Take a look at the treasury, click on the other lovely items, and leave a comment or two :)
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Saturday, February 20, 2010
A short while back, I commented on the color Turquoise as the number 1 color to look out for this coming spring. Pantone, the leader in the color industry, also reported last fall on other influential colors that will popping up this season, and here is what the palate looks like.
What we see are bold colors mixed in soft neutrals and pastels. Read more about the color forecasts HERE, and in the meantime, take a look at these items that seem to resonate the Spring palate.
Friday, February 19, 2010
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Recently, the question was asked, "Where do you get your stuff?" As far as beading and jewelry making goes, here is a list of places in the San Antonio area that may be helpful. Now we all go the big craft chain superstores, like Michael's, Hobby Lobby, JoAnn's, etc., but in order to give your creations and extra bit of umph, and edge, one does have to delve deeper and find that strand of beads that no one else is going to have. Here are a few places that may lend a hand in that:
Local Bead/Jewelry Suppliers:
- Beads Plus - beads and findings
- Rainbow Jewelers Supply - findings, boxes, tags, hardware, supplies, lost wax, sterling/GF wire
Both Beads Plus and Rainbow are located in the same building. Beads Plus is located on street side, while Rainbow is located on the floor below. Most supplies are pretty reasonable at Rainbow. They have got a wide variety of different gauge wires that sell by the foot and by the ounce.
- Tres Rebecca's - Studio, beads, tools, notions, fabric, retail... overall interesting place.
711 S. St. Mary'sSan Antonio, TX 78205
Tres Rebecca's is one of those places that you go to in order to get some inspiration. There is a little bit of everything in there. Plus, they are just a few doors down from me!
- Originals - beads, retail
- Bitter Creek Designs - beads, findings, supplies, and retail
You are most likely to see Doug and Pam Larson at traveling bead shows in the surrounding areas. They have got a wide and impressive selection of glass, Czech, and crystals. They are located in NW Austin, and you can browse their collection online, or in person by appointment only. I first became acquainted with the Larson's while in college, when I would sneak off to their home between class to spend my work study money on some of their fabulous beads. Very helpful when I was new to the beading game.
The one in SA has just closed, but the one in Austin is still kicking. I worked at the Ausitn location all throughout my later years in college, and it remains very dear to my heart. While pricey at times, they do carry a great selection of semi-precious stones and lots of sterling silver findings.
Located in the NE side of San Antonio, you can call to set up an appointment to check out their stock. Sherry Fotopolis offers classes and the best quality of supplies when it comes the craft of precious metal clay. I make a trip over to her place about every other week or so.
- Beads 2 go
- Hobby Lobby
- JoAnn Fabrics
- Hancock Fabrics
Touring Gem and Jewelry Shows:
Now If you are serious about jewelry making, then these shows are where you really want to go. The prices are either near or at wholesale and the quantities are immense. Now, most of these shows (especially at the Live Oak Civic Center) are open to the pubic. The bigger ones will usually have restricted areas for wholesale only, which means that you will have to show a business card and tax ID certificate in order to enter. The Parker Trade show listed below is wholesale only and NOT open to the public. Here is a list of upcoming shows and their dates.
- San Antonio Bead Market - thebeadmarket.net
Live Oak Civic Center
- Parker Trade Show - parkertradeshow.com
San Antonio Event's Center
(near 410&Marbach Rd.)
- International Gem and Jewelry show - intergem.com
Palmer Events Center
- Southwest Gem and Mineral Show - swgemandmineral.org
Live Oak Civic Center
- San Antonio Bead and Orniment Society Bead Bazaar - sabostx.com
Live Oak Civic Center
More installments of our resource guide are coming, but if you feel I left anything out of the Bead/Jewelry guide, let me know, and leave a comment! Happy Beading!
As mentioned in my blog yesterday, myself and fellow San Antonian were featured in Etsy's very popular Storque blog. I am still literally amazed at the amount of exposure it actually produced! And by the way, I LOVE google analytics. Earlier this morning, I logged on to check all of my traffic stats for blinkdesign.etsy.com and this was one of the headlines I saw for yesterday due to the Storque's blog:
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
While I am always happy to notice in influx of views to my online store, sometimes when I notice that there are "too" many views, there is a bit of "what's going on here" whispering in my head. Such was the case today... I was marked as a favorite by about 9 different folks within an hour or so! Turns out Etsy featured my "Mardi Gras Headband" in their blog about the upcoming events and style of Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Read their blog HERE.
