Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Anyone for spankles?

I added a couple of new sets of beads to my Sooz Beads Etsy shop today. The British Sellers on Etsy team have a Team Discussions Section and there's a thread where you can link to new items to promote them. I was merrily adding my latest additions, typing a bit of a description about the set below but instead of typing "silver spangles", it came out "silver spankles". I like the word so much, I keep saying it to myself!

If you're a touch typist (rather than the 2 finger variety!) try typing the word yourself, is it just me or do your fingers just want to type a "k" after the "n"?!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Recycled glass of two kinds combined

You probably all remember the celebration of my first Etsy sale a little while ago, well, Deb, the lovely lady who bought some of my etched Harveys Bristol Cream sherry beads has made these earrings which I think are just brilliant! They're available to purchase along with a matching pendant from her northcoastbeachglass Etsy shop. Another first for me - my beads in someone else's jewellery!

Deb was so pleased with the beads that she ordered 15 more. The first ones only took a week to reach her in the USA but we're a bit concerned that the follow up order seems to be taking forever - hope they arrive with you soon, Deb as I'm looking forward to seeing more combinations with the beach glass you find close to your home.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Look - jewellery!

I've been posting far too much about new beads lately and not enough on jewellery. Here is a new recycled/upcycled pair of earrings using etched beads made from a melted Harveys Bristol Cream sherry bottle and pretty sterling silver leaf charms. The earrings are available to buy both in my Etsy shop and will also be on my stall this Saturday.

Hope you all like them!

Sunday, 13 February 2011

The saga of the pre-dug hole

At the back end of last week, we had some very windy weather but it was mild so I decided to put some washing out. It managed some shirts and trousers fine but when I added the second load (sheets) within a couple of minutes the big sail area almost completely collapsed the rotary drier which was only anchored by a hammered in stake rather than being properly concreted in. I didn't take a picture of the sheets half trailing on the ground, I was too busy washing them again (and swearing at whoever it was that didn't put the dryer up properly first time!)

It has taken said person a little over a week to get round to remedying the problem, claiming that B&Q, Jackson Shipley and the Co-Op had all run out of pre-dug holes to put the concrete in! But anyway, here he is all kitted out in his site safety gear.

Taking the p*** a bit with the hard hat ....

Getting down to business now

"What do you mean I've put the hole in upside down?"

Make sure it's upright. (Ooer, his hat has come off!)

Ta dar!

What a clever chap! Thank you DH xxx

Whilst I had the camera out in the garden, I snapped this one of the snowdrops just opening up to remind us all that winter will soon be over!

Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend.

Sneak previews

It was just an afterthought (suggested by DH) that I take the beads that I've offered for sale in my new beads only Etsy shop to my stall on Saturday. I got four commissions for necklaces and another for a pair of earrings with a possibility of a necklace or bracelet to match later on.

Regular customers, in particular, seemed to appreciate a "sneak preview" of what I'll be making jewellery with in the future. I'll definitely be doing that again!

The weather in Cambridge was cloudy but dry when we arrived at around 8.30am; I think it must've been raining earlier because everything was wet and the tree over my stall was dripping on me! :-) However, apart from a light shower in the afternoon, we had a pretty much perfect day weather-wise for sales. I think my Duffers' Guide has helped the fellas out as I got more Valentine's Day purchasers :-)

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Lampwork beads for sale

For the first time since I started making lampwork beads, I am currently making more beads than I can actually use in my own jewellery business and so I'm making a small selection available to purchase in a separate Etsy shop called Sooz Beads.

I'm not selling seconds, I am only selling beads that I would be happy to make jewellery with myself. When things get moving again in Spring, there probably won't be many left over, so snap them up whilst they're available!

Saturday, 5 February 2011

The duffers guide to taking a hint

I see it all the time at art and craft markets, couples wander up to my stall, look at the jewellery, have a chat, the girlfriend/wife/partner picks up a piece of jewellery and says something to her boyfriend/husband/partner that - to me - is clearly a hint that if someone special bought the item for her, she'd be highly delighted. All she gets back is a blank look and they wander off. Very occasionally, the gentleman will return and buy the item; he was just playing dumb. I'm always most impressed with guys that can pull that off (DH is hopeless, he will actually ask me "Is that hint for your birthday present then?") !!!

