Number 4-Heading

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Last Post for this Blog-New Blog

I am finally transferring my jewelry post over to my new jewelry blog at http://PigeonCreekDesigns.blogspot.com

Please have a look at what is going on in both my jewelry and an occasion blog about this and that!






 

A Face Only a Mother Could Love

About a year or so ago I introduced T-Bone to you, so I thought it was time to catch you up. The picture on top is T-Bone now. The second picture is T-Bone when I first introduced him. He has grown into about a 11 lb. dog.
 
He may be an 11 pound dog but he has the ego of a hundred ten pound great dane.
 
He doesn't seem to understand the concept of "bigger than me". First, I have to explain that T-Bone is an escape artist. No fence or gate has been built that he can not dig under. If he is outside to "potty" more than 4-5 minutes, I guarantee that he has tunneled his way to freedom. His last Great Escape he dug his way under our fence into the neighbors yard (also surrounded with privacy fence) and then dug under their fence and out into the world of unrestricted freedom. By the time I found him he had run down the street, almost 2 blocks away. I found him cornered between a neighbor's front porch and house by a very angry Doberman. Fortunately, the Doberman decided only to verbally (dog speak) attack and very nicely allowed me to slip in and remove him.

As a long time, former Doberman owner (34 years) and trainer I don't have a lot of fear. I guess part of that is from working at a veterinary clinic for most of my working life. Not to mention both my father and brother were Veterinarians.

What surprises me is not the gentleness of the Doberman, but the fact that my normally cold hating dog that normally shares a heating pad with the cat at night and prefers that they then be covered with a comforter, will dig out of 1 and 1/2 feet of snow to go escape and challenge the biggest dog in the neighborhood.

Yes, there is a heating pad under both of these guys. Unfortunately, is covering the major portion of it. Think they make oversized heating pads. My 18 year old cat would appreciate a larger one.

New Listings at Last!




21775Handcrafted Artisan Turquoise Patina Scarf Slide
As most of you are experiencing, this has been a horrible Winter. For me there have been new medical issues so I have been very remiss in listing items.
But finally I have started to finally quit whining and gone back to work.
Bow Wow Dangle Copper Metalworked Earrings




Just so I would save steps and not have to climb as many stairs I broke down and moved out my just recently finished dining room and brand new finished dining room table and brought my tools and desk to replace them.
What was once this-
Is now this-



Scary isn't it. I have promised myself to order up and neaten up on the 2nd Tues. of next week!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

When is Soap Not Soap? When it is Jewelry

By the end of the market season last year between waking up at 4 a.m., the horrible heat, working 3 Farmer's Markets  by myself-loading, unloading, setting up the market tent and tables, hauling out tubs of soaps & other goodies and practically weekly trips to the specialists to get injections in the spine I was not physically or emotionally able to go to any of the Fall or Christmas Craft Shows that I normally attend.
 
I am not sure which was worst, losing the income from the shows or the absolute boredom from sitting at home with nothing to do. When I started physically improving for lack of anything better to do,( and I truly mean ANYTHING better), I started cleaning closets and ended up with a huge load to take to Goodwill-which I did. Of course after giving them a bunch of stuff I had to go inside and purchase more. The 1st thing I saw were copies of Wirework and Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist, 2 magazines I had never seen before. So for $.50 I bought them both and immediately went home to read.
 
The first thing I learned was that I wanted to make jewelry again. I had had some minor experiences in working with jewelry in the early 1970's.  The 2nd thing I learned was after looking at the actual price of the magazines, the only way I would be getting anymore would be from Goodwill.
 
I also found that any kind of tool or material that I used in 1970 was now 25 times the price it was then. What is this world coming to? Who is making all this profit? Think about it.
1st Pair of earrings-Made from Recycled copper & Aluminum Wire
 
 
There are shortcuts to be taken and tools to be substituted, materials to be recycled. 
Made from Copper Washers & Recycled Wire

 
2nd Pair of earrings from recycle Wire
I have found many shortcuts to making jewelry. Not by choice necessarily but by necessity. I hate playing poor me but I am sure that there are many of my customers and readers that are in almost as bad finances as we are.
 
As time goes on I hope to write about those money saving tips and short cuts as well as show you what is going into the Artfire shop.
 

Abercrombie belt turned into a cuff with a Magnesite stone


Next week I hope to finish some mixed media cuffs that I have been working on. I have never really loved sewing but I am finding these fun to make. What is really becoming the most fun is finding the bits and pieces to put all these pieces together.

Surprise, Surprise. I Haven't Forgotten You!

I know it has been much to long since I have written in here and I can give you a thousand excuses but the simple truth is that in the beginning I was very busy. Then I was very tired, or I thought I was tired. It seems though that I was working my way into a bout of fairly severe depression. I think, or at least I hope, I have managed to put that mostly behind me. Life is difficult enough without that ton of bricks weighing you down and coloring everything you do and think about.

I originally wrote about 1 1/2 pages of explanation but then I erased them. Basically, 3 Farmer's Markets were too physically demanding and causing me too much pain, not to mention that the economy sucks and I was just barely staying ahead. I can tell you that my 1st year at the Downtown Farmer's Market (and  in  the following 3 years) I made more money than I did working all 3 Farmer's Markets this past summer.

Downtown Evansville Farmer's Market
Last time my husband was able to attend.
I will only go to one Farmer's Market this next summer. I haven't made up my mind yet which one it will be since it is going to be a very difficult decision. Evansville is building us a new park for our market and Newburgh sits overlooking the beautiful Ohio River in a great shady lot. The most difficult part of deciding is knowing that I will not be seeing and working with some of the most wonderful people in the world whichever places I do not go. St. Mary's Hospital was a wonderful venue with fantastic people but just never very profitable.



                                                 View from back of my tent at the Newburgh
                                                       Farmer's Market the 1st year I attended.
                                                   The next year I made sure I was on the other side
                                                       so I could face toward the river! The back of
                                                            my tent is right behind my buddy's bakery!
                                                             
My intentions are to continue with my specialty soaps since those are what I sell the most of. Not only that, I truly feel that I have a number of people who depend on me to supply them. They may not be large in number but they are steady and never fail to tell me how grateful they are.

I will be doing a major downsizing on the fragranced soaps with only a few big time sellers and the same goes for my line of "non-working" essential oil scented soaps. I will continue making the shampoo bars and packaged herbs for the Herbal Rinses. I will, of course keep making and selling the Bug Off and Bite Be Gone since they are the base of my income from market opening until Mid-Aug.

Many of the toiletry lines will be dropped. If you have any questions about a particular product feel free to email me and I will be more than glad to let you know what is happening with any product I make.

Now I am going to refer back to the 1st paragraph in this blog. Much of the joy has gone from the business. I am not sure why but I suspect that in becoming wrapped up in the business end and some of the weird offers (and threats) and things that have gone on in the past year the creative end of the business just got lost in the shuffle.

1.  I have decided that since I am not making any money doing all three markets I am only going to attend 1 market this year. As yet to be decided which one.

2. I am severely downsizing the product list from Pigeon Creek Soaps.

3. The time I am not spending on the markets or preparing products for the markets can be spent several different ways. A. Concentrating on a better marketing plan for the Artfire shop B. This is my happy part. Spending time working on something I have discovered that I love to do! Pictures in the next blog entry to follow.