Monday, August 29, 2011

What Doesn't Work

Sometimes answering the question "what doesn't work" is as important as learning what does work.  Partly because answering this question means you are trying new things, experimenting with new ideas, and probably well on your way to some fantastic new art work! 

As a continuation of my collaboration post:  Dusty thought I could do something with the fork and spoon ends that were left over from making the bracelets.  So I decided to add glass to the ends and see if I could make fancy hors d'Ĺ“uvre forks. 

It didn't work....

They would have been a little short, but I attempted it anyway as a "would it work" test.

This fork was stainless steel, which is what my mandrels are made of, and I know from experience I can permently stick beads to my mandrels if the bead release breaks.  However, in this case the glass shattered on the interior (why it didn't fall off yet I don't know).

Will I try this again?  Maybe.  Perhaps there is some other way to do it that would have better results.

Will I try other things?  You Betcha!  I already have 2 more new ideas that will either be abject failures or totally cool successes.  Either way ~ another valuable lesson learned at the torch.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


If you ever want to really amp up the creativity in your art work ~ collaborate with someone!  Not only is it more fun, but the ideas grow exponentially when you work together.  I know when I sit down to create jewelry with a friend we're always critiquing and improving each other's work.  The other day I asked my husband to bend some spoons for me to make into bracelets. He did a few and they turned out like this:

I love it!  I'm so excited about these and I have a bunch of ideas for more! 

So anyway, while he's out there bending spoons he thinks maybe I should make necklaces too.  I hadn't thought of that, but told him I would certainly try it.  And here's what happened:

I love this too!  It turned out so much better than I expected ~ and without him I would not have even thought to try it.  He's still out there bending spoons and has lots more ideas for me.  The only downside to this collaboration is that I don't think I can keep up with him!!

Thank you Dusty ~ You Rock!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Show Booth

Whether you are taking your wares to sell at a one day street fair or a week long art festival, the question you always ask yourself is "what will I need while I'm there?".   I've seen this question come up over and over online, so I thought I would share my list.

First things first ~ I start making my list 3-5 days before the event.  And yes, I do make a new list every time because I can never seem to find the old one.  Assuming you're more organized than I am, you will only need to do this step once. :)

This is my list, in no particular order:

Tent Stakes
Weight for Each Tent  Leg - in case you are on concrete or not allowed to drive stakes
   ~ This could be 5 gallon jugs of water, concrete cylinders, sand bags or anything heavy you can transport
~ These first few may seem obvious, but I've learned the hard way - Everything goes on the list!
Table cloths
Table skirts and clips
Any Required License or Proof of Insurance
Display items - for me this includes a driftwood tree, bowls, boxes, shadow boxes, busts, etc.
Signs - I have 2 that hang on the booth and a stand up one on the table
Camera - You will want pictures, some shows actually require them before they accept you.
Extra batteries/memory card for camera
Clamps - I use these to hold down my table cloths if it's windy
Cash Box
Business Cards
Basic Tool Kit - I don't know how many times I've found a need for a hammer or a screwdriver
Candy and Dish - you will be surprised how many people stop and look just so they can have a candy!
Duct Tape - Every time I have set up a booth I've found a use for it
Receipt Book
Square (or whatever method you use for accepting credit cards)
Price Tags - they invariably fall off of something
Scotch Tape
String - Believe me, you'll find a use for it
Card Stock - You always think of one more sign you wish you had made
Baling Wire - I've hung signs and displays with it as well as attached weight to my tent legs
Jewelry Tools and a cloth measuring tape - for resizing or an on the spot special order
Lint Roller - for the table cloths as well as your own clothes
Hand Sanitizer
Note Pad - for email sign-ups or just notes to yourself about what you forgot
Scissors - for removing tags
Mirror - for customers to see how that great piece will look on them
Wagon - really helpful if you can bring one, you never know how far from your booth you will have to park
Packaging - bags or boxes to send your customers' treasures home with them

And of course ~
Beads and Jewelry!

Leave the list where you can see it for a few days as you will invariably think of things to add.

2 days before your event - start staging.  Gather everything on your list in one place because even with the list you are likely to forget something if it's not all together.

The day before the event - load the vehicle.  Pack all the items from your list and then take a walk around your house and/or studio to see if anything else comes to mind.

Event Day - Set up your booth.  Pat yourself on the back for remembering everything (see, you did need that duct tape!)

Take pictures of your booth - even if you don't need them to get in to the next event, you will want to know what worked and what didn't for next time.

Here's a picture of the booth I did last weekend.  I now know to put the tent SIDES on my list, and the extra memory card was also added to the list because of this booth!

Hey ~ it just occurred to me: I now have a permanent copy of my list!