Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Repurpose, reuse - DIY Displays

I have added a few display ideas for shows. If you are doing a craft fair or art show, these are some fun ideas using repurposed items from your home.

I like to give a feel of creativity or an artistic flare to my booths. It seems that when people are shopping, they are looking for something different. Something to draw them in. Let's face it, there are a million stringers out there. Set your booth apart from all the other vendors and it will also set your product apart.

If your booth allows you to have the real estate to get big and creative go for it. If not, keep those creative display ideas to a minimum and use them to 'show case' your best items.

Shutter earring display.

There are two types to consider. If you are at an outside event, have tables and a tent, use the plastic stutters. You can run ribbon thru the top slot and tie them to the supports of the tent and use a C clamp to secure them to the edge of your table - here is a picture from my former business and how the plastic shutters worked in our booth. -

I have completely revamped my business model since those days, but this gives you and idea how you can incorporate it into your outside booth.

Wooden shutters are heavier and won't clamp as easy to a table. Use folding chairs for your base, covering them with cloth. Set the chairs at the end of the tables and set the shutter in the chair. The chairs will support the shutters and make the front of your booth inviting. This shutter was used at a local gallery for my earrings that were for sale. The gallery owner painted it the great shade of purple. I love setting these at the front of my booth. they just scream "COME ON IN!"

Here is the shutter with the earring cards. Don't pack the shutter, leave some spaces. Let the customer breath while they are shopping instead of having so many choices. It can be over whelming. You dont' have to have all of your inventory out for display to secure a sale. Sometimes less is more. Watch your customers. If you notice a customer pausing at a few differnt items, ask them if they are looking for anything in particutlar. You may have some more stashed for back ups.

The shopping experience is so much more relaxed when they are spaced and easy to get to.

See how the cards thread thru the slats to help anchor them.

Pendant displays.

Lets talk repurpose again - use an old frame, floral foam or packing foam, material and glue. Forgive me for not documenting as I made it, the thought came later. It is pretty self explainitory.

Cut the foam about an inch smaller than the glass in the frame. Cover the foam with material securing the material to the foam with glue. Now glue the material covered foam to the glass of the frame.

VI-OH-LA! A pendant display. Now you can secure your pendants to the foam with a stick pin, and it will set up anywhere!

Bracelet displays -

Old bottles are great show cases for bracelets. you don't want to put stacks of them down the neck, it will hide the bottom pieces and make them harder to get at if a customer wants to try them on. Use the bottles to present 1 or 2 of your better pieces - be prepared to be offered money for the bottles too :)

Wire baskets can also be great for bracelet displays. Once set up, there is no need ot tear them down.

I have seen these baskets in varying sizes everwhere - Wal Mart, Dollar General, Target, and even at The Dollar Store. They are a great little investment that won't set you back.

Stand it on it's end and the handle becomes a brace for the display. Attach the bracelets onto the wire. This also can act as security. They are harder to lift if the toggle has to be fiddled with to get it off the display.

You can use several of them and color co ordinate your displays by keeping similar bracelets together.

I'll have my booth set up with all these ideas and more implemented. I'll take more pictures and show you how it all comes together.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

This is a test

This is a test - for the next several seconds what you see and hear is only a test.

I thought it would be fun, and a more in-tah-mit way to say hello today and share some information. (i honestly dont' know where the northern midwest accent came from.....nerves prolly)

This is a true testament to the importance of rehearsal :)

Monday, April 27, 2009


busy with new dog - that i still don't know if i want to call my own yet
busy with making displays
busy with labels
busy with work
busy with life


Saturday, April 25, 2009

it's the little things

My bumper stickers are here!!!!

Friday, April 24, 2009


Vintage button covers, late 60's early 70's I am guessin. These were a gift to my mom from her brother who was a designer. He knew how she loved to sew and would find things on his trips to shows in NYC. She was always ahead of the game in fashion thanks to him.

Now...what can I do with these! Any ideas? What would you do?

Just Do It!

Bead Trends Magazine is accepting submissions for the October 2009 issue until midnight April 26 2009.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Don't miss out!

Want to know a little bit more about me?

