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41  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Get Product and Website Opinions / Re: Needed opinion on prices on: January 03, 2011 12:05:08 PM
I personally think that these items are underpriced!  When I see beautiful, handcrafted items like this priced so low, I wonder if the quality isn't very good.

I took a look at your store, and I have a few suggestions.

1)  Looking at all the pictures for your items, your work is really pretty from the front, but the pictures of the back of the work are not so good.  Customers want to know that your construction is good, but from the look of the back of your work, I wouldn't be confident that I'm buying quality.  For example, this comb looks like it's glued on with super glue:  http://www.etsy.com/listing/57630466/fuchsia-peony-silk-kanzashi-on-comb .  That doesn't look professional to me.  I would suggest using a different glue or finding some way to hide the glue.  I like E-6000 for my work (though I don't know how it would work on cloth).  It takes longer to set, but it's waterproof and dries super clear.   

2) Photography:  Some of your photos are over-exposed, making it hard to tell what the true colors are.  Also, use models more!  Giving dimensions of your work isn't enough.  Customers aren't going to pull out their ruler and try to imagine it on themselves.  People need to be able to see it in use!   I loved the model shot for this item:  http://www.etsy.com/listing/50825029/white-sakura-bridal-silk-kanzashi-comb

42  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Re: I am obsessed with Vintaj- 3 necklaces on: July 26, 2010 11:31:08 AM
Love the way you work those multiple strands!

Oh yeah, I've become a little obsessed with draping chain, too. Tongue  It does so much for the overall look of the necklace!

As for a tute... I'm not sure that's possible at this point. I just don't have the time to create one that I think would explain things correctly.
43  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / I am obsessed with Vintaj- 3 necklaces on: July 25, 2010 06:42:36 PM
After years of creating french beaded flowers, I've finally found a way to make them reflect my personal style in wearable art.  Here are 3 of the vintaj bronze and beaded flower necklaces I've made so far.  What do you think?

"Through the Garden Gates"-- This piece reminds me of a secret garden...
This piece uses Vintaj components, size 15 japanese seed beads, some beautiful czech glass with hints of green and blue, crystal bicones, and a ceramic leaf pendant. Each side of the beaded portion is about 8 inches long, and the entire necklace is about 17 inches long (not including the draping chain portions).

"Vintaj Queen"-- This is the kind of necklace I think a queen would wear.
The flower is made with 15/0 bronze charlotte-cut seed beads, 15/0 topaz, and a smokey quartz bead. The charlotte-cut beads give a subtle sparkle. It's mounted on a Vintaj piece. The hexagons are beautiful pieces of smokey quartz, and the round beads are wood agate and smokey quartz. I actually don't remember what type of stone the oval is... if you recognize it, let me know.

"Vintaj Princess"-- This one is a little more delicate and princess-like.
This necklace features a small Vintaj piece with a 5-petal forget-me-not mounted to it. All the beads used for this piece are navy blue-lined topaz, so they give a bit of topaz sparkle. There are 3 topaz swarovski briolettes, as well as a topaz swarovski bicone in the center of the flower. The chain hangs beautifully just as it does in this picture.

44  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Weddings and Bridal Showers / Re: Dark Pink French Beaded Bridal Bouquet-- tons of pics! on: March 22, 2010 05:34:26 AM
ladysarahjane-- better get started soon!  They are quite time consuming to create.  I recommend Dalene Kelly's books (you can get them on amazon) for beginners. Smiley 

