Customers can have the BEST ideas

Some time ago, a customer asked if I could make small charms and put them into my Etsy shop.  I had settings I was using to make French wire earrings.  She told me she wanted them to make wine charms.  It was one of those “Ah ha!” moments.  I had never thought of wine charms before.  It took some experimentation with wires, beads and spacer beads.  I learned I had to pay attention to which way the bail was oriented on the tops of 12 mm charm settings.  To slide onto a wine charm ring, they need to be in the same orientation as a pendant would be.  Otherwise, you need to add a jump ring.

For most of them, I’ve used the same painting with a different colored beads to use as wine glass id, but  I’ve painted so many portraits of our dogs over the years that it was easy to create a set of charms for basset hounds, dachshunds and old English sheepdogs using six different paintings.  I could also do sets of  butterflies, cats, sea life, a rainbow of flowers, Christmas and Easter Eggs.

If you ever wonder if an Etsy merchant can make something they don’t have in their shop – ask them.  You never know, you might open an entire new world for them.

Just Painting is No Longer Enough

I fondly remember when simply finishing a painting meant I was ‘done’.  In these days of e-commerce, that is no longer the case.

Take this rose painting I finished recently.  I can turn that painting into many things.  But to do that I have to take a high res photo of the painting, upload it into my computer and then edit it for color correction.  Then, I create a document in my Printshop software resizing the image to 1-inch square, 1/2 inch square and 5/8 inch square.  I print those images onto high quality photo paper.  Then, I punch out the images into the sizes I need, turning them into cabochons.  I place the cabs into the jewelry settings and photograph each one.  I upload all those photos and edit them for size and corrections of color and lighting.  I upload the high res photo into my page on Fine Art America/Pixels.  I upload it to my Facebook Fanpage.  Then, I create the Etsy listings for a pendant, earrings, cufflinks, bracelets, tie bars, etc.  I tweet each listing and create a saved tweet into my automatic tweeting service.  I create a post for my Instagram account… I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few steps.

Somewhere I hope to find the time to actually do another painting…


If you can’t grow them – paint them!

One of my favorite flowers in the world is bearded iris.  Both my grandmother’s had beds of them every spring.  Most of them were purple.  They grew along the fence rows or edged the yard.  After I moved to Virginia, I started growing my own.  I ordered rhizomes in all sorts of colors.  One of my favorite was a beautiful frilly pink.  There were just so many to choose from.

Unfortunately, irises are very hard to grow here in Florida.  I get lots of lovely leaves, but rarely see a flower.  Iris’s usually like to have sun on their ‘shoulders’, so you plant them very close to the surface.  The hot sands of Florida don’t work well for that though.  My wonderful husband purchases a porcelain iris for me shortly after we moved here.

I can still paint them however.  I have a pair – a yellow with orange and a blue – hanging in our dining room.  I’ve just recently completed a spray of purple ones.  They all make lovely jewelry.

So Many Easter Eggs!

About 6 months ago, I started experimenting with cute little paintings made using stencils and watercolors.  I have had so much fun with them.  I’ve done them for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve,  Mardi Gras, and much more, including a whole set of sea life.  I bought myself a little set of bright India inks and thought they would be perfect for Easter designs.  And, boy were they!  I did have to learn India inks don’t behave the same as watercolors.  They don’t react with salt.  But they make some awesome jewelry pieces as you can see below.

Mother’s Day is Coming Soon!

My Mom has been gone for nearly 12 years now, but I still make a new painting every year for a card to send to my aunts.  I’ve painted everything from roses to carnations to violets to magnolias – and many more.   A few years ago, I painted all two flowers for a calendar of birth month flowers.

And, if you know a dog lover, a cat lover, someone who just loves animals or all things cute – I hope you can find something for them in my Etsy shop.