So, for all you blokes out there that can't take a hint, here's a rough guide translating commonly heard phrases and generally letting you know what might be going on in your beloved's mind.

The vital point for you to realise is that when you are taken out shopping close to Valentinue's day, her birthday, your anniversary or Christmas she is NOT doing this just to deprive you of watching sports on TV, or keep you from your mates in the pub. She is trying to help you come to the right decision about a present for her and to save you wasting your money. See ... she loves you really.

So, when you're in a shop or (for preference) at a craft market stall and she picks up (for example), the bracelet photographed
if she tries it on, she is interested in it. If she just puts it down again and tries on something else, that wasn't a hint. Sometimes things look different when they're on. (NB With earrings she will just hold them up next to her ear and look at herself in a mirror, she won't put them in as most retailers don't like you to do this with earrings for hygiene reasons.) What she says after trying it on is the key to not missing the hint.

If she says "Oh, this is lovely, I really like it what do you think?" and shows it to you, she isn't really interested in your opinion, she is engaging you and bringing the item to your attention. If you go back later and buy this for her, she will pretend it was all your idea and tell all her friends how clever you were to notice that she'd like it. Other things she may say if she'd like you to buy it for her are:
  • "This would go with my new dress"
  • "It fits perfectly, it was made for me"
  • "I really like this, I'd like to have it but I can't afford it" (you will get bonus points here for your generosity)
When she doesn't buy it for herself, she isn't torturing you and drawing out the nightmare of having to keep shopping til she does find something she wants to buy - she is dropping a hint to you.

The thing to do next is after a few minutes, when you've left the stall, is to say "I'm just going to buy a newspaper, I'll be back in a minute" she will probably realise what you're doing but she won't let on, so no need (at this stage in your hint-taking education) to be any more subtle than that. She probably won't even question you if you don't have a newspaper when you come back, if she does, just tell her "They didn't have a copy of The Daily Mirror" (or whatever paper you usually buy).

However, some ladies have a different approach, having tried the above way numerous times in the past and had their hints ignored, they are a tad more direct about it and may say something like:
  • "This is a lovely bracelet, it would be so nice if someone listening to me would buy it for my Valentine's day present"
  • "It would be lovely if someone came back to buy this for me when I wasn't here"
In my experience, this still only works about 50% of the time. Oftentimes, the gentleman will pick up one of my business cards which are handily lying around at both ends of the stall and I will get a phone call/e-mail/internet order. I have a really good memory and if you ring me during the week, I will remember the hint and know what you are talking about. After a week though, my memory is a bit faulty so follow up on this kind of comment fast! Hopefully you're getting the idea by now; you need to realise that it's imperative to take heed when she's talking; if you're not listening and are daydreaming about the football scores, then you will not pick up on this hint - remember: pay attention!

There is one final way that some ladies adopt. These ladies have been so often disappointed in the past and fed up with presents they don't like, that they utilise a candid, blunt and to the point method:
  • "Get your wallet out, you're buying me this for Valentine's day"
This is a royal command, if you don't buy this item right then, don't expect any smoochies later on! This has a good success rate but it's a little unromantic. So I urge all of you people out there who never know what to get your other half for a present; all you have to do is listen when you're out shopping together - she may be trying to tell you something!

IMPORTANT NOTE: Sooz Jewels' jewellery is designed for women to wear, we have no objection if men wish to wear our jewellery and readers of the above guide may therefore feel free to substitute gender and gender-specific terms at will should they so wish. Sooz Jewels is an equal opportunities purveyor of craft jewellery.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Computer problems and calling Heather!

Since the last Windows automatic update, my laptop been difficult to boot. Consequently, I just didn't switch it off for a couple of weeks whilst I got my accounts and tax return done as I needed information in it to do so. Now that's out of the way, I've been trying to fix it but unfortunately, now it won't turn on at all!

It's within its year's warranty so I'm going to take it back to hopefully be fixed but I don't know when I can get it to the shop or how long they'll keep it. I can use this desktop PC to download new e-mails but I can't access old ones til I get the laptop working again. I was in the middle of e-mail exchanges with Heather about her daughter's wedding jewellery. She was expecting me to post a package of sample beads yesterday but I can't get at her address so Heather, if you're reading this, please can you send me your address again. Thanks!