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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Our Saturday Market booth and life

Most Saturdays for the past 18 years or so we have sold at the Eugene Saturday Market. We have had our excellent reserved corner booth space on the corner of 8th and W Park Street across from the Farmers Marker for many years now that we earned by doing all those markets and getting the points. And being there when the very old couple finally decided to retire from their spot who had it previously. I imagine Nick and I will be hobbling on our canes too when we finally retire from that corner spot.Luckily Etsy has come along and changed our lives so that we don't have to be there every weekend, especially the ones that are brutally cold or hot.
Now that we have Henry and Max, Nick stays home with the boys while I go to market by myself. (Until they are at least old enough to be somewhat helpful and not poop in their pants.That goes for Nick too.-just joking hun)It's a lovely hour long scenic drive on mostly back roads through the Willamette Valley from our home to Eugene.
I start most Saturday mornings with my old timer marketeer vendor girlfriends and coffee. It is usually the highlight of my day.

This year we revamped our Saturday Market booth display. We had been using the same display for more years than I can even remember.It is still basicly the same but we took off a whole top row of earrings so that I can now see over the top of the display and not be boxed in. We got rid of dud earrings that weren't really moving. We also got one of those new fangled light weight plastic folding tables instead of the super heavy plywood one we made back when we were young.

Those are hanging vases across the front top of the booth and we also have some on a display hanging on the other side of the booth. We love our EZ Up booth although I really think they should be called EZ Down as the process of getting those little metal buttons pushed into the top can require heroic efforts and leave me panting wiht exhaustion first thing in the morning.Taking them down is a breeze though.

I replaced the old ratty purple background on the boards with a crisper off white muslin. It's really improved the visibility of the colored stone and glass jewelry. We still continue to use the method of having lace sewn on the bords in rows that the earrings hang off of. I can't take credit for the idea as we saw it in a store display in Santa Rosa about 20 years ago. But it works really well for us and we get lots of compliments on it from customers.

The is the Aluminum earrings display board. Notice the signs above it say "Light Weight! REALLY! Pick them up!" "Light Weight Aluminum" "With Sterling Silver Earwires".

Perhaps the signs aren't large enough or bright enough but all day long I have customers say- "Wow those look really heavy . I couldn't wear those." And I say- "But they aren't. They are aluminum- pick them up and see."(with a pleasant smile of course.) "Oh my god they ARE light." and then they hand them to their disbelieving friend who says- "Wow, they are" as if I was lying when I made the sign or told them. Silly humans!

The boards all slide off the display and fit into a suitcase. The display is made in two halves that clamp together in the back.

These are Henry's Lego pendants. He came up with the idea about a year ago. He told us where to drill the holes and then told me how to put the wire on it. We have Lego earrings too. They are a huge hit at the Saturday Market where so far no one else sells them. There are tons of people selling similar lego jewelry on Etsy though so we haven't added them to our shop. We have an ongoing debate about it.Someday when Etsy allows us extra shop sections we might add them.

Nick made the folding pendant displays out of aluminum. They also fold up nicely into a suitcase.He's so good like that!

One of our ornamental mirror displays.
There is another one on the other side of the booth. The shawl pins/hair pins hang on that scarf next to it. It's funny how online they sell really well as shawl pins but in Eugene they are clearly hair pins.(And don't sell quite as well.)

We have price signs on the end of each row with an arrow pointing to the row under the price. After 20 something years selling at the market and craft shows we know customers want to see the price easily without asking.

Assorted stone pendants. We don't sell most of these on Etsy because they are each so different due to the nature of stone and would require new photos for each one.That would mean raising the prices on them and more time which I don't have a lot of.
All this stuff packs up in about a half hour into our trusty 95' Taurus wagon. Then I drive the hour home exhausted and get ready to keep up with my little hellions ( I mean sweet high energy boys) who still stay up way to late and get up much too early for any over 40 parent to endure.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Pretty things revamped

Last week I had the time because of slow sales and the perfect overcast weather to revamp our Hanging Vases and take new pictures.I decided to stop making them with the glass cabochon glued to the front spiral for a variety of reasons. It takes more time to glue them on and requires me leaving the house and going to the studio away from the kids and using nasty E-6000 glue which stinks and isn't safe to inhale.Yuck.This means I can make them more quickly and lower the price a little. So that's what I did.

