Sunday, July 28, 2013

Production of One of A Kind Earrings

I have been meaning to write this post for ages. 

I have over 100 pairs of production earrings..  All of them are well made, one of a kind earrings. 

Production earrings blue and white glass

Here is a sample to get started:

My production earrings require the following supplies:  wire cutters, round nose pliers, in-expensive nickel free ear wires, head pins, focal beads, and embellishing beads. 

My production earrings are priced at $10.00 each.  I make a good profit on the earrings.  They are intended as impulse purchases.

Sample focal strand of mustard colored cinnabar

You begin with a strand of focal beads.  I always buy my beads in strands.  These cinnabar beads I will price at $0.78 each when calculating my final retail price.

Next are the embellishment beads.  First are crystals.  These are small crystals, 2mm, 3mm, and 4mm.  They are all fire polished Czech crystals.  I am guessing the average cost per crystal is $0.06.  I buy them by the strand and I am always on the lookout for more.  They are handy for earrings and for spacers in larger necklaces. 

You may also use small round stone or glass beads as well as pearls.

After my last necklace I discovered I did not have enough brightly colored crystals, so I purchased a few strands on my last visit to Manhattan.

Large seed beads

 Then there are seed beads.  I really like size 6 and size 8 seed beads. 
I do not even price these.

The secret to production is organization.  Take a look at some more production earrings:
Production earrings yellow stone

Each pair is different.  There are three different red beads in these yellow stone earrings.  There are 6 mm round red stone bead, 4mm red crystal rondelles, and 4mm round fire polished Czech crystals.  You will also note grey rondelles, clear purple lined size 6 or 8 seed beads, indigo blue seed beads in size 6 or 8, and blue drop glass beads.

Carved rose quartz production earrings

My production earrings are all simple loops.  Wrapped loops require more time.

I use the entire strand of focal beads in a single sitting just to be sure each earring is one of a kind. 

All my seed beads

As I said, the secret to production is organization.  When I was making these earrings I had some bead trays that were more like paint pallets.  Each filled with embellishment beads, each tray organized by color. You know it takes time to organize your bead stash, but it is time well spent.

Production earrings, quartz

 One more set of production earrings.

These are not as creative as my usual work.  They are fun and quick.  And, as I said above, are intended as an impulse purchase.  These replace a purchase your customer would make at a big box store or even a smaller reseller like TJ's.  They are priced not to put a big dent in your customer's wallet.  They will give an outlet to the desire to purchase something different, something handmade- which is what drew them to the venue in the first place.

I always place a big price sign in front of the display.  I also have a separate suggestion sign that these make great stocking stuffers, birthday gifts, teacher gifts, secret santa gifts, etc...

One final thought.  If you are selling high priced pieces, lower priced earrings might well imply that your higher priced items are over priced.  I still have not finished that debate with myself.

Good luck in your sales. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Catfish Are Jumpin'

Summer time and the living's easy, catfish jumpin and the river is high...  I just love that song.  If you would care to listen while you blog hop, here are two good choices:  Ella or Charlotte Church

Karen Williams of Baublicious began showing off her fish quite some time ago.  When she finally published a tutorial I knew I wanted it.  Then she announced a Fish and Friends blog hop; and because I had a fish almost complete I joined. 

Small fish with kiss lips
 When I started this first fish, I had no idea of what I was doing or what would come next.
An error in Vision


Surprisingly enough, the Scheherezade Pendant was next.  I featured that last week.  My plan was to create a variation on a charm holder or chatelaine from the Scheherezade Pendant and the fish.  My original concept did not quite work.  Honestly, it was not awful, but I did not like that the red and yellow rings covered up so much of the Scheherezade Pendant. 

Next was what I call the Big Fish, but Karen identifies in her tutorial as Fat Fish:
Big Fish

Filler fish

Then I pulled some fish out of my stash- honestly I have had these fish since the mid-1990's it was time to use them.

Putting it all together for the chatelaine:
Full Line of Fish

Almost done

In case you have not noticed, I love to make necklaces.  Having said that, I always struggle with the neck strap.  This time was no different. I tried several options and settled on St. Petersburg Chain. 

Finally, connect it all:
A colorful catch

A few words about the tutorial.  I did not diligently follow Karen's excellent directions.  I substituted saran wrap for the bead she uses.  I did not quite execute the increases correctly.  I scanned the directions for the dorsal fins and the kiss lips and then did not refer back to the directions to complete the work.  In other words, any errors are my own and not the fault of the designer.  This is a wonderful tutorial and covers more than just the fish pattern. You can purchase the tutorial at Karen's Etsy shop.  She also sells kits.

Now, without further ado, go visit the rest of the participants:
Francie Broadie - FAB Custom Jewelry
Shirley Moore - Beads and Bread
Bobbie Rafferty - Beadsong Jewelry
Tanya Goodwin - A Work in Progress
Cynthia Machata - Antiquity Travelers
Kathy Jo - KJ's Beadacious Beads You are here
Therese Frank - Therese's Treasures
Nancy Sopp - AlaskanNancy
Alison Oman
Dolores Dwight (Sorry, no link yet.)
Amy Severino - Amybeads
Eleanor Pigman - Eleanor Pigman

and our hostess, once again:

Have fun at the hop.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Scheherezade Pendant

It has been a while. 

I just finished making Sabine Lippert's Scheherezade Pendant. 

All the pretty layers of Scheherezade

You can see that I finally decided to use bright colors. 

Here is a second view:
Looking down on Scheherezade

And finally, a look from the edge.
Edgy Scheherezade

I liked this pattern.  It was fairly easy to put together, even though as usual I did not quite follow directions.

Next week I will be participating in a fish blog hop hosted by Karen Williams at Baublicious.  At least I think it is next Saturday.  I need to get busy.