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….

Midnight Beader

Posted by Rebecca Stone on January 31, 2010
Jan 312010

All of Tucson must be simply abuzz (atwitter?) with the huge gem and jewelry show in full swing there. A relative newcomer on the scene, I have to admit I’ve never been to this three-week megashow. I can’t even imagine: the Pasadena and Santa Monica shows alone make my head spin, and the Tucson show is legendary for its size and scope. Besides the official venues, stories abound about people selling rocks out of their hotel rooms and out of their cars. Colored-stone.com, the site for, well, Colored Stone magazine, one of the Interweave publications, puts out a terrific show guide. Heck, just reading through it makes me want to hop in the car and drive east. Who knows, maybe I will.

In my last post, I mentioned meeting Mr. Khan, of MineGem. He kindly offered to take a few of my necklaces with him to AZ. I had a couple of them ready to go, but designed a few more with some of the stones I had purchased at the Pasadena show. Among my necklace designs: Ruby zoisite and silver, citrine and prehnite, appatite and moonstone, Peruvian opal and black onyx, garnet and emerald and serpentine with amethyst and freshwater pearl, and aquamarine and rhodocrosite. Most include Swarovski crystals. Boy, I pulled some late nighters there, finishing touches and all, to get them all ready and shipped on time. We’ll see… It seems that right now, folks are more into buying jewelry-making components, than the actual jewelry itself. But nothing ventured….

Can't get enough of that ruby zoisite. What a wonderful stone.

Can't get enough of that ruby zoisite. What a wonderful stone.

After the o’dark-thirty scramble to put all my pieces together, and standing in line at the post office, I rewarded myself with a walk in Bronson Park, here in Hollywood. No agates here, but after the rainstorms of the past week, I knew I could count on a small waterfall about a half-mile up the trail. Something about moving water soothes my soul.

I stayed there for a while, listening in relaxed oblivion. Near sunset, as I headed back down the trail to the car, I heard the beginnings of the nightly coyote call and response sessions, and walked past a marsh, alive with the sound of frogs. Los Angeles is certainly a crazy quilt of contradictions. Expanses of sagebrush-covered hills, a quiet grove of trees, a waterfall and stream, wildlife in action, and all just a few blocks from the star-studded pavement of Hollywood and a different type of wildlife.

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