Dawno of Dawno's Beaded Badge Lanyards & Jewelry has interviewed me and has posted it on her blog!

Stop by and give a look see!

Interview here

I am the coolest kid on the block!

I am stoopid with excitement! I got my package from Dawno last nite.

I ordered the greatest bracelet EVER from her.

I read about it and the new teck-neek she found on her blog.

Her work is fantasic, and I am a huge fan.

She has her pieces up on ArtFire and Etsy. Stop by and see them. You know you want to be as cool as me!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Be a Star! A Bead Star!

Bead Star magazine is taking submissions for their 2009 issue. There are several categories -

Heart designs
Seed beads
Under $25

They are taking submissions up until May 1, 2009, but are having an 'early bird' special if your entries are in by April 24, 2009.

"But I can't submit my stuff" I hear you say. Sure you can! Don't be afraid to submit your pieces. There is never failure in trying. You only fail when you let these opportunities pass you by. It is a learning experience.

Submit your pieces, learn from the experience, watch what they are picking, stretch yourself to a new teck-neek, or a new style. You will not grown in your craft if you do not change it up. The general rule of thumb is for every 10 no's you get, you will get 1 yes. If you have never submitted before, don't expect your first piece to get in, but get your stuff out there. Be consistant in your entries, they will notice you, and soon begin to look forward to your entries.

Here is the submission form!!! Go get em!!! keep me posted!
Submission form

On a side note. This morning I worked up a new piece with the left over lava stones. I used them as an accent to a firey summer piece. The focal glass pendant is from my mom and the many spoils I brought home with me from vacation. I for get what it is called - Muriano? (help me here)

Filigree Harvest, filigree beads (4mm and 8mm) and lava stones (roundells and round) from Rings & Things,
Carnelian chunks from Sedona Stones,
And a bunch of repurposed items to fill it out. It seem appropriate to have the lava stones with a red piece.

Aestas the goddess of summer

Monday, April 20, 2009

Kreative award - I am honored

My jaw dropped when I got a note from Dawno that she had nominated me for the Kreativ Award. I got a bit misty eyed. Our peers are our greatest inspiration and support. I wouldn't be where I am today without support from other artists, whether they be beaders, sculpters or painters. Thank you Dawno :)

So, to keep things rolling, here are the rules of the Kreativ award:1. The winner may put this award on their blog.2. Please put a link to the person that presented you for this award.3. Nominate 5 blogs.4. Put links to all their blogs.5. Leave a message for your nominees.

Cats Claw Studio
Lampwork Diva aka Cindy Gimbrone
My Joyful Home
The Busy Bee

Re Purpose project

While I was at my moms we went thru box after box of 'stuffs' she has collected over the years. I need a month to show you everything I brought home with me.

Back in the 70's my mom use to make costume jewelry christmas tree wall hangings. She would push the twinkle lights thru holes in the cardboard and it would light up. The twinkle lights would reflect off of all the rhinestones and quite honestly could put somones eye out :)

Any one remember these? I found this pic on line - Glorious I tell you! I am so digg'n her hair too. Man, I miss the 70's

While we were diggn, we found a box of odds and ends. Costume jewelry left over from those christmas tree days. I squealed when I saw it.

This morning over coffee the idea hit me, I came up with this.

Paisley crazy

The purple coins are dyed crazy lace agate from Sedona Stones.

And yes, I am wearing it :)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday quickie

Are business cards important to your business?
Do you think they are needed?
Do you think they honestly make an impression or are they a waste of space?

I recently got mine at Overnight Prints and am very happy with them. I just found out about Visaprint - they have 42 styles to choose from for free (pay for shipping) and the styles are awesome, and the quality is really nice.

I have business cards
They are simple and to the point
I never leave home without them.
They are more important than just to pass on information about my business.
They are scratch paper
They can be folded and used to steady a table
They can be used as a substitute for dental floss
They can be used to smash spiders on your dash to save your life
The corners can be used to clean under your finger nails
They can be used as book marks
They can be used to scrape the frost off of your windshield...

The list goes on,

So to answer my questions, yes my business cards are very important to me.

Your turn..

