Thursday, 30 July 2009

Summer clear out

I've been running out of space on my stall at the Art & Craft Market and have been aware for some time that I need to trim down my range. Broadly my jewellery fits into one of three categories:
  • All silver
  • Silver combined with gemstones/swarovski crystal
  • Jewellery made with lampwork beads (sometimes incorporating complementary gemstones and swarovski crystals)
I've taken the decision that in order to concentrate on my lampworking, I will no longer making jewellery which has swarovski crystals or semi-precious gemstones combined with silver. My all silver range will be retained and I'll be expanding the range on an ongoing basis. I couldn't do without my beaten silver - as I tell my customers all the time, hammering on some silver sheet or wire is a great way to relieve stress and irritation if you're ever cross about something!

So this means that unless a piece of jewellery is all silver or contains a lampwork bead, then I am removing it from my range. Yesterday I updated my website and any items falling into this category has been moved to a new Jewellery Gallery and you can no longer order them from the website.

I've been through my stock inventory and removed all of the earrings that fall into this category and these will now be on sale on my stall from this Saturday at the bargain price of £3.00 unboxed per pair (average price of these before was £8-£9). They will be supplied in a plain polythene bag but you can buy a box for £1.

There are a couple of bracelets that will remain on sale on my stall but once they are sold, they won't be replaced.

The next thing I want to do is update the display of my stall but this will require some more thought and investment in display materials - watch this space for more news soon!

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

New large hole beads

At last, I have got a selection of large hole beads on my Pandora-style webpage. A sneak preview of three of them here:
On the page itself you get two views of each bead, one from the side and one from the top. There will be more soon.

I am hoping this morning will have fewer interruptions than yesterday. I was gonna make soooo many beads yesterday morning. I was out there turning on the kiln at 8.30am eager with anticipation - lovely weather but not too hot (just how I like it). Missy could be in the paddock outside the studio with me. The first interruption was a courier delivering a small parcel I had forgotten I was expecting, not long after that, the postman arrived with a parcel that I was expecting (so I can't really count that one). At every interruption there is a huge commotion from my dog, Missy, who was in the paddock growling and barking at every visitor until I come out of the studio and then she lets me be in charge (sometimes!)

I'd got back into beadmaking and then my Landlady, Penny, turned up. She's lovely and always terribly short of time so that didn't take long. She was warning me that a man would be with me later to do the annual service of the fire extinguishers and she was checking I was in. So I go back to beadmaking for a bit and then the man turns up.

I left the two extinguishers at the back door and asked him if he wanted a cup of tea, by the time the kettle had boiled and I took it out he had finished! I had my own tea in my hand ready to go back to work myself; I’ve been happy to go back into the shed and leave his tea with him if he was still working but as he’d finished, I didn’t feel like I could abandon him to stand around whilst he drunk it on his own so I had to drink my tea with him. Fortunately, he was a bit scared of dogs so I took him up a bit closer to Missy and this time I didn’t stop her barking so he left as quickly as possible!

Normally, you know, I don't see a soul all day if DH is working in Lincoln or Cambridge. So when I got back to work I was confident that I could go straight through til lunchtime with no further interruptions but no ... someone delivering leaflets walked past on their way to the letterbox and got Missy going again (sigh!) I gave up as a bad job - I am not good at being interrupted when I'm beadmaking!

Wednesday, 8 July 2009


Handmade lampwork violet and aqua bubble beadI think this bead is really pretty. I made lots of black bubble beads for Fiona's commission, they looked super-sophisticated made up into jewellery and Fiona e-mailed yesterday to say how pleased she was with everything. I'll post a picture after her party on Saturday (don't want to ruin the surprise!)

However, I thought I'd make some brighter bubble beads this week. This experiment is a base bead of violet, rolled in a light sprinkling of baking soda and then encased with aqua coloured glass. I've made a batch of them this morning and they are annealing in the kiln along with some other experimental colour mixes.

I've been a busy gal on my website the last couple of days. I have updated all the outstanding new products onto the Sooz Jewels website (about three weeks worth). There are too many to put here but some of the highlights are detailed on my home page.

I've made a new page for the Red Mist items so all the products are together. In the Red Mist range, I sold a £40 bracelet and a pair of £12 earrings on Saturday and so a cheque for half of those values, plus £6 from last week's sale of a pair of earrings was sent to the Orangutan Foundation yesterday.

I'm hoping to pretty up the Red Mist page with a picture of an orangutan. I've asked the Foundation if they have any available for fundraising purposes but if they don't, I have my eye on this cute picture here, which I will buy.

There's also (at last!) a new page on the website for my Pandora beads. Um ... there aren't actually any beads on the page yet (still got to do the photography for that!) But the starter bracelet is there ready and waiting. Now there's no tennis (sniff!) I may actually get the photography done this week!

Finally, there is also now a Frequently Asked Questions page, too.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Not getting much done

It's too hot to make any beads (though I did a few first thing when it was cooler).

It's too hot to photograph my Pandora-style beads for the website (though I did photograph some sample threads and send the results to Fiona for her commission and she's really pleased with them so that was definitely worth the effort!)

It's too hot to cut the grass (though I did pat the edge of the lawn and said that it's time will come).

It's too hot to stay upstairs very much longer on my comuter putting photographs of jewellery from last week on the website - maybe later if it cools down in the evening.

It's NOT too hot to watch tennis though - downstairs is much cooler! I had a list of things I needed to get done without fail today and I finished them at 3pm, Andy Murray came on court at 3.15pm so that was well timed (most considerate of him). Additionally, I did some ironing whilst watching inbetween points and Andy again obliged by winning in three sets so I could put the rest of the ironing away at the earliest opportunity! I'm so glad he's in the semi-finals.