Support Your Local Shop!

30 10 2010

As a jewelry designer and teacher, I buy alot of my supplies wholesale – thru gem shows, thru online sources, thru major distributors, and thru a multitude of small sellers I’ve established ongoing relationships with over the years. I buy large quantities, and multiples of the same items, enabling me to get good prices so I can create and sell my jewelry competitively, and so that I can make available tools and quality materials to my students.

But… I also buy at my local bead shop and lapidary. My local shops are my bloodline – they allow me to buy small quantities when I don’t need alot, they let me see and touch the beads, and I can check out the colors and match things, knowing that what I see is what I get. They provide instant gratification!

They provide a place where I can teach, and where I can learn. And the people that own and work in these shops have invaluable knowledge and they share my passion.

Goodbye, Julie, Goodbye Beaded Bliss!

Sadly, one of my favorite shops closed today… Beaded Bliss in Danville. Julie created a shop that was warm, and friendly, and knowledgeable, and I loved teaching my classes there. My students have been enthusiastic and talented, and I am so very sorry that this wonderful shop has closed.

So my plea today …. please remember your local shop. No matter what you craft is, the community of like-minded people is so very important in building creativity and sharing ideas.  So please, stop by a local shop near you, and get to know them!

It’s An Etsy Party!

19 06 2010

The only thing a craftperson likes more than their craft, is to share it! Last night, all across the world, members of Etsy got together to share their crafting passions, and meet other like-minded folks. There were several groups in the San Francisco/Silicon Valley/Bay Area, and I met up with a great group of craftsfolks in San Jose…

There's a Party Goin' On!

We were a pretty small group – online we were 25+ strong, but anyone who actually drives in San Jose during rush hour knows that it is a real challenge to get together Friday after work! So about 12 or so of us actually showed up at a library community room, to share, make friends, and have a little fun (we all made some fun paper boxes). Here’s what the locals brought:

Mix Media Painting

Our wonderful coordinator Yvette (who did a fabulous job!), of Autumn Lane Studios, creates some really beautiful, textural mixed media work. This dimensional painting has a warmth and a richness that looks so much better in person!

Book Boxes and Handmade Journals

Looking at old books in a new way, to make then both useful and interesting is something that Teal Stripes has made into an artform! I remember the “book safes” you could buy to stash your valuables in, but these are just too fun to hide away!

Altered Art Cards

Rebecca of Naturally Eco Memories showed us her cards and gift creations with a definite vintage look – the style, the materials, even the subtle colors, are all reflective of her love for authentic vintage ephemera.

Soft and Sweet - Fibers and Altered Art

Carole’s Designs makes some beautifully hand colored and painted journals – always inspiring when you want to wax poetic! Her multi-fiber knit shawl was just scrumptious! Carole isn’t on Etsy yet, but I look forward to seeing her shop there soon!

Shiny Pretty Things!

Rose Anne from Rorolee Jewelry brought in some shiny baubles! Clean lines, warm gemstones, and chain links make her work contemporary, with just a little bit of trendy kicked in!

Fun and More Fun!

Fun felt and knit animals from Lindsay Harmony gave us a little entertainment – I can hear the theme to “Jaws” when I look at her shark! And one of Etsy’s favorite photographers came by – Lisa from PhotoAmato – bringing some of her photo cards and great tile pendants.

It was a fun time, and I look forward to some more creative meet-ups… the Bay Area is truly fortunate to have so many very talented artisans!

It’s Showtime!

12 05 2010

The days are getting longer, the temperature is rising, and the flowers are starting to bloom. We all know what that means – it’s showtime! Noooooo – not the circus, and not the theater, but the summer craft show circuit. I love being outside, and interacting with customers, and I thought it was time for a quick review of what we call “THE CHECKLIST” – the what you absolutely positively, must bring with you when you do craft shows… (NOTE: click on the list to enlarge, then print):

These are the things that anyone doing a craft show should remember, regardless of what they craft. And… if you are a jewelry kinda person like me, than you’ll want to remember a couple of extra items, just to make sure that you’ve got everything covered:

I hope that you find these useful as you start planning your summer craft show schedule. There are plenty of lists all over online, so if these don’t work for you, just do a quick google and I’m sure you’ll find something else.And if I missed something critical – please let me know!