Let There Be Pearls

Posted by Rebecca Stone on March 2, 2011
Mar 022011

Spring is getting closer. I can smell the blossom scent in the wind — unless, of course it’s a Santa Ana wind that visits from time to time around here and can nearly rip the hair out of your head. But I digress.

pearl and crystal necklace
Cream and rose freshwater pearl combine with fuschia Swarovski crystals and a smattering of sterling silver in this Springy necklace. A wild rose cloisonne bead sits at its heart.
(Want it? Click it.)

For some reason, I recently felt like doing something with pearls — freshwater pearls to be exact. They’re just so darn creamy and, well, Springy-looking. They called to me, saying, “Put us together with some sparkly Swarovski crystals!” (As if Swarovski crystals could ever be anything but sparkly. But these are pearls talking…) Anyway, it sounded like a good idea. So I did.

Pearl, Swarovski, black onyx and sterling silver necklace
This time, I paired the same pearls with black onyx, black Swarovski crystals and sterling silver for a high-contrast look. After all, Spring is full of contrasts! A black cloisonne bead with a mallow type of flower resides dead center.
(Want it? Click it.)

I threw in a touch of sterling silver here, and a touch of gold-fill there. And I had perfect little cloissone beads, that added just the right touch dead center. Each necklace reminds me of a little whisper, a gentle touch, a delicate bouquet from the Spring that will soon arrive (even for those of you in the Midwest, East Coast, and — right now — Pacific Northwest). Take heart! Take a necklace! Be happy! And be sparkly!

Pearls with Swarovski and red
Finally, I had to try the deep red (Siam) Swarovski side-by-side with the delicate pearl shades. Punched up with gold-filled beads and the central cloisonne pink and red “hibiscus,” I think the piece has a kind of noirish playfulness — if that’s possible.

Becky's Big Adventure

Posted by Rebecca Stone on June 7, 2010
Jun 072010

Well, we got to the show (the Hollywoodland Annual Flea Market and Art Fair) yesterday around 6 am. Setup was a snap — it was hauling everything back down the stairs from our house to load in the car that was a pain, in so many ways. I had a box for each table, containing all the pieces that went with each one. This really speeded up prep time. I also had drawn a diagram of where everything went, which came in handy during periodic brain freezes. I had designed a poster in Adobe Illustrator to reflect the look of my business cards. Oz was able to round up a frame to fit it, and wired it to the front of my entrance-adjacent table. It looked fabulous. If you ever need a poster fast and at a reasonable rate, check out PosterBrain.com. I highly recommend them.

My first show experience was enjoyable. My booth looked wonderful, if not a little dressy for the event, with all the black velvet coverings (custom made by my friend Marysol) and props over burgundy tablecloths. Neighborhood friends stopped by to chat and check out my stuff. Another friend drove all the way from Santa Monica to keep me company for a couple of hours. We had a beautiful (though slightly warm) day and great music. Best of all, people looked at my pieces and, well, liked them. No one scowled, scoffed or burst out laughing. While I sat in the shade behind my tables and worked on some unfinished pieces I’d brought along, descriptors like delicate, pretty and unique floated on the breeze as visitors to my booth browsed. And…. I actually sold some things. Not a ton, mind you, but I recovered my entry fee and then some, even with the flea market situated right next to my tent.

I also met some of the other artists, and that is always nice. The only other full-out jewelry designer there was singer/songwriter Gina Venturini. I enjoyed comparing notes with her and visiting her booth. She uses many of the same materials that I do, but her style is very different — bold and super colorful. Check out her site: ginaventurinidesigns.com.

Today my feet hurt and I’m pretty tired. But, overall, it was a great learning experience. I got to try out some different marketing strategies, and now I understand the disadvantages of combining handcrafted arts and flea markets. Most people there came for the bargains and freebies (In fact, one of my favorite memories about the show was when someone approached me, asking if my bouquet of flowers was for sale — or the vase they were in — or the led lamp that was lighting up one of my displays — totally ignoring my jewelry — that WAS for sale). You can’t blame people for seeking out killer deals, but flea market stickers reflect price points that most handcrafters can’t afford. Lesson learned. Onward….

Up and Down She Wandered...

Posted by Rebecca Stone on June 5, 2010
Jun 052010

My recent activities remind me of the lyrics in a song I used to sing back in the day, when I could hit the high notes as a soprano in a madrigal group. I have been preparing for my first art fair, where actual people will see my pieces. We live at the top of a HUGE set of stairs (it’s called a stair street in the Hollywood Hills). In order to practice my set up and plan my booth design, I’ve had to bring all my newly purchased props, tables and tents included, up the stairs from the car and down the steps into the front yard, only to have to cart it back up and down again to transport to the show. Oh well, it’s good for the old waistline.

I think I’m ready, well almost. I think my booth looks good, but still plenty to do today, loose ends and all. The fair is right up the street — the Hollywoodland Flea Market/Bake Sale/Art Fair. No idea what to expect, but it seems like a good way to get my feet wet.

Hoping to catch up with my much-neglected Etsy store (still need to work on driving traffic to it) and to blog next week about my show experiences and a couple of other things I’ve had simmering. Please stay tuned to find out what happened in Becky’s Big Adventure.

Thanks for reading.

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