Its that time of year again - Forth Valley Open Studios in on from 7th - 15th June. This is a fantastic event, now in its 5th year. It is a chance to see local artists in their working environments, find out more about them and even buy yourself an original piece of art. I will be displaying some of my Jewellery in Back Lane Studios - Here is a wee peak at some hand painted pendants that I am hoping to display ( if the paint drys in time!) I will also have a small selection of my vintage style jewellery for sale too.
Works in progress, I hope they dry in time for next week!
After a wee break from teaching jewellery classes I am back. I will be teaching a basic jewellery class aimed at beginners as part of the Spring program of craft classes being held at the "The Studio", Wool-n-Wood in Kinbuck near Dunblane. All classes are £45 (this will include all tools, materials and a scrumptious afternoon tea) You will make a lovely piece of artwork to take home with you. Classes are held 2pm until 4.30pm. Contact details can be found at the bottom of this blog post.
Here is a list of what's available this March.
Sat 1st March : Up-Cycle Decoupage
simple art of decorating a surface with paper.
If you can 'cut and paste' the
old fashioned way, this is for you! No PC required. Learn a new skill and take home your
customised 'flower pot', 'wine bottle' or objects of your choice from our
selection of goodies. Items supplied but feel free to bring along your own
objects...nothing too big!
Tutor: Lesley Mann, Wool-n-Wood
Sat 15th March : Beginners Beaded Jewellery Making
A basic jewellery making class aimed at beginners. Using basic beading and stringing techniques.
you will be able to make two beaded bracelets and two pairs of earrings. Also provided are instruction sheets that people can take home with them if they want to carry on with the jewellery making in their own time.
Tutor : Megan Morgan, Artizania Jewellery
Sat 22nd March - Needle Felted Teddy Bears
Using easy felting techniques, a bit of rolling and stabbing you can create a lovely little teddy bear in an afternoon! No experience needed. All materials supplied.
Tutor : Lesley Mann, Wool-n-Wood
Sat 29th March - Felt Brooch (to be confirmed)
Learn how to make felt and then create your own brooch to take away.
Tutor: Mary Pirie (An Cnoc)
Wool-n-Wood Workshops held at "The Studio", High Craigton, Kinbuck, FK150JJ
These are the first workshops in The Studio so they are being offered at an introductory price (£45) with a lovely afternoon tea! Details of booking and payment can also be found on the web site. www.wool-n-wood.co.uk
•In full by PayPal (firstname.lastname@example.org)or send cash/cheque to the above address.
•£10 deposit secures your place with full payment five days beforehand.
•Cancellations 48 hours before will get a full refund.
•Classes cancelled by Wool-n-wood for any reason will be refunded in full.
This weekend I had a really enjoyable time making up a request for a beaded glasses chain, I'd never made glasses chains before (it just hadn't ever occurred to me to make them) They were so much fun to make and I'm very happy with the results - so happy that I've decided to keep one chain for myself! I took some pics of the process. I even enjoyed taking the photos, using my glasses and books as props. I have to admit that I normally find that taking photographs of jewellery can be a bit of a challenge, but these photos were really good fun to take. Normally I don't use any props in my jewellery photos because of the assumption that doing so would take attention away from the focal piece. Hmmmm... I believe I've said all this before in a previous blog post - New Years Resolutions 30th Dec 2011 (click to view) So from now on I WILL try and use more props in my photography, I definitely recommend trying it. So if you like to make and sell jewellery/craft items why not give it a go and see if it improves your photos. It worked for me.
In the process of creating my first glasses chain
Detail of finished pieces (before I discovered the beauty of using props!)
Finished chain - Czech glass beads and crystal
Finished chain - Czech glass, amethyst chip beads and black pearls
Well, I had a wee bit of disappointment this week! Ok - so I'm still in the process of building up this blog and trying to gain followers. I'll admit it, every time I log into Blogger the first thing I do is check the stats! It gives me a real buzz to know that people have looked at my blog. You can imagine how happy I was when I noticed that the number of hits I'd got had risen dramatically. YAY!!!!!!! I was thrilled - people were reading my blog, I was getting hits! Brilliant! Hmmmmm then I noticed the traffic sources were a bit, well strange sounding - Vampire Stat? (my blog's biggest fan) 7secretsearch? Adsense watchdog? Who are these people who love my blog so much that they feel the need to send so much traffic my way? After a quick search on Google I discovered the truth - SPAMBOTS!!!!!! Oh the disappointment. So if you are a real person reading this and you have blog - be warned! These spammers rely on your curiosty "Vampire stat? Think I'll click on that and see who they are" DON'T DO IT. At best you've had fake traffic directed to your blog and like me you get your hopes up and then dashed when you realise the hits are fake, at worst they could potentially infect your computer if you click on any ads/links on their website. For more info please read this post by Calvin's Code ( A very useful post that came up when I googled the mysterious Vampire stat) http://calvinscode.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/blog-writers-beware-spam-sites-sending.html
Enough said on this topic, now I need to find some imagery to fit in with this blog post...
So she's not a vampire but this picture seemed appropriate
By the way, the image above is of my beloved Bride Of Frankenstein doll. She's one of the good guys!
I've been on Etsy for a while now, I love it for buying presents (presents for myself as well as for other people) and I have found it to be a brilliant source for supplies - jewellery, art, sewing, you name it! I often find myself spending many happy hours looking at the vintage items too, it's just so much fun! However one thing I have never quite gotten the hang of is generating lots of sales on my Etsy shop! Infact when I put my shop on vacation mode when I was last on holiday I didn't re-open because well... things had been so slow that it just didn't seem worth opening the shop again. However this week I had a change of heart and I've decided to give myself one more chance as an Etsy store owner.
click image to visit the Artizania Etsy store! Or visit here
I'm still not convinced that I've done the right thing, however at a cost of only 20 cents per listing I can't really complain. I'm hoping that Etsy second time around will be more successful for me, I'm still not sure of the best way to generate traffic to the shop. (any ideas out there?) Also I wonder, do I really have the time to network, create treasuries, take part in Etsy teams and join in on the forums? If I am honest I suspect not, I find just photographing the work and creating the listings time consuming enough. I think that the key to Etsy success is all about networking, and I am aware that networking (be it virtual or in real life) is not one of my strengths (yet! I'll try and work on that.) for a number of reasons, time spent being the biggest one. So anyway, I'm having one more shot at being an Etsy store owner and we'll see how it goes. Even if I end up shutting up shop again that's ok. I still love you Etsy and I'll always be a customer, because there really is nowhere else quite like Etsy. P.S.if any of you reading this have any suggestions or have Etsy experience you'd like to share, please feel free to leave a comment and feel free to pay my Etsy store a visit too!