Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Busy Summer

 I've been having one of those summers where I am busy all the time but I just can't seem to say what I've been doing. 

I have two teenagers at home right now.  We've been watching movies, swimming, we went away for a day this weekend, housework, laundry...and I've had a heck of a time getting my orders done on time.  I'm usually right on top of them but it seems I've just been pushing my deadlines every time.  They get done on time...I just get really close to my deadlines. 

All that beautiful turquoise I received a couple of weeks ago is still sitting in my studio, untouched, waiting for me to get working.

I think my hardest challenge is spending time in my studio (that is attached to my garage) while I have two wonderful daughters sitting in the house (one of which is going away to college in a couple of months. )  I am so blessed to have awesome kids who I am close to.  We haven't had the typical mother/daughter conflicts that seem to plague other parent/teen relationships.  We actually have fun together and I, honestly, enjoy their company.  I really don't like working out there while they are in the house, so I don't. 

So, there you have it.  This summer doesn't seem to be shaping up as a summer where lots of activities will get done but more a summer of quality time together, here at home, maybe a short trip or two, but together.  I think that'll be a great summer. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sharpening My Pencils and Getting My Sketch Book Ready!

These came in the mail and I am in heaven~  If anything will break my creative slump this will.  Ohhh I'm bathing in these beauties (not really, that would be gross) but mentally!  The colors seem to soothe and calm my mind.  ooohhhhh sooo beautiful! 

Look at the matrix in these!  and these are large stones!

These are tiny, almost pea size.  Won't they gorgeous in a grouping?  Three on a ring or arranged as a little flower on a necklace? 

I love these!  Take a look at those with stars.  There is silver in the stones!  Oh sublime!

These are called "Sleeping Beauty".  I love this color.  It is smooth and consistent and the most gorgeous blue you've ever seen.

And these, oh, these...they can't be any more perfect.  Beautiful turquoise blue through green hues.  Oh *sigh*.

Here is an example of the range in sizes of the stones.  This is my largest stone which I believe will make a stunning bracelet...or maybe a pendant.  And this little sweet pea of a nugget.  I just can't wait to get started.

I will also be taking custom orders with these...not sure how I'll put them out there but for now I'll just get my sketch book and get to work.  I'll share some of my sketches with you and, hopefully, works in progress.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Too boring?

I can't make decisions.  I think that is part of the slump....I am indecisive.

Are these pictures too boring or do they offer a good amount of contrast and show my work better?

I can't decide.

i've edited to add a few of my old shots for comparison:

Monday, June 13, 2011

Falling to Pieces...

not me, personally, but it seems everything with my business just doesn't seem to click like it has in the past.  I realize this is a slump but it just seems every part if it is just not flowing.  I haven't had regular sales in the past few weeks.  Ever since summer started sales have slowed to a trickle.  That is okay.  I realize that it comes and goes and with the start of summer things slow down.  Usually when I go through a slow period I work on new things, retake some photos, experiment with updating my shop.

In the past couple of days I have taken so many pictures and NOT ONE has been a decent picture.  Not even one that I could say, "wow, thats it!".

I get ideas in my head and go to the garage to work and then....blank.....nothing.....even looking at my stones or sketches doesn't help.   I am uninspired. 

Also, sometimes when slumps hit I go gemstone shopping.  But with extra expenses and sales being so slow I can't do that.  I have to pay my etsy fees and order new business cards, etc. 

I don't mean to sound complaining, honestly I'm not (though I don't know how to write this without it sounding that way)..I'm just stumped...in a curious kindof way, that everything I do just doesn't seem to work as it has.

I know it'll pass, etc., etc., etc.  but I just though I'd share a little after trying to edit about 50 photos, none of which are workable.    boo!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Back for a bit

I've been pretty busy of late.  One daughter graduated and into a full time job, one off on a study abroad (lucky!) and one just needing some mommy time (the youngest not used to being alone).

I've been doing some thinking about my shop.  I've had a wholesale request from a person in a foreign country.  I've researched and feel that this individual is authentic and has a genuine offer.  They have offered to purchase a large number of my pieces and also some that have already sold.  They would like me to duplicate them as closely as possible.

The problem I am having is twofold.  One, this is a new venture for them with no guarantees that there will be any subsequent orders. The items they want are somewhat one of a kind items, not easily duplicated. Filling this order will take ALL of my time which leaves no time for creativity, trying the new techniques I want to try and working with the huge load of turquoise I am expecting any day (yay!)

Two..since it is such a big order it would require a special bank account..proforma forms...letters of credit, escrow accounts..etc.  Basically it would require me to get into "exporting".  *sigh*  If this were an order within the U.S. you would see me doing cartwheels down the street, but all of this extra stuff is just not what I want to do.

And third (yes, I know I said twofold) since this is a wholesale offer it is for half off.  And as I said before these aren't pieces that are easily made, they have my most awesome stones, etc.  I keep my pricing competitive on etsy but I just don't want to take 50% off of these pieces.

This reminds me of the old saying (and I'm paraphrasing)  "the best way to ruin something you love is to try to make a living at it".

I, honestly, don't want to do it.  Mostly because of the "export" requirements.  I feel bad because this sounds like a great opportunity.  I mean, it isn't Sundance or anything (my dream!) but still,  it just seems all consuming and having to expell energy and time on something I really don't want to get into.

So I'm torn.  It will take a few more days of deliberation I think.

I've also been wanting to redo my photos, again.    I've taken a few to compare side to side:

I'd love to know what you think.  This?

or this?

I think the second would be good for a look book..but maybe not for etsy?  The first set is much better I think, but it isn't consistent. I don't know.   Maybe I'll just go sleep on it all.