Capitol City Visit

Capitol City Visit
Madison Wisconsin

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The story of a recent sale and layering jewelry.






Hello! I hope you all have had a good week. My week was busy. Busy enough that I didn't make my wordless Wednesday post! I'm sorry if you were looking for it!

I have some great news this week! I sold a pair of earrings through my own personal website for Carol's Jewelry Orchard! http://www.carolsjewelryorchard.com This is not my etsy site but my own website. Sadly, it hardly ever gets looked at but has some cool features like a slide show of my recently sold items.

A customer bought a pair of earrings posted on my etsy site with football charms with green and yellow beads. She wrote me the following e-mail via the contact form on my site;
I received earrings that were green and yellow with footballs at the bottom. I was wondering if I can get the same green and yellow but with running shoes(tennis shoes at the bottom? The football ones are perfect for when my son is playing football. My daughter runs cross country and they both do track. I love the football ones. Thank you.

So, I had to move fast! I had just sold earrings I made with sneaker charms! Finally, after looking and looking I found some more pewter sneaker charms from an ebay vendor. I made the earrings and let the customer know they were finished, sending a picture of the completed set. And the sale was completed yesterday morning, the earrings sent! I was thrilled to make this sale; it means that my own website is working for potential customers to contact me about orders!

Finally, as I get ready for my upcoming Fall Craft Show, I have been photographing some of my pieces in layers. Many of my handcrafted jewelry items could be worn as layers. Sets of two necklaces, shown together in the above pictures are examples of what would work! The possibilities are endless. If you buy the two featured pieces, you definitely end up with 3 different looks. The look of each piece separately and the look of them together! Enjoy the pictures as you explore the versatility of these pieces.

Thanks for stopping by!
~Carol~

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Unplug, already!

Good Sunday Morning!

Again, so much to write about.....but I don't like to be fragmented, so I'll have to pick just one topic! As you know from my prior posts, we have had a lot of family visitors between the beginning of August and last weekend (or for about six weeks). My brother in law brought his i-phone, i-pod, and i-pad into our house during the first week in August. I have to tell you, I have been intrigued with this gadget, until recently.

During the five days they were here, an i-something gadget was permanently affixed to his hand. Everywhere he went in the house, a gadget went with him! I found it very, very irritating! I drove us to the National Eagle Center, in Wabasha, MN and ran directions off of Maps -on- Us to help us get there. The center was about 90 minutes away, and I had never been there before; despite being familiar with the area. Well, on our trip, we had not only my printed directions but also my GPS unit in our van AND his 3 i-something appliances! UGH! It was too much! Then, I think I really flipped him out when I announced, as we pulled out onto the highway to go home, that I now knew exactly where we were and didn't need to follow ANY of the directions to get home! I knew the way! He, on the other hand, was very unsure about me not following the "machines".

You see, the reason I was interested in the i-pad was I received an unexpected reimbursement check from New York State; when I worked there as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner! It was quite a sizable check, enough to buy an ipad! I thought it might be neat to have this tablet that I could sit in my kitchen and work on my etsy shop or be productive in other ways.....such as writing curriculum for my elementary garden club.

My teenage son, very technologically adept, recently researched tablets, as he is attending a virtual high school this year and wanted a smaller internet accessible unit than the laptop, the school was providing. Guess what???? He didn't buy an i-pad! After researching every tablet out there, he got an ASUS tablet with an e-writer attachable keyboard. He loves it. AND, it has ports for SD Cards!

You see, there in lies the clincher for me. I want my tablet to be for productivity. With my etsy shop, there is a great need for picture manipulation. I don't want to learn a new system for that; I want to continue to use adobe photoshop and store my pictures on SD memory cards. I know I could use something like Picasa, but truthfully, I don't want to spend the time on something new. I want something portable but productive. To me, and as my son confirmed, the i-pad is mostly for entertainment.

Well, then, my sister-in-law visited last week, with her i-pad! She seemed just as addicted to this same internet accessible appliance as my brother in law! Everytime she got an e-mail, it sent a ding-ding into the quiet air that became to me, something akin to chinese water torture. She was gracious enough to let me experiment with her i-pad; convinced that I would, indeed want one of these. Well, after admittedly still thinking it is a cool gadget, I don't want one.

