Saturday, September 6, 2008

Happy Saturday - Bingo, We Have a Winner

There was a bead show in town today. I usually travel to the show in Cincinnati once a year and have not been to the Louisville show, as there are fewer vendors. I had a busy schedule today, so I alloted myself an hour thinking I'd be in and out. Wrong. Two hours and 15 minutes later, I was standing in line for one last purchase and realized I didn't have time to wait. I returned those items to their respective bins and had to leave for my next stop, a nursing home.

I had to visit my grandmother and get there before bingo started at 2:30. Bingo is very much antipated each weekend and grandma doesn't like to miss it! We had a nice visit and I showed her all the goodies I bought at the bead show. She loved the agate pendants, the black cat beads, the amethyst "sticks" and the dichroic glass pendant I found. I was surprised she went for the cat beads as she doesn't like cats. I told her they would be cute for Halloween so I am making those into earrings for her.

I went to the activity center with her where everyone was assembling for bingo. She showed off the beads to everyone at her bingo table and called others over to see. She is my #1 fan, so proud of me for my creativity! Everyone commented that I must get it from my grandma as she is very creative too. The activity director came over to see and mentioned a little show that they set up once a year during Nursing Home Appreciation Week. Local vendors come in and set up booths for the visitors, staff and residents of the nursing home. She told me there is no cost, which seemed very generous. I gave her my card and told her I would be interested and that I would also have a door prize or two to give away that day.

Here's what I am thinking of doing. I want to offer different tier pricing. Instead of taking my earrings that are $20, I want to offer a line that is affordable for the residents, say in the $10 - $15 range. They don't have the date set yet (it's next year) but if it's close to a holiday, like Easter, I can make holiday themed items. To me it's not about making money for this event, it's seeing the smiles on their faces. Jewelry makes women smile, no matter what age they are! I have entertained the notion of teaching them to bead, but I am afraid it would be difficult with most of the beads that I have (too small to see, pick up etc.)

Even though I have signed up for three holiday shows in October, November and December, I am rather excited about spending the day with my grandmother and her friends and giving something back to the place that takes care of her. This visit made for a very happy Saturday.

And I am also contemplating a return visit to the bead show tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

It's Good to Have Choices

I love creating jewelry for people, especially when there is a special occasion or a special person to celebrate.

My friend recently needed a bridal shower gift for an out of town friend. She found a design she liked online and sent me the picture. It had bronze and ivory round pearls which I did not have on hand, but she said the shape was not important. So we improvised with beautiful Swarovski asymetrical pearls, Swarovski crystal and freshwater pearls. I used bronze, powdered almond and white pearls for the three versions. I used Colorado topaz, golden shadow and clear crystals. I made three different versions, because everyone likes having choices, right? I then took a quick survey asking people which they preferred. And I learned something interesting in the process. Even though the design and style of the bracelets were very similar, everyone had a different selection as their favorite!

This shows the three ideas before any were finished.

This is the bracelet that my friend selected with powdered almond pearls and golden shadow crystals. (this was option B)

This bronze and topaz bracelet will be listed at my esty shop later this week. (this was option A)

And last but not least, this was option C with the white and powdered almond pearls and the clear crystals. I will also list this at etsy soon.

So, do you have a favorite? :)