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Finally gettin round to it

While on vacation Jo (daughters nickname) and I went to several little antique and resale shops in her downtown area. Fun little main street, so much to look at. We were at one counter and it was 'OH, I need that!' 'Mom look at this!' 'This is fantastic! I can't live without this!' We went on and on till we had drawn a crowd to see what we were ooohhh'n and awww'n about. Trying on necklaces and three pairs of clip on earrings at the same time, we tried to get an idea of which were the best. We could have been our own game show. We would squeal and clap with delight at each new find.

Contestant number one, look what you have won!!!!

I poked around with a purpose. I am looking for display ideas, and older pieces to use in my re purpose project. I am thrilled with what I found.

I guess it is because I have taken such an interest in it, I am noticing it more. I see more and more repurposed pieces of jewelry. It is exciting to me to breath new life into some of those tired wore out pieces. The combinations of old and new is a great mash up of era and culture. It can educate new buyers to a costume jewelry past that may help them connect to someone in their family. *cue sappy music, I am on a roll* It may spark a conversation of 'What was it like when you were my age' and bring a family closer. Re purposed jewelry can bring peace and harmony!

What have you done with re purposed jewelry? Does it have a meaning or a story with it? Pull up a chair, I'll grab the wine, tell me bout it!!!!

Here are my spoils..

Here is a close up of the goodies.

There are two glass hands, and all the goodies are in an old doll bed. What in the world are you going to do with a doll bed!?!!?!?!

Stay tuned kids!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Don't limit yourself

It is easy to paint yourself into a corner, so to speak with your designs. You can get comfortable with making a certain style, you know it sells, so lets not knock it. Right?

When you look at your supplies, can you see your customer base? Is it somewhat predictable? Just by adding two more components, inexpensive ones at that, to your kit, you have the potential to double your customer base.

Yup, 2 things.

Leather and elastic.

Leather will allow you to make necklaces and bracelets that appeal to a more casual customer and also to men. OMG! you just became unisex! How trendy of you!

Elastic will allow you to create great bracelets that are just as elegant but easy to slip on over your hand for customers who do not like to deal with clasps, or may not be able to anymore due to arthritis.

But I can't tie knots! I hear you don't have to. Use your crimp beads. More than likely after the crimp is in place, it will be hidden by a bead in the design.

is Magic!

Two little things can open up your business to so much more - What if you found three things...the sky is the limit kids!!

I have male customers now that I think I never would have had, had it not been for my unisex line. Several of my male customers love to have a piece that compliments their female counter parts jewelry. This is great fun for me to take a design and bulk it up as a 'companion' piece to some of my other necklaces.

This is the latest custom order for a 'his and hers'.

for her - faceted smokey quartz and turqoise

for him - tigers eye and turquoise with vintage bear claw accents

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Wrap it up - I'll take it!

Hey kids lets talk about packaging today. I like to make the packaging that holds my pieces just as fun as the piece itself. When my customers get their orders, they have nice little 'gifts' wrapped up with that personal touch. It is perfect for those items bought as gifts, being it is already wrapped.

When I first started, this was the packaging I used and got such raves about it, that I thought it was time to bring it back. I got away from this practice when I was sharing the business with friends for continuity's sake, and am glad I am back to it.

It is all about utilizing what is around you, making it personal and showing that little bit of extra effort. Don't settle for an organza bag - everyone is doing it. Your art is a one of a kind, why not make your packaging the same.

i have a bunch of fabric scraps -

Cut a circle - oh, say - about 5 inches across for this example

I use embrodery floss for my thread. it comes with 6 threads to a strand, typically i separate it in half - and just use 3 strands. Pick a coordinating color. coordinating color for me means first one i pick

Measure your floss to about double the width of the circle. thread your needle, knot the tail of your thread so you don't pull it thru and start a running stitch around your circle

you can allow your material to gather on the needle as you work. don't make it perfect, you want it to have personality.

When the needle is full, push the fabric out onto the thread and continue around your circle.

