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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Spring Pins (and learning from failures)


I added these two new pin designs to our shop. I put this pretty Aluminum Bow Shawl Pin or Brooch into the shop yesterday and sold 3 already! I love that! Such a simple idea that I’ve seen lots of people do as jewelry but then it dawned on me that it would make a perfect pin design. I chose a simpler stick design instead of the spiral one I usually do on the end of the pins because I didn’t want to distract from the simplicity of the bow tie and it kind of reminds me of a needle sewing through it.


This is the new revamped Butterfly Aluminum Shawl Pin or Brooch.

The old design looked like this":buttrflypin5

It was OK but I have to admit, the wings weren’t really all that convincing. And over time , making it over and over again I kind of lost the idea of what a butterfly actually looks like (if that makes any sense?)Then a few days ago I got an email from an unhappy customer who had ordered the butterfly pin. I had made the bottom wings larger than the top ones.  Part of our business philosophy is to give over the top great customer service.  The kind of service we would like to get when we buy something. So I apologized and sent her a refund. Then I made her a new one that looked more like the photos and then decided to take some time and figure out a new improved design with bigger top wings. I like this design a lot better. I sent her this design too. I haven’t heard back from her yet. This was the first time in a very long time that we had an unhappy customer. It’s a terrible feeling. But it spurred me on to make a better product and hopefully gain a happy returning customer.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring break


It’s spring break here in Philomath Oregon.In between the rain we get some lovely sun  or “not rain” breaks.


We have a bunny visitor for the week. We are bunny sitting “Phoenix”. I consented in order to alleviate my clearly irrational guilt that I was not giving my kids a super awesome and special spring break. While very cute, she is not really the kind of pet you pick up and cuddle with, unless you enjoy scratch marks and bites. As Henry said, “She is cute on the outside and evil on the inside.”


The snowbells are in full bloom.


The daffodils are on.


The first tulip has bloomed.

purple flowers

And those lovely purple things are up and out. I love my early spring perennials that require ZERO maintenance.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Coppery goodness with a little brass thrown in

I’ve been starting to add more copper and brass into our Etsy shop and will hopefully have a bunch on display when the Saturday Market starts again in April. I even made a whole new Copper and Brass Jewelry section to our shop. Because we frustratingly only get to have 10 sections in our Etsy shop I had to combine the Ornaments and Hanging Vases into one section to make room for this new one.Etsy has been adding lots of new features to make selling easier lately. I really hope expanding the sections ability is high on their “to do” list.


This is a new design-Celtic Infinity Spirals Copper Earrings


The copper version of the Celtic Loops design. 


Big Copper Simple Hoop Earrings


I’ll be adding more brass versions of my designs. This is the

Celtic Budding Spiral Brass Earrings


Yin Yang Harmony Copper Shawl Pin / Hair Pin

I also finally got around to making this popular pin design in copper and brass too.


Yin Yang Harmony Brass Shawl Pin / Hair Pin

So much to do,so many ideas. It’s spring break this week so I’m planning lots of playdates and trying to keep things fun for the kids while trying to get stuff done too.We are in the midst of a typical Oregon spring rainy spell. The grass keeps growing but it’s too wet to get much mowing in. Happy Spring!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sterling Silver Fancy Schmancy

I’ve been slowly adding sterling silver versions of my pin designs to the shop.This is the newest addition:


Celtic Double Swirls and Curls Sterling Silver Shawl Pin or Brooch


I started out making them in 12 gauge sterling silver wire but they were a little heavy and the wire is not as soft and easy to manipulate as my lovely aluminum. And now the price of silver has skyrocketed. So for many of the designs I’ve gone up a gauge to 14 gauge which keeps the price reasonable and the pin lighter and easier to make.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Stamping Helper Update

My son Henry the delegator figured out he could get his little brother to close the boxes after he stamps them.


And I have agreed to take him on as a minion worker


Monday, March 07, 2011

New Stamp and a New Worker

We finally ordered a custom stamp to stamp the top of the little jewelry boxes we send out jewelry in . It takes a little practice to get it right so I was hesitant when our 8 year old son Henry said he wanted to stamp boxes for me.


But he actually did a great job!


Last night he said he didn’t want to get paid for it. Today  he changed his tune when we were at the video game store and he remembered all the things he wanted. We’re working out a deal.stampedboxs2