I also added some of the colorful glass that I have to our Hanging Vase selection. Like this Teal Pyramid Celtic Spirals and Swirls Hanging Vase.

And I finally found just the right rustic spot to take the photos on our front yard fence gate.

I experimented with hanging them from our cherry tree too.

I also had to readjust shipping prices. They require a lot of bubble wrap and then I wrap them in cardboard for extra protection and then we use recycled stryofoam popcorn. The cost of priority shipping went up this past spring so it was time to raise the price to cover the cost of shipping. I hate raising prices. But I figure lowering the price on the vases makes up for it.
Tomorrow I am off to sell at the Eugene Saturday Market. I'm hoping sales are good which will make up for suffering in the heat.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Up the Yin Yang

Things have slowed down at bit probably due to most people going on vacation and not spending time glued to their computers shopping. This has given me the opportunity to work on new ideas and photography. This past week I've added some new things to our Etsy shop.
This Yin Yang design came to me one evening and I made a nice shawl/hair pin with it. then I realized it could be earrings, pendants and an ornament too.

Yin Yang Harmony Sterling Silver Pendant

Yin Yang Harmony Sterling Silver Earrings

And the larger version in super light weight aluminum...

Big Yin Yang Harmony Light Weight Aluminum Pendant

Big Yin Yang Harmony Light Weight Aluminum Wirework Earrings
I'll be blogging more soon about all the other new things I've been working on.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

new super geeky nerdy earrings

We had a customer contact us recently asking if we could make these earrings. They were a great idea which will probably appeal to a limited audience but they are bound to speak to someone else out there.

Pilcrow Paragraph Sign Typographical Sterling Silver Stamped Earrings-
The pilcrow also called the paragraph sign or alinea is a typographical character commonly used to denote individual paragraphs.We stamp these sterling silver earrings from our own die.
The earrings are 5/8" diameter (15.87mm) and measure about 1-1/8" long (28.57mm) from the top of the sterling silver earwires to the bottom of the earrings. They are stamped from 30 ga. sterling silver.
Thin, light weight, elegant and totally geeky.

Section Sign Typography Character Geeky Sterling Silver Earrings
The section sign also called the "section symbol" or "squiggly", is a typographical character used mainly to refer to a particular section of a document.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

It must be summer

because the cherries are here!

Max loves cherries . We picked these from the tree we planted in our front yard when we first bought our place about 16 years ago. They are Royal Annes.

Yesterday we went to the Philomath Antique Car Show. I usually miss it and Nick takes the boys while I am selling at the Saturday Market. But since the 4th fell on a saturday this year I decided to take the day off from selling at the market and got to go too. I figured sales would be slow with so many other things going on around town and it would also be brutally hot later in the day which would kill me.

Eating corn and hot dogs.
We fell in love with this little car and think it would make a great going to town car.
I gave Henry my camera and he took a bunch of pictures. This was one of them.

I think this would make a nice replacement for one of our Taurus station wagons.

The kids played in the park for a while too. That's Henry on top of the rickety old slide. It must be about 30 years old at least if not older and is ridiculously dangerous with it's thin sides and large spaces on the ladder. Henry fell off of it from the top when he was about 3 and I relive that every time he goes on it. He was fine and just cryed a little but watching your baby fall off the top of a slide is a traumatic. Obviously he was not traumatized at all.
Besides the cherries we have a few other successful perenials in our front yard that require no maintainance which is the only kind of gardening I do these days.

The honeysuckle.

Daylily- some extra red type.

Some purple thing I planted many years ago that the hummingbirds love.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

gratuitous cute cats picture

The other evening I stepped outside onto our back porch and saw this cute scene. Fidel our big old snarky cat and his trophy wife Mrs.CuteKittyMittens having a cuddling private moment on the lounge chair.