Wednesday Night Accessories

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Stormy Weather or Economy Schmeconomy

The Thunders had a great time at Port Washington Pirate Festival Katie made another friend, and so did we, we had friends from Illinois come visit, everyone was friendly, the weather Sunday was nice (although Saturday was cold and wet and windy), and for fair food, it was pretty decent. The hotel was very close and nice, but as it was a Holiday Inn, that is to be expected, breakfast with the pirates at NewPort Shores was fun they had salmon on the breakfast buffet (yay salmon), and the festival staff were very helpful and only one incident of shoplifting that I heard about. OK, so that was the good. In grand NERO tradition, let me report on the bad and ugly as well.

The Bad - this one isn't bad really, but it could have been. Our rented tables were nabbed either by passers by or by other vendors that apparently needed tables more. The problem was solved, but with awkward tables, but tables nonetheless. I have named the organizer The Guy as I never did catch his name. The Guy found us some tables, and just in the nick of time, too. He also helped James cart one of the tables, a picnic table, to the tent where we were setting up. So, I had tables, The Guy was really nice and helped, so perhaps this should not be at the top of the bad list, but I'm going in no apparent order.

The weather stunk. Again. Each year, some weather phenomenon happens that makes the event stinky just a little, and this year it was cold wet and windy. Only the stoutest of pirates came because of that. Sunday's weather was great, though, but the only rush was after the pirate parade, and they seemed to walk through the vendor tent and not stop and look anywhere.

The cost of the hotel combined with the vendor fee for such a big show was really prohibitive for us, although we are going next year if they let us, it was a great time other than that.

Now for the ugly. Oh, the ugly - I think the battle cry of every vendor when the revolution comes is going to be "The Economy!". I didn't even cover the cost of the booth and hotel, let alone any other expenses that come with such a big venture. In my wildest dreams, I never thought I would make so little. I at least can hold my head up and say not only am I not alone in this, at both shows Ive been to there weren't much sales all the way around, but that I received gushing compliments from lots of folks. It's a small boost to my very wounded self confidence, but I'm not giving up yet. I just started, and I so want to see this through. I am really going to just have to hang in there and weather the storm.
Portraits Today and More took fantastic pictures. It muyst be cold somewhere as I never intended to post pictures of myself, but here we are. James had just talked about a family picture, so done and done ;) I love it, which is wild as the camera and I have a mutual hate relationship ;)
Listening to( in my head anyway): Hoist the Colors, Pirates of the Carribean: At World's End

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

...And he can solder too

In my last post, I thanked my friend Mrs Blocko for all the help she gave me Saturday with ankle bells, and she is coming again tomorrow for more sweat shop work. While I try to be thankful to those that have helped, I haven't mentioned how much my husband has done for me. Besides the support and care, he has built me a rack for my ankle bells, and whipped out his mad soldering skills ad soldered jump rings closed so my hair sticks are secure. He built a new website for me which I have yet to advertise or utilize, but once the pirate fest is over, watch out baby!

Thank you James for everything you have done, said, and overlooked so I can make this hope a reality. I love you :D

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Insert Witty Title Here

Oh My Goodness! It's been so crazy at WNA Command Central that I haven't been able to get much of anything done besides make jewelry and spend money on supplies. The gem show came and went, with very little sales but something just as great, exposure. I had a great time there, and I'm looking forward to the next one. So many wonderful things to look at, and so many knowledgeable folks willing to take the time and explain about this geode or that gemstone or this technique. Thanks to Aum and Betty!

