Where did 2016 go? It went by fast, didn’t it?
I had a good year. Did you? I hope so! It was a tough year at times…but so rewarding!
It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. The 2016 Salem Saturday Market ended in October and my husband retired (again) just weeks prior so I was having a blast setting up, selling and tearing down the canopy and our market display with him. The 1/2 hour drive to the market, early in the morning, headed into the sunrise those last couple of weeks is just a fun memory! Sipping coffee and chatting about people and things and how to pronounce all things Oregon!
Also in October, a friend and I joined a new consignment shop in Salem at the mall. It is exciting. I’ve never done a retail display and I’ve never done consignment. More on that later. I don’t think 2 months gives me enough experience to write a blog post on! I also was able to consign my items in a really cool shop in Lincoln City, Oregon. Again, I’ll do a blog post about my experiences at both when I get more info and have more time in.
Then came the getting ready for the holiday markets – our fabulous Etsy Team was sponsored by Etsy and we totally kicked butt as a stand alone holiday market. What an excellent team I get to be a part of. If you’re in Salem or nearby, and sell on Etsy, check out the Salem, Oregon Etsy Team… can’t beat it!! What a fun market! I took some photos.
Let me tell you, our team leaders and team did an outstanding job of organizing and pulling this event together. See the pretty orange “Etsy” tags? That was just a tiny FRACTION of what they had to unpack! There were swag bags and more off to the side that people were preparing. TONS of advertising in print, billboards, social media and word of mouth. We had a line of people waiting to get in and …it was just a happy happy show! Way to go Salem Etsy Team! You rock!!
Want more photos? You find them on the Salem Etsy Team facebook page
We also participated in our first ever 2 day market.
Salem Holiday Market!
Here’s some booth shots – it was so busy I didn’t have time to really set up a nice photo shoot (pffft, that’s so not me anyway!) We took soooooooooo many white long sheers and decorated the canopy frame with the sheers and the ribbons and the…oh gosh, so much stuff to make it pretty and festive. If I could do it over again, I’d hide those boxes under the table though!! It was a really nice market and a wonderful holiday spirit filled the whole weekend!!
The market managers and their staff, along with volunteers and other vendors, made this holiday market a wonderful experience for us as first time vendors.
Want more info and such for the Salem Holiday Market? Here – Salem Holiday Market
Again, what a wonderful event. I wasn’t able to get out and take photos but WAS able to do a live video while I walked through the market. I have no idea where it went though. Cyberspace? hmpf… if I find it, I’ll post it here 🙂
Holiday markets are a lot of work but ohmylanta, so rewarding!
During the market season, I was told repeatedly to “add more spinners to the spinner rings, stamp both sides more and make mixed metal jewelry” and some other stuff.
I’ll just try to stay on track <giggle> and tell you about the ideas that people threw my way and I’ve implemented.
First, hand stamping the inside AND outside of a ring is a pain – why? Because each time you stamp a ring (or anything for that matter) – it creates a bump out on the opposite side (wanna see for yourself? grab a piece of paper and press a ballpoint pen to it and then look at the back – see the bump out? Now try smoothing it out. fun eh?)
That is what the opposite side of hand stamping looks like. Bump outs. Now, I’ve been doing this metal smithing thing for about 6-7 years give or take. I’ve been selling on Etsy and slowly growing for almost 5. One thing that has taken me the LONGEST to learn and implement is… finishing jewelry. Going over the metal with files, buffs, and the like, until it’s either a wonderful rich matte finish…or the mirror shine, that is my nemesis.
When I stamp on both sides, I have to file, sand and polish the bump outs on both sides as well. It’s tedious and time consuming. But the results are fantastic and professional. If you like organic looking jewelry, that’s cool – something for everyone. But for months I hid behind the “I love my organic looking jewelry” because I really couldn’t quite grasp how to get the shine, the finish and the comfort fit I was watching the pros do …with ease. So, I stuck to my guns and kept producing “organic” jewelry.
Back to the story – I added more mixed metals, hand stamping on both sides and I threw in some really good old elbow grease for a nice finish.
Here they are.
Sterling silver mixed metal spinner rings! See the tiny hearts? Are those not the most adorable things? Each letter on the small hand stamped ring is about 2mm tall, so the hearts are not much bigger. Those were cut out using my Green Lion jewelers saw and a 8/0 blade from Rio Grande. I’m sure there’s a secret for cutting perfect hearts out there somewhere (maybe it’s 30 years of practice?!!)
Using electrical tape to guide the letters for stamping, I was able to get fairly straight lines with the words (yay!)
Using multiple tools (files, 400-1200 grit polishing papers in a split mandrel and hand polishing with red rouge) I was able to get a really nice finish.
There’s brass, copper and sterling silver … a little customer inspiration and voila! We have a ring. She chose “dwell in the here and now” for the top stamping – “breathe” for the lower stamping and on the inside was “positive perspective” with a tiny dragonfly.
My customer designed it and I hope she loves it. She gets to pick one!
I have added more items (more spinners and mixed metals!) to my Etsy shop.
Except the chicken. I MUST tell you about this chicken… The chicken on the Oregon state necklace was a custom order for a dear friend. How fun it was to help her design something for her sister’s birthday!!! You can have one almost just like it if you want!
My friend pretty much gave me creative license and I LOVE it when people do that! She told me her sister is a farmer and loves her chickens! And the rest was what I dreamed up. I cut the chicken design out from paper, glued it to a sheet of silver and cut the outline with the jewelers saw. Then I have fun adding some melted silver and stamping the rest. Then I added a chain and surprised her sister 🙂 Fun fun fun!!
More items in the shop – rainbow copper mixed metal spinner rings and various stacker rings.
2016, you were a blast. I made new friends from the markets, learned more about being a vendor and have started shopping for a minivan that we can get back and forth to the market in. So excited!!
If you have any ideas for custom jewelry, contact me at my Etsy shop LindaBoBinda’s Designs on Etsy and we can bake this cake together. Okay, so it’s not a cake, but…you get the idea 😉
Wait! Isn’t the title of the blog post called “mixed metal spinners and silence”
Where’s the silence?
The silence is in the morning, while the coffee is brewing. The Christmas markets are over, there’s no farmers markets, no…whew. So, after months of “go go go hurry hurry hurry”
It just stops.
Hence the “silence”
It’s the stillness and being able to just let things “be” – no markets, no packing a hot lunch on a freezing cold day, no making sure you have a large block of ice on hot days in the cooler, no tables to lug around in the back of a small pick up truck, no canopy to set up and tear down, no packing or unpacking and no getting up at 4 or 5 in the morning, no walking the dogs before sunrise while avoiding stinky skunks…no nothin.
Right now we’re quiet. It’s such a nice feeling too. I’ll enjoy it while it lasts. Markets and shows will start up again before we know it and bam! Off and running again.
So, may 2017 bless you with all things amazeballs!