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Monday, July 14, 2014

Long Overdue...

Welcome!

I am LONG overdue aren't I?  It's been a difficult month and I honestly didn't want to post negativity so I took a little break...

So when I last left you I was going to have my first deal on Brickyard Buffalo...well out of 246 bangles I had 240 left... so needless to say it didn't go very well.  I tried another deal site...no cigar...so this coming Wednesday will be another shot on Sassy Steals...maybe third time's the charm???

I also made some pendant necklaces with wire wrapped Czech glass and some summer earrings with Mother of Pearl shell for Sassy Steals...again... no sales...

I was beyond discouraged and defeated... I just don't understand... quality handmade pieces at a huge discount what's the problem???

I still don't have the answer to that question...

I have two more styles of pendant necklaces that I made multiples of, hoping that they will sell on one of these sites this summer...

I tried another site called Groupdealz for my bangles but the director of deals looked at my shop and wanted to feature something else... since I've had no luck at all I decided to go with her choice and am featuring my wire knitted pearl cuff bracelets, don't have a date yet but I'm thinking it will be within the next few weeks.  

So I can't lie, the possibility of actually getting sales or even selling out does still excite me, but the reality of the past attempts has dampened my spirits a bit.

Why am I so intent on selling lots of pieces? Well...because I have new ideas for new pieces I would like to create and of course I have some but not all the supplies I need to make them happen!  

Having not had the best four years with my health, and not many sales happening from my shop or on Instagram, I don't have the extra funds to purchase supplies.  But I will give you some hints on what I'm thinking about....

First, stamped stuff...I have so many ideas for stamped rings, cuff bracelets, leather bracelet with a riveted stamped plate on them, silk ribbon wrap bracelet with a stamped plate focal....I'm just bursting at the seams waiting to be able to buy supplies!!!  I've had the idea for the leather style since last year and the cuffs came to me just recently.  I would like to do only two widths for the cuffs; skinnies (0.25") and wider ones (1") hammered of course, and the possibilities with the fonts are just overflowing in my mind!  For the silk ribbon wraps I have beautiful ribbon on my wishlist, I think I've settled on three that will be my staple, one patterned, one graduated in colors (blended) and one solid, but I won't give away more than that for now...

Next, black chain.  Yup, black.  I have always loved the antiqued look, silver being my favorite so I leaned towards gunmetal...but now there are more supplies available for matte black chain, clasps, headpins etc. and I mean those ideas are literally trying to jump out of my head!!!  I picture lots of simple wrapped  gemstones on long or short black chain for one idea.  I think it would look great layered with anything else people might have (because black goes with everything) and how cool would it look if you were wearing black and it looked as if the gemstone was just floating there?  Another idea is black stamped jewelry...that's all I'm going to say for now on that one...

So, this week I'm going to try to be positive and hope the bangles actually sell, maybe the wire knitted pearl cuffs too when they go up, and try to keep myself busy doing beaded crochet ropes and other things to occupy my time until I can afford to buy the supplies I can't wait to create with! 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

My First Deal On Brickyard Buffalo...I'm SO EXCITED!!!

Welcome!

Well somehow my schedule has been a little off...time is just flying by it seems... but today I'm really excited to share some news with you....

Through one of the girls I follow on Instagram I found out about Brickyard Buffalo, an online pop-up sale site where you can buy all kinds of things at a special discount for a limited number of days.  So I got to thinking if this might be something I could do...my problem is that I typically only make one of a kind pieces, which wouldn't work for this type of site...

So I thought about it some more and realized I could do Hammered Bangle Bracelets as a deal!  Sure I may use the same focal bead...but technically I could never possibly repeat the hammered pattern identically, so they still are one of a kind in their own way :)

I emailed them with a picture of the two color sets I was thinking of offering, and asked their opinions about everything; do both gold and silver sell? Are my bangles a good fit for their site? How much inventory is enough? They were so helpful and really seemed excited about my bangles, which of course made me really excited!

 I decided to have all my inventory ready made, so that I could ship out immediately as the orders came in, also less stressful for me since you are required to ship within 7-10 days. I put together a little collage of all the steps that went into the making of these little pretties;
Hammered Bangle Bracelets Process
  From cutting the wire, to hammering, shaping around my trustee mandrel (a votive candle holder), to wire wrapping the focal beads and attaching them, and finally a shot of all 246 finished bangles...yes I did say 246. They will be sold in sets of 3, so that's 82 sets I have available...

