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21  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / copper tubing, like in the hardware store on: October 08, 2009 05:40:20 PM
Has anyone made any jewelry using copper tubing from a hardware store?  thanks.
22  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / little plastic looking tubes on: October 08, 2009 05:39:22 PM
I don't really know how to describe this, but I'll try.  I would like to locate a little, tube like thing, maybe plastic, but with a silvery color.  This was a piece in a bracelet.  The little tube things looked sort of flowy-like, maybe wavy.  The closest I can come up with to explain this piece is a tiny piece of plastic tubing, like for an aquarium.  Any idea/thoughts?  Thanks.
23  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / wire wrap question and brooch on: September 29, 2009 11:01:21 AM
hi,  I made a couple of brooches with instructions to use 20 g wire.  I really like the brooches, but I just can't fathom how one can actually wear the brooch with 20 g wire.  It's just too thick to puncture through a lapel or whatever.  I've used little pins for brooches, but this particular design uses the wire for pinning, as part of the design.

One idea that did work, but may not be practical for most.  For a gift I received a 2 piece magnet where the magnet actually holds the pin in place.  This is similar to work type IDs that have a magnet.  With this set-up, there is no need to poke a hole in the garment.

One of the brooches is really too top heavy.  One suggestion for this pin was to glue a magnet under the heavy part.  My magnet as a gift can be used with different pins and is not a permanent fixture.

any thoughts/ideas?  thanks.
24  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / jewelry trunk show on: September 20, 2009 12:00:09 PM
hi,  Has anyone participated in a jewelry trunk show?  How did it work?  I see one in my area this week, but I'll be out of town.  thanks.
25  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Tips for Participating in Craft Fairs / craft fair last weekend on: September 15, 2009 09:56:07 AM
whewwww!  I'm still recovering from my first craft fair (juried) last weekend.  I was selling jewelry.  This craft fair had 20 booths, but it was part of a much larger fall fun fest with a bbq cookoff, music and kids' activities.  Overall, the fair was fairly successful for me.  We (my mother, husband and son helped) made almost 7 X the entry fee.  I think to really "test" my jewelry sales, I need to participate in an all craft, craft show.  To be fair, I must tell you that this craft show had an economical entry fee ($60).

I'm not real sure how to judge the success of a craft show, but in reality, we didn't make enough to cover our costs.  I need another outlet for sales, for sure.  My DH reminded me that we didn't consider our labor costs for the working at the craft show in setting prices.  Considering all of our helpers, we had about 50 hrs of labor.  This includes packing, set up, take down and the actual selling time.  Now, that I'm thinking about it, I didn't include the time to return our borrowed tent.

Things learned:  1.  NEVER go to a craft show with cardboard boxes (at least an outdoor show).  We got drenched one night.  My jewelry stayed mostly dry, but my boxes were wet.  We had to go home and dry out, unpack and repack for the next day.  So, if I go to another show, I will have plastic boxes.

2.  Have little girl's jewelry. (esp small stretchie bracelets)

3.  Black and white jewelry was most frequently requested.

4.  Have some beads just for kids to play with.

5.  I doubt that I can ever become a pro with craft shows because I have to work my day job.

One concern of mine was that I did not want to mess with taking "cards" for payment.  Only 2 folks even asked and one of those came back with cash.  The other one wrote a check.  In this particular craft show, not taking cards was OK.

We enjoyed the process of making the jewelry and the actual process of selling at the craft show, but for future reference we need to sell more to make a profit.  I doubt we could charge much more and still make sells. 

Thanks to all who have answered my ? in the beginning of this whole concept.
26  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / aluminum wire on: August 23, 2009 06:44:19 PM
Hi,  I may have asked this before, but I didn't see myself when I searched this topic.  Have you used aluminum wire?  I saw some at a bead show and have made a few bracelets/earrings.  Do you have any ideas?  I've used 6 g wire, so it's really big, but light and fairly easy to use.  thanks. catdaddytn
27  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / rough wire edges on: August 06, 2009 01:04:45 PM
hi,  What are the secrets to smooth wire edges?  I have read "tuck the wire end."  While I think I understand this concept, I can't seem to do it.  I have files and use them, but my edges still seem to have rough edge.  thanks.
28  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / male jewelry on: August 06, 2009 01:02:12 PM
I"m getting ready for a craft show and I've been asked, what about male jewelry? and what about jewelry for larger ladies?  OK - so I know very little about male jewelry.  I brought in some bracelets that fit my colleague with a wide wrist.  I do tend to fit myself and my wrist is small.  Also, I'm only 5 ', so I generally go for shorter necklaces.  The necklace I shared with my colleague was long enough without any special fittings.

What size necklaces/bracelets do you make?  Which ones sell more?  I think I could fit any size, as a custom-made piece.  I have made part of a bracelet and then measured it directly on my customer and finished it right then and there.  It's a good idea to try the bracelet on again before "smashing" the crimp bead. 

Memory wire bracelets seem to be a one-size fit most, in my experiences.  Adding extender chains helps with sizing, but I think this only works with lobster clasps.  The only problem with lobster clasps is with bracelets.  Personally, I think toggle clasps for bracelets are much easier to put on without help.  Stretchie bracelets do have some leeway with sizing, to some degree.

Since my wrist is small, most store bought bracelets are too big.  Apparently, some larger women have difficulty with jewelry sizing.

I certainly don't mean any disrespect to anyone with these thoughts.  We all have our size differences and challenges.

Any ideas for male jewelry?
29  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Tips for Participating in Craft Fairs / selling "used" jewelry on: August 02, 2009 09:16:48 PM
My daughter and I were discussing the question of selling "used" jewelry.  We are talking about pieces that I've made and worn a few times.  This came up because one of my colleagues really, really wanted a necklace that i was wearing.  I told her that I had worn it a few times and interestingly, she had given me the main bead components of this necklace for my birthday.  Funny, that she liked it much more than I did.  I wanted to give it to her, but she gave me $$.

So, my example is different, but what do you think about selling pieces that have been worn?  I've heard of folks selling the piece off their neck.

Personally, I don't think I'd want to buy a "used" piece.  I wear family heirloom jewelry, but that's different.

30  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Tips for Participating in Craft Fairs / craft show on: July 30, 2009 11:47:34 AM
Hi,  I can't believe it, but I've been accepted in a juried craft show.  My space is 10 X 10 and may include a tent with electricity provided.  This is my first craft show, so any ideas or tips would be appreciated.  I've got lots of work to do.  The show is Sept 11 (evening) and 12 (all day).  The show is part of a total celebration thingy with a BBQ cook-off, bands, kid activities.  My family is helping me get ready.

How much inventory do you think I should have?  Do you think Christmas or Halloween items would be good in September?  Any tips for an attractive set-up?  I may have a show special, of some sort.  This may sound corny, but would free gift wrapping be a good idea?  I'm thinking of a combo of "nice" things that are sorta pricey and then some more regular things.  I don't really have a specialty, but lately I've been working more with wire bracelets.  I like to use semi-precious stones and also, glass pearls.  I tend to lean towards earthy type tones or carnelian colors.  I try to stretch out to other colors.  (Recently, I made a yellow/orange bracelet and necklace.)  Some of my bracelets are rather time-consuming, so I may also promote special orders.

I'm thinking about how much to spend to get ready.  I'm going in a few min to talk with my local bead store ladies for their thoughts.

thanks.  Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.  My daughter is supposed to help me learn how to post photos.
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