bubblegum_phoenix-- I looked up pohutakawa, but I don't see them being translated into a beaded flower. Tongue  Unless I made them with a ton of loops... I dunno.
45  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Weddings and Bridal Showers / Re: Dark Pink French Beaded Bridal Bouquet-- tons of pics! on: March 21, 2010 05:58:59 PM
bubblegum_pheonix-- no allergy issues, no wilting during outdoor weddings (my next bridal bouquet is for a bride who's getting married on a beach in August!), and no "preserved" flowers, which I think look kinda yucky.  I wonder if these could be considered more eco-friendly as well?  I'm not sure what resources are used to create glass and copper wire and whether or not they use less resources than fresh flowers, but this bouquet is definitely reusable. 
46  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Weddings and Bridal Showers / Dark Pink French Beaded Bridal Bouquet-- tons of pics! on: March 21, 2010 04:39:45 PM
I've been creating french beaded flowers for almost 3 years now. I've seen people use them to create wedding bouquets, and I have been commissioned to create bouquets in the past.  This bouquet is created as a sample, not a commission, and I really wanted to see if I could make a bouquet that looked like a western floral designer had put it together.  I wanted people across the room to have no idea that it's made of beads.  I chose to make it in shades of dark pink.  I'm happy with the results and wanted to show all of you!

The bouquet is made completely out of size 11 seed beads strung on red and green colored copper wire.  Each of the flowers is my own design, as is the overall look.  There are 5 large roses and lots of little flowers created with different shades of pink.  Each small flower has a clear swarovski bicone in the center.

It's not huge.  The whole thing is 9 inches from top to bottom.  Yes, it's a little heavy.

I made each stem a little more "polished" by wrapping them in green embroidery floss.  Then I wrapped the whole thing with pink/gold ribbon and burgundy velvet ribbon with 9 swarovski rhinestones. 

Here's what the top looks like:

The best thing about this bouquet is that it won't wilt and it will last for a loooong time.  This is something that could be passed on to your daughter, and perhaps even to your granddaughter. 

I would love to hear your comments and critiques, and I hope this post opens you up to the idea of using french beaded flowers in your wedding! 
47  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / Re: Wire Tree: Summer on: March 17, 2010 06:56:02 PM
I'm so glad you like it!

How much wire do I use for a tree?  Good question! Hmm... let's see here... I use about 5-6 feet per branch... multiply that by 117... that's 585-702  feet. (Wow... I didn't know I used so much!)  Not all of that actually gets used because I have to make sure that there's more than enough to build the root system.  However, you may want to ask some other wire tree artists.  I build my trees from the top to the trunk instead of from the trunk up like most other people, so I might be using more wire than other people out there.  Also, I never actually measure my wire, so I can promise that my numbers are accurate. Tongue
48  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / Wire Tree: Summer on: March 17, 2010 04:34:53 PM
I know it's been a while, but don't worry- I've been keeping busy!

Summer is my favorite season. I love looking at all the different shades of greens created by trees and I love the airy, open feeling of a group of trees with the wind blowing through them. For this tree, I wanted to interpret those things by creating a tree that has a lot of leaves, but doesn't seem "heavy."

There are 3 different color mixtures, each with about 5 colors in them- light, medium, and dark. There are 2 different size loops. There are also 2 colors of wires- a dark brown and a lighter, slightly more golden brown.



Any comments or critique are more than welcome. Smiley
49  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / Re: beaded tree gift for a beach wedding on: March 16, 2010 06:07:03 AM
I love the way you used the two colors, and the roots look really nice!

I actually just threw out the tree you were inspired by.  It was nice, but my technique has improved a lot since then, so it doesn't represent my current style and quality. I'll probably do my next "beach" tree soon, though.  I just got commissioned by a wonderful lady to make a french beaded bouquet for her wedding, which will be at the beach! I like to make little extra gifts for brides that commission me. Tongue 

Anyways, this is a lovely little tree!  Wonderful work! Smiley
50  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Re: Featured Projects~4th Quarter, 2009 on: March 14, 2010 05:45:00 PM
What great projects. I especially like the beaded tree. How long did it take you to make that. I have an affinity for trees and would love to learn more about making this.

Thanks!  My trees take anywhere from 6-10 hours depending on the complexity of the "leaves."  This icy one took closer to the 6 hour mark.
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