It is also really cool that another fellow Alamo City Handmade member was also featured in Etsy's blog yesterday too!!! Congrats to Jennifer over at Abby's Attic. Check out the blog featuring one of her cute dresses HERE.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
I am a bit of an addict when it comes to buying books and magazines, especially when it comes to crafting. I have never taken a class to learn any particular craft, but rather, I learned everything I know from reading. I love the idea of having a reference at my disposal at any time. This particular book I'm reviewing is different from most craft books or zines in that it talks about the ins and outs of crafting game like selling online, in craft stores, at craft shows and expos, and how to be an overall crafty sellout... but in good way.
Crafty Superstar by Grace Dobush was released last year in 2009, which means much of the information and resources given in the book are still extremely relevant and up to date. Now will it still be the case in a year or so; that remains to be seen. This book is an attempt to answer the question of "now what?" that many crafters ask themselves after they see a certain bit of popularity grow in their handmade goods. It gives different scenarios for the part time crafter to the more entrepreneurial full time crafter. One particularly handy section is in Chapter 3 where, Dobush talks about the different avenues of selling you goods, such as creating a personal website, Etsy.com, consignment stores, craft shows, etc. For each avenue she specifically talks about the pros and cons of each, how each one typically works, and a bit of extra advice for each one so that you can optimize exposure and ultimately sales.
There are checklists and great color photos galore throughout this book, but what seemed most useful is the information given in Appendix A-I. There, Dobush lists popular craft blogs, craft friendly publications, listings of small business resources (most of which are free), and even major indie craft shows throughout the North America. It is here she also includes a breakdown on the sketchy and sometimes controversial topic of pricing your handmade goodies.
One of the most compelling things I found about this book was Dobush's acknowledgement of what today's crafter goes through. She talks about how to deal with bad online customers, haters blasting you in cyberspace, rejection from juried craft shows, snubs from cheap buyers and copycats. While making these acknowledgements on a personal level, she still makes sure to recognize the legalities and necessary bookkeeping of a new and budding independent craft business.
While this is not the first "how to" book on selling that I've picked up, it is the first that I've thought to be both practical and relevant to my selling style. One very dated book I picked up several years back stated that one should take as many opportunities as possible to get out there and sell, so at the time I did. I signed up for several bazaars and church craft shows, and then figured out that they were a big waste of time, money and effort, mostly because I wasn't selling to my target market. One of the things I like about this book is that while it points out that you should love what you make, you should still not forget who you are making it for, how much is your target market is willing to spend, and especially WHERE to get a hold of your target market.
Now, grant it, the majority of this info is available for free if you look hard enough and spend hours and hours delving in for your self, but the beauty of this little book is that, Dobush has done all of the hard work for you and with the help of many other successful crafters which are quoted in the book. For the many crafters out there that are ready to take their handmade game to the next level, then this book is for you.
B.Link says: Get It!
Crafty Superstar by North Light Books
By Grace Dobush
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
HERE is a new post on some subtle changes over at Etsy.com
While I think they are a great start, more still needs to be done about giving a more balanced way to promote sellers on Etsy. I've been lucky enough to have been featured on the Front Page a few times in the past year, yet it's a little disheartening to see the same seller on there every couple of weeks or so.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
I've always believed that my products were made of the highest quality, yet they lacked extra UMMMPH! In hopes of adding some pizazz, I've come out with some new packaging for all of my products.
All of my items will now be wrapped like this whether buying in store or purchasing online. The whole thing was relatively easy and completely done at home with regular crafting tools, and a color printer. Also, this was all done on MS Publisher. Here is a list of items I used:
- Colored Cardstock
- Spray adhesive
- 1/8 hole punch
- 1/16 hole punch
- Large edge trimmer
While a bit time consuming, I couldn't be more pleased with how the items turned out. Luckily my sister give me a great jumping off point when it came to overall style and logo design. After that, there were so many options.