Standing Out from the Crowd
In the forums, folks are discussing their preparations for the upcoming holiday craft fairs. In addition to the questions about packaging, displays, and pricing, there's another question that occasionally pops up in these types of discussions. With more and more beaders and jewelry makers selling their work, how do you make yours stand out from the crowd?
Making Your Own Pendants and Charms
One way is to make your own unique pendants, charms, and clasps. I love this idea! Just over the weekend, I was playing with some "shrink plastic" which is basically a grown-up version of Shrinky-Dinks! (Remember those?) You can draw on the plastic, cut it out, and then bake it in the oven. After you take it out, you'll have a tiny charm or pendant that is your own unique creation to add to your signature jewelry designs. (I haven't baked mine yet--temperatures here hit 100 degrees over the weekend and I couldn't bear to turn on the oven even in the name of blogging goodness! I did find some really cute examples online, which I've posted in the forums.)
If you're not sure how to start making your own components or want to try some new techniques, check out the new book Custom Cool Jewelry by Beadwork and Stringing managing editor Melinda Barta. She uses a wide range of jewelry and basic crafting materials, including embossing powder, collage papers, wire, fibers, glass-etching cream, patinas, found objects, fabric, memorabilia, and more. This is a great way to get a taste of many different types of techniques and see which ones speak to you. One of my personal favorites is Melinda's idea on how to recycle tin into pendants and charms. I knew I had been saving all those candy and tea tins in my basement for a reason! View a preview and order your copy of Custom Cool Jewelry.
Vote for Your Free Project
To give you just a little taste of what's inside this book, I asked author Melinda Barta to select three different projects from the book. Now it's up to you to decide which one should be a free preview on Beading Daily.
Vote for your favorite project from Custom Cool Jewelry--the one with the most votes will be available for one week as an exclusive free preview just for Beading Daily! Flirty Frames teaches you how to combine bead frames and wire in unique ways, Splash of Pattern adds decorative transfers to metal charms, and Impressionable Clay mixes polymer clay and rubber stamps.
Splash of Pattern
Voting ends Monday, August 11th. One vote per member. Winning free project and insider design tips from the book's author will be shared Friday, August 29th. Project will be free for one week. Vote now!
Reader Poll: What inspires you? Take the poll now. This poll ends August 10, 2008. Responses will be shared in a future Beading Daily. If you have an idea for a poll, please send it along to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. (You'll get an automatic form letter reply, but don't worry, I'll see your message!)
Michelle Mach shares beading news, contests, reader galleries, and other beady stuff every Monday on Beading Daily. If you have comments or questions for Michelle, please post them on the website.