I just don't like the effect it seems to have on people. Sane, mature, intelligent people who now seem like they can't live with out this 10 inch gadget. I also don't like the fact that everyone seems to have or want one. I've never gone for fads, and although this might not be one; I don't want to be part of it. I really don't use my computer for entertainment, so why would I use the i-pad for it? I already spend too much time on the computer, so why would I want something that would actually increase the time I spend on-line. AND, perhaps the most compelling reason for me is that I DO want a USB port and a memory disc port.

You know, I also have younger children. I really don't want them plugged in all the time! It is just not good for them! Currently, we limit their computer game time (which includes the Wii, DS, Computer, and yes, i-pad apps) to 20 minutes a day. It is more than enough. I have to say, they don't like it, but I do.

I love computers and technology but seriously, I think we all need to unplug, already! Life was interesting and full of opportunities and fun before the i-appliances and should continue to be with only a very limited access to them!

Have a great Sunday. Thanks for stopping by!
Carol

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Almost Wordless Wednesday ......Lush Florida Vegetation.





As a Master Gardener Volunteer, naturally I love plants.....one of the my most favorite things to do while on vacation is to take photographs of all the different plants......tropical plants, in this case.

You see palms, strangler figs, bromeliads, and sea grass in the above pictures.
Florida is beautiful!
Enjoy!
Carol

Please visit my shop at http://carolsjewelryorchard.etsy.com where some of my travel photography and landscape photography is for sale. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11th....Emotions rise easily.







Good Sunday Morning! I am trying to get back into my groove of posting on Wednesdays and Sundays, minimum. I think I had one extra post last week. I know I have a lot to write about.

However, I think I must write about the anniversary our Nation is remembering today. It is certainly not a celebration. Except 9-11 is a day we all must never forget. Friday night, we watched one of the specials on the events of 9-11, ten years ago. I remember exactly what I was doing, as does probably everyone who is old enough to have memories of that time. What struck me was how easily the emotions came back! Before I knew it, I was choking back tears of sadness for our country and especially for those who lost their lives that day or the lives of a loved one in that fateful attack.

What also struck me was the extreme bravery of so many ordinary people. Family members recounting the events on Flight 93 was especially revealing to me. Where, in us, does this bravery reside? These were ordinary people that most definitely gave their lives for others and for our freedom. Exactly like all the emergency responders who were killed trying to save those in the towers.

There are a lot of lessons to be learned from 9-11. We have spend considerable time over the weekend sharing some of the memories we have from that day/time with our children. One of my children was less than a week old at the time! How could I not wonder what kind of world I had brought this baby into?! I think they all have a better understanding from watching some of the television footage from that day and our discussion.

So, in remembrance of our nation's founding fathers and principals AND the bravery of so many, enjoy some more of my pictures from our Washington DC trip in June of this year. And know I am thankful it all still exists, both in a philosophical and physical form.

God Bless the USA.
Carol

Friday, September 9, 2011

Great News!!!! I've been featured on.......

Well, I've had a very good week! After doing some considerable thinking over the weekend about my jewelry and photography.......things in my jewelry shop have picked up! I had several sales yesterday and a couple a day before that! My sister in law is here and doing some of her holiday shopping from jewelry inventory! "Where else", I asked her, "could she shop at 8 o'clock at night, in her bare feet, with a glass of wine?" She agrees, that it is very convenient!

I also found out today that one of my travel memory, photographic charm bracelets is being featured on the website; Etsy Lush! This is a site that offers FREE advertising but is juried! You have to have great pictures of your product AND it has to be an original piece of work! These travel memory bracelets of mine are just that!

Right now I have bracelets on Washington D. C., Flowers and Butterflies, and Florida! It was the Florida Travel memory bracelet that has been featured! Go to the following website to view my bracelet and those of some other very talented artisits!
Click on the Jewelry, then Bracelet category to view. My bracelet is on page one, in the middle!

In addition to the fabulous news, I am working on my photography as well. My teenager is helping to organize the several thousand photos I have stored on my computer. He feels I should really be pursuing this end of my creativity! Well, I agree! With that decided, we turned off the highway we were on this weekend, and went down a country road because in more ways than one he saw that I was Chasing a Rainbow!

Have a great day!
Carol

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day Sale!!!

Happy Labor Day!

Today reminds me of two things......one that 17 years ago today I truly labored!

And......our tumultuous state of labor this past year in Wisconsin!

So, I offer these two short promotions;

1) I am offering 17% off everything in my shop today only, in honor of my labor 17 years ago!
(yes, it was a Monday and yes, it was the Labor day holiday)!

http://carolsjewelryorchard.etsy.com

2) A photograph of the Wisconsin State Capital Building.......to remind us of calmer times!

