Monday, December 15, 2008
I super excited to announce a new product in the Etsy shop.... the Earrings of the Month Subscription! 12 months of earrings, a little surprise in the mail every 4 weeks! It's a considerable savings on price AND shipping, and a great gift idea for a friend. A wide variety of styles and colors-- posts, dangles, hoops-- all finished in with sterling silver earwires! I hope you'll check them out!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
1. Partner with a "connected" person or entity--
I was approached by the owner of a local gift shop about teaching a class for her customers. She carries a line of my work in the shop and has hosted other gatherings in which local artists come in and teach some reasonably simple skill to a small group. The great benefit of partnering is that the word gets out from multiple points. Our class was built from a customer email list and advertisements through the shop's website and store front.
This is also often a good venue. We hosted our class at the owner's home, but a place of business is also a good possibility for the location of the class.
2. Choose a project that is simple in skill level but long on fun and creativity--
We chose to do a "Memory Frame" Pendant for our class. The frames could be ordered in advance and the group learned to make mini-collages that could be interchanged for lots of fun, creative looks. The skills involved were pretty stress free, but they weren't things that anyone would just know. The women were able to tackle the project with confidence, but didn't feel that it was so simple that they could've done it without the class. That balance is key to a great class.
3. Be over-prepared--
Being over-prepared means knowing who's coming! Remember to have an RSVP requirement and a deadline that gives you plenty of time to get all the materials you'll need. We also charged $20 per person, which covered the cost of materials, paid me a small stipend and ensured that folks would show up :)
Now that you know who's coming, make sure you have adequate snacks and drinks. We served wine, as our project didn't involve anything too dangerous! Just tailor your spread to your audience!
I made sure to bring way more materials than we could possibly use. The women loved all the variety! The chance to explore... to choose papers, beads, colors... this was inspiring! Not being locked into one "look" really had them buzzing. I created basic "kits" that included a mixture of crystals, beads, tiny charms, etc for each member, and then provided paints, stamps, papers, glitter, calligraphy pens, etc for sharing. I packed up a lot of unused goodies at the end, but that is alright-- I'll use it myself! And I let them take their unused kits with them, so they could try the project again at home! This was a big hit.
I also provided a handout with step by step project guide, materials list, resources for crafty items, and my contact information.
4. RELAX and have fun--
Introduce yourself at the beginning. Talk about how you found your creative outlet, what inspires you... Teach the skills and don't be afraid to talk about where the pitfalls are. Wander around once they have started and compliment the work being done. Answer questions, help find materials for folks and talk to your students. Personal interaction makes all the difference in your students' comfort levels!
5. Last but NOT least..... Promote your work--
I took my case of jewelry to the class and at the end let everyone know that if they were interested in seeing any of my other work, it was available. Well, lots of the ladies wanted to look! Having learned one small skill, they were really interested to see my much more challenging glass and metal work, and wanted to hear about that as well! I sold a few pieces that night, and just this weekend two of the women came to a craft fair I was working just to shop my booth! These were valuable connections and created at least two repeat customers.
The crafty "Girls Night In" is a great way to spread the creative love, make new friends, gain new customers and in general boost your artistic karma! Put it out and it comes back to you!
I hope that you'll try your hand at a "Girls Night In" and feel free to come back and share!
Visit the new shop! www.melaniehazen.1000markets.com or come see me on Etsy! www.melaniehazen.etsy.com
Well everyone, I've decided to expand my reach by opening a new shop! Melanie Hazen Artisan Jewelry can now be found on 1000 Markets, an Artisan Marketplace that is just getting started! I plan to maintain the Etsy shop and this new shop, and hope that this will expose my work to a broader range of people! I am really excited about this new venture. If you are so inclined, stop by the new shop and check it out! There's not A LOT of product there yet, but i'll be growing between now and the new year!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
1 can cream corn
1 can kernel corn
1 cup of sour cream
1 box Jiffy Cornmuffin mix
1 stick of butter (melted)
Mix all ingredients and bake on 350 for about 50-60 minutes. Sweet and delicious and SO SIMPLE!
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday!
Saturday, November 22, 2008
New Glass Tiles are a great stocking stuffer! Seriously- I love them. Not only are there loads of fun collage sheets that you can purchase on Etsy, but you can print your own pictures and personalize!
I love www.piddix.etsy.com and www.graphicmime.etsy.com for collage sheets
www.sunandmooncraftkits.etsy.com for everything else! Tiles, bails, Diamond Glaze! It's all there!
Try out the fun for yourself or hey, save the time and trouble and check them out in my shop!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
I am super pleased with the outcome. The beads are somewhat simple. Silver and Reactive glasses encased, but I think they are really enhanced by the silver work! I am looking forward to adding more bracelets and maybe even some necklaces in this design.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
So I haven't done this in forever, but I am going to try to dedicate more time to my blog! I have been doing A LOT more wire working lately, and have a piece that is featured at the Downtown Artists Cooperative at their Regional Art Exhibit, opening TODAY! I am thrilled needless to say... I have some pieces in the same line in my shop! They are called "Ventus" pendants- inspired by the wind and it's wonder and power.
Sunday, May 4, 2008
After taking the bowls through the furthest back part of the flame until the color is just right, I put them in the fridge (good advice I got in the Etsy forums) and then once they're cool, i seal them with Renaissance wax. This keeps the color true. I am really excited about the possibilities of the new line. I am going to send some item sheets to some major catalogs, and well, cross my fingers! Wish me luck!
Saturday, March 8, 2008
Wow! We haven't had snow like this in about 15 years!!! gorgeous, sparkling 8 inches of snow! The dogs were wary at first and then really dove in! Since I am snowed in the house, due to my long, downhill, curvy driveway, I have a whole day of jewelry making ahead. I have a new wholesale account- yeah HodgePodge!- and so I am working on a line of Ephemera pendants for them. They are the same style as my Ephemera Necklaces on http://melaniehazen.etsy.com, but will be some exclusive designs just for the shop!
Friday, March 7, 2008
This isn't a new bead, but I was looking at my pictures and remembered that I LOVE this design. I need to get on the torch this weekend and do more of these. It's encased raku powder, and the aqua tones were really surprising. It's a slow process... wrapping two spirals of clear, melting in- without burning up the color in the raku powder, and then encasing the entire bead with a third full layer of encasing and melting smooth. It's a labored process, but a labor of love.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
So I have totally fallen in love with keys of all kinds, but especially vintage keys! I am going to be working with these a lot more, but for now, I am doing simple charm necklaces, featuring 1 key, 1 crystal and 1 charm. I think it's a cool blend of the bright and the weathered.... I'll post more pics of additional key jewelry as I get them photographed.... got to go to my local odds and ends shop and buy more old keys!
So what do you think of the key theme? what cool ideas do you have about keys or other vintage stuff that can be transformed into jewelry?
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
So this is a totally new style I am developing. I love the smooth, swooping shape of these earrings. I also love hammering.... maybe it's weird, but hammering sheet or wire is very cathartic for me. I am also trying out another photography strategy... i like the "book look"... as a librarian, the pages of books appeal to me. But to twist that idea, i am opening the pages for the pic and then finding a word or phrase to use as the title for the piece of work...i have done this now on a couple of listings and i really like the outcome so far... this one.... Whispering.... and these earrings really fit that name i think. I'll post more titles that "found me" later.....