Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I am the featured artist for this week from the AJDJSS Guild!  SUPER excited about that but haven't had time to blog about it till right now.

And I have some new pieces to show off as well.  Not all are listed in my studio yet but I'm hoping to get that done this week.
The pictures you see are just a sample.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Jewelry Showings results

OK.... here's a run down of how the jewerly showings went.
I had one person come on Tuesday.  She's a VERY good friend of mine.  She was originally planning to brgin a work colleague who she says was very excited about seeing my work.  But apparently, this person either forgot or something came up because she left before my friend had a chance to grab her and drag her to my place.  That being said, my friend did buy up $75 worth of jewelry and wore it to work the rest of the week as advertising.  It was a good thing.
This same friend came back on Friday, this time with her mother-in-law in tow.  She again was going to bring a work colleague as well but this time their daughter got sick so home she went.  This time out between the two of them they bought $70 worth of jewelry.  I think the MIL is going to be a repeat customer. 
So, after two showings and poor, though delightful attendance I made $145.  Not bad.
The next plan is to take my jewelry to my friend's work place and set it up in the break room.  I'm planning to do this next week on Wednesday (that would be May 26th) which would be my first official day of summer break.  Between now and then, I am planning to create some new pieces in styles that my friend has tipped me off are of interest to her work colleagues.  We'll see how it goes from there.
Planning two more jewelry showing in June as well, though spacing them farther apart will be in order.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Fine Wood Crafts

Today I would like to feature a man for a change of pace.  Jon Fine of Fine Wood Crafts on!
Jon is 55 years old and live in Southern New Jersey (Mays Landing) Atlantic city area.  He loves to to bike, play golf, play his saxophone occasionally, wood work, read, and vegetable garden. He works at the FAA as an Accountant, have been in that profession for 33 years. He has two sons Scott age 24 years and Mark is 21.  His wonderful wife Mary Beth is a senior Librarian at the local library.
I asked Jon a few questions about him and his work.  Here are his answers.
How did you first get into your craft?
I guess I was getting tired of doing office type work and started watching wood working shows on cable TV. One day, I saw a guy sitting at his scroll saw making Christmas ornaments. I though that looked fun and received my first Scroll saw one Christmas. I bought books, surfed the web and became self taught and was hooked on Scroll sawing. I started making so many items and giving away to family and friends, I decided to open my own business and see if there is a market for my product. So far, its' been lukewarm but it takes a lot of promoting and social networking, and selling.

Is there any particular artist or person in your life that influences and/or inspires you?
My wife and kids are the inspiration of my life. They give me tremendous strength. My wife let me use the spare bedroom in my house as my workshop. How cool was that!!!
What are your favorite materials to work with and why?
I like to work with all kinds of wood species. My favorite wood is Red oak. It has a beautiful grain and feel to it. It takes an oil finish and looks nice. My Scroll saw is a Dewalt 788 and It's been trouble free. I make a variety of products but my favorite are the miniature desk clocks. People really like them. I believe my creations are unique due the wide variety of items I produce.

Anything else you would like my readers to know about?
I offer FREE shipping on just about all my creations. I'm in a good mood, anybody who orders anything from shop after seeing this post can take 15% off any product, just mention this writeup to receive the discount.

You can follow Jon on his blog at
You can find his lovely wood creations on Artfire at

