Mimi and her girls

Mimi and her girls
Mimi and her girls

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Thinking About the New Year

WOW- I can't believe I haven't posted since before Christmas. I'm sure I'm not the only one who got a little busy before and right after the holidays. It feels good to be back to making new designs and thinking about what I'll add to my shop in 2010.

I have been diligently working away in my studio practicing my sawing and piercing so I can add some new and interesting pendants in the new year. I also have a class in January in PMC, very excited about the possiblities there. Mostly I have been trying out new bangle designs. Hoping you'll like my newest which is wire wrapped to make it totally adjustable and give a custom fit to each individual wearer. Check it out by using the link below to the listing in my Etsy shop!

To anyone who didn't get what they wanted for Christmas in the jewelry category- take advantage of the FREE Shipping in the US through January- Worldwide customers, this offer ends December 31.

Stay tuned for new items each week- I have off a whole week from my full time job and am spending as much time as I can making new designs to add to the shop. After all- Valentine's Day isn't far off!

Happy New Year to Everyone


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Is the Christmas Rush Over?

New Patterned Sterling Bangle We are having a huge snow storm here in Maryland today with blizzard warnings, so I finally have time to update my blog and think about what I will do next to keep my shop fun and interesting. I have to say I had a lot of fun and met a lot of really great people on the forums this year. I got lots of great advice on promoting my new shop and how tos for great customer service. All this helped my a lot to prepare for the big "holiday rush" which was supposed to start Black Friday weekend. I must say I was extremely disappointed that all my special offers and incentives seemed to go unnoticed on Arfire, but did seem to make an impact on sales at my Etsy shop http://www.ppennee.etsy.com/

I truly hope Artfire spends some of it's promotional efforts getting it's name out to the people on the morning TV shows and gets some mention in the handcrafted community news. There are some terrific artisans on Artfire.  Artfire seems to be trying to do all the right things to make it easy for us to run an "on line" shop, but if no one knows you're there, all those perks don't make for sales. I have to say, Etsy was a very good venue for me this year and I learned an awful lot there too. Keeping both shops may seem silly, but as I am new to the on line market, I guess I was just looking for the right spot. Giving it a few more months to see what shakes out.

A bit of shop news. I have started making some new pattern design bangles with some really nice pattern wire I ordered. I love fusing fine silver, but thought adding patterns to the mix for stacking those bangles would be fun. So far I have been pleased with the effort. Soldering still isn't as much fun as fusing, but practicing all the techniques is a must to keep you sharp and keep customers interested in your newest projects- at least I sure hope so! Check out my newest patterned bangle and feel free to leave a comment- should I add more? Different patterns? There seem to be endless choices of patterns for sale.

Look for some new items with moonstone and mystic topaz and some gorgeous pearls- I hit the gem show yesterday and found some beautiful lovlies to add to my collection.

I do believe that any type of Christmas rush is over now since the post office told me December 21 was about the last day I could expect a package to arrive before Christmas. I'm hearing from the forums that now is the time everyone starts hitting the "big box" stores and malls for those last minute gifts they need in lieu of hoping they'll get them on time for wrapping and gift giving. So, what to do now? I think it's time to work on my office and get organized for next year. Work on a business plan, get a real budget set up for advertising and purchases of supplies. Best of all, I have a whole week between Christmas and New Years to work on putting designs in my head onto paper, then try them out on copper or craft wire before taking the plunge into precious metals.

Wishing everyone safe and happy holidays. Hope to see you back to browse in my shop if you didn't get everything on your Christmas list or just have a wild urge to buy yourself something to stave off the winter doldrums.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Last Shopping Days Before Christmas Are Upon Us

Posted by PicasaHere we are just 10 more shopping days until Christmas descends upon us- ready or not!  Are you panicked yet? Not me, I'm one of those who gets a real rush being out there the day before- I don't even mind the crowds.
Just for fun, I had to show off my granddaughter's Christmas picture. She is going to grow up one day and wear all her Mimi's jewelry (that's me). Lord knows, it will look much better on her than on me! Oh, and by the way, I have completed all my shopping for my daughter and granddaughter. DH still hasn't given me a list!

