Saturday, May 29, 2010

Lots of Ear Cuffs!

For several months now, a very large number of the orders I've received online have been for ear cuffs. You know, the little adornment that wraps around the outside cartilage on the side of your ear...? An accent to earrings, or an accessory in and of itself. From simple bands to ornate sweeps, for young and old alike, they're a cute and comfortable, and mostly just fun! I've got several listed for sale in my Artfire studio or my Etsy shop. Pop on over and in just a couple of clicks you can order, pay through PayPal, and have your own ear cuff on its way to you. Trendy, maybe, but inexpensive enough where you can treat yourself and hop on the ear cuff bandwagon!


Monday, May 24, 2010

Summer Schedule

The thing I love most about summertime is that I get to sleep in a little longer each morning, since I don't have to take my son to school. Not TOO much longer, because I do have to take him to the day camp he attends at his karate school, but long enough for it to feel indulgent. The downside of that lovely sleeping in is that I get to my store later in the morning, and have that much LESS time to get everything done that I need to before I open my doors. Like this, for instance. I'm blogging, and it's already time to be opening my store. I did list some new items in my Etsy shop, but I still have to update my Facebook Fan Page. I did take care of my eBay sales and made a new listing there, but I haven't written the bill payments that need to go with the mailman today.

Adjusting to my summer schedule will require a bit more focus than I am sometimes inclined to have. Today is only the first day. I'm not totally displeased with my progress so far this morning. I'll go update my Facebook Fan Page, write the checks to pay the bills, and then get to work on the gigantic pile of special orders on my clipboard! Since my doors are now open, there's the possibility that customers might walk in, but being in business to sell to the public is what makes all those other things even necessary, right? So if I have to get up from my desk to take care of a customer, that's a GOOD thing! The rest...I'll just keep muddling along!


Friday, May 21, 2010

Another Custom Order

Sometimes customers themselves put together two or even three things that I already make to come up with a whole new design. Helps me think outside my usual "box" as it were! Donna was buying a 3-Bead Point Bracelet with clear AB Swarovski crystals. She wanted earrings to match. Now, Donna likes a bold earring, as you can see. She saw the J-Shape Hoop Earrings that I had, and held up the bracelet so the crystals were inside the earring. "Can you make it like this?" she asked. "Absolutely," I said. "I'm the Burger King of jewelry design--have it YOUR way!"


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ricky's Awards

My son is just finishing 4th grade and his awards ceremony was this morning. I can't even begin to describe how proud I was when he brought home SIXTEEN awards and achievements!!!

1st Place (blue ribbon) 4th Grade Spelling Bee
100% (medal) for meeting goal in Accelerated Reader program
1st place (medal) for Bible Sword Drill competition
Certificate--regional spelling bee participation
Certificate--regional math olympics participation
Certificate for 4th Class Level (25 points) in Standard of Excellence Band Method
Certificate for 3rd Class Level (50 points) in Band
Certificate for 2nd Class Level (75 points) in Band
Certificate for 1st Class Level (100 points) in Band--he may have been the only one in band to get this...I know he had the highest number of points
Certificate--Presidential Physical Fitness Award
Certificate--Outstanding Academic Achievement in Science/Health
Certificate--Outstanding Academic Achievement in Bible
Certificate--Outstanding Academic Achievement in Reading
Certificate--Outstanding Academic Achievement in History
Certificate--Highest Grade Point Average in Math
Certificate--Excellent Academic Work for maintaining better than 3.5 GPA

Well done, my son!!


Friday, May 14, 2010

Custom Orders

I often joke with customers that if there were about 8 of me, I could have every piece of jewelry made in every size and every color. Don't get me wrong...I have a LOT of inventory made up. But since there's only 1 of me, every size and color isn't possible, so I'm obviously happy to make any item in whatever size or color the customer wants. Consequently, I have a lot of special orders.

But I also have a lot of custom orders. Loose stones or coins or random vintage jewelry that a customer has lying around in a drawer or a jewelry box. It can't be worn as-is, so people bring or send me stuff to set all the time. This pendant I have pictured is one of those. A beautiful faceted yellow citrine and a large blue drusy from a lovely lady named Shayna. Shayna wanted the stones set together in one pendant. Not the easiest thing to do with wirewrap, but I was able to come up with this design, which I think really showcases the stones. She was thrilled with it, which always makes me happy!

I'm going to post a few more custom order pictures over the next few days. Look through your drawers and dig into your jewelry boxes--do YOU have anything I can transform for you?


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Facebook Fans!

Are you on Facebook? If you've read some of my previous posts, you know I am. Probably too much! (Some of those games are quite addictive.) But lately I've been paying a little more attention to my Contemporary Concepts Fan Page. I've been posting a little something nearly every day. Not being spammy, I promise. Just little nuggets of information that I hope will be interesting. And pictures. And I finally got around to adding my Artfire Kiosk. That's a tab at the top of the page where you can instantly check out my jewelry in my Artfire studio and even purchase items without ever leaving Facebook! It's a very cool app, and it was embarrassingly easy to set up. Made me kick myself for putting it off so long.

So "fan" me today, and look for my avatar in your News's the bright orange-and-yellow sea glass pendant I have pictured here!


Monday, May 10, 2010

Ricky's Band Concert

Last Thursday evening was my son's first band concert. Well, I guess not exactly the first, as they did play two songs during the Christmas program, but that lasted literally three minutes, so I don't really count it. Plus, as a beginning band having only played for three months before Christmas, they were pretty bad.

Don't get me wrong--they certainly tried very hard and did their best, but they were at the stage where they were still learning fingerings for the notes and had not yet developed an "ear" to hear how the notes were actually supposed to sound!

This past Thursday they were much improved. They're still beginners, in the fourth and fifth grades, but you could tell they were developing confidence in their abilities. I wouldn't say they were yet good, but they were certainly better!

I could pick Ricky's playing out of the group. Not hard, since his entire band consists of 3 flutes, 1 clarinet, and 3 trombones. (Ricky plays the trombone. Which was MY trombone back in the day. And the same horn which was my FATHER'S back in HIS day! Third generation. Way cool!) Anyway, I could hear Ricky specifically. He did very well. I didn't see a single mistake. Having played the trombone myself, I know where the slide is supposed to be positioned for each note. And I know what the notes are supposed to sound like. (On occasion while listening to him practice, I would get on him about "don't just aim for the general vicinity of the slide position and blat, hoping it'll be close enough.") He hit the notes (the same could not always be said for his fellow trombonists--ouch!), his tone was good--I was very proud!


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Catching Up

I often find myself composing blog posts in my head as I drive to work in the morning. And then by the time I get here, more often than not, the task of writing in my blog completely flies out of my mind. I wish I were a little less scatterbrained sometimes, but I guess that's just part of being an ar-tiste...? Hahaha!

I've been pretty busy in my store. But in a strange way. Not so many customers walking in, really, and those that do are bringing me stuff to set for them. So I've got lots of special orders to be working on. At least three weeks worth, maybe a month. Sometimes I wish people would be a little more interested in buying the stuff I actually have made up, but special orders keep me busy and prevent monotony! And it's not like I'm not selling anything in the store!

I've been getting quite a few online sales, too. I sell on 5 different online venues, and there have been a few days recently that I've sold at least one thing on each of them. I think that's pretty cool! Of course, when I sell something on Etsy or Artfire or Ruby Lane, it's often something that's one-of-a-kind, so my posted inventory goes down. That means I need to take new pictures and post new items, which can be time-consuming. But it keeps my online inventory looking fresh!

So you see that for everything I might gripe about a little, there's something positive to be had as well. And ain't that the way life should be...?!!