My Most Challenging Commission To Date

Usually when I get a commission, I’ll have some sort of idea of how challenging it will be. There may be aspects of it that I’ll expect to be easy, and others that I’ll know will be harder. Most of the time I’m fairly close in my assessments, and there will be some areas that will surprise me a little bit.

But this one? This one was completely off base.

This was my biggest jewelry commission to date: 6 cardinal necklaces, with 3 oval pendants with my current Cardinal design, and 3 round pendants with a new Cardinal desgin. I assumed that it would be pretty straight forward and simple: make up a new cardinal painting, print out both cardinal paintings as smaller pieces, glue them to the glass domes, insert into the metal trays, and boom, done.

Easy peasy, right?

So very, very, wrong.

Continue reading “My Most Challenging Commission To Date”

Artists Do Science Too!

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago how I lost almost my entire stock of jewelry. 78 pieces were to be thrown out, and as we had no idea what happened, we didn’t know how to fix it or how to prevent it again.

That’s over $1000 of income I’m losing out on, not to mention all the money and time put into making the pieces….and then adding in the money and time for having to buy more supplies to get my stock back up before my August festival, it gets to be an expensive problem.

Yikes.

Continue reading “Artists Do Science Too!”

Highs and Lows…and New Products are Coming!

Well, hello there, blog!

Business has been challenging lately which has really attributed to my silence around here. So much has been going on, and if it was one thing, I could handle it.

But multiple things? Not so much:

  • A month or so ago I hurt my hand somehow while helping to build our shed. Working on drawings/commissions has been near impossible for any length of time.
  • Almost my entire stock of earrings and necklaces have been damaged, causing me to have to discard them all. I say almost because it had been all, but I just found one earring and necklace set that had been set aside on the other side of my office that was in pristine condition. Nothing has changed with the way I make them or store them, but for some reason, the metal is now discolored. It’s never happened before, so I’m at a loss for fixing it. This is super frustrating because it’s a huge loss, not only financially, but time wise as well.
  • Boathouse 2 is still held up due to circumstances beyond our control, but he’s coming soon! Just the anticipation for him to arrive (and then start work on book 3) is tiring 🙂
  • My schedule is crazy now with everyone home for the summer, so I have the same amount of workload to complete in a fraction of the time. Any tips on how to handle that?

All of these things combined makes me just want to shut down and not do anything.

But that’s not the best way (or even a good way) to run a business.

So after days and days of research and pricing, I finally just placed an order for all of my jewelry replacement materials…all of the bezel pendant trays, glass cabochons, necklace chains…I’ll have my work cut out for me in order to get this all done before the Brockport Arts Festival in August!

The good news is I’ll be offering my necklaces and dangle earrings in TWO colors now: antique silver (a bit darker than I have had) and antique bronze!

bronze trays

The necklaces will be on chains again (I don’t know about you, but to me, a chain is prettier than ball chain)…

 
chain

AND I’m releasing a new product: STUD EARRINGS!

41cckkAuzzL._SX425_They will also be available in the two colors, and in a slightly smaller size than the dangle earrings (8mm vs. 10mm).

Also, for my nerd/geek fans, I stumbled across this awesome pendant tray today.

dh symbolOkay, so at first I thought it was a little weird.

But then I looked at it longer, and thought it looked like the Deathly Hallows symbol from the Harry Potter books! And then I thought doing the watercolor pendant in the four different Hogwarts house colors would be a fun thing to do, but with this as the base tray. I ran the idea by one of my fellow Potterheads today, and she’s already claimed the first one (sorry, guys).

I’m really excited about the new products and colors. I strive to offer the best quality products that I can, and I feel like this is a step above what I’ve had. I can’t wait to get started, and will definitely let you all know when new pieces are available.

So I’m still here, even if I’m quiet. Life is just a bit chaotic right now, and I’m hopeful that I’ll have my feet back under me again shortly.

As always, thank you for all of your support! Love you all!

 

PS – What is your Hogwarts house? I’m a happy little Hufflepuff!

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Special Christmas Orders

It’s that time of year again!

The leaves are changing, the weather is cooling off, everything is pumpkin flavored…and Christmas items have been in the stores for weeks.

Milo finished
Pet Portrait

I’m not sure about you, but I love celebrating one holiday at a time. I may start thinking about certain holidays sooner than others, but there should not be overlap in decorating, music, or major planning.

And here I am breaking my own rule.

Christmas is just over two and a half months away. A lifetime, almost.

jaxon jeana
Portrait of a Grandchild

However, I have been asked many times over the past few months if I can do a drawing commission for a Christmas gift. My answer is always YES!!!! I love helping plan and create the perfect and unique gift, any time of year.

The reason I’m bringing this up now is that it takes, on average, about 30 hours to complete a drawing. I want to give each drawing the attention it needs and deserves, which is why I am planning early.

Print file
Fandom Drawing

Drawings make perfect, one-of-a-kind gifts for anyone. I’ve done portraits of pets or family members, house drawings, and even drawings of a favorite location in a book or movie. The possibilities are endless, and they are a great way to personalize a gift for the hard to shop for person on your gift list.

I will be accepting drawing commissions through Saturday, November 14th. Any order placed after that may or may not be able to be completed by Christmas, depending on the amount of orders I am working on at the time.

I also am accepting custom jewelry orders through Monday, November 30th. This is for anyone who would like a necklace or earrings (or a set, includes a necklace and earrings) in a specific color. To see what stock I have available, you can check out my Etsy store here. I’m adding new jewelry every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, and you can check with me to see what I have in stock that’s not online yet.

