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Christmas Peeps

Still doodling and drawing and colouring this week.  I’ve come up with some new designs (typical of me – at the eleventh hour) and I will include them in a future post.  I am using every spare minute to get ready for my market stall on Sunday.  It’s a bit nerve-wracking, trying to get everything ready and not really knowing how many people to expect.  I might be making a whole bunch of stuff for nothing, or not making anywhere near enough.  You just never know.  I only have one allotted table space on the day so I am also trying to figure out how to display everything so it’s easy to access and makes the most of the limited space I have.  I’m sure it will be ok on the day – I just always get nervous beforehand.  It’s very anxiety-provoking, having your own creations on display, to people other than your family and friends who will tell you everything is wonderful (even if it isn’t) and there is nothing worse than having people pick through your stuff, turn their noses up and walk away having purchased nothing.

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I’ve started pricing everything, which is always a tricky process.  How do you make something affordable but still cover costs and time taken to make the darn thing?  Some of my cards take me HOURS to make.  If I charged at some hourly rate I would be selling cards for about $83.00 each!  You have to be sensible.  The doodled cards take less materials but are all hand-coloured and drawn, so do you take into account the fact each one is an original and took some time to colour or do you just say well, it’s a more simple-looking item and charge accordingly?  It’s hard, but at the end of the day, I need the money and can’t afford to make things so expensive that no one will buy them.  I am also guilty of making things I’m not very happy with cheaper, and then pricing some items up because I really like them and don’t want them to sell, ha ha.

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Anyway, I’d be interested to hear how other crafty people market and price their wares.  Particularly if you’re just a “small concern” like me ie not super professional or running an actual business.  To be honest, I just enjoy the creative process and the money isn’t the most important thing – ordinarily anyway.  But, right now, I am struggling a bit and need the extra moolah to see me through Christmas!

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Hope you are having a successful, stress-free week.  Thank you for reading 🙂

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Earring Bling

Just a quickie post on some earrings I have made in the last couple of days.  I’m not into jewellery-making so much these days (I never really was – I just sort of fell into it as it was popular and easy to sell and then I got a bit obsessed…) but I had an order this weekend so I thought I would make a few pieces while I was at it…

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This little pair is a simple amber and green number for a friend who doesn’t like anything too flashy. Hope she likes these…

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These jade-looking ones found a home a few minutes after I made them… Funny, I was thinking about getting rid of these beads because I never use them, then changed my mind and made these earrings.  My ex-boss commented on them on my Instagram account and said she loved them.  I decided to let her have them as she has had a rough trot lately.  A little free bling can sometimes brighten things up…

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These red, orange and blue beads were tricky to use – difficult colour combination plus the length of the actual bead made them hard to match with things.  Even the head pin was a little bit too short for them…

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These amber and diamante earrings also gave me grief.  I liked the sapphire blue bead at the bottom, but I couldn’t get anything to go on the top that looked right.  So I had a couple of tiny boho-gold spacers that finished it off.  But I’m not entirely convinced…

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Sold these little owl earrings shortly after making them – ah, the power of Facebook and Instagram!  You might remember these owl charms from a previous post

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The lighting in my house is terrible and I was trying to find other places to do my photography.  Here, an echeveria succulent comes to the rescue.  Again, I have used beads salvaged from other jewellery pieces, as seen in a previous post...

So, that’s it for today, folks. Gotta make some more over the next few days so I will post those as they are finished.  Or, more likely, I will procrastinate and do something else entirely whilst ignoring the mess in my lounge-room (ie beads all over the floor).

Hope your day is bright and happy 🙂

Make it Work

Make it Work

Another weekend done and dusted.  Wish they would last longer, although, even if they did, I would still complain they weren’t long enough.  This weekend has been restful and relaxing, with beautiful weather and nowhere to be.  No plans or schedules.  Nothing more taxing than walking down the shop for some milk.  I even watched some bad TV, which I rarely do, and slept in without guilt, went walking with a friend (arranged at the last minute) and had a couple of crafty days.

On Friday night I went out with friends from work.  I was suffering with a headache and a bad case of the “I really don’t want to go out and be sociable” blues, so wasn’t the best company for anyone.  We went to dinner and a pub in the city and then on to a comedy night.  It was ok.  I kinda get tired of the same old dirty jokes and swearing.  I’m not a prude (*stamps foot and pouts*) but I do think it is lazy when comedians use bad language and jokes about sex in order to get a laugh.  It’s just a bit…predictable.  We also had a group of hecklers in the audience which was VERY annoying.  There is nothing uglier than a bunch of middle-aged women, drunk as skunks and twice as obnoxious.  It’s just embarrassing.  And, as I said, annoying.  The comedians managed to get the last laugh on them in the end but it still spoiled much of the acts.

Yesterday I got stuck into K’s order for more jewellery.  I finished everything she asked for – hope she likes them all but of course I will change them if not.  I made :

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…a wood and ceramic necklace with K’s red coral beads.  Not sure if I like this one – but it’s not for me so maybe K will like it…

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…ceramic and coral earrings…

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…and a shell and polished stone necklace.

I also had to fix a couple of things for her and put a clasp on another necklace.  I made a few other pieces (for my own stock) as well including :

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Then I decided to have a change and try and make some cards.  I haven’t had much luck with them lately.  Nothing I make seems up to standard, so I was determined today to make something half-way decent.  I just need to MAKE THINGS WORK, even when I am unsure of them. I started with a card I am making for a friend at work who is having a baby (girl) soon:

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I’m quite pleased with it – I didn’t want to use just the typical girly pinks…

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…so I used a combination of pastels and brights and some bold text and buttons.