Monday, May 10, 2010

Jewelry Showings

I have planned and tried to hold a couple of jewelry parties in my home now and it seems they don't always pan out so well.  After those experiences, I formulated a different plan.
I am trying this new plan out this week.  I am hosting not one but two jewelry "showings" in my home.  I figured if I took the "party" out of it that a) it wouldn't seem to everyone like they HAD to come and socialize with people they didn't know b) it would become a little more of a casual "drop by when you can" type thing c) I wouldn't have to worry about making finger foods that wouldn't get eaten or punch that wouldn't be drunk and d) it would seem less sad if no one showed up. 
So, what is a jewelry "showing" you may ask?  Here's kind of what I have come up with.
A jewelry showing is an event where an artist sets up a display of their artwork and invites people to come and see it.  If they happen to purchase a piece, then its a good deal.  If they choose not to, at least that's one more person who has viewed your work and can pass on by word of mouth to others what they saw and if they liked it.  I also am planning to do a tour of my studio and have my supplies on hand for viewing, should someone want something custom made.  I also like the come and go aspect of it.  It gives people a chance to eat dinner, run errands etc. without feeling the pressure of having to be at my place at a certain time or for a certain length of time.  I like that better for my schedule as well. 
The reason I chose to do two showings is to broaden the scheduling net a bit.  Someone who can't come on Tuesday may have a Friday night open.  Those who are busy on Fridays or traveling out of town, might be better suited to drop by on a Tuesday evening after work. 
This time around, I scheduled them both in the same week.  Next month I may try spreading them out over the month a little more.  It's an experiment in promotion.
I am also hoping to promote the idea of others hosting me and my jewelry in their own home for a "jewelry party" or even just a showing... kind of like a Tupperware party.  I think having people come in and see my jewelry may spark the idea of how many people they know who would also like my work.
At any rate, I'll report back my findings with this method after each showing.  After a few months, i should have a pretty clear picture about whether this idea works well for promoting my jewelry or not.  Stay tuned for future reports.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Creative Critters

Today I would like to feature Michelle form Creative Critters on Artfire!

Michelle says the name Creative Critters fits her perfectly since she adores animals of all types. She currently has two cats- Cedric the 11 year old tabby and the 3 month old kitten they named Calcifer (ball of fire). Her love of animals is reflected in her work whether its stuffed animals, sculpted animals or jewelry featuring animals. She is a self taught artist. She sculpts in polymer clay, knits stuffed animals, catnip toys and accessories, sews doll clothes, makes OOAK teddy bears and WOW plushies, and makes jewelry. When she's not crafting, she enjoys being outdoors in the fresh air.

I asked Michelle some questions about herself and her crafting. Below are her answers.
How did you first get into your craft?
I've been making things since I was a very young child, and truly fell in love with sculpting in high school when I had my first ceramics class. I discovered polymer clay in my early 20's, and this allowed me to sculpt without needing a kiln, since you can bake polymer clay in a home oven. I learned to sew from my grandmother, and after much trial and error, taught myself how to read a pattern, and even create my own. My best friend taught me how to knit several years ago. I find knitting to be very soothing and relaxing. I'm always creating something, and often have several projects going at once.
Is there any particular artist or person in your life who inspires you?
I have to say that Maureen Carlson and Katherine Dewey are two of my favorite polymer clay artists, and I've learned a great deal from their books. My older brother, who passed away a few years ago, is the inspiration for my plush World of Warcraft characters. He and my mother and my youngest brother played the game, and once I was introduced to their world, I really enjoyed the characters. I also have to add that my Polymer Clay Smoosher guild is a great source of inspiration and support.
What are your favorite materials to work with and why?
Polymer clay is one of my favorite materials to work with because of it's versatility. You can make just about anything from polymer clay. I love all the different colors available, and the fact that you can mix the colors. Polymer clay just feels so natural to me- there's a certain magic to it. You take this unformed lump of clay and sometimes the sculpture seems to almost form on it's own. I also love working with plush fur fabric (that's the animal lover in me!). The teddy bears I've created from some of this fur have so much personality, and are an absolute joy to hold.

Is there anything that you do that you think sets your creations apart from others?
Most of my work is one of a kind, and all of it is created one piece at a time, by hand. There's a huge variety of different items in my shop, since I have many different interests and skills. Sometimes I don't even know where some of my ideas come from, but I really enjoy the entire creative process. I truly love what I do, and I hope that comes through in my work.
Anything else you would like my readers to know about (sales, coupons, etc)?
I enjoy creating custom orders, so people can contact me through my ArtFire shop if they'd like me to create something special for them. I can also be found on Facebook,, Flickr, MySpace, deviantArt, YouTube, and CreativeCrittersblog.

You can find Michelle's creations at CreativeCritters

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Bead Trends October issue

I once again will have a featured piece in the October issue of Bead Trends magazine! YAY! And I am submitting LOTS of pieces for the November issue as well. I'm just going to keep submitting until maybe they ask me to be the featured designer... or they get sick of me. Whichever happens first I guess.
They are featuring this pair of earrings.