Monday, September 30, 2013

Fairbanks Bad Girls of the North Show

Well, I survived the first craft show of the season. My new set-up took longer, but I think it was worth it. The raised tables, while not something immediately noticeable, made it easier for customers to see my work without bending over.

The backdrop was certainly a great improvement. In addition to lessening the distractions, the white fabric allowed the true colors of the jewelry to show themselves.

Here's the only really good photo I took of the new booth:

Remember, this is a ballroom usually used for dinners, banquets, weddings, etc. The chandeliers look like they are directly above my booth, but they are actually in the next row over. I had to turn off my own lights in order to get a decent photo. The smaller table in the foreground is the checkout area that Carol & I share. I keep a selection of boxes and bags there in addition to my iPad for credit card purchases.

A nice shot of the table on the right:

A blurry shot of the table on the left:

The new display items I purchased worked out well too. They are too small in these photos for you to appreciate them, but they are nicely finished wrought iron from Rio Grande.

All in all, the show was a good one. We always get such a great turn out in Fairbanks. They appreciate the care with which we select our artists. Thank you Fairbanks for encouraging us to continue traveling north to see you each September. This was our 13th year for this Fairbanks show. Where does the time go??

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

First Craft Show of the Season

We are driving to Fairbanks tomorrow for our first craft show of the season. The show is Friday evening and all day Saturday. This is a Bad Girls of the North show, one that my business partner & I produce. So not only do we need to be concerned with our own booths, but the Bad Girls booth is our responsibility as well. That's where we sell our awesome t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, tot bags, travel cups, etc.

With the help my Rick, we have done some work on my booth. I've resisted this for a couple of years, but finally gave in and did it. I'm raising the tables -- that was the easy part. I hated seeing people hunch over my tables just to see my jewelry. I purchased 2 sets of these simple risers:

I bought them locally at Fred Meyer, but they are available at Target too. Higher tables requires longer skirting. Off to JoAnn Fabrics I went. I always go for a fabric that packs well without wrinkling. Crushed panne does the trick -- skirting in black, table toppings in rich chocolate brown (not shown).

Adding a backdrop was the most challenging change, but will have the greatest impact. I think. I usually do a "come-into" booth, so adding a backdrop will lessen the distractions of whatever is behind my displays. Rick rigged some 2"x2" gizmos that will be clamped to the tables. I'll drape white crushed panne over the wooden framework, thus creating a background for my work.

Basically what I've done is increased my set-up time from 2 1/2 hours to, well, a lot more time.

I will post some photos after I'm all set up on Friday evening. This better pay off!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Bit of Wire Wrapping

I don't normally do this type of wire-wrapping. Anyone who does it regularly must be a bit insane. It's time consuming and the wire is persnickety. I use fine silver wire to keep the persnickety-ness to a minimum. It doesn't work harden the way the sterling silver does.

This first pair of earrings is super long. They look like twigs to me. I wrapped them with a series of  seed pearls and tiny faceted garnets.

For my next pair, I did a more daring color combination: apatite and golden tourmaline. These are shorter, but just a little more elaborate.

I don't have plans to list these in my etsy shop. I have 4 (ack, what was I thinking?!?) craft shows coming up and I need these earrings to keep my selections varied. You may see them on etsy later in the season, f they don't sell. But I hope they do!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Vintage Metal Components

While at the Tucson gem shows earlier this year I found a booth selling some very unique vintage components. They were heavy gauge and not your typical overstocks from now defunct jewelry manufacturers. From their weight, these pieces seemed almost industrial. The whimsical patterns on some of them had me questioning what kind of industry might use such things.

Once I decided to not care what their original purpose in life was, I scooped up a small batch of them to use in some simple earring designs.

I bought a whole series of these domed steel charms. The patterns vary, but are floral, overall. They must have been stamped from a large sheet of a continuous pattern. They're really pretty cute.

How about these? They're like a cross between a peace sign and Pi. I heart them.

This next pair is different -- they're copper and are embossed with a stylized scallop pattern. The natural patina adds another level of interest.

And now for my favorites. These copper charms are heavily patinated and are dramatically long. I spent quite a bit of time deciding what to do with them. As with the other charms, I finally decided that simple was best.

If you have any idea what these may have been used for in their former lives, please let me know! In the meantime, I love them as jewelry components.

Click on the photos to go directly to the listings in my etsy shop!