Then I attempted a more “shabby” card.  I have always preferred that kind of style, but just lately I haven’t been able to create anything I’m even remotely happy with.  I didn’t do much better today, but it’s a start.  So I made this “blooming tree” card with some vintage text and lace:

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…it’s ok, not my best effort, but alright!

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Lastly, I made a card using some papers that I was given – colours I would not work with normally.  I thought I would try and go fairly simple (I have a tendency to just keep on adding things) and stick to the two main colours of orange and mauve.  I added some liquid pearls and a stamped sentiment right at the end (I also added another bubble/blob as you can see in the last two photos – it was unbalanced otherwise):

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So, not a wasted weekend and one of much rest and solitude.  Back to work tomorrow – looking less and less forward to work days as August progresses and the big relocation of 90% of our staff to a new building begins.  I’m going to miss everyone (but not the politics) and just don’t know if work will be the same from now on.  But I will have to MAKE IT WORK!  I need to  suck it up and do my job and live my life with a little less whinging, and a little bit more backbone and tenacity.  I have always been scared of change and this last year has showed me that I CAN survive it and even learn to embrace it, if I just hang in there.  With the divorce coming up, I am a little more fragile than usual and needing support more than ever – but I will have to be my own cheer squad and try to just remember that I actually have things pretty good and will be ok 🙂

Hope your weekend has been happy x

Cleaning is a “sometimes” activity, right?

Cleaning is a “sometimes” activity, right?

I was supposed to be cleaning my house today.  It has become quite feral due to me being a.) unwell this week, b.) out a lot this week and c.) just plain lazy and too prone to distraction (every week).  I want to be a good little house-wife, I do.  Even if nobody sees the house except for me and the occasional property manager when I am due for rent inspection.  But I fail miserably every week at making any kind of serious attempt at actually making my house spotless and tidy.  I just don’t have that gene.  The tidy gene.  It doesn’t bother me most of the time, but just lately I have felt that I am failing at being a grown-up.  I don’t do my dishes every night.  I don’t fold my laundry when it comes off the line.  I don’t even put it away.  I am slack.  There is no other way to say it.

But it just feels as though there are more important things to be doing.  Like today, for instance.  I was determined to get the place looking spick and span so I would have tomorrow free to craft or do something else that is constructive and meaningful (unlike cleaning, which is not).  I had just put a load of washing into the machine when my friend GK phoned to see if I was up for a catch-up and coffee outing.  I didn’t take much convincing, despite the little voice in the back of my mind yelling “What about the hoovering?! The bathroom needs scrubbing! You haven’t done any dishes in three days!!!”  So out for coffee we went.  When GK surprised me by asking if I wanted to go op-shopping and show her the good places to get a bargain (she NEVER goes op-shopping) I was powerless to say anything other than “Yes!”  So not only did I once more ignore the cleaning that needed to be done, I also ignored the fact that I have just had a large dental bill to pay and that I shouldn’t be recklessly spending my money. Sigh.  Definitely failing at being an adult.  A responsible one anyway.

So off we trotted to a row of op-shops that I frequent, um, frequently.  GK was hunting for some new jeans and I needed a plain black, long-sleeved top.  I also desperately needed some new beads.  Honestly.  Scout’s honour!  Well, I didn’t need them.  Need is a strong word.  Wanted is probably a better term.  So I rummaged around and found a couple of necklaces with some nice glass beads on them for less than $5.00 (plus I found the black long sleeve top I was needing and that was only $3.50!).  GK got two pairs of awesome jeans which made her happy and even luckier still, they were the right length (she’s short like me – everything needs taking up) and I snagged a great pair of black pants for work and another striped top (I have a thing for stripes…).  I really like the necklaces I got…

…these spotty blue glass beads are unusual and pretty…

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…and this purple/grape-coloured necklace has lots of different shaped beads on it in various sizes and shades…

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I have made a few pieces of jewellery this week as I had some orders to get done and I can’t concentrate on anything until I get them done and dusted.  First up, a blue and brown necklace which was requested by a lady at work who had bought a similar piece from me before.  She asked me to replicate it – I didn’t have enough of the same coloured beads so I substituted where I was able to and I think it turned out ok…

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…I also made one in a similar style but using red beads instead of blue…

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…I made this pink and green one for my buddy CW who I am visiting tomorrow.  She’s been having a crummy time of things lately and I wanted to give her a little treat to cheer her up.  She had bought a pair of earrings from me before that had these same colours in them and had mentioned she would like a matching necklace one day.  It’s taken me nearly 6 months to make it for her but finally I got it done…

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…I also made this pretty (well, I think it’s pretty) pastel necklace using some of the wooden beads I bought at the last craft show

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…and this bracelet which I’m not convinced about…it was getting late and I think my colour-matching was a bit off…


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…I’ve also been doodling and working on some card designs.  I draw some funny little birdcages but didn’t get as far as actually making a card with them (yet)…

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Tomorrow, I have promised myself, I will finish tidying up and make my house clean and neat and fit for human habitation, or maybe even real life visitors!  I will leave a little window of time in which I can craft and create or maybe spend a couple of hours organising my craft room.  Or, more realistically, I will spend half an hour hoovering, get distracted by some beads or ribbon, paper or paints and give up on the whole idea of tidying up.  I am nothing if not consistent 🙂

Hope you have a wonderful day (dishes be damned!) x