This weekend coming up is the Port Washington Pirate Festival. I am really trying to get on the ball with this show, have enough product, make decent displays, keep a good balance between cost, etc. Katie is at grandma's coincidentally, which helps me to get ready, but this show crept up on me, so I feel unprepared. Yes, I was hoping and hoping for this, but the confirmation came after the figuring on being rejected, so when I was accepted, I went into tornado mode and have stayed there. It isn't necessarily baptism by fire, but this is the biggest show I have done, and with the least amount of prep time. My song for the next week or so will be " I Have Confidence" from The Sound of Music. Hopefully next week's song will be " You Did It" from My Fair Lady ;)

Thanks to my sweat shop girl, Mrs Blocko! She came over and helped me crank out some great ankle bells. You are the bestest!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Hit the Ground Running

Wow - when it rains, it pours. Now that I have been to the lawyer, Ive been looking at art shows, craft shows, and festivals to be a vendor at. The more I look, the more folks will contact me with more shows to do. It goes to show when you surround yourself with good people, good things happen :)

Now I have to sit on my hands and wait for some of the shows to confirm, and that is truly hard for me to do. I'm a problem solver. When there is a problem, such as an unanswered question, I can't leave it alone until it is solved. So my mind grinds until I get the answer I need. I do have one confirmed show date, though. Memorial day weekend I will be at the thanks to my friend Aum. Aum and I are sharing a booth and we are both excited about it. She crafts silver jewelry so I can't wait to see her work.

Other shows coming up I am hoping for are and I've had to use James' old planner to keep all of my dates etc straight, which is funny to me as I have a great memory. This has just threatened to grow big quickly and I don't want to lose my grasp on it.

Goldfish - Fort Knox, Perceptions of Pacha

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Life Lessons From Mrs Thunder or Don't Be Me

Life Lesson #1: When going to the zoo on a perfectly sunny Spring day, make sure to A: wear sunscreen and B: Don't wear jewelry that is going to leave a tan line. Mrs Thunder, you should have learned this lesson from the countless times your husband was wearing a dew rag and had a tan line across his forehead. ( Can you guess which necklace gave me this mark? hint: it's somewhere on this blog. Mrs Blocko isn't allowed to guess as she and hers were with that day)

Life Lesson #2: Crafting is to be done sitting upright in a chair and never ever on the floor, especially for an extended length of time. It is really silly to do crafts on the floor if one does not like to sit on the floor to begin with, let alone for the time it takes to make a super duper long necklace. Please make sure not to sit on the floor while doing crafts ( I mean you Mrs Thunder).
Listening To: Machine Head - Beautiful Mourning, The Blackening

Monday, April 20, 2009

Time Out for a Great Cause

Hey everyone, just a quick note to point out one of the links I have on my blog. All of my links are great, but one is for a great cause. Please check out to see what a friend of mine is participating in, and make sure to support her at

I am more than happy to help out where I can, so if you are in a fundraiser, walking for a cause, etc, please feel free to send me a message with the info and I will post it here :D

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Artsy or Fartsy?

Things have been rolling fast for me since I went to the lawyer. I'm waiting for a confirmation for , I've been invited to a gem and jewelry show Memorial Day weekend (thanks Om!), I'm looking at a few shows for the fall, I have been getting more compliments and passing out cards, and I finally have a genuine sale on . The gem and jewelry show looks to be promising, but I may have to rethink some of my materials. Although I'm not allergic to using sterling, I certainly can see the value of using affordable materials to reach a wider range of people.

I was on a beading magazine forum for a while, and while I made some nice online friends and found there (Russ is super), I found a large group of Always/Never people. Let me explain what I mean...

Fancy Nancy: I Only use Swarovski crystals and Sterling silver in my work
Snooty Rudy: I Never Ever use pewter spacers, they're cheap
Maddening Martha: I Always make All of my own everything, and if you don't you're lazy

OK, so the names have been grossly exaggerated, but you see what I mean. I ran into that A LOT, where the artisan who didn't use the materials or techniques that were thought appropriate by the always/never crowd were chided. It got so bad in there sometimes that arguments started in one thread spilled over into three or more other threads (like the fight scene in Blazing Saddles). It really gave my poor little ego a blow, and I finally left the forum. I haven't vowed against using precious metals and gemstones, but I do tend to get defensive when I hear someone use always, never, or only when they start talking about their work.

So what is your opinion? Do you appreciate artisans who can recognize the needs of their customers (and their wallets) or do you prefer to have value placed on your jewelry via the materials? In other words, do you dig the jewelry for the look, or for the things it's made of, or a little of both?

Listening to: Ruby - Flippin' the Bird, Salt Peter

Blogger formatting really hates me today ;)