Friday, September 25, 2009

Great Sales Today, funeral tomorrow

The fact that I had great sales today is tempered by the fact that tomorrow I attend the funeral of a friend. To make matters worse, his wife died two years ago and now their 15-year-old daughter has no parents. My heart just aches for her!
Her Daddy was one of my first friends when I served as a volunteer firefighter in the town where I used to live. He was always supportive and friendly and I was devastated when he had to quit the department for health reasons.

Aside from that sad note, today was good in that I had several really good sales and made some new friends.

I sold a Prismacolor painting pendant yesterday and then today I sold a number of items, including two PMC pieces! I also had the joy of creating a pair of earrings to match a pendant a customer picked out. I think she really enjoyed watching me make her earrings right in front of her.

I almost missed these customers, but some geocachers that showed up to find the geocache that is hidden in the caboose (outside) got to talking with me (I geocache too) and I was late getting out of the shop. Good thing, because I would have missed several good sales and talking with the woman who bought the items.

Now I have to get on the stick and make a bunch of stuff before the horse show I am taking my jewelry to next weekend. I also have a group of women coming in on Thursday. Hopefully I will make some sales there and if not, perhaps they will keep me in mind for Christmas time.

I hope to get my workbench built on Sunday and I plan to pick up a large stone block to put under the woodstove while I am in town tomorrow. It is supposed to freeze next week, so I need to get the woodstove in and get the plumbing insulated and the heat tape installed.

Okay, it is late and I was up very early this morning, so it is time for bed. Happy creating!


Saturday, September 19, 2009

White Rock, Sidewalks and Western Art

My wonderful landlord came by last weekend and dozed off all the sandburs out front of my shop (without even being asked) and then dropped a load of white rock on the sand for a parking area.

Earlier this week he talked with some people doing cement work and asked if they would mind dropping any extra off for a sidewalk in front of the caboose. This week he formed up a sidewalk and a cement truck came by and filled in one third of the sidewalk. Hopefully some more will be coming later to fill the rest in. Hey, the price is right, I can wait a bit for completion!

Today he came by with more white rock for the parking area.
Business was quite slow this week, although I did sell one of my Prismacolor painting pendants. I had an off week as far as creating, as nothing seemed to go quite right.
Now I have several special orders and one repair to do, so I had better get started on those.

I also had a woman come in and see the shop after her pickup broke down. She was carting horses to Kansas to a rodeo. She is having a horse sale the first weekend in October and is having a few vendors (invitation only) during the sale. She invited me! No cost to me whatsoever, other than gas to drive 65 miles one way -- and I do believe I will go! :)

I am trying to find a good mother's ring tutorial because I would like to make my sister a mother's ring. She is a single parent and deserves to have the sort of things most mothers would get from their hubby's (guess big sister will have to step in). Anyhow, I'm having a hard time finding something that will accept two facted stones, yet still be wire wrap, and not be too advanced for my limited wire wrapping skills. I found one and bought the tutorial, but it only gave instructions for adding one stone. I don't know if I am good enough to figure out how to add the second stone.

My REAP (Rural Enterprise Assistance Program) representative was here yesterday to take my photo while working inside the caboose and another of me outside the caboose, to put into a book they send to all the state legislators. He is also recommending me for a national video being made about micro business loans. He said they were looking for color and the caboose is definitely colorful!

All the information has been sent to the Omaha World Herald and hopefully they will come to do a story on me for their statewide section. I also hope to join GROW Nebraska soon and have them build me a website. They are a great cooperative marketing group that operates here in Nebraska.

I have created some new copper pieces and some new Prismacolor pendant pieces, as well as two "knitted" pendants.

I'll have to get a lot more made in the next two weeks if I am going to take my stuff to that horse sale! She said she thought my silver and my stone jewelry would both sell just great. She also thought I should take my belt buckle prototype. She said tiny belt buckles (western) as pendants are all the rage right now too.

It is late and I am tired, so I had better close. Happy creating!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Crosses, Tutorials and Tonsils

This has been a busy week for me. I started a new part time job cleaning my church, I wrote a tutorial and I finished up a few pieces I had started. Yesterday I took my 2-year-old son to have his tonsils and adenoids removed.

I am a high-stress person when it comes to surgery, so it was VERY hard for me to watch them wheel him away without me yesterday morning. It was a short surgery and he did very well, according to the doctor. Doc also told us Aidan had the biggest tonsils and adenoids he had EVER seen. He also cauterized Aidan's uvula (the hangy down thingy) to make it shrink, because it was very long. I had lots of friends praying for him though.

That little stinker worried me to death, then all day yesterday was a real trooper -- eating, drinking, playing, etc... Today he was a bit cranky and by evening he had dark circles under his eyes and had quit eating. Now I am beginning to worry again. I think the after effects of the anaesthesia are wearing off and the pain is setting in. Poor kiddo!

On a brighter note, I finished my PMC cross and it came out great. I call it "In the Garden at Gethsemane.
I wrote a tutorial for my hammered copper bracelet with braided trim and I have sold several, along with a resurrection of two of my older tutorials that suddenly started selling again (no complaints there) on the website.
I am in the process of writing two more -- one for my "Indian Summer" hammered copper set and one for the bezel-topped cabochon like the custom job I did last week. It was made for a man but could be worn by a woman as well.

I continue to work on getting my photo collection built back up after losing ALL of my photos a few weeks ago when my computer crashed. Frustrating! That also means I have to rebuild my business cards and brochures. I am out of notecards in all the venues I sell them in, but can't make new ones until I have new photos. Grrr!

Oh well, time for Aidan's pain meds, so I had better go!

Happy creating!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

More repairs and custom jobs -- one for a man this time!

This week I have gotten all but two repairs out the door and I have three more custom orders. Two I have to find the stones for and the third I finished up today.

This last custom job was a challenge because it was a pendant for a man, so I couldn't do any of the curlicues and geegaws I do on my other pendants.

After much thought, I decided to try making a bezel out of pattern wire and it worked quite well.

I am also working on a PMC cross. I did a two-tone wire wrap one the other day. My wire woven cross sold last week, so I need to make another one.
I am working on some black and white (grayscale) Prismacolor painting pieces for my mother. I am finding it difficult to find a good way to wire wrap the rectangular versions of my work. Hmmm, have to work on that.

Better get to bed -- my daughter has school pictures tomorrow, so I need to get up early and help her shower and get all "pretty."