Sunday, 8 May 2011

More steam than I can handle...

I said I'd be working really this week to make up for not really getting enough done while the kids were off school for Easter. I didn't realise just how hard that would be when I wrote it, or rather just how hard I'd be working. Sometimes life just throws one at you and I really need to.. oh, about triple my income for June and July. Which are usually quite quiet months for me, especially July. So full steam ahead became exploding boiler ahead and I haven't stopped.

For starters I've picked up 6 project commissions for the July and August issues of Creative Beads & Jewellery magazine. Six is quite a lot, especially given that my deadlines are end of May/beginning of June for the respective issues. I also quoted a friend on some web design work. I'm no pro, just significantly more able than she is. It's only the work of an afternoon or so, but it still needs squeezing in. Oh and either the fall or winter issue of Stringinghas a deadline in June as well, which I really ought to submit things for.

I've also spent the last few days really looking at what available stock I have. Amazon is the most sales-effective platform I use, so I've been getting an awful lot of my in-house stock ready to be shipped off to amazon fulfillment centres. Which, while quite time intensive in the short term, tends to be really quite good for me. I love my amazon store.

Vintaj lovers can probably look forward to Vintaj multipacks at some point in the very near future too - I carry an awful lot of Vintaj stock and while I stock it on both my components website and in my eBay store, I need it to be moving a little faster which should mean some multipack bargains soon! I could also really use adding more of my own Vintaj design ideas to my website, and writing up some Vintaj tutorials.

Added to that, I've got some new lines coming in for my manufactured costume jewellery on amazon, and I'm still awaiting over 100kg of gorgeous lampwork beads to arrive (which will then need sorting and putting on sale!) it looks like a busy month or so ahead. On the plus side, I should have my husband available to help out - he's a contract engineer without much contract work for the next couple of months.

So to deal with all that, I have literally scheduled the next 3 weeks, in approximately 2 hourly slots, from 6.00am to 8pm (and at 8pm I usually go for a run). Which admittedly is not new, but this is all extra in addition to what is usually on my generic every-week schedule. I have to admit after a week of it I'm feeling very accomplished but also very, very tired.

I'm thinking of taking August off to recover. Except my Augusts are usually spent preparing for the Christmas season. No rest for the wicked, or even the slightly naughty!

Monday, 2 May 2011

Back to normality!

Tomorrow my 3 school-aged kids go back to school after what seems like forever. They all had two weeks off for Easter break, then were back at school for two days (one day that week was an inset day - teacher training kind of thing!), then the entire country ground to a halt for the Royal Wedding, and finally today was May Day which is another holiday here. So the kids have been off for almost three weeks straight which plays havoc with my working schedule. But tomorrow they're back at school and it's weeks before they have half term which means I can get back to normal.

I haven't been idle for that time, just desperately trying to keep up with the essentials. I had a craft fair I'd forgotton about last Saturday so spent Royal Wedding day frantically putting together some new stock for it. While I sold plenty at said craft fair, none of those brand-new pieces went so I got to bring them home to photograph and show you. Nothing too fancy - I was REALLY trying for quick makes due to the time constraints but they are pretty and unusual. Firstly some bracelets.

This one is a Czech glass button wrapped in Vintaj filigree with brass beads and Swarovski crystals to make a really rather pretty bracelet. Most of the Vintaj components I use can be found on my princess-jewellery website. There's even a page which links to the various Vintaj worksheets on how to do stuff - including how to use filigree for wrapping stones and making bails.

 This one is rhodochrosite with a Vintaj brass art deco swirls centrepiece and more Swarovski crystals.

Finally this cute charm bracelet is a mix of peridot and Swarovski crystals with Vintaj charms.

I made a selection of new necklaces as well, all with more filigree-wrapped Czech glass buttons.

This one combined a lovely lilac organza with brass chain and Vintaj filigree. I love the colours in this button.

Next up is this lovely green & gold button teamed with serpentine and freshwater pearls.

Next is a blue button with lapis lazuli and freshwater pearls.

And finally, a filigree-wrapped titanium coated druzy agate pendant. This one isn't new, I wrapped the stone a while back but forgot I had it until I was hunting desperately for stock to sell on Saturday. I really love the titanium-coated druzy cabs, they are stunning.

As I've now got no craft fairs for about 2 months, this lot will be packaged straight up to go to amazon. Amazon hold and dispatch an awful lot of my inventory and I have finally kicked myself into getting an organized, browsable display which can be viewed (and shopped) from anywhere I put it - purchases are all through amazon and items are all dispatched by amazon. Hopefully this will work, I've yet to test it in a blog post, but here is my shiny, new, organized amazon shop (opens in new window/tab). Technically I can make it display as part of the blog post but sadly that cuts of half the menu items down the right hand side so I shan't do that!