Sunday, May 29, 2011

New Show

I have signed on the be a vendor at the Martin Luther King Jr. Juneteeth Celebration.   For additional information, click on Shows and Events.  

Saturday, May 28, 2011

It's Getting Hot In Here

Here is the time to get moving.  Winter is dead and the summer time is hear to stay( at least until the fall).  This is the time for summer festivals, events and shows.  I love doing outside shows.  The crowds are large and you get to meet other vendors from other states and other venues.  My absolute favorite is the large shows where there are at least 200 vendors.  The more the merrier I say.   Not only do you get to check out the competition, but you get to exchange ideas, information, and chit chat.   I have learned more from other vendors at these large shows than poking around on my own.  I love the way they set the stage for whatever merchandise they are selling.  Every vendor is milling around checking out prices, techniques and displays.   We are all there for one reason.  To sell, sell, and sell some more.   Meeting people, and other vendors is the bonus.

I just adore the outdoor shows. People are in a better mood, even it is real hot, they will still come by the table and chat, maybe buy a few things, maybe not.  The sun is shining and a hopefully slight breeze.  It makes for a perfect day.
Summer shows brings all walks of life. People will come out of their offices(this is street fairs) for lunch, stroll by, look, buy or browse.   Most shows are on the weekends.  The crowds of people will stop by your table and oh and ah over what you have slaved over for the past few months. It is almost like a picnic. You bring out the lawn chairs, table, tent, food, drink, umbrella and sit and wait. And the night shows are even better. Turn your light on, putting a shine on your items as you sail into the last hours of what has turned out to be a fun, relaxed and hopefully a profitable day.  I try to cram as many shows in as possible in the summer.

The outdoors shows also bring about its headaches as well.  Wind, water and the sun, just to name a few.   For me it is the wind and sun.  The wind, if any there is any,  will blow my things all over the place.  The sun, if I don't invest in a tent this year. will discolor my jewelry. 

I have come up  with ways to combat the wind.  I have made earring boards, used a fire place screen, put them in decorative bowls on the table.  You name I have done it all.   One of my best effort was to make earring holders with pieces of material and embroidery hoops.  But even those kept flying away.  I used a peg board to hold the hoops in place with S hooks, but the board kept falling down.   I use to own a tall black carrying case which was lined with black felt and cushioned.   I lost the case during a move and have not been able to find one again.  It was light weight and I could carry it everywhere.   At one show, I pinned my earring to the skirt I was using on the table.  It worked for a little while, until the skirt fell from the table and took all my other merchandise with it.  The mishaps of a vendor.  

The only way to block the sun is to use a tent.  I have brought the EZ up, the one without the flaps(it cost more and sometimes there is not enough to around the tent.).  I will then purchase 2 blue tarp and using shower hooks, make my own flaps.  To secure them to the legs of the tent, I will punch holes and tie with a rope.   A lot of my materials can be found at Dollar General and the dollar store.   I will also position my merchandise toward the back of the tent.

I prefer grass shows than concrete or ground.  It is easy on the feet, no dust to speak of and if you pick the right patch of grass, you have even ground to set up your tent. 

Other annoyances  are the blood suckers, and the army.  Some people prefer to call them ants, mosquitoes and  flies.  I call them a menace to society.   Not only will they bite you but they will nibble on your customer, driving them into the arms of another vendor.   I will usually not eat around my tent and anything sweet is washed away with water.  I always bring plenty of water with me.   To help wipe off dust, scare away some ants and to wash away the dust from your feet.   Who wants to buy something from someone with dusty feet?

Who can argue about summer shows?  They bring their own magic and mystery.  I seem to sell differently in the summer than in the winter.  Maybe it is because I sell jewelry and this a chance to show your individual style and grace with the items I make.   What ever the reason, I hope they continue forever and ever.  So come and enjoy.  You might see me there.

****** My hometown is Chi-town.   I have just posted a list of some of the Summer Events in Chicago  If you are in the are, you might want to take a look. ********

******To check out what shows I will be doing, click on the link for Shows and Events**********

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bead, Beads, and More Beads

I love going to different bead shops.  The rows of beads, colors, textures(glass, wood, ceramic, fibers, plastic), it doesn't matter.  I love them all.  Even the smell of new beads.  OK, I know beads do not have a smell, but a girl can fantasize can't she.   Buying new beads always gets the juices flowing, especially if I have a creative block.  I am always looking for new and interesting ways to create new jewelry, with different beads and components. 