They also mentioned that pictures were REALLY important, and to have some "lifestyle" shots too...oh great...I hate being in pictures...but here are a few of the shots I submitted to them;
Brickyard Buffalo Photos
 So... TOMORROW IS THE BIG DAY!!! My deal goes LIVE tomorrow morning and will run until Wednesday...if they don't sell out before then....what? A girl can dream can't she?  The BYB ladies also said I can add inventory as the deal goes on if that's something I would like to do...um...of course I would!!!

If you have had your eye on my bangles you definitely need to go check them out tomorrow, you will get them for a steal! The website is www.brickyardbuffalo.com while you're there you could pick up a set for a gift too...or just get a whole bunch for yourself! 

I'm so excited I can barely wait for tomorrow to get here! Wish me luck! (and you could spread the word too) I'll let you know how it goes in my next post....eeeeeee.....SO EXCITED!!!
 

Monday, May 12, 2014

My Thoughts On A Local Craft Festival & An Auction I Donated To...

Welcome!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day!  I just realized that I missed a posting day...completely slipped my mind!

You could say that I've had a quite a bit going on...well quite a bit going on in my mind for sure!

A few weeks ago I attended a large local craft festival, basically scoping it out hoping to be a part of it next year... So I haven't attended this particular festival in about 6 years and was curious as to what kind of jewelry was there...I have to admit I was a little disappointed.

I felt like all the jewelry looked the same...I understand certain artists only work in one medium, let's say wire wrapped pendants, but each one almost exactly the same??? Don't get me wrong I completely appreciate how much time, knowledge and skill goes into these beautiful pieces, but I guess I expected more variety. 

Also from booth to booth there wasn't a large difference in style of jewelry, lots of fine metals only I noticed (meaning sterling silver and 12/14kt gold) except for the last booth I came across... very cool metalsmithing work mainly done in copper.  I actually purchased a pendant from this artist because it was something I had never seen before and I loved it!

So when I got home, I had a lot going through my mind about my pieces and what I would be able to submit for review by the jury when I apply next year....beadwork.

I didn't see any beadwork at all...so I'm thinking my beaded crochet rope necklaces and bangle bracelets, my peyote stitch cuff bracelets, and also my hammered bangle bracelets; but only in copper.  The silver and gold ones I make are plated metal over copper and from what I saw there that wouldn't be accepted into this show.  As for other pieces of mine I have to think about it a bit more, since I don't work in fine metals yet, that limits what I can take to this show...but I have a while to simmer on that!

Another thing I would like to share with you is a bit of a sad story...a couple tragically lost their 3 year old son  two weeks ago and her best friend shared their story on her blog and Instagram.  I of course don't know this family but was brought to tears looking at all the photos of them.  Well as some of you might know, the power of the internet can be amazing...there were a few different options on donating to the family to help with funeral costs and whatever else they might need...honestly I am not at a place where I could donate much... then I came across a lady that was putting together an auction on Instagram (@redballoonsforryan) to help raise funds and needed donations....donations you say??? 

Well! I just so happen to have a TON of inventory that I could chose some pieces to donate from!!!  The response was overwhelming! They actually had to put a stop to donations as they already had over 600 items! 

I donated some pieces with various retail values so that more people could have a chance to bid and help out as they were able. Here are the pieces that I donated;
 
Red Balloons For Ryan Auction Donations by Litva's Jewelry
I also donated a peyote stitch cuff bracelet but it didn't receive any bids...regardless my pieces raised $445.00 and I feel really good about that!


They are having another auction this Friday, so if you are on Instagram go check out @redballoonsforryan for all the info and bid for a wonderful cause!

Until next time...I'll probably be working on some hammered bangle bracelets... :)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Busy As A Bee...

Welcome!

My Spring Jewelry Show is just around the corner and I have been busy as a little bee getting everything ready!  Other than what I have sold online, I did not unpack from my Christmas Show, so mostly everything is ready to go...except all the new pieces!

I did get a spark of creativity to make a few more hand stamped necklaces, but I was very proud of myself that I didn't go overboard...which I tend to do!

