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Tips, Techniques, and Questions -- Technical questions or tips

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  #1  
Old 2010-09-27, 9:14am
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Jacqueline Parkes
 
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Default Giving Back To The Community - Long Winded

Hi everyone, I may post this on my web site as well. Here goes....

I have been on quite the journey for many years. I discovered jewelry design while I was taking a much needed break from school and work. I was living in a very isolated but beautiful area with my son and partner. We were renting the most amazing place I have ever lived in. It was a Manhattan style loft built on top of a barn LOL. It really was a little piece of heaven for a time. But..........I was living in an isolated area with no car. Both my partner and son would head to work and school in the morning and I would be spend my days alone. Initially I quite enjoyed myself as I was distracted with setting up the new homestead and cooking for my family. Eventually it became quite lonely and I began to wonder what I was going to do with the rest of my life.

I had graduated from college with no interest in pursuing a career in business administration and accounting. I could not see myself working a 9 to 5 job stuck in an office. I just could not do it.

I felt quite lost and though I don't attend church, I am a spiritual person so I began sending out prayers for some direction. A few days later I heard about Ebay on the news again. I had no idea what exactly Ebay was, so out of complete boredom I logged onto the net to explore. When I realized it was an auction site I then tried to come up with ideas of what to browse. Not a jewelry fan myself back then ( I adore it now!) I had no idea why I eventually chose that category. I came across the most beautiful hand crafted wire worked jewelry.

Literally the hair on the back of my neck and arms stood up. I felt a chill go through me. My stomach began to flip flop. I KNEW EXACTLY WHAT I WAS MEANT TO DO!

Immediately I began hunting to purchase beads and tools. I cannot tell you how driven I was. It felt like I had been lost all my life and finally found what my purpose was. I had no money as I was not working so I had to collect my tools , wire and beads slowly. I spent months on the couch in front of the tv practicing a perfect wrapped looped. I devoured all I could learn from the internet. I joined forums. I asked questions. I lived to make jewelry.

I also knew I was going to eventually support myself with my new venture. No one in my life supported this idea. They all rolled their eyes and basically thought I was nuts. I received a lot of negative feedback but I ignored it all and pushed on.

I am a visionary and strongly motivated to reach my goals. Whenever I stumbled I would focus in my mind on my goal , dust myself off and get back to it again.

Within a year I was selling at my first show at a simple craft fair at my son's school. I cannot tell you how nervous I was. I was floored at the response and my sales. That was the turning point for me. There was no looking back and I began to book dates with local Farmer's Markets to sell my pretties.

I met a talented silversmith,Barrie Edwards ( I don't remember how we originally met ) and I began to purchase her own lampworked beads.

Again I felt a chill and I realized I had to learn glass work as well. If I had any clue back then what it would involve in time and money, I would of never taken it on but here I am around ten years later and I am a full time lampworker.

I have been on quite a journey the past year. I stumbled often and came close to quitting the past winter, but with support from friends, family and the online community in glass work , I finally reached my dream some weeks ago.

I am now creating and selling lampwork beads and jewelry full time.

If you got this far reading my dribble, you deserve a medal!
I know my story is not that fascinating but it is my story which needed to be told to lead to the purpose of this post.

I have never taken a class (minus three hours with Barrie Edwards as I was freaked out at the prospect of turning on a torch) due to lack of finances at the time and opportunity. I have basically stumbled along on my own, devouring as much information I can from others, mostly via the internet from lovely persons such as yourself. I have also purchased many tutorials.

So, in my long winded style, it is now time to give back. I have been playing around with the idea of writing a few tutorials but to be honest, I do not have the time and I have made a decision to approach the sharing of information in a different manner.

It is time for me to give back. I will share everything and I mean EVERYTHING I have learned over the past ten years concerning glass.

I will also share what I have learned when it comes to jewelry design.

Please know I am very busy with the upcoming Christmas rush with my local shows but I am a regular member on this board so I pop in daily and will answer any questions you have , on this thread or others when time allows. This includes all recipes for beads and twisties, murrini, etc etc.

On another note, I have received over one hundred pms lately asking to either purchase or learn the source for the bead caps with my lampwork focal pendants. This I need to keep to myself. I am sorry but that is part of my signature look and a girl needs to have a few secrets

Jacqueline
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  #2  
Old 2010-09-27, 9:31am
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How generous of you! Thank you.
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  #3  
Old 2010-09-27, 9:38am
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As I read through your so called dribble. Sounds like you had a year of miracles come true for you. You are not nuts! Congratulations and thanks for sharing your story. Good luck this Christmas season -- hope to see you sooner than later!
Vonna
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  #4  
Old 2010-09-27, 11:15am
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I have tried many silver jeweler suppliers in the US.