I received an email from EHOW.  The article caught my attention right away.  It was titled - How to Make Bahamian Sand BeadsAfter I read through the article, I thought I would share this information.  

When people want to make jewelry, but there are no beads in sight, they figure out how to make their own beads with the materials available to them. In the Bahamas, if you want to make some beautiful pieces of jewelry, all you have to do is go to the beach and scoop up some sand! If you don't have a beach nearby, you can still make these beads at home with a few inexpensive materials found at any craft store.


Things you'll need:
Screen or cheesecloth
Glass bowl
Vegetable oil
Craft glue
Acrylic paint
Sewing needle
Clear acrylic glaze

1. Collect 2 cups of sand from the beach, or buy some sand from a craft store. Make sure the sand is fine. Sift it through a screen or cheesecloth and rinse it off very well to clean it. Set it out in the sun and let it dry completely.

2. Pour the sand you prepared and two cups of papier-mâché into a clean glass bowl. Rub a coating of vegetable oil on your hands and add some glue. Knead the mixture into the consistency of bread dough. Add the desired amount of acrylic paint to make colored beads. Rinse your hands off and apply more vegetable oil if your hands get too sticky as you work.

3. Roll the sandy dough into the desired sizes and shapes for your beads. Let them air dry over night.

4. Pierce each bead through the middle with a large sewing needle after they've dried over night, or have just dried enough so that you don't crush them between your fingers. Since the beads are so thick, letting them sit for up to eight hours will not dry them completely. Don't let them dry all the way or you won't be able to poke a hole through them.

5. Brush a coat of clear acrylic glaze on each bead to make them glossy (if you want) and let them dry. Now you can make jewelry with your homemade sand beads.

I have not tried this yet.  I am waiting for school to end.  Once I make the beads, I will post the beads, then I will create a piece.  Wish me luck,

Friday, May 6, 2011

Time is slipping away

I love what I do.   I love making jewelry, creating cards, recycling, re-purposing, reusing,  multitasking.  I wish I could spend the whole day, just creating(I also like to sell my creations).   I am always trying to do several things with one motion.  I guess that is why I have five blogs.  Yes five blogs, one website.  It sounds crazy.  It might just be.  A friend(Her Blog is Peaceful Reader) of mine mentioned to me that I had not blogged in over 4 weeks.  It did not seem that long, only because I am always making adjustments to the blog without posting.  I do have a tendency to get lost in exploration of the world wide web and making improvements to my many blogs.   All of my blogs now have a great  foundation and all I have to do is add the decorative touch.  The Internet is always changing and I like to keep up with the latest and greatest.  Whether I use it is another story.

Now my reasons for not bogging as I should, are simple.   There is not enough time in the day to do all I things I want to do.  With all that I have to do, I wonder why I am doing what I am doing.   Let me give you an example.
1. Connection with my spiritual life, God and Jesus
Christ(this is a must)
2. Writing., posting, decorating  the five blogs/web site
3. Making jewelry and paper crafts, and any other projects that I tackle
4. Marketing and Advertising for my jewelry and paper craft business
5. Taking pictures, uploading and writing captions
6. Recycling, Re purposing and reusing to save money
7. Reading and seek new ideas, functions, items, etc to promote my business
8. Taking care of my home, family and friends
9. My personal time, time to me and be free
10. I manage the bills, make all the phone class, etc.
11. Preparation for teaching two classes (basic computer class and basic jewelry making/repair and redo.

And on top of that, I am applying to go back to school for web design.  Time has a habit of slipping away. Having to do all of this and work a full time job is insanity.  At least that is what my therapist said.  I feel my days getting shorter and shorter.  As I continue to pile on more things, projects, causes on to my day, it has become apparent to everybody but myself, that I might have a full plate.  I feel better when I am doing something.  It is even hard for me to watch a movie now.  I will be writing or making jewelry while I am in bed.  I feel like it is not productive just to sit.  Activity is the name of this game, my game.

The amount of activity is your choice.  Whatever you can stand.  My choice is to have as much on my plate, maybe having it run over sometimes.  I will have plenty of time to rest.  At least I think so.  I will check to see how much time I have.