I'm a little late in posting today because I was trying to find a good way to display my hand stamped pieces... this is what I decided to go with;
Hand Stamped Rings, Key-chains and Bracelet Charm Add-Ons
 I thought this would look a little more organized, and I plan on setting out the hand stamped triple wrap leather bracelets to the left of this display so that they are next to the available add-on charms, what do you think?

I know it's hard to tell in the pics...I got two new sizes of fonts for my stamping and of course had to make something for myself...
Litva's Hand Stamped Rings
 In case you can't make out the tiny font it says "She Believed She Could So She Did".  I've been wanting something with that and I thought how cute it would be as a ring!

I also have been seeing pretty packaging from some ladies I follow on Instagram.  I wanted something a little "cleaner" looking than having all my hand stamped necklaces laid out on the table.  Since they are 36" long, it starts to look messy to me, so I decided to go with my own version of having them displayed in a gift box, ready to go.  Most people are using white, and I understand it is so that nothing takes away from the jewelry, I only had red card stock at the moment, but plan to purchase a light grey card stock in the future.  My original plan for the light grey card stock was for the tags (which give you the description and price) but now I'm seeing another use for it as backing to the necklaces.  Ah...I have so many plans...slowly they will come to be...

For now, this is what I have and I really like how it turned out:
Hand Stamped Necklaces Presentation
 Another thing I'm excited about is my brand new logo stamp! I ordered it from Rubber Stamp Champ online, very good price and it arrived so fast! I have been wanting to stamp my jewelry boxes with my logo for a while now...and it finally happened! I had to adjust how I tie the red string since I wanted the logo at the top left corner but I really like how my new packaging looks!
New Litva's Jewelry Packaging
 Well, now I'm off to stamp some more boxes with my logo so I'm not rushing to do anything last minute! 

Hope you all have a Happy Easter! :)

Monday, March 31, 2014

Part Of My Arsenal Of Peyote Stitch Cuff Bracelets...

Welcome!

Here I am on a Monday, I wasn't feeling well this weekend but happy to feel better today and be able to keep you in the loop :)

As you know, in my last post I was starting to get ready for my first Spring Show at my salon, working on having some more hand stamped pieces available.  My plan was to start on bracelets and necklaces...funny how you can't force creativity...

I honestly just wasn't feeling the want to do them, maybe because I had just stamped all those rings and key-chains... not really sure, but it just wasn't coming to me!

What was coming to me was the desire to do more peyote stitch bracelets...

I offer 4 different widths of my peyote stitch cuffs, and as I was looking at what I had in inventory, I seemed to have the least of the skinniest and the widest....

So I've been stitching away, using up some of my colors completely, just enjoying the relaxation of it and the great feeling I get once I finish one of these beauties.

Here is my arsenal of these two widths of bracelets so far...

The first four on the left and second from the right are not new, but I like to see them all together and thought you might too;
Peyote Stitch Cuff Bracelets 0.5" wide
 My widest cuffs, at 1.25", are maybe my favorite...and I have yet to make one for myself!  Some of the frosty finished Delicas are difficult to photograph, but I just love the shine! (Excuse the bit of blur)

Peyote Stitch Cuff Bracelets 1.25" wide



This first photo is of my previous inventory;
Peyote Stitch Cuff Bracelets 1.25" wide
  This next photo is of the new cuffs I have finished;
Peyote Stitch Cuff Bracelets 1.25" wide
 I enjoyed stitching up the new pattern in the center, I still have a few that are waiting in the wings...

I also really enjoy stitching a pattern in a different color scheme, I like how it can give a completely different look to a bracelet!  

Now I can tell you that I don't quite feel like I'm done with peyote stitching just yet, and I plan on making a few more bracelets...that's the plan anyways...but who knows what I will be drawn to create in the next few weeks...maybe I wil get back to stamping... :)

If you see a bracelet you like, but do not find it in my shop, please email me.  When I have a live show coming up, I tend to wait until after to list new pieces so that I don"t waste hours of photographing and typing :)  You have the opportunity to snatch them up beforehand, just let me know if you have any questions :)   (you can find my email on my Blogger profile)

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Getting Prepared...

Welcome!

I'm starting to prepare for my first ever Spring Jewelry Show coming up on April 26th, I usually only have one just before Christmas at my salon but the weather was a little bit rough this time resulting in very few people wanting to venture outside. 

