Saturday, April 23, 2011

300 Followers...

Wow!
Hello my friends...

Hands down to you all...
I can not believe that I've just hit
300 followers.


So exciting...
thank you for the honor
and privilege you have bestowed
upon me with your time.

Time is such a gift!


I appreciate each moment you spend with me
on this little blog of mine,
so thank you for being so loyal
through out these years as
I've worked hard to build my blog
and jewelry design business.

To celebrate...
I am going to have a
giveaway soon.

Speaking of gifts...

the greatest gift we have ever been given,
is when Jesus died on the cross for our sins.


Tomorrow we celebrate 
His resurrection...
than
stay tuned for more on my
300th follower
giveaway later
in the week ahead.

~Gretchen~

*All photos are of vignette's in my home and taken with a smartphone.  Sorry for the quality. :(

Monday, April 18, 2011

Creating "Soul" Series - Part 1

I've been thinking a lot about jewelry design and what sets one designers jewelry apart from another?  I'm thinking that there is more to it than what many people may think.  Or shall I be so bold as to say I think I finally figured out that there is a difference amongst the jewelry and the designers of "Made in China" jewelry, a non designer deciding to quickly make something out of things they find in a junk drawer, or antique shop, even yet others that make jewelry for a living financially, and than lastly someone like myself.

Not be mistaken here as self righteous in any way.  Just feeling this... that "I'm truly blessed right now, loving the privilege I have of creating jewelry at this juncture in my life and truly feel that this is what my
"life's purpose is".  For me to be able to minister to others through my jewelry business, is a gift!  Whether it be those customers that God brings into my everyday life through selling off of my blog,  customers I create custom pieces for, customers I interface with while selling at awesome shows, or those vendors/pickers I meet while buying for my business.    I am blessed...

I think I've figured out something that my customers have been telling me for years, but I hadn't yet found a word for it.  My jewelry has "soul".

What does this mean you may be thinking?  Having soul means first of all...

1)  Connecting ~  with customers.  I love getting to know the heart and souls of my customers, and many of my closest and dearest friends I've met through my jewelry design business and they were once upon a time a new customer.  I love this unexpected gift!
(This photo taken at Junk Bonanza shows me connecting with a repeat customer)


Q:  How can you do this in your own business?  

A:  By creating relationships with your customers.  Really caring about who they are, what they're doing, what it is they are seeking your jewelry for?   Is it for an event?  Is it nourishing their soul at a difficult time in their lives and giving them some joy?   Or maybe it's a memory piece that brings them joy and closeness to the person their remembering through the custom piece I create for them and helps ease the loss of a loved one in their lives.

Also, by using social media opportunities.  Including and not limited to a personal facebook, a business blog, a business facebook, twitter, linkedin, a personal web page, etsy and whatever else form you so choose to be involved in.
(All of these ladies started out first as customers, 
and now I'm happy to call each one of them "Friend".)

And, last but more importantly, being friendly to your customers and truly making them feel and know that you care about each one of them.  Providing time permits when you are interacting with them.  At some of my large shows that is a frustration for me, as sometimes it is so busy that I'm barely able to write up a sale, much less truly interact like I would like to with each of my customers.

Do you try to connect with your customers?
If so, how do you connect with your customers?
If not, give it a try?  I think you'll be blown away how cool it is...

I'd love you to leave a comment and share your thoughts on this topic.

(Stay tuned to a future segment of this series)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Silver Handled Condiment Server Tutorial

The goods...
My as found piece of silver, which appears to be in the form of a vintage condiment server. Wash well with warm soapy water.  Dry thoroughly.  Measure the diameter of each of the cut out holes and write down, so you remember what size you are looking for when out shopping. :)
 Notice beautiful details on the handle.
For my particular silver piece I needed to purchase 5 glass containers that measured the same diameter as the holes.  I brought along my silver piece to the store the next time I was out running errands, so that I could be sure they would fit down in at the correct level.  I highly recommend you do the same, and plan to bring your item with you.  It saves time and $ now that gas is so high with returns if you buy the wrong size.
This photo shows how the glass containers should fit into your piece.
Let the fun begin...

Fill it with whatever your little <3 heart desires.

Be it M & M's for the chocolate lover...
condiments for your summer picnics...
jewelry on your dresser...
or like me
jewelry findings for my jewelry business.
Don't you just love easy tutorials????

Please share ~
What's your secrets to organizing smalls such as this?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Gearing up for Fall Shows Now


Hello my friends ~

I have been busy, busy, busy...
with what you may ask?

