Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Design This – Can You Make Multiples?

Sometimes a custom request is as simple as someone wanting more of an item than I have available in a listing. Since many of my bead supplies are purchased as a strand of beads, often I am able to oblige. Two custom requests came in last year that I managed to have just enough matching supplies on hand to fill my customer's request.

I had a flying pig keychain made from a couple of beads that reminded me of an evergreen conifer in my EclecticSkeptic Etsy shop. I received an inquiry for seven or eight total of the tree keychains (The tree was a must). Luckily I had just enough of those stones left to be able to make the total of eight that she preferred. She asked about making some of them silver instead of gold as seen in the listing. Since these would be made from scratch for my customer, that was easy for me to do. She also decided she wanted two keychains like the agate and silver flying pig keychain listing I had available. I had three agate beads left that I thought were pretty similar to the one in the listing so I included them in a photo with the green tree parts and numbered them so my customer could choose the stone she liked for the second keychain. After she chose it was time to assemble the eight new keychains to our agreed upon specs and ship them with the two she had seen listed originally.
Another request came later in the year for a larger multiple of a listed item than the tree keychain request. It was for a total of eleven square brown shell lapel pins like the one I had listed. That request proved to be pretty easy but when that customer came back requesting another twelve I held my breath as I counted the square brown shell beads I still had on hand. Luckily I had just enough and was able to fulfill the second request as well.

When I run out of a supply that has been popular I keep my eye out for more of them when I get a chance to shop at a trade show. So far the carved green stones and square brown shells have eluded me. While I will purchase more if I find them, running out of a supply helps push me to come up with new designs and keep my offerings fresh.

If you are interested in seeing if I can make more of a particular item than the number I have listed as available, please contact me to see if I can accommodate your request.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Raw Crystal and Polished Gemstone Point Jewelry

I love how using variations in my Etsy shop listings gives my customers several choices in just one listing. Case in point, two recent listings for gemstone point pendant necklaces.

I scored some really great polished double point gemstone pendants at a recent trade show that I paired with long silver plated chains. I am able to offer a choice between tiger's eye, rose quartz, purple and white fluorite and rainbow fluorite in the same listing. In the past I might have just made and listed one of those choices for sale to see how it did before committing more supplies to a final form.

Two replace a recently sold listing on Etsy, I needed to make another raw citrine point pendant necklace. While I was creating that necklace I was inspired to create two because of two beautiful but different citrine points, when I could not decide which to use. With variations there was no need to decide, I could list each as a choice. While I was at it, because I knew I could use variations to offer them all in one listing, I also created a quartz crystal natural point paired with amethyst pendant and an amethyst point necklace.

Variations hasn't made me go totally crazy committing all of my raw and polished gemstone points to finished pieces however. I still have a good supply waiting to become something special. If you would like to inquire about a custom design please contact me.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Butterflies in the Garden - Fort Worth - 2016

The butterflies are back! Their second week has begun at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens and they will be there through Sunday, April 3, 2016. Exotic butterflies are hatched out and released into the rain forest conservatory for visitors to view as they stroll along the pathways. Butterflies in the Garden comes to the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens every other year so if you don't get by before they are gone, you won't be able to see them again until 2018. If you don't live close enough to visit this exhibit check with your local botanic garden to see if they have this or a similar one on their calendar.

What can you expect to see? You will see a wide variety of exotic butterflies from South America. There are a variety of colors and sizes. You will see butterflies, large and small, perching on foliage, drinking nectar from flowers and eating from feeding stations. You need to watch your feet so you don't step on any that land on the path. But don't look down all the time because there will be butterflies flying past and above you. They often travel in groups. It's ok if they land on you, just don't walk out with them. It is also ok to bring your camera but don't bring in any snacks and drinks.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Pi Day 2016

Yes I said pi not pie. Although Pi Day also winds up being a good excuse to eat some pie as many restaurants join in the fun and offer specials on pie for the day, so search out some good deals for your sweet tooth. Pi day has also given me a good excuse to create some fun photographic art for the occasion.

But I digress. If you are a math or science geek you probably already appreciate that Larry Shaw, a physicist working at the San Francisco Exploratorium, created Pi Day in 1989 to celebrate the all important mathematical constant pi. Last year was an extra special Pi Day as I mentioned in my previous blog post. This year is a fun Pi Day too, in addition to the fact that every Pi Day date (3/14) shares the first three digits of pi (3.14). Inspecting more of pi, we see 3.14159… . If we round to the ten-thousandths place we get 3.1416, the same as this year's Pi Day date (3/14/16). I had already created this year's Pi Day photographic art piece without thinking of this, so I thought it was a cool coincidence when my husband mentioned Rounded Pi Day to me this morning.

Here is a little background on how this year's art print came to be. I had a general idea that I wanted to do something using the "pie are round" theme. In addition my experimenting with the phrasing that I wrapped around the picture of a pie, my supportive hubby experimented with baking some pies. The first pie was a strawberry rhubarb pie with a wide lattice style homemade crust. It was delicious, but unfortunately it bubbled up a bit too much between the lattice and the πr2, that I cut out of some extra dough and hubby dusted with sugar, did not have enough contrast with the lattice pie crust.

Pie experiment two was an apple pie. We took the short cut of using store bought pie crusts for this one. (The resulting crust was good but not as flaky or tasty as the homemade one.) This time I made the πr2 twice as thick and brushed it with an egg wash that hubby made. This made for good color contrast once the pie was baked and I had a photo to use as input for this year's math geek home d├ęcor print. You can find last year's and this year's matted photographic art prints in my Eclectic Design Choices Artisans Cooperative shop or my EclecticSkeptic Etsy shop.

Update: My 2016 Pi Day matted print was purchased as a prop and can be seen on episode 8 of the Frasier reboot!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Thanks for the Treasuries - February 2016

Four Etsy shop owners let me know they had featured one or more of my items in a treasury during February. Six February Etsy treasuries, that treasury makers let me know about, included one of my creations. Three treasuries contained two of my items. You can see a collage below of my items from EDCCollective and EclecticSkeptic that were featured during February. (Click on the collage to see a larger view.)

I really appreciate being featured by the treasury makers. To thank them, I have listed below a link to the Etsy sellers that let me know they had featured one or more of my items, as well as an item from their shop that I like.

Enjoy window shopping and please click on the links of anything that catches your eye.

If you know a wine connoisseur or gardener who appreciates hand made items look no further, you have stepped into the right place!

Girlie Gals offers you sparkle and shine with handmade jewelry at affordable prices.

This shop owner turns graphics into button dangle earrings, hair clips, keychains and more.

This artisan creates handmade jewelry inspired by poetry.