take more space than a make up bag! Wire, beads, tools and a few basic instructions. I crossed my fingers that the airport security wouldn't take away my wire cutters....


(they didn't and on the return flight I learned to even just put any sharp tools directly in the check in bin)

And so I blocked out a couple hours to learn. That was the start 3 months ago.

Fast forward 12 weeks, and here is the latest, seems like I've come along way already.

Copper Christmas Colors


I didn't start out to make red and green, but realized at the finish that holiday colors happened. Sparkling cut red crystal is worked into a 3 strand weave; a glossy unfaceted green serpentine stone drop is the perfect foil. Matching earrings not shown.

My wire work has been quicker to sell at the shops I'm in than past styles. Is it going to be a trend? So far it's been about two a month in the several shops, I don't have a lot of inventory yet so it's hard to stock up anywhere.

Twice when I have been volunteer cashier in the galleries and doing a design on the spot, I've made a sale.

Maybe it's my prices? The simpler necklaces are $25. The more complex are $45. I plan to hold this price point through the end of the year.

Hard to know if wire weave is getting hot. I want to stick with it just for the sheer satisfaction of the design process. And sales are definitely a good feeling.

Two Shopping Trips are Better Than One?!

September 5th, 2013 at 08:09 am

You are busy right? But you are smart and make a grocery list to keep you from impulse shopping at the store, right? You just get in the store, pick out the listed things and get out as efficiently as possible, right? Well don’t fill that whole list, ok? That seems counter intuitive but it will save money.

Here’s why: How many times have you come out of the drug store or grocery store with receipt coupons for something you just bought? These coupons are usually a pretty high savings (higher than the mass printed coupons in the newspaper for example) because they are targeted just to you. The store systems know what you buy and want you to repeat those purchases. Therefore you get a big incentive coupon to do so!

Yesterday I went to CVS for dental supplies and had mascara on the list in hopes of a good store sale. Alas, there was no BOGO and I just didn’t want to pay full price. I even scan my CVS card at the store coupon center and did not get a make up coupon. So the mascara didn’t get in the basket. And SURPRISE! I got a very good coupon on my cash register receipt ($5 off a $15 purchase). This will cover the price of nearly one whole mascara and I will get two.

So leave something off the list that can wait a couple days. See what coupon you get and use it to buy the item the next trip.

Here's a way to say Happy Birthday with a (wacky) smile ~


One of a Kind Collage Cards
Give a card like no other! My original cards are full of personality, appeal to the odd humor in your friends and family, and are guaranteed to make them smile.

Hot Dog Face Birthday

Great for kids or a guy, do you spy the egg?

Walking Backpack

In case you missed the important day, this card will surely elicit forgiveness.

Red Heel Head Chick

Cute? Weird? Different that's sure. I love it!

Thanks for all those FB likes (I notice).

September means... a sticky on your wallet

September 4th, 2013 at 11:29 am

I have such difficulty planning ahead until the new month is turned over on the calendar! (Why is that?!) Now that September is here, I can see clearly now what to do this month and in fact, what to do the rest of the year. (September is special like that in rushing us to the end of the year: only 112 days until Christmas!) On my calendar?

o Girl Scout Nut Sales Chair. My turn!

o Fall Gardening. Plant basil and garlic. Nurture small pumpkins already sprouted on the patio (experimenting with this location, never tried them there).

o Shift from outdoor to indoor fitness. Happy to realize I am able to be active most days a week at least a little, e.g. Mon/Tue/Thur/Fri = lunchtime or after work dog walking, Wed - zumba class, Sat/Sun major bike riding for running errands. The after work exercise will drop off after the clock changes, must compensate with at home Wii zumba for example.

Also on my calendar? This is the most important time of year for small businesses. Let me ask you to remember each time you are about to spend for a gift or to entertain guests from now to December 31: Who are you patronizing? What effects do your spending dollars have?

Put a sticky on your wallet near the dollars so you see it every time you shop ‘Is this money supporting a local or independent business?’

Here’s a peek at what Pretty Cheap Jewelry is planning for end of year business…

NEW STOCK
It was a Labor (of love) Day at Pretty Cheap Jewelry where a collection of distinct new jewelry designs were produced. I set a goal of crafting at least 6 wire weave necklaces and was successful. Some were made using a simpler weave that I knew would be faster and trouble-free to accomplish, but I wanted also to try some new weave ideas which would take longer and need reiterations. A few of the results?

Baroque Set


Silver colored wire formed into graceful curve holds a brilliant red crystal briolette. Matching earrings. This is a more difficult 3 strand weave.

Cool Blue


A central square shaped lapis stone is framed in a silver 2-strand wire weave. Sky blue crystal accent. On leather.

Rythmic Rose Pearl


Like the rythmic gymnastic event, two strands of silver colored wire flutter around a large rose glass pearl. Clear glass accents add sparkle.

Next time: get a laugh at the latest wacky collage cards also from Pretty Cheap Jewelry.