Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Journey:

The holidays are a busy time for selling here at 758. It's also when I do a lot of supply hunting, cleaning, de-stashing and creating!

I try to only use the income from the Strung-Out project to perpetuate it. Sometimes I can't resist a certain sparkly thing - especially when I travel. I tend to map my route to include bead stores, arming myself with a map covered in stars when I set out on an adventure.

When I bring my loot home and incorporate it into the collection [sorted by color and type, because I'm an OCD nutcase,] the creative process ensues. How do I make this stuff? I open my mind and let every little thing inspire me. It can be a cheesy theme, the seasons, a smell or memory, a flower or critter...I let the colors and moods drive me to pick out the materials that I weave into bracelets.

When I'm playing in my studio, I get to remember the roads I went down to get the things I work with. It's a bit of a guilty pleasure to be able to reflect on the past, and keep it alive in my jewelry.

I create tons of bracelets because they're economical. They use a single guitar string. It saves some beads for another go-round if the concept sells out, or maybe a matching necklace. Bracelets are the one night stand of the jewelry box. They're fun. They might be crazy, but that's okay. They're a big statement without the commitment.

The featured item today is the Green Fairy earrings. The nifty mint/opal-ish focal beads came from a full strand of multicolored vintage German glass beads that are apparently quite rare and worth a bunch. I discovered them at The Bead Place in Belleville, IL when we were visiting family. Instead of being afraid to use them because of their "value," they've been making their way into my stuff all year long. I don't believe in hiding things away if they're valuable. It's art, and it should be enjoyed by everyone!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Etsy me:

These days, I sell primarily on I have a store for my jewelry and a sister store for my corset-type stuff.

The funny thing about Etsy is how it twangs an inner competitive string I don't recall having before. There are only a handful of other artists that use similar materials as Strung-Out, and everyone is doing their own thing. THIS is awesome. Nothing irks me more than seeing the same copycat trends popping up everywhere, or the same $1 clearance pendant with a bird's nest on a twig done about three different ways, six hundred times over. *vomit*

But what about the shops that brush very close to what I'm doing, but use sub-par materials? Or that have a similar name to my product, with a similar style, yet not as well-made, with a much higher price tag? Do I raise my prices? Throw rocks at them? Simply continue to be fabulous? :)
I joined because it was for people like me - Lone Rangers of the crafty-poo world sitting up late at night creating handmade wonders to send out into the world. By contrast, eBay is cold, impersonal and overpriced.

I very much adore the community aspect of Etsy - you can 'heart' your favorite items to keep tabs on them, share stuff in the forums, read articles about every aspect of crafting, marketing and drool-worthy's just spiffy. It's also handy for keeping an eye on trends - so that I can keep my work fresh and interesting. :)
Pictured in this blog are a handful of my newer items - the Patchwork, Attitude and Vineyard bracelets. I have a soft spot in my heart for Patchwork - the vintage wood beads came from a single shoe clip that was found and given to me when clearing out my grandmother's house. I love the colors and shapes, and the new beads I added complement them perfectly.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

First Blog:

Welcome to the happy new blog home of my jewelry making empire - Strung-Out Recycled Guitar String Jewelry. I'm sure the term 'Strung-Out' is taken by somebody out there with a lot more money than me, so if they happen to step forward with their panties all in a bunch, I'm the little fish - okay? :)

A lot goes into a name. I always put a lot of thought into the naming adventure. 'Strung-Out' came from the lyrics to Blister in the Sun by Violent Femmes. And that whole guitar strings thingy? Yeah. Voila! A name is born!

I started working with guitar strings because I had some. My brother Jay, the musical genius once got a guitar and decided to be a rockstar. Morgan gave me like a SHOEBOX full of new strings back when I got started. My Etsy store opened a year later.

I hope to keep this blog as a running commentary on whatever trouble I happen to be getting into, so that the world can be a part of my creative process.


Pictured: Two to Tango earrings