I love CGM. Very competitive prices and great service.

cgmfindings.com
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  #5  
Old 2010-09-27, 11:33am
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When setting up your booth, try to arrange the tables so your customers can shop on the outside of your area in and L or U shape. This way they won't feel pressured when walking into your "store" I have watched customer's shopping habits for years and have tried just about every arrangement. On Sunday I watched customers at other vendor's booths. The busiest vendors had the setup I suggest.

I changed my setup this summer and I saw a jump in my sales. Also , you don't have to deal with congestion in your booth as most of us have a 10foot area.
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  #6  
Old 2010-09-27, 11:34am
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Are you bored with your silver striking glasses? Layer them on top of Reichenbach Dark Multi, Magic, Mult etc and watch the magic happen
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  #7  
Old 2010-09-27, 11:42am
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Don't make the mistake I did by waiting years to have a www site. I got mine up and running fast through pappashop on Friday and it has already paid for it's yearly fee by Monday.

Especially if you are doing local shows as it is a great way for your customers to keep track of your show schedule etc.
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  #8  
Old 2010-09-27, 11:47am
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Do have email groups for your customers. I have one for my local customers who purchased finished jewelry and another for my online lampwork bead customers. I send out occasional emails to the group to let them know of upcoming shows, posted beads on Etsy and occasional sales. Do include a few pictures of eye candy in each email.

Do network on online forums/groups etc. I don't involve myself with social networks like facebook but I hear some are having success with that way as well, including Twitter.
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  #9  
Old 2010-09-27, 11:49am
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You do not need a fancy smancy expensive photography setup and camera. My camera is ancient and I am only using some day lightbulbs from the grocery store.I also find I can take better pictures without a tent.

It is all about learning your camera and how to use light to your advantage. Photoshop helps as well
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  #10  
Old 2010-09-27, 12:18pm
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This is so generous of you Jacqueline!
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  #11  
Old 2010-09-27, 12:41pm
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Here is an excellent supplier for CZs

http://syntheticgems.org/
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  #12  
Old 2010-09-27, 12:42pm
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Jacqueline - your story could be mine with the exception that I have no children at home, my family is all out of state and I am planted right in the middle of a corn field. You know the movie "Field of Dreams" where they say "Build it and they will come"? That's me. When we moved here that's exactly what my DH said! I said FINE I will. Only problem is that I haven't gotten up the courage to go as far as you have yet. But having read your posts recently I am getting more and more motivated to do a website. Your experience is very motiving and encouraging. Thank you!
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Old 2010-09-27, 12:52pm
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Hi lynie, I love that movie, hehe.

I am glad you feel inspired to go further.
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  #14  
Old 2010-09-27, 12:56pm
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My go to glass for organics: CIM canyon de chelly. I have dreams of owning 100 pounds of this beautiful stuff. It adores silver. Well it pretty much adores any glass.
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  #15  
Old 2010-09-27, 1:01pm
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Does everything have to be organized in your studio? That is me and it is probably an illness but who cares, I love it.

So do you want tags hanging down from your pvc piping with code numbers for each color? This bothered me for awhile . I tried to figure out a way to do this without the tag hindering the space for the glass too much.

So one day I wandered up and down the aisles of a store trying to get some ideas. I use the 1" pvc piping so I only keep one pound in each tube at a time. This allows me to have a tube for each color . And because I am working with many different companies , I can fit all this glass in my studio. The excess is kept in bundles in plastic containers.

So this is my trick for labeling. Bobby pins!!

Picture pending
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Old 2010-09-27, 1:10pm
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I created a document in word with a table of one cell ,the size I want the tags to be. Print a test to make sure it is the right size you want. If not , redo and print again. When you have the correct size, copy and paste that cell for as many as will fit on one sheet.Then type in your code numbers. I printed and laminated. I also added an asterisk on the top where I wanted to cut the holes.