I will keep it short and sweet today. Anyone who reads my blog or keeps up with my Facebook site (http://www.facebook.com/pages/All-Wired-Up-jewelry-Designs/143956567263) knows I love making little charms necklaces, some with words, some with birds or flowers, but almost always with gemstones.  I just think these necklaces are a fun way to express youself, your feelings or just something you like.

 So here's the ta da-  for anyone following me on  either spot, 20% off any charm necklace from now until December 21. Just mention you saw my blog post or read it on FB and I'll credit you back the difference. Unfortunately I have to cut it off the 21st since my post office told me I'd already be pushing it after the 18th for first class mail. If you'd like to use the savings and put it toward expedited shipping we can do that too- then I, and you, can push the envelope a little.
Happy Shopping!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Fine Silver is My Passion!

I am just so excited about all the great things you can do with fine silver wire. I guess one of the things I love most is no PICKLE. I know, the pickle is a German Christmas tradition. Well, I am half German, so I have nothing against pickles. I just always forget to turn on the little bitty crockpot with the pickle solution in it until I have already soldered something. Then I worry if it's going to work if I wait to long after. With fine silver all I do is quench, forge, texture, then tumble. Even better, if I want to change the shape a little, like my new organic links bracelet, I can get out my trusty silicone coated round nose pliers and go to work reshaping and changing the look totally. Fine silver is very soft until you work harden it by forging and tumblng. Another great thing- it's almost pure silver (.999). Unlike sterling (.925) there is no copper which is the major culprit in tarnishing. Not that I am not good about keeping my silver in platic bags to slow the tarnishing process, but let's face it, when a girl gets a shiny new bracelet- she wants it to STAY shiny for quite a while before she has to polish it up.
I know lots of metalsmiths who are not quite so smitten with fine silver. It's too soft they say. If you visit my shop at http://www.ppennee.artfire.com you will see lots of fine silver bangles, earrings and bracelets. I haven't listed too many necklaces yet since they usually go on a sterling chain. Trust me, I test drive all my jewelry before I offer it for sale. I work a full time job in sales. I am in and out of my car all day long, in and out of my trunk picking through boxes and papers, carrying things in and out of offices. I wear my bangles and bracelets daily-no problems. The only recommendation I make is to please let me make a bangle that fits! A bangle is supposed to slip on without a lot of resistance going over your hand. You shouldn't have to twist and push to get it on or off. This type of on and off abuse will eventually ruin the shape of even the thickest sterling bangle. Can you tell I really believe in my fine silver items?
If anyone is ever interested in finding out more about fine silver and all the wonderful things you can do with it, please don't hesitate to send me an e-mail and ask away!
Come visit my shop and check out just a few of the really nice pieces made with fine silver. Today I am highlighting my new listing, an organic link bracelet- quite a lovely piece if I do say so. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=36640455
Have a fabulous weekend and Happy Holidays to everyone.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Getting Ready for Christmas

I have finally started decorating my houe- a week after Thanksgiving! I still have no Christmas list done, but have been perusing Artfire and Etsy like a  crazy woman looking for ideas. I have become the gift guide queen. Made some new friends via an Artfire blog, twitter, FB post in the forums and now have lots of people to follow, check out items in their shops and hopefully get some great gifts for my family and friends. Thanks to PhiLoSoDesigns for starting that great thread on Artfire.
I keep adding new items to both my etsy and artfire shops. Still waiting for that Christmas shopping rush I keep hearing about. Added some great new holiday earrings and a bracelet I love. Does anyone else have shops with items they almost hope don't sell? I may be crazy, but there are a few items I really feel like I should keep, but know it's just not good business!
Just started reading the new Patricia Cornwall book, The Scarpetta Factor, think I may actually finish it this weekend- always a fun read! I am buying books this year from WalMart on line, they have had some amazing deals.
Weather man is calling for our first snow today so I created a pair of earrings that reminded me of snow and ice. With the holidays coming I am really looking forward to snow- ice- yuk- not so much! Check out these earrings, leave a comment, I'd love to hear what winter items you love.Snow and Ice Earrings