If you want to talk about details, place an order, or have any questions, feel free to comment below, message me on Facebook, or email me directly at shawnaapps@gmail.com.

New Booth Displays

You may have seen in my AppleUmpkin post that I made some new updates to my booth displays. The displays that I had weren’t quite working for me, and I knew that I was going to need more and better displays for new products.

After browsing Pinterest, I really didn’t have any ideas on what I wanted for my note cards and new earring style. I found displays I liked, but I didn’t want to spend a ton of money if I wasn’t sure I knew that was going to be the display I’d use for a really long time.

I started to stress about the festival, and I was running out of time.

There was a day about a week before the festival that I was taking a van load of donations to a local second hand store, and at the bottom of my pile was a cardboard box full of wooden boxes. The boxes had been given to me years ago, full of art supplies. The boxes didn’t quite work for me for storage purposes, but I loved them too much to get rid of them.

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Wooden boxes, before…

So in my basement they sat.

Last year I decided I should get rid of them, but I could never quite bring myself to actually take them out of the house.

And I’m so glad I didn’t!

They have dividers in the bottom half and a hinged lid, and are super sturdy. After some playing around, I figured out how to turn them into my displays!

I took two boxes and removed the hinges and hardware, then painted them black. The bottom halves became note card displays; I used to have them displayed in baskets, but you couldn’t see what styles were in the baskets, and this allows shoppers to see what styles are available at a glance.

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Testing it as a note card display

The tops I took and hinged together. Once put on it’s side, I attached some ribbon for hanging the earrings on.

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Box lids before…
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Box lids after!

One box I left the top and bottom together, but removed the handle and latches. After painting it black, it became the display for some of my Christmas items!

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Testing out Christmas display layout

I didn’t take one of the box bottoms to the festival; it was supposed to hold my Christmas cards to sell. Yet again, the Note Card Gremlins attacked. Before one of the last festivals I did, all of the settings for the printer got messed up and note cards wouldn’t print properly. This time, my blank note cards disappeared, so I had to reorder new ones. After they arrived, my printer would print about 3/4 of the note card beautifully, but for the last couple of inches, the note card would get pushed crooked and print incorrectly. My tech guy (aka my husband) will be checking the printer and trying to remove the Gremlins from it soon, so I hope to have Christmas cards available soon.

What would you use these boxes for?

New Product Alert: Watercolor Earrings

Introducing my new watercolor earrings!

earring teaser

Aren’t they adorable? They remind me of button candy!

In case you’re wondering, yes, I already have some watercolor earrings. This is not a relaunch of the product, but the launch of a new style of earrings instead.

red ombre

At my last art show, a lot of people fell in love with my watercolor paper earrings. However, they were either concerned about the size of them (as they only wear smaller dangle earrings) or the durability of them. It got me thinking about making watercolor earrings that addressed those concerns, and here is the result.

They are made in the same fashion as the watercolor necklaces, just on a smaller scale. Some of them pair perfectly with necklaces, too!

teaser

Each earring is a unique watercolor painting; no two are the same, even in a set! The painting is placed between a glass cabochon and a metal tray, just like the necklaces.

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They are water resistant and are on nickel free earring hooks. They are approximately 1 1/4″ in length and about 1/4″ in diameter without the hook.

I’m listing them on my Etsy store when I can; I have a few pairs listed now, and have a bunch more that I’ll be listing over the next week or so as my schedule allows. A larger selection of necklaces is coming as well!

orange blue 2

To check out the necklaces directly, you can view the jewelry section of my store here.

New Product Alert: Watercolor Paper Earrings!

It’s been a long time coming, but the Watercolor Paper earrings are FINALLY available in my Etsy store!

I debuted these back in December at the arts & crafts show, but just couldn’t get around to getting these on the website with the holidays, birthdays, and sicknesses. When I was just about ready to get them up, I discovered a way to add even more durability to them: mini eyelets!

Each earring is a unique piece of art; even each earring in a set is slightly different from the other! They are made of thick watercolor paper that has been painted with either watercolors or ink, and the backs are painted in a coordinating color. They are sealed twice with a special varnish for added protection. An eyelet is added at the top for extra durability to keep the hooks from pulling through the paper.

How durable are they?

I wore them out before Christmas while running errands. It was super wet snow and it was wiiiiindy. Even with them getting tugged by me getting hair out of my face or getting wet from the elements, they held up amazingly well, even without the eyelets!

I wouldn’t suggest holding an inquisitive baby or toddler while wearing these as I’m not sure how well they’d hold up, but they’re perfect for date night, work days, or just every day wear!

How did you name them?

I wanted to do something fun with them, and just calling them by their shape, size and color wasn’t working for me. I gave them all girl names, and each name has a specific meaning. Some of them reminded me of something, like the white and dark pink ombre set remind me of Alice painting the Red Queen’s roses in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, so I named them Alice. Other ones reminded me of things, and I found a girl’s name that had that meaning. For example, one set reminded me of the moon, so I call them Luna. One reminded me of the earth as they’re dark blue and green, so they’re named Terra.

Can I do special requests?

Sure thing! If you want a specific color combination or even if you like a certain color/pattern but want them in a different size/shape, let me know! I’ll do my best to create something you’ll love.

Where can I buy these?

You can find them in my Etsy store here, and they will also be available in my booth at arts and craft fairs!