Thursday, November 20, 2014

Baby It's Cold Outside….A Post Inspired By The Weather...

Here in California we're praying for rain…..and today it really wants to.  It's a little chilly out and the clouds are coming my way…but as you can see the leaves are still on the trees…fingers crossed we'll get a little rain and the trees will figure out its Fall.

Since I'm working inside and inspired by the weather I thought I'd share of couple of items that I've just listed in my Etsy Shop that are also "weather inspired".

A few years ago, my sister who is an expert knitter gave me a neck warmer she had made.  I loved the idea and the fact that you could wear it while you worked without it getting in the way.  I received lots of compliments when I wore it so I asked my sister to teach me how to make them.  It was something I could do in the evening since I'm not good at just sitting idle.  I've been making them ever since and they've been hugely popular.  I've probably made hundreds at this point and every year think I'll stop because I didn't have anywhere to sell them but people still keep finding me and wanting them so I've added them to my Etsy Shop.

When I picked this one up all I could think of was that someone in Buffalo could use this about now.  I watch the news and see the rest of the country getting buried in snow and feel for them.  If I thought the mail carrier really did deliver in the snow I'd send it to someone.

If it did rain and I did have to go out in it…I think this little neck warmer would be a perfect way to brighten a gray day.

One of the things I've been really working on over the last year is something that I've wanted to get back into for awhile….and that is jewelry making.  You'll have to check out the Handmade Jewelry section of my Etsy Shop to see it all but I really like using vintage items in my designs and making each one unique.

Once again, I found myself needing something I could work on in the evening while watching a little television…since I thought I was going to stop making neck warmers…  I had seen these leather and bead wrap bracelets that I really liked and wanted for myself but I personally didn't want to wear such a big wrap.  I liked the idea of being able to mix and match them along with little stretchy bracelets so I started making just single bracelets instead of wraps.  Women often stop me and ask me about them, so I started making them to sell and have added a few to the Etsy Shop.  I love the look of natural leather and prefer to use semi-precious stones and really nice quality glass beads.

Of course, since my favorite color is the rainbow and I have a certain affinity for little faceted semi-precious stones, I went ahead and made a triple wrap bracelet using a mix.  I have to say I really like this one, too, and will probably continue to make more if it proves to be popular.  

So, now you've seen a little glimpse of what I've been working on this last year…but I promise…I did spend some time out in the workshop too and will hopefully start sharing more of that with you.

If you just can't wait….go check out my Facebook page.  You'll have to get past all the Etsy listings but if you go back a ways you'll see what I've been up to!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

It's Been So Long I May Have Forgotten How...

…to blog, that is...It's been a busy year with lots of changes.  Good thing I don't mind change.  For those of you that use to follow this blog, I hope you're still out there somewhere.  Finding a nice balance in life is a challenge we all face and I'm still working on it.  
When I started this blog, it was because I had a space in a co-op where I sold my projects and other dealers and customers would often ask me for tips, advice, or simply how to do a project.  Teaching a class definitely didn't fit into my schedule and I'm not really comfortable speaking to a crowd.  This blog seemed like the perfect solution.  It worked okay for awhile but I found myself doing every project with this blog in mind and it made everything take longer.  I had to remember to take "before" and step-by-step photos.  Then I had to sit down and put the whole thing together.  I found it to be quite time consuming.  Problem is, I still like having a journal of projects.  I've tried to continue taking photos although I admit I often forget to take "before" pictures.  

I found that creating and managing a Facebook Page for A Junker's Journal is a quicker way to post projects.  That way the project gets put out there for potential customers and anyone that has a specific question can always ask and I can always do a How-To blog if anyone shows a particular interest.  

If you aren't following my Facebook Page and would like to, here's the link: 

I'm not selling from a co-op anymore.  It just wasn't fun anymore and I really need for this to be fun.  I am excited to say that I have done the Three Speckled Hens Show  twice now and it's the perfect venue for me.  It's right here in town twice a year; the first weekend in May and the first weekend in October. It gives me the time in between to work on projects and then I get to set up my little shop and meet the customers in person (something I missed with the co-op situation).  It's a lot of fun and a great show so if you have the opportunity I hope you'll attend and stop by and introduce yourself.

After doing two shows, it wasn't quite enough so I've reopened my Etsy Shop.  So far, I've listed available handmade jewelry, a few jewelry holders and some hand-knitted items. 

 My ultimate goal is to add everything from vintage and handmade lamps and lampshades to pillow covers, and even the furniture pieces.  This way, you can shop from the comfort of your own computer.  

So far, this new balance seems to be working well for me.  I've had carpel tunnel surgery on both wrists in the last 13 months so I'm excited to get back into the workshop where I can wield some "real" tools.  I'll keep posting on Facebook and Etsy and try to add a blog here once in awhile….so I don't forget how.  

Happy Junkin'