"An intricate, delicate, or fanciful ornamentation."
(The Free Dictionary)

"Whoever loves and understands a garden will find contentment."
          --Chinese Proverb

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Winding Down

For the past two months I have been cranking up my internal gears in preparation for the holiday season and three craft shows. I worked night and day like a little elf, the light over my work table often glowing late into the night (or into the wee hours of the morning). Although these times of extreme crafting were tiring, I experienced a wonderful explosion of creativity during those frenetic weeks. Pages of designs were sketched and added to my "inspiration board," and dozens of projects that had been lingering in the back of my mind were brought to life. Of course, I can't keep up that pace for long, and eventually I need to take a short hiatus where I make nothing. It is at that point which I find myself now: shows done, worktable in need of clearing, mind in need of rest. My internal clock needs to wind down. Winter is a good time for replenishing that energy deficit.

So what DID I do during all those late night crafting extravaganzas? Mostly I prepared new inventory for craft shows. The events were not highly attended and my experiences ranged from "awful" to "not too bad." I certainly had the chance to practice setting up and taking down my booth, which I fine-tuned to include new ways to display necklaces and earrings.

Picture frames lined with fabric
make nice back-drops for earrings

Inexpensive lampshades
turn into necklace displays

he booth set-up forms an
and tries to create
a boutique atmosphere.

The lighted top
iaries and silk
flower arrangements I made
were a big hit. People wanted
to know if they were for sale.
Perhaps I should go into
floral design instead?

I made many bracelets, including new styles with wire and glass flowers (right). This is a style I think I may offer again with various handmade, wire focal clasps. I also did some knotting on silk cord (left) which I find very relaxing.

Flowers from Zuda Gay, fused glass pendants from Chauncey Design, handmade lampwork beads and ceramic pendants from other Etsy artisans made their way into my designs.

I also had a chance to use some recycled, vintage bottle glass in a necklace using wrapped Vintaj natural brass filigree to create a pendant, and combining it with frosted Czech glass beads in a matching cobalt shade.
In between the crazy days and nights of crafting, I also decided to open shops on two new, online marketing venues for handmade items. I now have the beginnings of collections available for purchase at 1000 Markets,, and Artfire. I don't yet have a full inventory at these locations, but I plan to further explore these avenues in 2009.

Finally, it seems that everyone is getting into Twitter these days, and I have also taken the plunge into this new micro-blogging outlet. When a friend asked me what Twitter is used for, I was stumped about how to explain it. "Is it chatting?" Well, it can be... "Is is blogging?" Well, sort of... Twitter is really a running monologue (and sometimes dialogue) in real time that is from you to the Twitter community. It encompasses marketing, idea exchanges, information alerts, getting and giving answers to questions, social networking, and communication between people. The one thing it definitely becomes is addicting! If you want to give it a try, you can follow me on Twitter,, and we'll have a 140 character dialogue. Yes, each post can only be 140 characters long, so you soon become proficient in trimming what you say to the barest essentials - quite the challenge sometimes!

Now the snow is falling and we're preparing to be housebound for the weekend. After I file away a mountain of paperwork, put the last few pairs of completed earrings in my shops, and do a little more blog maintenance, I think I will clear everything off my work table and go into hibernation for a bit, or at least until January when visions of business taxes and inventory records start dancing in my husband's head. Ugh! Off to hang up the mental "Do Not Disturb" sign until then!

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