Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Laws of Custom Orders ~ 300th Post

Well folks, this here is my 300th post.
I can hardly believe it. This from the gal who can barely keep up a journal for more than four days.
Maybe because I'm a show off that this works for me.

And finally I'm getting a semblance of a formula for photographing my work.
You have no idea how long it took me to get over that hurdle.
It was one reason it took so long for my bead and jewelry shop to get off the ground.

I was relying on scan for my vintage and supply shop but you can't get away with that when you're selling fine jools to all you discerning arteest types.
Now I'm starting to enjoy capturing my pieces against the plethora of props in my home.

Nice to know archaeologists that know how to knap.

So upon my return I was inundated with requests for certain components in an array of colors by quite a few customers.
It's been a solid week of catching up just with these custom orders which has been great.
I'm also realizing that there are a few inherent laws of custom orders. This is what I've come up with so far. Please feel free to add your own experiences.

1) You will have to make three times as many items to be happy with the set you are trying to produce.

 2) You will run short on one of the supplies needed to finish the order after you cheerfully agreed to

3) Communication will run amok and you will choose the wrong platform in which to finalize the deal.
   Someone is unfamiliar with the convo system on Etsy for example and doesn't see your photos that
     you have prepared for them.

 4) You get confused about amounts someone was asking for and make less than what they clearly
      asked for.

5) Your workspace gets filled with partially completed orders almost ready to ship.

These are not complaints, I'm delighted to be granting requests for sets of beads and components it's just kind of new for me and  is taking up an unused corner of my brain and  any vestiges of organizational skill I may have. 
Slightly bent nail

Siberian bear-hunting armor (leather suit, metal helmet), 1800's
photo © Malcolm Kirk

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Maine Trip

Back in Alaska again, returning to the turning leaves and threats of frost already.
Harvesting what's left of my pathetic garden and trying to get my mind back in gear for business.
I brought a few components along on my trip back east.
I'd won some of Kristi Bowman's wonderfully texture copper dangles. I knew they would look great paired with my copper enamel drops and lampwork. She had already shown me how she had paired some of my criffles with her snakeskin bails.
I had the hardest time selling these yellow crystal shaped bead earrings when they were hanging alone. I had actually dismantled three different pairs in this color scheme and tried selling them as a bead set.
Then I took apart the bead set and gave them a matte finish...still couldn't sell them.
and now I've put them together with the enameled copper and the sea urchin rectangles and sold them immediately to my sister who never ever wears yellow.

Unfortunately I didn't bring along enough of the metal elements and spacer beads that tie a design together. It's so hard to pack everything you think you may need  for designing.
I used up what I could and saved a few ideas for when I got back to my stash.
But I did come up with these.
Once again these are Kristi's textured feathers paired with my criffles.

My limpet bead caps and some shiny leaf shaped headpins.
I have no idea where I picked up the brass stampings.
That's so unlike me too. I usually remember where I pick up stuff.

Criffles and lampwork and an experiment with trying to do the baking soda effect on enamel drops.
I found that it tends to eat the enamel and make it rather sticky so I put a layer of sealant on the drops.

Another limpet bead cap combo with Kristi Bowman's leaf shaped textured headpins.

Now to show off some of my loot...
Vintage paper beads already made from the Super's Junkin store

A very malleable plaque that I think I can cut up for earring pieces

A most wonderful tin ( I have the bottom too) 
but it's almost too nice to cut up for earrings isn't it?

Some organic matter. The barnacle had a snail stuck inside it.
I had to free it so it wouldn't stink
I found a great antique bottle seaglass piece too with a snail stuck in the neck but I had to give it to my husband when I realized I didn't have any presents for him.
He always brings me presents.

Cool snips

I had planned on journaling but only managed a few collage pages

I had a cousin that I hadn't seen in 40 years or so that knows how to translate Greek and Sanskrit
and was able to discern some of the text that alek had sent me

It's been such a long time since I made any ATC's
I love the  used carbon paper that I found in a drawer at the camp

This one is begging for some more layers I think

This one's my fave

And this one

More loot. I just love the local ephemera from an old Maine store from the 20's
One had the entire order of fireworks for  4th of July

I'm still scratching my head about the "Clerk Of Course" pin

Everyone need theese

Now for some Maine scenery.
This bridge goes to Campobello where the Roosevelt's spent their summers which is in Canada now.
My folks' passports expired so I didn't get to go over.

A new (old) boat showed up on the bay in front of our place this year.
It's a lobster boat and I was told by our lobsterman that it's a "Novy" boat
which means Nova Scotia style

Went to Lubec to visit an old friend that I hadn't seen in 20 years.

Nice fog lifting.
They had some really good dulse for sale in this town.
I'm having it shipped back with the some of the best potato chips I've ever had.
They are crack chips called UTZ Dark Russet Gourmet.
I'm telling you these were good enough to ship back to Alaska.

Speaking of good, I had my share of these babies. There's a lobster glut going on so they were super cheap this summer.

Ah, fresh bloobs!
I'm partial to Maine blueberries but have grown to like Alaskan blueberries now.
The Alaska ones are much more tart and reportedly have higher antioxidants plus I know where to find them here for free.

So this is my Uncle Manley.
He said he didn't want to drive to visit us but if he could get his friend to drop him off across the bay they would kayak over for lunch.
He's 85!
I got to see another uncle turn 89 too.
Nice to know there's a bit of longevity in the fam.

This is his older brother, my Dad that can't quite get around as well but he's always up for a game of cribbage or crab picking or stripping fir balsam boughs for his daughter because the needles smell so good.
Poor guy has been through so many procedures and over 60 doctors in the last few years.
He was doing quite well though this visit. And Mom she's always cooking up something good for us.
He told me a funny story that I think he finally agreed to let me share. ( I think... don't tell him I told you)
He went to yet another clinic and the nurse wanted him to list all of his procedures and previous ailments. He got a bit confused at one point when he was trying to remember that he had gangrene and told her he had been treated for gonorrhea! He got a pretty strange look from the nurse
although mom got a good laugh out of that one.

This way I can bring a little of Maine home with me.

I returned home to this bounty.
I'll be smoking some up tomorrow with my special sake and soy sauce brine.