Please read my post from yesterday, too. I'd love some comments on that!
Have a great labor day!
Carol

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Labor Day!!! What do I want to labor on?

I hope all of my readers are having a restful and fun holiday weekend. We are. Friday night we were able to spend time around a campfire at our cabin on a lake in Northern Wisconsin, affectionately known here as the "Northwoods". It hasn't been a great weekend for weather here, but having some friends stay with us at our cabin made it fun, anyway!

We fished, we played card games, we had s'mores, we slept, and listened to all the night sounds of the woods. Today, we made our way home. The whole weekend gave me some time for some contemplation about my jewelry. You see, I am thinking of adding a shop for my photography.

There are a lot of reasons for this, some of them coming from the constant comments I seem to receive here on my blog about my photography. And if you follow me at all, you'll know that I have been trying to incorporate my photos into my jewelry with travel memory bracelets. I have two more of those to list this week. One of Florida and one of beaches. I love photography. It couldn't have been more evident to me than this week when I woke up about 6:15am to a pink sky! I hopped out of bed excitedly, looking for the most recent place I had put my camera. And within 5 minutes, I was on our back patio, snapping pictures! I was inspired!

I don't seem to be getting far with my jewelry.....now, I know a lot of you out there will say....hey, almost 200 sales in a little over 2 years on etsy is great! It is okay. And I have sold more than what is actually reflected in the etsy numbers. I have an annual jewelry open house that is my biggest money maker of the year for me. It's just that the handcrafted jewelry market is glutted. A problem many of of recognize and keep trying to find a space in. I want to continue to make my jewelry but think that for a while, I will concentrate on my photography and see where that leads. I think I owe that to myself.

I plan to continue to have my etsy site and will have my home jewelry open house, again this year, but the hours I've been spending trying to figure out how to be seen on etsy with my jewelry creations might be better served somewhere else. And in knowing that my home jewelry open house will again be successful, it seems a good time to pull back from pushing my beaded creations on etsy.

This revelation comes at an odd time. I told you last week that I was introducing two new jewelry lines. I've shown you my celtic ring line. And I also am making a new bracelet line for cancer survivors. These have been in the works for a month or two and I'll be showing them off in the next week or so. Those lines will continue, as will the other jewelry that is already listed in my shop. Once I have my open house, in mid-November, I'll know more about what kind of direction to go in with my creations.

If you have any comments, I'd love to hear them. In the meantime, I hope you've had some time to relax and do some thinking about your labors, as I did, on this Labor Day Weekend.
Carol

Thursday, September 1, 2011

September Shop Snapshot!






Hello, September!!!! Fall is my favorite time of year!

This September is exciting for me, as I am introducing two new jewelry lines in my Etsy shop!

Today, let me introduce you to the first line! I am now making adjustable rings with a Celtic Theme! My celtic jewelry always seems to sell, and pretty quickly too! So, I decided to make a Celtic ring line.

These rings are made from a Silver plated Brass base and have a three-quarter inch circle top. Various celtic symbols are printed on my HP photoprinter with archival-grade photo paper, cut out, sealed and added to the circular ring-top. I then add jeweler's grade resin to the ring-top to protect the photo-symbol, give it nice shine, and some water resistance! WOW! I have to admit that I love how these are turning out!

I've posted two in my Etsy shop for purchase. A yellow triad symbol and a green knot symbol.
The greatest thing about these rings is that they are ADJUSTABLE! Sorry, I didn't mean to scream at you, but this IS a big deal! Let's admit it, rings are finicky! If the fit isn't right, then, you end up not wearing it! Right? Well, these rings will fit because they will adjust to your ring size. The band adjusts just underneath the top of the ring, with gentle pressure. Since the adjuster is underneath the top of the ring, it looks like a fitted ring from the palm side of your hand! How cool is that?!

I made a batch of three Silver Adjustable Celtic Themed Rings to start. All have different symbols. The yellow triad and green knot versions are posted. I made a red, floral version that has a tiny, slight bubble captured in the resin as it dried. Not perfect. So, I am going to offer this, not so perfect ring, at 50% off the list price. You can get the red ring, once posted for $9.98! WOW! You can bearly see this bubble, but I know it is there and don't feel right selling it for the full price. So, you can benefit from my learning a new technique! Look for the red ring today or tomorrow in my Etsy shop!


Enjoy the pictures and I'd love to know what you think! Thanks for stopping by! Come by again tomorrow to learn about my second new line of jewelry!
Carol