Thursday, August 16, 2012

How Does She Do That?

I'm going through all my beads and checking them twice.  I have had two listings that have been in my Etsy store that were not in my stash. One I caught before it sold. The other I did not.

Both of the listings were relisted under the new Quantity functions.  I caught the first 'already sold out' listings in my expired area.  One day I renewed it and immediately realized, "Hey, I don't have any of those left" and promptly deleted the listing. I should have send Etsy an email about it, but I didn't think too much about it until a day or so later when I sold something else that I had renewed which had sold out completely.  Unfortunately I didn't notice that I had renewed it like I had the other.  Since them I've been looking at all my multiple quantity listings and (finger crossed and many prayers) all seems to be in order.

That brings me to the subject of today: How Do I Store My Beads that I have listed. Well, I have them in their individual tiny jewelry bags stored in large Ziplock bags.  I have the bags labeled "2" "3" "4".  So if a listing has 2 beads, it goes into the large Ziplock bag labeled "2" and if the listing has 3 beads, it goes into the large Ziplock bag labeled "3" and so on.

All the single focal beads (packaged in tiny jewelry bags) go into large Ziplock bags according to type (handpainted, nugget, decal, sprig, etc ...).

About a year ago I decided that it was much too easy to accidentally send the wrong bead to a customer (um .... don't ask .... lol) ...

Now I take the listing number (or copy number) of each listing and add it to the bottom of each listing.  It looks something like this:  "#594830292"

And I write that same number on a slip of paper and add it to the small jewelry plastic bag with the bead.  And I double-check the number on each listing.  Now instead of 1 focal bead in a certain glaze, I can offer many more at a single time. 

It's not foolproof but it helps.  If anybody has some other great ideas to improve my system, feel free to share.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Shop Sections Changes

Howdy!  Today I waded through all my listings.  I haven't been happy with my sections the last few months. 

I have eliminated the Sprig Beads section. 

It was fine when I first started making them and didn't have very many, but I have just way too many and in all different shapes.  I have round ones, lentil shape ones, nugget shaped ones ... blah blah blah, you get the idea. 

I also got rid of the 'handpainted' 'decals' and 'iron oxides', for the same reason. I'm doing them all in different shapes and it is just too much.

There are so many decisions to make sometimes when listing and why add to the confusion?  I hope this has simplified things, and not just for me.

The bead above is a nugget bead, with textures, with sprigs AND it's green!  Here's where I put it: In the Nugget section!  Woo hoo! Go eat some cake or ice cream or something to celebrate! :) 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Elephant Safari with Jean A Wells and Stringing Magazine

The long awaited event is here. I've been waiting all summer for this fall issue of Stringing magazine because Jean A. Wells had a necklace accepted for publication with one of my hand sculptured elephant beads as the focal bead.

It should already be in stores and I expect you should go out and get yours today because they won't be on the shelves long and you definitely want to see Jean's other two pieces of fabulous jewelry which are also in this magazine. Or you could click over to her blog and check it out there first.

I really enjoyed making this elephant that Jean eventually included in this necklace.  When she told me that it was accepted for publication she asked if I would be sculpting any more. I immediately said yes and then sat down and tried to remember how I had created one.

It took me a couple of tries and I did make a few.  However, the glaze didn't come out the same on these as they did in the magazine. I realized after I had fired all of them that I had used a soldate 60 clay and not a white stoneware clay.  I remade some and had them fired in the gas kiln at the college and brought them home for glazing.

At the moment they are on my glaze shelf waiting to be fired. Hopefully by next week they will be finished. Until then, check these out:  Click Here for Elephants .

Monday, August 13, 2012

A Very Merry Shark Festival

...and so this blog title may be a bit mystifying .... last weekend my husband and I traveled to Houston and ended up in our kayaks in the Galveston ocean.  The waves were much bigger than last time we went and I wasn't in the most adventuresome mood, either.

The waves were breaking a farther distance than they normally do, or at seemed that way to me.  I did good, keeping the nose facing forward to get past most of the breakers.  I remember I decided to push the paddle  down to see how deep the water was but it didn't touch the bottom.  That was when a breaker seemed to come out of nowhere and I capsized.  I saw the bottom of the yellow kayak above me.  I was wearing a life jacket, even though I am a good swimmer, because I'm kinda cautious about doing dangerous stuff ... stuff like paddling out in the middle of the ocean where the sharks hunt.

I know there really aren't any sharks out there in the gulf of Mexico. They are currently all in the Atlantic northeast, up near Massachusetts, but that didn't stop the fear that ran through me when I was trying to turn the kayak over so I could climb back in.  I kept imagining that a chunk was going to be taken out of my leg.

So where was my husband? He was paddling near me grabbing my water bottle and my paddle.  He watched me finally climb into the kayak, face down, only to watch me go over again as a wave hit me from the side.

By the time I was back in the kayak I paddled with my hands to turn it toward shore. The next wave that hit did not topple me and hubby handed me the paddle and I went to shore. And I got in the truck.  And I wasn't going back into that ocean again.

From now on we are sticking to slow moving streams and lakes, where the only thing we have to worry about is the occasional alligator.

Now .... back to the pottery and the beads.  :)  Thanks for stopping by!  -- Natalie

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

A Necklace For Me

I have tried to take the ceramic beads in this picture and put them online for at least a week, but every time I do, I catch some small imperfection.  I enjoyed making these, but I didn't glaze nearly nicely enough near the stringing holes. 

Today I was going to snap their picture again and I whispered to myself, "Just make yourself a pretty necklace out of them."  So I did!  Yes, it is a simple design. I do not fancy myself a good jewelry designer, but I do enjoy making myself a piece every now and then.

Thanks for stopping by!