Bobby pin in place, ta da!
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  #17  
Old 2010-09-27, 1:11pm
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  #18  
Old 2010-09-27, 1:45pm
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I have admired your work for a long time! Thank you so much for your generosity!
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  #19  
Old 2010-09-27, 1:57pm
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That labeling is great!! I am going to do that today..I have a sticky in each hole, but what a pain. Also to add to this hint, I use the tubing out of fabric bolts, cut them around 13 inches and stack them as you do the pipe. Only they are FREE...My soninlaw
is an uphosterer, and they just throw them away..I feel sure most fabric stores do too.
Thanks for all of this...what a gracious lady you are...Pat
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Old 2010-09-27, 2:12pm
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I love the bobby pin tagging idea! I've still got to find a way to cut my vinyl fence rail down (sold the radial arm saw before I bought the last batch of rail) but I'm doing this as soon as I get the rails cut!
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... Although that's probably part of what makes an artist a true artist.. you create things that you like and then wonder if anyone else could possibly like them without having seen the rest of the story that's still in your head. ~Me
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  #21  
Old 2010-09-27, 3:18pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluejeangirlnc View Post
I love the bobby pin tagging idea! I've still got to find a way to cut my vinyl fence rail down (sold the radial arm saw before I bought the last batch of rail) but I'm doing this as soon as I get the rails cut!
I cut my last rail with a miter saw and it was smooth as butter!

jolly
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  #22  
Old 2010-09-27, 3:23pm
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That is a great idea about the fabric bolts.
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Old 2010-09-27, 3:27pm
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You guys wanna know what spurred this thread?

Last Friday I spent the whole day getting my new web site up. You know how much work that is and there is so much more to do. I assume it will never end. I had fun though until later on in the evening when something occurred to me.

I had thought I had a smart idea how to name my bead pictures so I would have a record of the glasses I used for each design. I ran to my www site and right clicked the pictures. Yupp, each picture was giving away my glass recipes LOL!

I thought about it for a couple of days as I really did not want to redo everything. Then I realized this morning that I just need to let this stuff go. Who cares if someone else tries my beads. I have tried many designs inspired by others.

It is so freeing to not care anymore. I would rather let it go . Throw it out to the universe , forget about such negativity concerning copying and focus growing as an artist.

Watch the hits run up on my site now LOL

haha
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  #24  
Old 2010-09-27, 4:46pm
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I love this thread!!!!

"It is so freeing to not care anymore. I would rather let it go . Throw it out to the universe , forget about such negativity concerning copying and focus growing as an artist."

This is so profound. It is how I stay happy.
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Old 2010-09-27, 4:58pm
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I am so glad you understand! You made me smile, thank you.


Quote:
Originally Posted by loribeads View Post
I love this thread!!!!

"It is so freeing to not care anymore. I would rather let it go . Throw it out to the universe , forget about such negativity concerning copying and focus growing as an artist."

This is so profound. It is how I stay happy.
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Old 2010-09-27, 5:20pm
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I knew you were a class act before I read this thread, but now there is no doubt in my mind.
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Old 2010-09-27, 5:25pm
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Aww thanks my friend


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I knew you were a class act before I read this thread, but now there is no doubt in my mind.
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Old 2010-09-27, 5:55pm
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Wow....how wonderful. That is my motto, live and let live. The only thing we do is let other people rent free space in our head....Thanks so much for all the tips....I have learned almost everything I know about glass from this forum, and I hope someday to be able to give back as you have. A million thanks!
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Old 2010-09-27, 6:02pm
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too funny, I always used a u shape, where people did not come into my booth, and i started getting nervous about it because in the post here, in all the favorite configurations, no one mentioned it but me, and I rarely trust my own judgement. So I just changed my whole set up to an inside booth, because it makes it look more like a boutique,,,,,guess i can rearrange it back! thanks again for the info
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Old 2010-09-27, 6:19pm
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Well Kelly, I don't want to be the cause of your sales dropping or anything but this has just been my observations over the years.

Also, I like that I have that space to myself and the customers are not banging into each other. It also cuts down on theft.

I only have one table now as I have fine tuned my business this past summer. I use to have three tables of wares but no more and I am so happy about that! So I have the table in the front of my tent and I can watch everyone's fingers.

When I know the weather will be dry, I pull the table out about two or three inches to the outside of the tent to have the advantage of the sun sparkling on the glass and the attention of passing customers.

Also! I am now printing my best photographs, laminating and displaying those on my booth. This has been the best change I have made in my display. People often tell me it is the reason they stopped to look. They say my pictures really caught their eyes.
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