|Art by Allison Stein|
So far today I've written two tutorials, put 200 pairs of earrings on their cards back into plastic bags, put I don't know how many bracelets back into bags from Saturday's show, wrote a short blog post, been to the post office, learned how to Speed Stack with my son, and I'm sure I'm forgetting something. But all things considered, this is a huge accomplishment.
This week, I really haven't made a single beaded thing. It's all been about paperwork, recovering from the craft show, and, as you'll see, making Valentines. So my table is MUCH less chaotic than normal.
Don't get me wrong -- there should be a load of beads on that table. There certainly are a load of things due, after all -- pieces for the Bead Soup Blog Party, a piece due for the ArtBeads bloggers, Cup of Bead Soup projects, Earthenwood Design Studio Team projects -- all due this month. Under normal circumstances, I thrive on this sort of "the deadline is looming" kind of craziness. Lately, it's not so much about loving this pace so much as keeping this pace because I never know how I'll feel physically day to day.
My first project tomorrow is to get this pile of bracelets resized and shipped off to their new owners. At craft shows, I always offer free resizing and free shipping to get their new bauble to them. I think the small cost of my time, any minimal materials, and the shipping is totally worth making a customer happy.
One of my customers told me about a gorgeous necklace at another show she wanted to buy, but she didn't like the lobster claw clasp -- her fingers just couldn't manage it. The artisan just sat back in the corner of the booth and said, "Well, sometimes they're like that, sometimes they aren't," and went back to reading his newspaper. She had money in her pocket and she walked away with that money still in her pocket.
Of course, everyone runs their business as they see fit, and I'm not trying to tell you how to run YOUR business. Some things are impossible to resize without considerable time and money, and if your customer has the logistics gently explained to them, chances are they'll pay what's needed. But offering nothing at all, not even guiding the customer to another piece of jewelry that might work out better, is going to cause a missed opportunity.
A project I am working on this week is handmade Valentines for Zack's class. I bought this adorable kit from one of my favorite stores, Paper Source, and we've been busy cutting out and glueing on. But after we made these three Valentines, Zack lost his momentum, so it's now MY project. This is totally fine, and totally what I expected. I've always loved Valentine's Day, and made my own Valentines for many years. It won't be long before this won't be cool for my kidlet anymore, so I'm enjoying this for as long as I can.
I'm thinking that next week's Bead Table Wednesday will have a more chaotic look. I've seen some truly crazy tables and then I've seen some absolutely pristine tables. I'm usually more on the crazy side, with trays and boxes and bags going all over the place. So stay tuned! You never know what you'll see, and I never know what I'll find.
Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and wrote the blog An Artist's Year Off. She's also a contributor to Art Bead Scene.