Monday, April 30, 2012

More Swarovski Flag Eye Candy

I continue to be fascinated by these Swarovski sample flags. They are so beautifully made - all hand-done, stitched and layered and appliqued. They are made with beautiful fabrics, silks and velvets and leathers, and have buttons and toggles and snaps and ribbons and hidden pockets. Sort of like those educational toys for children where they can learn to do up buttons and tie bows.

But much more wonderful.  ;-)

They also have the spirit of the scrumble - the random joyfulness of sheer, chaotic pleasure.

I showed you some awhile back - here are the rest from the Swarovski spring launch. Wish I could show them to you in person!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Joy of Metal Clay: Photos

Today, Tracy Lai and Jessie Lin spent the day finishing up their Art Clay Level One Certification course.  They did a great job.  Here are some of their completed projects.  The course took three days and they completed seven specific projects each including two rings.

 Tracy's Flowered Porcelain Cabochon
 Jessie's Hibiscus

 Tracy's rolled band ring and syringed earrings.
 Jessie's  Sage Leaf Brooch
 Tracy's Hibiscus Leaf Brooch
Jessie's Syringe Pendant

They both did a great job.  I made a few things too, but didn't get time to finish them but I will share next week.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Business Chat - rejection

It arrives.

The envelope.
From the show you applied to.

You hold it, wondering, am I in or am I out? Do they want me?
With bated breath you open it….

“Dear applicant,
We regret to inform you…”

Damn. Crap. Argh. You’ve been rejected.
Don’t feel bad, we’ve all been there and still are there sometimes. You might assume that as a professional crafter with 10 years’ experience and hundreds of craft shows on my resume that I’m in a show automatically. But no, there is no guarantee. I’m sitting here waiting to hear from three new shows that I’ve applied to, my fingers are crossed. Even some shows that I have done for years may reject me.

There are a variety of reasons that lead to a rejection. The most common reason is that your category is full. Within each category there are also sub-categories. An example is the jewelry category, the first to always fill up. If a show has 20 spots for jewelry, you don’t want all the jewelry to be the same. The organizer might allow 3 lampwork artists, 4 silversmiths, 4 goldsmiths, 3 fiber or leather jewellers, and 6 assemblers. The organizers will also look at price points ensuring that there are a variety of choices for customers.
Returning vendors are usually given priority as well, meaning that even if your category has 20 spots, there may only be 3 or 4 available to new vendors.

The second most common reason for rejection is that your photos or your application sucks. Your application is the only thing an organizer has to judge you upon. Do you look like a professional? Remember, the organizer is in the business of selling space and ensuring that the customer has a good shopping experience. They need to know that you are going to show up, have a nice booth, and make decent work that is appropriate for the show. Make sure your application looks as professional as possible. Spell check. Your photos must be the best that you can get. In these days of cheap digital cameras there is no excuse for bad photos. Spend some quality time getting to know your camera and practising. Photography is a skill and can be the difference in getting into a show or not. If an organizer tells you that your photos were not great, then spend the next year making them great.

You could also be rejected because your work isn’t appropriate for the show. If you make lower priced work and you’ve applied to a higher end show it isn’t going to work. Trust the organizers judgement on this.
Here’s a couple of suggestions for you.

First, call the organizer and ask why you were rejected. Ask what you can do to improve your chances to get into the show next year. Not only will this provide you with constructive criticism but you will have shown the organizer that you are serious enough about your business to improve it. It’s a great way to begin a relationship with the organizer.  
Second, check the cancellation date. This is usually listed on the application (and you made note of it then, right?) Life happens and someone is bound to cancel from the show. Don’t call on the cancellation date, call the organizer the day after. Although the organizer will have a list of alternative vendors, if you take the initiative and call before they have to go searching for someone you just might get in.

I do know of some vendors who just show up on the day of the show and hope there will be an empty space. Believe it or not, sometimes vendors who have paid for a show do not show up. This is a bit of a gamble and I can’t say that I’ve done it, however it has worked for people I know.
If these suggestions don’t get you into the show then the best thing you can do is shrug it off. They rejected your presence at the show, not you. Go to the show as a shopper and take a look around. Picture yourself there as a vendor, now go home, make new work, take new photos and try another show.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Inspiration Friday

Welcome to our newest version of Inspiration Friday. We thought we'd made a few changes, namely allowing folks to choose their own inspiration, and the biggie - we give you a lot more time! If you would like to participate in the next one, see the end of this post for complete details.

I love the idea of using an inspiration palette to base your design on. We all tend to stick with our own comfortable colour palettes, and this is just such an easy way to expand your range.

Bonni and Lyndsey created two stunning pieces - and I love their inspiration sources...especially Bonni's. Pack us all up next time!

 The inspiration for this piece came from the fact that I was heading down south for a much needed vacation.  For the month before we left, all I could think of was the ocean and the beach.  I had to make something in beiges and blues.  The pearls added a nice touch, as they're ocean dwelling as well.  I like to call this piece Sea & Sand.

Bracelet is up on etsy!

My inspiration this week is a pink, orange, yellow and white scarf. A customer requested a bracelet to go with it. I've seen the scarf, but unfortunately I don't have a photo of it. So we will have to pretend a little. Here's a scarf from Harrod's (no, I didn't look for the most expensive scarf I could find!) that has similar colours, although the customer's scarf had more white and yellow in it. The customer asked for only pink and orange to be in the bracelet, with gold metal. I'm calling the bracelet Pink Lava.     - Lyndsey

Follow Lyndsey on Facebook!  Join my facebook fan page and keep tabs on my shopping sprees and what I end up making.

Deadline May 24th, 2012

Before the cutoff date, send your pictures to us, and we'll blog your inspiration source, and your finished project.  Feel free at that time to send us along any other info you want to include. We'll publicize your blog or etsy/artfire/etc site as well.

For example, I think I'll make mine from this one:

You can make your jewelry/beadwork out of any materials you wish. This can be stringing, wirework, lampwork, polymer clay - whatever you wish!

(Many of us use Design Seeds as in inspiration source. Feel free to use any inspiration source you wish. Design Seeds just happens to be among my favourites.)

Here's how to submit:

 * Send an email to with a picture of your inspiration source (or a link to the source)
* include an image of your creation
* include any contact information you want us to include in the blog posting

Happy Creating!