I made up a little flyer/note card to give out, but tried not to go overboard on the printing as I had a lot of unused ones left over from the Christmas show.  I'm very happy to finally have my logo to use on my printed jewelry materials and thought they turned out great! The photo is a bit blurry, but you see the general idea :)
 
Add caption

Inventory wise...I of course, as you know, have A LOT of inventory but that doesn't mean that my creativity just stops, so I am excited to have my new line of Hand Stamped Jewelry available at this Spring show!  

I was trying to be disciplined and not use up my stamping blanks in order to have materials available for custom order pieces, but a client of mine pointed out that when people come to a show they are more likely to buy right then and there rather than place a custom order, and I agree with her. So that being said, I have been stamping out some more pieces!  Mainly rings and keychains so far, and in the next few weeks I will continue with necklaces and bracelets. Here are some of the pieces I have been working on: 
Hand Stamped Hammered Wide Cuff Rings
Hand Stamped Antiqued Gold Keychains
Large Pewter Hand Stamped Keychains
Small Pewter Hand Stamped Keychains

These were a packing mistake, I was sent 1/4" wide rather than 1/2" wide blanks....I had no desire to make skinny rings, the wider ones are more my style, but since I had them I wasn't going to let them go to waste!  I made a few, then realized I could stack them together...mix and match! How fun!
Skinny Stackable Hand Stamped Hammered Rings; Cherish, Believe, Rejoice, Sassy, Fearless
Skinny Stackable Hand Stamped Hammered Rings; Flourish, Hope, Inspire, Imagine
I've enjoyed being able to do some more stamping and can't wait to work on necklaces and bracelets! 

If you had a ring or keychain made, what would yours say?



 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Getting Back To One Of My Favorite Things...

Welcome!

If you read my last post, I had a custom order for a peyote stitch cuff bracelet, which of course gave me lots of ideas and the desire to do more stitching....

I had ordered some thread so that I didn't run out for my custom order...and I still have lots of Delica beads... it's like they were calling to me...it had been quite some time since I dove into the peyote stitch, and I missed it. It is still one of my very favorite things :)

When I was sketching out my custom pattern I looked through my other patterns and there were a few that I hadn't yet stitched up...this is one of them
Peyote Stitch Pattern
 So I thought I would try it out, here are the colors I chose;
Delicas in Opaque White, Silver-Lined Frost Purple & Opaque Gunmetal
As I was stitching along, I really liked how it was turning out!
Peyote Stitch Cuff Bracelet In The Works
I love these "flowing" patterns I sketch, there isn't any rhyme or reason when I start but it all comes together beautifully when its finished! Here are some photos of the finished cuff bracelet
Peyote Stitch Cuff Bracelet 1.25" Wide
Then of course it had a hold on me...I really wanted to make some more!  So I looked in my inventory and noticed that I didn't have very many of the "skinnies" I call them (they are just a touch over half an inch wide) and I thought why not make a few of those?

Here again is another pattern I had sketched a while ago but had not yet gotten the chance to stitch it up, as I was going...I wasn't sure if I liked the pattern...I had originally made it for a variety of colors in each little outlined section but decided for some reason to scratch that idea and make them all the same color...
Peyote Stitch Skinny Cuff In The Works
It was almost seeming animal print like to me...which was not my intention at all, but since I changed it to one color of splotches I think it just took on a whole new life...here are a few photos of the finished product
Peyote Stitch Cuff Bracelet 0.5" Width in Opaque White, Silver-Lined Blue Zircon & Ceylon-Lined Aqua
Again, not at all what I had pictured in my head, but I am happy with the results!

Knowing how I am, if you have been reading my beading rants...I had to sketch out a new pattern, that had independent splotches rather than some being connected as in the original design, here is how that one turned out
Peyote Stitch Cuff Bracelet 0.5" Width in Matte Black, Metallic Steel Blue & Silver-Lined Frost Yellow
Totally different results! I can't lie...I like them both for different reasons.  Now of course... you know... it doesn't stop there...more ideas start to come to me...like "I wonder how this would look in different colors?"  Sometimes I am amazed at how different a pattern looks when it is stitched up in a totally different color scheme!  I enjoy trying out different colors together, especially something that I wouldn't normally put together...the results always seem to turn out just beautiful!

If you need me I'll be stitching away, trying these patterns out in different color schemes...can't wait to show you the results!