Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Jewelry Design Revisited

Jewelry design is an ever-evolving art. As artists, we are constantly honing our skills and learning new ones. Often times we come across a piece of our earlier work and realize it needs a little updating. Sometimes this task is somewhat bewildering. After all, when I first designed the piece, I thought it was perfect. Why is it less than perfect now?

I recently pulled out some of these older pieces to re-think their design. I realized when I initially made these, I really wasn't doing much wire work, mostly just stringing. These pieces, although lovely, just look too heavy for today's styles. Now days jewelry has a lighter, airier feel, and that's perfect for wire-work. Wire just naturally has a way of making jewelry look effortless. So I re-worked the pieces by wire-wrapping the beads, and I love how they turned out. Plus it was so much easier because I already had all the beads I wanted to incorporate from the previous necklace, they just needed to be re-arranged.

Fiesta Star Lampwork Bead Necklace -
Maple Jasper and Turquoise Beaded Necklace -

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Lampwork Bead Give-away

Carol Evans (, a fellow jewelry designer and also an awesome lampwork bead artist, is having an incredible giveaway. Every month she's sending 8 different jewelry designers a batch of her lampwork beads. I received my beads a couple of days ago and I knew when I saw them that I wanted to incorporate camel bone in the design because 1) the lampwork beads have the same beige color, and 2) I have a ton of camel bone beads to use up.

Here's my tub of vintage camel bone:

Originally I had planned on wire-wrapping this large camel bone bead as a focal pendant with a lampwork bead and some pearls dangling from the bottom, but it wasn't meant to be. Apparently when the hole was reamed out, it isn't made very straight.

No matter how hard I tried, I could not feed the wire through the hole of the bead. So, off to plan B. I pulled out the rest of the vintage camel bone and found this pretty pendant. I couldn't attach the lampwork bead dangles, but this will work well.

I just listed the necklace/earring set and matching bracelet on etsy :-)

New Website

A little over 9 years ago I wanted to purchase a domain name for my business, but the .com wasn't available at that time so I had to buy a .biz. I didn't get much traffic on the site, so after I opened my etsy store, I re-directed the URL to point to my etsy store. Things were going along pretty well. About a year ago I was notified that the .com domain name was now available so I purchased it. I created my website and let it run for a couple months. The new site was still receiving very little traffic, so again I re-directed the URL to point to my etsy store since etsy gets a ton of traffic.

As I recently posted, etsy has changed some of their rules. Etsy was originally founded on the principal of buying and selling handmade items, but over the past couple of years some etsy stores were selling mass-produced products made in China. Etsy apparently is going to continue to allow this, provided the store files an application to work with a manufacturer. Needless to say many etsy sellers are not at all happy about this and are jumping ship. One of my fellow SRAJD members recommended not having all your eggs in one basket (meaning etsy), so I am taking this as an opportunity to rebuild my website. I hope everyone will check it out - I'll gradually be adding more and more items to the site.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

etsy Sells Out

Yesterday (October 1, 2013), etsy notified their sellers that they have been screwed. They did it in a very nice manner, with an email letting them know they have been screwed, a video explaining how the action of being screwed is really for everyone's good, etc.

According to the email, "Over the past eight years, Etsy sellers have astounded (us) with their creativity, ingenuity and ambition. This is a marketplace we make together; we lay the foundation and you build on it. You’ve grown Etsy in ways we never predicted, but part of our foundation hasn’t kept up."........That's true.

"Sellers tell us that our policies for shops with handmade items have become confusing, intrusive and restrictive. It’s time to give those policies a renovation."........True again.

And then the screwing begins. What we etsy sellers hoped to happen was for etsy to stop allowing many of their sellers to sell mass-produced items, primarily from China, and passing them off as handmade items. Those of us that make one of a kind items are truly what etsy was all about when it first began. Back in the early days they constantly stressed "Buy Hand-made"!!

Well, that's not at all what happened. Instead of etsy putting on their big-boy pants and telling these shop owners to cease and desist, instead they caved in to money. They don't care what is ethical, they just want the money these shops are bringing in. Hello???? In what sense of the word does "handmade" bring to mind Chinese sweat shops. I know my studio is only as big as a bedroom. There's no room for an assembly line in here!

So etsy wants us all to believe that this is for everyone's good. This is to allow shop owners to take responsibility for how their product is made and being honest about it. My question is how will these shop owners be forced to comply with this new guideline? I seriously doubt these shop owners will even take the initiative to apply.

In one of the Facebook groups I belong to, it's evident that people are not buying into this. Left and right people are scrambling to get their own website up and running, or move their listings to other venues such as ArtFire. I, too, am seriously considering abandoning ship. Etsy has been good to me as far as visibility goes, but with SO much competition on etsy, you can't also compete with ridiculously low priced items from China. It's like trying to set up a kiosk in the middle of Wal-Mart!

I may not leave etsy immediately, it's going to take a little while. I already have my own domain ( with a few items listed. I need to do some tweaking to make it more user-friendly, but this is a "heads up" to everyone that it's coming.