Monday, December 15, 2008

Sophie's impression of Antonio Banderas

So you know in the Shrek movies... Antonio Banderas is Puss in Boots and he'll get the big eyes and flatten his ears out when he's trying to look sweet? yeah, this is Sophie's impression of that.....

Sophie's Ready for Christmas

Seriously.... I just had to post this pic of my dog. How cute is that? Santa Sophie!

Brand New- Earrings of the Month Subscription

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

GIRLS NIGHT "IN" -- Crafty Classes

Want to share the love of creation with others? Want to market yourself and your work? I recently had a wonderful time teaching a "Girls Night In" class sponsored through a downtown gift shop. I thought that I would share my experience here, so that you might be inspired to host your own "Girls (or guys of course!) Night In" class.

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! or come see me on Etsy!


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

Holiday Favorites- awesome gift wrap!

LOVE THIS PAPER!!!! Check out this and lots of awesome designs at --- great wrap and stationary too!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Favorites- Reindeer Card- Eco Friendly

I LOVE this card... ingenious design and eco friendly-