Go all the way around your circle with the running stitch. Now you want to give it a tag. I printed my little slogan on card stock several times to fill the sheet.

now i take my scrapbooking star punch and punch out the tags.

position the slogan in the punch


Now push the needle thru the tag, and push the tag till it is against the fabric. Pull the needle from the thread and knot the tail.

Pull your strings together to gather up the material and make a little pouch. Tie a bow and you are set!!!

Fun packaging made easy!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Back from vacation

Boy howdy did I have a great time!

Am back, refreshed and ready to start in on some great ideas I got while out on the road. Found some AWESOME stuff at the resale/antique shops and I can't wait to re purpose them.


Friday, April 10, 2009


13.5 hours and 848 miles later i have this waiting on me! live is good.

today is the penguins!!!


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

That duck has taken wing

Remember that duck? That depressed duck? I'll refresh your memory -

These little guys came out of a glueable challenge from Rings & Things. It was a happy mistake and I was sure I would find use for them later. Well as luck would have it, I did.

I toss and turn alot in my sleep thinking, planning, plotting the next day and the next project. Alot of my ideas come to me as I dream, and I wake up and jot them down, or I just get up and start to work. I was mulling over these damn'd buttons, obsessing. There were'nt sturdy enuff to be a real button, they would have been cute as an accent button on a purse, hat or corner of a skirt, but it wasn't right, something wasn't right with my thought process.

Stay away from the button...

Then it hit me - the ducks take flight, and their feathers ruffel in the breeze. hrm... *think* *think* I don't have any feathers. This doesn't look like a real duck tho - so it don't have to look like real feathers, it just needs to represent a movement....hrm.....*think* *think*


Taken Flight -

I tied the buttons on with waxed linen cord and tied on several pieces of the cord between the buttons and knotted a crystal onto the end of each.

I tied the two ends thru the last button and used it as the 'clasp'. It is a pull it over your head type necklace. I have work it with a black crew neck and blue is really cute!!!!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

On the road again

My designs are out on the road again!

Holly Springs, NC Arts Council is hosting my pieces for the month of April! They will hang till the first weekend of May.

Which brings me to this.

Another way to 'get your name out there' - Approach your local arts councils/galleries about having your pieces on display. You will more than likely have to have them framed so they will secure to the wall.

Michaels has shadow boxes on sale 40% off several times a year. Next time you see them, pick one up and play with a design. Use that as your showcase when you approach the art galleries/council with your pitch. Let them see how awesome it looks when it is framed. Explain to them that your work is art as well as a fashion accessory. Explain it to them with what inspired you to make the piece. They want to know what makes you tick. What makes you so intresting and how that carries over into your work.

Good luck kids!!! let me know how it goes!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Runnin behind......*pant* *pant*

Am working feverishly on a couple more pieces for the display that will be hung at the Holly Springs Arts Council on Friday. I am stoopid with excitement about this. We just brought down the Farmville exhibit and now it is going up again. This was a last minute deal and I don't have all the information. Will have more tomorrow.

My one wish right now - that I could stop time for a couple of days so I could get ready. If it ain't sumthin, it's sumthin.......

This is one of the pieces I finished last nite -


Sunday, April 5, 2009


Took the day off yesterday from all things work and took a field trip to the city. I have been looking forward to this pillow fight, and I was not let down. I was down that James couldn't come with his bear but he was home with bron-ky-tis. Nelson came with me sporting his 'num - num's' I made for him.

Nelson ans his numb - chucks

Pre fight warmups -

He is serious about this.

Me - not so good


Crowd starts to gather.


Once the fighting started Nelson and I were in the thick of it. So much fun. I dropped out quick to take some pictures. In the crowd that had gather see 'what the heck was going on' there were tons of kids. You could see in their faces they wanted to join in. I held up my pillow and yelled 'Who's with me!' This little guy ran up w/o giving it two thoughts, tagged me for an offfical pillow hand off and was in - That started the bystander rotation. Glorious I say - glorious - I love to enable :)

So much going on

Nelson shows no mercy - he is trying to take out that kid!!!!

There goes a bystander now

Someone yelled - On your knees! - and the whole crowd obeyed and the fight continued!

My turn!

If you ever hear of a pillow fight in your area GO!! we had the best time!!!!!