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Author Archives: Shed Beads

People say the nicest things

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At least sometimes!  And here’s one place where they did.

It’s a blog written by another glass fanatic – she does lovely work in stained glass, both traditional and a pieces with a modern feel (and has lots of pictures!).


The pique of success

The title is a bit of a play on words – in crafting the title I spent some time with thesaurus (love thesaurus, particularly the digital version) and found out that pique means “to excite or irritate”.  In this case I mean it both ways.

I’ve had a very successful week.  I’ve had multiple sales, sales to new customers, sales to new customers for multiple items, and a big new customer become a big repeat customer this week (yeah!).  I’ve also started building a relationship with a colleague, and we planned several events where we’ll share space.  This is all really, really good, and the “excite” part of the pique.

I’ve also been dealing with a less enjoyable side of success, that has to do with copying.  Copying is part of the business of jewelry and hot glass.  The basic techniques have been around forever.  The Vikings shaped glass into beads with ovens in 8th century; the Venetians have long been masters at shaping hot glass, with at least one company existing since 1295.  Given those hundreds of years, and people that have spent lifetimes creating in glass, and the fundamental properties of glass – all glass artists are reworking the same themes.  I know this, I understand this.  Much of my work is inspiried by some wonderful piece of art I’ve seen, and some of that art was glass to start with.

So I’m very aware of the fact that just because I came up with an idea doesn’t mean that I “invented” it.  But still I was slightly peeved when I caught someone photographing my booth.  I say “caught” because I had stepped across the aisle to speak with another vendor and noticed someone photographing.  As soon as we crossed eyes, they took off in the other direction at just under a run.

I’ve found it harder than I expected to let it go.  I believe the phrases “there is nothing new under the sun” and “copying is the purest form of flattery”  are still true.  They just don’t work as well against annoyance as I’d expected.  So instead of stewing, I’m off to the studio where I will make creative new things that are even better than what is being copied.  That’s the best I can do.

My bead out in the world!

This morning when I checked my Etsy stats, I found a link to one of my beads, used in a necklace for a challenge.  I’m so flattered!

Here’s a link: Inspired Adornments necklace with a Shed Beads Focal

Happy dance time!

Today, just now, I hit my “daily sales goal” for the very first time.  I am sooo excited!  I just saw the notification emails, and I’m doing a happy dance with my feet while I type this.  It feels like the path beneath my feet just opened up, and the sun came out and birds started singing.  It wasn’t too dim before, it just feels wide open now.  It is also my first sale to Russia, which also makes me happy.  I’m not quite sure why I find this so entertaining, maybe sending a bunch of beads to Russia is a bit like armchair traveling?  Getting to go there without the freezing cold?

The reasonable business side of me points out that this is just the beginning and that we need to do this every day – but I’m to busy shipping my large order to my new customers to worry too much right now!  😉

I’m Published!

Really!  I was contacted this fall by an online beading magazine, asking if I would like to do an interview with them. I jumped at the chance, and the results are now online here Beading Times Featured Artist

Treasury time

As I’ve mentioned, treasuries on Etsy can create visibility and community.  I’m currently part of an Etsy that focuses on treasury creation.  I joined because the group has some great treasury makers and the majority of members have really “treasurable” photographs, which makes putting treasuries together fun and easy.

There’s a bit of technique to it – really stunning photographs that work well on Etsy’s white background (particularly the first 4 images) and an inventive title with a bit of a hook to convince people to click — song titles, simple word play, a turn of phrase that makes images jump into people’s heads.  And joining an active team helps.  I enjoy creating treasuries for the feed back – my shop always feels busy when I do.  I guess now I need to look at the actual visitor statistics to see if the impression is supported by the facts.

Today I created this treasury – a bit of a love letter without a destination.

Have you ever noticed…

that when you think about something you see more of it? Red Minis for example – I didn’t see one for ages, then they jumped back into my life and now I’m seeing red Minis everywhere even though they’ve jumped back out.

Actually, the red Mini is a digression. Yesterday I was thinking about what makes a strong treasury, and how using two colors to play off each other can create a synergy and a whole that is “more than the sum of the parts”. This morning a friend sends me a link to this treasury that does exactly that. Additionally, there are a few images that have both colors, and so it pops!