Finding great elements to Dream about...
Create with
and Restore into once more
well loved Treasures.

How I intend to do that you may ask?
New treasures in the form of
Mimi-Toria's Vintage Redesigned Jewelry.
(Doll Necklace was Sold at previous event, but similar doll necklaces will be created with found dolls shown below)

I have found wonderful vintage dolls...
fabulous tokens...
foreign coins...
wonderful vintage pearls,
lovely old crystals,
gorgeous vintage rosaries,
large stashes of French medals,
incredibly cool vintage number elements,
ornate beautiful silverware,
lovely vintage rhinestones,
exquisite vintage hardware,
and so much more,
all purchased to recreate with.

For what you may ask?
See links below...
Two of my favorite vendor events
that I am privileged to be a part of...

I will be spending the next
5 months
creating for these
2 events.

See you at one of the shows,
or
if your smart...
at both.
:)

You will be missing out
if you don't plan now to attend.
They are fabulous...

"Junk Market Under Glass"
September 8-10, 2011

Junk Bonanza
September 15-17, 2011

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Money Bag Tutorial

Here is a quick tutorial to make a handy money bag for using at your vendor shows you may be a part of this Summer.   So come along and join me in this quickie tutorial.


Acrylic paint in two colors, sponge stamp (your choice), two sponge brushes, 3/4" or 1" blue masking tape and as many canvas tool bags as you'd like to create.  I get mine at Home Depot for around .99 each, and love the fact that they already have the square shape already centered and on them.
Tape off around the orange "Home Depot" square with four pieces of blue painters masking tape, and overlap the pieces.  Be sure that you have the inside edges firmly pressed down around the edge, so that you obtain a crisp edge while painting and don't have any bleeding of paint.
Paint entire inside block with your choice of paint color.  I chose a dark brown shade to go with my European Vintage Style displays that I use for the events that I participate in.  You may need to paint on more than one coat, so don't rush to take of the tape. 
Now I have a nice crisp chocolate brown square space which has dried and is ready for the next step.  I have the paint wet on the stamp and ready to stamp on the square.  Be sure that you line it up in the middle of the square before carefully setting it down to stamp.  I was good with this on some, but my first one I wasn't successful with aligning perfectly in the middle.
Shown here is the stamp centered and ready to press down to imprint the stamping onto the brown square painted area.  You can see in this photo that there was some bleeding around the edges and this square isn't as crisp as the stamped square in the previous photo.
The finished product.  Notice that on this one the Fleur de Leis is a bit off centered?  It was the first one I did and I quickly corrected this mistake for the others I did.
My friend, Laurel, and I at the "Flea Market Under Glass" event in March 2011, in which I originally created the the money bag for this event.  
Here are the four money aprons completed and ready to be put into action at the FMUG event that I was a part of in March.  These come in handy for vending and keeping money on oneself at all times.  At another event there was a guy trying to make off with peoples money boxes, so it's always a good idea to keep your money on your body.

Thanks for following along with me.  I hope that some of my followers will find this tutorial useful to them.  You can always revise this project to meet your needs, but for under $2.00 each, I now have four of these money bags for use by my workers and myself at any of my upcoming shows.  Don't you just love useful and easy tutorials.


Linking up with White Wednesdays with Faded Charms link party.  Check out the rest of the blogs and their fun posts here.

*I originally saw this idea from my friend, Julie owner of "The Loft".  She made these for all of us vendors that were part of the original French Flea group to wear while working, and I instantly loved the idea.  There was a very limited amount of large stamp choices at Michaels Crafts and Direct, so I ended up using the same one she used.  She also added some sparkle to the edges of the squares and used black and silver for hers.  Mine are actually a chocolate brown and a metallic bronze color theme, so they are a bit different.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Shop Update:


Thank you to all of my blog shopping customers for your past patronage and your patience waiting for me to list new items for you to view and/or purchase.  I am currently spending my time preparing for income taxes, which I am scheduled to have done next Thursday. 
After that I plan to list new items on my SHOP tab (see the top of my blog page, right above each of the new blog post I write), which you can click on and it will open you to a new page filled with jewelry to purchase.  Currently there are some items still for sale in the SHOP tab, but I haven't had time to update that tab lately.  I do have a lot of items I can add for your purchasing, but need the time to do so.
I also will be adding a SHOP SALE page for items that I've had in inventory for a bit longer than I'd like and plan to discount them online for your shopping options.
Stay tune for these updates, which I hope to have completed the week of April 15th.
Again, thank you for your friendships, your following of my blog, and your loyalty.


Mimi-Toria's Design Jewelry Style